“So what, you going to run away from people?”
“No, no I’m gonna see things, you know discover, surprises, I like surprises.”
Great lines from the 1969 tv show “Then Came Bronson” which had more effect on me than I ever realized until recently. I was 13 years old and here is a guy with a cool motorcycle, just riding that long lonesome highway, gets all the girls and helps people out. What 13 year old red blooded American kid didn’t want to be Bronson!
It has been another great trip and glad you could Kom Igen
Why do I do this? No, not the ride, that one is easy, I ride because the little voice inside my head tells me to. No, why do I do the blog? I have to admit it often felt like work and was often the last thing at nights I wanted to work on. I would go through periods of why, nobody is reading it, nobody cares about what the hell I see and then I would get an email, a txt or a comment on the blog from somebody out of the blue that was reading and would comment that they felt like they were on the ride and keep it up. I would also think about my mom who passed away earlier this year. One of the things we found in her personal belongings was a printed copy in a hardbound leather binder of the daily 2009 and 2010 blogs. When she could no longer use the computer, the lady who ran the care home would print them for her and the whole care home would share. My mother would always tell me to be careful but she never condemned me for riding a motorcycle, instead she would tell everyone “thats my son that rides a Harley” like it was a really big deal.
Obviously my family would read it and they are all very supportive even though they do without so called “Normal Vacations” because of it. They know how hard I work and know how much I need the getaway time to recharge so I get a friendly kick out the door when Sturgis time comes around. Thank you to all my family! My co workers also read it and like my family, many of them suffer because of me being gone but all are very supportive. So, we have family, co workers and then the close friends all following along when along comes someone out of the blue who I did not know.
Bruce Carlson was an engineer who worked with my brother Bob in Kansas. My brother had shared the blog with Bruce and he became a faithful reader in 2009 and 2010. In August of 2010, Bruce was diagnosed with a rare disease called Wegner’s Granutomatosis. The disease affected his kidneys and in January of 2011 Bruce passed away at the young age of 56. Bruce was an avid motorcycle rider having owned over 12 motorcyles. In August of 2010, Bruce had made a comment on my blog about how much he enjoyed the adventure and then added “My life for yours” That is why I do it.
” Mr. S, here is your gold. I chased it all the way to Missouri where Injun Joe had traded to some pirates for some whiskey. I chased them pirates down the Mississippi all the way to Memphis and finally caught up with them at a drive up BBQ stand, however they was a walking so it was easy. Here is your secret treasure too Mr. S. I now see how you are so lucky at cards, I’m sure this distracts them enough for you to pull those Aces out of your sleeve.
And here is the rest of your treasure, shouldn’t be long for you to double your fortune, but don’t worry Mr. S, your secret is safe with me.
MISC. Ramblin’s from my diary that didn’t make the blog.
Note to Indian Reservations. PICK up the damn trash!
Iowa, pig farms smell worse than any dairy.
Iowa has the friendliest people, even the cops. Had one chasing me down through town, I could see him driving fast behind me in my mirror and thinking , did I come to a complete stop at that last sign? He is on my ass now, crap it has to be my loud pipes, now he is passing and going to signal for me to pull over. I look over and he is giving me a big thumbs up and then speeds away!
Number of times I got stopped by cops… Zero
Number of times I got stopped by pretty girls….
Iowa is not all corn fields, actually seems to be more soybeans than corn.
Speaking of corn, I have seen enough to last a lifetime!
My motorcycle does not like ethanol.
Number of times I washed the bike on the trip… Zero, I think it had a lot of character by the time I got home.
List of celebrity tippers considered Saints: Tim Allen, Charles Barkley, Kevin Costner, Jay Leno, Peyton Manning, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty.
List of celebrity tippers considered scum: Al Gore, Don Henley, Jesse Jackson, Dan Quayle, Tiger Woods, Mark McGuire, Scottie Pippen, Barbra Streisand and Marie Osmond. The last one surprised me but I am thinking she does 10% for everything.
Riding through town looking for a motel, when did signs stating “American Owned” become so popular?
Illinois has problems, the roads are terrible and it is obvious a welfare state, yet had some of the cheapest gas.
Tennessee is the most prosperous followed by Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Oklahoma. That is just my road warrior view of things, maybe I should look it up and see how close I am.
People out here(along the river road) consider mowing the lawn (riding lawnmower only) a hobby, they mow the barrow ditches!
Total miles 3613
Total DUI’s at sturgis, 212, what the hell is wrong with people!!
I predict that we will see multiple Casino’s go under in the next 5 years, there is way too many of them and of course I participated in too many of them but I did see the people in them. I didn’t know you could trade food stamps for Casino Chips?
I know what chigger bites feel like and was that a damn tick that just fell out of my hair?
Overall America is still in good shape, you just have to get off the interstate, away from the chain stores and restaurants to find her. I have many new friends and was surprised often.
Only once did I come close to any kind of conflict and it was early in the trip at Spearfish and it really wasn’t mine but I bet that kid thinks twice the next time before he flips off an old biker whose bike had died in front of him. First he pulls in so close to my bike he can’t get his door open and expects me to move my bike. I just stood there in a stare down until he rolled his window up and had his girlfriend get out on the other side and go into the liquor store. A guy standing next to me noticed what was going on and asked what the hell was wrong with this guy? The guys girl friend came back out, jumped in the truck and then he jammed it into reverse and almost hit another biker who had just pulled away from the gas pump. The old biker jammed his brakes hard to keep from getting hit and killed his bike and couldn’t get it started. This caused the asshole kid to honk his horn which was real stupid because he now had my attention, my new found friends attention and 3 others who earlier weren’t paying any attention. Some other guys help the old man push his bike out of the way and then the kid flips us all off as he peels out of the gas station. My now, 4 new friends said “fuck that lets get him”. It was more reaction on my part than anything thought out and the 5 of us went hauling ass after him with gears jammin’ and leathers flying. At least I now had a little time to think the situation over and wonder what the hell was I doing, what if the kid runs one of us over or has a gun, too late I’m committed. Two of our group got in front of him, one on the side and two of us behind him . The two in front keep slowing down, the one on the side kept him from going around and at the time I was thinking I would be the one to give the police report after the kid ran over all 3 of them. We forced the kid to pull over, I could tell he was scared now and not as cocky. One of our group, (the biggest meanest looking one) screamed at the kid to roll his window down or he was going to break it. The kid cracked the window, voice shaking with “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it.” The big guy then told him that if he ever flipped us off again he would be missing a finger while the rest of us just tried to look tough and make sure he or his girl friend did not have a weapon. That was it, we let him out exchanged high five’s, names and talked about where we were all from. I never saw any of them again. I have to admit, I felt a little bit like a badass and at the same time embarrassed for how stupid and what could have happened. Yet, I rode away thinking that is how America won wars. I was also a little worried thinking at work I operate on “learned behavior”, is this really my natural behavior? 3000 miles later, I think I am okay.
I have saved the best Mark Twain quote for the end.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”
It is going to be hard to wait a whole year to do this again and who knows maybe I won’t. I hope you enjoyed!