Bombers, President Bubba and a Biker Bar
The last couple of days our growing group of riders has been carving its way north through north Texas, north Louisiana and now Arkansas. Last night and yesterday we visited a Harley-Davidson dealership in Bossier City, Louisiana outside of Shreveport. They had a very well done celebration with ribs and po boys, as well as heat like a steam bath that turned my skin into a seeping soaker hose of sweat.
Aside from the cool surprise appearance of actor John Goodman at the grand opening, another highlight of the last couple days was visiting Barksdale Air Force Base just up the street from the dealership. Some members of the base had formed a riding group called the Freedom Riders, and welcomed us to the base to fire off some nukes. Or, at least gave me one of the "Remove Before Flight" red tags that hang off the nukes before they load and arm them on a bomber. The red tag now whips in the wind hanging off the V-Rod Muscle.
At the base they had B-52 bombers, a SR-71 Blackhawk and an assortment of WWII and Vietnam era warplanes. We had a Harley-Davidson flag signed at the dealership by probably a hundred people who wanted to show our appreciation to our military men and women, and we presented it to the Freedom Riders at the base. It was a good vibe for all of us.
That night, thanks to Bear at Thunder Road magazine, we discovered the Coyote biker bar in Shreveport. The bar was having a benefit for active military in Iraq. Everyone, including our Mexican friends, thought it was one of the most fun and cool biker bars we'd ever been to. It has some great biker art drawn all over the outside alley walls, and bikes are always riding through the alley firing their thunderous engines. Thank you John #2 (he comes from a family of Johns) for your hospitality and great stories.
The next day, a little light on sleep, we headed out to Doolin's Harley-Davidson at Texarcana and met Dealer Jay Doolin, who is an old school motorcycle tech that builds and rebuilds everything with his own hands and who also happens to be a medal-winning martial artist. He threw a fun party for us and his customers who seemed to appreciate the bikini bike washes as much as the free coffee.
Finally, we made it to Little Rock and stopped at a charity event at the Clinton library. We toured the pretty substantial library, and without making any political statements, I left with a better understanding of just how taxing the job of president actually is no matter which party is in office. I think all presidents would want to ride just to chill out. – We need a biker in the office someday.
Hand muscles starting to feel a little raw after seven days of riding, but we ride on north to Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Seven hours to go today...