29 September 2004


My alter-ego "Dumbass Boy" came out to play last Saturday. The net result; road rash and a scraped up motorsickle.

Crashing is an almost-inevitable part of this motorsickling gig. We've all done it, seen it, or have friends still scarred by it. People will tell you, "There are two types of riders; those who have crashed and those who will." Maybe. I think it depends on how much you ride.

An accepted risk, the threat of a crash simply adds to the allure of motorcycling in general. The reason not everyone rides a motorcycle is because many of them are, rightly so, scared of the mythical inevitable crash. As a result those who do ride are looked upon by the no-riding public as either unaware of the inherent dangers or unafraid.

Unaware would cover a great deal of the amateurs out there. Even with Indian Larry's unfortunate accident the Discovery Channel crowd still assume wrecks happen to everyone else. If they never leave town or ride more than a few miles a year they may be right.

Unafraid could cover the 19 year olds insulated from the environment by a full face helmet aboard a machine far beyond their capabilities. (Why do we allow first-time riders to hop on the fastest thing out there? Are we trying to pad the statistics for the worried moms of America?)

Personally, I've always been aware of the possibility of a crash. How can you not been when surrounded by the old timers? Limping and bitching their way through the evening, lecturing the younger kids about the time they were cut off in traffic, or had an inattentive jackass fail to yield. Road snakes. Potholes. Dropoffs. Grooved pavement. Foreign objects in the roadway. Cattle. Soccer moms on cell phones driving Mack Truck-sized wagons. There is no shortage of opportunities to get killed.

ER staff don't call them "Donorcycles" for nothing. And, as a side note, only the most selfish and stupid among us would refuse to be an organ donor. Check the box, they won't take them until you're done with them.

My first wreck, ten years ago or so, was a drunken old bastard in a borrowed 77 Mercury Grand Marquis. Very nice, lots of give in that pre-80 sheetmetal. He turned left into me and ruined my weekend. Drove away from the scene and claimed later, after being tracked down by the tag I'd memorized, he left because he was threatened. "That guy on the bike was yelling at me and coming after me when he got up."

Well of course I was, jackass, you were accelerating over a curb to get away from the scene of the crime.

This time I have no one to blame but myself for the damage to my self and, more importantly, my motorsickle.

Like all these stories start out, 'It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon ...' And it was. 7 or 8 friends, headed out to pick up a couple others and enjoy the weather. Couple hundred miles. Sunshine and lollipops. People you like to ride with. The entire day kicked ass. "And then ... And then ... KABOOM!"

The thing that pisses me off, besides the damage to my motorsickle, is the ridiculousness of it. 11 years, three motorsickles, well over 100,000 miles, 10 trips to Sturgis (rode not towed), and I finally crash and burn in my fucking hometown. On the main street. With an audience. Son of a bitch. Even worse than that, I hadn't even had enough cold beer to blame it on bumbling inebriation.

Changing lanes to the right, glanced back to my left, then ahead and realize "I drifted too far right when I looked back, and this road is narrowing. Shit!" Front wheel hit the curb, and 800 pounds of Road King tried to pitch hard to the right. Dirt bike instincts said, 'kick a foot out there and catch it!' My ankle said, "Hey, dipshit, you took physics. What's the potential energy in a 35 mph 800 pound object?"

Caught it, almost had it(?), then the back wheel hit. Pitched my dumb ass off the front, and I rolled out in the road. Hopped up, grabbed my bike, pushed it in a parking lot. Luckily I have competent friends who stopped traffic, grrr'd the civilians, gathered pieces, and loaned me rags to mop blood.

Smashed chrome, blood, pain, etc. Lots of wide eyes who'd assumed I was dead when I went over the front. Gathered my senses, checked bones, turned the key and the fuel injection pressured up. Brake light worked. Headlight was scarred but working, LH spotlight smashed, clutch worked, brakes worked, "Let's get the hell out of here."

Is that leaving the scene? I have no idea. I don't care. I was bleeding, my ankle was swelling, and my bike was hurt. I wanted to get to my shop. The front end wobble I felt on the way home was the bent-all-to-shit front wheel. Those spots all over the tank are blood. I'm still not sure why the tip-over whatever switch thingy allowed the damned thing to start. Divine intervention I suppose.

In the end I've got some interesting scab patterns on my face and a wounded bike on a lift. eBay hosts a great deal of take-off parts the kind souls who have to have cool guy chrome are more than happy to sell for much less than retail. Thank goodness.

In the meantime my misfortune has made for great fodder with the smartasses and critics who seem to surround me. All in good fun, there's little a person can or should do but laugh along. I'm not dead, and it's all my fault. Nothing to do but learn from it.

Less than half a second of inattention and I'm flopping around on my head in the middle of a main thoroughfare. That's all it took. Yeah, I'm a dumbass. But when haven't we all been a little dumb at some point or time.

I continue to profess my invincibility, much to wife's dismay. Personally, I think this was a karmic wake up call. "Hey, dumbass, pay attention - you're getting too complacent." I'm wide awake now. Wide awake and shopping ebay.

