I left my farm for the last time on April 10th, 2013. The last of my possessions had left the day before. I had finally made the decision that I had been wrestling with for years. I had tried for the majority of my life to fit into society's box, for profit. I knew long ago that I didn't fit in but I would still put on the suit and negotiate with people who thought they were important. I owned a solid waste company, a recycling company, a portable toilet company and a construction/ demolition company. All that I had built from scratch. Work had completely consumed me and my life was all about taking ownership of other peoples problems. There came a day when I decided that I was on the wrong road. I was not headed in the direction that I wanted to go.
It was time to shake down my new motorcycle build. As I pulled out of my driveway I knew that I was finished with that chapter of my life. I was ready to get on with the rest of my life. First thing I needed to do was to make sure that this bike was road ready.. and that first day included 68miles, two tow trucks and the knowledge that I could only go forward because there was nothing to go back too. It was also the beginning of a friendship that I know will last a lifetime.. Panhead Phil in Nashville became a part of my heart that day. That night found me in his bike shop sleeping on a couch listening to the rain.. Morning pushed me down the road with no worries and an eye on the western horizon. My destination was Arizona Bikeweek.
Shakedown runs are always eventful and this one was no different. I've learned that an extreme ride is the best way to become intimate with your bike because each one is as different as a woman. Im not gonna bore you with the mechanical s of my trip but it was those problems that put me in Dallas when I should have been in Phoenix. No complaints about a change of plans. Just deal with what you got and make the best of it.. The Best I could do was The Dallas Mudbug Festival with a dear friend.
Yes, That is a 16ft canoe full of crawdads.. We had a blast. My host took me around and introduced me to many amazing people. From the clubhouse to the beer joints and a biker spring fling.
I rolled out of Dallas and stopped in to see a friend from school who had just beat the hell out of breast cancer.. We had talked a bit over the yrs. but it was wonderful to catch up with her face to face. My pride was in the fact that she was and will always be an amazing survivor.
Rolling northwest and the bugs are out of the bike.. all is smooth and, and,,, what the hell just happened??? small town texas at 60mph and all of a sudden I've got a magnifying back tire wobble.. I cross a dust median and limp to a diner that I had just passed and park my flat tire right at the front door of the diner.. Im halfway between Wichita Falls and Amarillo with nothing to do but have some breakfast... As I'm eating my food an ole timer walks up and asks, "Is that your bike outside"? yes Sir... "Where you headed"? No where, I've got a blown tire.. "I was fixin to tell ya that". then he joins a round table full of other 70yr old men.. I finish my meal and called the Harley store in Wichita Falls to get a tire delivered. I walked up to the round table and asked if I could join them... I was warmly welcomed. "Gentlemen, I have a problem and I need your Help". That was all I needed to say. These men had been able to carve a life out of a dust field and sagebrush.. My problems were small in comparison.. Mr. LC took the day to help a stranger.. He found for me the things I needed. When we could not get the bead of the tire to seat he drove me to his sons sheet metal shop and we were able to get the tire aired up.. It was also where I was recognized by Mr. LC's daughter in law.. and they continued to treat me as a stranger in need.. I have often said and I believe it with all my heart.. "I Believe In The Kindness Of Strangers". Breakfast at 10am and at 3pm I was back on the road. There are still Golden people around us and I made sure that they understood how I felt about them..
Rolling on and not an interstate in my near future. I'm headed to Denver for The Cannabis Cup. This would be the first time in the history of the world that this event would be held in America. Plans change and I chose to spend my time with my friends in Colo. instead of with 20,000 stoners.. I made a good choice. I enjoy meeting new people but there are times when I enjoy the comfort of old friends. I have also found that the friends of my old friends are not strangers to me. We might have just met but we have things in common. My old friends don't hang with ass hats and douche bags. Colorado has always had a place in my soul and that fondness grows with each visit.. I will be there again soon.
Sometimes I have to take a moment to put things into perspective. My time in solitary confinement behind bars, on a motorSickle gives me time to think about all the things that effect me. Feelings, emotions, desires, direction. Why things are the way they are and what could be done to make them better. I took that moment of perspective at the Colo./Kansas state line. As I sat in the dirt beside my bike I was reminded of an old saying.. "it don't matter how bad you want too, you can't push a chain". My "want" is not part of the big picture. I found another level of peace when I came to terms with that idea..
Across Kansas and up into Nebraska to have lunch with some old friends I hadn't seen in a couple of yrs. then on to P-town. Dinner with friends and an interrogation of my life choices from a lady friend that I have known for 30+ yrs. She asked the hard questions that only a true friend knows to ask. I left with a new appreciation of our friendship and a comfort from having to express the answers to those most personal questions. I know how I truly feel because she made me put it into words knowing that I am unable to lie to her. That is a true friend.
Down threw Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee for a birthday party with My Maggie Grace.. Time was short but the time together was priceless. I was glad to see her and her mother doing so well. Next stop, Maggie Valley, NC. for the spring fling at Wheels through Time Museum. Twas good to spent some time with my friend Matt.. As the sun was setting I headed over the ridge to Sylva. There is not much new I can add about the clan of misfits that I call my family in Western Carolina. Most of it is covered by a statue of limitations.. I'll save all that for a death bed confession..
Next stop, Florida. Tattoo's, drinks, old friends, new ones, motorSickle miles, hot chicks, and more drinks. Then the realization that I no longer had a license plate or taillight.. where the hell did that go.??? oh well. Next morning Im at FnA custom cycles in Lakeland and Eric is hooking me up with a new tag bracket and tail light.. But the problem still exists. I dont have a license plate.. so I do what all good ole boys do.. I make one..
Next stop, Pittsburgh. good times. great people..
Then it was on to Minnesota to spend some time with some special people in my life..
then onto The knuckle Shuffle in Yuba, Wisc. in support of my dear friends Teach and Rodeo..
I rolled out of Yuba headed to Austin for The ROT Rally and decided to take a short break on the road..
So,,, as I sit here in Plano, Tx. Thinking of this journey that I have been on for the last couple of months I know that I am Blessed and well favored.. I have a wealth that cannot be bought or traded.. That wealth is from the people that I have in my life. They are my value and my worth. and the common denominator is,,, MotorSickles . Two wheels move my soul.