About two weeks ago, a post was put up on face book about Cycle Source Magazine's, Big Mountain Run. Earlier in the year, I had big hopes and aspirations about riding cross country to attend this event that I had heard so very much about. From the time that I had made my initial plans to the time that post was put up, LIFE HAPPENED as it usually does and it seemed that there was no way on earth that I was going to be able to attend the event, much less ride to it! I answered that thread and said that it doesn't look like I will be making the run, that the knuck had a horrible noise and the fxrs was not quite ready for a cross country trip. It looked like I wouldn't see any of my friends until Born Free at best. The first post under mine was Chris from Cycle Source asking what he could do to help me get out there and that was followed up by Mailman. I thought to myself, how nice, at the very least, I will be missed right? Then a little "1" popped up on my home page over the mail box. It was a message from Mailman and it simply said, if you can make it to Atlanta, YOU CAN RIDE MY SHOVELHEAD! Well my friends, this was enough to entice this ol' scooter jockey to respond. "OH REALLY", I believe was what I sent back. If you fly in to Atlanta, I will pick you up at the airport, take you back to my place and in the morning we can ride out to Tennessee. "No shit, really"? That is very kind of you, let me look in to airfare and such and see what I could come up with. As luck would have it, flights were available and the fares were not all that bad. I began to get a bit excited at the prospect that I would not be missing my first BMR! I also became excited with the prospect of putting a thousand miles or so on an old shovel. Sure as shit, true to his word, waiting for me in the Atlanta Airport when I arrived was Mailman and his buddy Phil Sims. We have to pick up a transmission if that is okay with you? If it's okay with me? You just battled rush hour traffic to pick me up, to allow me to stay in your home with your family and then loan me one of your most prized possessions, okay with me, hell, I don't care if we have to go steal a transmission, I AM IN & IT IS SURE AS SHIT COOL WITH ME!!! We stopped and picked up the tranny and headed back to Phil's shop. When we arrived and pulled in the back of the building, I got a chill down my spine! They have taken me to this God forsaken spot to kill themselves a Yankee and get some pay back, I THINK THE SOUTH WAS ABOUT TO RISE AGAIN!
We pulled out of the shop and I was relieved and stoked at the same time. What did Mailman have in store for me next? We arrived at Chateau De' Mailman and I must admit, it was sweet. When you hang with and all your friends are "dirty ass bikers", you really never know what to expect when you are heading to some one's home that you have never visited yet. The more hardcore the guy, the less you expect in "quality" of living conditions. Once again, I was surprised beyond my wildest dreams. As we pulled in the driveway, the garage door opened and there she was, one of the purtiest, bad ass shovels that I have seen in a long time. Everything about this bike was absolutely perfect! As I stood there gawking like a pedophile at a grammar school field day, Mrs. Mailman or better known as the Mailbox, came out and gave me a huge hug and welcomed me to her home! What a fine example of southern hospitality! I unloaded my bags, went in the house and was given the LAZY BOY for my very own "base of operations", until it was time to go. I unzipped my big ass suitcase and as my small way of saying thank you, I dished out some I KNOW JACK SHIT HOODIES and gave their beautiful and talented daughter Darci a Jack Shit shirt of her very own, although, I don't know where a kid can wear one out to, but hell, that will be her problem. I am thinking college interviews will be the perfect place to wear it! Within moments, the hospitality reared its head again when a 36 lb burritto was placed in front of me and I was asked, "ya hungry"? Well, not that hungry! I could have eaten that thing all week long. This woman was so kind and such an excellent host it was amazing. Cheryl had read a post I had written asking about stores near the BMR. I don't drink coffee, instead in the morning, I start my day off with a can of Rockstar and on the door of the fridge was a four pack. This lovely southern belle had gone ahead and picked up a box of Rockstars for me..... my heart was full of love and my belly full of food, what a welcome. In the morning we would head off and meet up with Jeremy and friends from Muttin Cycles so we had to get to bed reasonably early. Only one problem with that, I am on west coast time. I had not slept since Sunday night and it was now 3 am on Wednesday morning, I was wide awake and I had to get up in 4 hours or so to start the trip, not good! Excitement won over and in just a few hours, I was up and ready to ride. Only one problem, it was 43 degrees in warm and wonderful Atlanta! Two pair of socks, two pair of jeans, 3 shirts and an I know Jack Shit Hoodie, topped off with a goretek neck warmer and wool skull cap and two pair of gloves and I was ready to go. Okay, one more problem, I had so many layers of clothes on, I could barely get my leg over the bike to ride. I managed and we were off!
To brother Mailman, none of this would have been possible without you. For your girl Cheryl or The Mailbox, thank you so much for your hospitality, I only hope to repay it soon. For the rest of your crew down there in Atlanta and beyond, thank you for welcoming me in to the fold! You guys gave me some memories that I won't forget and some riding that when I close my eyes still makes me feel like I am in the saddle.
I can't wait until the next BMR and that is a fact but even more, I can't wait to ride side by side with this crew again!
Until we see each other on the road,
Keep the wind in your face,
Tits in your back
and The Man off your ass!