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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Welcome Back Cowboy!

After a lengthy sabbatical from blogging, I thought it was high time to dust off the keyboard and try to remember how to start a new post in Southern Comfort!

First off, I was somewhat startled to find that almost 64,000 people have visited the blog, with the most-read posts being those about Sturgis (surprise!), all the how-to articles for the Joker custom work, the Bagger Wobble articles, and amazingly, the post about #4, my Manco Thunderbird mini-bike. That last one actually is a shocker. Who knew? I guess peeps go to that one when Google-ing for info on that bike which, by the way, has just about doubled in value in just about a year. Cool. (Or maybe I just got it for a bargain-basement price. Either way, I'll take it.)

MANCO Thunderbird. Made in Indiana!

So I left off, back in July or May or ???, by telling y'all I'd bought an enclosed trailer, got rid of the 4Runner, and bought a truck that could pull the damn thing. It didn't hurt that the new truck was a 2008 105th Anniversary Harley Davidson F150 that just happens to match my 2008 Softail Custom Anniversary Edition. I had to buy it, right? Hell, it almost matches my trailer too!

I've been real happy with the truck, but I have had a little trouble. A hole in the radiator cost me $900, and a cracked exhaust manifold cost another 1800, with a set of plugs, filters, and a belt thrown in. Still it's one bitching truck, and has no trouble hauling the trailer.

And what else......Heck, there's been so much.

Well, I took off in August on the spur of the moment and headed south, ending up in Maggie Valley, NC, making sure to run Tail of the Dragon on the way. This time, though, I was on the new Limited, and I'm here to tell you, that ain't no XL1200N. I still managed to get 'er going, though, and I've got myself a citation just to prove it!

 "Sir, do you know why I pulled you over?"

 While in Maggie Valley, I hit Dale Walksler's Wheels Through Time museum, and wow, what an experience. I met Dale and his son, Matt, who were great, great people. The museum is simply beyond description. There's more antique US-made bike stuff there than I've ever seen, and all displayed in some remarkably cool ways....period displays. And Dale occasionally blasts through the aisle on one of the bikes. Fast too!

Matt and I talked at some length about the idea of setting up a small machine shop in the area to support bike builders and (I thought) restoration. Turns out that Dale and Matt rarely use the services of a shop. They will wait to find an original part as much as A YEAR before having one made, preferring only the real McCoy. He said they might only use a machined part once or twice a year, and only for parts that simply don't exist. In short, if I set up a shop in Maggie Valley, Dale and Matt won't be my biggest customers!

And sometime before 9/11, a few complete idiots organized something billed as a Million Muslim March ON 9/11! Really? Suffice it to say that word traveled fast within the biker community with people riding into DC from all over the US, and I was proud to ride with some veterans, meeting in the Virginia suburbs and riding in en masse to descend on the Capitol, looking high and low for the Million Muslim rally. Fuck them.

Turns out less than 20 of those assholes showed up, with more media coverage people and security folks than participants. Meanwhile, the biker community had thousands and thousands of riders show up, and on almost no notice. Some rode for days and days just to make the final ride into town. Again, fuck that bunch of assholes (They pissed me off. Can you tell?), along with the people that wouldn't give the bikers a permit to demonstrate. Needless to say, we did anyway.

Cowboy, Chuck, Rick, and Murph

Clubs, and even the police, called a truce for this run.

Lots and lots of bikes at our meet-up. Similar meet-ups were going on in locations surrounding Washington, DC.

We had to eat, right? Murph, Bobbie, Chuck, Rick and Cowboy at Hooters, Fairfax

In late September, I made a run up to Brooklyn, New York, for Indian Larry's Grease Monkey Block Party, and damn, what a great time that was. The cops had city blocks blocked off and a good time was had by all, and especially me. That was my first time riding in New York City, and once I got the hang of dodging yellow cabs, it was fun! Well, not so much fun that I'm doing it again next weekend, but certainly a whole new motorcycle riding experience for this kid.

And in....heck, I think October....some great friends of mind invited me up to a cookout. These people were around at the very beginning of Hells Creations MC getting started, and some I've known for a lot of years. It was just so great to see everyone. One of my great friends, Bob C, said he had some photos from way back when, and here's a few of those pix to close up this post. Thanks, Bob!


Spider & Cowboy, '72

Cowboy & his K Model Chopper

A line of bikes...My purple bike in the middle

Spider RIP