I needed to scrub in the new tires, so I took Ol’ Yeller out to some of its old stomping grounds. I can’t help but think, if it could smile, it would be from ear to ear. Can’t believe it’s been 17 years and 72,000+ miles since I brought it home. Many great adventures so far during our time together and hoping for many more to come.
June 8, 2009 Today I took my annual ride to remember my good friend. Decided this year to take a trip up to one of our favorite spots. As I sat up on the top of the world, with the bright sunny sky to my left, and the dark clouds spitting thunder and lightening to the right, I couldn’t help but wonder if Mike had something to do with the show as it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Days like these are few and far between, we should all slow down from time to time and take in what nature has to offer. Thank you Mike… Message received!!!
Holy smokes, look what else came in today. New Race Tech fork springs for Ol’ Yeller. It’s like Christmas only better! Special thanks to Alan Bryant at True Value Homecenter in Oakhurst. They are also a WPS distributor and Alan is an enthusiast who likes to help out other enthusiasts by offering awesome deals. I’m thankful to have such a great shop up here in the sticks which has the ability to get me the parts I need usually within a few days.
True Value Homecenter
There’s not much available for the old dog with its bastard of a 16″ front wheel, but I was happy with the old Bridgestone BT016 that I was using, so I was happy to find Bridgestone still carries my tire size and I picked up a set of BT-S20 for cheap through Chaparral Motorsports. They had the best prices and these bad boys were delivered to my door in two days. I can’t wait to get them on the bike.
Penske Racing Shocks
All serviced and ready to ride. Can’t wait to get this beauty back on Ol’ Yeller.
Penske Racing Shocks
All back together and shined up. I tell ya, I’ve learned more about my bikes in the past few months than I have ever before. Thanks to good friends who are willing to take the time to explain things and continually listen to all of my stupid questions.
Took some time to give the Repsol a little love today with fresh oil, filter and new chain and sprockets. It’s nice to have a buddy with a nice clean garage, and another buddy with a bike stand, and who used to tech for the AMA.
RK Racing Chains
Maxima Racing Oils
Wow, what another great year. We were all treated to cooler than normal temperatures, however we did have to deal with another year of smoke due to the nearby Willow fire. Our path was speckled with burnt brush and tress along the roadside, left behind by the few large fires we’ve had this year. Our last stretch bringing us right by the still raging fire, the support teams and onlookers parked along the road.
We changed it up this year and ended the ride at the Fresno Flats Historical Park. Unfortunately, a few of us were witness to a little mishap (not one of ours thankfully) as we made our way back back into town, but we were able to collect all the riders and get them to the BBQ where we all enjoyed good food, cold drinks and great company. It was great to see such a big range of riders again this year, and I enjoyed checking out all the rides during the few stops we made.
Thanks again to Ian and Becca for the awesome BBQ, to Michele for getting there early and setting everything up, as well as providing a lot of awesome side dishes. Thanks to Elaine for the wonderful chocolate chip cookies which have became a favorite over the years. Thanks also to Randy, Seth, Alan and all the support riders that make this ride so special year after year, without you I’m sure we would have lost a few by now.
This ride marked ten years since we lost Mike. I’m thankful for our time together and for this ride that brings so many people together each year. It seems Friendship Ride has become more and more a memorial ride for others that have lost someone close to their heart. A venue to share their memories of those that they lost. It’s easy to forget the important things while we’re busy living our lives. Sometime we need to take a break, hold close the ones we love, and take the time to remember those we have lost so as they will not be forgotten.
Until next year my friends, ride safe.