Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ahab The Arab and how and why Clyde is called Clyde

Clyde requests that you listen to the song as you read...thanks Ray Stevens for a fun song...Clyde would also like you to know that he has the heart of a VMAX so he is pretty fast, and can even sneak up on and catch a Goldwing, but he can't outrun one.
Here is the story of why Clyde is called Clyde:
In 2004 my Brother Shoreparty told me about Run For The Wall, and that I had to get a bike and do this ride. I told him that sounded nice and all, but I was not a Nam Vet. He told me that the guy leading the group in 04 had a patch on his hat that read "I wasn't there but I still care" and that was enough to make me decide to do it. I did not have a motorcycle, and had not had one since 1994 or 95. But I told Judy I wanted to do the Run. So we looked for a bike for a long time. I dragged my Dad the Old Marine to several Bike stores, as I valued his opinion. He kept wanting me to get a Harley, but Judy determined that the seats were not very comfortable. Then one day in Feb of 05 we walked into Donahue Super Sports in Wisconsin Rapids, and on display was a beautiful white and silver Royal Star Venture. I had to go to the bathroom, but told Judy to check the bike out. I had only seen it from the side so I had not noticed the price, it was cheap about a third of the cost of a Harley. When I came out of the bathroom and saw the price I wanted this bike. As I walked over to it the salesman was putting a sold sticker on it. I asked who had bought it, as I Judy and two teenagers were the only customers in the place. He pointed at Judy and said that lady over there bought it. Well I had no way of getting it home,it being winter in Wisconsin and all, so Donahue kept it in storage for me. In April I went home and picked the bike up. It was beautiful, had a CB stock, and was perfect for what I was going to do....I had no idea what the Run was like, but I knew this bike was made for it.
In the next three weeks every time I rode this heavy monster I would drop it. Not hard, just gently onto the crash bars. Sort of like Arty Johnson used to do with his tricycle on Laugh In. During that three weeks the local oldies channel was playing two Ray Stevens songs back to back like a battle of the bands. First the DJ would play the Shriner's Convention, then he would play Ahab the Arab. That song Ahab the Arab was playing on the radio the first three times I dropped this bike. The fourth time I did not drop it, but almost did, the refrain "across the desert sands on his camel Clyde" was playing and for some reason I said, "Don't do this to me Clyde!" It was wild, the bike stopped falling over, and I caught it and kept it upright.
Now we Americans tend to give inanimate objects like vehicles names all the time. This motorcycle wanted to be called Clyde. Most vehicles are girls and get girl names, but not old Clyde. He is definitely a boy bike. I have been calling him Clyde for 7 years now, and he has done everything I need. The seat is cushy, and he has 37,000 miles on him, and except for one ride to Sturgis SD and back all of them are going to coming from and being on the Run For the Wall. So now you know how Clyde got his name and how I Bounce got mine.

Motorcycles are moving already

In the last couple of days I have seen two Patriot Guard Formations, and a lot of motorcycles on the road. I have a little more than 95 days until I get home and pack Clyde and get ready for my sixth Run For The Wall. I have been reading all the posts and answering some on the forum page. I cannot believe some of them, and then I can. Some of the folks that post are serious about their posts, and others are not. But throughout is a common thread of camaraderie friendship and respect. Even the goofy posts are not mean.

I can hardly wait to rejoin this family. This year Krazy and I will be on the Citizens Band radio informing truckers who we (the riders of RFTW) are and what we are doing. It is fun, but a great deal of work too. This year we are going to be checking weigh stations and informing leadership of the ones that are open. We only have three to worry about, one in Arizona, one in Illinois, and one in California. The rest of them we will be under police escort. We, Krazy and I will also take turns running ahead to the transition points that we do not have coverage by police. We will be alerting truck traffic to the fact that we are headed that way, and let them know which lane we will be in. I received emails back from the Central Route Coordinator and his assistant and they are fans of what Karl and I do, so we are official again this year. That is good. All that is left is get Clyde serviced, packed fueled and go. Is it May yet?