Fuck. Where do I start?? I love my friends. Warren Jr AND Sr, my Chicago friends, my Bama friends, Cody (my milwaukicago friend ;) , Jeff, Jubb, Iowa friends, Kentucky friends, Midwest friends, United States friends, (valley friends let me down) but everyone I saw, everyone I hung out with, everyone I met, everyone who's path I crossed, I had an incredible time and I love you all!
I set out for 'RAMBLE TAMBLE' this past Thursday night at around 5:00 in the afternoon. Destination Bravetown. Warren Jr was kind enough to let me set sail on his legendary shovelhead. I was more prepared for this trip than any other I've had any part of. Boots and skate shoes packed, layers packed for any kind of weather we encountered, new gloves and an ACTUAL water PROOF bag to house my clothes and sleeping bag, not the water RESISTANT one I packed for thumbs up, which led to my clothes and sleeping bag returning soaking wet, an entire saddle bag packed with parts and 2 tool bags filled to the brim. I was not going to be the reason for any hold up on a trip consisting of over 30 bikes. As I found my way south I ran into some stiff traffic just before the Illinois / Wisconsin border, which led to the Super E carb that we had just rebuilt to start acting up and left me dead in the center lane of the freeway kicking as the lane disappeared in front of me and congest behind me, luckily enough a driver was kind enough to put his car in park with hazards on right behind me to shelter me from any danger. After I got that going and threw a thumbs up to the motorist, I was on my way. I stopped off 41 for gas and tinkered with the push rod and dialed in the carb, then headed back on the road. A couple miles down the road and about 40 miles from Bravetown I noticed out of the corner of my eye that a strap on my saddle bag was open, as I pulled onto the shoulder to close it up the clutch lever became rather loose in the process of down shifting. I tinkered with that a little bit, shifted the bike into and out of first and neutral a few times to make sure all was well, as the skies above me were screaming lightning I decided it best to just hit the road and examine the loose clutch at Bravetown, I take off in first and pull in the clutch to shift into second and pop*!... Something went wrong. I lose all clutch and all shift lever, pull off onto the shoulder to slow down and the rear wheel locks up. I take a step off the bike to the sound of "water splashing on flat rock" and walk around to see oil POURING out of multiple breaks in the tranny case and ratchet top....end of my trip. Or so I thought. Called Warren and Bravetown to see what the best plan would be from where I was, verdict was Sr coming to rescue me (huge thanks to him!) and Jr was awesome enough to convince me to continue my travels, bail the bike at Sr's garage, and hop in the van at Bravetown..
End Ramble Tamble for me and begin VANble Tamble! Brian Harlow, Johnny Ratchet, and myself all packed into Joe's Time Machine. 1978 Chevrolet G-10. Great fucking time. Harlow was The Captain, I was the roadie, and Ratchet was the entertainment. Soundtrack was perfect, temperature was perfect, and the view was perfect. The only problem was Annie "The Mosquito" who kept catching up to us and driving us (mostly Harlow) insane at every light. But we still got in the zone enough not to let her ruin everything. The boys on the bikes were making good time with little to no break downs. The longest stop was in shelter from the rain, where we took over Kenny's gas station, drank it out of mountain dew AND gas, tuned up all the bikes and I got to know a lot of the guys a lot better. Personally I had a great time there. The 6 hour ride from Chicago to Louisville ended up taking a total of 14 hours for the team I was with. And it ruled. 2 lanes! TLFFTL
I'm not even going to try and put the smoke town compound or the actual adventures of Kentucky into words. The best people, Ivan and Derek Snodgrass have the coolest shop around, and the most perfect party, firework wars, choppers, tent city, Black Sabbath, apple pie moonshine, everything. Ruling. Brad Rearden showed us around Louisville with a trip to the skatepark, a swimming hole (meth rock), and the most beautiful roads, in a convoy of about 20 bikes, loaded to the brim with piles of smiles. Not to mention watching Kurpius majestically guide his bike around as he took photos of all of it. I swear he actually cut a piece of his brain and a piece of his heart out and installed it into his motor with how in sync he is with that machine. And I got to witness all of this from the view of Duane Haints' 'Panther Crew' shovelhead / recliner.
I may have slept a total of 4 hours this weekend, as I wanted to stay awake and soak in as much of this weekend as possible. And I don't regret a second of that. As I currently sit here in the back seat of Emily's car, with the new Mogwai playing as I narrate this weekend, I could honestly tell stories for days. But I'm not going to. If you want to hear more, I'll be at The Valley from 4 till midnight every day till my bike and all the others are on the road. Feel free to stop by and pick me up. I have no problem riding on the back of a bike and I will tell you stories as we sit on the side of the road fixing whatever is broken on whoevers bike and drinking mountain dews.
Thank you so much Warren Jr and Sr, thank you so much Bravetown (Cody) and Haints, thank you so much Jeff and Jubb, thanks to everyone I met along the way and anyone I'm forgetting, and anyone that gave me a ride on their bike, and especially Duane and Kyle, and thank you Harlow for driving the time machine and Ratchet for being entertaining, and a HUGE thanks to Joe Suta for letting us take the van. Hopefully next trip I'll be on my Panhead giving someone else a ride so they can enjoy life as much as I am right now.
#valleylife #rambletamble #bravetown #VANbletamble