Another great ride across America to visit veterans in homes and hospitals, recognize veterans from the War on Terror with medals and thanks, visit school kids, and pay our respect at cemeteries and memorials. Lots of stories and laughs, camaraderie, support, food, and entertaining weather. Most wore denims, leathers, heated liners, and rain gear most of the ride. Winter storm Valerie forced I-80 to close in Wyoming, so sadly had to miss two hospital visit to get back on schedule in Grand Island NE. Although, a group from Grand Island will return for those visits.
I returned home after 5 weeks with 7,600 miles behind me. Check out those spark plugs, 96,000 miles on the Fat Boy; 71 hp and 82 lbs torque! It’s a blessed bike that runs strong for those who gave all.
Bike Week & Bike Show
The drive back to Mpls from Daytona Bike Week felt like and endless highway; but after two 13 hour dats and one 7 hour day, I arrived. But not before a necessary nap on the south side of the city.
It began with in route visits with Launie and AJ, my neighbor from school days and her husband, in GA. Then to Tampa to meet up with Doc, Bao Anh, and Chloe (I met Doc and Bao Anh for the first time in Dong Hoi, Vietnam, on their wedding day, 2009!) Great to see them again, and they have a special place in my book.
On my first days in Daytona I met up with Billy and Kelley, friends from Maine, who are also in my story; Chapter 16, 2013. Great to catch up with them and their friends.
After a couple days of 80+ degrees, a cold front soaked and slowed things a bit. Yet, if it’s built, the people will come, and he crowds kept a steady pace at Destination Daytona, home to Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley Davidson, who invited me down for a book signing.
Tales were told from both sides of my display table at the top of the escalators. My thanks to all I signed books for. And, I hold everyone to their word who said they will order one!
Jim Benedict, a Vietnam Veteran who bought the book, stopped back a day or two later to watch a half hour of slide show. He’d read 50 pages already and asked if I’d sold a million copies yet. “Not yet”, I said, “but with your help I should”. He had already spread the word. Thanks Jim.
On a wild night at the Broken Spoke I had introductions and invitations for a magazine article and radio interview; more on those later.
After more rest back in Mpls, I set up for a book signing at the Donnie Smith Bike Show in St. Paul. Motorcycle creations graced the showroom, and tons of parts exchanged hands at the swap meet, more mind-blowing hot rods parked upstairs, and a tattoo show was added this year. Thanks again to all I signed books for; and to all who stopped by with comments after their read, thank you, too. To those who said they’ll order it, I hold you to your words, too!
I’m thinking about some graphics on the Fat Boy and putting it in the bike shows next year; more on that later, toooo!
On the schedule for Harley Tracks are presentations at Blaine HD Open House and the Otsego Senior center.
April 30: My departure for the NVAR; my 5th ride. Before I meet my NVAR Brothers and Sisters in Auburn CA, I’ll visit friends and family in SD, ID, OR, and CA. (Check out the NVAR link on this page, and rftw.com for info on a similar, and much larger ride. Until you’ve been on one of these rides, you can’t imagine the honor and fulfillment from meeting veterans in homes and hospitals across America. These are rides everyone should take, at least once. ) I switched to an S&S air filter with a new MAP programed = 71 hp at 82 ft. lbs. torque. New tires are mounted, and after 90,000 miles I’ll have new shocks for comfortable tracks in the spirit of freedom.
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Thank you & Never Forget.