American Road Runner, Chapter 11

Chapter 11

Pulling off that totally straight and tiresome of an interstate into a rest stop only to find 4 or 5 other competitors already asleep here. Their bikes are kind of parked near each other, all laid out in strange ways. One is asleep next to his bike lying parallel to it while another is perpendicular, one is just asleep on top of his bike. I turn off the engine and creep up hill to the very first parking spot available, several spots from them and, have to push a little to get there, damn my coasting uphill judgement really just sucks right now, I am sure my tired mind and body have something to do with it. I creep off my skoot quietly but breathing hard and walk far around the bunch of them, off the sidewalk and in the grass uphill a little to the restrooms to pee and wash my hands. I manage to see something odd on my way back from the restrooms, an older 60 something year old gentlemen who has competed in events like this before is sitting upright between his skoot and the curb. I stop and do a double take, he parked his old harley skoot almost parallel to the curb but a few degrees off than, sat on the curb and has is head with his helmet on resting against the front of the frame with one arm up on the front tire. This puts his head under the trees by behind the forks. He actually looks quit comfortable as he snores away but wow, never in a million years would I of thought to sleep against my skoot in such a manner. These old guys sure can teach us all a few things if we just open our eyes and ears every once in a while.

I walk or stumble down hill back to my skoot equally as quiet as before only to notice, I have left my phone on attached to my handlebars for all the world to see.  Humm, do many thieves hang around rest stops in Kansas on a monday morning and if they do, would they approach a motley looking crew like us on our skoots? I unzip it from its case on the bars, reply to a few messages, check a few comments on my posts and send a message to Ella letting her know I am somewhere in Kansas, I think. I lay down next to my hot and dirty moto cop friend who has been so good to me today, parallel with all my gear on including my suit and helmet as it’s not to chilly out but I am just too worn out to think about changing. Propping my boots up on the left pedal board, I cross my legs, cross my arms and close my tired eyes.

Naturally with how I was just falling asleep on the road with my skoot trying not to sway back and forth in the lane and all my tricks no longer working to keep me awake I am sure sleep will come easily but, it does not. The anxiety from being in a race like this can eat you alive if you let it. The anxiety from being stopped and not moving or making forward progress in a race like this is slowly but surely working it’s way into my body’s desire to just sleep.  Fighting the demons in my brain and reminding myself I am a somewhat seasoned runner in this race, there is just no reason for me to get so stupidly anxious about any of it, especially stopped. I lay there for several minutes before I truly find comfort on the ground and start to doze off a little. I have to admit to myself I am anxious about being stopped but that’s ok. It’s healthy for my machine to rest for a few hours and refresh, Ok, maybe that’s not true. I mean this bad arse machine has proven itself several times before, it likes to go and really does not need to stop as I have rebuilt it to do so but, telling myself it’s ok for the machine to stop, will work for now.

Every small noise, every large car I can hear and feel as it vibrates from the highway just a 100 feet away, almost calling to me, startling me back awake. The other loud gnarly dudes sleeping several feet away from me with all their snoring does not help either, crap!  I turn my music on as my earbuds are still in my ears under my helmet.

Judy Collins, “My Father.” Who Knows Where The Time Goes. Elektra, 1968.

Ella is naked sitting up in front of me on her knees on my bed while I’m laying down. She’s smiling, in all the ways she can for me while speaking in that slow sexy voice that drives me crazy. One of our girlfriends is with her as well, also naked and propped up on her knees. They are looking at me and slowly kissing each other and fondling with each other. Slowly, they crawl their way over to me, together with only one thing on their minds. They start kissing me, all of me, then Ella spreads her legs over me and begins to sit right on my face backwards. I can hear her continuing to make out with our third as I fondle and enjoy every square inch of them with my hands. The third is slowly riding and grinding my lower leg, leaving behind a trail of moist heat. Their sounds are becoming increasingly intoxicating as I feel them both reach for my cock. I can feel their tongues start to tickle my head then, I wake up, my eyes wide open and jump, my cock fully erect, ouch. My warm neck turtle has pulled up somehow above my nose, I can feel my warm wet breathe on it and it’s soft furry texture. One of my legs has fallen off the pedal board and is shoved under the skoot against the warm exhaust pipe. What the hell is going on here and how the hell am I having a sex dream in the middle of an illegal, cross country chopper race?!? FUCK!!!

