May 6 - 8, 2005
It was time for our annual Macksville (KS) Biker's Weekend, and this
was our 10th! We've been doing this to wrap up the annual Run For
The Son, and it's held in the city park in Macksville, KS, each year.
It's one of my favorite events of the year.
People start arriving on Friday afternoon and setting up their camp
sites in the park, and, during the evening, we have a hot dog roast.
After things are set up and everyone is fed, it's time to sit around, or run around
the park, meeting up with people from other chapters and other bike groups
who make it, some of whom I only get to see once or twice a year.
On Saturday morning we get an early start for a 100-mile ride. Those
who camp in the park in Macksville meet on Main Street to get ready
to head out. This year our route took us through St. John, into Great
Bend where we made a stop,
and through Larned and into Kinsley where we made another stop. At
each stop we meet up with more riders coming from different directions
for the rally. While
at the stop in Kinsley I saw Nathan's bike and did
a photo of part of it since it's always so clean and shiny. I'm not
sure what happened to Nathan. He was a fanatic V-Max rider for a long
time, and then decided to build this bike. It's nice.
Before we left Kinsley I also noticed the reflection in Bill's glasses,
along with the CMA logo he pointed out to me. When it was time to head out for
the final leg of the run we left for Macksville and the rest of the activities
planned for the weekend.
After arriving in Macksville everyone gathered in the park for some
brief announcements, and for a brief devotional done this year
by Rick, the Chaplain for the Gabriel's Thunder chapter. That chapter
co-sponsors of this event, along with our chapter, the Rapture Riders.
After Rick did the devotional I acknowledged those I saw from different
groups and welcomed them, and, as Chaplain of our chapter, I offered a
prayer before we started with the rest of the activities. One of
the first things on the agenda was getting something to eat and lines always form at
the food vendors who set up for the day. While people were getting
food I noticed Rick doing something and couldn't pass on this shot. Looking
like this, this guy would scare snakes and make freight trains take a
This weekend is a family event, and Vic and Yvonne, one of the couples
in our chapter, do a really good job of providing activities for the
those activites are taking place, bike games are also in progress, starting
usually with the slow race, watched
by those who don't ride, or by others who find their
way to the park to watch the events taking place.
On Saturday evening the Hyway Harvesters chapter puts on a meal for
anyone who wants to stop by their set-up, and many people do just
that. On Sunday morning we prepare breakfast, but the only drawback
for me is having to get up REALLY early. I try to meet the expectations
set by Beth in our chapter, but it seems I fail her each year by coming
in later than she would really like. My job is to make coffee, and
I still haven't been able to make the first pot of coffee for the breakfast
crew. They really need to wait for my coffee, though, since I don't
make wimpy coffee like someone else makes before I arrive. I make
coffee that has character and is good for you!!
Someone decided this year I needed to augment my attire, and added
a couple of coffee filters to my head. I
thought it was a nice touch, but then someone added a steaming pancake to
the filters. Since my head of hair isn't as full as it was in my younger
years and couldn't provide the insulation needed to protect me from the heat,
the pancake had to go. I kept the filters, though.
After the breakfast had been served and the kitchen was cleaned up,
there was a service
in the sanctuary. Curtis Clements, our Regional Evangelist, did the
sermon. After the service, people start heading for various parts
of the State, and out of State, and the weekend is over for another year.
I left eventually, and headed for Hudson, KS, to meet my mother, my sister, Joyce,
and other family members at a restaurant for Mother's Day.
After we ate, it was on to Houston and the art car events for me.............
May 8 - 16, 2005
After lunch, I hit the road for Tulsa since I wanted to spend some
time with my youngest sister and her family, and since plans had been made
to meet up with Tom from Minneapolis. Tom is the one who had the "Leather Car" in
Omaha and Hastings last August. Unfortunately, it couldn't make
the run to Houston so Tom brought his Lexus with the lake pipes, and other
goodies to be placed on it as it evolves.
