This is the beginning part of a story that took place a bit over 30 years ago. It isn't a great epic chopper tale, just a little something that for some reason has been coming to mind quite often over the past few days. So, since it doesn't seem to want to stay in the past, I figured I would just write it down as I remember it. With the deepest respect for the Brothers that I have lost, and hope someday to join again.
Doc flexed his cold, stiff fingers as we rode on through the early morning darkness. I caught the movement in my peripheral vision, and glanced over to Doc. The heel of his right palm was holding the throttle open as he quickly drummed his fingers in the air, getting the blood circulating in them again. After nearly two hours riding at eighty and more my fingers were getting stiff and sore. I knew this cold damp air must be murder on Docs arthritic knuckles. But his face showed nothing but intense focus. He was on a mission, and nothing was going to get in the way of completing that mission short of God himself. Even God would have to put up one Hell of an argument to keep Doc from finishing this run.
I glanced in the mirror and saw the crash truck and other bikes in tight formation right behind us. Seeing that look on Docs face and everything being cool behind us, I relaxed just a little, so far so good. Next stop, Packwood.
It had only been about three hours earlier when I had been awakened by a phone call at two in the morning. The fog shrouding my brain quickly cleared when I heard Docs voice on the phone say; “Lock and load Brother. Dress warm, we’re heading to Yakima. Get your ass to my place ASAP.”
I already had my feet on the floor by the time he was done, and I simply answered him; “I’m on my way.” Then I hung up the phone, and began getting dressed. I lifted the shoulder holster holding my Ruger Security Six off the bed post and put it on. The Ol’ Lady came in with a hot coffee she had nuked in the microwave, and I sucked it down before grabbing a hoodie from the closet. I rolled it up and stuffed it into one of the saddlebags. I pulled on my jacket and cut, pulled on my riding gloves and threw the saddlebags over my shoulder.
Heading out the door I told the Ol’ Lady I would see her soon, and gave her a kiss good-bye. Since I had been having issues with the Linkert carb on my pan, I had to take my old chopped Norton. She was fast, and loved just sailing down the road for a long ways. Which is just what we would be doing this morning. Throwing the saddlebags over the p pad, I straddled the bike and quickly went through the starting sequence. As I sat there, letting the bike warm up, the Ol’ Lady came out with some more coffee and gave me another hug. The hot black coffee felt good going down as I let the bike warm in the cool night air. I handed her back the cup, smiled, put the Norton into gear and headed to Docs. Normally it would be a nearly twenty minute ride, but this morning just a skosh over ten.
As I rolled into Docs front yard, I could see the garage door open, but the light inside was off. Prospect John was sliding a 2” X 12” ramp into the back of Docs 57 Ford pick-up, and a couple of 5 gallon gas cans sat full on the ground next to the tailgate. Docs black slabside Shovel softly ticked in the cool night air, so I knew she was already warmed up and ready to go.
Getting off the Norton, I headed over to make sure Prospect John had everything ready to load into the truck when I heard a familiar voice come out of the darkened garage. “Damn, were you already on that piece of Limey shit when I called or what? That Linkert still giving you headaches I take it. As soon as Shine rolls in I’ll fill everyone in at once.”
I just nodded as I peered into the darkness of the garage. Only the dim glow of Docs cigarette gave away his position. As our Prez stepped out of the shadows of the garage, I could hear another bike turning off of Mile Hill and accelerating up Jackson Rd. “Sounds like him now.” I said.
“Sounds like it, and he lives a Hell of a lot closer than you do.” Doc grumbled.
“But you both know how cold blooded that Ironhead of his is until its warmed up and run a bit.” Prospect John added from the back of the truck. Checking to make sure everything was loaded and secured before closing the tailgate.
By then we could see the headlight from Shines Sporty coming down the road. He was the Clubs newest prospect, and had gotten his name because he made some of the smoothest moonshine this side of the Ozarks, and always seemed to have some with him. Just in case anyone wanted or needed a taste. Shine pulled into Docs yard, the sound of the Sportys straight pipes echoing in the dark night air. No sooner had he shut it down did Doc tell him to “Get your ass over here. I ain’t repeating this twice.” He then laid down what had happened and what was about to.