Missouri now, flying through the town of Independence and the land of my Mothers birth. My Grandparents, Aunts and their families still live here but, I don’t have time to stop and say Hi. Any member of these United States of America has to be amazed while traveling through these parts of the country especially for a wild west born and raised dude such as myself. Over 100 years ago a bunch of people were sold on the idea of westward expansion and how much land, opportunity there was on the west side of the country. They all packed up what they had, got together inexperienced mule teams and wagons and spent many months from the spring to the fall to head west with their families in tow and very little experience of traveling. It was a migration above any of our comprehension today. These people, men women and children not knowing what layed in store and very few really knowing how to drive the teams of beasts they just spent their life savings on just, began and made it happen. Starting off from towns like Independence and just going west on the Oregon Trail, true, badassery. My hat or helmet is off to those types, that kind of gumption and moxie is hard to find these days in our human race.
Primus, “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” Tales from the Punchbowl, Interscope, 1995
Stopping for fuel again, same story, different Petrol station. Pee, coffee, water, fuel, check oil and add a little, and then the skoot and I do a few laps around the gas station parking lot to wax my chain, spraying under my left leg where there is a clear shot right at my chain because no, there is no i do not have on the stock chain guard, I tore that bitch off years ago and built one that’s really just a piece of 1 inch angle iron welded to the frame, parallel with the chain. This action of mine must look really ridiculous to the general surrounding public but guess what, I don’t care. Hitting the open road again and forgetting to remove my jacket, priorities I guess. Well, it is doing a good job keeping me from swimming through the air and, for now, that’s comforting. Sometimes this air can get just sticky and thick, very hard to move through, you really feel it with no windshield. Opening my cuffs and unzipping the jacket a little bit seems to get me a little air to my arms and chest. Also I forgot to call Ella back, crap, maybe next stop. I feel my clothes dry now and will just take the warmth and fight the fatigue, feeling good, but I am not exactly sure why. Naturally the adrenaline of running a race like this will keep you going for a while or keep you awake the night before in worry. I got a good 5 hours of sleep the night before this race at my Step Moms house in Barstow which happened to be right down the street from the Hotel California were the starting line was. Everyone in my family went to bed on time in their own beds in their own rooms. Ella and I made love twice and slept in each others arms like babies. Then we all woke up and came to the starting line refreshed and ready. I know some of my competitors did not sleep at all that night in their anxiety or anticipation for this race and most I am sure did not get laid. I am just having to move a little slower through this humidity, really having to lean into it and the machine is fighting a little hard to keep up. Why am I not home right now with Ella on her knees in front of me and her mouth and throat full? Hopefully soon enough this heavy humidity will leave me alone, maybe this fighting will become my new normal or comfortable. Yeah, I better get used to it because it, is now my norm, and will simply have to be operated in to move forward. Best to shut up about it and take it while accepting I left my hot young girlfriend at the starting line.
The road is smooth and clear, warm and dry for now, passing big rigs often and moving with the fast cars. Did you know yellow leather gloves bleed when they get wet? Yup, I have had yellow hands most of the day now. The gas attendant really noticed at my last stop. Time to ride, I mean really ride without interruptions. I got into listening to audio books lately, what entertainment to have someone read to me. Taking off my left glove, I scroll through my own personal library on my phone I pull up “The man who would stop at Nothing” by Melissa Holbrook Pierson. Wow, what a great book about the Iron Butt Association and the Man, Rider and Legend John Ryan, good motivation for anybody. I have to listen to every word as Melissa is that writer that writes straight on, with nothing assumed or left between the lines. It is all almost poetry and I better be paying attention or I will miss something. Wow I have got to think to myself, wouldn’t it be cool someday to ride like John Ryan? Well, it may not be in the cards and I am ok with that but YEAH, DAMN IT WOULD BE COOL TO RIDE LIKE JOHN RYAN. I don’t have to beat any of his records, but just to compete like he did and so many like him and around him. Unfortunately for all of us he was lost in a motorcycle accident a little while back, riding and doing what he loved to do on 2 wheels. I personally never figured out the exact story but feel the loss as so many of us roadrunner and racer types did. Ryan did some pretty amazing feats as fast and far as imaginable and beyond, all on 2 wheels. Enjoying the now of this muggy day, I can really think, enjoy, and admire his awesomeness thanks to someone who wrote all about it for us.
