A Little Motorcycle (Dirt-bike) Story

I’ve been spending alot more time working on the Mississippi Trip, but just to let you know that I am still here – here’s an old ‘growing-up’ motorcycle story that might be worth a smile……

‘Kay Knievel’

My buddy Hobbs never had the best knack when it came to keeping his motorcycle clean and lubricated, his knack was also similar when it came to choosing a girlfriend – as long as he could ride it – this was good enough (and this of course was similar with the girlfriend too).

At the time riding dirt-bikes was our passion – ‘Hobbs owned a pretty powerful dirt bike (MX 250) and one of his girlfriends during this period was named Kay. Kay was new to the area, real spirited and extremely confident; to the point of being cocky. We had only known her a short while, but had yet to find a ‘chink’ in her armor; she was adamant and firm with her demeanor, always – needless to say, riding her new boyfriend’s motorcycle (Hobb’s) was meant to be.

In those years I shared a Pine Manor apartment with Hobbs and another friend ‘Locke,’ the two apartments (a duplex) paralleled each other with a long common area between. One end of this common area was where we parked our cars, and the other end was open, this was our area of frequent conversation, much like southern folks use their front porches. So on this particular Saturday morning during conversation in the common area, Kay interjected her ability and expertise of riding a motorcycle – none of us had ever seen her ride, and being that she was Hobb’s girlfriend; the bike of choice was his.

We all watched intently as Hobb’s pulled his muddy yet powerful enough bike from the rear of the apartment. Too good to wear the nasty helmet that went with it Kay eagerly threw her leg over the bike and settled onto the seat. She then kicked started it with male-like authority and even though the dirt bike lacked proper maintenance, it fired right up.  “Rat a tat tat tat,” smoke poured from the exhaust as it idled like a pent-up animal – dried mud fell from both sides. Kay was a picture of oozing confidence, she sat upright with ‘El-Cid’ like posture, arms outstretched to the handlebars – I think at this point we were kind of impressed at Tom’s choice of girlfriend; Might he have picked a winner this time? Kay looked every bit the part of a dirt-rider – I’m sure there was an instant when we each felt like ‘she just might fit in.‘

The bike made a small lurch as she put the vibrating motorcycle into gear; she then idled around the rear corner of the building to turn around. In very short order we heard the motor BRRRUUPPP! and the bike and Kay came bolting around the corner of the building. Just like in a magazine, the motorcycle was on its rear wheel spitting dirt everywhere – an awesome wheelie in motion! We were downright impressed as she never let up on the throttle. It could have looked like the crowd at a tennis match as our heads moved in unison when she roared passed us.

That impressive wheelie lasted from around the rear of our apartment, the distance of the common area, between us, and right onto the hood of Hobb’s parked red Oldsmobile Cutlass.

The motorcycle continued to run as it lay on the ground and Kay with her face bleeding slid from the car like a rag-doll – we all ran for the bike.

The reality of the situation was that the throttle (with no maintenance) had STUCK wide open and when Kay had passed us she was hanging on for dear life; right into the parked car.

After the motorcycle was taken care of Kay was assisted onto a mattress in the rear of Locke’s pickup and taken to the Hospital. I had heard that she suffered no broken bones but can’t confirm this for I never saw her again; I think she moved back to Michigan.

* and we learned Hobb’s secret to having always been such a competitive rider – a sticking throttle!

Trip, Locke, Hobbs, Big Al

A Sea of Rabbits!!


Pine Manor, S Fort Myers @ 1973

Try BacShortly.com

One post is hard enough, but between two or three – Who knows exactly where I’ll be…..

www. BacShortly.com (its bacshortly.wordpress.com) about going down the Mississippi River – spendin some time livin on the river, nothing at all fancy but fundamentally sound – and yes, I would do it again in a minute.

or http://www.backshortly.com (backshortly.wordpress.com) about Life At 60 (mph) – appreciating the back roads instead of the interstate, some paddling along the way, and sharing a simple view from these two little portholes……

or tomhaynie.wordpress.com, family stuff – the most important yet under maintained part.

Uncharted Waters

A web-page, a blog! – and me.

What in the world am I doing here? exposing my belly to a world of anonymous web-surfers..  It’s new, and I feel the illumination of avenues within; my inconsistencies, scattered thoughts, twisted considerations – and comparative shortcomings; I sense vulnerability.  I suppose this too will depend on exactly how ‘fully’ one may release the constraints of their own innate conscientiousness.

Rolling through these rambling thoughts are the words ‘conformity,’ ‘ethics,’ conscientiousness, ‘morals.’  Each indeed fine and conducive to a better society (much like a cultivated field yields more product) – yet within it all, it has to be possible that some become weary of that encumbrance.

Early in our lives we are directed to ‘rules’ and constraints which are meant to ‘guide’ us through our parents home and into societies corridors; conformity.  There is a period in our 20’s that some (as I) experience the ‘hooray-for-today‘ syndrome; fun it was – we all make a few mental notes about the times before moving on to develop a life-skill.  In hindsight, the most successful of my acquaintances directed their interests toward their careers.  Generally, I have accepted that many lives develop through happenstance, luck, or plain good fortune – a resilient attitude helps.

So where am I going with this?

I suppose at fifty I am reflecting to some extent – it’s something that a person at fifty (now plus) has earned the right to do – yes, like even wearing a ‘speedo’ in the summer when no one is around – it might not be pretty, but its doggone comfortable and ‘dammit its hot out there!

Now don’t get me wrong – generally I follow the herd rules and conform, but I hold no hesitation to stray with a ‘rule’ if it makes real-time sense (and I do) – like sitting for a ‘stuck’ red light in the middle of the night when no other vehicles are within miles of the intersection……. so I move on; so am I a rebel, misfit, or just open-minded?

It’s 2008, and somehow this writing, or outlet is a basis of a ‘weblog’ (of which I am unfamiliar with), Now where to go from here?

As close as I can get is the reasoning behind ‘bacshortly;’ the name of my 20-foot center console (boat).  Its just hard to think that I have to remain in one place – tethered to a dock – What good is the boat? I don’t want to go alone but I really don’t like the process of having to explain.  For me, explaining ‘why’ takes the soul out of the ride.  ‘Explaining’ creates or defines a reason thus removing the richness of spontaneity – which to me is a fuel of interest.  ‘Asking’ at times leads to another asking others (and then waiting for those to respond) and within the effort of that process it becomes ‘their’ trip and not the intended ‘ride.’  Explaining or asking changes the timing, the desire, and the complexion of the ride completely – maybe I just like to ride. This is where “Backshortly” derived.

Simplicity; pulling up behind five cars at a red-light, or changing into the lane with a sole vehicle. I’ll take the less crowded lane (fewer folks to make a decision when the light turns green).

09 100_2483


Savoring our independent freedoms while respecting the realm of cultural and natural wonders that surround us.  During our brief earth-experience we each have the opportunity to gain a first-hand perception of what interests us; and do it. Some find it difficult to understand why another would care to (example) float/raft down the Mississippi River – I can’t answer that completely, even after doing it…..  With some things, my desire is fertilized when directly discouraged by another. If the negative reason is unclear; then I just might want my own clarity.

I once heard the statement that:Our lives are but a mist droplet in the ocean of time.  The human life-span in proper perspective; so with that I am inclined to say, “Why Not?”

– In the meantime; I’ll be “BacShortly!”