8 Ball In The Wind

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Friends Dropping In

Well now I have the pleasure of making sure the backyard is ready for a couple of tents.  I just got an email from a friend who 'MAY' be coming over from the other side of the state with a friend to buy a bike, and they wanted to know if they could pitch their tents in the yard overnight.  That took all of a half of a nanosecond to know what the answer was going to be.  It'll be good to see Jaymi and her buddy, and it is good to know my friends are aware all they have to do is ask and they'll have a place to crash.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Even A Wet Ride Can Be A Good Ride...

T, Gary, and I left Morton about 9am this morning for a run into Centralia.  The rain had been off and on all night, but it was definitely ON when we left.  After crossing over Peterman Hill, a group of 20-30 bikes passed us going the other way.  No idea who they were, but it was good to see we werent the only crazies out on this wet morning.  We got to Centralia, did what we had to do, and headed back.  Yeah, we got soaked before we were even half way there.  Even wearing rain gear didn't seem to help.  But it was still a good ride.
As we rolled back into Morton after about 6 hrs, guess what?  You got it, the sun broke through the clouds, and I was almost blinded by its sudden reflection off my handlebars and chrome dash.  Even a wet ride like today, when it is with good friends, and riding partners can be a really enjoyable ride.  
Any ride is better than not riding...I just hope I never live long enough to see the day that isnt the truth anymore.

Catch you on the road sometime...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hidden Treasures

The sky was dark grey and threatening more rain, but it had been quite a while since I had been able to hook up and ride with my buddy Dave.  So I wasn’t going to let a little rain stop me.  In this economy you do what you have to in order to get by.  Dave’s wife is going to community college about an hour away from home, and has a job about forty-five minutes from there.  So she stays in Centralia with Dave’s Grandparents, and he gets to see her on the weekends.

Dave asked me if I wanted to ride this one backroad he had discovered before he came back Sunday and I said sure.  I was hoping the weather would cooperate, but we don’t call this the ‘Pacific North Wet’ for nothing.  When another buddy of ours, Chris, and I got into Centralia to meet up with Dave, he asked if we wanted to check out that road.  I said let’s save it for a good day when we can enjoy it without having to deal with wet twisting roads there and back.  He could understand that, so he asked if I minded taking a different little road that passed by a collection of old cars and trucks alongside the road about 5 or so miles away.  I said “sure”.  So off we went.

The road almost immediately began a steep climb through a series of very tight S curves.  All the way up to the top of the ridge behind his Grandparents place, then back down the other side.  The hill straightened up as it dropped back down into another little valley, and we hung a right, passing through old farm land and making the occasional ninety degree property line turns you find on really old two lane country roads.  It wasn’t long before we came to another right turn at an intersection that Dave made and pulled over.  We had arrived at the place he wanted to show us.

Across the street was a very old gas station with two pumps.  The antique kind with the glass bottle on top from the early 1900’s.  On both sides of the street were parked old relics from a bygone age.  Cars and trucks, dump trucks, even a fire truck.  All from the 1920s or older just sitting out in the weather and slowly decaying.  The old gas station was full of tools, old gas signs, and other things you would expect to find in a 1920’s vintage service station.  With a few more old derelict rigs parks along the side.

Back across the street where we parked the bikes, was a much newer building.  With even more old rigs parked around it.  After spending about ten minutes or so scoping out these hidden treasures, a car pulled up and the driver said if we wanted to check out what was inside, to call the number on the sign.  The owner only live about a quarter of a mile away, and was happy to show people the stuff inside.  So Dave pulled out his cell phone and called the number.  The guy said he’d be right down, and in a couple of minutes, a car pulled up in front of the gas station.

When he got out, and said ‘hello’, he looked up around the sky and then at us and said he wasn’t expecting a group of bikes on such a nasty day.  But if we gave him a minute to unlock the big shed he’d show us what was inside.  Then he let the first little bomb drop; “There’s a couple of bikes in there too.”

As we stepped through the door, and our eyes beheld what was inside, we knew we had discovered a hidden treasure trove.  These weren’t the dusty and semi rusted rigs we had expected to see.  These were sweet jewels to enjoy and be amazed by.  Cursing the fact I didn’t have my camera with me, it took a few moments before I realized I still had my phones camera.  Even if it does take crappy photo’s, they’d be better than nothing.  Looking deeper into the crowd of cars and trucks, I saw a glimmer off of some old English iron. 