Go Bob, GO! Yeah that, was a wonderfully strange dream and, terrible inappropriate giving the current task at hand. Above all now I have a minor case of cock ache and neither Ella or one of her girlfriends to assist me with it. I jump up and shake it off, wiping my face with my hands and looking around to make sure no one is staring at me, yeah ok, everyone is asleep. I do see that, a competitor with a scooby doo themed skoot with a mini keg on the back for a spare fuel cell has pulled up and parked right next to me and someone else has parked next to him. I wonder for a moment why they parked so close to me, do they think this some kind of party? I have to believe their motive is maybe safety in numbers and also, when I wake up, I will wake them up as well when I fire up my skoot. One hell of a pajama party this is turning out to be.

I throw my hand to my crotch and tuck my cock up into my waistband. I then rummage around my front bag and get my dopp kit, very quietly. Stumbling to the restroom I am reminded of my recent dream, with every step I take. I brush my teeth, apply more baby powder to the important regions like my pits, chest and my aching cock and even wash my face and hands. I wake up to greet the day and figure by my last known look at my phone that, I have been asleep about an hour and a half. Ok not as much sleep as i really wanted but it will have to do.

I walk back to my righteous cop skoot gleaming in the parking lot lights, stretching a little as I go. Quietly, everything gets put back in its place on the skoot and I get ready to ride. Slowly, kick up the kickstand, pull in the clutch and cost backwards. The off ramp for this rest stop is down hill. I back the skoot up so it faces against the arrow on the ground and start pushing downhill to the off ramp. I am going the wrong way but there is no traffic coming at me at 5 in the morning, as I get to the bottom of the off ramp I turn the key and start the skoot. Making a small right turn, I turn the skoot around and it’s back to the road, accelerating as slowly and quietly as I can. I think what I just did is, succeed in leaving the rest stop without waking up any of my competitors. I simply slipped away quietly, those guys are gonna be a little pissed at me, Go Bob Go!

Dave Mathews Band, “Two Steps.” Crash, RCA, 1997

The sky is slowly turning a lighter hue of morning gold, that beautiful color that only a June morning can provide and I get to ride east right into it, right into this beautiful sunrise on this beautiful day; what a treat for me. Kansas is beautiful and the road is straight, wide open and feels like it’s all mine. I push in my cigarette lighter, find my smokes box in the tank bag and lite up. Someday Mr. Marshall, someday soon you are going to quite this nasty habit as eventually, it will slow ya down. Slurping and enjoying my lukewarm morning coffee, with my morning smoke all at 80 mph, life is good.

I see a few truck stops and gas stations out here on these plains, scattered with no real towns attached to them. I figure they must just have water here or maybe the town is a few miles off the interstate? I always wondered who lives out here amount these beautiful green fields and prairie lands. I can imagine their family lineage in this area and these farming interests runs deep, this is when I wish I could stop. Just stop, knock on the doors of these farm houses and say HI!  I’m Bob. Na, my suit and vest might scare them. When I was 19 I got offered a job up the Northwoods of Wisconsin working on a christmas tree and ginseng farm. Yes that’s right, hundreds of acres of big beautiful balsam christmas trees and maybe 10 acres of ginseng plants. The owners of the farm had a daughter out in California who had married a friend of mine. I got to do a little of everything out there on this non traditional farm, even the hard stuff like waking up early with the rest of the family with Mom yelling down into my basement room to get me up. I mostly cut grass between the trees on a 4 foot wide tractor. I also learned to take great care of ginseng, wow that was a temperamental plant. Tightening the field covers, trimming the wild trees, weeding, spraying, fixing, welding, maintaining, you name it I gotta do it and even screwed a few things up.  The family I lived with there were wonderfully accepting of me even with my few mistakes, I learned a lot about family from them. Also care for the land, for yourself, for your equipment and so much more from those 3 months I spent working and earning. Sure a few neighboring farmers chased me away from their daughters while others did the opposite and asked me if I could take their daughters back to California. In the end I took none with me and left no offspring that I know of. To this day I use a lot taken away from that experience, I may live back in a big city now, in my little old house attached to a small public street but, I remember what it’s like to live in the middle of nowhere, and I loved every minute of it. Maybe one day when I decide to grow up a little I can have some land somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Run solar and wind power off the grid, raise my own crops and harvest my own fuel from the land. Maybe trade for what I need, be out of the laws of society, a true American Outlaw. Someone who simply does for themselves, with what they have invested their time and sweat into. Oh sure you still get to pay taxes on your land and road registrations for your cars and stuff like that so you still need some type of dollar income but, the more you do for yourself, the farther you are out of the matrix. If you can grow most of your own food, raise your own meat rabbits and chickens, use true horsepower to not pay taxes on petrol fuel or maybe an alternative like gasification.

Gasification sounds complicated to most but its really not. If you have enough wood on your land and a little mechanical smarts, you can build a gasification unit. Yes it’s basically a large smudge pot and you attach the exhaust to the intake of the engine. If you get the stoichiometry or, fuel to air mixture right it will burn and run all day long.