I think, yeah there seems to be another storm coming at me but I can’t see the end of this one. The cars heading towards me are just soaked and the rain starts, i pull over for another fuel stop. It has started to sprinkle but as soon as i pull to the pump island under the carport, it starts to pour. I look at my phone but cant really seem to make out which way the storm is heading. Thinking old school in this will be faster by stepping inside and trying to find someone coming from the east to tell me about the storm. I can hear the murmurs all about the gas station and find a man with 3 children sitting at a booth eating at the fast food joint attached to the gas station. I calmly approach him and his table and ask if he just drove through the storm? The table gets quit and yes that includes the kids as he says yes it is sheeting down and he had to stop. I thank him and smile as one of the kids, the son asks,
“What are you?”
The Dad shushes him while I smiled and responded,
“Oh that’s ok, my son is about your age little dude, he think, I look like a pirate!”
2 of the children laugh a little.
“But I am just riding on a motorcycle kid, It’s a good way to get around.”
The boy has a questioning look on his face, something like, “It’s raining outside dude, why are you riding a motorcycle today?” I’ll leave it to his Dad to explain. I smile and thank him again for the information, step to the counter and order a sandwich. I sit and watch the rain fall hard, can’t even see the skoot anymore which I left under the carport next to the pump, it’s not too crowded so I have no guilt in doing this for now. Finishing my sandwich, I walk outside under the cover of the portico, light a smoke and call Ella. This is my first time stopping to eat and smoke, simply a rare treat brought on by the rain. Ella is excited to hear from me and has a lot of questions. I give her the updates and listen to her questions, and try to answer them gracefully. Mostly she is in awe and not always sure what to ask as this world of racing is totally new to her. I ask her about her day so far but she does not have much to say as she is playing it off, keeping it distant from me. Oh well, if it’s important, she’ll tell me about it when she is ready too. Instead she goes into great explanation of how proud she is of what I am doing and she can’t believe how fast and far this race is taking me and, how she can’t wait to get her mouth on my cock. Wow that woman for being so young and inexperienced in these items of relationships sure does know how to put a smile on my face and my cock. Saying goodbye for now we hang up, yeah I am getting a little tingle at this point after that conversation but, it’s time to get back to the business at hand, racing. The rain should of let up by know, these summer storms usually come and go no matter how violent they are. I get to the skoot, get my suit on, stow everything as needed. The skoot takes a few tries to start, must be the heavy rain but I manage to coax it back to life and off into the wet, hot day I go.
Damn it’s hard to even find the freeway onramp. Everything is so wet and green and without curbs I’ll most likely slide into a drainage ditch if i’m not careful here. I made sure to get a mental map of the on ramp while still standing at the gas station but damn I am almost blind out here. It’s pouring and pounding rain, I just have to find a big rig and put it in front of me and trust them to see where I am going because the road, has disappeared in the haze of heavy, shin pelting mist. I take the wrong road and end up on a frontage road, next to a Honda motorcycle dealership. Well that’s nice and I am glad they are here but I don’t think I need any motorcycle parts right now, I flip a bitch at there driveway, very slowly then backtrack to the the on ramp. That probably looked really ridiculous to the fine people of Honda inside the dealership. I stop and wait for a moment on the side of the on ramp and see a nice big rig soon moving well in my direction. I hit the gas, jam the gears and get behind him, slowly at about 45 miles per hour, cars are still passing me in the left lane throwing a wave of water on me and the skoot. I have open air filters that will try to take on water if i let them so when a car comes on my left, I have to move or skate as it is now to the right side of the right lane behind the big rig then, I move back to the left side of the lane in hopes of being on the top edge of the road, avoiding the water shed or even worse, a puddle on the right side of the road. The funny trick is, I can’t always see the cars passing in the left lane, my mirror is pretty useless in all this wet. Most of the time I hear them as my earbuds are currently out and the wave of water they produce will hit me and my open filters from the side, which will cause the skoot to shutter a little as it tries to burn the water it is intaking with the fuel and air. For the most part, my legs guard the air filters and I move my saddle rag forward to assist in this, so it’s not that big of a deal but something else to keep on my mind to keep me and my skoot moving forward in this downpour of water. Go Bob Go, and Go Skoot Go.
