Thursday, July 8, 2010

seems like only yesterday!

I got my first Harley in 1989. I owned many other bikes but never a Harley. The high cost of low living kept me from affording a Harley. When I stopped drinking and drugging, I could afford one. This was me in the late 80's. It started as a 1980 FXWG- I bought it from an ex- meth head. He had totally destroyed it. I paid 2500 and rebuild everything. I ended up putting 2500 just into the motor.I was constantly working on that bike. It was always something. This picture is what I looked like everywhere I went. One year Myrtle Beach I had the transmission out 3 different times, but I still made it on the cover of the Sunday's paper, pulling a weighted sled at the local rodeo.

Now this bike goes back to the mid 80's. I had just gotten out of the Marines. I was a Kawasaki W1- 650. Everyone thought it was a BSA pre unit. It was an exact copy Kawasaki made. I sold the bike when I bought a triumph ( that didn't run) to a friend. Now this is where the story gets interesting.
As the legend would have it, I borrowed the Kawasaki from the guy I sold it to and rode it down to a weekend party with the KBA ( Kentucky Biker Association). I entered it in the dirt drags and ran the heck out of it all weekend. Sunday morning i rode in the rear of the pack with a bunch of Harleys on the way home and we were running about 100 miles an hour in the hot summer sun. The bike just wouldn't take anymore and broke blew the motor. Everyone kept going and no one ever came back. I pushed the bike in a ditch on the side of the highway and covered it with weeds and brush. I hitch hiked home. A week later i rode down with a truck to get it. A highway crew's bush hog had hit it and they were trying to sue me to get the money for their damaged equipment.
Now that is how the legend went. I can neither deny or confirm the exact facts but I can say one should always be careful who they lend a motorcycle to!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Big Mountain Run and Miami sun

I left California to be at the Big Mountain Run in my town of Reliance, Tenn. The Cycle Source Big Mountain Run is held 2 miles from my house. I, however, was over 2500 miles away. I rode back and arrived the day of the event. It was a good turn out with all the happening people enjoying the activities and this year there were some good ones.
One of which was the Scooter Tramp triathlon. The contestants had to come out of a zipped up tent, put on their boots, run across a field to their motorcycle, race down to the river, STOP, take their boots off and swim to a boat in the middle of the river. There were several close calls in the race but everyone seemed to come out OK till it was my turn. I really got caught up in the moment and came blazing in towards the river much too fast. I knew I was in trouble with no traction in the mud and gravel. I came sliding in sideways and just as I thought I might pull it off, the bike dug in and high-sided. I knew to abandon ship so as the bike flipped, I let it throw me and landed on my feet but I was going too fast and did a cart wheel before coming to a rest on the concrete boat ramp. I felt my thumb throbbing and thought it was broke, then I looked and my crumpled heap of a motorcycle and decided to continue on with the race. I swam out to the boat and of that day had the best time and got first place.
The next couple of days my thumb hurt but I could move it so I thought maybe it was a sprain or a jamb. I continued on the next couple of days at the event competing in the rodeo games, riding with everyone across the backwoods creeks and even reaching under a tree stump in the river and pulling out a big snapping turtle. There are videos of all this on my facebook profile or search "Bean're" on youtube.

I had a deck to build in Miami so after the BMR I put the bike in the back of my truck ( I hate doing that but needed my tools and truck to do the job) and headed south to Miami. I got down there and was suppose to have the job finished that following weekend. It was sweltering hot and my thumb was really hurting and the first thing I had to do was demolish the old deck and load it into my truck and haul it away. I worked a couple of hours but gave up and hoped to do it the next day. The next day arrived and I began only to bump my thumb and the pain was excruciating. I decided to go to the emergency room. They x-rayed it and said it was broke in 3 places and that I needed surgery. They put me in a temporary cast and sent me home. In the cast, they pulled my thumb back and it was that night I really painful. Later that night I removed the cast since I was going to have surgery anyways.
The emergency room visit was on a Friday and I wasn't able to make an appointment with the surgeon until Wed. I worked everyday on the deck pacing myself and slowly getting a little done at a time. By the time my appointment came my thumb was heeling. The doctor said I needed the surgery. I explained it was getting better. He said it was serious enough that maybe I would have trouble riding my bike even after his surgery AND rehab. I then informed him that I rode my bike to see him that day with no problem. He said I shouldn't be doing anything till it heeled. I told him I was building a deck everyday and in 2 weeks had mini bike races at the Smokeout that I had to attend. He stared blankly at me then said " Well I guess evil Knievel had some broken bones that he had left to heal on their own so maybe you will be ok." I now wonder if that means I can start wearing a cape?

