A couple of stories ago I wrote about my motorcycle and the boy scouts. Well some guys never learn. And I guess that includes me.
I was on my way to a Regional Pistol Match and was riding my new motorcycle. A big Honda CB750 full dress with all the saddle bags and travel trunks you could put on it. I had my pistol box strapped down on the mama seat and was riding down this gravel road to the Range. Well, me and gravel don't get along very well, when we are talking motorcycles, (if you will remember the last story) so I was going very slow and standing on my pegs to keep the center of gravity low. Ahead I saw what looked like a strip of fresh gravel going across the road so I slowed down even more. Yup it was fresh gravel. Looked like someone had dug up a sewer line and then just filled the ditch with gravel. When I hit the gravel it was really fresh gravel, it was loose and deep and I had slowed down to much.
My front wheel went into the gravel and there it stuck....
However the back of the motorcycle was still moving and up up up and over it went.
As I sailed over the windshield my supurb athletic trained reflexes took hold and I ducked my head and spun, landing on my back and rolling to my feet just like those guys in the circus. "AHHH HAAA!" I cryed to no one in particular on that lonely stretch of road. "That was neat. I made it!" Well almost. I felt a stinging sensation on my knee and then a warm trickle down the shinbone of my leg. Sure enough I just cut the other knee. Hobbling back to the bike I could see my blood on the broken rear view mirror where my knee had hit it on the way over. "Well darn." I mumbled, "Another helicopter trip I bet."
Picking the motorcycle up I managed to get the bleeding knee over the saddle and kicked the bike back alive.
When I pulled into the range my Team Captain was sitting in the Army Truck. I hobbled over to him and he gave me one look and said, " %$&&*#$%" and a few more "#%^$&#&". Then he told me to drop my drawers and he bandaged me up. "OK Sarge I will let the alternate shooter help you with your targets but from now on you start driving a vehicle or bring your own nurse and ambulance."
"Yes Sir" And I saluted.
Well as luck would have it, again I shot my personal best score and our team proudly accepted the First Place Regional Trophy. Later on I heard the CO bragging to another Army team. "We had one guy sick and another cut up from a accident and we still kicked your B^tts. Why don't you guys send out your WACS next time. They can probably outshoot your team."
The CO was in real good spirits and he treated us to some extra practice ammo and we were happy to get it. My ration of ammo was 5000 rounds of 45acp and 5000 rounds of .38 spl and 10,000 rounds of .22 LR . And I had a motorcycle.
Well as the other bikers in the club know if you can get it on the bike you can bungy cord it down and ride off.
So I was headed back up that gravel road with approximately twice my weight in guns and ammo strapped on behind me.
I almost lost it on the first hill and had to gun the engine and drop some gears to make it up. And still the tires were slipping and digging ruts in the gravel. Once I got off of the gravel road I had it made.
And soon I topped out at the gate and hit the concrete. Ahhhhh, back to civilization again. I rapped it up through the gears and soon was going about 70 mph. When BANG!!!! The rear tire blew out!!!. With four tires this can be dangerous but with only two it is a catrastrophy. The bike was bucking and swerving back and forth and the front wheel was osillating in a growing rhythm. WHAT TO DO. There was hardly any shoulder, then a bridge, and then it went DOWN DOWN DOWN to a creek bed full of big rocks. So I got up on my pegs and gave the throttle a hard twist. Yes, I increased speed. Somewhere I remembered reading that centrifical force could be used to your advantage in a case like this. I wasn't sure if it would work on a bike but what did I have to lose.
IT WORKED! The front wheel calmed down and the back wheel actually spun out well enough that I had some control. I went over the bridge and then eased the bike over to the now wider gravel shoulder and let it slow down on it's own all the while standing up and riding a bucking bronco. I got it stopped and wiped the sweat off my face. And then gagged.
Somewhere very near me was something DEAD.
I looked over the edge and saw what was left of a dead cow. A rotten dead cow. Some how I managed to get the kickstand down but could not move the bike from where it had stopped. So I took my pistol box and my ammo boxes and walked up the road for about 500 yards. WHEUU That was better. I can breath now. So I put my things down and stuck out my thumb.
I figured standing there in my Army uniform I should be able to get a ride pretty quick. And sure enough a station wagon with a little old man and a little old woman stopped. I thanked them and loaded my pistol box and the ammo boxes in and settled down in the back seat.
"Where are you going Soldier?" the man said.
"Just to the nearest telephone would be fine." I answered, "My motorcycle blew a tire."
The little old lady took a deep breath, and said in a hushed voice. "You are a 'Biker' Oh dear"
There was silence for a while. Then she asked in a small voice. "Did you have all those bags on the motorcycle?"
"Oh yes" I answered.
"Whats is in them?" she quivered.
"Guns and ammo." I replied
The gasp that she gave out sounded like they had blown a tire. The little old man was holding on the steering wheel like it was a life ring and I thought I heard him say "We don't want any trouble"
The ride got very quiet.
Much later the man tried to start a conversation. "I used to be in the Army, during WWII"
"My dad was too, that is why I joined the Army. I have much respect for you sir." I replied.
That seem to thaw the car interior a little and soon we were swamping Army Stories. By the time we got about 50 miles down the road and to a filling station we were comrades in arms. He even wanted to know what kinds of guns I had and the little old lady gave me some cookies.
At the phone booth I called my wife and told her to get the truck and a winch and the ramp and drive down Hwy 24 headed East of Sedalia and look for the Honda on the north side of the road. I would be somewhere up wind of it.
When I got out of the phone booth there set the little old man and the little old lady in their station wagon. "We heard you talking to your wife and figured you would need a ride back to your motorcycle." they both said.
And back we went. And only in rural America could this happen. Yes I know there are a lot of nice people in the cities but in farm land the people are warm, considerate and wonderful.
Sarge the walking biker.