Sunday, December 11, 2016

Breaking a Guinness World record AND being a part of Aidan's Posse

   Some of you remember me breaking a world record 2 years ago by riding a 50cc mini bike from Louisville, KY to Sturgis, SD. It was a distance of 1,470 miles and took 9 days. Since then that record has been broke by about 100 miles so it was only natural that I attempt it one more time. The details are what is really going to stand this trip from all the others though.
  First of all I will be riding with my friend Tim Ford. No we won't be riding on the same minibike. We will each have our own stock Yamaha 50cc minibikes. We also will be riding together unassisted in that we will NOT have a chase vehicle the whole way.  That is the plan however according to Guinness rules, it makes no difference whether or not a support team is incorporated.

The distance we have decided is coast to coast. Yes, that's right, we're going to ride from Daytona Beach Florida ( the day after Bike Week) to San Diego, California. a back road distance of 3000 miles. We will be taking 3 weeks to accomplish this.
We are also going to do this for one of the greatest causes ever. Aidan Jack Seeger and The Aidan Jack Seeger Foundation.  On this ride we will spread the message about what ALD is and to advocate for ALD newborn screening in every state. We hope to carry some proposed legislation to several of the state capitals which we pass through. We also are going to attend stops along the way and have fund raisers to help with the Foundation and all the work they do.
We are gathering sponsors for this ride now and scheduling stops onto our course ( which is subject to change as we add new events). We also plan on having individuals pledge by the mileage that we accrue. There will be a page on the Aidan Jack Seeger Foundation website for donations.
Much more info will be posted in the very near future. I want to thank Indian Larry Motorcycles, my good friends at Biltwell, Rick Fairless Strokers in Dallas and fellow Texan, Buddy Johnson for their help getting this started. Of course all my regular sponsors on my sponsor page listed here, are always helping me out making it possible to this and all my other projects.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

In 2017 I'm going to "Share the Wind"

   I've known for years how much fun sidecars are. I ran one for a year back in 2002. I rode my little brother in mine from Kentucky to California and back. He had the nickname "Sidecar Bob" for years because of it. I even got to take my mom on her first motorcycle ride with me as she felt safe in a sidecar. The problem is that it changes the riding characteristics of a motorcycle, mainly because you can't lean the bike anymore for turns. For this reason I removed it and gave the sidecar to a couple with a special needs child.
   Well now for next year, I will be putting a sidecar rig back into action and will be doing a program that I call "Share the Wind". I will be visiting hospitals, retirement homes, Veteran homes and anywhere else where people are that would like to ride and get in the wind but are unable to do so on their own. My plan is to arrange at least one visit in a town where I am at during my travelling to rallies across America. I will also implement this in Nova Scotia Canada The Wharf Rat Rally where I already visit 7 adult living facilities and hospitals.
   I don't want to do this alone. The more, the merrier so I will be asking that anyone who would like to come along is welcome but would REALLY like it if you also have a sidecar or a trike. A simple ride around a parking lot can make someones day more than you can ever imagine. I will testify that it can also warm your own heart and leave a good feeling that lasts a lifetime.
    I have a Facebook page for this called Share the Wind. Feel free to go there and click "like". Watch for new things in the very near future.
    I also want to acknowledge some friends that are also putting together a sidecar event. Their page is The Sidecar Soiree. Their first even in the end of March with more on the way.
    It looks like 2017 is going to be interesting to say the least.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

