Thursday, January 27, 2011

Why the salute? SSgt Chambers answer to all

This Marine makes me proud to have participated in Rolling Thunder, and he is a Great American. We need more like him.

Thank you sir for what you have done.



This video and song are very important to me. It was made in 2005 the year that I was an FNG on Run For The Wall. It took me 5 trips to that hallowed place to be able to walk the entire length of it. I have friends on that wall, and have never been able to look up the panels that their names are posted on....maybe this year, maybe not. I want to thank all my friends on the Run for putting up with me all this time, and for allowing me the privilege of riding with these heroes. I was not there but I still care. I served but it was after Viet Nam ended. My war was the Cold war, and Desert Storm, and Operation Provide comfort. Every time I go to the wall I can feel its presence and the power of the place. I do not know what it is, maybe the souls of the names, maybe the bad memories left there, maybe the letting go of things there, but people can feel the Wall from about a half a mile away. I will never be able to put into words how much I owe my younger Brother for convincing me that I needed to do Run For The Wall, all I can say to him is Thanks and Welcome Home.


Run for the Wall FNGs

This is great....I remember 2005 when we all went in...but for the FNG's this is a great honor and they deserve it.


This Blog is not dedicated to the Run For The Wall, but the writer is.

I have said this before, and will say it again and again. This blog site is not dedicated to Run For The Wall, but I am. I did not do the Run last year for many reasons, mostly I could not afford it. Not because I didn't plan for it, things just happened. I was off work and ready to go, when I realized that I was a week ahead of the Run, and had to go back to work. Not to mention that Clyde cost over $500.00 in minor repairs. The timing just did not work out. This year will be different. So if anyone is interested in what Clyde and I do on this Great Mission we are committed to (I can hear Clyde now "You may need committing, but I have never been committed") just cut and paste the link posted here. It is a video that my Brother posted on the Central Route Web Page, and Clyde likes it cause he is in the 2009 one a couple of times.

More to come, 109 days till the start and less than that till Clyde and I start our annual trek across America together.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How Bounce became known as Bounce Reposted

 As promised I am posting this again just in case anyone from the Forum is interested in how I got my road name. Something that I never mentioned before, my highway peg was supposed to be up, but the bolt holding it was loose and it had flopped down, or I would never have had this story, in addition I lost sight of Bones (He had slowed way down when he saw Tanker put his brake lights on wish I would have known that I would have moved another two feet to the right, but not knowing where Bones was I did what I had to do to protect him from me hitting him)  I know know that the platoon leader behind me thought I was dead and was amazed when he saw my right blinker go on, found this out the following year when I stopped to pick his bike up off of him in the Same corner after he made an error and went down, never knew that at the time.

