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Village Whack Job...
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So it's been almost two years since my CB 350 had met its end coming off the railroad tracks. It laid there by the road for almost a week. I went past it everyday on my custom built bicycle, banana seat recovered with red bandanna material, red white and blue paint, big long sissy bar, long chopper forks and skinny ape hanger type handle bars. Everyday I pedaled past that spot I'd look at my motorcycle laying there in the rocks and weeds and feel like a part of me was laying there dead.

Finally one day I stopped. It took me all afternoon to do it, I was dirty sweaty bruised and scraped from shoulder to ankle but I managed to drag the bike down to the water's edge. And after a few moments of quiet reflection I pushed it in. Later floods carried it away.

Anyway as I said it had been almost two years since then. I'd ridden borrowed bikes from time to time. But not having my own left me feeling kind of empty. I had about $75 in a coffee can buried under our trailer. I was saving up for a car. See at that point I had discovered what girls are for. If I had a car, I could have any girl I wanted.

I was headed to a friend's house that day. You see in West Virginia going to a friend's house isn't exactly a walk through the neighbor hood. It was usually five miles or so up and down mountain sides and along rivers and creeks and what not. From the way I write this you would think I hate the place, at the time in some ways I did. But sitting here now, writing and thinking back, I miss it. Not the so much the life I had there as the land itself. It's green and wild, and beautiful. I miss the clean air, the quiet, the freedom.

Now the friend had a bicycle much like my own. We'd built them together, and we were the only ones who could tell them apart. We rode them around town feeling like Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. We spent so much time on those wild bikes that we could maneuver them just as well as anyone on a normal twenty inch bike. They were fun, they were cool, we went everywhere on them. Two wheels, the road, nothing between me and where I wanted to go but air and opportunity. I had my best friend right there with me pedaling almost tin perfect time with me. Glorious. And all the while miserable. I wanted a throttle in my fist, a roar in my ears. I needed speed, and not just when going downhill. I needed the stink of gasoline and exhaust. I needed a gas tank between my knees. I needed a motorcycle damnit!

Talking to my friend and flipping through stolen Easy Rider magazines we day dreamed about owning motorcycles, about riding the roads forever. I was almost 16, I was all about freedom and rebellion and everything else that would take me nowhere fast.

Riding around on my own that day I spy a motorcycle sitting in a front yard with a piece of plywood leaning against it. The plywood turned out to be a for sale sign. I rolled on over for a better look. The sign read " FOR SALE Runs needs work $100.

I almost fell off my bicycle. I already had $75 I could come up with the rest in a couple weeks or less! So I went and knocked on the door. When I told the old guy that answered the door I was interested in the bike he took one look at me laughed in my face and slammed the door. This was not to be the only door slammed in my face, nor the only time I would be laughed at to my face. Crushed I turned and started to walk off the porch. I looked at that motorcycle though sitting there in all its mangled glory, it was in worse shape than the 350. I knocked on the door again.

The old guy wasn't laughing anymore. He told me it was way to much bike for me and to go away. I told him I could ride anything with two wheels. Said " Gimme the keys mister and I'll prove it!" He laughed again and asked me if I had any money. I told him I didn't have but two dollars on me but I had more at home and could get him his hundred bucks in a couple weeks.

He laughed at me again and told me to get lost and not to come back unless I had some money. I bet he never expected to see me again.

I went by every single day. It was a twenty minute drive from the trailer park to town. But everyday I pedaled my ass by there to see if what I had started to think of as my motorcycle was still there. I'd knock the for sale sign down so no one would see it and buy it. One day I even drug the sign away and threw it in the river.

I begged my mom for money, I mowed lawns, helgramites were out of season. It took me the full two weeks but I put the money together. And I tore ass to town on that bicycle. It took me a full five minutes to be able to breathe let alone talk by the time I got there. I think not being able to breathe was as much a product of the shock of the motorcycle no longer sitting there in the front yard as the furious ride there.

I ran/staggered up onto the porch and knocked ont he door. The old man seemed truly surprised to see me. "Where is it!?" I gasped. "Where's whut?" he grunted back at me.

"My motorcycle!" He laughed at me again. "YOUR motorcycle?"

"Yeah damnit where is it?"

He asked me if I had any money, like a damn fool I told him yeah I had the whole hundred bucks. To make a long story short he took my money and told me to get lost. That was the day Carmen McGuire (at the time I thought it was real weird for a man to be named Carmen) that was the day Carmen got his ass handed to him by a woman. My mother kicked the **** out of him. Well at least verbally. I really wanted her to kick his ass but she beat him with words. She got me my money back.

But I wanted that bike.

Yeah he still had it. Someone had come to look at it and had taken it for a test ride.

When I came back again the next day I thought Carmen was gonna kick MY ass. But in mid sentence, right in the middle of telling me to get off his porch he just stopped. And he looked at me. He say's, "You'll probably kill your fool self on that thing kid."

And I couldn't figure it out then, but I now know he sold me that damn thing just to piss my mother off. Of course I knew she would be pissed if I brought it home. So I took it to Ray's house. The guy I bought the 350 from. The rear tire was completely bald, Of course the seat was torn, the tank was dented and scratched, the left side cover was gone. Both rear turn signals were broken and one of the fronts didn't work.

Ray looked at it and looked me and said "you just gotta ride huh kid?". Ray Bonds was probably a huge contributor to my addiction to motorcycles. He worked on that heap for nothing, even gave me parts for it. Ray is also the guy I got my 68 Charger from...I'd watched him build that car from two bare frame rails up. But that was quite a few years later.


I kept that '76 till I was 19. I sold it to by a basket case Harley.

This isn't the the one I had, but it's pretty much the same, even the same color but in much better shape than the one I had.

 

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I'm from W.Va. and would move back in a heart beat if I could!

Bernie
 

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Keep on that keyboard, Broke......... keep writing, man.........
 

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Dubswing wrote:
I'm from W.Va. and would move back in a heart beat if I could!

Bernie
Even after all those years learning how to not get lost in East Tennessee?

That place is a green maze.... lovely as it is! We western mountain boys get a little claustrophic in East Tennessee......... "Green, green, everywhere.... and it all looks the same!"

Hey, Bernie..... the Mazda is runnin' sweet as syrup!
 

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I live here in West Virgina and cant beat it for riding just wish the rain would let up some been raining allmost every day ,and yes great wrighting.I have 1976 cb500t have had it sence it was new still runs like new and looks like new.
 
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