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Old 09-17-2011, 07:45 PM   #1
Kingshead
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Default Deer Jumper

Three years ago my wife planned a move to N.California from S.Florida for the whole fam. She says to me "why don't you buy a motorcycle like (brother in law) Richard and ride out ahead, get everything set up. I hadn't ridden in 35 yrs. (at the ripe old age of 15, a Honda CL100 at that) so I replied " I haven't ridden in 35 yrs. are you trying to get rid of me"? Now mind you she had refused my requests of motorcycle ownership for 30 yrs. do to safety reasons. So you can imagine this new turn of events surprised me quite a bit.

But the more I thought about it the crazier it sounded, so what the f**k I'll do it. Purchased my 1999 Honda VT1100 Shadow A.C.E. bobber on e-bay and 4 days later (April fools day) was on my way. If your familiar with the bobber style you know I went without baggage of any sort.

Having never taken a ride of this magnitude before I was ill prepared and thought it would be a good idea to stay off the major hwys. I left a little late in the day so I figured I would make up time by riding into the night (bad idea). On the second night of riding about midnight, rounding a bend with an oncoming semi's lights in my eyes I didn't see the Deer carcas until too late.

This was a fresh kill so pretty substantial in size, blood and guts every where. I didn't think it would be a good idea to swerve so I just hung on for the ride. Everything seemed to be in slow motion, I remember seeing ribs sticking out as I went air born. Chunks of meat flew up from my unfendered front and rear tires pelting me in the face, chest, back, oh it was a real meat grinder out there. I landed about 15 or 20 feet down the road, Evel Knievel would have been proud.

The bike and I were a bloody mess but safe and upright. Needless to say this ended the midnight rides for a while.

This was an 8000 mile journey so more events to follow.

The bike looks different now, recustomized myself.

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1999 Honda Shadow VT1100C2 A.C.E.

Last edited by Kingshead : 09-17-2011 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:29 PM   #2
Kingshead
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Default Installment 2

Ok, no response for installment 1 so I'll try part 2.


OK, second installment as promised.

On the morning of the third day approximately 20 miles south/east of Shreveport La. I was traveling north/west on hwy 71/84. Being this was my first long distance ride, I foolishly (April first departure remember) neglected to check for upcoming weather reports. It rains every day at this time of the year in Fl. so who checks?

If I had, I would have known there was this major storm sweeping across the whole country from west-east. Whether this knowledge would have delayed my departure, your guess is as good as mine. Looking back now, I don't believe so (but it should have).

I was about 10 miles between nothing and nowhere when the skies started clouding over with those ominously deep black ones. The winds were also beginning to pick up too. I didn't have much choice but to continue as there wasn't a tree or building in sight to seek shelter under (tree? lightning you fool!).

Within a few minutes the rain started with a slight mixture of hail. And I don't mean that light kind of rain either, this was the torrential kind we experience in Fl. My bike was a bobber at the time so any kind of rain is akin to having a garden hose in the face (half helm and goggles). My bars are very wide so leaning to the side is out of the question.

The roads quickly began to flood and I was now slogging through about 3" of water. This forced me to slow way down (10-15mph) so I pulled over into the shoulder out of fear of being steamrolled by a semi from behind. As it turned out this was the least of my fears. Unknown to me this storm was spawning tornados in the area and I was soon being blown around by 60mph plus wind gusts.

Even though the storm was approaching from the west the winds were most severe from the east. At times so bad I was dragging the right peg attempting to stay in my own lane (shoulder) but still blown clear across to the other side. By now the hail was large (concussion balls my wife likes to call them) and I was pretty desperate. Still no cover in sight.

Thankfully about 15 minutes later I saw a small diner coming up on the left (in these situations there are no atheists and I thanked the lord) and pulled in to salvation. For the life of me I don't remember it's name but they sure had that great southern hospitality on display. Now as I said, I was traveling light (no baggage=no change of clothes) and I really wasn't prepared. Hell, I didn't even have a proper leather jacket. I was wearing my suede high school letterman’s jacket and it now weighed about 50lbs soaked with water.

I was seated at a table shivering with a rapidly growing puddle of water surrounding me. The waitress approached and I quickly apologized through chattering teeth and asked for coffee. Before she could return with my order the mop up crew was busy for 6' around, (this was repeated several times during my stay).

When she returned she asked (with a beautiful southern drawl) "would I like to try their ham steak special". This consisted of home fries, three eggs, a biscuit with sausage gravy, and a bone in ham steak you wouldn't believe. She said it was large so I decided to bite.

This thing was a 1/2" thick, came on its own plate and hung over the sides all the way around (by a lot), I mean it was enormous. All for $6.99, I mean , my god how could they do this. I've never sat down to eat a meal like this in my life. My friends could tell you, I can really eat, and that would be a huge understatement. But this thing was awe inspiring.

Needless to say I was so ravenous they really didn't need to clean my plates (three in all). The waitress mentioned there was a small marina in back with some cabins to rent so I decided to call it a day. A warm shower and a good meal and I felt like a new man.

If you are ever passing that way and my memory is correct it was near the Jimmie Davis hwy on the Red River. This is definitely worth a stop even if you can't handle this much food. You will get a chance to see southern hospitality at its finest.

Installment 3 includes an encounter with some aggressive dogs so stay tuned.

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