The riding itself has really not changed that much. The times, the bikes, some of the friends and brothers that have come and gone sure have. One of my best rides was about fifteen years back when a friend of mine got released from the state accommodations. He had been in for a minute and as is the usual case there are very few of your “friends” or “brothers” waiting around so it was just he and I on that day.
We jumped on our bikes and started out with no destination in mind and just the thought of avoiding anyplace with a lot of people. It was a perfect day weather-wise, sunny mid-seventies. I had brought along a bottle of Jack and we decided after fueling up that should just take every county road and head over to the Mississippi River.
If we had done the big road thing this was a two-hour run. We took all fucking day. I remember stopping on this little-deserted road and having a shot and a smoke just leaning on the bikes bullshitting for a half hour. My friend was so fucking happy to be free and I was just happy to be there.
We stood on the side of the road until a farm tractor drove by and decided we would go in the other direction like it was some major roadblock we had to avoid. An hour later we pulled into this little town in the middle of nowhere and filled up. As we were standing there, bikes started rolling into town going to a bar about a block away. After watching them for a bit, about 50 finally seemed to be the number, a chick on a black and white MOO Glide came in by us to ask if we were on the memorial ride.
Apparently, we had lost a biker and this was his ride. We decided to go over and have a drink out of respect but we left in a short time and rode out of town. As we pulled out there, a little lane and a half road that was running next to a stream, it looked perfect. We followed that for awhile and when it came to a major crossroad we discovered a country titty bar. It was open but since it was only like 3 we were there way before the girls.
He and I sat in there listening to a kick-ass country jukebox. Waylon, Merle it was a riot. After an hour or so we thought we should find a burger and headed out. A little later we came to the River and turned south towards Lake City Mn. As we got to town we saw a couple bikes downtown at this little place that had burgers and beer. It was good food and we had no schedule so we rode down to their riverfront and checked out the view. A lot of boats, no broads that were younger than ancient though.
I am pretty sure if we stayed there too long the popo would be checking on the biker trash in the parking lot. We decided that although we had put on like 150 miles all day we should call it a night but had to go south a couple of miles to find a room. The next day we decided to head down to Savanna Il. we spent all day winding along back and forth across the river and back thru Mn, Wi, Ia, and Il.
We stopped and drank and smoked about every hour from 8 until we got to Savanna at like 3 pm. Now for those of you that have never been to Savanna, it is a town that full-on caters to the bikers. All bikers, all day and all night all summer long. We stopped downtown a the Iron Horse Social club and they had a drink and went upstairs next door to listen to Jimmy Van Zant play. He was awesome and although he lived a lot off his cousin’s name, that dude could sing man. We had no idea he was playing there and it was cool as shit watching him and talking to him afterward. I guess Jimmy died a couple of years later from liver problems, maybe I shouldn’t have bought him a shot but hey.
We hung out there until it was about 7 and then tried to find a room. I remember we rode south out of town to a golf resort and got a room there. It was funny as hell because this place had a bar and we thought we should go to the bar after cleaning up to go out. My buddy got in there first and he found a golf widow that was like 15 years older than he was when he went to the pisser I told her what an opportunity she had to go cougar on his ass and she was fucking ready to bang him in the bar. I left them there and headed back up to Poopys. This is another place to go if you haven’t ever been there. Although I am more of the Iron Horse kind of guy, the Iron Horse is really dead most nights because Poopys is screaming.
I spent way to much time in town, but hey I figured he had a lot of things that she needed to work on with him. When I got back at about bar time she was gone and he was sitting outside working on finishing our bottle of Jack.
The next day we decided it would be a good idea for him to start looking for a job and he definitely needed a new address, his old lady had made that perfectly clear the week he went in. So we headed back towards my place. After a couple calls that week and some favors called in, we found him a job and place to live.
My friend stayed around for a number of years and did a number of great rides with me after that, in fact, I took him on his first ever trip to Florida on a bike a bit later. After about 5 years he went back up where he was from and things started going badly for him again.
As I said the rides haven’t changed that much. The bikes and brothers have, some are dead some are doing things that have taken them in a different direction and some are doing time. But the riding is still there for those of us that keep going.
What did Gregg Allman say “This old road goes on forever ”
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Robert “Ghost” Hawkins
Categories: Biker Lifestyle