Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Bear, old dirty biker or dirty old biker..

When it was said in a old post it brought back memories..1984 in Casa Grande Arizona. My first ex wife had got tossed out of the military and we were road tripping..A friend of a friend was told she was good with an airbrush and had contacted us about doing some painting..We pulled into town in a truck with a cabover camper and a trailer full of junk and the FXST..Now the old saying Bum Fuck Egypt came to mind when we pulled in to the burg..Directions were easy take the main road to the IGA and hook a left,,the big barn at the end of the road..

We pulled in and saw a giant walking across the lot..Bob I was told was a tall dude, that was an understatement..Bob was 7'1 3/4"..and owned two carnivals..He wanted us to rebuild and paint the carousels and offered stupid money for doing it..We were home in Casa Grande for a few months.. I would take the horse off and sand blast them, prime and base color then the ex would work her magic..she was damn good at it and made a living doing it long after I went out for a pack of smokes..

Living in the desert in the winter it's rats ass cold in the mornings and wind blew the rest of the time..at 24 I rode..tiny roads and major roads, explored the landscape looking for nothing but a place..still looking..I was about 20 miles from nothing one afternoon when I found the bar..I spent the last day trying to remember the name,,it's gone..There was a cherry FL parked in front so I pulled up and walked in..Bar tender and the widest not fat just wide old dude sitting at the bar..He seemed to be four feet wide and maybe five foot five..You could tell in his day he was a bull..well a bear..I sat back and ordered a beer..He glanced over and that was it..

The bar became a favorite stop..after the sixth time in and the big dude sitting in the same place every time I asked the bartender what his story was..He said that's the Bear and he has been here forever..I asked if he could talk..ya when he feels like it he will..A few more times in and the same deal, a glance and a nod..Until the day he say's hey kid..Now biker creed would not have allowed Joe Blow that pleasure but the Bear got away with it..I still threw out a gruff what..He asked of I rode much..I said everyday..

That was it for a couple of days, I walk in early on a Saturday afternoon..place was packed, must of been six people there..Bear had his stool so I sat down a few away and ordered a beer..Bear looks over and say's I hate crowds you wanna go for a cruise..Sure,,where we going..as he fired up that old FL he says follow me..We rode in a big circle of Joshua trees and desert..we put down a couple of hours of up and down and round and round..I was taking in the road..as we pulled back into the bar I remember thinking how I got to know Bear that day without saying a word..there are those you can share the road with and there are those you never hit the click with..we hit the click..I knew it and the Bear knew it..we back them in and and rolled off..Bear patted me on the back and said great ride..he felt the bond of the road too..

Bear looked to be maybe sixty but was seventy four..lost his wife ten years back and just never really got happy again..He would have a few and hit the jukebox..play Patsy Cline songs and sit and stare at the walls with tears rolling down his face..Never heard him raise his voice but the bartered said he was hell on wheels before he lost his wife..We rode, we went to Nogales, Tuscon and many a little towns that may not exist today..we never really talked about much but bikes and the road..He was happy when he was in throttle..never said so but you could see it..I never learned much more about the Bear, never knew where he lived or what he did..never knew his given name..

Last time I saw the Bear I stopped to tell him I was heading out..alone..Headed back to California by what ever road got me there..no hurry..He asked if he could ride to the boarder with me..Sure Bear you can ride any where with me friend..We pulled them in to the last truck stop off 10 and sat down and had dinner..we walked out and the sad look in the Bears face damn near got me all choked up..I said got to go..He shook my hand and said ride safe kid..I swear I saw a smile..ride safe yourself old timer..

Rat..

4 comments:

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Great story. I hope I am able to find a kid to ride with when I'm 74. Hell, I just hope I'm still riding at 74.

FLHX_Dave said...

Frick'in golden. That was a grade A choice cut from the carcass. Everyone has a story to tell.

Here I thought you were going to tell us you cracked up plowing forks through a bear.

My eyes welled up a bit. That sorta sucks but at least I still know I'm human. Thanks for that bit. This might not grab some people but screw 'em. It grabbed me for some reason.

ratone said...

If I'm not I riding I better be pushing daisies..Dave..If I could remember half of what I have forgot I would have some stories to tell..It seems to come back at 3am when I do remember and the battle starts,,hit the head or write..LOL

Lady Ridesalot said...

This is what non riders don't understand. When a passion for the road is shared... no words are necessary!

Great story. I really wish I could have met the Bear.