|From Behind My Eyes - The Adventures of Tim Stubbe||
This is a very strange Memorial Day Weelemd for me. Usually it would be spent with the family, but this year it was different. Spending it with a bunch Veterans and just visiting. It was very different from my expectation. The people I was with were all in Vietnam about the same time a I was, and though I expected to hear war stories and rememberances, but to my surprise it was just good ol'neighborly talk. Probably because on the Ride here we were way to exhausted to waste in on War Stories.
I made new friends and enjoyed the various converstations I was in. Also spending the Memorial Day in the Nations Capital much more humbling than a patio in Rancho Cucamonga though I wish I was there this evening. Alas Tomorrow I get to start my leasurely meandering south toward South Carolina on a couple of the best motorcycle road in the U.S. Skyline Drive (shennadoah NP) and Blue Ridge Parkway. Last year I rode a small portion of the BRP and am looking forward to some rocking chair curves and use some of my sidewalls rather than the flat spot on the bottom, signifying the National Interstate roads I've traveled to here so far. So this Memorial Day is much more solemn and intospective tonight. LIFE IS GOOD
To steal a qoute from Neil Armstong "THE EAGLE HAS LANDED". That exactly the feeling I had when I rolled into Manassas, Virginia and the Quality Inn there. This last 3000 miles have been one of the most frustrating, agravating, intense, emotional, and phyically challenging things inside or outside of motorcycle riding, I've ever done.
Heat (105 in Needles), riding challenges (riding with 550+ bikes in a group), Rain, Hail, Lightening & Thunder instantainiously, Tornado's, 30 degree riding in light rain. Oh yeah FOOD POISONING!!! To be honest there were times I was ready to toss in the towel and head home. It was that refuse to fail mechinism in my genes that kept my head down and press on.
So hear I sit unpacked, and relaxing with the thought that I had done what I set out to do. Thinking about the last 10 days and making some notes for a later time when I"m more contained.
Your comments and FB posts of encourgement and sympathy really helped me get through this and probably make me a better person for it. A special thanks to Dan McGill in Wentzville Mo for helping me get my bike out of the mud and give me a place to dry and sleep that night. To Mark and Suzie Fenton who opened their home to me in St Charles while my bike was being fixed.
So tomorrow I have a few places to go. Lincoln Memorial for a group pictrue and a Southern Cruisers meet who's 1st Officer runs a Royal Star Forum and invited me to come over. Sunday will be the big day "Rolling Thunder" estimated to have 500,000 motorcycles to demostrate for POW/MIA accountability 1200 will be from our Rancho Cucamonga to DC RFTW ride.
Think I'll walk over to the City Grill (again) and have a light dinner and relax the rest of the evening.
I"m actually considering adding a day here in Manassas to explore a bit. Then head out Tuesday. Another down day wouldn't hurt me either.
Got the bike back Wednesday about 5pm and decided to get a few miles in before settling down. Got to Montrose Il (130 miles) found a small (no frills) hotel and slept like a rock.Got up Thursday morning and headed out early hoping to make up some time. The day was pretty uneventfull.. A bit of light rain between Indy and Columbus. Ate lunch on the run at a fuel stop, BeanyWeenies and a Gatorade. Rolled into St Clairsville OH, right on the West Virginia line next to Wheeling, about 5pm and search out a hotel. Got a nice meal and crashed into the pillows. With about 309 miles left to my hotel in Manassas, I can almost see the end of the tunnel. The RFTW will leave Lewisburg this morning headed toward Arlington and I'll meet up with them for the group picture at Lincoln Memorial. then Sunday will be the big Rolling Thunder Demonstation.
I must say riding by myself yesteday as a nice break from the grind of riding in a large, NO, HUGE group.
This has been a learning experience in many ways, one I won't forget for a long time. As drama free my 10 week 4 corner ride was last year, this was 10 days of drama both phyically and mentally. I doubt seriously I'll ever do this ride (not rolling thunder) again.
I'd like to give a special thanks to Mark and Suzie Fenton who put me up in St Charles while my bike was being fixed and to Dan McGill who helped me pull by motorcycle out of the mud on a night not fit for man or beast. You
Hopefully I'll get the bike back today and get a few miles in before settling down.
I've decided that instead of trying to catch up with the group, I'll head east on I70 through Indy, Wheeling then southeast into D.C. I should be able to make some time and meet up by Friday night.
I"m still suffering from the Texas Two Steps. This food poisoning SUCKS..Its not bad enough to go to a doctor, so I"m just eating light soft foods for my stomach and taking some Kayopectate to get a little more solid (I know, to much information)..
Hoping to get close to INDY by tonight then push on early tomorrow morning and do some serious miles till I settle Thursday night maybe around Wheeling WV. Then press on Friday to Manassas.
This has not been a very enjoyable trip but the cause is good and I HATE quitting more than anything. Its just not in my nature to give up.
