Monday, December 31, 2012

Yvonne Craig aka Batgirl

Was introduced in the final season of the Batman television series (1967-68). 
I think they should have brought her into the mix a bit sooner!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gateway to the West

Looks like I'm gonna try my luck down in ole St. Louie here soon. After returning from the road in October, after 5 months of riding through 26 of our 50 states, I've been having a little trouble getting back into to the swing of things. The plan came about to return to IL (from CA) and work for the winter, fix up the scoot, and head back out on the road when the weather and fundage were right. However I can't seem to find steady work here in Champaign and I was beginning to feel a little restless.

A few weeks ago a friend offered me a place to stay in St. Louis after she had just accepted a new utility job in the city. Jen rode along for the majority of the 26 state trip this summer after a few others that had planned  to join the adventure were forced to back out due to circumstance. Jen herself was forced back east early due to a motor that crapped out on her that we couldn't get fixed.

Oregon was a tough state. I had blown a hole in my lower engine case when I popped my drive chain at 70 mph in the middle of nowhere while entering the southeastern part of the state. We managed to fix that only due to a dear friend about 350 miles away that came to our rescue. But I digress...Jen's motor crapped out on the way back down through the state after we spent about a week-ish up in the Seattle area of WA.

She first started having troubles in Astoria, OR with the bike cutting out and not reaching full power. We limped along until we finally found a motel with a vacancy sign lit up. It was Labor Day weekend and everything was booked. I cleaned carbs, we both checked electrical, we swapped coils, set timing, cleaned points and did about everything we could think of before we started calling our friends across the country asking their advice. We finally procured a ride from the same friend, Duncan, that had helped me when my bike was DOA. He hauled us to our mutual friend Scott's garage in Portland where we thought we had the problem licked. So the next day we headed on down the coast.

Unfortunately we did not fix the issue and continued having problems for the next few hundred miles until after spending a week bouncing from motel to motel she decided to rent a U-Haul from Crescent City, CA, about 40 miles from where we had made it to in OR. It was the closest rental.

We took turns leading the way down the coast, her in the box truck and I on my chop. We made a stop in Santa Rosa where I had an old high school friend. While there we picked up another chop that Jen had stashed in Sonoma at one of her friends compounds before heading down to our friend Dick and Diana's place, between Oakland and Stockton. There we spent some more time trying to get one of these 2 freedom machines back on the road.

We did get the bike that we obtained in Sonoma up and running and made a few little trips during the 2 weeks we were there. We rode to Sacramento to see Cam and Chico to visit the Eubanks family, as well as a day jaunt to Yosemite. However that bike was leaking oil like a sieve and really wasn't worthy of a cross country battle, one that she'd be making alone. After much struggle with the two bikes she decided to haul the fuggers back east at the end of September. She had a job waiting in Chicago.

I continued my trek down the coast via Route 1, camping in Big Sur and staying with a good friend, Pete, just north of L.A. I'd tried to secure work while staying with him but didn't have much luck finding anything steady that would allow me to rent a pad, buy some groceries, what have you. He did hook me up with a gig doing Emmy Award tear down, dismantling sets and such, for the better part of a week and it paid excellent. The Bill Ferrell Company was interested in keeping my number but they could only offer me work as an "on call" basis.

While I was staying with Pete in Piru I took a few solo rides to Hollywood, San Diego to see Randy & Adria, with a few little day jaunts here and there to Ventura Pier and Ojai to see my friend Dawn. I was really hellbent on wintering over on the west coast but after spending a few weeks scraping my pipes while chasing Pete through the hills and canyons of the Malibu/Hollywood area I decided I needed to make a decision because my funds were depleting.

I headed back to IL in the middle of October, stopping to see my "sis" in Vegas and some friends in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Missouri on the way. I returned to my old stomping grounds in Champaign, IL and have been living with some friends and fellow Flatlanders but I haven't had much luck finding a steady gig here either. I've been fortunate to have some contractor buddies that threw me some work as they could and I've also been selling chopper parts from my stash to make ends meet.

With that in mind I have decided to move to River City for the time being. I'm hoping that my chance for employment there is greater and the move will satisfy some of this restlessness, or wanderlust, that I'm burdened with.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thunderdrome Race

Stuntman Mike's kickin' butt in the mini-bike races at the Thunderdrome, Detroit.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Vintage Pure Heaven - Mount Airy, NC

One of my earlier travels this past summer was to Mount Airy, NC. It is the boyhood home of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry, his hometown in the Andy Griffith show. My good friend Dock Merritt lives there. He is a collector and builder of all things with style. Jen and I payed him a visit in June, we were all gathering for an annual event at the Riders Roost Motorcycle Resort, and Jen needed some spokes tightened and her rear wheel trued, Dock had just the apperatus to complete the task. Not too mention we wanted to check out all his cool "junk". 

 Check out Dock's blog here:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sick ass CB750 Santee Swingtail for sale.

My buddy Matt is selling his chopper. This bike is killer and well built, he is an engineer after all.

The red long bike is for sale.

George the Painter representin' the Garage!

...with a sticker on the laptop.

Winter Shop Space

Well, I've landed back in IL for now, as mentioned. I've been looking for work and applying for jobs, but while no one has been calling back, I've managed to take-over and make-over the back room of the three car garage where I'm staying. I'm not quite 100% set up yet, but as you can see in the pics, I'm making progress.


