I remember when the drag races where populated by an un diluted type of person that drove around in pack rat wagons and bagabond buses to raise their children in a mechanical gypsy drove around the nation. Every event filled with people so pationate that their megar funds could be seen on display in the pits, but everything was hung out on the track. Kids stacked up on scooters and little red wagons modified with 2 stroke engines blasting past you with the puff of purple smoke and the vision of a 10 year old with a shit eatin grin. I almost forgot all those memories of this camp ground folley on the side of strip, if not for this last installment of the the Phoenix Super Chevy Show. I went for some crank and rods for my '83 Suburban that has spun to a different tune lately. There was cones set up in front for track racing and a very small group of cars attending, a few ticket wielding straglers sticking and leaving the sides of the track like the plaque in my arteries. At first it appeared as the place we got processed into consumers, coming in the gate in a hurried single file line and leaving holding bags and catalogs while wearing shirts depicting this or that vendor.
As I slowly made my way around I realized I was in a unique place in the best of times. The economy sucks, everyone is effected and these type of events are actually costing someone money. I enjoyed a day at the track with some of the best and most severly pationate people, everything that was ok 10 years ago and the liablility neigh sayer isn't paying to go right now. I'm not saying everything is legal, it just didn't bother anyone that was lucky enough to be in the pits fielding a car this year if your 12 year old moved the truck to the back of the lot. I had lunch with the Nierdam Family and at their family camps they run two jet cars. The brothers came in and out of the trailers making little adjustments and modifications to the few bits of the cars that could be tweaked as the father looked on and the women attempted to wrangle the kids into some form of order. I was given a nice embroidered shirt to wear down to the line and shoot some pics of the cars as they staged and raced for one last time. This was of course the point my battery died and I spied a young girl with a very big camera and asked her to double her exposure of the two jet cars, hoping secretly that this math problem wasn't boggling or that she knew enough of photography to attempt the term literally with a digital SLR. As the cars staged the parachute popped out of on of the cars and the other took off. Not holding a camera any longer and wearing the team shirt I hopped the rail and headed to the jet car as the turbine whined down. The crew chiefs sausage fingers couldn't fenese the parts together at this level of heat and everyone around the car is screaming, the fans in the stands are waiting...this was my moment. The crewchief packed the chute and held it in the spring loaded can as I pulled the cover over the top, lined up two very small parts and yelled to the driver to push the lever forward. It took two tries to nail it and the motor fragged the last two stages of the very expensive j-60 pratt and whitney turbine on that run. We went back to the pits to observe the damage to the Strike Eagle. The Nierdam Family is a great bunch that take everything in stride. A huge spread of food was brought out from a number of places and a few other players from other trailers where happy to swing by and say hey for a plate and that was fine by everyone.
The event itself was a bust. The stands where empty and the pits spotted with random transports. The car show was a great quality of craftsmanship, but still not the volume of cars that I rememeber it. I walked around the pits and meet a number of really great people all out to have a good time. The reality of the times was evident as every complement I gave a car owner elected the same responce, "The car is for sale" and then rather than chatting up the car the spiel to sell the thing that sacked the morgage or marrige was given an opportunity to live a new life.