Maybe a large solar panel array built 12 feet in the air that you park your cars under for shade and, with some smart technology my Pops mastered a few years ago where the array slowly follows the sun allowing greater solar energy to be collected, now that would be cool. Maybe a few wind turbines as well. Hook it to a converter, and a smart voltage regulator with a small shed full of good ole golf cart batteries and bam, you are an electrical generating power plant. More importantly you are YOUR VERY OWN electrical generating power plant. You get to maintain it and keep it going but once you set it up and run it, you owe no man for the power it creates for you and your family. I reckon as long as ya don’t have 20 hair dryers going at the same time or have to run a welder all day you should be ok.

My other favorite has always been hydrogen. If you have enough electricity you can split the atoms of common water and make hydrogen and it, will really explode. With this electrolysis you can run any internal combustion engine, you just need a lot of amperage to do it, if you have the solar already, and it’s a bright hot day, you might as well run a generator or even an old farm truck or tractor off a portable electrolysis set up.

My point is it can be done, with very little if not any loss to modern convenience.  So long have we relied on petrol fuel and electrical power plants to do for us and keep us paying them for what energy we think we need. Imagine a man or woman or family working their own power, living off their own land and not paying the man. Those people are the true American Outlaws.  The true Americans who say thanks for the offer Mr. Big Corporation but I will be doing my business elsewhere, and by elsewhere I mean, myself. I hope to be this imagine of American Outlaw when I grow up.

And who opens a truck stop out here anyways? Well they seem busy as I can see them for miles before I get to them because there is nothing obstructing my view in this flat land. Just pretty green grasses and big petrol stations. I start to stretch and get ready for the day both physically and mentally. Some arm stretches, some leg stretches, some back movement and shoulder rolls. Can anyone guess what I will be doing all day? If I get lucky and keep my head on straight, the answer is running east in this race. Riding and navigating this rigid chopped skoot all day long. I lean forward on the handlebars and prop my feet back on the passenger pegs. It’s not terrible comfortable but it allows me to lay on my for arms in a different then usual position for a while. I start to realize as the light is getting brighter in the sky that the sun will be rising on the road almost directly in front me. How exciting it will be to seem like I am riding into the sun. I speed up a little in anticipation, I must be doing close to 90 now stretch out almost on top of the bike feeling fast and confident in the anticipation of the rising of our sun then, nothing.

Just like that, I feel the inertia of the bike slowing me down and push me forward. I look down and realize I don’t feel or hear the engine any more. I quickly jump and re position myself to my usually scheduled program of a sitting position. I pull the clutch and hit the start button but nothing happens. I find neutral then reach down to fiddle with the key and nothing.  My skoot is dead and not responding, I have to pull over and stop. I do so and realize there is only about 4 feet on the right side of the road of hard shoulder. I look behind me in my rear view mirror, no vehicle is in the slow lane right now. I take my gloves off and dismount on the right away from traffic instead of my usual left but yes I leave my helmet on.

 

I quickly realize that seem to have no power at all.  When I flip the key, the small l.e.d. indicator I wired to the headlight and whipped to the handlebars that showed my voltage is not even on. Ok, must be a fuse, that’s weird as I rewired this bike myself, and years ago. It’s really weird because I used to be an electronics technician. I can wire and rewire with the best of them so this, is odd. I built a mount for the blade style car fuses so I can easily get fuses almost anywhere as needed. I know I carry a few extra so here I go. I look behind me into oncoming traffic and see a few scattered big rigs and small family type cars coming at me but they are few and far between and, are merging into the fast lane for me on this two lane road. I open my saddlebags for a few spanner wrenches to unbolt my seat, I give a wave and thumbs up to big rigs and cars as they move over. Thank you strangers, they wave back, it seems we are all in this one together. I unbolt my seat and flip it almost straight up where I use the bungee cord that usually holds the back of my tank bag down to lash it forward to the handle bars. Yeah, I have done this a few times and some things I carry serve double purpose like, this old black bungee cord. I quickly find the bad 10 amp fuse, it looks like it is for the starting relay but not the main 30 amp fuse, just for the starting system as I have none of them labeled but it’s all in my head. I quickly replace it, turn the key, hit the starting switch and the bike fires to life. Humm, must of just been a bad fuse, I guess that’s possible but not likely. Resecure the mountings for the seat, replaces tools and miscellaneous parts back in their assigned saddlebags and I am off again, Go Bob, Go!

