Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kung Fu Tap & Taco/ Dice Release Party - May 15, 2010

Part-timer Steve and I got a later start out of here on Friday than we wanted, due to the fact we had some late-night work to do on Steve's bike the night before we hadn't counted on. We had the vital fluids changed and all Thursday afternoon, but Steve wanted to replace the rubber mounting isolators on his oil tank that evening. They had 10,000 mi. on them, and were beginning to shred themselves. Good thing he decided to do them before we left - in more ways than one.

Because we mounted Steve's oil tank in front of the rear wheel, Steve needed to remove the wheel to get to the bottom rubbers. I was over working on the welding table, when I hear "Holeee shit, Rich, look at this!" I walked over to the lift, and Steve was moving his rear sprocket back and forth in the drive direction about 3/8", and off his hub by about the same. The Nylocks were still on his bolts, but the bolts themselves were worn down to about 3/4" of their diameter. Fortunately, we found this before we hit the road. Let that be a lesson to everybody, to check everything before a long, sustained speed trip anywhere. I had some grade 8 sprocket bolts in the bins, so a good douching with Brakleen and a Loctite bath, the new hardware was installed, along with the tank isolators.

Friday we took off about 10:00am for Des Moines. It was a cold, overcast trip starting out (Denver had a cold rain/snow mix the night before), but the roads were clear, and the temps stayed in the low 40's all thru CO, and into NE. But, I'll take cold over rain or snow any day. Steve was running on about 3 hours sleep, but I was lucky, I got 4hours. We decided to cash it in in Lincoln, NE for the night.

We got a good night's sleep, a good breakfast, and headed out to Des Moines about 12:00 noon on Saturday. We arrived at our hotel about 3:30pm, cleaned up, and hit the Kung Fu about 5:00pm. The party was in full swing, and we dove in as soon as we arrived. It was really good to see so many diverse tribes that had descended on the scene - all my Sinner Brothers from SoCal, a group of riders from Mpls./St. Paul, another group from Chicago, and yet another group of riders from Milwaukee, just to name a few. Plus, a good showing of all of Iowa, along with people from as far away as The Dakotas and Montana - all coming together for a great time. No hassles, no attitudes, no nothin'.
It was nice to see Jeff and Fatty, along with a bunch of people I normally don't get to, because my travels are usually Westbound. It's been a long time since I've been East of the Missouri River. It was great to finally meet Dave Polgreen, Noot, and the countless other people that follow my blog, and have seen my bikes in the magazines. But, the highlight of the evening was finally meeting Tom Fugle, a man I've wanted to for 42 years.

Steve and I stayed until the "last dog was dead", then headed back to the hotel. We got up late, made a reservation in Kerney, NE for that night, and hit the road. The weather was windy, but sunny West of Des Moines, but that turned to windy and dark over Omaha/Council Bluffs. As we were going thru Lincoln, the rain we had dodged all during the trip caught up with us. It poured on us for the last 140 mi. that day.
While we were taking a break in Grand Island, NE at the Sapp Bros. truckstop, a conversion van rolled in, pulling a flatbed trailer with THREE dressers on it. I don't know if you've ever noticed this before, but when it's pouring outside, and the occupants of a tow rig like this finally get out, there isn't a lot of conversation between guys that are drenched to the bone, riding their bikes thru it all, and said dry occupants of the rig. Guilt, maybe - I dunno - I mean, they were DRESSERS on that trailer.

We made Kerney in the rain at dusk, checked in to the Super 8, had McDonald's for dinner, and dried everything out. We sleped in a little, ate breakfast at a Perkins, gassed up, and rode the last leg into Denver. From the NE border all the way into town it was windy as fuck (but sunny), and we were pretty tired when we rolled into my driveway by 7:00pm Monday night.

All in all - 1,400 mi., mostly good weather, no mechanical failures, a killer time, and the first long ride of the year for both of us. I tend to forget just how much fun it is to just hit the road for a long-distance party. I haven't done that for a long time, and we had a good adventure. I mean, that's what it's all about, right?

I know Steve shot some more video film, and shot pictures at the party, but I haven't seen any of it yet. In the mean time, check out these sites for some great pictures:

1 comment:

huduguru said...

Rich/Steve--Great to see and talk with you both at the Fu, finally meeting Steve. Glad you made it back west, even a little soggy. All from Mpls/StP were stoked about the trip as well--a great gathering of the midwest. We need to do it again soon.
JW in MN