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The Never-ending Story This is where you can start or add to a work of fiction. Anything goes as long as it is fiction and it meets the standards of the public forum area.

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  #1  
Old 10th January 2005
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willprevale willprevale is offline
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Default He Rides Alone

He rides alone.

You're liable to see him coming down the road, at a swap meet, at the local watering hole or at anyone of the rallies and gatherings. He's over fifty, his hair may be long and he probably sports a beard. His laconic stare is often mistaken for something between slightly bemused to a little pissed at the world. You'll know as much about him in thirty seconds of watching than you would if you were to follow him all day. He likes it that way. He doesn't wave or give the now famous left hand salute anymore. Don't take it personally. Try to understand. He wore out his shoulder doing that years ago and knows nowadays that the best place for his hands and eyes are on the handle bars and the road respectively. In all probablity he'll be sober. Drinking his way into oblivion is a thing of the past. He's riding tonight and he knows the price is way too high and the hangovers, far too long. He remembers well the many bros he's helped to bury and his left knee still bothers him when the weather changes, thanks to the senior citizen cager that wandered lanes and whacked him head on in '71.

His ego isn't on the line these days. He'll stop to let a kid cross the road and scowl like hell at the cager who won't. He gave up the Harley snarl for a smile and a wave. Riding isn't just a passion with him. It's his life. He does it full time. Trailering in to Daytona still baffles him as much today as it did thirty years ago. Don't worry about the attitude. He's not mad. He just knows to be wary of strangers, particularly newbies and those who want to "bro up" too quickly. He learned years ago that the term 'bro' can often be bullshit for, "you've got something I want". If you want to be his friend, you've got some proving to do. He won't be bragging about his years in 'Nam and won't tolerate those who do. If you want to convince him you were a point man, show him the scars. He won't look for trouble but if it's trouble you want, you're gonna have your hands full. He'll fight like a dog and win or lose you're gonna know you've been in a scrap. He knows that any punk fresh out of high school can kick his ass if it goes longer than thirty seconds. He's a veteran of those wars as well and thirty seconds is about twice as long as it takes to get the job done.

His ol' lady may never grace naked on the pages of Iron Horse magazine but to him she's the best there is and to her, he's the greatest thing since tampons. She's loyal and knows not to mess with him. She can take care of herself and she understands the rules. He's lost count of the game playin' broads he's left in truck stops or gas stations somehwere along the way and she knows it intuitively...... without ever having been told. She knows he'd rather ride solo than ever have his head f***ed with. He doesn't have time for the bullshit. If he doesn't have an ol' lady, he's still got an eye for them. You might even catch him starin' at your ol' lady's behind but rest assured, he'll leave her alone. He gives the respect he demands.

His ride may not be spectacular but it's clean and well maintained. He's got an intimate knowldge of every nut and bolt on it and the thought of paying fifty bucks an hour to someone else is terrifying. Any changes or modifications are functional and have been carefully thought out. Maybe a few goodies but nothing radical. He found out the hard way that the best way to get the max on the odometer is to leave it alone. It still baffles him that some folks actually pay good money to have their oil changed. Don't ever ask to ride his machine. His motto is, "never lend out your bike or your old lady, neither of them ever come back in the same condition". It's probably a little older but it may be that he can't justify the fifteen grand or more for a new one. Time payments stopped being an option for him back before Kilbourne Finance went out of business. At his age, riding is far more important than worrying about the next payment. More importantly, bitter experience has taught him over the years that it's the decked out, sparkly paint and chrome sleds that usually get ripped off first. He'll wait as long as it takes to get a seat in a restaurant near the window. He needs to be where he can watch his bike at all times. He has an unnegotiable rule: Never lose sight of your bike. He likes his pipes loud but you'll never see him revving it up in parking lots or at the curb. Besides drawing uneeded attention, he'd rather get another twenty five grand out of his engine than tear up the bottom end or float a valve impressing the locals. He also knows all too well that coming and going like a gentleman will increase his chances for another welcome back. Something that's becoming all too rare these days.

There's at least one song about it. His leather is old and worn and it can tell enough stories to make a decent grade-B movie. From the many times it's served as a pillow or blanket on some long ago forgotten roadside park, a place for some saddle tramp's butt , to the road rash it's saved him from over the years, the bar room brawl in Jersey, the snow storm in New York or the time he mistakenly rode into town on the heels of a Memorial Day parade and reveled in the cheers of the locals who thought he was part of the show. You'll never see it left on his saddle and seldom off his back. If you see it, leave your hands off of it or pay the price. He's got at least one story from Daytona to back it up.