The rain lightens up eventually after half an hour, I can open my suit a little to let some dry air in. Back at the last gas station I was too lazy to put my vest on and with my suit open now, it is choking me and trying to fly off my body in the wind. They just did not design this suit to be worn on a skoot without a windshield and with the front open and honestly that’s ok, I mean if they did it would be made out of leather, not the cool synthetic blend it is. Damn, I have to stop, this heavy suit choking me to death. Lesson learned, I will have to always wear my leather vest over my suit, the end.
I stop quickly on a off ramp but there is no shoulder. I find a side road to the side road and a parking lot of sorts, I pull over. Damn this rain is costing me time and the sky is still grey. Throwing my vest on over suit and putting in my ear buds, I crank the music and GO! The mist on the road is heavy but I make out the road as needed to move forward at a good and solo pace without having to follow a big rig. Sure I will be hitting rain again but after an hour, it does not come. I have to admit at this time i am just exhausted and cold and wet from fighting the rain as i did. I see a rest stop coming up and decide it is nap time. It may be the middle of the day and the weather may be drivable but I need to rest, if only for a few minutes. Pulling into the stop, I see a populated area near the restroom and a very un populated area right next to me. I park in the un populated area, next to a great stretch of well maintained grass at a nice 3 or 4 percent grade. Shut the engine off, dismount, lay down on the graded grass and pass out.
I dream of nothing and feel the cool air kiss my face. I can smell something and assume I must be near the sewer pump or something but I just don’t care at this point. I ly there, enjoying it all and resting. Eventually the rain start to kiss my face a little more then it gets real heavy. Then I feel a lot of wet on my face and hear people yelling. Opening my eyes to find a small dog licking my face and sit up to pet him. Of course he just barks at me and runs back to his owners. I have only been out for about half an hour I guess and look around, in a daze. Darn dog must of pooped near me. I look around and find dog poop, wait, there is a lot of dog poop, like, everywhere, i am even laying in the shit. Every few feet it seems there is more dog poop around me, shake my head in my helmet and wonder if I am dreaming again. The trees and green in this part of the country are so pretty and so different to what is in my dry southern california desert. I start to wonder if the effects of being in a different land is playing tricks on my mind. Wake up Bob, Wake up! I stand up and lean on a small four foot high metal fence post a few feet from me. There is a sign on the post that reads “Dog Area” and shows a picture of a dog, squatting. Somehow, I had chosen to not see the signage and take a nap amongst the dog shit at this rest area. Now I understand why this side of the rest area was vacant. Another car pulls up to this dog area as far away from me as possible and lets another dog out. Wow what an idiot I must look like in all my gear, leaning on a sign, next to my skoot, amongst the dog shit. I stretch, bend and sip my coffee next to my skoot for a minute then, will my body to walk the 100 feet or so to the restroom but first, off comes my helmet as to not scare the other occupants of the rest area into thinking they are under alien attack.
Stepping out of the restroom, a Man on an older harley has pulled up and waves to me. We exchanged hellos and he tells me he is local but going all the way to North Carolina for the cool Smokeout Motorcycle rally and hopes to get all the way over there in a few days, he asks me if i have heard of it?
“oh yeah” I respond. Then the oddest thing seems to transpire on his face, he looks down the front of my vest and reads the red patch on my chest STAMPEDE. His eyes get as big as dinner plates as he looks at me and asks in a high voice if I am one of the racers?
