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Old 08-06-2016, 04:48 PM   #1
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Another of our MC members died.

That smiling gentleman seen below was the founder and first president of my bike club, Mr. Bob Smith. Yeah, he used to chew me out good (and regular), but some of the life lessons I learned then still guide me now.

I almost had my colors ripped off my back the first week I had them--by Bob. But five years later he was the one who made sure I got to keep my rags when I went inactive.

Yeah, he was a hard man, but looking back he held the club together, kept us safe, and made sure I lived to see my twenties. I think it was a better place when folks like Bob walked the earth.

I hope to see him again.

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Old 08-06-2016, 06:53 PM   #2
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RIP Bob...... Do some wheelies to the gates!


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Old 08-06-2016, 07:03 PM   #3
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Yeah, we're disappearing.

Bob's twin brother, Dick, is still alive, so is Don, "Rickie Ratchet," Lava, and me. I believe there's one other who I never really rode with. But of the original 50, I think we're about the last.

(The first 50 sets of colors were handmade by a woman named Betty Lou, or Betty Sue. After that, they were machine made and stitched. But my rags usually turn heads at the few events I attend, like Tiny's wake. Many of the younger guys have never seen "originals.")

The club formed in 1968, so we're lucky any of us are still around.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:16 PM   #4
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Condolences, Chico.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by bhunted View Post
RIP Bob...... Do some wheelies to the gates!
One of the issues that's been an undercurrent of my recuperation was the entire subject of "mortality." Heck, the two toughest guys I rode with were Mickey Foster and Bob Smith. Both deaths seem to be related to heart issues. If guys like that can go, none of us stand much of a chance.

My one saving grace is that these two members never let fear stop them. And even if I am cleared to ride on the 15th, I wonder what my thoughts will be when I swing a leg over a bike for the first time in more than a year? I talked to another biker in the dilating room one afternoon after he had the same surgery I had, and he had just sold his bike.

Somehow to me that seems like denying everything these mentors taught me. There's always going to be a bigger bully, a crazy redhead, a major home repair or a broken bone--you cannot stop living because things get difficult.

If I was to categorize my feelings over the last few months, I'd say the best description would be "rattled." Now, Mickey and Bob aren't here to kick my butt, although I know what they'd both say.

Several of the guys in the club are now on their way to Sturgis, and I hope Bob "rides" with them in spirit. It's going to be a rough week, guys, thanks for the support.
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by The Tourist View Post
One of the issues that's been an undercurrent of my recuperation was the entire subject of "mortality." Heck, the two toughest guys I rode with were Mickey Foster and Bob Smith. Both deaths seem to be related to heart issues. If guys like that can go, none of us stand much of a chance.



My one saving grace is that these two members never let fear stop them. And even if I am cleared to ride on the 15th, I wonder what my thoughts will be when I swing a leg over a bike for the first time in more than a year? I talked to another biker in the dilating room one afternoon after he had the same surgery I had, and he had just sold his bike.



Somehow to me that seems like denying everything these mentors taught me. There's always going to be a bigger bully, a crazy redhead, a major home repair or a broken bone--you cannot stop living because things get difficult.



If I was to categorize my feelings over the last few months, I'd say the best description would be "rattled." Now, Mickey and Bob aren't here to kick my butt, although I know what they'd both say.



Several of the guys in the club are now on their way to Sturgis, and I hope Bob "rides" with them in spirit. It's going to be a rough week, guys, thanks for the support.


My brain and 'tude go on hiatus at times. Every so many years I say fook it. Last summer I sold my last bike. Do I regret it? Yes, but I can always buy a new bike. This time, 3 things inspired me to dump it this time.

1) I had payments that had another year to pay off. There was never anyone to ride with because they were either working or I was. I got tired of riding alone. But thats just me. I use to enjoy small group rides. So hated paying for something that just sits where I can use that money for other bills and medical needs.

2) I need to save up money for 2 new knees and possibly a hip because, (thank you Obama), my insurance doesn't cover enough and out of pocket is disgusting. Plus I have no family or friends left around here. They either moved or passed away. So along with the surgery, who will run the ship? Who will run my massive snowblower? Cut grass? Fix things? I can't afford to always pay people to do things.
So I hobble and live with my pain. Sometimes I have good days, most, no so much. But I have to push through it to get work done.

3) The 2 nails in the coffin. My dad died over a decade ago, which I have gotten over. Then 2 years ago, my mom died. Before passing, she was laid up in ICU forever. Every time I got the bike out, half way through my ride, I got called to the hospital. It was depressing. In a panic once, almost dumped the bike. Just prior to that, my mentor and best friend died way to early imho. It devastated me. I loved him like a brother. He was the only person to check on me and my wife if he didn't hear from us. He taught me to ride. He was a 1% er with a heart of gold. Sitting here typing this is upsetting and holding back my tears is getting hard. I really miss him!

Along with all 3 things put together, I just said fook it. Jersey was getting harder to drive in. So much traffic, construction, etc. I just threw in the towel. But I'll be back. Just not here in NJ.

In the mean time, I have a lot on my plate. I'm doing projects around the house so I can sell it and move out of this shite state.
I hate NJ, there are just too many bad memories here than good. I need to wipe the slate clean where nobody knows me and be closer to the people I care about.

If you choose to ride, Ride Safe! If not, just wait for a better time. If that time never comes, sit back and remember the good times.


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Old 08-07-2016, 10:21 AM   #7
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I hear ya. Motorcycling in general has been my "mentor." I always seem to turn my head when I hear that sound of a V-twin.

But, the subject of 'retiring' from the sport has come up. The bigger Harley with the monster engine has to go--so says the wife. But then, I drove Sportsters during the MC days, too, so perhaps she's right.

Too early to tell. I have another Gurkha appointment, at least one more go-round with the cog-doc (it appears I am "grieving," I am not making that up), and one appointment with my medical doctor to explain to me in layman's terms what "reality" means.

...for some reason, lots of people think I drag too many footpegs, if you catch my drift...
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:17 AM   #8
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Very sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. During my time in my club, 10 years i went to too many funerals of brothers that i grew to love and respect. There's just something about a brotherhood of men that ride and are like minded that you find nowhere else. I'm sure he is riding with smile on his face in the "Forever Chapter" GBNF
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