March 8 & 9, 2003

The forecast for today (the 8th) said the temperature would be near 60 degrees.  I had plans to ride with a group from Bikers of Central Kansas to Salina where one of the members would be picking up his Harley.  However, about 10:30am I received an e-mail from Blair, the Road Captain, who called the ride off due to the unexpectedly cold weather.  It was far from 60 degrees.

After I received that e-mail I went to see how it was going with the drag bike practice.  It's going to be ridden by Deana, from our CMA chapter, and Mike was getting her checked out on it while her husband, Ivan, and son watched while standing in the cold wind.  She ran it back and forth slowly to get the feel of it, and then put it a road where she could open it up a bit and use the air shifter.  Mike gave her some instructions on how to use that, and, seconds after this photo was made, Deana, being somewhat playful, suddenly wrapped it up to about 8,000 rpm and dumped the clutch while Mike sat on the fender.  After she shut it down, Mike, somewhat shaken and pale, said it was quite a ride, but did add she did well with her first attempt at using the air shifter. (Just kidding). I was impressed with her handling of the bike!!  She'll take it out for her first racing on March 22 & 23 on the strip here in Great Bend where the very first NHRA Nationals were held in 1955.

 On the morning of the 9th I headed out a bit after 8:00am and stopped in Maize at The Ark church about 10:30am for the service there.  Following the service, I went to the State meeting of Brothers of the Third Wheel in Wichita.   During the meeting, Sonny, the State Director on the right, showed a banner to the group of 38 assembled.  Following the meeting, a group shot was done outside, and provided to me by Wayne from the Open Prairie Trikers chapter, and then I headed home.

March 15, 2003

Although I had planned to go to Nebraska today, my plans changed, as they often do,  shortly after I got into the BugWing.  I washed it, and, while doing that, two kids who belong to two couples in our CMA chapter came along and talked with me.  During that conversation I found out their parents were going for a ride to the St. Patrick's parade in Rush Center.  I decided to hook up with them.  When we left Great Bend I gave Yvonne the digital camera and asked that she get some shots of me while moving down the highway.  Vic pulled beside me a couple of times and Yvonne got this one while riding on the back of the bike.  The wind was really nasty and made me wish I had more power.

We met Ivan and Deana in Larned, and, from there, rode on up to Rush Center.   Curt, President of Biker's of Central Kansas, provides a description of the town, and has some additional photos of the event here.  Immediately after we pulled in to Rush Center some guy told me how to get registered for the parade, so off I went with him.  Vic, Yvonne, Ivan, and Deana thought I was headed to register for the car show and get into it.  Thinking that, unknown to me, they went to get something to eat.  When I returned with parade number in hand, thinking they'd ride in the parade with me, they could not be found.  I thought that was quite an accomplishment in Rush Center.  I roamed the streets as long as I could looking for them.

After getting over my feeling of abandonment and recovering emotionally enough to find my place in the parade, all alone, I drove out on the highway south of town and got in line.  While waiting for the parade to start, a group developed and I showed them photos of the BugWing in response to questions.  Uncle Sam then showed up as well, so I did another shot of the group.

As I entered the south edge of town, I noticed Tim McQuade from KOOD Smoky Hills Public Television, who was doing some video.  After the parade was over, Tim did an interview of me and said it would air some time this next week on their station.  After the parade turned west, I did this shot of those ahead of me, and lining the street.

Following that, I parked in a lot and met a lot of people.  I had someone do a shot of those of us from the Rapture Riders CMA chapter, and with two guys from the Ezekiel's Wheels chapter out of Plainville.  Another shot was done that included Tim McQuade and his helper in the shot.  The guys from Bikers' of Central Kansas were somewhere, but I didn't get hooked up with them.  We all hung out for a while, and, needing some food, I went to find a hamburger.  When I returned some time later, due to the long line I had to wait in, I discovered I had been abandoned again.  After I recovered emotionally again, I found my way home.........all alone.

After I arrived in Great Bend, I then went to the meeting of Bikers of Central Kansas.  Following the meeting a 5-year-old girl did this photo of those who attended.  That's me on the right among the giants in BOCK.

March 22 & 23, 2003

It happens often, and this weekend was no exception.  I had planned originally to go to the Capital City Bike Show in Topeka, but our chapter had the good fortune to be scheduled to do a church visit at the Assembly of God church in Ellsworth on Sunday, so I stayed in the area instead.  On Saturday, I went to the drag strip where Deana (Ivan's wife) would be running the drag bike on the drag strip for the first time ever, on a day set aside for testing and tuning. When I arrived, I posed Deana (Mike Z's wife), Deana (Ivan's wife), Ivan, their son, and Mike Z. for a shot as they made preparations for her first run.   Just before Deana got on the bike to do that run, I did a shot of her alone with the bike.  While everyone else went to the starting line, I went down to the end of the strip to do a photo of her as she finished her first-ever pass.  That shot was made just a second or two after she brought her right arm and hand back down to the throttle after pumping her fist in the air like she had some kind of buzz from making her first pass.  I followed her to the pit area, while Mike picked up the printout that told how fast she had run.

After she returned to the pit, I could tell the group there happened to be a bit pumped up, too, and Ivan seemed proud of her as well. Not long after that, the bike had been fueled up again, the air shifter had been aired up, Deana was still wired up, and she was ready to make another pass.  I got to stay around to watch her take off, and then had to leave.

On Sunday morning, I met up with some of the group at our regular meeting place in Great Bend, and we headed toward Ellsworth.  On the way, some others hooked up with us at a couple of different intersections along the highway, and we pulled in and parked. Pastor Exie Barber, and his wife Pam, welcomed the group very warmly.  After Mike J. sang, I presented information about the Christian Motorcyclist's Association and its reason for existing, and then Val J. and Bob W. provided personal testimonies.  Following the service, the church members had an outstanding potluck dinner for us, and we were able to talk with a number of the members of the church before leaving.