“Yup,” I reply.
Let me forward this conversation by saying very few people know about the stampede race. When someone notices my patch or asks me for an autograph, I always ask them for an autograph for being cool enough to even know what this race is. It has only happened 10’s of times so it’s pretty rare.
His mouth and mind start moving at a mile a minute with questions like when did you leave to start the race and wasn’t it started in Barstow California this year?
His eyes get as big as serving plates now as he yells, “IT’S MONDAY!”
“Yes,” I retort
“Well I’m a truck driver and I know Barstow California is like almost 2000 miles that a way!” As he points west,
“Yes, that sounds about right,” I state. Then the awkward silence.
I nod and motion stating I need to get back at it and start walking across the parking lot. He follows me as we chat only he is following a little to close and as I continue to stretch and move my torso left to right, I actually end up hitting him with my elbows a time or two. This does not seem to phase him as we give our apologies, he goes on and on asking questions in his excitement for this race. Then we get to my Cop Skoot and his questions go on and on. I am feeling a little impatient at this point with his questions but take it all as a compliment and do my best to answer all his questions in our chat. I get ready to move again, asking him his name and asking him to look me up at the finish line, at the railly, It would be good to chat with him there. He shakes my hand and waves as I start the skoot and pull away. Sometimes I wish one of the Jack brothers were around to run interference for me on such a talkative person. Jer and Willy Jack are some serious chop builders hailing from Durango Colorado and competitors in this race. They won’t get 1st place but they will finish in good standings and against all odds. One year Jer even competed with a broken leg, on a trike he built, unable to move but still moving down the road on his trike. We like to say there are those who can and then there is Jer who will just do, rather he can or not, his brother Willy is very similar. Both of them can really talk up a storm with anybody, I mean talk faster and with more excitement than most. A few times I have used this to my advantage and taken off while they are running interference with some stranger just talking us up. As soon as I pull away, the Jacks in hast can’t be out done by me, the one they call The Slow Bob so they mount and take off not far behind me, pass me and I catch me at the next stop, usually chatting it up with some stranger. Personally, I tend to be a little more introverted with strangers than I could be. In the future, I need to be more like the Jacks, just chat it up with who ever and enjoy life a little more.
Refreshed, moving again and excited that someone else is excited about what I, or what my competitors and myself are all doing out here. I have learned the hard way that when it comes to other riders on the open road, it’s easier just to tell them I am in a hurry trying to get to my ailing grandmother’s house in the next big town. If I go into too much detail they tend to get really uncomfortable around me as in a (that’s not real or this jackass is pulling our leg) kind of manner. I’m glad I could be open and honest with this guy and he got it.
My mind wanders back to this race several years ago where my Competitor Velarde Gonzalez and I were hopping over each other down the road for several hundred miles of Eastern Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas. From gas station to gas station I would stop, and hear him buzz by then I would buzz by, and could see him at the station frantically moving to catch up with me and so on. At one stop the store clerk, an older sloppy acting gentleman was a real jerk and had asked me where I was riding too. Thinking he was a rider himself, I told him of this Cross Country friendly race we were doing. He laughed and went into a big speech of how stupid us motorcycle riders are. Ok I thought, not a fan, whatever. So I laughed at him for jockeying a cash register at his age and got back to my skoot.
The next stop the young kid behind the counter came running out when I pulled up and I thought great, here we go again. Instead he marveled over my beat up old cop bike and then, saw the sticker. For this race we all get to place a sticker on our skoots that’s maybe 1 by 5 inch and they change every year in decoration. It’s always an honor to have one of these stickers or in my case, more then one. When this kid saw the sticker he marveled and awed asking me if I was competing in the Stampede?
“Aw, Yes,” I answered, ready for anything.
He ran into the small general store in front of me as I hobbled behind him, grabbed his backpack and poured its contents out on the counter which included several knifes, a few condoms, some hard candy and a few magazines. There was the latest copy of the chopper rag mag that covers this race. He quickly grabbed a sharpie and asked me for my Autograph.