If he calls you Bro, he means it. You won't see a patch on his back and he doesn't hang with clubs. The time honored "hang around status" is something he can live without. He doesn't need their respect. He has his own. With the exception of a few well chosen friends, he's a loner. He has to be. Most of his closest bros are dead, in jail or gave up the lifestyle years ago to do the family thing. He quit the outlaw scene around the time the AMA came out with the 1% label. He knew it was a bullshit figure then as it is now. From where he was sitting in those days, it was probably closer to twenty or thirty percent. Today he thinks it's doubtful if all the outlaws in the country can account for anything close to one percent. Then as now, they got all the coverage and he's still paying the price. He's confounded by the wannabees who go out of their way to emulate the outlaw element in every way, including the one fingered Easy Rider salute and the legendary Harley snarl and then gather in groups for mutual masturbation (because some busineses won't tolerate their antics), whining about their imagined rights. They can't be blamed for their ignorance. He wonders if they'll ever get it.

Don't ask him any questions about those days. Those are precious and oftimes haunting memories tucked away somewhere in the back rooms of his mind. He still wrestles with them on loney nights, listening to Willie or Haggard, a quart of JD and some weed. Maybe it's the time he saved that sweet young thing from the horrors of a gang rape (lovingly called trains) and it cost him his prized rigid chopper, his patch and damn near his life. He's do it again without hesitation if the call ever comes again but he hopes that this time someone else will get the torch. Or maybe it's the time he didn't....... Maybe he's remembering the many ol' ladies who gave him that ultimate choice, "the bike or me". Any of them could be your old lady, your sister or even your Mom. Will he tell you about the time he unwittingly rode into a trap, got ambushed by a rival gang and barely escaped with his life? Would you even believe that he once pow-wowed with Sonny over a club name more than thirty years ago? Maybe it's that hell hole in Asia he's come to rememeber as the valley of death and will the shelling ever stop? It doesn't much matter. Either way......you'll probably never know. He's long since stopped blowing his horn.

If he seems to be looking your way, he's probably wondering when you're gonna lose that stupid ass eagle on that shiny new vest you're wearing. It stands out like the foil wrapped condom we all carried in our wallet so many years ago.... just in case. The same goes for all those dumb ass, adolescent offensive stickers on your brain bucket. He wonders if you'd let your kids put those same stickers on their school books. You might as well put one on your pecker that reads....... asshole in tow. Though he still prefers his Harley, he won't give a rip if you ride American or Metric. He'll judge the man and not the ride. He'll probably begin his assessment by looking at that skid lid. He may start a converstation with you or side step you like a freshly laid pile of dog shit.. He's developed a sixth sense over the years and can spot real from phony a hundred yards away. If you're lucky enough to talk with him, don't brag and please don't bore him with your stories of daring do. He stopped being impressed when Kennedy and he got shot in the same year.

He may live in your neighborhood, work at the local bike shop, drive a truck or spend his days riding from town to town meandering his way through life as he's done for so many years. You may know him by face alone. He's spent his time on both sides of the street and knows the score. He's got more ex old ladies than he can count and they all either love him madly or can't wait to get him in their gun sights. There's no two ways about this character. You'll love him or hate him and either way he couldn't care less. He's the genuine article....... the real one percenter. the grey beard. He's paid his dues.

He rides alone.

© 2000 RC Antolina All Rights Reserved

Last edited by cantolina; 24th May 2009 at 18:59..
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  #2  
Old 10th January 2005
Darhawk Darhawk is offline
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....AMEN !
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  #3  
Old 10th January 2005
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txsporty txsporty is offline
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Love it!!!
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  #4  
Old 10th January 2005
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Shark Doctor Shark Doctor is offline
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Nicely said...
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  #5  
Old 10th January 2005
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pquirk pquirk is offline
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I remeber that from the old site. I liked it then and still do. In fact I think about it often when I'm tooling around. I like to think I share many of his values, but I didn't have to develop them by learning the hard way. It's cool to be a human and posess the capacity to learn from the mistakes of others. I remember when this was posted on the old site lots of people said, "who cares, this guy is a loner freak," etc, etc. I think they missed the point. He rides alone is a metaphor. It does capture the essence of riding (for me), but it is more than that, and this is really a classic example of "If I had to explain, you wouldn't understand". Thanks for re-posting Will
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  #6  
Old 10th January 2005
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willprevale willprevale is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pquirk
Thanks for re-posting Will
Thank you for understanding.
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  #7  
Old 11th January 2005
bud095 bud095 is offline
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will, id like to go on a long ride with you some day you seem like a pretty intresting guy!

Last edited by bud095; 11th January 2005 at 01:59..
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  #8  
Old 11th January 2005
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That's good stuff WillyP!




Bart
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  #9  
Old 11th January 2005
Mountainrun Mountainrun is offline
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Great read Willprevale. There's quite a bit I can relate to there, having been descibed as someone who can be alone in a crowd, by those that know me. Never one to follow, never one to lead, if I call you friend you're a good one, posers I don't need.
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  #10  
Old 11th January 2005
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cypher cypher is offline
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Thanks for sharing Willprevale!! Great story!!
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