My wife and I stopped downtown to look at some antiques, and we spent maybe two hours there and on the street in front of the store, talking to people who stopped on Main Street where we were parked. One of those I talked with was Mike from the Ellsworth newspaper.  He saw my veteran's license plate on the BugWing and said something to me I've heard from (now) three individuals since I joined the Navy in 1964 and was discharged in 1967.  He said, "Thank you."   That got me.  He did some photos of me with the BugWing while we talked.

Following that, we headed to the Dairy Queen and talked with a number of others, and then went to the gas station where I met many more people while fueling up and getting ready to head back to Great Bend.  There is no way I can remember all your names, but, as I've said in other entries, it was a pleasure meeting and talking with all of you.  Please pay attention to the message..........

March 29 & 30, 2003

I've heard it said Christianity is "better felt than telt."  Well, I experienced a new conversion today.  I would not have believed it if it hadn't happened to me, though.  I've heard about this proposed change for a long time, and I've even read the original writings of the founding organization.  Well, at least they say they're original and unchanged, but how did I know that?  To me, it sounded like the ranting of some delusional, self-serving, megalomaniacal fanatic making grandiose claims that were too good to be true.  Besides that, what was written was written by men and you know how things get distorted in translation. You also know how many different interpretations are possible.  The writings were purported to be real, but I had my doubts.

The claims being made even sounded to me like they were exclusive!!  I had seen comparative studies, but, still, they claimed to be the real thing that actually delivered what they said.  They even had the nerve to say the claims could be tested, and they produced what I thought were probably phony charts to support their claims.  I'd always been of the opinion one was as good as another, and also of the opinion all of them would get you there.  Some of their claims even sounded like hate speech, in that they said theirs was the only way to really go.  In this era of multiculturalism and diversity, I thought they were being extremely intolerant of the views and claims of others.

I've also talked to some who were converts, but I just considered them to be brainwashed robots parroting what the founding organization said.  Sure, they gave their testimonials and praise reports, but they're just brainwashed and delusional, too, I thought.  I've long thought all their claims were hype and myth, and I thought their proponents were just con men and hypocritical manipulators who were interested only in money and just wanted to fleece the gullible converts and the faithful.  For a long time I've been rebellious. I've been a skeptic. I've been hardened to what others said was the truth.  Frankly.......I was an unbeliever.

Finally, though, I stepped out in desperation and acted on all I'd heard and read about this conversion and the benefits it would bring for those who would take this action.  Even as I took the initial steps required for this conversion, though,  I still had my doubts.  My initial timid steps were taken about 11:00pm last night (the 28th).  After taking the required action I went to bed, eagerly anticipating what the next day might bring.  I couldn't get the residual skepticism and doubt out of my mind, though.  Surely, I thought, it can't be as good as they say...........

However, when I moved out first thing this morning, I sensed and felt a freedom and power I'd never felt before.  A sense of joy came over me and I knew it was real!!  No longer did I fight stiff head winds with fading power and a feeling like the BugWing was being starved for fuel.  No longer did I lose RPM's and power on hills, again with the same feeling it was starving for go-juice.  Instead, I went up hills in 5th gear.  I went up against strong head winds in 5th gear.  I went up against strong head winds while going up hill in 5th gear!!  My new K & N air filter delivered what they promised -- and more.   Give up on your counterfeit air filters.  Convert to a K & N now!!

How do I know it's real?  I was there when it happened!

My sense of excitement stayed with me all while I rode to Ellsworth to be interviewed by Mike from the newspaper there, and on into Salina, to Lindsborg, and back home.  It stayed with me while riding to and from the Odin motocross track this afternoon.  It still feels good.

Anyway, I did ride to Ellsworth to meet with Mike from the newspaper there, and we wound up talking for 4 hours.  He took notes during our conversation, and, after talking for 3 hours, even though it didn't seem like it, we had chili in a restaurant.  Following that,  he showed me the photos he did last Sunday afternoon when we first met and I hit the road again.  He's writing a story that will appear in the newspaper in Ellsworth.

I really wasn't sure which way I was going to go, but decided as I headed out I'd go to Salina.  I stopped at Salina Brand X and posted a flier for our 8th Annual Macksville Biker's Weekend. While there, I talked with a couple trucking out of, I believe they said, Wisconsin.  They walked over from the truck stop next door, and they knew their bikes. We had a brief, but really pleasant, conversation.  I also talked with another guy who showed me photos of his "Golden Anniversary" 1954 Harley, and his 100th anniversary Harley.  It was an interesting story, though, in that you'd think the "Golden Anniversary" would have been in 1953.  He even had copies of literature from 1954.

After I left there, I found my way to a Phillips 66 station on West Crawford and 9th, I believe.  While fueling a guy started talking to me, and, after I got fuel, I pulled away from the pumps and continued our conversation.  While he and I talked, others started congregating.  One couple went home to get a camera and returned, and then their son got off work and headed to the station in his 1965 Bug.....same year as the BugWing.  The Lorsen's were a really neat family and I had a good time talking with them, and all the others who showed up while I was there.

After I headed out, I made my way to Lindsborg and stopped at the Viking Motorcycle Company for a sandwich, and to drop some fliers.  The turkey sandwich was one of the best I've ever had, and I really like their shop and what they've done to it.  After leaving there, I made my way home.

Following church on Sunday morning I decided to go to the Odin Motocross Track to help flag races.  Our chapter had our pop-up canopy set up with tracts and other information available, and it was a beautiful afternoon with a lot of racing action.   I headed back to Great Bend in time to get a sandwich on the way and then go to church...........