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Bummer's Monthly Musings

Bummer, who's an ABATE institution, writes one of the most widely read articles in the Outspokin' each month. Now he's also right here on the web! Welcome to the Computer Age, Bummer! ~ Enjoy!

 

 

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Shootin’ the Breeze 

 January 2003 

by Bummer

Email: bummer@abate.com

     Happy New Year y’all.

      Usually I make a list of resolutions I will or will not do in the coming year.  I don’t really pay attention to it, but I do make a list.

     I like to make lists.  I make a list to go to the grocers, a list of stuff to do around the house.  A list of parts I need to get at swap meets.  Songs I’d like to buy or record.  Christmas lists.....Hell, I make lists of lists I should make.

     As you can see I could be a very organized person.  The problem is that like most of us I tend to procrastinate.  I’d put off goin’ to sleep if I didn’t get tired.

     One thing I do not put off though is makin’ sure I’m riding on good tires and that the brakes are okey dokey when I sit my butt on the scoot in the spring.  I learned many moons ago that bad tires are dangerous and that no matter how much ya like to ride, sooner or later ya gotta stop, and when ya gotta stop just might be a surprise.  If ya ride on the back it might behoove ya to take a look at what yer old man calls tires every now and then.  That tread is what’s keepin’ ya from slidin’ into something ya shouldn’t....like the pavement!

     I have a friend named Smudge.  Don’t know how he got that name [and don’t think I wanna].  He rides his tires down to the inner belt every time!  He thinks it makes sense to get every last mile out of ‘em.  I’ve seen the man actually take a bald tire off the rim, plug a hole and put it back on even though he had money in his pocket.  “I can get a few more miles out of this one!” he’d say.  Sheesh!!

     One night he and I were on a road trip and it started to rain.  Not just rain, it came down like the Higher Power was pourin’ it out of a pitcher!  The thunder was so loud it seemed to crack yer head bone wide open and split ya right down the middle.  To make things worse we were hours from home.

     After we waited under an overpass for a bit, we realized it wasn’t gonna let up for a long while.  We were on an interstate and even some of the cars were stopping, so it was gettin’ kinda crowded under there.  In fact everytime a big old 18 wheeler drove through I was wonderin’ if we were gonna get creamed!

     “Hey Smudge!  I think we oughta chance it!  It’s gettin’ way too crowded under here, and even my damned smokes are wet!”

     “I agree with ya...This sucks!  It’s better to die on yer feet  than to live on yer knees!  Let’s go!”

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Bummer's Shootin' the Breeze Page!
 

for that damned rear tire!  Bald as a baby’s butt!

     After a few minutes he got her up and running and told Silky to climb on.  She just looked at him with a worried look on her face and said, “I don’t think so!!  If ya dump it once you can dump it again!  Can I ride with you Bum?”

     I just smiled and said, “Sure.”  [Oh ho!  And the woman becomes mine!]

     As Smudge grumbled something about me stealin’ his girl we continued on down the road.  We cruised the country for a while, stopped at a few bars she knew and had a great day even if Smudge did bitch continuously about his bike and his loss of a passenger.

     Silky became one of my close friends and every now and then we still see each other.  She’s running out of room to place her tatoos, but I still get a kick out of lookin’ at ‘em, and I think she loves showin’ ‘em off.

     Now, the point to this story of course is that we all have a tendancy to put off changin’ our rubber.  There’s no easy cut and dried way of knowing exactly when yer tires need replaced.  Some people just look at the miles on the speedo, some do it every other year and others simply look at the tread and make a guess.  The bottom line is yer life and the lives of people ya carry on the back are depending on those tires.  It’s up to you to get the cobwebs out of yer wallets and spring for new shoes.

     Everytime me and Silky get together I make a point of lettin’ Smudge know about it, then I ask how his tires are doin’.  He still hasn’t learned.

         That's me, dammit!~Watch here for next month's installment!

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     So, out we went.  I figured that it would lighten up as we headed down the road.....but it didn’t.  The cars were just blurred tail and brake lights ahead.  After a bit it got so I couldn’t even see my own speedometer, didn’t know how close the cars behind me were and couldn’t even tell which way was up.  Everytime someone passed us we almost drowned.  Stopping on the side of the road was out of the question and that overpass we had just left started lookin’  better and better.

     Smudge was in the lead and he was all over the road.  Without even meaning to get off we found ourselves on an exit ramp.  In the distance we could just make out a “Food” sign, so we headed there without even askin’ each other.

     As we climbed off the scoots and sloshed into the diner the wind made us wonder if our damned bikes were gonna tip over!  Worst storm I’ve ever seen.  And it just wouldn’t let up!

     As the door closed behind us I looked up to see the place was empty with just a pretty red haired waitress behind the counter.  We sat down, got our breath and ordered coffee as she handed us menus and jokingly asked how we got so wet.

     The woman was a biker chick and had some great tats all over her and proceeded to show us.  She had ‘em in some pretty odd places and Smudge and I soon forgot our wet discomfort and was havin’ a good old time.  The storm eventually passed and the sun came out.

     Smudge beat me to askin’ her when she got off work and we were pleased to find she only had another 1/2 hour to go, so he quickly asked if she wanted to go for a putt.

     “Sure thing.  I haven’t been on the back of a bike for a while.  Looks like the weather is gonna co-operate.”

     Next thing ya know she climbed on the back of Smudge’s old Panhead and we were headed for the country on a beautiful day.

     The roads were still wet and as Smudge rounded a long gradual curve the ass end slid right out from under him!  Down they went, and if I didn’t happen to be a ways behind ‘em I probably would have ended up in the mix too.

     The redhead, who’s name was Silky, didn’t get a scratch, but Smudge got a little road rash on his knee.  The bike had a great custom air brush job on the tanks and that was just all shot to hell...The pipes were pretty bad off, his bars were twisted a bit, and he broke a mirror.

     It wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t  

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