8 Ball In The Wind

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Trials & Tribulations...They Won't Keep Us Down

Yesterday, Patrick and I were suppose to ride down to the Bastard Bash on his Chopped Sportster that he just finished building the night before.  Spent 11 hours working and sweating to get it done.  We had to postpone the run down by a day, because it too so much longer to get everything finished. The the big day came, and we rolled out of patricks driveway.  But as I rolled on the throttle while pulling onto Dodge Rd from his driveway, the ass end of the bike began fishtailing.  I finished the turn and gave it a quick flick of throttle and the bike fishtailed once more.  I pulled over, as Patrick rolled up.  We looked at each other, and both said the same thing; "Flat tire."

We rode back across Patricks front yard to his driveway, and up to his garage.  Sure as shit, a 4 inch screw was embedded in the tread.  Not bad, since I had just said I had plugs incase we had a flat tire on his Chopsters maiden voyage.  But what was the killer, was the tip of the screw sticking out of the side wall.  Now what the fuck are we going to do?

After sitting there and looking at it for a few seconds, I suddenly remembered I had another 16 rear tire on a mag wheel on my Sportster rolling chassis.  So we jumped into his car and drove into town and pulled the wheel off the roller, and then grabbed my bead breaker out of my work shed.  So we thought we'd be back on the road in nearly no time.

We broke the bead on the new Metzeler that was on the mag rim of the roller, and had it off with 15-20 minutes.  We spent the next hour fighting the bead on the flat tire.  After about 20 minutes we had the bead on one side broke.  But the other side was like it had been glued in place.  Finally after using the bead breaker, a table mount vice, JB-80, and other implements of destruction; all to no avail, Patrick broke out his air chisel.  We figured that would break the bead in no time.  We figured wrong.  It took another 10 to 15 minutes with the air chisel before we finally began to get anywhere with that bead.  But once it broke, we had it off in another 5 or 6 minutes.

By the time we had the tire swapped onto Gypsy's rear rim, and back on the back, it had been almost 3 1/2 hours.  We looked at each other, and figured it was an hours ride out to where Patricks fellow members of the Quad Cam Bastards were having their annual "Bastard Bash".  We got back on the bikes and headed out for the 'maiden voyage' of Patricks chopster "El Jefe Stormtrooper".  We had only finished the bike (well, all except for a kickstand...but a 4"X4" block worked perfect, so thats what Patrick was going to use for now.) only the night before at about 7PM after an 11 hour flurry of wrenching and wiring, and what not.  Then we gave it about a two mile test run.  Today was going to be in the neighborhood of 110 miles or so (on a rigid framed bike, with only 1 1/2" seat springs).

Off we rolled, down Dodge Rd., and out Highway 508 to Onalaska.  From there we headed south through Ethel, and down to Toledo, before heading east on Highway 505.  El Jefe was clicking easy, with just a minor throttle cable issue that Patrick fixed with a zip tie in Toledo.  When we rolled into Kid Valley, I turned into the campground and Patrick and I proceeded to putt through looking for everybody.  We found the Toutle Lake High School class reunion, including a couple of jap bikes, but nobody we were looking for.  So we rolled out of the campground and across the street to the Shell station to get something cold to drink.  We sat there figuring what to do next.

Patrick had seen the QCB banner in the first campsite we passed as we were rolling out of the campground so he knew we were at the right place.  We knew they had a ride planned that day, so we were figuring we'd just hang out for a while.  I told Patrick that just around the corner was a really cool little cafe with a view of the river where we could wait if we didnt want to sit here all day.  But, before we even got half way through our cold beverages, a guy walked over from the campground on a cane made of copper pipe.  He introduced himself as 'Matt' and asked Patrick if he could check out his bike.  Patrick introduced himself, and Matt laughed and said; "Dude, you're the one all those mutherfuckers ahve been waiting for!!"  It turned out Matt was one of the Bastards, but had been in a wreck awhile back and was still recovering.  He said everyone was on a run up to Mt St Helens, and should be back at any time.

So we climbed back onto the bikes and rode over to the Bastards campsite, sat around the firepit, and just hung out for awhile.  Talking with Matt, and another one of the Bastards and his wife.  We had a great time, and just hung out for about an hour or so.  Since it was Patricks anniversary weekend, and he didn't want to run the bike at night, just in case he had any problems, we were just about to leave when everyone rumbled into the campground and back into camp.

Everyone quickly intorudced themselves, and Bastards from as far away as Illinois and Arizona cam over to check out Patricks bike, and shake his hand.  I was really impressed by how welcoming they all were.  Since I wasn't a member, but mainly because I wasn't even riding a Sportster.  Some very cool, and fun loving folks to be sure.  

After about a half hour or so, Patrick asked if I was ready to go, and we said our farewells and headed back towards home.  As we snaked our way back the way we came; following old two lane backroads, I spent a lot of time going over how I wanted my Ironhead project to look.  All the bikes there at the 'Bastard Bash' has given me some good ideas.  I have the distinct feeling, that in another year or so, if I'm lucky and keep my heart to building another Sportster for myself, I might just be lucky enough to ride to another 'Bash' on my own garage built-Sportster powered-death machine.  Yeah, that sounds like a plan to me.

Catch you on the road sometime...

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