This is a story that really happened to me in 2007. It was my third consecutive Run For the Wall, and the second time that I had gone all the way from LA to DC. By then I had rubbed most of the new guy stuff off me. My Bike (affectionately know as Clyde, and occasionally he will channel through me to put thoughts here) is a white Royal Star Venture with the vanity plate number of FNG05. That year I actually had two jobs on the Run, I was working registration with my Wife, and while riding I was talking to Truckers on the radio.
When we were in Gallup New Mexico one of the members of the Board of Directors told me that he needed me to take his slot behind the assistant route coordinator. I initially declined his offer, but he persisted and talked me into taking this position. We were going into Angel Fire New Mexico from Gallup, and I thought it would be fun, plus through Albuquerque we were to be under State Police escort, and I knew from the year before there would only be questions to answer on the radio, and no truckers really any where near the formation, so I did it. My wife was going to ride down into Angel Fire with me, and had arranged for someone else to drive our truck and my Dad down the mountain. Just as we were getting ready to leave Hammer announced that there was snow in Angel Fire. My wife of course decided to ride in the comfort of the pick up instead of on Clyde.
So after lunch I lined up behind Shooter and next to Bones. Tanker was on Shooters Wing, and Fallow Me, and another veteran rider of the run were behind Bones and me. I sort of felt left out because I really did not have a road name. My CB handle was and is Grabagear, when I am in my truck, but I was not using that on the run.
As we descended into the valley the road was great, a little chilly but no snow, and the sun was out. Bones later said he saw that something was going to happen for miles, he just did not know what it would be. I was keeping pace with Shooter and Tanker, we were in a staggered formation and riding a little fast for what we were doing. The Missing man formation, and Road Guards were already at the Monument, and as we came around the last turn in the road, at the front of a pack of about 500 bikes, I realized something bad was happening. Shooter and Tanker were on their brakes, and neither of them do that unless it is an emergency, tends to cause problems, shooter indicated with a hand signal that he was slowing and pointed to his left. Then my world sort of slowed way down.
There was a big truck coming up the hill at us from Angel Fire. It's trailer was off tracking around the corner and was about 4 or 5 feet into my lane. Clyde's Highway peg caught the front trailer tire and I was being pulled under the truck. I really do not know how I did it but I pushed away from the trailer with my right hand (still have that glove and use it when I ride, even though there is a hole in it from slapping the side of the trailer) and Clyde righted himself, I put on my blinker and moved to the shoulder. My left foot hurt a little, and I could no longer shift, and there was plastic every where but Clyde was still running. When I hit the shoulder my tires sunk in the soft dirt right up to the brake discs. Clyde was standing up all by himself in the dirt, no need for a kickstand there. Bones stopped and made sure I was OK, and later rode down to the Hotel with me. I made sure my wife knew I was OK, and made sure that Shooter and Tanker and Hammer knew I was OK, cause there were those inevitable Rider Down calls on the radio. I never went down though.
Later while fixing my crash bars and shifter, Two Lane came up to me and told me he had the perfect road name for me. I carefully asked him what that was, mostly because most road names after something bad tend to leave you feeling ribbed. He said "Dances with Semi's". I loved it, and still use it, but Bones said it was too long for the radio, he wanted to call me "Semi Slayer" because after I had Bounced off the truck the driver had pulled over up the hill and got stuck so bad they had to call a wrecker to get Her back on the road. I said I could hear it now:
"OK big truck thanks for your patience and professionalism today, you have one more pack of bikes and then our missing man formation to get by and then you are done with Run For the Wall for today." The reply would be "Thanks driver, who am I talking too?" Then I respond, "uh they call me Semi Slayer?" Both Bones and Two Lane agreed that probably would not work well, and then Two Lane said "on the radio we will just call you Bounce!" It worked and it stuck. After minor repairs I rode Clyde all the way to DC and then back home. The Cruise Control did not work, but everything else did. $3200.00 in damage, but my insurance covered that, and I got my name all at the same time. Now think about this how many riders do you know that can get hit at speed by a tractor trailer and not only walk away from it, but finish a very long ride to boot?

Thanks Two Lane and Bones for the handle, I like it, or I would not use it, and it fits me well.


Run for the Wall

I will be posting some videos in the next few days

I am preparing for Run For The Wall XXIII or 23 for those of you that do not do well with roman Numerals. I will be taking videos as well as posting other information about the run. I apologize ahead of time for a few of the videos that I will be posting, but most are just tests for the run. Some are pretty good. I will be happy take post any and all comments. I am also going to link my blog to the Central Route web page this year. I have been silent too long, and hey some of the folks on the run actually like what I write.


And yes I am back


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

112 days and counting down or Im Going, Im Going

There are 112 days until the 23rd Run For The Wall. I am really looking forward to doing it this year. I have made my reservations, all that is needed now is convince Clyde to let me ride him another 7000 miles. He is a pretty happy motorcycle, being in a nice heated garage, well cared for, clean,and ridden a little this summer. I have not been on him, but I have only been home twice since May. I ran out of time both times.

There is a lot of stuff on the discussion forum, but at least this year there has not been any crying about side by side riding. More questions like is this a clique?. Why are there so many posts about rides to get ready for the run? Things like that. RFTW is a very large and diverse family, and some of us, including me can get a little stupid now and again. But it is a mission a very important mission. Later this week I will again post the story of how my Brother Shoreparty got me involved in this wonderful mission. I will also recount the story of how I got my road name on the run.
Both are good stories.

Hoping for comments, and there will be pictures, and maybe even videos this year from the run and my run to the run.