Shootin’ the Breeze
Happy New Year y’all.
I make a list of resolutions I will or will not do in the
coming year. I
don’t really pay attention to it, but I do make a list.
like to make lists. I
make a list to go to the grocers, a list of stuff to do
around the house. A
list of parts I need to get at swap meets. Songs I’d like to
buy or record. Christmas
lists.....Hell, I make lists of lists I should make.
you can see I could be a very organized person. The problem is that
like most of us I tend to procrastinate. I’d put off goin’
to sleep if I didn’t get tired.
thing I do not put off though is makin’ sure I’m riding
on good tires and that the brakes are okey dokey when I sit
my butt on the scoot in the spring. I learned many moons
ago that bad tires are dangerous and that no matter how much
ya like to ride, sooner or later ya gotta stop, and when
ya gotta stop just might be a surprise. If ya ride on the
back it might behoove ya to take a look at what yer old man
calls tires every now and then. That tread is
what’s keepin’ ya from slidin’ into something ya
shouldn’t....like the pavement!
have a friend named Smudge.
Don’t know how he got that name [and don’t think
I wanna]. He
rides his tires down to the inner belt every time! He thinks it makes
sense to get every last mile out of ‘em. I’ve seen the man actually take a bald tire off the
rim, plug a hole and put it back on even though he had money
in his pocket. “I
can get a few more miles out of this one!” he’d say. Sheesh!!
night he and I were on a road trip and it started to rain. Not just rain, it
came down like the Higher Power was pourin’ it out of a
thunder was so loud it seemed to crack yer head bone wide
open and split ya right down the middle. To make things worse
we were hours from home.
we waited under an overpass for a bit, we realized it
wasn’t gonna let up for a long while. We were on an
interstate and even some of the cars were stopping, so it
was gettin’ kinda crowded under there. In fact everytime a
big old 18 wheeler drove through I was wonderin’ if we
were gonna get creamed!
Smudge! I think we oughta chance it! It’s gettin’ way
too crowded under here, and even my damned smokes are
agree with ya...This sucks!
It’s better to die on yer feet than to live on yer
that damned rear tire!
Bald as a baby’s butt!
a few minutes he got her up and running and told Silky to
climb on. She
just looked at him with a worried look on her face and said,
“I don’t think so!! If ya dump it once
you can dump it again!
Can I ride with you Bum?”
just smiled and said, “Sure.” [Oh ho! And the woman
Smudge grumbled something about me stealin’ his girl we
continued on down the road. We cruised the country for a while, stopped at a few bars
she knew and had a great day even if Smudge did bitch
continuously about his bike and his loss of a passenger.
became one of my close friends and every now and then we
still see each other. She’s
running out of room to place her tatoos, but I still get a
kick out of lookin’ at ‘em, and I think she loves showin’
the point to this story of course is that we all have a
tendancy to put off changin’ our rubber. There’s no easy
cut and dried way of knowing exactly when yer tires need
people just look at the miles on the speedo, some do it
every other year and others simply look at the tread and
make a guess. The
bottom line is yer life and the lives of people ya carry on
the back are depending on those tires. It’s up to you to
get the cobwebs out of yer wallets and spring for new shoes.
me and Silky get together I make a point of lettin’ Smudge
know about it, then I ask how his tires are doin’. He still hasn’t
[TOP OF PAGE]
out we went. I
figured that it would lighten up as we headed down the
road.....but it didn’t.
The cars were just blurred tail and brake lights
ahead. After a
bit it got so I couldn’t even see my own speedometer,
didn’t know how close the cars behind me were and
couldn’t even tell which way was up. Everytime someone
passed us we almost drowned.
Stopping on the side of the road was out of the
question and that overpass we had just left started lookin’ better and better.
was in the lead and he was all over the road. Without even meaning
to get off we found ourselves on an exit ramp. In the distance we
could just make out a “Food” sign, so we headed there
without even askin’ each other.
we climbed off the scoots and sloshed into the diner the
wind made us wonder if our damned bikes were gonna
tip over! Worst
storm I’ve ever seen.
And it just wouldn’t let up!
the door closed behind us I looked up to see the place was
empty with just a pretty red haired waitress behind the
counter. We sat
down, got our breath and ordered coffee as she handed us
menus and jokingly asked how we got so wet.
woman was a biker chick and had some great tats all over her
and proceeded to show us. She had ‘em in some pretty odd places and Smudge and I
soon forgot our wet discomfort and was havin’ a good old
time. The storm
eventually passed and the sun came out.
beat me to askin’ her when she got off work and we were
pleased to find she only had another 1/2 hour to go, so he
quickly asked if she wanted to go for a putt.
thing. I haven’t been on the back of a bike for a while. Looks like the
weather is gonna co-operate.”
thing ya know she climbed on the back of Smudge’s old
Panhead and we were headed for the country on a beautiful
roads were still wet and as Smudge rounded a long gradual
curve the ass end slid right out from under him! Down they went, and
if I didn’t happen to be a ways behind ‘em I probably
would have ended up in the mix too.
redhead, who’s name was Silky, didn’t get a scratch, but
Smudge got a little road rash on his knee. The bike had a great
custom air brush job on the tanks and that was just all shot
to hell...The pipes were pretty bad off, his bars were
twisted a bit, and he broke a mirror.
wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t