Bullin’ Through Life: A few heartfelt shout-outs
January 1, 2013
Filed under Columnists
Howdy! Grab a chair an’ a beer! Well, 2012 is just about over, an’ it’s been a busy year. Lots of stuff goin’ on an’ too little time, but as the Beatles once said, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”
The year started out with the Easyriders Show in Sacramento where my brotha, “Bear,” an’ his be-hootiful bride, Christine, helped us with the setup an’ detailin’ of our bikes an’ then took us over to Old Town for a fun night of great food, carousin’ an’ wanderin’ around. We did real well at the show, an’ that was a weekend to remember!
A lot of other friends have helped us out this year, as well. Nick an’ Randal Cramer at Dakota V-Twin pulled us out of deep shit during Sturgis when Reggie’s trike broke down. They went way above an’ beyond the call of duty, havin’ their tech, John Hudson, stay till 9:30 on Sunday night to finish puttin’ the trike back together without jackin’ up the price. Reggie was heartbroken thinkin’ that we’d come all that way an’ she wouldn’t get to ride into Sturgis, but our friends at Dakota V-Twin got her back on the road in record time!
Speakin’ of Sturgis, the ride out was a trip of a lifetime with our Hamster friends. The ride was planned in detail with all the arrangements made in advance, so there were no worries about rooms, food or route, an’ there was plenty of help for parkin’ lot breakdowns. Gettin’ to know the legends of the industry an’ spendin’ time with them was great, an’ we can truly call them friends. The entire trip was like a family reunion, an’ one long Interstate party.
I’ve built several bikes this year an’ got help from more friends with parts an’ expertise. Matt Beal at Road Rage Performance showed me how to upgrade the “FXR from hell” to a 10-tooth starter drive an’ later model clutch, an’ made me some great deals on parts, as well. Whenever I run into somethin’ that stops me in my tracks, I just call Matt an’ he usually knows what to do. Give him a call at 559.252.1700.
Another friend just got back into business after a couple of years off to get healthy. My amigo, Jake, just opened Jake’s Motorcycle Repair in Fresno. He’s been runnin’ an emergency room for Harley-Davidsons for around 50 years, startin’ out as a kid workin’ on his own stuff before enterin’ the profession full time. He not only fixes the tough problems, but also does services an’ he’s a dealer for Custom Chrome, V-Twin, Drag Specialties an’ most other manufacturers. You can corner him at 2695 S. Cherry in Fresno, or get him on the horn at 559.445.1641.
Another friend, Chris Rivas of Chris Rivas V-Twin in Fresno, holds the world record at Bonneville for the “World’s Fastest Bagger” at over 200 mph. Chris is my go-to guy for dyno tunin’ an’ anythin’ to do with speed. He’s walked me through my first Twin Cam engine mods, an’ without his help it would’ve been a lot harder, if not disastrous. He’s also a Drag Specialties dealer an’ his “Gal Friday,” Michelle, knows the Drag book inside an’ out. You can call ’em at 559.441.7922 for dyno tunin’, repairs, service or scary-fast engines that’ll make your shirttail roll up like a window shade!
I think we all have friends that seem to magically be there when we need ’em, no matter what. One of mine is “Nevada Paul” Finch, who lives over Carson City way. He came to our rescue on the Sturgis trip (for the second time), an’ without his help we probably wouldn’t have made it outta Nevada. Paul is one of the good guys, an’ I hope he knows how much we appreciate him an’ his friendship.
An’ then, there’s Basic Bob… What can ya say about a guy who’s put more miles on Harleys than you’d believe? He hides down in the Arizona desert with the rattlesnakes an’ scorpions, an’ sends his friends priceless gifts just to say thanks. Basic’s an artist in the true sense. He makes biker sculptures outta everything from bearings an’ watch parts to buffalo nickels—an’ they’re amazing! A while back he sent me a tribute sculpture of Indian Larry from his own collection that’s priceless, not only in monetary value, but because it came from his mind, his hands an’ his heart. It’s a gift I don’t deserve, but will gladly accept an’ treasure for the rest of my days.
A lot of other friends have made this, an’ every year, special, like Mike “Varmint” Clary, who’s the closest thing to a brother I’ve had since we were kids. We’ve bailed each other outta trouble, rescued each other from road mishaps an’ been there for each other through good an’ bad. There’s a time when you stop bein’ friends an’ become family, an’ we passed that point many years ago.
I know I’ve missed some friends who’ve helped make this year a good one, along with all of you who read Bullin’ every month, so thank you all, an’ we’ll see what kinda mischief we can get into down the road. Reggie an’ I want to wish each an’ every one of you a Merry Christmas and the best New Year ever! See y’all in 2013!