Recognition to Harley Tracks grows.

Through the year, I’ve introduced my story at national and local events. My thanks to new readers, and I was humbled from the comments of others who’ve read it.  But it’s those I rode for, and their Brothers who came home, who deserve a greater recognition.

I didn’t intend to make that ride, but when the opportunity presented itself, I felt an obligation as you would have. Unlike many, I was in a position to risk much in my life to fulfill it, although, I didn’t know what that would take, and that’s where faith fit into my journey.

After 6,000+ hours of writing, and re-writing, I published Harley Tracks with professional guidance, after which, I learned that’s only 5% of getting a story to it’s audience.  As I rode in faith, I wrote in faith, and those I hoped would find it worthy have encouraged me to push hard to promote it. However, the outgoing nature to market something has been only a sliver in my character, but I’ve gotten better. Many people who don’t read books have been fascinated with my story told at events.

Since you are still with me in this post, I know we have some very important things in common, and you would relate to my story much as I did, and readers have. It’s a unique story that surprised me as much as them. Who would have imagined a ride like that?  It’s a story that many people want to read, only they don’t know it yet!

Please check out the Reader’s Comments page, and keep an eye out for my story in the March 2018 issue of Easyrider magazine; available Jan. 30. The editor has planned for a lengthy article.

I proudly add that the Fat Boy passed the 100,000 mile mark on a recent road trip, which include the Kokomo, Indiana, Vietnam Veterans Reunion, and a motorcycle expo in Columbus, Ohio, where I caught up with Daniel, a fellow I met in Vientiane, Laos, 7 years ago. He’s a part of the Laos Intermission chapter in my book. Between those two events, I spent time with my friend, JT, near Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He’s a retired jet engine mechanic who now repairs Harleys. We rolled my bike onto a lift for an exploratory inspection: 180 psi in both cylinders and the leak-down was 5%, that was thrilling to find. We then found the cam chain tensioners, cams, and oil pump good for about another 30 – 40 K miles, and I decided, with JT on the wrench, it was an opportune time to change them all out for Feuling 525 cams and plate assembly with a high volume oil pump.

I look forward to the next 100,000 miles.

To start those miles, I’m in the process of a paint job, just a touch up to go along with some graphics on the front and rear fenders. I’ll take pride in presenting the bike at the IMS and Donnie Smith bike shows this Dec and Feb., and one day, giving it to it’s rightful owners, those whose names cut into The Wall. But first, I’ve got more miles to ride for them.

Thanks for the visit.

Never Forget.

 

 

The NVAR seems like long ago, and the next one is taking eons to get here.

In the meantime, Harley Tracks has been busy at local events, and I thank all who bought my book, and appreciated all the nice words from those who already read it.

I have  some great news: I got a call from Dave Nichols, Editor at EASYRIDER MAGAZINE, he asked for a 2,000 word article about my ride/book, along with photos. That’ll be quite a spread on their pages. I’ll update for sure.

Now, back to events.

The annual Patriot Guard Ride was July 8. They held a special recognition to Vietnam Veterans and Law Enforcement Officers. The weather was perfect, and the attendance was huge, more than I’d seen in the past four years. The Patriot Guard did a fantastic job with organization and schedule of respected host speakers. It was great to hear a band with a lot of brass in it, and they played on as the last of the vendors packed it in.

After sharing stories, I often forget to get a picture new readers of Harley Tracks, but they were mindful to request photos with me, and in turn, I snapped them. I had to post one with Killswitch and the bike he built from a dream; aluminum frame, anodized, and 121 cubic inches of power. Nice job Killswitch, thanks to you new readers, and Thank You Veterans.

To all Gold Star Families, our hearts and prayers are with you.

 

 

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.

Mar/Apr

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.

Check out the Readers Comment page.

Thank you & Never Forget.