Archive for August, 2011

Waterloo Iowa. Finding a Starbucks in the Midwest is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Does it have to be Starbucks? Well, it has to have WiFi ( with electrical outlets) , oatmeal and coffee that doesn’t leave me with massive heartburn.

McDonalds will do if I have enough battery power and TUMS but really, it does have to be Starbucks. Yesterday, hoping to get to Wisconsin before the DMV closed; I refused to stop. I left Murray Kentucky at 7:30 am and arrived in Platteville, Wisconsin at 10:30pm. Had I slowed down and plotted my ride correctly I would have ridden the Interstate to Chicago and then ridden the Interstate to Beloit, arriving many hours sooner. But no, I can be extremely pig headed at times, much to my own detriment. I wanted to get as close to the border as possible and put myself on a straight line across the country so I plotted map quest to the furthest corner. Map Quest tried to tell me to keep to the Interstate but I refused to listen. So my ride was one of those all day lessons. I spent much of the day kicking my self, cursing Map Quest and finally saying; “It’s OK, I’ve never been on this road before; how interesting a new place, cheer up Al you may never see any of this stuff again!” In reality rows of corn look the same at mile 300 as they looked at mile 2. The smell of cow crap is well hidden in the interior of Illinois because I know I would not have been so saturated had I taken the Interstate.

I zigzagged all over Illinois and ended up close to where I would have ended up 5 hours earlier had I listen to Map Quest. I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. One leg at a time!

I pulled my bike close to the DMV, which by the way is only open on Mondays and Fridays in this town. Thank God my guardian angels took me to the right town at least. If they can’t talk some sense into me, they can get me lost enough to end up in the right place.

I put my bike cover over Tiger Lily and slept on her in a parking lot. The DMV people were in at 7, I was out by 7:15am and I’m a person again. Isn’t it crazy that a person can’t even rent a hotel room with out ID? Cold hard cash is not a motivator any more. Now they feel the need to Google you is much more important. Actually maybe I should have suggested that. My face is on Google; they could see I am me. Holy crap an epiphany!

I’m in Waterloo Iowa waiting for a break in the heat. I promised my sister I’d stop between 11am and 1pm so my brain didn’t get fried. And Starbucks is here. Yeah!!
From here I’m going to try I-35 to Sioux Falls SD and try to stay on the Interstate all the way across SD.



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Back on the road…

Yesterday I was standing under a bridge in the pouring rain in Florida waiting for a tow truck to jump Tigerlily and I should have called Herald Hitt of Custom Riders because I soon became one of the official members of Herald Hitt’s family. After Tigerlily was brought back to life by a very cute tow truck driver; Herald (OK it’s actually Harold but Herald fits him better) rode out to find me at exit 288, we rode through a beautiful late 1800’s Georgia town to the “Hit and Run B & B” (beer & breakfast). Herald served up hot meatloaf, cool melon and a cold beer while I washed the worries of the day away in the shower, then we talked till midnight about bikers and the loss of the biker culture. We haven’t made a set determination of whether it’s lost or just hiding; but in us (we two sitting here) it was still alive.

When I was a kid my favorite memories of the morning were the smell of coffee and the quiet murmur of guys around the table chatting about the state of the world. Being a military kid it was usually politics. Today Herald (Valdez), his friend Ray (Rat) and his woman Irene made my morning a blessed morning because we did just that.

I’ve said it a million times and my mind has not changed. Bikers are the epitome of God’s word. The outward expression of what we believe every good American to be. Pure to the core and ready to take you in if you give them the same respect they give you. (Posers not withstanding)

Thanks to Herald Hitt, my family grew exponentially today.

Today is a good day!

Off to Murray, KY.

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