Tales from the O-NO Ranch | TheFencePost.com
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Tales from the O-NO Ranch

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

At this writing, the Sturgis, S.D., motorcycle rally is in full swing and will be for the remainder of this week. I have never been up there nor do I plan to go. Don’t think it is exactly my cup of tea but it is for thousands and thousands of bikers, real and imagined, this time each year.

I rode my bike into town yesterday for coffee and a visit with my buddies, some of whom are bikers in their spare time. I was wearin’ my fancy shotgun (cowboy) chaps that I usually wear when I’m on my bike. The comments came flyin’ as soon as I was spotted and, of course, they were all good natured, but had a barb attached here and there.

“I’m just playin’ Sturgis,” I barked. My bike is not the type that I would want to take a several hundred mile trip on as it is not that comfortable nor as big as some of the road bikes, so any long trip is out of the question for me. Plus all of that, I know down deep that I need more time riding and getting familiar with interstate traffic, road hazards, etc.

I had a near miss the other day that brought home to me that at my age, my reflexes are not as they were 10 or 20 years ago. I was headed home on a county road going up a hill at a leisurely pace of 50 miles an hour and noticed something off to my right that caught my attention. The wind was blowin’ hard out of the southeast and I was headed north. When my attention returned to the road, I had drifted across the center line and was lookin’ into the driver’s side window of an SUV! Neither of us had time to react as we had already passed each other. I swallowed real hard and thanked God above that I had one more time to GET IT RIGHT!

I run into men my age and older all the time on bigger and faster bikes than mine, so I know that trip is out of the question for me. I am not alone out there playin’ Sturgis. Only thing is, most of these other guys are on their way to Sturgis or have been there many times before. There is something about a bike with loud pipes and lots of get up and go that claims all of your common sense on occasion as you just have to blast off down the highway. I know because I have given in to temptation.

Gentle readers, yes, I still ride my ole paint and enjoy every step he makes with me in the saddle. This new love I have discovered may be a short-lived thing as I get older, or it may not. I do know that there will always be a horse in the corral and there may not always be a motorcycle in the garage. There will come a time when time dictates what I am able to do and how I am able to do it.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and if you see some old guy with fancy chaps runnin’ down the interstate, cut me some slack, and chances are, I’ll c. ya.


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