Bohemian Biker Blog

Thoughts

Experiences with the Patriot Guard Riders

by on Feb.22, 2012, under Thoughts

Back a few years, I made a new friend as we were gathered at our local H-D dealer for a benefit ride.  Actually, I made friends with this fellow and his wife.  They intrigued me – not only had they traveled out west on a bike trip, but they were also active with the Patriot Guard Riders… In fact, he is a PGR Ride Captain.

As of my first Miles For Minutes ride a few years ago, I’ve been hooked on rides that support Our Troops.  There was even a thank you “Fly-By” over Hooter’s Bike Night that week…complete with a crew member waving at us from the lowered cargo bay ramp (tethered-off of course)!  The ride and that fly-by both brought me to the verge of tears…

So that was the beginning of my dedication along these lines…then along came Jann, with the same dedication.  Together we make it a point to ride in support of Law Enforcement and Firefighters, as well as our Military.  That’s on top of participating in rides that support other important causes we hold dear.  Somewhere along the way, I had heard about Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) running interference on troublemakers at military funerals, and this had me even more interested in participating (especially considering our proximity Dover Air Force Base, where the bodies of many Fallen Heroes arrive back here in the states).

Jann & I went on the PGR website and signed up.  I received periodic emails concerning planned “missions,” and mostly I thought to myself, “I’d like to participate, but I’m not quite sure what is expected of me…”  Then one day came an email from the PGR State Captain.  Basically, he was hoping to rally increased participation.  I responded with an email explaining that I wanted to participate, but was a little apprehensive about not knowing exactly what was expected, and that I would appreciate buddying-up with a member that would be willing to show me the ropes.  He assigned a PGR Road Captain to that role. Him and I hit it off from the start, and that laid the groundwork for the beginning of my participation in PGR Missions.

My first mission was near the end of December, weather-wise a pretty ugly day.  The PGR Road Captain and I were in close communication, and agreed to “cage-it.”  Our main function was to establish a Flag Line.  So, the lack of Iron Horses would not much matter.  We assembled at the agreed upon McDonald’s, and I was guided through the process each step of the way (including the lending of a Flag).  This mission was carried out at the Veteran’s Cemetery – Delaware, near Summit Bridge.  The family and friends of the Honored, although solemn, were clearly appreciative of our presence.  It was a very moving experience to be present to honor this veteran’s service, and once again – I was hooked.

That my own father, Raymond Bowers, is buried in this very cemetery, and fellow HOG Chapter member buried his father directly adjacent to mine, made this first mission with the Patriot Guard Riders be all the more meaningful to me.

Weeks later came a call from the PGR Road Captain concerning a mission that would take us to Arlington Cemetery.  On this mission I would meet and ride with PGR State Captain.  We met early for breakfast on the morning of the mission, and had a chance to get further acquainted.  Men of similar age with a mission and riding in common, we hit it off from the start.

I’m sure the two of them wondered, “How is this guy going to do riding in formation with us?”  Being no stranger to riding in staggered formation, I did fine – kept tight enough to keep cage drivers from attempting to “shoe horn” their way in between us, stayed alert, and in my position.

Arriving early, we had an opportunity to meet the other PGR members present (mostly men, but a few ladies – all friendly and devoted to this mission).  The Mission Captain covered our assignment, including details of the procedure for entering and traveling through the military base and cemetery.  We established a Flag Line in front of the chapel, and followed the queues of the military personnel.  Both PGR members themselves, the husband of the deceased military woman asked that we file in right behind the hearse as the procession made its way into Arlington and to the grave site.  Graveside, we stood in a line honoring the deceased veteran.  Upon the completion of the graveside service, the thoughtful husband shook the hand and thanked each and every one of us.

Truth is, I am not a veteran.  Sometimes I wish I too had served Our Country.  As things went, when I was coming up on those years my Dad made it extremely clear what was expected of me.  There would be no enlisting; I would go to college.  My Dad had grave fears of me going to Vietnam, which was understandable.  Although I did register, the draft was pretty much over by the time I turned eighteen.  Nonetheless, patriotism and honoring those that have served Our Country is of key importance to me.  I would attribute this mostly to my years in Scouting, and becoming an Eagle Scout.  Being a patriotic citizen is one of the things that have remained with me throughout my life.  I can’t help but feel somewhat lacking in the company of those that served.  It’s not the result of anything they do or say.  It’s just the way it is.

My third mission was a much happier occasion – welcoming the 126th back home to Delaware.  There were quite a few of us when we established a Flag Line along the driveway.  It was a cold nasty morning, but we endured.  Once everyone was inside, we assembled a Flag Line in a hallway through which the members of the would enter.  After Senators Chris Coons and former Governor Tom Carper came though, the 126th was led in by the Delaware State Police Pipe and Drum Team.  It was pretty exciting experience to be there!

Recently, one of the PGR mission notifications included the following quote across the bottom:

“Lest I keep my complacent way I must remember somewhere out there a person died for me today.  As long as there must be war, I ask and I must answer, was I worth dying for?”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

This quote currently seems especially appropriate.  Taking the opportunity to honor Fallen Heroes and those that have served Our Country is such an important thing to be done, yet takes but a small amount of our time and effort relative to what they have contributed.