I continued on my own route but many people said I should seek a second opinion. I decide to hire a professional ( a private nurse) and even at her rates ( hourly) she was still cheaper and the rehab techniques was much more enjoyable. I am well on my way to a full recovery and am feeling very confident about the mini bike races.
Hope to see everyone at Rockingham, NC and cheer me on as I blaze through yet another race!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cross country photos and commentary

I worked all week and on the last day I worked till noon then put on a new back tire and packed my bags and left KY for California at 2 pm. I rode almost 400 miles when I passed Big Creek Sucker Punch Sally and saw they were having a rock show in the parking lot. I pulled in to say hi and received a big welcome and Bug took this picture. I like that even after a really long day, I'm smiling but really its because I'm looking forward to the adventure that awaits down the road.
Having made it the next day to Amarillo Texas, I finished the day with a meal at the Big Texan. Every trucker that has ever driven across the US knows this place. I seldom pass it with out stopping. Its also about the midpoint across the US on I 40.

In New Mexico, I 40 runs parallel with route 66 and here on the Continental Divide is a great spot for a photo opportunity. I stopped here with my family years back and still have the photo. I also passed JW smoking here on the side of the road but didn't recognize him so I didn't stop. All good memories.

Being on a budget I was looking for a cheap place to crash for the night. Without having reservations though, places like this camper in AZ go fast so i kept riding till I made it to Phoenix.

I found this place on the side of the highway. The sign said it was the cheapest in Phoenix. It was 24.95. Then they gave me 5 dollars back for my key deposit. No extra charge for the chalk outline of the body on the heavily stained carpet.

I got to stop at the Hippie Killer party in California that Lisa Ballard helped put on. It was an awesome good time. This was just the parking lot. Nothing but the hippest cats around. I'm going to have to make it back next year for sure.

After just crossing the Grapevine from Los Angeles on I 5 north, it rained which turned to hail and fog and ice and snow. On the other side I came back into the valley where the weather was nice so I pulled over and contemplated where to go from here. The snow is behind me now and the sun is shining. Yea, My life sure is a precious gift and I'm not wasting another second waiting for life to go by. I'm back on the road and smiling still, big as ever!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

family and friends- they make me complete

Time are tough for sure and it getting hard to do what I do which is basically travel around and do what I want. I pick up a job here and there but can't stay in one place for long. Everywhere I go I have met some of the greatest people. That's what I enjoy the most. Life long memories and friendships that I have gathered through my travels.

Currently I an in Louisville which was where I grew up. I came up here to help some of my family work on a house. They got a bid and when I found out how much it was I said I would do it better and for less. That worked out well for me because I wanted to ride out to California and I didn't have the gas money. I really enjoy this job because it is a slate roofed steeple on an old historic house. I get to be creative and replicate what they did over 100 years ago. Its also a 3 story house so I get my adrenaline fix for the week.

An added bonus was I got to be home with all my family for Easter. I don't get to spend enough time with my family and the children grow up so fast. I forget how important everyone in my family is and they all play a major role in who I am. I am blessed to have them in my life.