Anyone got any crash bars for a 99 FLHRCI?

Click Here for pictures and humor at my expense: http://www.ironlivergoons.com/wreck.htm

24 September 2004

Sturgis 04

They keep asking me in the bars I frequent, "How was Sturgis?"

Now how do you sum up ten or more days of beer soaked motorsickle debauchery and fun in a short conversation with some beatoff you likely don't want to talk to anyway?

"It was cold this year."

It's a much more appeasing line than the ones I want to use:

"It kicked ass and you'll never see it because you're scared of the city limits sign."
"I don't know, I was too fucked up to notice."
"Just like last year, only different."
"Would have been great if the trailers would stay in the right hand lane and off the 2-lanes."
"Full of assbags like you."
"Packed with posers and yuppies sans sunburn or character hauling chrome phallic symbols."
"Sorta like here, except crowded enough to avoid stupid questions."
"It was like heaven, if God were me."
"Well, I never answered my phone or got an email - so it rocked!"
"A week of beer and motorsickles with my hoodlum friends? Oh, it was just awful ..."

Like everybody else I make nice and tell them how cool it was. Yes, it was crowded. Yes, we sleep on the ground. Yes, beer is expensive. Yes, there are badass motorcycle gangs there.

No, I didn't see any celebrities (Except Larry and Billy). No, our favorite Texans didn't make it - damnit. No, I didn't get a lot of tit pictures. And No, I did not seek out the Tuteuls for an autograph. In fact I was glad they closed Southside campground, as the occ jackasses had that road all plugged full of sheep seeking the same overpriced t-shirts their no-riding friends wear.

Which reminds me, why do people ask if we'll bring them a shirt. If you have a motorsickle, and want me to bring you a shirt, you are shit out of luck. Get your ass on your bike and get your own damned shirt. Why the hell should I ride there, earn the shirt, and bring a few home for the no-riding trophy geeks who won't hit the next town for a beer - much less traverse four measly states for the mother of all runs. Bringing shirts home to the cats who do not ride does a disservice to the Iron Butt minions pounding out the miles. What good is a Sturgis shirt if you can get one at the swap meet in OKC?

Which is why I haven't bought a shirt since '98. Not an official "Licensed Rally" shirt anyway.

Although, I think I could make some money setting up a table to sell shirts that read,
My Friends Went To Sturgis
I Was Too Much Of A Pussy
So All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt
Sturgis 2005
They wouldn't even have to be good shirts, because what masochistic bitch would wear them? Cheap 50/50 shirts at $7.50 each. The change from the 20's their friends gave them can be spent on beer. Or lap dances at Shotgun Willie's.
Furthermore; trailers.
Here's a good list of excuses to trailer your bike:
-"I'm a pussy"
-Back injury
-Combat Wounds
-Wife refuses to relinquish control of balls
-Medical incapacitation
-Too stupid to know better
That's it. Those are the only legitimate excuses. A few illegitimate excuses include:
"I want to make better time."
Bullshit. I ride, and the only thing holding me up between home and Sturgis are the trailers clogging up the two-lanes. If you're gonna puss out and haul that piece of shit get a fucking truck that will tow it up a hill. Better time my ass. Get the hell out of my way, you're screwing up my ETA.
"What about the weather?"
What about it? It's gonna rain on you while you're in Sturgis. Why not get accustomed to it? Are you made of sugar? Shit. When it rains, stop and have a beer with your friends. You have friends, don't you? No? Oh, well just trailer then ...
"I have too much stuff to carry."
Then you're carrying too much stuff. Ship some of it. Or quit carrying that much shit. Motorsickles are supposed to be an exercise in minimalism. Get a motorsickle trailer. Some of them fold out into kick-ass tents. Or tell your ol' lady to leave the fucking hair dryer at home.
"It's more comfortable ..."
Pussy. Sell that bike. Or stay home. You make me fucking sick.
"It's a custom bike, not meant for the road."
Here, hold this large piece of paper. Try to center the concentric circles on a vital organ. Now hold still for the impact.
"We have too far to ride and I want to be refreshed when I get there."
Unless you have a legitimate medical reason you're not "refreshed" this falls under the 'Pussy' clause above. Or, you're being completely irrational on the number of miles you want to cover in a day. Slow the fuck down. Enjoy being away from work. Enjoy your RIDING compadres. Enjoy the ride. No one sells shirts reading "Live to Haul, Haul to Live." They should ...
"I don't have enough vacation time."
Bullshit. See above first illegitimate excuse re: time and traveling.
Enough bitching for one day. I'm going for a ride.
Notice no one ever says, "I'm going for a haul."
"Wanna trailer somewhere and have a beer Saturday?"
how about,
"Hey, we could load up the Wells Cargo and go get a burger tomorrow night ..."
Trailers are for boats, and it's not just my opinion. Got a different one? Get your own damned blog.
Vaya con Dos Equis

22 September 2004


Riding season is winding down. And by "riding season" I mean that time of year when a person can reasonably expect to ride all weekend, sleep whereever, and not experience hypothermia while slumbering. When you can leave the house in a t-shirt and likely return in it as well. When afternoon rides don't have to begin in leather and end in frostbite. So don't give me that "I ride all year" shit. So do I, badass ... I just prefer to ride when it's nice. It's why I live in Oklahoma rather than North Dakota.

OCIB (Osage County Independent Bikers) throws a hell of a good party ... Enough so other runs have a tendency to develop an inferiority complex.

September's "Biker Days In The Great Osage" was another success.

When my drunken friends first dragged my Sportster riding ass East of I-35 over ten years ago to mingle with hoodlums in the dirt the park was smaller, the crowd was filthier, and the bikes were more ragged. Pawhuska's crowd was less flash and more substance. True thugs and hoodlums. Honest to goodness 'bikers.' And it was cool. Drunk amongst the people my parents warned me about I couldn't help but dig the scene into which I'd stumbled. Knives and guns, tattoos and bravado. Hell, that was the stuff they make cheesey movies about.

Then motorsickles gained social status and universal appeal. Everybody wanted one. When they got them they all wanted to go somewhere. Unaware of what bike runs were supposed to be like the crisp leather crowd of weekend badasses started infiltrating all our favorite digs. Pawhuska, of course, was not immune to this invasion of the loafer-clad yuppies. Admittedly, they did trade the loafers for MotorClothes branded boots, but it was still obvious who knew how to change their own oil and who didn't own a set of tools. The cats who've slept in ditches and wrenched in car washes stand out from the enthusiasts well bred and read yet clueless on two-wheeled protocol.

The Californication of another established run had begun. But it wasn't all bad. They brought their trophy bitches. Strapped on the back of low-mileage evos were the died and coiffed silicone enhanced bimbos of a thousand men's fantasies. Granted, genuine biker sluts can be pretty damned hot. But there's something fun about taking a pampered princess from the suburbs and watching her get all liquored up with hoodlums.

Prancing fancy pants aside, the yuppies were a pain in the ass and they clogged up the road. Accustomed to being served by the people they now wished to hang around these elites had a difficult, at best, time fitting in. There were threats scowls at first. Followed by slight shoving and occasional fisticuffs. Eventually there were fights. There have always been fights, now however they occassionally involved people who settled things with pens and lawyers rather than fists and grit.

But hey, fuck 'em, they wanted to play with the scary guys and they got what they wanted. This ain't reality tv. This is reality.

Then the patches came to play. And they play for keeps.

It didn't take long, perhaps one or two events, before the word was out amongst the casual minded pseudo-bikers; "Pawhuska is a good place to get your ass kicked."

Well, yeah. But so is Hooter's if you fuck up.

Here's the deal: the people who get beat up at motorsickle gigs are usually the ones who get beat up in a hometown bar as well. Sometimes there'll be unjustified harassment and pointless violence. But 95% of the time the cat who gets socked had it coming. Hell, I've had it coming for years and have, for the mostpart, escaped unscathed.

The net effect of Pawhuska's reputation as a "Rough Crowd" has been to lower the hair gel geeks' participation and up the ratio of true motorsickle enthusiasts to phallic trophy posers. This, kiddies, is a good thing. And Pawhuska is an excellent run again.

In May the crowd was smaller than past years because of the competing event in OKC, and that was just fine with those in attendance. "Biker Daze" or whatever they called it drew the silly yuppies from OKC metro who ride little and drink less to an event where they were able to commune with the same guys they'd been trying to impress at Scooters And Hooters. Meanwhile, the OCIB Biker Park in the Osage was a bit more open and less clouded with amateurs.

Scaring a few off is a good thing sometimes. Like Uncle Louie says, 'Time to thin the herd.'

Tried the OKC Biker Park out for their Labor Daze gig. Nice place, groovy facilities. Shade trees and grass. Great layout. Lots of potential there for a really good gig. However, $25 gate and $1.75 beer ... Well, that's no Sparks. We were told the $25 was because there were several poker runs and four days of party. Yeah, that's great. We were there on Saturday evening with no intention of participating in the poker runs - they should be charged ala carte.

Other than that the only thing clouding an otherwise nice gig was their obvious inferiority complex with Pawhuska.

Standing with a group of friends and maybe 200 others listening to the band Saturday night the repeated claims of "We'll show Pawhuska what a party is all about!" and "We've got a tit show coming up here that'll put Pawhuska to shame!" were excessive, pointless, whining, and false. Not to mention the fact they revealed a great deal about the mindset of those in charge.

At one point while listening to the MC deride Pawhuska for the hundredth-some-odd time the chick next to me turned and said, "That motherfucker with the microphone has obviously never been to Pawhuska ..."

I don't recall the venerable Tony Ward of Sparks ever running down other events while promoting his own. And tony puts on a run no one can touch. His $30 gate is justified in the killer facilities, copious activities, ass-kicking bands, and DOLLAR BEER. Yeah. $1 beer ... Shit, man. What more do you want? Cheap ice for your beer? Got it. Naked sluts? Yeah, they got that too ...

All in all the near end of another outstanding riding season finds me thrilled to have lived thus far and ridden with the coolest folks in the world.

More later as events warrant.