.The ride from Goodland to Junction City was good most of the day, but the last 20 miles we did in rain, hail and wind. kind of hard to get 500+ bikes to pull of so we pressed on and got to Junction City, the local Nazerene Church (host for us) opened up the church for the campers to stayin over night. We had tornado warnings most of the night but didn't see or hear any.
The ride from Junction City to Wentzville Missouri was (personally) a little more harrowing.
I was having issues all day keeping the trailer lights working, kept blowing a fuse (under the seat) and finally stopped at Columbia and had a HD dealer take a look. They told me it was fixed and I proceeded to try to catch up with the group in Wentzville. 10 minutes out the lights died again, the skies started to darken and it stated to hail. I pulled of under underpasses a couple times and finally got to Wentzville.. GPS missed some newly made roads and pushed me down a deadend street. As I was trying to get turned around, I got the bike burried to the balls in mud, THEN, the skies opened up and between the torents, lightening and wind I was STUCK.I was about to toss in the towel when. suddenly a guy walked out from his home and asked me if I could use a hand. BOY HOWDY!!!!... Well we unhooked the trailer, then, he tied a line to my trailer hitch and pulled me out of the mud. Thats when I found I could'nt get the cl utch to engage. I managed to get into nutreal. Well the rain was comming down even harder and I asked him if I could use is garage to sleep the night.. He said NO, he didn't have a garage, then offered me his motorhome to sleep in that night. Best night sleep I have had in 5 days.
Next morning I got up and grabbed my coffee maker and made a cup.. and called AAA to get a tow truck to take me into St Charles. The Dealer at ST Charles Motorsports as very accomodating and told me he'd get the bike back up an running. He just called me a few minutes ago and it should be done tomorrow noonish.. He also found the issue with the trailer lights and fixed that. I'm hopefull.
That being said, I'll press on tomorrow into Indiana find a place to light (hotel I'm sure) and then get and early start and either catch up to the group or get to Manassas and get my hotel (reservations already made).. I'm telling you that the good samaritan that helped me out in a very wet and disguesting few hours, saved my bacon. Thanks Dan McGill.. You made a new friend.
I"m staying at a freinds in St Charles tonight and will play each day as it comes.
As bad a it was for me, I learned this morning about the Torando in Oklahoma and that pales my experience considerably. I came out of that mess in Wentzville with only a clutch issue and they lost so many lives. I guess all those good things I've done in the past was my payback last night....
For everyone that was sending me texts, mail, and Facebook post, thanks...
Your prayers were appreciat
24 hours to go!!!!! Bike is packed, Trailer is packed and I registered with RFTW getting my rider package yesterday. Seems like every hotel in the Rancho Cucamogna and Ontario Area are packed with motorcycles. Nearly 200 bikes were at the host hotel yesterday getting in on the early registration. So today just a quck oil and filter change. Then the RFTW & FNG (fine new guys) rider orentation at 2PM and BBQ that starts at 5:30.
I'll probably spend a sleepless night (just like last year) before heading to Victoria Gardens to line up in our riding platoons and a 7:45AM start time for the Run For The Wall. We will end the day tomorrow in Williams Arizona camping at the Williams Middle School.
I know like last year once we get on the road the butterflies will subside and the adventure will start.
One week today, the RFTW check in and breifings will start.. Everything is pretty much packed and the bike and trailer are ready.
As usual the week before Run For The Wall begins is hectic with a lot of last minute check lists. Packing Clothes, Making sure everything is in the trailer, tent, sleeping bag, and cooking stuff. Loading some snacks to much on. Freezing Water bottles. Dual purpose keeps cooler cold and a source of cold water to drink. No bit of space is wasted for a trip this size.
Those usual stomach flutters are present that keep me pacing during the day. Not nearly as much as last years Adventure, what with having more knowledge about long days riding. Yesterday we got rain here in So Cal, so I took that oppertunity to get the rain gear on and take a spin to make sure it works well. Fortunatetly it worked great.
After Tuesdays 5/14 registration and breifing/bbq I'll be headed back home with a fellow SCRC'r Greg Ponton. Greg will spend the night at my house so he doesn't have to ride from the South Bay at 0'Dark'30 wednesday morning.
Wednesday morning we'll head over to Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga meeting up with our Platoons and getting our final instructions. Leaving Victoria Gardens, first the Central Route (the one I'm in) headed up I-15 towards the first fuel stop, Barstow, then East toward Airzona. Forcasted weather in Needles 99 degrees. The Southern Route will head east on I-10 towards Phoenix passing through Blythe Ca where the temps are estimated to be 102. Both Hot and Dry first days.
Wednesday Night we will land in Williams Az, where we will camp at the local Middle School,
I'll try to post as frequently as I can on this blog...
Thanks for following my second great adventure.