Friday, September 19, 2014

The Old Marine has passed, he will be missed

For those of you who follow this blog you know who the Old Marine is.  He is my Step Father, and Dad.  This morning I was told that he passed on.  He did not suffer, he was getting ready to drive himself to Dialysis treatment at the Zablocki VA hospital in Milwaukee.  When he was late the nurse called my Brother, because Dad was never late for these treatments.  My Brother Andy said that when he got to Dad's it looked like he had gotten dressed then just laid back on his bed and went back to sleep.

The Old Marine was 79, he is survived by four kids, 8 grand kids,  and 7 great grand kids.  Funeral arrangements are being made, and I will post them here as soon as I can.  I have not cleared this with my youngest siblings yet, but I think that instead of flowers if you would make a donation in the Old Marine's name to either the Wounded Warrior Project, or Run For the Wall, he would like that.  He used to insist that I call him everyday from the Run when he was not on it, and he also enjoyed all the pictures of all his friends.

I have requested that the Wisconsin Patriot Guard attend his funeral, but I am waiting for a response from their ride captain.  I think he will be buried in East Troy Wisconsin, but do not have those details.

The last time I saw him was up north, and he was doing good.  He had lost a lot of weight, but he was happy. The last time I talked to him on the phone he was doing fine.  Tired and old, but happy that he was getting the siding completed on the family cottage.

He participated in Run For The Wall in 2005, went from Wentzville to D.C., then again in 2006, and 2007 and 2008.  He has done the entire central route twice in those 4 trips, and participated in Rolling Thunder in 2005.  He also rode on my Brothers Bob, Shoreparty, Talley's bike into Arlington, once with the Run,then again to attend a funeral for a friend of ours wife.

He has only been gone a few hours, but I will miss him forever.  As I got older he got smarter. He was the one that encouraged me to do the first Run that I did. My Brother told me that I should, my Dad told me that I had better or he would break a Marine Boot off in my but.  Every year in January he would ask if I was making arrangements to go.  In 2006 for Christmas we gave him a vest with the Run For the Wall patches on it.  He lit up like I have never seen him when he opened that box up. 
I will carry that vest with me on the Run this year.  I may keep it, or I may leave it at the wall for him.  If I do that I will leave it at the Korean War Memorial. 
I was 50 years old when he finally told me what he did in the Marines. We were at a Mexican Restaurant in Arlington, VA with about 9 or ten folks from the Run, when one of them asked him what he did in the Marines.
He laughed and then he told us the story.  I am going to repeat it as I remember it here:
I was a 60 MM mortar crewman.  We would dig pits from one end of our camp to the other, in all compass directions.  Then if the camp were to get over run the team's job was to stop them.  There were 9 guys on the team, 3 per Mortar, one to carry the tube, one to carry the plate, and one to carry the ammo.  Our pits were lined up 20 yards apart, with fall back pits starting at 100 yards from them third pit.  We would drop a round, grab everything and run like hell to the next pit.  we would set up and drop a round as the next two teams passed us.   (I then asked what the maximum effective range of that mortar was) He pointed at a Hotel about 150 yards away and said it would hit about that far out. (I was amazed, and when I told him that was rifle range, or less he answered) Yeah well we were for emergencies and getting over run only, we just hoped that never happened.   When someone asked him how he got that job he laughed hard and said, I was the fastest at the 100 yard dash in my platoon, so I guess I volunteered for it.


My Dad and I did not always get along, but he loved me and I loved him.  I have bad memories of him, but I also have great memories of him.  I remember the time he forced my Brother Bob onto the back of a Harley, and when the got back he had to force him off it.   I remember him taking us water skiing when we were kids, and fishing, on the one time I went deer hunting I went with him.   He was not always a great guy, but I choose to remember the great times.  I am thankful that he did not suffer, and I am glad that he was in my life.

Dave Talley

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Today I get on a plane back to Dallas and work

My wonderful vacation is over.  I met thousands of very nice folks this year.  I also saw some wonderful things.   Lots of monuments, and an excellent representation of our future.   Every parade we did had children holding flags, and waving signs at us. This was great.   The people that we see are never on the news, they are too patriotic for that.  The news is not interested in the good side of America, only the bad.  This saddens me.  When we rode into the Capitol at West Virginia there were thousands there to greet us.  The Governor proclaimed it Run For The Wall Day in West Virginia.   Our purpose is to demand an accounting of all those left behind, and to promote healing among veterans of all wars.  This year I did a lot of healing.  The leadership of the Run this year was great, and not just because I was a part of it.
This is part of a statue in the Westphall Museum in Angel Fire New Mexico.  By riding across country as we do we make sure that that those left behind are never forgotten.

We had lots of support from local and state police departments.  This picture was taken in Holbrook, New Mexico, just before it was time to roll to Gallup.   Riding under escort is easier, and the trucks that are caught behind us were appreciative mostly that they were only delayed a few minutes, instead of hours that they could be if a car were to hit a motorcycle.  The car drivers will often try to video us and get the next viral you tube video.  Not the safest thing in the world.  Worse is the occasional truck driver who will try to do the same thing. 
6834 miles on a motorcycle, but it is not a Party, it is not a Rally, it is a mission and like any other mission you do not have to like it you just have to do it.

Anyone who wants to know more, please comment.  I moderate them, but I do post them too.

Bounce

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Poem by the Shadow

Before I post this I want to mention that the Shadow is a friend of mine, and a great man.  I love his poetry and this one will make you tear up.



------------I AM PROUD

this i wrote in the third person--an observation of what went on in hurricane ,wv on last years RFTW..as follows------------I AM PROUD

By The Shadow

I heard you were coming, coming to Hurricane, West Virginia on your way to the Wall. I came out and I

wandered around the park, watching as the preparations were being made. I heard a familiar noise and looked

up to see an old Huey coming in for a landing in the parking lot. I moved closer, looking and remembering. I

listened to the small talk and heard someone say,---they are at the state line and coming fast.