an UN-political post

I'm really tired of hearing all the political rants especially when they are backed up with internet "facts" and memes. So what am I gonna do-  be a hypocrite and give you my two cents.
    First of all, I believe we ALL want the same thing. We really do. A better world for us and our families. The problem is we all have different beliefs on what is going to get us there. These differences can be healthy in keeping a balanced society. Problem is, the two point of views are getting farther apart and more unwilling to work or even consider the other side. I don't have the answers but I will share one thing that I contemplate regularly.
     This is Philosophy. It can be applied in all avenues of life. One main philosophical question is "Does the end justify the means?"  I happen to believe it doesn't however, I would be a hypocrite in certain situations. In politics, "does the end justify the mean?" is a great question. Do we want a better country for our families no matter who or what we trample? Do we want wealth and security at any cost?  Does it matter if it takes longer to achieve our goals or if we even achieve them at all as long as we play fair? Even when other don't play fair?
    I guess what I am saying is that if maybe we take a deep breath, open our hearts and minds, and do a little soul searching, that gap between the two side may tighten together. I don't think it should come together, but just come towards each other a little. That would be a step in the right direction.
    I'm going to breathe and think about my part.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

My experiences with real horsepower

   I've always enjoyed riding horses but I have never had any formal training. I was self taught which means I have taught myself a whole lot of bad habits. Another thing I self taught was my knowledge of horse facts. I felt like if I treat a horse well, that horse will do what I want.
  I have had a retired horse trainer from Texas trying to teach me a few things and I have bee training to cattle sort. That is when you ride into a pin with 10 numbered calves and they call out a number and you herd that calf into another pin then turn around and go after the next consecutive numbered calf till you get all 10. You only get 60 seconds to do this.
   I had been training for about 2 weeks for this with the same horse- JB. We were getting pretty good I thought so I decided to film it and show off. Well the only good thing I can say was I didn't get thrown. Here is the video-
   The more I tried to make the horse do what I wanted, the more the horse fought it. I truly felt like if I pushed it any farther, he was going to turn into a bucking bronco. It was all I could do to stay in the saddle. I worked with him when we got back to the ranch and I'll be riding him again today until one of us figures out who the boss is. It is a whole different concept for The Mayor of Fun but it is a challenge and I just may learn something from it. Isn't that what life is suppose to be after all?

Friday, November 4, 2016

My Cabin in the Woods

   For over 25 years I have dreamed of owning a campground and cabins. I followed this dream 10 years ago when I got a piece of property in the Cherokee National Forest. I was going to build a small cabin to live in but when I talked to a bank about getting a loan to build the business they said they would only loan on a completed structure and not the land. I decided to build a large 6 bedroom bed and breakfast FIRST when I really wanted to do that last. I used up all my money framing it up and drying it any but I never finished it. Without it being finished, I couldn't get the loan but I really didn't want to go in debt. That was 8 years ago when I stopped working on it.
   With my bike being broke down recently and needing basically another motor rebuild, I decided to make use of my down time and do some more work on it. First thing I had to do was clean the roof. It had 8 years of mildew and looked pretty bad. I scrubbed it with bleach and was amazed at how well it looked under that grime. 
  Next I was trying to button it up and to keep the animals out since I haven't had doors and many of the windows are out.  I actually had a bear hibernate in it one winter before, I finished a couple pieces of missing metal on the red roof but water had gotten under the felt paper and rotted some plywood so I had to replace 4 sheets.

 I installed a couple of windows then I got distracted. You see when I work on my place, my ideas change as well as the materials I come up with. 
   It started with a Craigslist add for some vinyl windows for sale. I went to look at them and they were a huge savings. Over 1000 dollars in windows for only 200 dollars. They would mean changing the design do I worked a few days and got it ready. The original window opening was 36 inches wide by 52 inches tall. My new window ( for the master bedroom) are 11 feet wide and 6 feet (72 inches) talk! Oh yea! 
   This is the old bedroom window opening. The small window opening is for the bathroom.

