Saturday, June 28, 2008

Very Proud

I have since Brianna was little thought we would run 5K's. I am sure all parents think of things they want to impart to their children. I can tell you that I have ran almost all my life in some form or another. I am so very proud of Brianna with no training for the run she completed the 2 mile course.

As most people do she started out fast and faded around the 3/4 mile mark. Brianna was huffing, puffing, wheezing, and even crying. Brianna kept plodding along and a little girl (5 years old) and her Daddy caught up with us. Brianna ran behind the other pair still not sure if she was going to just flat quit or keep pushing. I told her that Mommy and Grandma Noey were going to be at the finish and they would not want her to finish crying. Brianna stopped struggling settled into the slower pace and did great. Brianna started getting anxious to speed up and I kept her back. We rounded the corner and exited the woods with only 100 meters to go I let her go. Brianna ran really well to the finish and as she has told everyone "BEAT DADDY". I hope to run many more races with my new running buddy. The inner strength she summoned to keep pushing when her every thought was of quitting, is priceless. I could not be more proud.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fingerprints left in life, and on a life.

This post is also from my motorcycle trip to D.C. It is not in chronological order it is actually something that happened on our way home.

We left our hotel in Bridgeport West Virginia on Monday May 26th 2008, We had breakfast and prepared for the ride home which we thought to be about 270 miles. I was ready to get home I had a great time but,as with most vacations, I had reached the point of just wanting to be home.

We were all somewhat ready to get back and I did not stop to fill my tank before leaving in the morning. I have the smallest gas tank of the three bikes in our group so it stood to reason I would need gas first. We were on our way to Parkersburg WV and our first stop of the day probably 120 miles. The road was great a four lane divided highway (route 50) and we were making great time through the mountains of West Virgina. The weather was nice not hot or cold just comfortable. After about an hour an a half at 70 miles an hour my bike stalled. I thought damn probably should have gassed up. I swithced the setting to reserve on my fuel tank. I knew I had about a gallon of gas. A gallon in a motorcycle can be tough to gage (at least for me). I looked at the next road sign and found that Belpre was 30 miles. I do know that with the carb and air filter work that has been done on my bike I can give it hell as well as anyone. I can't tell you how gas efficient my bike is because until you hit the reserve it doesn't matter. It suddenly mattered a great deal. I spent about 20 miles waiting for the bike to just quit.

You may be thinking at this point what the hell does the title have to do with the gas? Stay with me.

I pulled of on the first exit that had a gas sign. I got caught at two redlights. Sitting at a redlight while your bike may idle out it's last drop of fuel sucks. I saw the gas station on the right and pulled into the pumps directly in front of the door.

I should fill you in to the fact that my bike is a 2003 Harley-Davison Dyna Glide with straight pipes and a carburetor. It is loud by the standards of anyone who has ever been around it. The riders in our pack did not enjoy riding on the right hand side of my bike.

I noticed an older Ford truck behind me in the parking lot. I saw in my mirror a Man (Grandpa, Dad I don't know)standing in front of his truck with a Kid that had multiple handicaps. The Kid was anywhere from 12-15 years old and was standing in front of the truck smacking himself in the temples with the palms of both hands. Doug also noticed the Kid and we shut our bikes of fearing that the noise was upsetting him. I pumped my gas and went into the store to pay for my fuel. The Man and the Kid were in line beside me. The Man asked me if we were leaving in a hurry? I said no we were going to probably take a break for a few minutes. I exited the store and went to my bike. I pulled my bike to the side of the building nearest the sidewalk in the parking lot.

The three of us were standing around our bike stretching our legs and just enjoying not being on the bikes. The Guy and the Kid came to the sidewalk and stood by our bikes. The Kid started chanting "Gentelmen start your engines." It hit me he was not upset by the noise my bike made but overjoyed. Doug said to the Man "he's been watching some NASCAR." The Man quipped "He's blind partner." I guess we should have known but how the hell could we, the Kid had multiple disabilities. So the Kid continued to chant "Gentlemen start your engines." I started my bike and the Kid almost left the ground with excitement. He jumped and yelled "me do" over and over. The Man helped the kid off of the curb without falling, and the Kid reached for my bike. I thought he wanted to feel the vibration of the handlebars. I could not have been more wrong. The Kid wrapped both hands around the throttle of my bike. The first attempt was the wrong way thankfully as the bike went to idle. The second was in the open position and my bike was at redline. I was feverishly trying to pry both of the hands of the Kid off the throttle to keep my biking from damage. The Man helped remove the Kid, and I cracked the pipes several times for him but at a lesser degree than wide open. The Kid was jumping and yelling "Me do".

The Man walked to Kid back onto the sidewalk and they Thanked me. I started down the road and thought "that Kid really enjoyed that." I had not gone very far when I saw a huge smear/smudge of the Kid's fingerprints on my right side mirror where his first grap for the throttle had landed. The Kid may never ride a Harley but for a second he felt like he could.

In the hurry to get home the Man and the Kid slipped my mind as I returned to my life and day to day routine. I got my bike out of the gargae a few days later and went somewhere. I was riding down the road when I checked my right mirror and noticed the fingerprints all over my mirror. I felt extremely blessed that for a second I left my fingerprint on his life and his fingerprint was on my bike and in my life.

The small acts of kindness we perform in our life are never wasted.

If there are spelling and grammar errors, get a life and don't waste time telling me, I'm a six pack deep anyway.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

National Veterans Awareness Ride

I wanted to tak an opportunity to share some of my experiences from a motorcycle vacation I went on over Memorial Day weekend 2008.

I was invited by my Dad to ride with a group of NVAR riders who were coming through Ohio from Sacremento California on their way to Washington D.C. I thought it sounded like a nice ride so I asked my friend Doug if he would like to ride with us, and of course an out of state ride is always a good idea to Doug.

I went to the AMVETS in Brookville Ohio on Wednesday May 21st to see the cross country riders arrive. It was a sunny day and very nice weather. There was a podium set up in front of the Post and a small public address system. The bikes rolled in and you could tell some of the riders were road weary. The post Commander welcomed the riders and they grabbed drinks, while meeting those of us gathered around. Milo arrived in style with a broken kickstand and needed parts and time to fix it. Milo has his own website and the pictures and journal are worth reading at

After the riders had time for a short break they gathered around the podium. There were welcomes from local officials and the National Anthem was sang by a young lady who did a great job. A woman took the podium while Otis Redding "(Sittin' On)The Dock of the Bay" played softly over the small portable radio. The woman held up a vinyl copy of the Otis Redding album. She explained that in December of 1967 her older Brother had played the album repeatedly while on leave for Christmas. Her vivid description of her Brother was awesome. She shared with us the story of the loss of her Brother in 1968 while serving in Vietnam. The album was the original forty years later. I cried and it would not be the last time during my trip.