The Huey sprang to life and I watched as it lifted into the air. I wondered where it was going, and I heard them

say, they are going out to meet the pack and lead them in. I was surprised at this and I began to get excited

along with everyone else there. Soon we heard the chop-chop-chop of the blades and she once again landed in

the parking lot. Someone was calling out the miles, 10--5--1 mile out and when the group turned off at the exit and headed into

the park I made my way to a place where I could see them pass by.

I stood there and saluted you, each and every one of you as you passed by. I looked into your faces and saw the

miles and hours in the saddle. You looked great. And I smiled to myself and thought, I am proud, so proud.!!

That all of you would do this--ride to remember those who have served and those who have paid the ultimate price.

I was there in the dining hall as you gathered to break bread and satisfy a well-deserved hunger. I stopped at

your table and listened to the small talk—the chuckles and the tears. I walked with you as you ate ice cream

cones, with it melting and dripping on your chins and beards. And I walked with you as you headed for your

tents and campers to lay the day’s exhaustion down.

As it got dark I listened to the night sounds creeping in, and stood watch over you as you slept through the

night. And as morning drew near I listened as you stirred, waking, stretching, softly cursing the stiffness you

tried to overcome.

Someone calls out—is there coffee yet? And there is the scent of hot coffee drifting through the morning air. I

remember the taste of hot coffee in the mornings. Ahhhh—it’d be wonderful to share a cup with you. but I shall

be content to stand close by as you pack and repack your gear, for today the much-anticipated ride to Rainelle

and the children is about to start. Oh how I wish I could go with you , but I must remain here. I cannot leave.

I hear the bikes begin to rumble as platoons and lines form. Last-minute instructions go out and I see everyone’s

anticipation building. Again I move to a spot where I can watch you leave and when the signal is given, the sea of

bikes begins moving as one. Again I look into your faces and I come to attention and salute you, each and every one of you, as you pass by.

As a tear rolls off my cheek, I say thank you—thank you for remembering me! I watch you in the distance, riding out of sight, and I feel my chest swell and again I am proud … so proud of you all.


Shadow I am proud of you, you endured pain, and you slept in a tent half the size you needed from Wentzville, MO to Rainelle, WV.  You participated in the greatest mission ever, and you support that mission every day in every way.   You are a great American.  And you ride proud my friend.

Photo

Run for the Wall Central Route 2014 BOUNCE Video

This is the video I took at exit 24 outside the OOIDA offices.  Watch the time between bikes and platoons, it is impressive.  About half the riders in the group had never done this before.  The pack was riding very tight.

Mission Complete, almost home




I am 135 miles from home.  I delivered my remembrance and the flag the the staff at OOIDA signed.  I also left my POW bracelet for Bo there too.   There were a lot of those there.

Our mission is simple, we demand that the Government follow through and bring the Missing In Action, and KIA home.   We know where most of the remains from Vietnam are, we just can't afford to go there and get them.  Paying Congress is more important.  If this were a political blog, I would start ranting now, but it is not.

One Truck Driver told me over the radio that we should not be on his road.  My answer to him was simple.
I said "Driver if you do not want these motorcycles out here, disrupting your day, sit down and write your Congressman, and State Senators a letter demanding that the 132,000 left behind since WWI be returned.  When  they all come home we won't have to do this."   He responded that we were doing nothing.

Not exactly true, 26 years ago there were no POW/MIA flags, now they fly on fifty Capital Buildings, and at our Embassies around the world, and at our bases too.  The Honor and Remember Flag also flies at some State Capitals, and that is directly attributable to Run For the Wall, and Rolling Thunder.

Yes Congress leaves town before we arrive, but they watch the news reports.  They listen.  We all write them letters, and they respond.  Their responses are extremely lame, but they are hearing us.

This year I dedicated my ride to Bo, and the Marine that is being held in Mexico, and to the memory of Chuck Huskey.  I also rode for Lt Badly


Me at the Wall placing Lt Badly's memory and the Flag I received at OOIDA.  Lt Badly's name is on panel
46E, line 43/


These are shipmates of a friend.  He and I are of different generations, but we get it. Cheetos is a Vietnam Vet, and like all that generation he is great and a hero to me.  He said something that struck me as profound.  The Korean Vets, and the WWII Vets ignored what happened to the Vietnam Vets.  There is a bumper sticker and a patch that reads "Never again will one generation of Veterans turn their backs on another generation of Veterans.  That is the reason that our military today can proudly wear their Uniforms wherever they go/

This is me and Cheetos, also known as Kenneth Neufeld, He is a great guy and a good friend.  I did ask if he was wanted anywhere before posting the picture.  He said only at home by his wife.  We stopped a priest and the young man he was talking to and asked them to take the photo.  Then we hugged, and went in opposite directions.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Day 10 complete mission almost complete

Well it has been an amazing run.  It is hard to believe that 10 days ago I left Los Angeles with 300 other bikers in front of me.   We went through a lot of great small towns.  We were greeted by some really patriotic people, saluted, waved at, and hugged, by thousands.

The mission is to demand an accounting of and return of all missing in action, and to promote healing for veterans of all wars.  We have succeeded in doing that.  I made a short video in front of the OOIDA offices before I was interviewed by Reed Black.  The link is below:

http://youtu.be/btmMhq-sO9Y

You may have to copy it into your browser line.  It was a pleasure to tape it and to narrate what was going on.  We ride in parade formation all the way across country, and we do it well.  No one rides like we do, and we ride as we do for safety.

Everyone on all three routes is in Arlington VA tonight.

Tomorrow the new guys and gals get to ride into Arlington Cemetery.  This is a privilege reserved exclusively for Run for The Wall.  No other group is allowed to do this.  You can ride motorcycles into Arlington but not as a group. We will lay a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown,  and then go to the Wall.

I will ride a shuttle there, I have a remembrance to leave there, a flag from OOIDA and then I have some pins to turn.  I am then heading back west to Wisconsin.  The plan is to visit a friend in Hurricane, WV tomorrow, and be home by Monday evening.  its only a thousand miles.  I have already ridden a little over 6000 miles.  Piece of cake.

