Wednesday, April 17, 2013

An abridged version of the Bounce and Krazy show, how it started and what it did

The following is written without permission of the participants, but I got impatient, so I wrote it anyway

A few years ago I met a good friend and a great guy.  Karl Hartz, aka Krazy Karl.   He had been talking to me and with me on the CB  radio during one of my first runs.  I cannot remember if it was 2006 or 2007, but I do remember he had a fantastic radio, and I on the other hand had two tin cans and a frayed string to talk with.

In 2005 I decided to talk to the trucks, and let them know who we were and what we were doing.  This was as a result of all the questions on the CB about what are those crazy bikers doing.  In 2005 I joined the
Run at Limon Colorado, and they had been building hate and discontent from the truckers since they left Ontario, CA five days before.  Only no one knew it because they were not talking to the trucks.  I am a truck driver, and I just naturally listen to channel 19 when I am on the road.  That morning when we took off the first thing I heard was an exchange between some one in the pack (it may have been the leader, JR Franklin) and a truck.  {"Holy cow that is a lot of motor cycles.  Where is the Rally Boys?"  "Sir it is not a rally, it is not a party, it is a mission, and like any mission you do not have to like it you just have to do it.  We had 250 riders at the riders meeting this morning sir, and we left Ontario CA 5 days ago, we are headed for Washington D.C. to participate in Rolling Thunder, and to honor our fallen heroes"  "Well that is a good thing"  "Yes sir, we do not mean to be disruptive, and most of these guys would do this if they had to walk.  This is a POW/MIA awareness mission, and to promote healing for Veterans of all wars"  About that time someone came up on the air and said some pretty nasty things about how we shouldn't be allowed on the highway like that.  Before I could get on the radio and defend what we were doing, a big truck with a really big radio shouted "leave them riders alone, they are doing good, and besides there must be at least a thousand folks between here and Salinas KS on the overpasses, waiting for them, these guys are popular"}
Well I spent the next several days repeating the mission thing, and by about three days I had a lot more positive responses than negative.  I also got Claire B. Lang, from XM radio to interview me about the Run, and she replayed that all weekend.  This helped a lot.  But all in all in 2005 I couldn't talk over a 1000 feet, so I had to rely on big trucks with bigger radios to relay the information for me. 
Then in 2006 I rode all the way, and started talking to trucks from day one, and by day two I didn't have to say much, they already knew who we were and that we were on a mission.  I want to take the time to thank Both Claire B, and Glen Jones from Sirius/XM radio for that.  They let me talk about the Run on their air, and that really helped to get the word out.  I have always done our Central Route, but I try to get the word out about our Southern Route too.  In addition to talking on the radio, I send, or I sent, an email to The director of Training at Stevens Transport everyday with numbers, and highways that we were going to be on.  He was relaying this information to his counterparts at several large companies, and it helped a lot.  So thanks Mr. Cheney. 
Anyway the year I met Karl, he was relaying for me.  By the fifth day my voice was about gone, because my radio was so bad, I was always yelling into my microphone.  So I just let Karl follow the script.  He actually did a better job than I did.  Karl did not get angry or excited when one of the 1% chuckleheads would say something derogatory about us, he just thanked them, and asked them politely to stay in the center of their lane.  
In 2007, the year I got the road name Bounce, Krazy and I had planned and coordinated the whole truck talker thing, we were even official.  We made a believer out of Russ Sheepdog Cochran, the future pack leader, when we informed him that there was a large deer laying in the left lane about two miles ahead of the pack.  A trucker had radioed back to us that the darn thing had run right into the side of his trailer.  Russ heard my plea to get the pack into the right lane just in time.  When the platoon I was in went by the deer it was still kicking its legs.  I told Karl to watch it, that he might just be taking a nap on the road.  Well I was right, when Karl went by the deer jumped to its feet and took off across the median.  Just imagine if there had been bikes between him and his escape.  Russ, like Tanker and Hammer before him, came to me later that day and thanked me and told me too keep it up.   Well 2007 was really a good trip.  My radio actually worked, for some reason it carries well over 5 miles, even on channel 19, and down on the pack business channel I can relay to both ends of the pack, there are times when the pack is well over 10 miles long, so at least I had a voice when I got to DC.   Krazy and I bantered with each other, and kept the trucks informed on what was going on,  It was fun.  We did this in 2007, 8 and 9 together, Karl did it alone in 2010 because I couldn't be there, and in 2011, I was without Karl, except we emailed and talked on the phone everyday.  I really enjoyed 07. 08 and 09.  We were a team, and the folks on the Run complimented us on the work we were doing.  I felt bad about not being able to go in 2010, and felt pretty lonely in 2011.  But then Rocket flat out floored me in 2011.  When we got to the last fuel stop before DC he got some one, I believe it was SSgt Walrus  (these folks have real names too, but I am using their road names here) to get me to come see him.  He presented me with on of my most prized possessions a road guard patch.  I won't put it on my vest, but that is another story for another day.  I worked pretty hard to keep everyone safe that trip, and the truckers did not exactly love us but they knew why we were there, they knew it was not a rally, or a party but a mission.  Most of them get it, and support us.  The ones that do not, well they are stupid. 
In the words of Krazy Karl  "God bless our troops, and the Great American Trucker, if this country loses either we are lost."  God Bless Krazy Karl, he taught me a lot, and he worked his tail off keeping me out of trouble, and safely getting 300 to 500 bikes a day across America.

Thanks to everyone that reads this, and if you see a soldier, sailor airman or marine, take a moment and thank them for their service, and welcome them home, because in this day and age if they are wearing a uniform they are either headed overseas, or have just returned.  Those are the folks the we riders are riding for, to make things better for them.  We ride for the folks that have never come back too, but never again can this country treat people the way my generation treated the returning Vietnam Veterans, the Vietnam Veterans, and people like me will not allow it.


Well Things sure have changed in the last month. I am really up Now

My last post was all about how I could not do Run for the Wall this year.   I was really down.  This mission that I do is pretty important to me.  This blog is not dedicated to the Run, but I am.   This week I finally got some things to come together, and in May, Clyde and I will be making our annual trek to Rancho Cucamunga, and we will be participating (and with a lot of luck going all the way to DC) in the 25th annual Run For The Wall.  This will be our seventh Run.  I am excited, and Clyde is in the Yamaha shop in Wisconsin Rapids, being tended to lovingly by none other than Troy Donahue.  Yep that is actually my Mechanics name.  This time of year he is usually working on snow mobiles, getting them ready for the summer storage season, but he is pretty good. I told him Clyde was in need of a lot of care, and he told me not to worry, the old scoot will be ready for the 7000 miles that we have to travel.

Clyde is going to be really happy this trip, cause he will be traveling with a free and clear title.  Or to quote the Beach Boys  "I got the pink slip Daddy".  Still have a few more things that have to come together perfectly, but I am going.  Might have to drop out early due to lack of funds, but I am going.  I hope the weather is good.  No more snow in Williams please.  So tomorrow of the next day I am going to write a new story.  It is about old times.  I had a short chat with a friend who is German, and I started to remember some things about my race days.  So I thought why not write the story of Shade Tree Racing, how and why it got started.  We were a great team.  My son Luke, and three friends of mine, we built race cars, and we actually won some races too.  Anyway that is coming in the next week or so.

I will be posting pictures, and videos both here and on Face Book, during the Run.   I guess the question is answered.  I am really glad things have come together.   Really glad.