    But now with all this view, I needed to clear some of the mountain side. You couldn't see the forest through the trees! I cleared about 1/4 of an acre just for a better view. I plan on planting some fruit trees that will attract wildlife.
   Now that the view was taken care of, I moved into the bathroom area and tried to figure out the layout. I was going to put in a Jacuzzi tub but I never really liked those.  I started searching for other ideas and came across this baby. A claw footed cast iron tub from the 1800's. Perfect for my place.
  Of course, soaking in this tub with only one window to look out just isn't as soothing as if I had TWO windows so I went to work opening another window. Problem is, this window would be going through the roof side so I had to build a new dormer but hey, I built the other 5 already. How hard could number six be?
  If you noticed on my picture above when I was washing the roof, the left dormer and window was not there.
Here you can see the two bathroom windows, same size 3 foot by 3 foot each. Will be a nice view of the forest when I bathe. Just following my dreams one day at a time.

Friday, October 7, 2016

September was a busy month

The beginning of September found me once again in beautiful Digby, Nova Scotia Canada. I was just finishing up another Wharf Rat Rally and getting ready to head back south. I needed to be in Brooklyn, NY for the annual Indian Larry Block Party but I had 2 weeks to get there. As usual, I was in no hurry at first but then decided to take a detour to upstate NY for the 10 year anniversary of the Gypsy Run. I did that last year and loved it so I did it again. The Gypsy Run isn't an organized ride in fact it is all about the opposite- several " suggested " routes and you can ride with whoever you want at your own pace. I pushed the envelope even farther and took my own route- literally down the Delaware River. I rented a kayak and had a ball. Even talked a couple of friends into parking their bikes and going along with me.

   As I said, I had plenty of time but just as I added The Gypsy Run into my schedule, I also added the Moto Film Festival into my plans. It was in Brooklyn also but I would need to get there 4 days early. Brooklyn is a fun town and I had a ball the entire time but the week went fast and it was time for me to set my sights for Fayetteville, Arkansas for the Bikes Blues and BBQ with Progressive. I had 4 days to get over 1,300 miles. This shouldn't have been a problem but first I had my wheel bearings go out. This cost me over a day and after I fixed them, I was still noticing a slight sway that made me very nervous so I decided to take another day and put new swingarm bearings in.
  This delayed me by another day but it was totally worth it as I had forgotten the tight feeling my bike gave when it had all new bearings. 100,000 plus miles has a way of wearing things out. I made a good 600 mile day but was well worth it as I pulled into the Ozark mountains and watched the sun setting.
   It was good to be back at the Bikes, Blues and BBQ but the first thing I needed to do was get over to Flo's Chop Shop by Progressive and get some of that grease out from under my nails. I knew that Flo's Chop shop gives not only free manicures but a whole slew of other free services too. All to show the extra distance they are willing to go for their customers. I got Jacqui Van Ham to do my nails while she wasn't emceeing for Progressive.
   Another service Progressive gives is a free breakfast. This year not only did I get my fill of breakfast including coffee and juice but I even stashed a genuine Flo waffle in my saddlebag for a delicious snack later. This was a good idea however the syrup wasn't very compatible with the rest of my belongings in my saddlebag.
   I love the riding in Arkansas and all the spots around Fayetteville are really nice. I spent as much time as I could exploring and just plain getting lost on the back roads but I did stick around for their annual bike show. It is different from most as it gets very interactive with the crowd. After the semi-finals, contestants get up in front of the crown and speak about their bikes, explaining why theirs should win. I have never seen any other shows with this type judging. My very favorite of the show was this 1956 Panhead that was customized in 1962 and survived all these years.
Like most of my weekends, this went way too fast and next thing I knew, it was over and time to say my goodbyes. I've never been very fond of goodbyes so I jumped on my bike and rode off but not before stopping and doing a photo shoot with one of my favorite photographers that also works for Progressive, Jeff Klaum. He got some great shots. Click HERE for one of those.
   Add in all this PLUS my birthday the following week and worn out doesn't even begin to explain the half of it so I'll just let this picture do the translation.
What I left out is all the people that helped my pull this month off. Thanks to them all and especially to my friends at Progressive whom I am in partnership with. Enjoy the Ride!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

