I went for it. Six months into a shit job, I had a sudden reckoning. I am not the Sports Club Cafe Manager. I am not the Muffin Man. I put my last tray of bullshit chocolate chip what-evers into the oven, calmly walked to my desk, removed my magnetic name tag, lifted my polyester pop-collar off my 2.8% neanderthal frame and began my pace to freedom.
I steered the '76 back to the homestead and began a rapid pack-up of my survival gear. I have gone through the routine enough to make it a short and painless affair. I placed the portrait of my eight year old daughter in the center of my tank bag and began the apology note to my girlfriend to leave on the key table.
A block away at my mechanic's, topping up on fluids and mounting fresh tread for the "I'm gone and I don't know when I'm coming back trip", I catch a problem with my "spline cup" mounted to my rear hub. For all you non-BMW motherfuckers - the shaft drive is received by the rear wheel in a geared cup that is attached to the wheel assembly by ten or twelve rivets. All those rivets were knocked loose, so I had to quickly drill those cock-suckers out and replace them with fast steel allen bolts.
Okay, so there were some beers in the system before noon, and I ended up applying the loc-tite all at once, so before I got to the final bolts - shit was seized. I had to liquify the loc-tite with the propane torch and crank those vital drive-line components down.
So the last minute repair was perfectly symbolic of my life. Always a fucking hitch holding me back from freedom. (We're not going to mention last summer's World Record Attempt from New York to L.A.) Point being, I fixed my shit and I was ready to roll. So roll I did. With some rustic camping gear strapped to my mini-rack, I cut-loose for the Great Beyond. I chose to take the cafe bike with its loud pipes rather than the GS with its touring bags due to a charging problem. My pipes say Chopper life. FTP. and so much more...
So there was a small problem when my girlfriend came home in the middle of my last gear grab at the house and I had to explain in no short terms how my life had no meaning without freedom and other paraphrased complex philosophies. Didn't go that well.
So, your dis-avowed protagonist took to the streets at a much later hour than planned with a heart-felt drive to go the Full Distance. Out of town. Farewell. Fuck-the-status-quo-yo. The feelings of making the Big Decision came down quick. A real euphoria descended as I rode on. I fucking did it! I left the salary job behind! I left the repetition and the mediocrity in the dust! What percentage make the leap these days?
Another significant element in the story is that I had something like $119 in the bank account. A quick mental scan of how the journey went like this: I would sell my roll of motopilgrim stickers at gas stations for $5 a piece after harassing motorists with my passionate story. As I got closer to Silicon Valley, a capital venturist would be more likely to pay for the whole journey. That plan would see me through with the bare minimum of gas, beer and beans. Right? Whatever. I'm riding West now.
Town well behind me. Getting closer to the West Virginia State Line. The Line symbolizes freedom and departure. A real break from what holds me back. Rolling up the first mountain pass. Sun setting already. I've heard about this. The sun flashes beautifully through the trees. Very beautifully and very bright. Real bright! I'm going to tell my buddies about this. "It was strobing like hell when I rolled up over the mountain! Like someone flashing the lights on and off!" Lights on. Lights off. Oh shucks. I can't see. Now I can see. And I see I'm not set up for this curve. Here comes the ditch. Gentle braking from 45mph to 35mph - and drop into the ditch. Hit rocks. Bars hit tank. Fuck.
Allright. Get your bearings. Quick. Throttle and brake control stretched to the end of the bar. Shove that shit back. Start bike. Peel out up from ditch. Tell gathering gaggle of senior Gold-Wing Riders it's all good. Fuck off. Roll down mountain. Pull over into interpretive camp sight. Pitch tent. Get rained on all night. Finish beer.
Sunrise. Headlight broken. Some tune-up shit needed. Morale squooshed. Can't go to Alaska with this broken bike right now.