I saw a rig there that really made me believe there was hope. A big rig with a huge sleeper on a single axle. Balanced on a channel beam was an old roadking, between the gas tank and the passenger side duals. The trailer was an old semi trailer with a home depot door in the home side of the tug. This guy did not offer to sell his car to me, or his bike. It was a beautiful day to be at the dragstrip, the loud cars and offensive language were a welcome thing for me, before I head back to my full time job of tip toeing the line of liablility and attempting to offend no one on my way through the day. Do yourself a favor if you cant afford it, you deserve it.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Thursday, October 06, 2011
I can't really explain how great life really is. Maybe its the cloud of narcotics and wine, but really its the awesomeness of living in the history of my long life. Riding the same bike I learned on over and over has given me and endless experience of wow. I traded the shaded shield on the v2 helmet for a cleary(hollywoods term) It's an experience listening to the engine only as I idle and ride down the road wearing my helmet of sound. The wind and other sounds are bleated as the sound directly below me is heightened and I ride around feeling like I need some feeler gauges to check the clearance of my shim under bucket v4 below me as I head to the book store for some unwinding of gears from the simple trip. I am enjoying the good life. Today I wasted my money on a heart monitor watch and chest band as well as some work out clothes. For a guy that rides a motorcycle, watching your health seems like an oversight of some sort. Here is to my brother the cop who on my insisting says he will make some sort of changes to make his health better. An ironic thing I am worrying about the health of my brothers in arms, when in chance anything but the opposite should be taking place. Why is it that the most insignificant of options for most would be the most important to another in the same DNA chain. You give me one, ONE, one more functioning protein link and by god what would I be. What would I give you. Is it my lack of clotting that gives me super human abilities of simplicity of education or with it and without the disorder would I be as awesome as my father, I have five brothers to answer the 50/50 question and the answer is no. I don't think anyone has answered the call or maybe the call has passed with time as the dawn of ages begins with out the sunset of another. I think we are all awesome in our own way, others fail to notice. For those still reading, the wine is taking effect and I would like to speak directly to your tempertempanic as I murmur something I should not know. TIME IS WASTING. Life is a gift that we all take for granted, youth is plundered everyday, this something we can see and agree on, but the thing you may not see is you are still young. Your definition of it is changing as you age, but as others age around you, it does not. You are still young, you are still mobile, changing, placid life. Live while you still can, die with no regrets. I hurt, we all hurt, hurt more, faster, better, become what you are made of and make something of yourself before everyone forgets you in some matter of dust or rock. Life is not what you make, its not what you do for yourself specifically. Steve Jobs, a very rich man, died at age 56...a success, a great man. What do you leave behind. bodies, people that depend on you, that spawned from you? What example do you leave behind. Are we worried about a longing memory or a longer epic entry in history. What spot in history did my father leave behind. ME! You? Lets make it happen together. I'm not enough for the memory of even one person, let alone two. So lets make our true potential shine though, lets make the impossible seem tangible, realistic and practical. Lets bring the moon a little closer and hollywood a child time story. We can be anything, why choose mediocrity. Why does every channel on the TV make Idiocracy look like a parable. If stupidity is popular, I want to be a super nerd.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Ok so I know its been a while, lots has happened. Megan and Eve moved to Texas, I moved into in home care and riding my pops bike most places. These are the most bike relevant pics I balanced the front tire and picked up some wipers (fork seals), put a new tube in the back, went to Macayos down town and hicking in North Scottsdale (gateway), I also got a new tinted bubble shield for my V2 helmet.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Well the last part of the trip was a straight shot, due to time. I still made a few unscheduled stops, they make every trip the adventure it is meant to be. One of the differences between a road trip and a motorcycle trip is your visible to everyone, so the person stopping me for road construction starts up one of the few conversations she will have that day. Every motorcycle operator in 31 degrees threw out the low peace sign signifying 2 wheels, like a fraternity of like minded or absent minded individuals. I had been following a van that was going slightly faster than I like to ride the Madura (70 mph) due to the pleasure of wind buffeting it provided. The driver caught up with me at a gas stop and confronted me. A Japanese man in his 50's approached, "You follow me?" I said yes and he continued, "You follow me!". I didn't know what he was attempting to say with that statement and my tank was full, as I suited up, he ran over to a stand and pulled some pamphlets out and ran back over, "You follow me, you come!" Pointing at a tour map to a spot a few miles down. This