I smiled and asked for his autograph in return. Like I said, anyone cool enough to spot me and know what myself and my competitors are doing, is a rock star in my book. I could barely write with the shaking of my hands had endured for that day but I wrote something on the cover and signed it for him in my common Bob, Flying M signature. I left that stop feeling the same rejuvenated feeling. I don’t need thousands of fan who like this race or follow what we do, hell I don’t need any fans. Regular good ole’ fashioned hospitality from the road and the fellow movers and shakers of this world is good enough. But every so often, it’s ok to take a shot to the good ego when a stranger in the middle of nowhere asks for your autograph, it reminds me that I, at this moment, am doing something that even other people think are cool, maybe it’s something a few others or thousands of others aspire to do. But now, it’s me, I am doing it, not them. Bask in it without too much pride, remember where I come from and keep on keeping on, this is after all, a race.
Turnpike Troubadours, “Good Lord Lorrie” Goodbye Normal Streets, Bossier City Records, 2012
And just like that, in the mountains now and climbing in altitude as I feel the skoot performing very well. I start doing some simple math in my head and realize, I think it’s been a while since my last stop for fuel. I can’t see any gas stations and I am in some type of mountain range. The skoot coughs a little as I switch to reserve. Skootin with the road as it goes up hill and down, to the left and to the right, and the next listen town on the marquee is 40 plus miles infront of me. Damn, I might be in trouble. I see another exit that seems baron but see a sign for fuel 2 miles up the road, I take it, hitting the part dirt, part paved road. Eventually i find the station back in the woods, this must be some type of old mining town. I walk in and the young lady working the counter gulps at me. I am sure my get up just look ridiculous compared to what she usually sees for her customer based. I pay cash and grab a fruit juice and another sugary treat, yummy. I pump fuel then look at my phone and realize my Mistress has called me and left a voicemail. I call her back and get her at work. She answers the phone terrible excited to have reached me. I give her the updates and she goes into her excitement about how proud she is of me. She reminds me to be safe and go fast. I thank her in my shaking and tired voice and get back down the broken road, back to the interstate.
I move along thanking God for a woman like her in my life who is happy to just be kind to me, and be my friend. We may not be sexual these days but she still gives me the respect of the man she sees in me. I have to stop my brain, this is a little ridiculous. Why would I even talk to her? When this woman and I started our friendly sexual relationship I was single as was she but that was months ago. Since then she has chosen another, she has chosen a life that looks good on paper with another man. She has chosen a life that any woman or anyone would be proud of and I, her instrument of sexual exploration l, her Dom was left in the dust.
The problem was I really had it in my head that she liked me, that she wanted me and had absolute desire for me and her together, but that turned out to not be the case. No matter how much I did for her sexually, she was ok to use me, as I have to be ok now to know that I, used her. Together we used each other as people do. I served her with every open hand slap, every bite to her soft skin, and inch of pain I gave her and in return, she obediently took all she wanted and thanked me profusely, again and again, for all of it. Everything has a beginning and an end, this, is the end of her and I. No longer can I think inappropriate thoughts of her, against my new girlfriend, against her new significant other, it isn’t fair, for any of us. This, yeah this needs to be a memory, just a good, glad I was there, thanks for the time memory. I just deserve better and deserve to be good to myself about all of this situation I let myself and my feelings get mixed up in. I’ll still talk to her, we share several friends and there is no reason to be weird or in mature about it but, a memory it shall be, and one I will have to thank her for when I get the chance.
As I ride out of this little patch of mountains, I hit another storm, this time, without my jacket or suit as I removed it at the last stop. I can see this storm the beginning and the end here at the summit of this mountain range. I ride through it, taking the small pains of the rain, I am thankful for it as it reminds me I am alive and with all that I have dished out in my life, even to the back and front side of what’s her name I just mentioned, I deserve this from the universe, what a blessing it is to be alive.