North Shore to Isle Royale

Last week I was sitting in my parents living room in Louisville, KY watching a morning news show with them when we saw a news story on a very little know National Park, The Isle Royale. Now my parents are older and have physical restraints but after watching that show, I decided to leave for a visit of Isle Royale.
   The Isle Royale in an island in the middle of Lake Superior almost in Canada. It has ferries in Michigan and in Minnesota that carry visitors to the island. I opted to ride up the Minnesota side and that was an extra treat.
   The ride up Minnesota Hwy 61 is called North Shore and it is epic. I'm not the only biker that knows about it as I saw groups of 10 and more bikes everywhere I looked. I had no idea it was there but plan another ride on that next time I am near.
North Shore runs from Duluth all the way up to the border of Canada and is on the shoreline of Lake Superior. You owe it to yourself to check it out if you haven't already.
I always carry a tent and sleeping bag and with all the hotels and cabins with no vacancy signs I was glad. I checked a few campgrounds and even the tent space was full. I prefer " primitive" camping so I spotted a For Sale sign on a property with an over grown drive way and it was perfect. The even higher weeds in the back provided excellent camouflage for my bike and tent so no one knew I was there and I got and evening of undisturbed sleep plus the high weeds under the tent made nice padding. 
But getting back to The Isle Royale, it is home to over 1300 moose. The visitors center had this cool skeleton. I saw a pair of moose swimming in the water and then walking on the shore line. Can you believe it, the one time I didn't have my camera.
Dockside sushi was provided by some local fisherman that caught a large salmon and a steel head.
The harbor is also the final resting spot for The "America". The America is a 184 foot steamship that hit a reef and sank in in 1928 here at Isle Royale. The tip of the bow is only 3 foot deep as you can see the bow here but the rest of the ship continues deeper with the stern 80 foot deep. It is an excellent dive destination and since I am a certified diver, I might have to give this a look next visit.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Giving back at Sturgis 2016

  This year at Sturgis 2016, I will have the honor of participating in 2 charity rides. The first one is Aidan's Ride on August 8th. It benefits The Aidan Jack Seeger Foundation and helps battle a terrible disease, Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) while remembering the blue eyed ruler, Aidan Seeger. Hosted by Aidan's Parents, it is one that is dear to my heart. God bless Bobby and Elisa Seeger. I hope to see you there but if you can't make it, you can still support this event but clicking the link here. Join us now even if you can't make the ride- Aidan's Ride Support
  Two Days later on the 10th of August, I will be joining Throttle Girl for a ride to Pine Ridge Reservation in support of One Spirit (non-profit 501). Pine Ridge Reservation has some of the worst living conditions in North America. Helping children grow up in this harsh environment is just one of the many programs that One Spirit delivers. Join us in Rapid City for a ride down to Pine Ridge where we will meet with members of the Lakota Nation and be their guests for horse back riding, a buffalo BBQ and more. For more information on this ride, check out this link and remember, you don't have to be there to support. Lakota Heritage Ride Celebration

