Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday Night, August 28, 2008

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny. May God bless you and keep you--until then. Page 164 Alcoholics Anonymous.
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In 1975 I bought my first motorcycle, a 1975 Honda 750 full dress. Full dress meant windshield and bags. I had it lowered. It was blue and black and was a beauty. I took a course from the Los Angeles Police Dept. on motorcycle riding and safety. It was a class spread over 4 Saturdays and I loved it. I got my license and hit the road. I joined a gay motorcycle, the Warriors Motorcycle Club of Los Angeles. The LAPD has us listed as an outlaw group. Yeah, right. I love riding. It was such a free feeling. Just me, my bike in the world, in the wind, in the rain, even snow. My club had a rule that you did not ride in club colors unless you wore a helmet. I bought a half-helmet which was the official helmet of the LAPD.
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When I first started riding, I did not get drunk and ride. I drank, but very responsibly. At that time, I only rode if I had had less than 6 drinks. That did not last very long. My very favorite times on my bike were when I had it loaded down with tent, camping gear, etc. and heading for the mountains, the desert, or the seashore for a weekend of revelry. We called the bike runs. A run was either a one day run or a weekend run. One days were local - usually did not exceed 250 miles round trip. An overnighter was a camp out starting Friday, and winding down by noon on Sunday. The best were the three or four day runs. Campsite, food, and as much booze as you could drink for the length of the run. These runs had anywhere from 30 to 400 participants.
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I immediately got into the competition and won many trophies. After the first 6 months I always won a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. place trophy. I even won a second place trophy on one of the four day runs. By that time I was riding a Suzuki 1100cc low rider. Competition was broken down by motorcycle cc. Lightweight was 250cc to 699cc, middleweight was 750CC to 1099cc; heavyweight was 1100cc to 1400cc. Drive shaft was in its own class. Then there was also a Buddy Class which was the passenger. There would be a specific course with a purpose: pick up put down, maneuvering, slow race, and always at least 3 or 5 events. I excelled in the maneuvering events. I was hard to beat in those events. I loved it. I still have a lot of the trophies I won. Some were Silver, Brass, Crystal, or Blown Glass.
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I never had an accident - that is I never got hit by a car. Close, but NOT. However, I did drop my bike a few times. That's when you lose balance and just fall over. When I was just totally shitfaced, I took the backstreets home. There were many times when I just forgot to put my feet down while at a stop sign, and BLAP over I went. Crash, crack. Oh, hell there went another windshield or turn signal. I always got the bike fixed within a couple of days after one of those "happening". I mean you just did not ride a wounded bike. It got to be very expensive. Then the times started to be more frequent, and the bartenders, or owner would take my keys away from me, lock the bike in the bar overnight, and send me home in a cab. I know that wearing a helmet saved my life or saved me from severe head injuries many times.
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Most of this occurred during 1975 - 1981. I had bought a new 1973 BUICK Centurion. I had that car 10 years and only put 55,000 miles on it. I traded it in on a 1983 New Yorker. During the last 8 years of that time frame I put over 165,000 miles on three motorcycles. So I did ride. I got sober in January 1992 and kept riding and going to runs. There were Meetings on the runs. I knew about Friends of Bill meetings on these runs, but thought they were this snooty group whose sort of leader was named Bill. Anyway, I sold the bike in April of 1993, but kept going to the runs in my car and participating in events on borrowed bikes.
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I finally came to the point that I no longer enjoyed these runs in 1998. I had stopped going every w/e in 1992. I did not feel that my sobriety was threatened it was just that these weekends no longer appealed to me. I was growing up in my sobriety. But I will say this for those bikers, they supported me fully in my sobriety, they were very protective of what I ordered. Evidently had gotten so bad, they were relieved. I have not had to do that since I got sober. God had put the right people in my life at the beginning of my sobriety, and those people both drinkers and mostly sober ones. kept me on the road to happy destiny. It just does not get much better than that. God's been good.
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Tonight I am grateful for:
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God My Higher Power.
My Sobriety - it comes first.
Mamie my schnauzer.
My sponsor.
Memories.
Friends.
Support in the early days of my sobriety.
Gratitude lists of others.
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Y'all be pretty now, ya heah.

7 comments:

AlkySeltzer said...

It's 5 AM here, but I want to say I really like your motorcycle story. I'll re-read it when I get home from the meetings.

Check mine out, I just posted, you have to be 21 to read it. Well, I guess ya could be 52 also...

Pam said...

whoa..that just jumped out at me!! My first husband -Ms. Fancypants Father-was killed on his 1975 Honda 750.
I like to imagine you with those goggles on for some reason. hee hee

Scott W said...

I stopped by. Uh huh, I did.

AlkySeltzer said...

Don't know how else to get through to ya, ZJ, but Rolling On the Floor Laughing My Ass Off 'is' ROFLMAO.

Where ya been all these cyber years?

I'll visit yours tomorrow. It's TIME to go.
S.

dAAve said...

I wuz here too.

Zanejabbers said...

alkyseltzer - that is just FF.
The second F is Funny. ROFLMAO.
LUV IT.

Todd HellsKitchen said...

I love the fact that u were a motorcycle outlaw in your youth. How cool is that??