Lug Nut, JW, Tinman & myself was out in front of our eight man procession as we crossed over the highest part of the mountain road we were riding through, when someone noticed that the last four of our pack was AWOL, so we pulled over to the side on this every twisting road to ask each other, “What happened to them?”
Tinman said Moonshine Billy was right behind him and the last time he noticed his presence was on a left hand curve where oil was in the road and a wrecked Kawasaki was sitting on the right side inside the guard rail. I remember that place, because as I passed the spot, I was looking at the mangled sports bike and got into the curve quicker than I thought and felt my old bagger slip a little as I had to counter steer to keep her from slidding down on her side, like the Kawasaki had of apparently done. Anway, we four decided we would find a safe place and park while we waited for the rest to show up.
I had a bottle of water to sip on while Lug pulled out a couple beers to quench his and Deano’s thirst, we tried to sit down on the wall provided by the good state of North Carolina, but the chiggers were so thick (and big) we passed on that idea and stood out near the road. I saw a car approaching and waved the fellow down that was driving it and as he pulled in I asked if he had seen any bikes back up the trail that may be having some problems, he answered no and said he did see some riders at the last pulloff (where the wrecked motorcycle was), but they looked ok, and he drove off.
We decided that Butta’s clutch cable must have came loose again after he fixed it back at the museum (with vice grips). After sitting there another ten minutes, we all decided we would keep going and find a place to get a colder drink and wait on our partners. Just as we were straddling our bikes, we saw Zack (Hard Luck Willie) coming our way and you could tell by looking at his countenance, it was bad news. “Fritz went down”, he told us. “He’s pretty banged up and his scoots finished”, Willie continued. So we loaded up and headed back North, where we found our buddy from Indiana setting on the guard rail, bleeding from a couple scratches on his face, and it was obvious that he was feeling some pain on his right side. After checking on Fritz I wandered over to his bike, a beautiful Shovelhead that he had just finished up for this ride. The black paint with faint grayish ghost flames, and the chrome and polished engine and tranny were now scratched and had gravel and grass stuck to them.
Fritz had come into the turn a little to fast and when he leaned the bike over to the left, his clutch basket caught the pavement and picked the rear wheel off the ground and when it came back down, the bike high sided, sending the rider over the motorcycle onto the narrow strip of grass into
the guard rail, where he now sit. It was apparent that the railing saved him from an even greater slide, guaranteeing him much more road rash than he now had. Yes it was a sudden stop for his body, but if not for the rail catching him, he would have gone over the mountain, with the scooter chasing after him. Like I said earlier, it could have been worse.
Though it seemed as the “motorcycle gods” were frowning down on us, we did have some good luck. JW’s girl, Deb was on her way to the campsite, where the BMR was being held, and thankfully she decided to take the same route we did, she was pulling a camper, (which took a lot of poise I tell you), and that meant she also had the an empty truck bed, and though she had pulled out ahead of both packs of riders that morning, she some how got behind us, and happened upon the accident, recognized the fellows and stopped, before we five had returned to the scene. What a wonderful site it was to see her there, for if she had of gone the other route, we would have had a long afternoon, going about 60 miles to the place where Fritz truck was stashed, and the round trip would have taken a good three hours to complete, so we thank heaven for Deb.
As the young cats loaded up Fritz’s beat up Shovelhead into the rear of the Chevy, I could tell that his body was starting to feel the pain more and more with every passing second, yet he hobbled his way over to the pick up and sat down on the “shotgun” side and nodded to his new escort that he was ready when she was. So off we go, still manuvering the twist and turns for another 25 miles or so, looking for the next place where there would be businesses, as to inquire about a hospital to check our riding buddy out.
We stopped at the first restaurant that our group came to and Fritz was “braving” up and wanted to skip the emergency room visit, so we grabbed a bite to eat, and was destined for the BMR’s campground/party, when I see another rider go by, who looked kind of lonely. I had seen him two other times that morning and he was by himself, so I waved at him and he too pulled into the eatery with us. His name was Dan and he was a Major in the Army so we started calling him Major Tom, and we now had 9 riders as we departed to our final destination.
Once we arrived at the campsite, things seemed to jell out quite a bit for us. We were all tired from the night before and the too many curves of the last 100 miles. Each of us found our places of slumber (relatively easy), put our gear in the appropriate places and started looking for something cold to drink, again thanks to Deb for rescuing our parched bodies with a cooler full of ice cold PBR’s. By now Fritz was feeling like he should go get some x-rays, so he and Deb went searching for the closest professional medical treatment in the area and we, well we just drug out some old wooden rocking chairs and staked out our place to be for the weekend, on the porch of the bunkhouse, and we just rocked and drank beer, as the people started rolling in. What a life?
(To be continued, because you have to hear about the wild pack of Amish bikers that invaded the camp!!!)