Drowned with rain then burned afterwards

Part I

Have you ever got caught in a ride been drowned with rain and four hours later got burned crisp from the sun afterwards; and home is still another two-hour ride? It happened on this ride.

Got off work from O’Sullivan on Saturday morning; we decided to head for Iowa to see Katrina, our niece.  Their were 5 of us riding 3 bikes. Hubby & I on the 1975 Harley Davidson Shovel head (Beast), Dean & Josephine on 1995 Harley Davidson Dyna Wide Glide (Bumble Bee), and Wayne 2 on 1972 Harley Davidson Sportster (Wahine).  We have to garaged Wayne 2 Harley Davidson Sportster because it was leaking oil badly, that’s how he end up riding wahine.  The ride was awesome that morning, beautiful day starting out.

About bout 60 miles from Iowa border when Wayne 2 holler at Hubby and Dean waving at the sky. The side we’re riding, sun is shinning and clear but looking toward the right side; very dark blue-black clouds. Hubby and Dean signal Wayne 2 that it will be okay; it’s on far-right side, we’re on this side away from it.  It was, until 7 miles down the road and it curve right underneath them blue-black clouds.

Within minutes we were all soak. It rained so hard that we were following each other’s tail light. It was a good thing that Dean didn’t end up in the ditch because we all would be. We found a road side park and pull off. The saddle bags are soaked through. Cigarette brake;  Hubby was the only one with dry cigarettes, we shared his, waited for the rain to ease up. Hit the road when the rain lightened up.  Stopped by the nearest gas station about 15 miles down the road to pick up some gas for the bikes and coffee or anything warm to  warm our body since we still got a little ways to go.  Apologizing to the store clerk that day; everywhere we stand in the store, there’s a puddle of water. Took off after everyone are feeling a little warm and the bikes are gas up.

We were about 5 miles from Iowa border when the sun came out. And it got hot very quickly. After we cross the Iowa state line, we started peeling of jackets and chaps, by the time we got to Katrina’s place it shows 97 degrees. We spend the night at Katrina’s to dry our clothes, jackets and everything else we had on going up; and of course, Wayne 2 party that night with Katrina..

Flame is the name of his Shovel Head

Being Late Yet On Time With Mishaps Harley Davidson Shovel Head


Have you ever been in a hurry but always running late for an event or something. Well, funeral is never something I want to run late on but on this case; we must deal with mishaps on the road. Repairing a motorcycle with what you have; so being late on Reds funeral yet on time with all the mishaps, the tempers, and the cussing.  It is funny now but at the time it was not.

Hubby and Red were very close friends since their early 20’s.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Red before he passes.  Hubby has ridden his 1975 Harley Davidson Shovel Head all week long to and from work.  We checked the Shovel the night before to make sure every single bolt is tight and also, checked the fluids.  This Saturday morning of Reds funeral, we started out with mishaps or unfortunate events at home.  Getting ready that morning, going out to the shop to roll the Harley “Flame” out, the front tire is low on air.  Check and input air back in the tire. They were fifteen of us going to the funeral but we’re meeting everyone on our way out.

In the meantime; Hubby and I, Junior, Wayne 2, Allen and Jackson started out from my resident.  Two and half mile down the road, the shovel started to sound like it’s misfire; so, Hubby pulled over on the far right and stop, there is no road shoulder.  He checked everything including the spark plugs.  On his right hand, he doesn’t have much feelings  ever since the surgery.  Holding one of the spark plug and inspecting it when Junior ask him what wrong.  Hubby said, “bike is acting funny” and he handed Junior one of the spark plug from his left hand.  Unknown to Junior, the spark plug is hot.  Within seconds, Junior yelp and drop it. “It’s hot.”  We started laughing because it’s been nine years since Hubby left hand has been that way.

Wayne 2 had a spare spark plug in his saddle bag.  Hubby replace the plugs, we load up took off again.  Thirty-five minutes down the road and Hubby pulled off to the shoulder.  He slowed down to go around a curve, the bike cough and died. He got off the bike, check everything on the bike, took the seat off and there it is.  His battery cable came loose. Tighten it up, load up and off we go. Forty-five minutes down the road, Hubby pull off again. This time he’s looking at his watch and started to cuss, his temper is flaring.  His Harley died, found the problem; vapor lock. Being late already to the funeral, he’s not a happy camper. “I don’t know what is wrong with this bike but I swear it does not like funeral!” Found a clothes pin in the saddle bag, clip it on the gas line and off we go.

