Tuesday, October 16, 2012

555 - the TRIP (part 1)

Well....We Made It!!!  
Against many odds, we left Knoxville on the 13th of September and arrived at the Bunker Brewery in Portland, Maine after 10 or 11 days. 

One of the toughest parts was trying to leave the Time Warp Tea Room.  Oly, the Australian that flew into Knoxville 2 days before the trip, slammed his bike together and left only one loose end -- the battery.  Upon waking on the departure day, he had a dead battery which sent he and I scrambling to the store and scrounging jumper cables from an accommodating father whom was already waiting at the Tea Room to see us off.  Spraying battery acid over ourselves in a modest hurry to not be the last ones to show up to our own party, we arrived in splendid time to sit...for a long time. 

Dan's Chopper was front and center.  He and this mysterious chopper of his that not many people have seen, an original built from the 70's, were to escort us on our exit.  The fellas from the Vintage Club had passed a hat and gathered up some coin for us to get a gas fill-up.  For this we are very thankful, for that greatly eases the small pressure upon our fragile pocketbooks.  The purse magically skipped the gas stations and would strangely appear only for beer runs.  So it was called "Daddy's Money".

 It is funny to see all the bikes loaded to ride.  Its one thing to build a bike, but its another thing to pack it.

 The level of comfort some of these guys allowed for themselves is astounding.

So, getting jittery on coffee, we wait...and wait.  We are missing 2, Slappy and Pistol, the guys that were left in the shop still hammering away into the early morning hours last night.  Pete is over sleeping and wakes up not having packed.  Slappy is jamming wrenches so he could take his first test ride, to the Time Warp so we can leave.  He slides in with style, ripping off his leather jacket to reveal a hideous shirt we all had hoped would be forgotten, the patriotic polyester Slim had broken out on us a night or two before.  Let the antics begin.  12 guys, something like 1,200 miles to go.  We may have done better had it been a relay.
 Did I mention that we were waiting?  Most of our supporters came and left before Pistol decided to get out of bed.  We even got a visit from the mayor.  I imagine its to make sure we got out of his town as quickly as possible.

 Friends, family, and girlfriends gathered to see the finality of a month's worth of zombified working from a group of dedicated misfits.

 Up and over the hill and away from the Time Warp's generous crowd of waving goodbyes and snickers, we roared a smoking departure, excited by the upcoming freedom of free time and open road, the unknown challenges and the huge smile of Dan's face as he bounced along on his unburied chopper.
 Dizzle and the Green Pile

 We made it out of town just a little ways, but that's good enough to let us breathe from the excitement of getting on the road and deal with whatever issues may have presented itself upon take off.

 What a nice sticker! 

 Let the heckling begin.

 The first problem presents itself, and we dig for clues to the sputtering of Pistol's phantom.  Golden Rod came in with the saving diagnosis of a bad ground.  We had escorts out of town up until this point, and they offered some good laughs as we settled into the role of sidewalk loitering while someone kicks his junk into gear.