As we rolled eastward through Naches, Doc signaled for us to pull over at a gas station up ahead. It wasn’t where he where he had planned to fuel up at, but it was only another fifteen or so miles to Yakima. So this was as good as any, and we could just roll straight on through to Union Gap from here. We rolled up to the pumps quietly and began fueling up. No one said anything, just made sure their extra clothing was repacked and their gear was ready to grab in case of emergency, and had to fight our way in or out to our Brothers. No time for coffee, or idle chit chat. As soon as the bikes and the truck were fueled up we hit the road. The two lane quickly giving way to four lane, and our speed climbing. As we rode the freeway through Yakima, Doc pulled ahead of the group by a couple bike lengths and slipped into the center of the lane. All our eyes were on Doc now. He had taken point, and we would follow him without hesitation. A tight formation with barely a half bike gap between the bikes, and the truck following a second behind us all. As we pulled off the freeway, and rolled into Union Gap, it was already starting to warm up. I took it as a good sign, that the lights seemed to be with us. We rolled quickly down the main street without even having to stop.
As we rolled into the Denny’s parking lot, Swan was out sitting on his battered old Panhead siphoning gas into Tennessee’s Sporty. His right hand was under his cut as we rolled in, but it quickly pulled out and waved at us as we rolled across the parking lot. Swan was almost too big for his Pan. He had been a college football, a linebacker until a knee injury side lined him. Being on a football scholarship, he wasn’t able to continue his schooling, so he joined the Navy. In high school his coach had jokingly suggested he take dance lessons to improve his foot movements. Swan did just that. Only problem was, the only dance school in the area was a ballet school. When the rest of the team heard he was going to ballet class, they started calling him “Swan Lake”. But after they saw how he had learned to move on the field, it quickly became just “Swan”.
As Doc began walking up to Swan, he was checking out the Pan. The right side of it didn’t look too bad. A few scrapes and a new dent or two, and the handlebar was bent a bit. But once he saw the left side it was a whole different story. He could see why Swan couldn’t have limped the bike home. There were two big gashes near the back of the gas tank. The way they were spaced it looked like someone had taken a claw hammer to the tank. Doc doubted if the tank could even hold more than a gallon of gas before it would start pouring out through the holes.
“Damn Doc!! I thought the fucker was swinging for my junk! When I jerked away, and he hit her is when we went down. At least the Ol’ Girl fought back. She ripped his hammer out of his hand, and it must have hurt him a bit ‘cause I could hear him holler over the sound of the bikes.” Swan told Doc. Barely able to hide his own embarrassment at being the cause of the Club having to make an emergency run.
“Any sign of them since then?” Doc asked. Wanting to know if he could have the Club stand down, or maintain an alert footing.
“Heard some bikes a few hours ago, but not seen anything since then. It was the bunch out of Tacoma. Eight of them together, gave ‘em four to one odds.” Swan answered.
Doc quickly issued orders to have Swan’s Pan loaded into the back of the crash truck. Then passed on Swans report about only hearing some bikes a few hours before. Finally, Doc looked over at Tennessee, and asked him how the food was. Tennessee replied the “Food’s ok, but the coffee is really weak. Definitely ain’t Navy coffee.” And grinned.
“Didn’t think it would be…” Doc replied with a grin. “Let’s get the bike loaded up, then we’ll get some chow and coffee before we head out.” he added.
As Swan got off his Pan, Doc noticed the way he was moving, and the wince on his face. “So how bad did you get banged up when you went down Brother?” Doc asked calmly. “And don’t try to BS the ol’ doc.”
Swan knew he wasn’t going to get out of it. Doc was going to make sure he was fit to head back over the mountains with us. Swan was just going to have to give in to the inevitable. “Think I banged the ribs up a bit…but no big deal. They’re just sore.” He quickly explained.
Doc had Swan take off his leather and cut. Watching how he moved as he did so. “Right side?” he asked as he felt the ribs carefully. His experienced fingers telling him Swan had a cracked rib, and needed to have it wrapped. “Okay, you’re gonna need to have them wrapped. One, maybe two cracked ribs. The road rash can wait until we get back to the Club house.” Doc told Swan. Then turned towards the truck where the rest of the Brothers were gathered securing the old Pan in back.
“Prospect John, Swan needs his ribs wrapped…bring my bag off my bike.” Doc told his prospect. John quickly went over to Docs bike, and brought the first aid kit over. Between the two of them, they had Swans ribs wrapped in just a few minutes. His leather and cut back on, no one could even tell he was as securely held in place as his bike was.
As Doc put the kit back into the leather tool bag on the front forks, he glanced up and said to no one in particular; “Let’s get some coffee and chow, and get the Hell out of here.” With that everyone relaxed a bit and headed in to get some chow.