Here was a 70’s vintage Triumph chopper with a springer front end and dual rectangular headlights.  He just bought it for $2,000 at an auction in Las Vegas a few months before.  Between the chopper and an immaculate old Model T Ford with a “Desert Water Bottle” hanging from its radiator, was an old Simplex Automatic.  Next to it was a very clean, but rather plain stock Triumph.  Then Dave looked passed me and saw the bikes he had to go check out.  A black mid 40’s vintage H-D flathead 45.  Behind that was an immaculate Indian Scout.  I am sad to say the damn phone only took a barely usable pic of the H-D, and a very blurry pic of the Indian.  The place was filled with cars and trucks, mostly from the 20’s, and mostly Fords it seemed.
Somehow, a few choice rigs from the 50’s and 60’s had found their way in as well.  Including a sweet ’64 Chevy Bel-air, an equally cool Dodge Dart GT from the mid 60’s.  There was even a ’56 Ford pick-up with a high rise manifold and a Tri-Power carburetor set-up on it.  Just a very cherry rig!  Plus several old Whizzers from different years scattered around.  The guy even had a couple more of the antique gas pumps, and engines on motor stands. 

But don’t think he has a big stash of parts for sale, or that you can buy any of these rigs from him.  They’re his collection, and he didn’t collect them to sell them.  Man, it must be nice.

Now that I know it is there, I will definitely be going back.  All along the hour or so ride back home with Dave and Chris, I kept thinking about going back on a nice day and spending some real time getting to check the place out.  It just goes to prove that even in an area that I thought I knew well, there are hidden little treasures to be found.  This makes three ‘motorcycle museums’ I know of within an hours ride from home.  I am for sure going to have to go hit all three and take a bunch of good photo’s next time!

Catch ya on the road sometime…

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Another Busy Week

It's been another busy week.  But at least I was able to get some things rolling, and enjoyed a couple of good rides.  I'm hoping the weather will be at least half way decent for the Dan George Memorial Run on Saturday.  I'll still be going, but it is nice to ride with a decent sized group on a run like that.

I did make a nice little vid of part of one of the rides over the weekend.  It was the best day for riding we have had around here for a while...go figure it was a Monday.
If I can get it to load right, I hope you enjoy it.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I haven't been on here like I should, but then the last week or so has been hectic.  I got a call to come in for an interview on a job last week.  It turned out to be a 200 mile round trip after they threw in the pre-employment drug test. I got hired and was expecting an 8 to maybe 10 hour workday plus a 100 mile roundtrip commute.  WRONG!!!  It turns out, the shifts were 12-13 hours long, and the commute added almost 21/1 hours onto that.  I was literally making it home in time to go to bed and sleep 5-6 hours and head off to work again and learn the route I was going to be driving with a 45ft tour bus.
Needless to say, that was almost a killer.  The first night I almost went off the road in the rain coming off "The Divide" thru the twisties because of a couple assholes running their high beams blinded me in the middle of the turns.  The second night I got word they wanted me to spend a week in Oregon running the bus around Portland during a convention.  I get lost in Portland anyways...doing it in a 45 ft bus was bound to be worse.
So...I am back on the look-out for a job without 12-13 hr days.  I need to find something, and I am sure I will.
Also, I am organizing the 5th Annual Memorial Run for a friend of mine who I went to Jr High with.  He had just run back into his high School sweetheart, and they were about to get married...he had just been elected Mayor of our little town...and everything was looking GREAT!!  That is until he died suddenly at 48.
Besides that, I found out a wonderful woman I used to know passed suddenly, and her 'Celebration of Life' is on Friday.  So I have been getting things ready to attend on the bike.  This has also had the unforeseen, but appreciated effect of putting me back into contact with people I used to know well back in the 80s and 90s but lost contact with.
As always, life is trying to pitch a no hitter, and I am at bat again.  But as a lifelong Cubs fan I will remain undaunted in the face of adversity...or some such shit.  I know things will happen when they are meant to, and the tricky part is to be here when things are meant to happen.

Catch ya on the road sometime...