Bounce


Monday, May 19, 2014

Wonderful day to be a fast motorcycle

Every cop in 9 counties was escorting the Run, so Bounce really let me roll today.  He thinks it was too hard, but I really really enjoyed sucking up that premium gas he used.....it is good to be a fast motorcycle when there are no cops around.



Clyde

Day 6 Done

We got to Wentzville, MO OK.  Weather great.  Met lots of great people in Columbia MO, and took two other riders to OOIDA for an interview.  It will air on Sirius/XM on Wednesday evening.  It should be good, the interviewer, Reed Black, a Vietnam Veteran himself does a great job of asking questions and getting good answers.

Rode old Clyde pretty hard and fast today.


More to come tomorrow.  Visit VA Hospital in Jefferson Barracks and overnight in Corydon, IN.  Another great little town.  So far 6 Mayors have declared the day we were in town Run for the Wall Day.   All the folks at the stops have been wonderful, so many cookies today at Columbia.  Law Enforcement Support has been outstanding.


Pictures and longer post tomorrow, or Friday.


Bounce

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Day 4 done'

We have had great weather, and we have a great bunch of folks this year.  Last year there were a lot of people doing the Run that neither cared about our mission, nor would ever be back.  The one thing I have noticed is that there are almost no (I have not seen any at all but there could be some) 2013 FNG buttons.  This to me means I was correct to say the the Hype would be less (last year was the 25th year of the Run) and there were a lot of people fulfilling their bucket lists and that was the only reason they came on the run.

We have already at this point raised $800.00 for the School kids at Rainelle, WV.  Last year at this point we had abut $200.00.   No one last year was very happy at this point, and there was a lot of disrespect for the places we went, and the people we met.  Last year I spent 15 minutes picking up trash after folks left the night stops for their hotels, this year I found one tootsie pop stick on the ground in the parking lot, and from the looks of it, it might have been there for a few days.

Larger groups on the run are not bad, but large groups of folks doing it because of a special anniversary is bad.  They people that do things like that are not dedicated, they insist that everything must be done for them.  Now it might be because I have a hat that says leadership on it this year that makes folks listen when I tell then where to go, or what they are supposed to be doing, but that does not make people police their trash, or listen at the presentations, or thank the people that feed and house us.

OK that's  enough.

Clyde almost dumped me today, I made a mistake getting onto the highway at Ratone, NM,  and  almost lost it in front of hundreds of folks, but I recovered, Clyde kept me from falling, and we went on.


tomorrow the real work of calming truck drivers down starts.  We have had full Police escorts since we left Williams, except for today from Limon, Colorado to Goodland, KS.  So tomorrow we will have truck traffic, I am hoping it won't be heavy, but I now have two other riders helping me, and we got a chance to practice a little today.  So I think it will work OK.

That's enough for now.

Pictures tomorrow.

Good night all

Bounce

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Day one of last leg to the Run done

Today my Brother and I left Colorado Springs to head out to L.A. for the 26th annual Run for the wall.  We had planned to go across I-70 through Utah and down I-15 through Las Vegas to L.A., but old man winter has not given up on the mountains just yet.  We found a little ice on the road in the Shadows.  Called the third rider that is with us to see if he had left yet, he had been trying to call my Brother all morning because he did not want to deal with Vail pass, so we met him and went south to I-40.  In the process we picked up a 4th rider.  We also met several very nice folks on the way.  Almost all of them have been walking up to one, or all of us and thanking us for our service.  The vests we wear have patches indicating that we are Vets.  I have had this experience before, and this is nothing new, but it is always really cool.  We met one gentleman today, who is a Vietnam Vet, who said he thought the nutty part of what we are doing is going all the way out to L.A., California just to turn around and go to Washington D.C..  He did appreciate what we are doing, just thought it was a little nuts.  We all agreed with him, and my brother said "Some one has to do it."  He is right, if we did not do this did not make a big deal and ride across country like we do no one would remember, and we can never forget that this country has left way too many behind.


We are in Gallup, and the Mayor is coming to see us.  This is very cool because he is a friend, and a great guy too.   He redid my Brother and Sister-In-Law's wedding vows in 2011 and her ring needs to be repaired, he has graciously offered to get that done.  He is a great guy, and Gallup is lucky to have him.

Well 0630 comes early, I am going to head to bed as soon as Jackie McKinney get here.

Thanks for reading.


Bounce
aka the truck whisperer.

Oh I almost forgot, I jumped down a truck driver's throat with both feet today, I asked him to back off, he pulled a radio Rambo and told me not to tell him how to drive his truck, I told him that our bikes could stop in 150 feet, his truck stops in 540 feet, either back off because my Brother's trailer was reacting badly to the wind we were in, or go around us.  This was a Tyson Driver I got his truck number, but he backed off, and then went around us, so no problem.  I was pretty firm, but polite, and I wiped my boots off before jumping down his tailgating throat.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Run for The Wall

This blog is not dedicated to this motorcycle event, but I as the writer tend to be.  I am en-route to do this mission for the 9th time.  7 times all the way and 2 times I joined on the way.   It is hard to explain why this mission is so important to those of us who do it.  Shadow says that some have quit their jobs to do it if they could not get the required time off, he is correct.  This year for the second time we have three separate routes, and one mission, and we are one big happy family.  We seldom agree with each other on much, except the mission, and that we can not stop doing it until Congress brings everyone home.

The recent news of the Marine in Mexico and his treatment and the ignoring of this treatment by the same people who say we must be nice to illegal aliens here, and SSgt Bergdahl still being held as a POW in Afgahnistan is horrible.

As far as I can tell nothing is being done for either of these individuals, they do not meet the narrative of the national media.  Fox News is reporting on them, but unless you get your news from the internet you have never heard of either of them.  I myself am ashamed that I do not know the Marine's name, and that he was captive for 60 days before I knew of it. 


We who do the run for the wall stop at monuments, memorials, VA hospitals, and schools on our ten day trek across country.