Rolling again, I merge into traffic and up shift then, comfortable lay back out on the bike. A few miles down the road I pass another big gas stop, wow, gas stations everywhere, lucky me.  Time to get comfortable again, the skoot, is skootin. Five minutes later, I feel the inertia give out and the bike throwing me forward again. Darn I think, something seems to be really wrong.   Same situation but a few miles down the road, I replace the fuse again, go to hit the start and realize, the start button is gone. All that remains is it’s small spring. I hit the spring and the bike starts then, an arch at the spring and the skoot dies, cool, problem solved. I pull the small spring out, cut into my right handlebar wiring harness and find the red and black wire for the start button, I cut them out and expose them. Another new fuse, seat back down and tools stashed and secure, I wrap one wire around the handlebars with about 10 millimeters of exposed wire.  I hold the other wire also with about 10 millimeters of exposed wire and I connect them and the bike starts then, I separate them as needed. I am moving now again, upshifting and getting back into the light traffic of a monday morning here on the west side of the great plains of kansas.

I look over and realize this wire is jumping around next to the ground of the handlebars. setting the cruz control, I reach way back on my left side and grab a roll of electrical tape off of a bungee cord. I have duct tape, electrical tape, hockey stick tape and now lense repair tape hanging from the bungee. With how far back it is I really cannot reach it but, manage to undo the front of the 12 inch bungee cord, slide the tape towards me and bam, it’s on my finger and I can re secure the bungee to a frame gusset as I had it before. Yeah that took like 10 minute but, I don’t have much else to do and I saved myself the several minutes of pulling over and the danger of the narrow shoulder. I pull a few inches of tape with my teeth and cover the wire, that makes me feel better, I would hate to engage my starter at this speed. I know the starting clutch would not really care but still, the better I can be to my machine, the better it will be to me. I pop the tape in my tank bag in hopes I remember to put it back on its bungee cord later.  

 

Wow do I have time to think out here. I slowly text Ella good morning but know she probably won’t be up for several hours. I take another picture of myself and post it as it adds my location to the post. I open my suit a little as the sun has risen which I kind of missed while farting around with that bad starter switch. The sun, our sun is right at me, staring me down reminding me, it’s going to be a nice long day of riding, moving as fast and as efficiently as possible on an hour and a half of sleep. I block that from my mind and take my time reapplying sunscreen. It may seem like a big deal to stop on the side of the road and fix something to kep moving foward but I must admit, I have some experience in this department.

When I was a younger man, I drove a big old white 1966 convertible Cadillac. My Pops bought it from an old lady out of South Central Los Angeles and I just fell in love with it. For the next several years my weekends were filled with small repairs and projects surrounding this wonderful machine. It needed some new heads which my Pops and I made long fun work out of. Then it needed upholstery and a new top which my Pops paid to have done but not before we hit a few junkyards and rebuilt all the window motors and a few other fun mechanical items. We stripped all the old cheap paint and putty off of it and sent it to a painter for a new white paint job. That took a little longer then expected as the guy worked out of his house in the next town over but by the time I was 16 it was a rolling machine I drove to high school and far beyond.  Needles to say it was kind of cool cruising around in that land yacht of true Detroit symbol of Americana. I lived in the city of Corona then, next city over from Riverside and attended Corona High School. My best friend Greg Doyle and I used to load up friends, (mostly girls) and just cruise. The interior of the car was large enough that 4 or 5 people, I mean girls to fit across the back seat and a few in the center of the front seat. They just had to be ok with Greg and I using them as armrests. Yeah I got into a little trouble with this fine automobile, hell I even got arrested and thrown in jail once but nobody died and sure, it broke down on me a few times, but never really left me on the side of the road. I just kept on wrenching it back to life and kept moving forward.

Within a year of cruising this beast around high school I was dating the head of the English Departments Daughter.  She was a wonderful young woman 2 years behind me in school and used to follow me around campus. Greg introduced us one day and the rest as they say is history.  Her and I had a wonderful high school love relationship and with in a year, she was pregnant with our daughter Meghan. We were both in a bit of shock to discover this but never had any question we were going to keep and raise this child and have our own family. Oh what a dreamer I used to be, to dream and think all of that at 17 years of age. Wow how I had so much to learn. Her Father was my English teacher at this time, I got a C in his class but give him credit for not beating the shit out of me. The day my Daughter was born had to be the most exciting day of my life. Without sin, she is the most perfect being I could’ve ever imagined. She is truly an angel and truly taught me what it meant to totally be in love with another human being, unconditionally. So it all worked out in the end, I got to rebuild a cool old car with my Pops and learn to wrench, got laid a lot because of said cool old car, and got a perfect human being of a daughter out of the mix. The universe is just awesome like that sometimes.

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