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Friday, May 15, 2009

Run for the Wall (RFTW) 2009 -- Rich's story

One of the PGR Ride Captains that we know, a good friend of ours, is making his first "Run for the Wall"....something he's wanted to do for a few years now. He was having some issues with his bike so almost didn't make it but he headed down south a couple days after the rest & will also be sending me updates of his trip across this great land of ours.
Run for the Wall

May 10th
Well, I decided to take a chance on the bike and head on down to LA. I did some heavy testing on Friday and Saturday without a problem so it is time to leave.

I was on the road by about 8:00 am. It was cool out but then I got on the freeway and it became a little colder. I decided that if it was any colder some morning, I would need a warmer jacket. So back home I went to get one. So it was 9:00 am by the time I actually started.

My first gas stop was in Santa Nella. All the way down there, I kept waiting for something to happen. For those of you who don’t know, my bike was in the shop for over a week waiting on a part from Japan. It would still be waiting but I have the shop put a fuel pump in. Since the problem acted like it was running out of gas, I told them to replace the pump. Everything else in the fuel system was The bike ran great. I filled up and started heading for LA.

It was real hot and about halfway down 5, I stopped and took my jacket off and just had a long sleeve shirt on. I took my time getting there. Cruise control was set at 80 MPH and I tried to relax. What I found was that I couldn’t stop thinking about the trip and my brothers that are on the “Wall”. I have found excuses not to go for several years now and this year, I ran out of reasons. So I am going. It is kind of a relief now that I am starting on my way. I guess I am looking for some kind of closure but I am not sure if I will get it. Only time will tell.

May 11th
Today was a pretty quiet day. I got to have lunch with an old manager of mine. We worked together as young men and watched our families grow and each other get old!! We spent about 1 ½ hrs at lunch. He is still working as a Regional Manager for a company. We had a good time talking about what we have been doing and how everything is going.

After that, I just took Rt. 66 back to the Hotel. I spent the rest of the day, meeting people, registering for the run, and getting a few patches. I actually, met a lot of people from all over. Since I am an FNG, I get to wear this nice PINK button. At first I didn’t want to wear it but several people convince me that I should. What it does is identify you as a first timer and many go out of their way to talk to you and welcome you to the ride. It is pretty nice. Since most everybody is a veteran, you feel pretty welcomed anyhow. Some nice stories are told about past rides and about their service. It is great to be a veteran and I am so proud to be one.

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