how I ended up on a Japanese tour as the only english speaking individual. The others appeared to be college students, I pulled to the front of the trail head and parked the bike. It was kinda warm compared to the brisk weather I was riding in earlier and I still had 3 layers on the bottom and top, after I lost the leather jacket, gloves and helmet. Everyone met up shortly after and made a run for the top of the hill, I was admiring how this gent was showing up the 20 yr old kids as I walked up. As I neared the summit of the 100 yd hill, completely out of breath I realized the key to the bike was in the pocket of the leather jacket with my wallet, laying on the seat of the bike. My laptop also strapped to the passenger papillion, the full weight of my liability before me I felt like the rural area of Page, AZ and the horrible shape I am in warranted the calculated risk. The distance covered and left to cover looked marginal and my mind never fully made up I descended to the mouth of Horseshoe Bend sick with worry. All the while the tour guide continued in broken english and excellent Japanese, pointing out plants and wildlife as well as soil condition, rocks that break in your hand, sand, soil and rock planes existing feet from each other. These things I watched not speaking fluently in Japanese. As we neared the mouth the guide asked something of the students and the only female in the group grabbed my hand, my short ego boost was blasted as I realized we were all linked together and walking in a line. The guide made a loop around a oval rock telling us to watch were we placed our feet. We stood facing him and he said to take 3 steps back. Not watching us, but watching our feet. I 2 counted steps, before he said, "won", "true"(step) "tree" (step). We looked up at him for further direction, no one holding hands now. The guide simply said, "now tuurnn round." We turned a foot and a half away from the edge of drop off. I'm not sure exactly how far down it was, but I stifled the urge to scream like a little girl and the worry of my trip faded in the shear terror of sure death after a very long fall. After a little while it wasn't so bad, I enjoyed it immensely, but I had road to cover and the ache of liability soon returned and I began my assent to the top ahead of the group. At this point the fear instilled in all of us gave us a bonding point that if I ever see them again, there will be no awkward moments and instant friends. I feel fairly close to every person in that group. I made it back to the bike and piled on most of my clothing and took off waving to the group just covering the top of the hill. This accidental 30 minute stop defined my whole trip and is why I will always leave time for things like this when I can. The rest of the trip slowly sped up as I and the bike grew together and my apprehension faded to resolved reality. The bike ran better and better as I rode and my original fears faded into appreciation for every dollar spent on the maintenance of such a fantastic machine. I originally thought that Suzuki only made the madura for 3 yrs or so, because it was a failure to launch vehicle, with no core audience it made no purpose to build, but now I believe it was so over engineered and expensive to manufacture that they had to pull it from production. A V-4 overhead valve, water cooled, 6 speed with overdrive and shaft drive, great fit and finish. The only real complaint was the bike sits this 5'8" rider directly on my tailbone making no comfortable long term riding mount. It holds 3.5 gal and gets around 40 mpg, leaving me with my 2 gal gas can simply for lazy side of the road fueling to increase range between stops, made unnecessary by the absolute need to stop every 2 hrs to give my but a break.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Well it isn't an adventure if everything goes as planned. So far I feel very fortunate. I had a great trip, Paula sorry I had to leave early, now you know why. I had so much fun visiting with the few people I was able. It's nice to visit home, but it continues to change so much it makes me feel either old or under educated that I think it should be right to walk your dog with out a leash and let your kids ride quads down to Bestway for a coke, without a fine for a jobless town. Its still good to see that most people have not changed too much. Thanks to all the family that helped out, hung out and chilled with me. The bike was running great and the weather is cooperating, the new fuel pump relay seems to have done the trick. I am driving deliberatly slow for many reasons, so I don't expect to be back in town early. Its about the journey, much love for a gentleman named Jon, who is on the Main Street Commitee in Panquitch, Ut. He not only stopped and picked me up when the bike broke down, he came back and picked me up.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
$40 dollar speakers and a 20 buck amplifier, both the must have items from 89. I remember reading about these in Playboy at a hefty price tag so when I saw them @ my local goodwill, I had to have them, I put them on pass through rca's on my stereo amplifier Megan's mom left behind and pulled an input off the back of the Vizio for remote volume control. This system is just plain stupid. Turned up (once) I can watch the glass move in my apartment and can hear everything crystal clear from about 200 feet with the door closed. Thank goodness all my neighbors work during the week and Frank is near deaf (not my doing). Megan took a pic of me heading to work and through some dirt bike googles of our back yard. I have only been commuting to work, so no new bike pics. Hence the pic of dinner, not a vegan...