Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Brotherly Love and Loss

I lost a brother last night. We shared no blood, we weren’t stepbrothers, not related by marriage. But if any man could truly be called a “brother from another mother”, it was him. He was the kind of person who was always there for you, whether it was to have fun, or to listen to your troubles or to help you out. His last name was Jones, and we called him Big Jones. Physically, he was a huge SOB, it’s true. He got tagged with the name for obvious reasons. However, if you were ever around him, you knew that his presence far exceeded his physical size. He walked into a room, or hell – into a bike rally, and you just KNEW he was there, even if you didn’t hear him speak with that naturally loud, booming voice he had. But he was THERE.

He was a Sergeant At Arms for his chapter of our club, and I know good and well he was capable of carrying out the less pleasant functions of that office, but he always projected a happy, smiling face. The funny thing is that with his size, he could have easily been intimidating if he wanted to, but I never saw him try to be. Matter of fact, once you got to know him, which didn’t take long, you stopped noticing that he was so big. You just saw the smile. Big smile – you never stopped noticing that. He was a happy man who wanted everyone around him to be happy, too.

If you were lucky enough to get to know him, you loved him. Period. End of story. He became part of your family. His family was your family. His door was open to you simply for the asking. He and his wife Stephanie once handed over their house to me, my infant daughter and her mother when my wee one got overheated and sick while camping at a bike rally. They stayed at the rally, but they lived a half hour away, and they just took us to the house and trusted us with their home; no questions asked. Big heart – you always knew that about Big Jones, too.

I’ve spent the day in pain, hurting, crying with the loss of a beloved brother taken from this world far too soon. But I’ve also smiled, remembering good times, fun times, and always that big fucking smile, and his voice saying “How YOU doin’!?” or “What ha’ happent wuz……” Or the times that his work related travels brought him to Austin, and he’d text a lot of us to invite us to meet him at Twin Peaks for happy hour. Which he’d usually end up paying for. I really hate it that he did that a couple weeks ago and I couldn't make it because I was at work. Funny the things you don't think about at the time that you regret later.

The one solace I take is that he went out doing something he loved doing: riding.  At least he got that. I only hope that when my time comes, I can go in a similar way.

This should remind us, and of course it does, like all unexpected deaths do, not to take life for granted. Not to take those we care about for granted. Take the time to really appreciate what you have. Appreciate the people in your life – don’t just say you love them, take the time to feel that love, and to tell them what you feel. I don’t mean to sound all mushy and touchy-feely, but seriously – what’s wrong with telling someone that? If you love someone, then they’re your family in some way, and since when is it wrong to tell your family you love them?

Jeff “Big Jones” Jones. Devoted husband, loving father, dedicated Gypsy, beloved brother-from-another-mother to so many. My brother, I raise my glass to you and wish you well on your transfer to the Forever Chapter of Gypsy MC. I’m honored to have known you and to have been your brother.

I love you and will miss you.

GBNF (Gone  But Never Forgotten)

GFFG (Gypsy Forever Forever Gypsy)

LL&R (Love, Loyalty & Respect)

(November 25, 2013)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Plans, parts, and finally: Coffee

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

I had such a good plan, too. Get up, get dressed, ride some back roads, then head back in to have breakfast and coffee at Waffle House. Nope. Suzi, my Suzuki SV1000, took a dump on those plans.

Six hours later, I'm finally having my first cup of coffee of the day.

Bad news: The stator's shot.

Good news: I got a good deal on the part, and it should be here in a week.

Better news: Brotherhood. I called a brother, waking him up, and he and his lady came out and gave me a jump start, followed me home, and he spent hours with me, checking the charging system. It only cost me a trip to Jack In The Box, and he didn't even want me to pay for that.
Actually, he did all the work, since I don't know anything about electrical systems, other than they have one lever: Leave 'er alone.*

It sucks when things fall apart, but knowing you're never alone, well... that's brotherhood. 

And it makes the coffee taste even better.

It wound up raining, anyway.

*Credit for the "leave 'er alone" comment goes to my brother, Dennis "Trippple Nippple" Cole, who went on the Forever Chapter in 2005. R.I.P. my brother. GBNF, GFFG

Monday, August 26, 2013

Limey Motorcycle Rebirth

Triumph came back twenty years ago. Indian has come back twice now. Royal Enfield, as it turns out, was just in hibernation in India for a few decades, and they made a big international splash a few years back.

What about BSA? When does the Gold Star make its rebirth? A 500cc single with modern technology could far outdo bikes twice its size from its glory days.

A modern bike with BSA style and modern tech would be an awesome blank slate for creators of all kinds of custom bikes, from cafe racers to choppers.

It's time, even if just to stir the waters.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I May Have Just Been Converted

I just went and picked a brother's bike up from the shop for him, since he's working late. I've never been that into fairings and hard saddlebags and floorboards; I tend to like simpler bikes.

But dammit, that 2013 Harley Road Glide may have just converted me to bagger-ism.

Now, to research less expensive, and probably even better, metric equivalents...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Why is it that when the temperature is in the 30s and I’m on my motorcycle, I shiver at red lights, but I’m actually warmer/more comfortable when I’m moving? I'm no geophysicist or anything, but shouldn’t the wind make me colder?

Inquiring minds want to know…

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Moto Love

So, on my way home from work today, I was thinking about how lucky I've been with this bike, reliability-wise (I've had some real lemons in the past), and how much I really like it, love it even. Without even thinking, I reached down and patted the tank like you would a horse's neck. Is that weird?