May 16, 2019: Slaw’s Claws

The morning started early.  Primarily due to anticipation.  This will be and epic two weeks. KFly was the first to get to his bike in far North Scottsdale, I am pleased he didn’t request it to spend the night in his room.

We far Northers left the house shortly after 6:00am. First stop, fuel.  Always begin the day with full tanks and empty bladders. As we made our way to the Konica Minolta All Covered BCS Forza MWA ADS (LOL) offices we literally met up with Paco, GQ and Lone Star so the 6 of us rode into the lot together.  Soon the other riders arrived. We expected 10 motorcycles in the parking lot but to our surprise and pleasure Doc’s son Jake arrived on Doc’s chopper. He decided to join the kick-off festivities and ride with us for a mile or two.  He was also wearing Doc’s cut. Powerful!!

A breakfast burrito/coffee food truck arrived and all were well fed. The lot was full of the KMACForza crew, rider families, friends of the Pack, law enforcement, and… the local FOX 10 affiliate. They decided to do a live remote after the 8:00 news update. How cool! Paco and Papa may need agents!

Bishop Staker arrived to send us with off with blessings and positive vibes.  Ken nailed it! Thank you, Bishop Staker.

As the 9:00am hour approached the Pack fired up their Milwaukee metals and got into formation. Sgt. Stumpf, one of Scottsdale’s finest along with one of his brethren led us out of the parking lot and blocked traffic on Greenway-Hayden so we can begin our journey safely. We were off, with much fanfare but… no hitches!  We made our way through Scottsdale toward Fountain Hills.  It was a bit of a learning curve to keep all the bikes and an RV in formation.  By the time we arrived in Fountain hills and approached the Bee Line toward Payson we were in lock step. We roared up to highway speed and rolled on. We made it through Payson and headed toward Heber. About 10 miles out of town, Slaw roared up beside me and gave the signal for pull-over. We safely turned off the highway and put kickstands down. Slaw was cramping… read day one circa 2018!  We know he wasn’t hung over this year. We know he wasn’t dehydrated this year but similar symptoms… crab hands. Not the buttery succulent meat rather the hard shell pinchers! This makes it difficult to brake and clutch.

We made an effort to stop more often for Slaw to:

A) Pee

B) Relax his crab claws.

 

We then stopped in Heber. We roared into the Shell station and fueled up.  Arli$$ rolled in and was inserting his cc when he began screaming and literally pushing the RV away from his bike. Berg was piloting the RV and made the corner a bit too sharp. No kidding, he came within one inch of knocking Arli$$ and his bike into the fuel pump. Crisis averted! Lesson learned. If this were easy everyone would do it.

We changed the route and headed directly to Holbrook, AZ and I40. This way if Slaw’s Claws had issues we were closer to help then we would be out on the reservation. Slaw’s Claws needed a rest just a few mile east on 40. We pulled into an abandoned fuel station. Unfortunately, the RV missed us and rolled past. Therefore, we had no refreshed refreshments so we had to make do.  After 15 minutes Slaw’s Claws were more supple and we roared East to catch up with the RV at the old Giant (now Flying J) 10ish miles east of Gallup.  Construction caused the RV to miss the exit so when we rolled for fuel, pee, and snacks the RV was already East of the continental divide. Once again, we were left to get our own refreshments. Oh what a tragedy!

After about 20 minutes, we saddled up and headed to the Route 66 casino for our last fuel stop before Albuquerque, NM. When we arrived, the RV was in the parking lot. A couple of us were unable to navigate the round-a-bout so it took 15 minutes to get to the pumps! As we were fueling, the RV team delivered DQ Dilly Bars! The treats we all deserve!

After a quick stop we headed toward our hotel in the ABQ. Navigating Albuquerque’s traffic was easier than anticipated and 30 minutes later we arrived in the hotel parking lot along with 400  (yes 400) other bikers on an escorted ride from California. My little buddy Jack would have been in heaven.  Without fanfare or crisis we all got our room keys and took needed showers.  Later we met at the RV’s parking spot. Our RVers have a fully stocked bar!  Slaw and his supple Claws ordered pizza and our night was on!  In oder to get to know each other a bit better we began a new ritual of having a few guys each night go through the Spanish Inquisition (thank you Sarah Spain). While we were attending to this insightful ritual a biker gentle man rolled his machine adjacent our chair circle and exclaimed, “I need y’all to take some popsicles.”  Apparently, he went to Target on his motorcycle to get two single popsicles and bought two boxes! We offered some pizza in trade. He left and soon walked back to take us up on his bargain. Paco asked the man his name.  “Trash!” What we asked?  He then pulled out his lanyard and sure enough… We were in the presence of Trash!  What happens in the circle stays in the circle but I can tell you that Trash went through the Spanish Inquisition and left us all Amazed, Humbled, and Honored.  Wheels rolling 6:00am tomorrow.

Signed,

Papa

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