27 years ago was the First Rolling Thunder Parade in Washington D.C.  and 26 years ago was the first Run for the Wall.   Millions have participated in Rolling Thunder, and Thousands have participated in Run For the Wall.
Then of course there is all the support that goes into making Run for the Wall possible.  Thousands of folks wait every year for us to come.  I have never been in the planning of the event, but always in support of leadership during the event.  I guess it must be hard with so many communities wanting us to stop.  If we could we would stop at all of them, but then the trip would take ten times the ten days we have to do it. 
We start in Los Angelas, (actually now Rancho Cucamunga a suburb of LA) and we go to Washington D.C.
The trip could be done in 4 or 5 days, but with all the commitments we have it takes us ten days.
It is a good ride, but it is an intense ride.
The original group rode in parade formation all the way across, without much support.  In fact most of the time they could not even buy a cup of coffee in most towns.  They were thought to be some kind of motorcycle gang, not the event that they were.  A few places welcomed them, Kansas Abate paid their tolls there, Wentzville MO a gas station owner (may he rest in peace) bought them gas.  Then of course the West Virginia Turn Pike refused to do as Kansas had been so gratuitous to do.  So the original Run took the Midland Trail around the turn pike.  That put the Run in Rainelle WV, and it was a wonderful thing, and is a wonderful story.  It is told by one of the founders of the Run on rftw.org much better than I can tell it, cause he was there.
Today when we do the run, at least on the Central Route, and I am pretty sure this happens on the other two routes too, every over pass as we head east has someone on it. Rain or shine, hot or cold, they wait to see us thunder under them, or past them, or sometimes through them as in the case of Junction City KS, where people line the streets with flags.  Then there is all the food, I lose weight on the Run, but do not know how, we get free breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.  This year we have several fuel stops that are being paid for by groups or individuals.

The fact that 25 years ago there were no POW/MIA flags flying  anywhere, and today they fly at rest areas, capitol buildings, and military bases shows that what we do has an impact.  We do this mission for POW/MIA awareness, and we also do it to promote healing for veterans of all wars.  Many of our riders are veterans of the war on terror.  This year we will have participants and supporters from WWII, Korea, the Cold War, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Afgahnistan.  As we the Cold war Vets, and the Korean Vets, and WWII Vets, and the Vietnam Vets get older the younger folks will carry on for us.  I for one will do this run until I cannot hold a bike up, then I may go on trike.
The riding is not easy, it is not a Party, nor is it a Rally, it is a mission, and like any mission you do not have to like it, but once committed to it you just have to do it.
I like the stops, I like the family feel of it, but I really do not like the riding.  I enjoy riding to and from the Run, but the Run itself requires constant focus, a little mistake by one rider can get a lot of people hurt bad.  We have had accidents, and unfortunately we have had people die coming and going to the Run.

I pray everyone gets to CA safely, and that all three routes have good weather and safe travels.  I thank all of you who support our efforts, even though thank you is not enough, it is all I have.


Bounce

Thursday, May 8, 2014

pictures of the third leg of my Run to the Run

here are pics of my junk that I loaded into Clyde, and before and after loading pictures of Clyde, and me ready to roll.  I also got a really nice picture of the sunset at York, Nebraska too.




Goofy I know but hey it is my blog.  It is not dedicated to Run For the Wall, but I am.

Safe and Sound in Coloraodo Springs, and except for Vail Pass, it is an all downhill trip from here.



I am safe and sound at my Brother Bob Shore Party's house. He and his wife Penny aka Sage Owl, allow me to visit here every year on my Run to the Run.  Bob and I leave for California on Sunday, which is Mothers Day.  I left early from Wisconsin to avoid rain, and except for a few sprinkles in Denver I did it.  First time in 10 trips that I didn't get wet.

The pictures above deserve some explanation. The first is the center of Clyde's fairing, it is a decal that Shore Party put on him in 2005.  Gives him character, and reminds me of why I ride.
The Second is Krazy Karl Hartz, in DC with a T-shirt some cool school kids gave him at the wall.  Karl doesn't ride with us anymore, and I miss him and his guidance and support on the Run.  Well I miss it in person.   He follows with this blog and my emails that I send to Stevens Transport folks, and he reminds me of things, and chews on me for others.  Which is good keeps me honest, but I still miss his Yankee Voice on the CB.

The last picture is of a Security Police Badge with a black ribbon on it.  That is for all the guys and gals that have lost their lives in the line of duty, protecting and serving.  I dedicated my ride one year to a friend from Technical School and Air Base Ground Defense School, he died in a chopper crash a long time ago.  I have ridden for him pretty much every time I have done the Run.  Chuck I miss you too.

We had a discussion way back in 1977 about what we would do after we got out of the Air Force (we called it the "war" back then but as a joke).  We decided that we would grow pony tails and beards and ride motorcycles from coast to coast (Like Bronson  a 70's Television show) and that too became a joke.  We needed it cause Tech school was tough, and the Air Base Ground Defense school was tougher.  But we got through it.
So Chuck, I now have a pony tail (will get pictures and maybe a video of it getting cut off this year.  I plan to donate it to Locks of Love in Chuck's name) that will be cut off on the Run this year.  

OK that is it for today, have a check call to type.

Thanks everyone for reading this blog.  If you enjoy it leave a comment, if you want to know something leave a comment, if you don't like something leave a comment.
I moderate the comments, but I do not edit them. Unmoderated comments open the door for spammers and kids at Rainelle sometimes read this thing.

Thanks again,
and Clyde you did great getting me here old horse, keep up the good work

Bounce
The Truck Whisperer

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thoughts from Clyde

Bounce changed my oil, kept my battery warm and charged all winter, had that wonderful Troy Donahue @ Donahue Super Sports check me and my tires over.  He has not overloaded me this year, so I guess I will heed Marmoset's advice and keep the rubber on the road and the shiny side up.



