Good Times & Bad Times & Good Times

I hit the road Friday afternoon.  Packed and buckin' a 40mph headwind.  Windy as shit.  I get to the first gas stop and noticed my new "Mighty Max" battery is dead.  No lights.  I get out the tools, plug in my battery eliminator - back-in-business.  I go 65 miles to the next stop - and see my canvas tool roll (loaded with all kinds of special tools for my chopper) and my new rain suit pants and jacket are gone.  A sole blue bungee dangles in the wind - my pack is loose.  My kit had some expensive tools, vintage tools and sentimental tools given to me by motorcyclist who used this stuff for years . . . and they were happy to see me have it.  It was a mental downer to say the least . . . The wind was out-of-my-sails for this ride.  I gassed up and rode back about 10-15 miles - nothing.  I decided to continue on - anyway.

I run the Hwy 65, Hwy 30, back on I-35S with a gas stop in Ankeny, Iowa (America's overcrowded shit hole).  Fake fuckers everywhere on phones wearing Under Armour bullshit.  One stop light went through 3 sessions before I finally rode over the grass and sliced through "stagnant traffic" proudly wearing my Splitting Lanes helmet decal . . . just to get a gas pump that was so close the last 10 minutes - I could have thrown an egg and hit it.  Never, ever, ever go to Ankeny, Iowa !  Gassed with a new harder attitude, I blast back out on I-35 in rush hour traffic . . . pointed south to Des Moines.  Hand shift, no front brake, (lights? - I don't even know if my brake light is working, and unless I hold my hand up to my headlight, I don't know if that's working either - I don' t really care right now.)  I blast into the heart of DSM, left lane I-235 - I take the Hwy 69 Exit - and in 20 minutes - I arrive in Indianola - the stop for the night.  Indianola Bike Nite with over 4000 motorcycles.  Crazy.  

I meet a guy named Cactus who invites me to his vintage motorcycle show on Sunday.  I meet a lot of really cool people.  I decide I need a stiff drink - so I head to a joint called "The Garage."  She does me up a good one. 

This band of "dudes with rhythm" is playing in the back.  They are really good.  They play Stevie Wonder, then Prince (dearly beloved, we are gathered here . . .) then bust into Pharrel Williams "Happy" and I kinda like that song . . . and they do it great.  After about a half-a-dozen songs, I had enough and walk outside to see that "Nick" guy checkin' my scooter.  You know Nick from all the Ku Fu Tap photos . . . he's pretty cool and knows his old chops.  It was fun talkin' with him and his girl.  Now I'm hungry, and a local suggests Winn's Pizzeria . . . and it was one of the best pizzas I've ever had . . . from the crust to the cheese.  My little motel with the dirty floor (my socks were black) . . . but the sheets were clean - and the TV worked.  Just in time to see more of The Roosevelts.
The morning had heavy thunderstorms - so I went around to shops trying to get a new rainsuit - and get my lights working . . .
I wasn't really impressed with the "Harley Shop" on Hwy 65.  They had rain-suits as long as you wore a Small or a 3XL.  I stood by service, nobody said hello, good morning or fuck you.  If you want women's designer clothes - they have a very nice selection.  The only thing they seemed to be proud of was the FREE food at Noon . . . Huge tents, chairs . . . yada, yada, yada.  I left and went to the Jap-Bike shop (Van Wall Powersports) where he helped me with my lights, and gave me a sweet deal on a rain-suit ($25) and a hot cup of coffee.  They had all types of oils, bike tools, etc for the motorcyclist.  It gave you a nice choice.
A really good shop - and he suggested the Crouse Cafe for breakfast . . .

I ate like a king . . . I went through the buffet twice: real scrambled eggs, sausage, hickory bacon, strawberries, 3 types of melon, real cut baby potatoes, hot caramel rolls, eggs Benedict, egg casserole, cheese potato casserole, hot apple crisp, biscuits with hot sausage gravy - and a great hot cup o' coffee with a tall glass o' ice water . . . damn it was delicious . . . and cute college server gals.

I was just tired and spent after all this . . . with variable lights, my generator making a grinding sound - and it's raining again - I make a heavy-hearted decision to turn back.  No Kansas City - again.  I've been derailed on my quests for KC since May.  A flood, an injury - and now a mechanical.  I'm kinda dejected - but Ricky told me . . . "It's better to have tried, and had a failure - then to not try at all." which are very good words to live by.  Thank You.  On my way back, I get to Collins, Iowa - and it's looks like a freakin' tornado ahead.  I'm riding in bright, hot sunshine at the moment.  The temp drops about 20 degrees in 2 miles - and it looks bad ahead.  Then, there's a detour !  A farmer, driving a totally radded out rust bucket Ford - tells me to take this gravel a mile or two - and you'll be right back on 65 again.  For gravel, it started out not too bad, but over a slight hill - it turned into chopper Motocross.  Slick, soupy sandy shit - like quicksand.  I could hear the mud and slime clogging into my front-mount voltage regulator - hell, I don't have any lights anyway - who gives a shit?  Right?  I finally meet up with my friend Willard & Jodi at a bar called "Flatheads" (named after the catfish) in St. Anthony, Iowa.  Another 80 miles and I'm home.  I need a drink, and some rest.  The bike gets parked - it's ragged out - but running like a champ.   
A 360 mile Pointless Adventure?  
But not - depends how you look at what life throws at you . . .


Hux said...

Great story Ricky....adventure never has a down side.

B.C. said...

To bad about Ankeny,used to be a right sized town,but that was 70 or 71 last time I was there.
Nobody fell down and you found good eats,good trip.