Some call me old, but when it comes to ‘old school’ my friend David rules as king.
After a trip to Big Bear for Davids birthday fell though, Mark and I were at a loss what to do. In answer to our thoughts David sends us an email that he’s putting together a motorcycle road trip to a little place north of Sacramento called Woodland, where,
Grand Funk Railroad was playing in concert. Now that is old school.
At first count, David had 12 people going on motorcycles. Mark, not breaking with tradition, was non-committal. D-day was May 23rd. and as the day got closer more and more people began dropping out.
I didn’t care. I was planning to ride my BMW up there with my buddies and that was what really mattered to
me. It was my deepest hope that Mark would take David up on his offer of using his spare motorcycle and the three of us would ride together.
By the time had come there would only be Mark, myself, David and three others. We met at the Denneys in Valencia on a foggy morning and had a great breakfast. I was late and they had hot coffee waiting for me when I got there. That’s what friends are about.
We talked about the trip, coffee, and what ever else I don’t remember because it was too darned early in the morning to be up.
After eating we went out and geared up. Sadly, but not entirely unexpected, Mark had decided to drive. We geared up and after my new found tradition of dumping my bike for no apparent reason, we were off.
Up until now all my riding had been in staggered formation, but I noticed David waving me up and making room for me in the lane, so with some small anxiety I pulled up alongside him. It wasn’t long before riding side by side felt like the most natural thing in the world.
We pretty much road that way for the next four hundred and fifty some odd miles.
I can tell you, I was pretty happy when we’d stop for gas. Having not ridden lot distances in a while the expression ‘saddle sore’ starts to take on new meaning.
I’d made a point of charging up my Chatterbox helmet radio and my iPod Shuffle to listen to tunes. I had more than enough hours of music to listen to for the ride up and back. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the battery power to do that and I’d left my chargers at home. No matter what, every trip I always forget something. Always. But, that was a bridge I’d cross on the way back.
The Funk concert was in the evening and David and I both planned on getting some sack time in our rooms once we got into town. That didn’t happen. I knew I’d suffer for it.
The concert was held at a casino and I wasn’t prepared for that… the casino that is. It was packed with Asians and smoking and there were so many electric slots it sounded like I was in Donkey Kong Hell. I suddenly wished I’d brought some ear plugs with me.
After roaming around I went to the concert room and relaxed in the relative quite and darkness. Soon Mark joined me and the place began filling up.
The band came on stage and David moved to the back of the place to have plenty of room to dance.
Of all of us I think David was having the best time in the world. For a band that started in 1968 these guys were great performers. I half expected most of them to be using walkers and the other half to be using oxygen bottles. All of them were powerhouses and at one point all of them left the stage except the drummer to performed a solo that lasted easily five minutes. His skill and endurance was flat out amazing.
Afterwards we all returned to the Motel 6 and like proper white trash, we gathered in the parking lot because the night wasn’t over yet. Both Mark and I brought our belated birthday gifts for David. Mark had picked out a fine Fedora which looked great of David. I’d bought David’s favorite cigars. Now some people will enjoy fine cuban cigars. Others want something a little bolder. Not David. The boy wants a cigar that only real men will smoke. That’s why he buys from
the good people at Bad Ass Coffee.
So, while we stood in a circle in the parking lot of the Motel 6, we smoked cigars and recounted stories of when we were much younger and stupid. Now were not nearly as young…
The following day we all traveled together as far as the turn off for Sequoia forest and everyone went their ways except David and I. Now that it was just the two of us we didn’t have any reason to keep the heard together. As everyone said their good byes and we topped off our tanks I asked David if he wanted to open it up a little for the ride home. He said, sure, and asked me how about 75 or 80. I smiled and said, how about 90 or 95. His smile back was all the answer I needed. It was only the second day we’d ridden together and I could tell that we were going to be great ridding companions.
We kept our throttles twisted all the way home. I had it easier than him because home for him was still two hours after I rolled off the freeway. I was tired and happy to be home but it was an AWESOME ride.