We pulled in to the graveside just in time the Indian Priest was about to do the closing prayer. Red is Cherokee Indian.  With the sounds of the Harley’s pulling in, we had everyone’s attention because of the sounds of the pipes echoes through out the hills.  Hubby apologize for us running late, but Reds wife said, “you’re just in time and I am glad you guys made it”.

With all the mishaps, the tempers, the cussing because Hubby’s Harley Davidson Shovel Head somehow don’t like funerals.  We aired the tire, changed plugs, tightened the battery cables, use a cloth pin for gas line because of vapor lock; it was a trying morning.  The overall of this scenario was “Red got his ROLL OF THUNDER before his closing  prayer,” and that is all that matters.

After the funeral, that Harley Davidson Shovel Head never had any problem going home.  Some things or events is being late yet on time with everything that happens on the ride getting there can limit our patience, but the outcome was awesome.  Of course, poor Shovel Head “Flame”, has other names added to it that morning, you know what I mean.  A coincident or is it just a mishap?

Harley Davidson Moorcycle

Harley Davidson Shovel Head: Piece Of Junk Worth Million Recollections

Piece of junk worth million recollections or memories in rebuilding  my  Harley Davidson Motorcycle Shovel Head.  Mom walked out of the house, take one look and said, “You guys spend money on that piece of junk?” Hubby and I look at each other and start laughing. “It’s not a piece of junk, it’s a motorcycle.”  I am very proud of this motorcycle because of the memories involved.  With a lot of laughs, jokes, beers and whiskeys; and pure strong desire of repairing this piece of junk. It was my first motorcycle I learned to rebuild with Hubby’s help.

Bought a very rough looking Harley Davidson motorcycle from a friend “Eddie”.  We decided, to pick it up on a Saturday since we’re both off work.  At the mean time; Mama (my mother in law) who live with us at the time and my Mom is visiting on this weekend. We let both mothers know we’re going to pick up a motorcycle; and won’t be too long.  With the trailer hook up to the truck, we went to pick up the motorcycle.

When we got home, both mothers are sitting outside the front porch.  Mom walk out to the garage where we pulled up with the motorcycle. She took one look and said, “You guys spend money for that piece of junk?” Hubby and I look at each and start laughing. “It’s not a piece junk, it’s a motorcycle.”  Mac, my son helped us unload the bike.  Of course, it didn’t help when we had to use a pry bar to pry up the fender from the back tire, so we could get it off the trailer. Mom just frown more, shake her head and walk back to the porch.  The look that both mothers have on their faces was more like, “we have lost our sense of mind”.

I learned from Hubby how to strip everything down on the engine and replace what needs to replace on the engine alone; re-done the whole bike from scratch, and we left the fenders for last.  We were discussing back and forth if we should buy new fenders or straightened up the old ones that was on the bike. Until a friend of ours “Douglas” stop by one evening just to see the update on the shovel head motorcycle.

With Douglas help, a couple of beers and whiskeys, laughs and jokes, sledge hammers, hammers and couple pieces of  2″x 4″ boards; we decide to give a try to straightened up the fenders, there’s nothing to lose but everything to gain. So, between us and Douglas we decided to have some fun, we enjoyed ourselves hammering on front and back fenders that evening up until late night.  That is the same fenders we beat on that is on my 1980 Harley Davidson Shovel Head today.  Little things makes life worthwhile; like having good friends who entertain themselves on simple things like straightened out fenders and good companies.

I have learned almost everything on that Harley Davidson Shovel Head from Hubby; it goes to shows that is never too late to learn, and learning is a very good experience. The Harley Davidson Shovel Head is worth million recollections of  learning, what to do and what not to do, how to drill out broken bolts, how to replace broken seals and gaskets, how to replace rods and hoses, how to replace motorcycle shocks, how to replace running boards, the jokes, the laughs, the friends, especially the memory about Hubby and everything else. That is the before picture before we started, and the after picture is on “about us” page – [1980 Harley Davidson Shovel Head 1340 cc].