Day 1 of my Run to the Run


Not real exciting stuff.   I was pretty happy though, got everything on the bike in about 5 minutes.  It all fits, and I have room for a passenger too.  I am camping so I have a tent, a sleeping bag, and a pillow.  I also packed enough clothes that I won't have to do wash but once or twice on the Run.  Add to that my laptop, the Camera that Stevens gave me so I could take pictures, tools, and leathers.  Everything fit nicely and is balanced well.  \ I even have room for some souvenirs, now if I just had the cash for them.  Planning checklist
1) laptop packed, check
2) tent packed, check
3) sleeping bag (I actually have two just in case it gets warm) check
4) Air Mattress and inflater packed, check
5) home made trail mix  packed, check
6) camera packed, check
7) Sirius Radio system rewired and installed, check
8) Garmin GPS mounted, check
9) Daily check call for today sent check

All I have left to do is finish this blog entry eat dinner, get some sleep (yeah right like most of us on the Run I feel like a kid at Christmas probably not much sleep tonight.  If I wake up early then breakfast early and leave early.  Weather looks good all the way across to Colorado.  A little cool in the morning, but no rain called for.  It actually snowed last night abot 100 miles north of here.  Wheres Homer mentioned snow on Face Book, and look what happens.

That is it for today.

Bounce


Sunday, May 4, 2014

News flash... There is an Vietnam Vet riding a three wheeled scooter from Utah to Florida If you see him thank him for his service and welcome him home.

I copied the following from a post on Face book from a friend to the Mayor of Gallup, NM, another friend"


Mayor its close to time for the run lil and I are excited I would like you to know that you will be having a Viet Nam vet coming through Gallup soon. Ray Black is his name and he is on a 3 wheel scooter with a trailer on his way from Utah to Florida. At this time Ray is In Ship Rock till at least Tuesday, Our chapter of V V A 961 is sponsoring his journey. You can't miss his rig or him very colorful. Please tell people you know to watch for him and check on him for us. many of the R F T W may see him so they should know to watch for him. It is going to take him about 83 days to finish his trip tell all your biker buddies. It would be a good news scoop.
thanks Jackie see you soon
Doug & Lillian Hunt
central route merchandise


If you see this guy and you are driving your truck let off a little steam to show you appreciate him.  If you get the chance thank him for his service and welcome him home.  He is not doing Run for the wall, he is just making his way to Florida.

They call it house keeping, I call it things I forgot

Just a short post today,
I forgot to mention a few things about my Run to the Run and what I do on Run for the Wall.


First, Stevens Transport is a great company to work for, and they support all their employees, and they have a lot of Veterans working for them.  So if you know anyone looking for a good paying job that is just getting out of the military, tell them to look up a Stevens Recruiter.  Truck driving is not for everyone, there is so much more to it than just the driving, but until the Government regulates it to the point that no one will do it, it is a pretty rewarding way to work.l

Stevens paid for my airfare home and back to work, not because they have too, but because I asked for the support, Stevens gave me a great camera so there will be pictures, and now that I have the right video card videos too.

Stevens is giving me the time to do the run, they allow me the extended leave of absence needed to participate.   I had to earn the money to cover my bills for May and part of June, and of course the cost of the run, but that was easy since they dispatched me 141000+ miles in 10 months.

My Wife lets me work harder than I have too, so that I can do the Run, but even with all the miles I get home when I want to, and when she needs me to be there.

The only requirement I received from Stevens Management was to update them with a email on my progress, when they said that I said "Sure what is the email address, I will add you to my list"  they gave it.

So now it is May, I will be posting here pretty much every day.

Here is what I sent to the 38 folks on my email list today

Hi all,
If you are getting this it is because you are on my list to receive information about my Ride to California and more importantly Run For The Wall.  For the folks in safety the web page is rftw.org.  There are three routes and they are listed there.  Please try to let our drivers know that while the Run is moving traffic will be disrupted.  Departure and arrival times are listed for each route.  I will try to give numbers of bikes on all three, but Central route, the one I am on is the only one I can promise accurate numbers for.   

These emails will have pictures, and this is not the complete list, and it is not a closed list.


Please share these emails as you see fit, and if there is anyone who wants to be added let me know.  Now that I have figured out the new yahoo, it is pretty easy to add to it.


Thanks again to those who made this possible, list is almost as long as the list for this email, but you folks know who you are.

Dave Talley
Aka  Bounce the Truck Whisperer  (Cause someone has to calm them down)
Aka  Dances with Semi's
Aka  Semi Slayer   (Clyde the motorcycle has promised not to damage any Semi's on the road to Angel Fire this year. But that won't be a problem since the State of New Mexico is shutting the road down completely once we are on it.)
The story of why I call my motorcycle Clyde is in this blog, and the story of how I became Bounce on RFTW is also in this blog.

Thanks for reading....I am stoked and ready to roll.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

At home packing to start 3rd leg of my Run to the Run

I made it home yesterday evening.  The flight was good, but going from +70 to +49 was to say the least a  little uncomfortable.  But I made it.

Today I spent the day with my step grandson.  Mostly goofing off. This is a picture of Jake and his buddy the Michelin Man at Wausaau Sam's Club.
Photo: One of my grandsons. Jake, giving the Michelin man a hard time at Sam's club.

We had lunch there.  Fresh fruit, steak, BBQ pork, chips and dip, lemonade, tea, hot dogs, cheese cake, pop corn, and a black bean burger.(Jake didn't even try that)  Great way to kill the hour we had to wait for tires on my jeep to get rotated.  We walked around and checked all the sample booths.  We found 12 of them.  When Jake tried to sample the Mike's hard Lemonade, the lady asked for his ID and he told her he left his wallet at home.  She told him no ID no sample.  Since I was driving I didn't sample that either, but the Italian Ice Lemonade was pretty good.
Then I went home changed Clyde's oil, set up my tent then repacked it.  It is new, I am going to donate my old one toe Goodwill.  The tent is still in great shape, but the new one fits exactly into the side bag on Clyde, and is a little bigger than the old one, but packs up smaller, go figure.

I bought some nuts, chocolate covered raisins, generic M&M's and some mini pretzels.  Mixed them all in a big bowl, and no I have three large bags of trail mix for the trip.  After much debate I think I am going to take fleece sleeping bag, instead of my heavier mummy bag.  All I have left to do is pack clothes.  Trying to decide if I am going with vacuum bags, or a waterproof duffel bag.  I will make that call tomorrow.