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ohio Bike Week 2016

   For several years I have been doing Ohio Bike Week. I even wrote about it last year too. I felt it necessary to write about it again because I did a few things differently that made the experience even better.
Participating in the Annual Jesse James Dupree Pancreatic Cancer Benefit Ride is a staple for me but every year it gets bigger and better. This year more than 350 participated making it another record breaker. Jesse James Dupree ( the lead singer in Jackyl) always gets there early and stays to the end even though he has many other obligations. He is a class act. This run by itself is a great reason to do Ohio Bike Week.
The music venue at Ohio Bike Week keeps getting bigger and bigger too. The three stages downtown, where  bands like Jackyl and Pop Evil rock downtown aren't the only place to see headliners as Mad River Harley Davidson hosted Buckcherry, Blackstone Cherry, Eddie Money and more. Jackyl always rocks downtown like no other. A short ride away to Toledo Harley Davidson was a Sebastion Bach concert. The Sandusky Fairgrounds hosted Montgomery Gentry. Every night had something with several nights forcing me to choose between acts.
During the day, riding in northern Ohio is some of the best as the roads around Lake Erie create a beautiful backdrop. This year I did more riding than ever and one such ride was the Kelley Island Poker run. To get to the island, you have to take a ferry ride. Kelley Island is located so close to the Canadian border that most cell phones want to start roaming internationally. It really is a gem that is often overlooked by many. I had no idea how cool it was.
On Kelley Island is the Glacial Grooves which are grooves that were carved into a limestone rock bed 25,000 years ago. This is the only place like this on earth. It is a 7 acre park, free once you get to Kelley Island and has a path to walk around at your own pace with informational plaques all along the way.  I can't wait to bring more friends with me next year and show them.
And speaking of friends, riding with friends and sharing the experiences only makes it better. This year I got to ride with more old friends and make new ones along the way. Isn't that what it is all about too?
I got to do a lot of riding with Pat from Progressive too. He emcees for all the Progressive functions like the IMC Shows across the country. Working with him to promote for Progressive is almost as much fun as riding the countryside with him.
Progressive is behind a lot of Ohio Bike Week as well as many other motorcycle events. It's quite fitting really considering that Progressive is the oldest insurer of motorcycles. That's why I " go with Flo"
I've mentioned Flo's Chop Shop presented by Progressive where you can get free services like mustache trims, manicures and boot shines just to name a few but this year they added something new there.
The has three custom built " thrones". One was at Flo's Chop Shop where anyone could sit and get their picture professionally taken in it and then they would get a copy emailed to them. The other two were placed back stage and guests from the audience that participated in different sweepstakes, got to watch the shows from these vantage points.
Ohio Bike Week for me was 10 days of Fun and that is coming from The Mayor of Fun. Being in partnership with Progressive is the icing on the cake. I hope to see everyone again next year!
This post was written in partnership with Progressive Insurance. I have been compensated, but the thoughts and ideas are my own.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Leesburg Bikefest

    Leesburg, Florida is located in the center of the state, not far from Orlando or Ocala. It is a sleepy little town that has been hosting Leesburg Bikefest for 20 years now. I was fortunate enough to have went to one of the first ones and now I got to see how much it had grown. It is a great place to see old friends and meet new ones.

   A couple of old friends that I got to camp with were Scooter Tramp Scotty and Pan Head Billy. They live on their motorcycles too but each has their own style that is unique to themselves. It seemed like we all spent the weekend comparing notes and trading stories. It was a good time for sure.
  Some other long time old friends was Charlie Ransom and the rest of the crew with The Wall of Death. They really work hard to take their wall around and entertain the masses all over for only 5 dollars a person. That is a bargain and if you haven't seen their show, catch the next one. Those of you that have, see it again as they have added some new faces and a few new tricks.
   While I am on the subject of good deals, I have to mention my friends at Progressive. They have a promotion to show motorcyclists that they go above and beyond for their customers so they have been coming to rallies like this one and offering a whole slew of free services. Free breakfasts and free secured parking are just a start.
   They have something called "Flo's Chop Shop" where they offer more personal services.
They have boot shines for everyone ( even if your boots aren't as long and pointy as mine)
They do manicures and if they can straighten out all the grease from uner my nails, I know they can work wonders with yours.
They also do mustache trims. They have full professionals doing all these services and I can tell you first hand. I tried trimming this beard and luckily, one of their professionals bailed me out and straightened out my mistakes before he realized how bad I had messed it up.
   Progressive stepped in and provided all these services for free to everyone that wished to partake. And as the hot Florida sun was heating things up, they gave out bottled ice water too. They do a great job and it is no wonder they have been in business since 1937. I am proud to be in partnership with them. Look for good things coming your way from both of us at the next motorcycle rally you attend!
    This post was written in partnership with Progressive Insurance. I have been compensated, but the thoughts and ideas are my own.