I wanted to meander the two-lane highways so I went down to Medicine
Lodge, picked up 160, and headed east. When I arrived in Winfield
I went south for a short distance, and then headed back east on 166 until
I made my turn south on 75 to go through Bartlesville and on to Tulsa.
Not thinking, I failed to do a photo of the Toyota Land Cruiser my
brother-in-law and nephew restored, and I parked right beside it in the
garage on two consecutive nights.
During the second night there I went to a softball game with my sister
and niece, and, while on the way home, I turned my left blinker on. When
I did that, the headlights went out, which was something new to me. The
next morning was Tuesday, the day Tom was to meet me so we could go on
the Houston, and, to start the day, my sister asked me to show up at the
Christian school where she works so a classroom of kids could see the BugWing.
I did that, and word
must have spread since classroom after classroom came outside, in turns,
to see it. They were all very well-behaved kids and it was a treat meeting
In addition to going to the school, I asked my sister if she knew anyone
who could do some trouble-shooting on the wiring glitch that showed up
after some wiring changes were made before I left home, and I waited on
a call from anyone who may be able to help. One guy called but could
not get to it, so he called another guy who then called me. I packed
up and headed for Konrad's
shop where he was able to run down the glitch and correct it. While
having that corrected Tom called to say he was an hour away, so, after
Konrad was finished, I rode to a truck stop where Tom and I arranged to
meet. My sister showed up to see us off, and we got on the road again.
That night we stopped in Paris, TX, to get some food and rooms, and
to do some catching up since we hadn't seen each other since last August
in Omaha and Hastings. After a good night of sleep we got back on
the road and finished the trip to Houston, arriving late on Wednesday afternoon.
We pulled around 5:00pm and met Jim and Eileen who graciously
made their house available to "out-of-towners." I'll never forget
the first words Eileen spoke to me when we arrived. I'd never heard
them before and found her comment really funny. She said, "I was so excited
you were coming I washed my hair and put my teeth in." They let us
in the "side door"
and the two of them were incredibly good to the two of us while we were
During the first night in Houston we went to a welcome
gathering for out-of-towners and I finally met several people I've corresponded
with through e-mail during the past several months. In addition,
I met more people who were totally new to me, but who didn't seem "new"
after we had talked just a short time. Early the next morning, Tom was working
on making some more modifications
to the Lexus, and Eileen
and I helped him do some of that before I washed the BugWing to get it cleaned
up again after being on the road for five days.
Eileen showed us around parts of town later in the day. She
picked right up on the fact I am not used to the kind of traffic Houston
has, and the fact I do not know my way around down there. Instead
of just giving us directions to various places, she was kind enough to drive
us to some of those locations, or have us follow her to them. I found
that very helpful since it's very confusing when a street changes names
as you drive on it.
During the second night in Houston we went to the art car ball, but
I never did make it inside. Instead, I stayed outside looking at cars
and talking to people who stopped where I was parked in the lot. All
the cars got my attention, but I singled some out. This is one I found particularly
interesting, and this is a close-up of one small segment
of the car. This
car was another one that stood out, and it was
done by a group of high school students. I'm not sure what this one
was called, but it was powered by some kind of motor. It crawled across the ground
with the head flopping from side-to-side, controlled by the owner who stood
up on it holding something that almost looked like reins, while he manipulated
some other controls. Another one that caught my attention was this
Volvo with fish and lobsters
all over it which were programmed
to move to music the car played. Some of the vehicles present were
equipped with propane tanks for a little fire.
On Friday morning Eileen led us to the Children's Museum I'd still be
looking for if left on my own and the cars broke up into different groups,
each of which had motorcycle police escorts to various locations such as
schools, hospitals, community centers, and assisted living centers throughout
Houston on the "Main Street Drag." After lining up and getting some
food, our group went
to four different schools where students were allowed to come out and look
at the cars. Our first stop was at the Henry W. Grady school, another
stop was at a high school,
another was at the Garden
Oaks Elementary School where we lined up in a drive way, and our final
stop was at another elementary school where the kids also
had art projects and their own cardboard box art cars on display. Someone, using
Eileen's camera, noticed Eileen
having a lot of fun talking with the kids at one of the stops, and Eileen
captured another photo
of JAO talking with the kids after she
completed a speed painting at one of the schools.
