Sunday, January 23, 2011
I can remember as a young boy in the 60s riding in the back seat of our 60 Merc station wagon along 6th Avenue in Tacoma, and seeing a couple "bikers" riding custom bikes. The apehangers; loudpipes, cool paint jobs, raked and extended front ends, and I knew then and there what "cool" was all about. Even if my father in the front seat thought the bikes werent worth a shit, I knew better.
They weren't his type of bikes. He had rode in the late 30s and early 40s before he joined the army. Then WW2 came along, and by the time that one was over, he had a wife and family in Chicago and had to settle down to take care of business. Dad always had the style of bike he rode as his way a bike should look. Whe a trip from Chicago to Peoria was a major ride over shitty roads, the bikes had to be strong. To him anything that even looked spindly just sucked ass. But not to me.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying there's anything wrong with the bikes of his day, and even older. They're just not my first choice. I enjoy a long bike. Chrome doesn't do it for me, but a low long bike can just be the shit when it is rolling down the road, and you are riding it for all its worth. I don't have a longbike anymore, but when I get through this financial hole I am in, I will again. I can see it in my mind, with the details growing sharper as I fine tune what I want, and need on it. How it will look will follow two lines of thought that blend well with each other:
1. Form Follows Function
2. Keep It Simple Stupid!!
It may take me a while to build it the way I want, and I will I am sure need some help of a good welder, and painter, or better, I will learn from my brothers how to do it myself. So yeah, I guess what this video I made a couple years ago says is still true. "My heroes have always been "bikers" in some way or another.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Cabin fever, and being broke don't make for a good mix.
I am only sure of one thing, and that is things will change. A person can only hope the change will be for the better. As of now, I have been off work for more than a month and a half, and things being tight is an understatement. Finally, I am beginning to get callbacks for interviews on jobs, so it is looking up. My plans for this years riding have been wiped out, but that just means I will need to shake my head clear and look for more local shit to do, and ride when ever and however I can.
I don't mean to sound like I am pissing or moaning about this, but I hate being out of work. If shit gets really bad, I will have to deal with it. But for now things are only kind of bad...I aint in a tent huddled in a mummy bag in the woods somewhere. Been there, done that, and I am getting too fucking old and grey for that shit if I can avoid it.
Come what may, I will deal with it. Facing what changes are coming, and keeping my head together the best I can. The weather is supposed to be above freezing, with only a chance of showers this weekend, so I think there needs to be a session of two of wind therapy. A little road time to blow the shit out of my head and let my thoughts get better focussed. Take a putt and drop in on some riding partners I got up in the hills, and then head down the road.
I may freeze my cajones off, but fuck it, I need to change my head around...a decent ride will help.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
With the loss of my job at the end of November, it has put a damper on my plan to make a run from Mesa, AZ to Anacortes, WA in September. Why would I want to make such a run anyway? Well on the 4th Sunday of every September is the nearly legendary Oyster Run in Anacortes. It is the biggest bike run in the NW, and brings in about 25-30,000 bikes every year. Now this is a cool reason to make the ride to Anacortes by itself, but when The Horse Backstreet Choppers magazine announced they wouldn't be doing a Smoke Out in the west anymore, it got me to thinking....
Why not get something going to bring as many of the hardcore riders from the western US up to the NW for Oyster Run? It sounded like a reasonable idea to me, and it didn't take long to round up a starting point. Now, before you get the idea this is just going to be a mellow cruise of 1500 miles (or a bit more), let me set the record straight. This is an every rider for themselves run along a course that wont be set until the day before the start. This is not a group cruise with stops at all the scenic viewpoints. This is plain and simple a get on the road and ride sort of thing. Whether the whole route takes you 24hrs, or 48 is up entirely to you. The plan is to leave Medusa Cycles in Mesa at Ohdark:30 on the Wednesday before the Oyster Run and be on the road to Anacortes, and get there before Sunday's big shindig.
At least that was the plan...
Right now I have to get my dirty ass back to work. That has become my top priority right now. Taking care of the homestead first, and keeping my shit together. But that doesnt mean I am calling off the Iron Oyster Run. It just means, for now, that I probably wont be making the week long trip down to Mesa, then turning around and coming back up to Washington. Who knows, I might win the lottery between now and then, but I doubt it. So I am going to probably miss the first running of the Iron Oyster. Which pisses me off, but I am just going to have to deal with it. I can still at least make the Oyster Run, and work the finish line over the weekend.
The route wont be finalized until a day or two before the start due to having to cross the Cascade mountains, and depending on weather, the pass I want to run the route through can be closed for the winter by late September. But, for the most part it is laid out. Spending as much of the route as possible in "free" states where you dont have to wear a damn coconut on your head if you dont want. It will run north out of Mesa/Phoenix up into Utah, and Idaho before crossing into Washington. I am working with a couple people on getting trophies for the 1st three riders to make it built. I was going to have patches made for anyone who completed the route during the run, but might have to hold off due to funding for now. There is 9 months to get this figured out, and on the road, so I am still hoping it will turn out to become something cool for the riders to want to keep doing.
See you on the road.