Thanks Stevens Transport, Angela Horowitz, Cat Ambrose, Bonnie Dorsey, Don V, John Norris.  Without you folks I wouldn't be able to do this trip.  J=R Express was also pretty good at getting me to the airport on time.  If I forgot anyone I am sorry.  a lot of folks have helped way more than I could list here.

Thanks again everyone.

Weather outlook till Thursday, warm and sunny from here to Colorado Springs.  Provided I can get there by Thursday.

To those on the list, daily check calls start Monday evening.  If you want to be on that list comment here with your email. I will post the comment, not the email.

Thanks for reading

IT IS MAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!Yeah





Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Just a quick word on comments here and why I moderate them

All comments added here will be posted in their entirety no matter what.  Bad language will be redacted (nice way of saying I will delete bad words).  During the run kids read this thing, so I moderate, it might delay your comment till I get online and post it, but that is all.  Do not hesitate to let me know if you disagree with my thoughts. 
Thanks to all who have read these musings, and thanks again to Stevens for letting me do the Run again this year.

First Leg of my Run to the Run complete....Great Day

Ask me where I work, and I will tell you, I drive truck for Stevens Transport, Dallas, TX.  Ask what I think about the Company, and the folks that run it, and 100% of the time you will get a positive response.  Even when I am having a really bad day I think I work for some pretty good folks.  I have been a Company driver, a Lease driver, a true Owner Operator (Well I was buying my own truck until someone offered me a lot of money for it) and am back to being a Lease driver again. 

The work is good, the miles are good, and the pay is great.  Do I complain, well yes sometimes I do.  I know that there are places that I might go and might make more money, but Stevens has been good to me.  Their checks always clear the bank, they always get me home when I want too be there, and they have bent over backwards to help me support my Dad when he needs me.

Last year I went to the Company, specifically Angela Horowitz, and requested help in doing Run for the Wall.  She asked what it was, and when I explained that it was a mission of POW/MIA awareness, and of healing for Veterans of all wars she said two things, and the second one floored me.  I was almost ready to call 911 and have paramedics make sure I had not died and gone to heaven.

After a quick explanation of the Run, what we do, what we stand for, and who we do it for, she said the following, and this is a direct quote  "I think that is wonderful.  What can we do to help you do this?"  Now do not take this wrong, Stevens has been supporting me for years in doing this Run.  The Alliance Fleet Management Supervisor has always supported me, but Angela is VP of Contractor Operations (May have the title wrong, but you get the drift) and she is also Steve Aarons' daughter so she has some pull at this company.
I am very grateful for all the support, and without it I would have had to pull out of the Run for the Wall last year, simply because I had not saved enough to get all the bills covered and take the time it takes to do it.

So today I completed my 4th or 5th lease, depending on how you count and whether or not you count the years that I owned my own truck as 2 or 1 lease.   I will sign another one in a heartbeat, and fair warning to the folks at Run for the Wall, I will do it till I have to ride a cage, and then if everyone is not home, I will keep doing it, because if we do not do this Congress will forget everyone the have ever sent in harms way and left behind.  That is unacceptable.

What is very acceptable is working with a Company like Stevens, that treats its drivers as members of the overall team.  Turnover when I started there was pretty high, but there are about 300 to 600 drivers that have been here for over 5 years, which in this industry is pretty good. Do people quit, all the time, but they also get rehired all the time.

Tomorrow I get my picture taken with Angela, my Driver Manager, and Don V, my financial adviser and a big honking $2661.00 lease completion check.  I worked for it, but they could hold it till I come back.  Please feel free to share this story, because it is great, and if you know some one thinking of being a truck driver, if they are good folks, send them here.  About 1 in a hundred finishes the first year, but that is higher than the industry standard.  Trucking is not easy, if it were there would be no need for trainers or recruiters, no one would ever quit.

OK enough truck stuff.  All Bike stuff for the rest of the Month.  Well there will be some truck stuff, as I am a truck whisperer on the Run, and as I talk about my tasks there I will naturally relay some of what truckers say to us and about us.

Thanks you in a Big way to the Alliance team that makes my annual participation possible.

Dave Talley
aka Bounce

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Almost ready....when did I get so old?

Well I am almost through with the packing checklist.

Tent unpacked, all poles work and it has no rips or tears (I did have to cut off about 8 inches of rip chord on one pole because it had stretched {may need new tent next year}) tent repacked and back in bag and on bike. CHECK
Replacement GPS bought on EBAY installed and updated with route (Well almost updated with route that will be an ongoing project while I am on the road for the next three weeks)  Check

New weather protection case for Sirius XM Radio installed.  Check
Sleeping bag found opened aired repacked and on bike.  Check
New Helmet Visor ordered (it is in and I pick it up today) Check
Rain Gear checked and repacked and on bike.  Check
Money for run saved and in bank.  Check  (This was a lot easier this year than last thanks to Stevens Transport.  The VP of Contractor Relations is a fan of the Run  BIG TIME and I actually had enough cash left over from last year to pay for this year.  
Change Jug for run money put back in closet to save for next year (Because of Stevens Transport I did not need this money this year, so there will be that much more next year) Check
Now all I have to do is figure out how I got so old, because everything hurts.  I did get to ride about 200 miles this week, then of course temps went from +60 to +30 and it snowed 6 inches the other day.

So I am ready to go.  Will change Clyde's oil tonight  (Sorry Clyde I referred to you as bike several times above)  Then everything is ready to go, just counting days.

I really hope I find someone on the Central Route that wants to help with the Truck communication thing. I can do it alone, but it is much easier with a radio in front to relay info, that way I know it gets relayed.

Well that is it for now, have to get ready to go back to work.  Thanks to my wife Judy for letting me do this every year.  She had surgery last week and is doing well, a little weak, and sore but doing fine.

Bounce

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dust cleared out......Is it May yet?


Two posts in less than an hour?  How does he do that.  Well I wrote this about 5 months ago, and it is a rant. I posted on the RFTW Forum a hope that the hype would lessen and the bucket listers would not show up this year.  I caught a lot of  flack for that post.  I even got told that I was responsible for a lot of folks deciding not to do the Run.  I hope not, but if they are going to show up, complain that they do not like the way things are done, try to change something that has been developed over years of trial and error, then I guess that is OK.  Sad but OK.