After (in progress)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Werewolves on Wheels

I decided to go out after all and celebrate All Hallows Eve with some friends. After a quick look-see in the Halloween stash box I realized I had all that was needed to become a wolf man. However, I did get heckled with "Chewbacca" or "Teen Wolf" from time to time...but it's cool, I'll take it. The chicks dug "wolfie" too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jeremy Jones - Bikes of Bolts

This honkey rides his scoot like he rides his skateboard, FAR OUT!

The Road is calling...

...but I cannot answer. I spent the last 5 months travelling this country on my '72 CB750 chop only to return to IL just in time for winter. I tried to find a steady gig out west, to winter over in CA, but I could not. I did some temp work for a company that my buddy Pete works for, that does staging for the entertainment industry in the L.A. area. I helped tear down the sets from the Emmy Awards aftermath. However the company I was working for in Sun Valley couldn't offer me a steady full time stint. I had been staying with my gracious host Pete for about 2 weeks now, and after hemming and hawing over what to do, and receiving no phone calls from employers, I decided to head back east.
I left the Los Angeles area on Columbus Day and headed for Vegas. My "sister" lives there and we spent a few days catching up. That night, monday, we went down on the strip and hung out at New York, New York riding the roller coaster, eating and drinking. It was a blast. I decided to stay another night and Tuesday we just hung out at the house and had a home cooked meal.

From Sin City I had two choices, north to Denver or south to Phoenix. After careful consideration, I chose south. I wasn't ready to head back to IL yet, and that's what Denver offered. An old friend from IL had moved to Phoenix about a decade ago, and we hadn't seen each other since. We had tentative plans to do some riding and drinking. Unfortunately a few weeks prior Ross had been t-boned on his digger and was broken, confined to a wheel chair, but on the mend.

His crew in Phoenix had put together a benefit show with raffles and such to gain funds for his upcoming medical bills and time absent from work. I figured I was only about 5 hours away and needed to be there for that. I was looking forward to seeing Ross "Stickrod", too bad the circumstances were as they were.

I arrived in Phoenix wednesday night, the tenth of October, to be greeted by one of Ross' best friends, Brains. He also rode a CB750 chop 'survivor' that looked like something right out of the 70's. He greeted me as if we were old friends and no sooner than I pulled the first bungee cord off of the gear, he got a phone call. We were headed to one of the Phoenix crew's regular watering holes to have a "safety meeting".

Trapper was seated in a booth waiting for us and Kelly arrived shortly after we did. Ross' benefit was in 2 days so they were doing some final planning on how to run the gig as smoothly as possible. Thru conversation we realized we knew some of the same people, and were aquaintances with some of the same people. Another reminder of what a small world we live in.

The next 4 nights were a whirlwind of bombing the streets on our scoots and hopping from place to place checking out the girlies, keeping our thirst quenched and our bellies full. Ross' benefit Friday night went off without a hitch. A great turnout and a pile of cash collected, combined with great bands at a great venue made the evening a success. Ross was stoked to see me as it was a surprise to him. Last we'd talked I told him I couldn't make it.
I spent Sunday evening with Ross and his wife, Diana and their son. We visited and got to catch up more than we were able friday night. He had said something before I left that has stuck with me. He said "Man, it means so much to me that you made it here. This all started for me (bikes & skateboards) back in IL with you, Matt & Heath, and you're the only one from IL thats been out to visit. It means a lot."

I would have never thought of it on that level. I was just stoked to see an old friend in his new digs, meet his wife and son, and tell him how glad I was that I was still able to, that he was still here so that I could.

I returned to Brain's place later that night to get ready to head north on Monday morning. I had a handful of people I wanted to visit on the way up to I-40, before heading east to the corn desert of IL, that will soon become a frozen tundra.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On the way to New Orleans...

On our way to New Orleans this summer Jen and I rode the Natchez Trace Parkway south.The parkway is very scenic and untouched by development. Towns just off the parkway are accessible, but not abundant so we were very conscience them and of filling stations! This little town of French Camp in Mississippi was one of those stops, a cool little historic town...

Construction of the Colonel James Drane house began in 1846 using a water powered saw. The foundation and framing are secured with wooden pegs and the ceiling with squared nails. Moved to this location in 1981, the house is now owned and operated by the French Camp Academy. You are invited to visit the Drane House. The information station is in the 1840 Huffman Log Cabin. A sorghum mill adjacent to the cabin operates during the fall sorghum season. Open Monday through Saturday 8:30 to 5 p.m. Restoration of the Colonel James Drane home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places has been funded with assistance of a matching grant-in-aid from the Department of the Interior National Park Service under the provisions of the Jobs Bill Program of 1983.
Louis LeFleur first traded with the Choctaw Indians at a bluff now part of Jackson, Mississippi. About 1812, he established his stand 900 feet to the northeast on the Natchez Trace. Because of the storekeeper's nationality the area was often called "French Camp", a name retained by the present village. LeFleur married a Choctaw woman. Their famous son who changed his name to Greenwood Leflore, became a Choctaw chief and a Mississippi State Senator. For him are named the city of Greenwood and the county of Leflore.
A stone memorial marks a stage of the Natchez Trace at French Camp. The first highway opened through the lower south by the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 between the American government and the Choctaw Indians. The surrounding country became a part of the state of Mississippi. Here Andrew Jackson's Tennessee and Kentucky commands rested on their way to join him in his coast campaign in the War of 1812, during which second struggle for American Independence, Mississippi took a heroic part. Presented to the town of French Camp by the Mississippi Daughters of the American Revolution, November 10, 1915. (from the National Park Service)