After our final stop we had a motorcycle escort to downtown Houston
where lunch was waiting, and, after lunch I ran into the "Unruly Julies" parked on
one of the streets. In addition, I also ran into
Don, Erika (who was one
of the judges this year in Houston), the "Unruly Julies," and Nick (?). Given
my aversion to getting lost in large cities, I decided to stay downtown
instead of leaving and returning later for the "Main Squeeze" scheduled for
6:00 - 11:00 pm. While walking around I encountered one of the volunteers
who do so much to help make the art car events a huge success, and she suggested
that I move to another location on Main Street. When I did that, I
happened to park in a parking lot near the KPRC television van, which
led to a brief interview
with Courtney shortly after 4:00 pm that afternoon, another one at 9:00 pm
that evening, and another one while moving during the parade on Saturday.
While I walked around downtown I also noticed a cockroach sitting next to a boat,
and I ran into Bryan, President of the Houston Art Car Klub. While
sitting on the street talking with Bryan, Erika and Don came by, and
I did this photo as Bryan
and Erika talked. Harrod
Blank walked by and talked with us for a while as well. For more
about Harrod, click here.
Early on Saturday morning, Eileen helped out again by leading me to the
area where I needed to be to line up for the for the
parade on Allen Parkway
that is blocked off from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. Between 9:00 am and
1:00 pm, spectators are
allowed to walk among the
cars. I have no idea how many people I met and talked with during
that period of time, but I enjoyed it! At 1:00 pm, the parade started by heading
toward downtown Houston
where it made a U-turn and headed back out on allen Parkway. "Spike Mike"
was kind enough to do some photos of me near the end of the parade and shared
a couple of them with me, with this one being one of them.
I heard an estimate at least 200,000 people watched the parade.
It's an amazing experience riding in a parade with that many spectators.
After the parade was over I headed back to Jim and Eileen's to do something
I hadn't done yet in the entire time I was there; that being, take a nap.
I took the parade numbers off the BugWing, went inside,
showered, and stretched out. I was wired up from the day and the sensory
overload experienced during the entire time there I had been in Houston,
but did manage to conk out for a short time. Eventually, everyone else
returned and then Tom and I prepared to go to the Illuminated Cruise. Cars
and drivers met at the Art Car Museum
and, while there, Tom and I went inside for a brief tour.
Cars left from there, following Bryan on a route he planned through
a residential area where the streets were lined with people, and then through
the downtown area.
On Sunday morning I packed the BugWing for the short ride to the Orange Show Center for Visionary
Art where the brunch/awards ceremony would be held. Eileen and
Jim were preparing to leave town so we said our goodbye's, and, before they
left, Eileen prepared simple instructions for us to use for our 10-minute
trip to the Orange Show. Full of confidence, we set out. I'm
not sure what happened, but we came to what appeared to me to be a fork in
the road. Of course, I took the wrong one. I didn't know that right away,
but it soon became clear we were not where we were supposed to be. Our
attempt to get directions from a gas station attendant didn't work, so Tom
took the lead. Through our joint effort we turned the 10-minute ride
from Jim and Eileen's place into at least an hour and ten minute ride. In
some residential area we eventually met up with a guy from Ohio or Indiana,
or somewhere in that part of the country, who was looking for a way across
the freeway that would take him to the Orange Show, too, so we pooled our
intellectual resources, looked at a map I had, and and fell in behind him.
We promptly found ourselves back in an area Tom and I had toured several
times, but the guy we were following took a street off that route Tom and
I hadn't tried yet. We soon found ourselves on an I-45 access road
where he overshot Munger street, but not by much. When he discovered
his error as he passed the street, brakes lights came on, we stopped, and
he and Tom pushed me back a short distance since I don't have reverse. We
were were there!
