Riding Stories

NorthWet Tech Day, May 9, 1998

The day dawned overcast and damp. This being the NorthWet, it was no surprise. Ten riders from across the state responded to the irresistible call of the Tech. They girded their loins, packed their rain gear and headed to Granite Falls, Washington. Three, Bill & Marilyn Schink #2651/2651.5 and Brian Golphenee #968, came from Kettle Falls, another wet place in the northeast corner of Washington. K Falls is at least 350 miles by the straightest route. Another, Steve Creagh, came from Vancouver, British Columbia. He wasn't an Airhead when he came, but he was when it was over. The directions were good, and no one got lost. If they did, we never heard from them.

One Fat Guy Racing

As a child I always eschewed team sports. Not only because I was a clumsy, meek spaz, but because individual achievement seemed a better barometer of a person's worth. Now I know that even the most singular sport, Motorcycle Roadracing, requires a copious amount of teamwork to keep the ham on the racetrack.

After the failed Kawasaki race programme of '96, I swore that if I were to ever race again, I would do so on a BMW. The Kaw was so unfamiliar to me. It ran poorly and I lacked the ability to mend it or ride it properly. Norm Blore bought the "Green Bean" and with a little money and his experience, eventually won with it. As the long months passed, I watched on with envy as Norm, Frank, John, and countless others careened around the track without a care, Volvo, or cop in their world.

Then I saw her.

The Ever Evasive Blowout Story

My wife and I left on Sunday morning, to rediscover a few county highways that I had traveled, as part of a fun run with the Leather Stocking Touring Society. The Catskills are just magnificent. We were having a great ride on our '78 R80/7. While heading back to our cabin in Richmondville, NY, we were just outside of Summit,NY on route 10, accelerating to 50 mph, and the rear tire blew. My wife,on her 3rd ride, handled the situation as we all hope that riders would, not swaying or panicking, but keeping still ,allowing me to consider what few options that I had to try to come to a stop without trashing ourselves, or the bike. By the grace of Jesus Christ, we came to stop, vertical, and none the worse for wear.

Burning Man '98

An Airhead who recently returned to motorcycling decided to ride to Beemers at the Burning Man without knowing anything about the festival. He figured he would have a couple of beers with the guys and maybe catch a tech session or two.

At the welcome to Black Rock City sign he paid the entry "tax" and motored across the flat dry clay lakebed upon which the festival takes place. After a couple of miles he reached the edge of the series of camps that form the city. He thought it a bit odd when a Mardi Gras type float motored by with a dozen costumed people dancing to Rave Music on the float. He was definitely surprised to have to weave his bike through a line of chanting pedestrians wearing only green, blue, and silver body paint. As he passed a small parade of individuals pounding drums wearing Zulu war paint, he thought this must be the wrong event. Finally, as he arrived at Airheads camp and parked his bike with the other beemers, he exclaimed "What the hell is this?"