Sunday, June 21, 2015

When I Wore A Younger Man's Clothes- The Sunday Collage

Growing up was never really big on my personal list of goals and achievements. We all know people that seem mature beyond their years- old souls. People who always use sound judgement and frown on any devious behavior. Those mature types always bored the shit out of me. I can envision them now- playing shuffleboard and Gin Rummy (never for money) down at the rest home.

Last week, I was coming home from the gym and stopped at a stoplight next to some kid in a two door Acura. We were the only two vehicles at a stop light which goes straight up a hill for about 1/4 mile. The kid in the Acura looked my way- nodded his head up the street- and gave his throttle some gas. I was on Elvis the RoadKing. No way I thought- can this kid take my bike. That's when my youthful brain took over. The light changed. I hadn't fully committed to this endeavor but clearly the kid in the Acura had.

The kid found the hole shot and had me beat by 20 feet. I was stripping gears like mad yet I couldn't gain an inch on his car. After the obligatory 1/4 mile or so- I took my beating like a man and gave it up. Even with a better start I'm not sure I could have beat that Acura. Some of these kids in Boise have seriously fast cars. I don't know if they could beat our 1970's- GTOs and 'Cudas- but it is good to know that the spirit lives on. The fast cars today are far more civilized than ours were. Our muscle was thunderous. Today's muscle lurks under hoods with small, fuel injected engines and quiet mufflers. Getting whipped on Elvis or driving the 1.8 Elantra can be a humbling experience and to be honest- I'm not sure I can take it much longer.

My next car is gonna be one of those little Cadillacs with the big engines.

On Friday, I took Elvis to a wedding. Let me tell you a little something about this guy that I will think you'll find amusing. I am beginning to see that speed has become an emerging theme in this week's blog.

About 15 years ago, I had a late start out of Boise after helping to teach a class that went late one evening. The trip home from Boise is about 150 miles over some of the most desolate and vacant highways you will ever travel. In addition to driving through the desert, I also knew that the resident state cop in that area was on vacation. I had spoken to him the week earlier. He was a notorious ticket writer.

So I set my cruise control on 90 thinking that this would be an uneventful trip home. I was blasting through the desert around 1030 or 1100 P.M. Suddenly, I see lights in my rear view mirror. After stopping, I can see a brand new recruit and his field training boss from the neighboring Sheriff's Office come lurking- ever so cautiously- up the sides of my car. After asking for my license, the new kid says, "Do you know how fast you were going?" I said, "yup, I do." Well he says, I had you at 87. I told him that was odd because I had set my cruise control on 90 so it must have bled off a little. He was all fired up when he heard that but his boss wouldn't let him write the ticket. We spent about a half hour bullshitting in the middle of nowhere that night. It was during that conversation that I realized what a really good guy this new recruit was. About a year or two later, I hired him. It was one of the best things that I ever did. I would not have known anything about this kid really, had I not bent the law a little that evening. *Laughing as I write.

I told that story at his wedding on Friday. He was still pissed that he hadn't written that ticket. I cannot think of a better human being. He is a very caring, empathetic, "go the extra yard" kind of cop. People love the guy. He is also a straight arrow sort of human being- which means absent his boss that evening in the desert- I would have most certainly been issued a well deserved speeding ticket.

On Tuesday, the big motorcycle trip through Montana begins. I had three guys tell me they were interested in making the ride and I have not heard one peep out of them since. It's a five day trip through Yellowstone National Park and Red Lodge, Great Falls, Glacier National Park, Whitefish, Libby, and Butte. The weather is supposed to be perfect. My first leg will be east across the state to Troy's house in Idaho Falls.

The problem with retiring while I still have a few marbles left- is that most of my friends still have to work for a living and taking additional time off is hard. Such is this great, new economy. I've been making preparations all week long, putting on the traveling kit, new tires, new helmet just in case. But it looks like it's just going to be Troy and me- like Easy Rider- and Troy already told me he's gonna be Peter Fonda. It's Dennis Hopper for me. So while doing the last minute preparations, I was driving around town a lot last week.

My RoadKing is very loud. I have a two into one Rinehart muffler. The other day, I fired it up at the grocery store right next to some little kid getting into a Subaru. He immediately starting bawling and carrying on like he had been gut shot, his mother trying to console and quiet him down. I smirked just a little. He will probably grow up to be a cop who stops speeding motorcycles in the desert or one of those snobby BMW riders.

So I think I am going to do one of those running, travel blogs. Ya know the kind where you take pictures of stupid shit along the way, only I have a little bit better idea which I will "reveal" during the week. I have to try something to boost these sorry ass numbers on the blog. I am too old to attempt any sort of quality writing and that has never been my strong suit anyway.

So Happy Father's Day and first official day of summer. Please stay tuned this week. I'll try to bring you some funny stuff and post it during the trip.











3 comments:

IRISH said...

Personally, I'll be waiting for pictures! It sounds like a beautiful trip through some gorgeous country. If I was a: rich b: retired c: more adventurous d: spontaneous. I would grab the bike and trailer and head out there. Alas, I am none of the above. Yet.

Have fun, be safe and please post pics.

Troy Ellis said...

cant wait to get this shit started .. 5 days you and me and a lot of open road ...yep yep .

Anonymous said...

I took a lot of cross country trips on my Norton in my 20s-no way I could do that now so I'll look forward to your pictures. I've been down some of those same roads-it's beautiful around Red Lodge.

Have fun!
MM