As this week comes to an end I will be packing my bags and riding out to California. I'm not sure of the route, where I will be staying or for how long. I want to come back to Tenn by May 22nd for Cycle Source"s Big Mountain run, but other then that, I'm really not sure when I will come back. The more I think about the unknown of this trip the more excited I am about making it. I'll write and keep everyone posted. Until then, make sure you wave when I ride by.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I get by with a little help from my friends

I really have been depending on help from my friends lately. My friends in Miami at Koons Motorcycle Maintenance, BK and Louis, Let me use their shop to tear down my motor and replace some gaskets which, upon inspection, needed a valve job and new rings. Nikky Boots helped me with some welding and machining work. Now with a new top end, I was ready for my ride from Miami to Daytona. I was in Daytona and given a place to stay with Glenn of RPM performance. I stayed only one day and left for Tenn to meet up with Jay Barberi and 2 Wheel Thunder so I could ride back to Daytona with them. I left Daytona in the evening due to rain and it was already cold with tempatures dropping. I was riding across I10 when I hit reserve. No biggy I thought. Well 15 miles later and still no exit, it became a biggy. I ran out of gas in the pitch black darkness on the side of the highway. My bike was loaded down and pushing it was really difficult but I didn't want to leave it. I pushed it about a mile and I was dying. I had already pealed off all my layers and way sweating and sore. Cars and trucks went but in the darkness, I was sure they couldn't see me. I could see the exit about a mile ahead. @ bikes went by but I doubted they could see me. As cold and late as it was, these were the only bikes I saw going either way. I watch and saw that they got off at the exit. I kept pushing but was exhausted. I looked up and thought I saw a bikes headlight but thought that couldn't be but sure enough, a bike rode up the exit and down the interstate on the wrong side to see if he could help. I told him I needed gas and he said he'd be right back. 5 minutes later he came back up the side of the highway again and brought me gas. I rode with him to the truck stop where his wife was waiting on her bike. They were HOG members and had told me that they knew what it was like to be on the side of the road. Thanks Scotty AKA Frog.

I got back on the road and a couple of hours later got a room. When I woke up early I took off for Tenn. I was making good time and was in Georgia when all of of sudden my bike started vibrating then it stated reving in gear. I knew this was bad. I coasted to the side of I75 and when stopped I saw my worse nightmare. I lost all the teeth on my belt. I began cursing and walked into a pecan farm screaming curse words and throwing off layers of my cold weather ear all along the way. 10 minutes later I started making calls, not for help but simply to vent. Now about a half an hour later it was time for action. I collected my clothes and went back to the bike. I adjusted my belt as tight as I could get it and with a push to get it going, the bike limped on the side of the highway at about 3 miles an hour. Any faster and the toothless belt would slip. I just wanted off the side of the highway. At the next exit I got off but there was nothing there but I was moving so rather then stop, I kept riding. A few miles down the road there was another exit with a truck stop. I got off there and was hoping to find someone with a trailer going to Daytona where I could use a friends shop and fix it. I texted a few friends to ask if they knew anyone coming through and could haul me to Daytona. Kevin "Teach" Bass put me in touch with some friends in Atlanta, Kevin "mailman" and Jeremy with Muttin Choppers. After an exchange of texts and calls they made the drive 2 hours down to pick me up and haul me back to Atlanta brings a trailer since my long chopper wouldn't fit in the back of their truck. They hauled me to their friends shop at Jailhouse Customs. They were working on finding me a belt but I was tired of belts. I wanted a chain. They made some call and "Slim" with Twisted had all the sprockets, gaskets, spacers and a new O-ring chain which he delivered. They had me on the road the next day. I test drove it and it was great. Bringing it back I shoved the my voltage regulator plug that was loose and so they took an old plug and soldered a new connection on my. Now really happy I was ready to leave when Paulie from Jailhouse noticed that my headlight was cracked. Every time I rode in the rain the bulb was blow because of this but Harley wanted over 100 for a new housing. Paulie went into the shop and returned with a new housing which he had took off another bike. I left there in time for dinner at Mailman's house which his wife had waiting for us then she had the guest bedroom set up for me. They even had a new pair of shoes for me!

I just want everyone to know that these are the kind of things that happen and allow me to keep doing what I do. Thanks to everyone and I hope I can be there for all of you, like you have been there for me!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Enter to win

From Cycle Source Magazine and The Wharf Rat Rally- a chance to win an all expense paid trip to ride your motorcycle along with me from your house to Digby, Nova Scotia for the Wharf Rat Rally,Sept 1-6, 2010. All you need to do is send in a photo, let us know what you ride,where you live and why you should get picked for this. I have created a fan page on facebook and you can sign up here

Good Luck!