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 loos 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.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Sunday, June 3, 2012
I am proud to say that this outstanding young man, this brave Marine is a friend of mine.
This is a great video of Central Route Road Guards this year hustling to Williams Arizona to set up the parade route (I am guessing on this but from the Mile Markers and terrain I am probably right.) what a difference a year makes, last year it was cold and snowy on this stretch of road. These guys are all volunteers, and they work their butts off to keep the riders of Run For The Wall safe. The last two minutes of this video is awesome, there is a quick pass of tootsie pops. Those little candies are ideal for motorcycle riding, and Clyde always has at least two boxes somewhere on him when we do the run.....is it next year yet. I cannot wait. Please note that this was done by guys that ride in formation together for over 7000 miles a year. That is just an estimate but Road Guards put on twice the mileage of the folks in the run. I do not recommend that this be done, nor do I think that I could do it, but it is sure cool to watch. In other words Do not try this at home kids, it was done by professionals on a pretty much closed course. The previous announcement was to make Gallupe happy, he is right this is not an example of what riding on the run is like. Riding on the run takes 100% concentration and awareness at all times.