Cars filled a parking
area, and people filled
the streets around the Orange Show. After a little Car-B-Q the awards started.
Among those who received awards that day were Julie, and Nicole, who got her award
from Bryan of HACK. I was very pleasantly surprised to hear my name
called for one of the First Place awards, along with the other first place
winners who were, as noted in the Orange Show web site:
Place Winners -
Grand Trophy & $700 each
Elee by Mark Bradford - # 3
the Dragon by Lisa Nigro - # 36
by Rex Rosenberg - # 78
Live to Ride by Waltrip High School Students
under the direction of Rebecca Bass - # 106
After the awards had been presented I had photos made of Don, myself, and Tom, and
another one of Erika with
me. Harrod did some photos of me with the BugWing and we talked
for a short time, following which it was time to get back on the road for
Kansas. I said goodbye to Tom and a few more people before I found
my way to I-45, and then to 59, without any problem I might add, heading
north and out of town. I decided, as tired as I was, to shut down in
Lufkin, TX, that night. After I checked in at the motel I started taking
my things in, one of which was the trophy I had been given in Houston a few
hours earlier. Some guy sitting in front of the motel watched while I did
a couple of exposures of the trophy in front of the
BugWing, but he didn't say a word. Maybe he was thinking something
similar to what was on a bumper sticker Tom gave to me when we met in Tulsa
almost a week earlier; that being, "You have to be real secure to be seen
in a car like this." Maybe not.
Anyway, I got a bit more food in me, and had a good night of sleep
before pressing on for Tulsa the next day. It takes a while for me
to get somewhere since gas stops take much longer than those I experience
when in my "normal" car. I meet a LOT of really neat people at those
stops, though, and I get to spend some time talking with most of them. Some
of the stops are not in gas stations, though, and I experienced another
one of those on the highway south of Paris, TX. I can tell when people
are looking at me since they will often spend time behind me, and then beside
and a little ways back from me when they pull into the passing lane, and
then right beside me. That sort of thing happened in this instance,
but it went on longer than normal. When the car came up beside me at
one point I just motioned for us to pull over, at which time I got to meet
Renee, and Dave who works for her. Renee really seemed to like the
BugWing, as evidenced by jumping up repeatedly, so I asked her if she'd like
to sit in it, which she
did. I did some other photos of them while we talked along
the side the highway, but, eventually, I had to get back in and continue
my trip to Tulsa where I stayed with my sister and her family again that
On Tuesday morning I left Tulsa, taking my time as I headed north
on the highway, and taking my time to talk with people during my gas stops.
When I came to the Kansas line, I stopped for one more photo since it was good
to be back in the State. I had a strong tail wind all the way from
Houston, and the BugWing doesn't cool as well with a tail wind as it does
when I'm going into the wind, or when I have a cross wind. After I
left Lyons for the final 35 miles of my trip, I noticed the temperature guage
climbing in a way I'm not used to seeing in a cross wind. When I pulled
over in a roadside rest area and shut it off, I heard a growling sound as
my radiator fan motor retired from service. To get on home I let it
cool off, I ran a few miles and stopped, I'd let it cool off again, and so
on. I filled a gallon jug and topped off my water bottle at a shop
in Chase where I did a couple of photos at one of my cooling stops on the way
home. The stops gave me the opportunity to meet, and talk with, even more
people, and I finally made it into the garage around 9:00pm. A new
radiator fan motor is on the way, and I'm also going to have a new aluminum
racing radiator made and added to the cooling system so I don't have to
watch the temperature guage so closely.
Thanks again to Jim and Eileen in Houston for opening their house to me
and Tom, and thanks to the Orange Show people, to all the HACK members, and
everyone else involved in making the trip a really good one!!
Links related to the art car events
and parade in Houston, 2005: