Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Bounce is back
I over reacted to something my Brother said. I am going to apologize here for that. I realize that a lot of folks read this blog, and that they enjoy what I write here. This blog started on a fluke, but it is good for me.
I will be writing again. Not because people enjoy reading my thoughts. Not because it is important to me to write. Not because I have received a very short and forceful email from a friend telling me that he enjoyed this and I better put it back up.
I may never really share my reasons for restarting this blog. Heck I am not even sure why I decided to stop, or restart. Bounce is back, he never really went away. I also got hammered by my wife Judy for stopping. No that is not the reason I am restarting either, although it will make my life a little easier.
I publicly apologize to all my Run Brothers and Sisters for basically being a complete jerk for the first three days I was on the Run this year. I was doing a job that I volunteered for, and did not want to do. The staging crew is a good bunch of folks, and last year after a few days I realized that they were not getting breakfast, or breaks while doing their jobs, so I started doing that for them. That was all I intended to do this year. I have a job on the Run, and it is to keep the Big Trucks from panicking, or causing an accident that could and would probably kill riders. I was frustrated because I could not do that job. Krazy Karl was doing it alone from California until Wentzville. I was helping a little by talking to West bound Trucks ahead of the pack, and alerting trucks in Rest Areas and Truck Stops that they should go, or wait half an hour, so that they would not get caught on ramps by the pack. I allowed my frustration to bubble out. No I allowed it to erupt, or explode. I tried to let Trunks know that it was going to happen, and he had no time to hear me. Then when for the third time that day a rider, who knew that I was staging platoon 6 decided to cuss me out for not doing my job right (please note that the rest of the platoon found me and knew that I had the #6 in my hand, and this rider knew it too, but because he did not feel that I was doing my job properly he told me.) I simply blew up. It was ugly, my words and actions were ugly. I apologized to that rider later, and now apologize to everyone that did or did not see and hear this event.
I also apologize to my Brother, Shoreparty, I was sending him my daily check calls along with others. My last check call was written after a long day. I stated the truth in the email, and jumbled my words a little. I have read and reread the email, it made sense at the time, but is jumbled. Run For The Wall, is a mission of healing, remembrance. It is a mission to make America aware that We have left a lot of people behind and can never forget them. Run For The Wall is not in any way a protest, nor is it misnamed as some have indicated. The Run goes to the Wall. In the past it has ended at the Wall. In the future it will end at the Wall again. The mission of the Leadership is to safely get a lot of motorcycles safely across the country and to D.C. This year that was done again very successfully. The leadership guided it, but the people that joined and participated were responsible for the safe completion of that mission. In 2005, my first Run, my Brother and I left the West Virginia Capital after the pack, and we stopped and picked up trash. There was not a lot of it, but there was some trash. It may or may not have come from the riders, but it was there after the pack left. We took a few minutes to pick it up. We both mentioned that there had been trash left, and Leadership told riders that was unacceptable. Every year since then (and twice in 2005 and 2006 I proudly did it with my Brother) except for 2008 I have picked up the trash after the pack has left this area. 500 plus bikes, most with a rider and passenger, can leave a little trash without intending too. Things fall off packs, especially when folks dawdle a little while waiting to roll. In 2008 I rode into Rainelle with the staging crew because I was needed there.
in 2005,2006, 2007 there was some trash, not much but some. This year I picked up the trash too. There were three full water bottles, and I saw two of them fall off a bike that was passing me. The third probably fell of a bike too. That was it. There was not a single scrap of paper, or even one wrapper anywhere on the ground. That is the type of rider we had this year.
To the folks that have said the Central Route is going downhill, I say no you are wrong. To the person who asked me if I felt more comfortable with my riding this year, and asked what I attributed that too, I say that yes I was more comfortable with my riding this year, because I now have 32,000 miles on my bike. Not because he decided that riding two up is not safe, he was a team leader and he can run his team any way he wants. I ran my team the way I wanted, and followed my plan. He on the other hand used the excuse that he had been simply following the license plate in front of him for the previous years for getting his entire team lost not once, but several times. In addition I think he may have started the whole controversy about riding two up as opposed to staggered. Two up is the way Central Route Rides. They do it proudly, and even with more than 50% FNG's this year, WE DID IT WELL. I do not know if I will do the Run next year or not. This has nothing to do with this year, it has to do with the cost to me and my business. The minor mishaps, including my dropping Clyde involved experienced riders. As far as I know no FNG was hurt while riding in the pack. There was one ankle injury and that happened at a fuel stop, not on the highway. 4ridden (pronounced FOR RIDING dropping the G) got hurt, but will heal, a Road Guard got hurt but will heal, I lucked out and because I was working with the big truck behind me I am alive. Had I not told him the pack was stopping before I dropped Clyde, I might be a greasy spot. I dropped Clyde because another bike went where I had decided to go, and I could not hit that rider. Minor damage to Clyde, my personal pride will come back too.
OK now that I have ranted. I will at the request of friends, and I will list their road names here, like Krazy, Bones, North, Broomie, Snow Kitten, Black and Chrome, and many others, continue to write. I had no idea how many folks have read this blog, and I thank them for their encouragement and support. I prayed and got the answer, it is not always the answer you want by the way, so I will continue to write. Now if you have read this far thank you. I have pictures to post, and people to thank. Entries here may be long or short, but in the future they will be clearer than before. I will think about what I write, because Shoreparty is correct, our words do have consequences. I will be writing about this years Run, and things and people that I meet during my job as a truck driver.
I sincerely apologize to any and every one that I have ever offended. I do not intend to do that. Run For The Wall is not a rally, it is not a party, it is a mission. One does not have to like it, one simply has to do it. That has been my feeling since May of 2005 when I first joined. Run For The Wall is more than just an event, it is a family too. Some do it once, and mark it off their bucket list, others like myself will probably do it until either everyone left behind is brought home, or until someone has to ride in tribute to them because they have passed on.
To Jack Tilkens Family thank you for giving me the honor of having a Marine in the over watch position this year. I have a copy of the tribute and pictures of where I left it. Also there were at least three CAP marines that wrote down Jack's info and Gunner should be contacting me with a website that he is posting Jack's information on. I will forward that to Mark when I get it.
Everyone on the Run I am praying you all make it home safely, thanks for putting up with me, and thanks for making every year better and more memorable than the last.
Writing as Bounce, or Clyde the motorcycle. They are interchangeable