The folks who follow this know that every year in May I ride Clyde out to LA (Los Angelas and not Lower Alabama)  for Run for The Wall.  I do this because I have so many friends that are no longer with us and who cannot do what they want.

After the 25th annual RFTW I was a little disappointed with all of the Hype and a very small group of riders that I called "Bucket Listers".  These are the folks that show up, want everything to be their way (One of which actually posted on the Forum at RFTW.org "I was asked to leave!")  and scream when that does not happen.  These folks cause me a problem for lots of reasons, but most importantly they want something that is done well improved (actually not improved but changed to their satisfaction immediately) now.  Guys who say "riding side by side is dangerous".  Well it is, but in Kansas City, or Louisville KY, it is dangerous to ride like a small group when there are over 500 of us.  Guys like one FNG who told me that he doubted that I had ever ridden with a group of 50 riders in my life.  He is right I have never done that.  I have ridden with groups of 400 to 700 from LA to DC 9 times, but I have never ridden with a group of 50.  I do not think that I would do that even if I was given a chance.  I have participated in 5 Patriot Guard missions, but all 5 of those had well over 200 riders, and we met up rode a few miles and stood in a flag line.

When my Brother (Shore Party) introduced me to RFTW in 2005 I had never ridden in a group lager than 20 in my life.  In fact it had been 10 years since the last time I had even ridden a motorcycle, or owned one for that matter.  I listened to what was being said in Limon CO that first morning.  I learned and by the time we got to DC I almost understood what was going on.   I did not complain that what was going on was unsafe.  I heard some do that, and watched them leave, I heard some stay and ask how they could participate without riding with the pack, they were told to go ahead to the fuel stops, and they did.  No one told them they were "stupid, dangerous and should not be riding a motorcycle, let alone in a pack of 300" they just told them to listen to the pipes.  That first year I learned a great deal about the Run, my Brother, my Step Dad, and myself.  But again I did not try to change anything, I tried to do it.   I saw and understood the need for the "Two up" side by side formation immediately.  It was for the safety of the group.  In Kansas City the pack literally exploded when the route coordinator missed an exit.  The riders that knew the route went the correct way, those of us who did not know the route and who were following the bike in front of us
(Something I still do even though I know the route, and all the exits we have to take) were lost and lost in a big way in a very dangerous place for motorcycles, and motorcyclists.  Rush hour traffic in Kansas City KS/Kansas City, MO.  All I had was my brother, and neither of us had been on this part of the route before.  We went to third gear, quickly exceeded the posted speed limit by a factor of 2 and tried to catch a rider who was calmly talking to us on the radio stating that he was rolling at 10 miles an hour under the speed limit.  I thanked God that I had a radio at that point and hoped and prayed that others would either follow us, or catch up to the pack.  At that point there was no pack, just several hundred FNG riders racing through traffic to catch a guy who was holding up traffic waiting for us to catch him.  I am telling this story because it is important, we were not doing it right. In truth at that point there was no right or wrong way to do anything, there was just survival and get to our friends, get our formation back, and I for one was on the edge of panic. But there was that leaders voice on my radio saying  "come on guys I am waiting for you, slow down, we are all going to get there, no one is being left behind, Road Guards will be at the exit for our stop until everyone is accounted for.  Keep coming but do it safe." I signaled to my brother to turn his radio on and he started hearing what I was hearing.  We slowed down, stayed side by side and as riders caught us (some passed us but then realized we seemed to know what we were doing and got behind us.  If they had known that we had less clue than they did it might have turned out differently, but after about 10 miles there was a pack, and we were leading it.  JR Franklin, the Central Route Coordinator kept talking to us and we reported that the pack was forming behind us and that we were coming to him.  It worked, everyone made it to the fuel stop and we re staged the platoons and went on.  The point is no one SCREAMED "This is stupid and dangerous I won't ride like that change it or I am gone!"  something I heard done to the RC last year on the first morning before the riders meeting.  No one got hurt (One guy did get spattered with a little road kill that was lying in the middle of the left track, but that became a great side story, not a problem) and we all got where we were going.  Leaders lead, and we as human beings follow them because we accept the fact that to do anything large well there has to be a leader and people to follow him.  I love the mission of Run for the Wall.  Have I never tried to change things, no.  Have I gotten things changed for the better?  Yes.  The first few years that I was on the Run we went through the Topeka Toll Plaza in the left lane and then had about a mile and a half to move three lanes to the right to exit for our fuel stop.  I saw this as a dangerous problem and suggested in one of the many after action reports that we go through the K-tag lane (which is the right lane) and the computer could count us (count us as scofflaws who were trying to avoid the toll) and we would be in the right lane and exiting to our fuel stop without disrupting traffic much at all.  This was done for the 1st time in 2008 and it is now the way we do it.  I was not the only one who suggested it, but am happy that it has been fixed.   If it had not changed I would not have quit I would have just kept on pestering people till it was fixed.
So I will end this with an apology.  If my post about bucket listers on the Run Forum offended anyone I am sorry, but the attitude displayed by FNG riders last year was pretty much horrible, the amount of trash that I picked up at hotels (I camped most of the way and still picked up coffee cups and cigar and cigarette butts at hotels) and at the morning meetings, and day stops was just ridiculous.  That is not what we do, we as a group leave the places we meet at cleaner than when we got there.  We care about the future of the Run, we make it so that people will welcome this "Bunch of Bikers" back every year.  The mission is much more important than the feelings of any individual.  If we do not do this then our country will forget those that have been left behind.

Bounce




Less than 30 days till I roll west for the 26th annual RFTW....time to clean house and dust and uncobwebb the old Blog



Normally I have written here before this.  Normally I have written some trucking stuff, or observations of motorcycles during the year.  This has not been a normal year.  My Wife has had surgery and is recovering nicely.  She is coming home from the hospital in the next few days.  But that is not why I have not written here.  It has been a very busy year, and that is not the reason that I have not written here either.  Maybe I am getting older and just have not had anything to add here.
That is a good excuse but it also is not the reason that I have not written here.  I have been lazy, that is the real reason.   I have posted several things on Face Book, just not here.


Clyde is ready to roll, I still have to change his oil and take him up to the local nitrogen dealer and make sure his tires are properly inflated.   *Note I have been running nitrogen in Clyde's tires for a few years now and his tires are lasting a lot longer.  I highly recommend that if you have not made this $5.00 change to your bike do it.  $5.00 verses $180.00 per tire plus labor is pretty much a no brainer   Example  rear tires usually last about 13 to 15 thousand miles on air, front tires last just about as long.  Clyde has nitrogen in his tires and rear tires are lasting 20,000 miles fronts over 20,000 miles.  Front tire is at half it's wear and it has 13000 plus miles on it.  That is two runs with a third one done easily.  So the $5.00 is worth it.


Now for some observations on motorcycles.  These are made from a truck drivers perspective.  I have seen many many groups riding.  Several were riding like organized groups.  Lots of PGR missions out there.  You guys all looked sharp, and organized.  There are a few folks out there that ride very responsibly and respect trucks.  Then there are some suicidal complete idiots out there!  When I pass a truck I do not pull over in front of them until I can see the top of the trailer in my mirror, and if I am on a 75 mph road I count to 3 by thousands and then move over.   The more room I can give a truck moving faster than 55 mph the safer I am.  As a truck driver I know it takes four seconds from the time I hit my brake pedal until I stop.  It takes the average driver two seconds to realize that they need to stop and to get their foot on that brake pedal.
Two seconds means @ 60 mph I roll 176 feet before I even start slowing down, then 352 feet later I stop so lets get the calculator out.....176 + 352 = 528.  that means 528 feet to stop a truck at 60 mph.  That is if the driver is paying attention and not having an argument with his wife, dispatcher, or a bill collector. That is if the road is dry and the driver has checked his equipment and every thing works properly.  So why do my fellow motorcycle riders cut in front of a truck at 180 feet?  They are not stupid, they are not crazy, they are not suicidal, they are quite simply IGNORANT.  That doesn't mean stupid, it means they are uninformed.   They do not know what it takes to stop a big truck.  If a truck is closer to you than 528 feet and you stop the end result is you will die.  That is if you are on a bike, or in a car.  Nothing I as the driver can do about it, nothing you can do about it, that is simply physics.  When I get passed by a motorcycle I start paying attention, but I ride.  I will back off a bike that cuts me short, but that is me.  There are a lot of new folks out there driving trucks, and they like the motorcyclists are simply IGNORANT.  They are either not aware of how long it takes to stop a truck (Do not think "How can this be, they are driving it and they are professional"), or they simply do not care.  Getting comfortable around trucks is a bad idea.  The average driver is very good, and very professional.  But then the average cyclist is very safe and very aware of the dangers of riding.  It only takes one mistake to get you killed on the road.  Example the recent big truck vs. bus accident in California.  Ten people dead, including the truck driver and the bus driver.  No one will ever know what either of those drivers thought, or did.  They will figure out what happened to an extent, but we will never know.  The truck driver was a professional, and the bus driver was a professional, but the cars around them were not. 

So now for a few words about the Run.  We ride in formation, no matter what that formation is the goal is to protect the rider beside you and in front of you.  The bigger the city, the worse the congestion the tighter that formation has to be.  In some of the eastern cities we ride in if you give a car a 6 second gap they are coming into the formation, and they will see you and run the guy on your right or left over, then claim they never saw them.   If the formation passes a truck it had better give that truck lots of room.  Think about this, first platoon passes a truck, the platoon leader waits till he is 700 feet past the truck then he moves over.  He has 60 bikes behind him, the first 30 riders move when he moved, then two (and it only takes two to start this) riders decided to cut over at 500 feet, by the time the platoon moves over the tail gunners are 10 feet in front of the truck.  The Truck driver is on his brakes and backing off.  Second Platoon is beside the truck, and maybe Third Platoon is too, but Fourth Platoon, Fifth Platoon, Sixth Platoon, Seventh Platoon (Bikes with trailers that do not stop very vast) and Eighth Platoon (Trikes and trikes with trailers that stop a little faster) are behind the truck.  Everything is going great but that truck is slowing down, and traffic doesn't want to allow anyone into the left lane because they do not want to behind those DAMN Bikers.  So what happens, the same two riders that started this insanity by not thinking start waving at an over pass and forget that there are 500 bikes behind them, they back off and the end of Platoon one stops.  The truck because he has already started stopping some how gets stopped without killing anyone, he is on his radio Screaming "Brake Check, these idiots are stopping!!!!!"  and Second Platoon stops in the left lane, Fourth Platoon might get stopped without hitting the truck, and then we go on.  That is a perfect situation.  But a third mistake and someone is hurt, or worse dead.   This gets even worse when we enter construction zones.  I was at the end of the pack last year in New Mexico, we were under escort and there was an accident that was caused because people were not thinking.  I could go into a lot of other things here, but everyone has to remember one very important fact about Run For The Wall.  We are all going to the same place, the exits we use have road guards at them, and those poor guys do not leave the exit until everyone gets there....everyone. We do not leave anyone behind, and if you get out of line or get off the road 7 or 8 folks are going to stop and check on you.  One final thought if you drop out of the pack take a look at where we are going and then go there.  DO NOT try to get back into the pack, this risks everyone, either follow behind or if you can and there is enough time go ahead.  I would stay behind the pack at anything under 20 miles from the stop.  Remember in perfect situations that pack is 8 miles long, and can stretch out to 16 miles.   For those two riders mentioned above, do not be them, give the trucks as much room as the platoon leader did, do not cut them short.  Just do not do it.  Think about the people behind you that are behind that truck, that have trucks behind them.  You might survive but do you really want to have the death of anyone on your conscience?




So in May I will be headed west, and I will pray that everyone that participates in this years Run makes it safely from home back to home.  Please remember that you control what happens, keep you wheels down, stay upright and visible and never assume that anyone around you can see you  or even cares that you are there.


Bounce