I asked about keeping a log of missions, and was told something that stuck in my head – “the most important mission is the one we’re doing right now.”  Once said , it dawned on me that each Fallen Hero and every one that served, deserves for the mission honoring them to be the most important one.

A few notes – PGR is not a club – We are volunteers invited by the family of the deceased.  There are 400+ members in Delaware, and over 450,000 members nationally.

Please take a look at the PGR website:  www.patriotguard.org  …and join US in assembling to Honor those that have Served Our Country – if you are so inclined!

As always, in addition to your comments here… your comments (and questions) are welcome via email to:  bohemianbiker@bohemianbiker.com

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Spiritual Hours spent Afoot Afield

by on Oct.11, 2011, under Afield, Thoughts

I find time I spend on foot in the field to be thought-provoking… ranging from thoughts of time spent with my Dad, scouting around, fishing and hunting… and things he taught me about nature… to how much I appreciate the smell of the woods…

For someone that generally needs to be feeling like he’s doing something “constructive”… this is a welcome break from life coming at you at lightning speed.

It’s like permission to clear one’s mind, appreciate the beauty of nature, think about things other than the usual, and observe… somewhat “re-centering”… giving you a chance to step back and ask yourself… “what’s been going on here?”  and…  “what’s really important?”

I find this helpful each and every time I take the time to do it, and I find myself thinking… “you see how good this is for you… so, why don’t you do it more often?”  Truth is… it’s tough to carve out the time for it, but it is indeed good for the head… and body.  Mind, body, and soul… all that stuff – LOL

Fishing and hunting is often just a reason, or maybe an excuse for me to get out and do it… and therefore catching something, or harvesting something, becomes less important…  This is where more of a Zen-like attitude towards fishing and hunting comes in… relaxing, and not being “attached to” a specific outcome…

Speaking of Zen… and thoughts of Pirsig’s book – “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – An Inquiry into Values”…  a number of other associated topics about which to write in the future, occur to me…  For example, the manner in which we individually relate to technology… and furthermore, how we relate to both nature and technology…

BTW – I would especially appreciate the input of someone who could educate me about how to facilitate the “following” of interested readers, commenters – bloggers…  Please comment as such, or email me at:  bohemianbiker@bohemianbiker.com

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New Category of Posts emerging from time spent Afoot Afield

by on Oct.10, 2011, under Afield, Hello World!, Solar, Thoughts

While recently spending some time “Afoot Afield”, it occurred to me to create a post Category for just that… thoughts, topics, observations emerging from time spent “on foot…in the field”.  Somewhat similar to time spent “on a bike…on the road” in terms of opportunity and atmosphere, being on foot in the field can be an opportunity for reflection, and thoughts prompted by something other than life’s events coming at you at lightning speed.  Time spent in the quiet of being on foot in natural surroundings can be similarly spiritual, minus the mind-cleansing wind in your face.

This Category will also lend itself well to discussions related to the use of portable solar charging equipment in the field.  Beyond discussions, pictures (and maybe even videos) will no doubt be of interest and encourage understanding.

I am finding my 4G iPhone indispensible while afield – not just a means of maintaining communication, I am often using the additional “smartphone” features.  That use results in battery drainage, and the need to maintain sufficient charge.  Enter the convenient, portable, charging means – capitalizing on the sun’s energy !!!

Something probably not often recognized – that USB connection charging means is based on 5 volts.  Therefore, not only does your 12 volt charger step that 12V down to 5V, but the 110 volt charger does as well.  5 volts DC is within relatively easy reach via one of our Global SUNLINQ – USB Plus portable solar chargers.

I am finding that not only is my smartphone enabling me to “stay connected”,  but often address things as they occur to me, or at least make notes.  Speaking of notes – here’s an example of how I have used my smartphone’s features in the field.  While scouting deerstand sites established by a local state park, I recorded pertintent notes at each using my smartphone.  Now, when I’m participating in the deerstand lottery drawing on a particular day… and must quickly decide which remaining stand to chose… I can quickly consult the smartphone field notes I recorded while scouting each stand prior to the season.

I doubt I need to bring up very many smartphone features/applications before those participating in outdoors recreation see the light, if they haven’t already.  Capitalizing on the Sun’s Energy by outfitting oneself with the means for portable solar charging of handheld electronics… makes a lot of sense.

Much like recognizing that your cell phone is dead as you prepare to take off on your motorcycle – recognizing the same as you leave to go afield hunting or fishing presents a similar dilemma, but one with the further complication of there not being a motorcycle battery and charging system from which to draw 12 volt power.

Since you’re afield hunting or fishing (hiking, camping, canoeing, or kayaking), there is the Sun from which to derive energy.  Yes – it could be as easy as pictured above.   With Sunlight available, a Portable Solar Charger like the Global Solar SUNLINQ – USB Plus unit with a USB output connector could do the trick for you.

So, the USB Plus might become a vital component to be included in your daypack, or backpack.  Since your cell phone is no doubt critical to your ability to communicate in an emergency, planning for its charging is important, if not critical.  In fact, the USB Plus could be used to charge your GPS, or other handheld electronics with a USB connection.

The Global Solar SUNLINQ – USB Plus is available via our ecommerce store at: www.solarcapitalist.com

Here’s a direct link to the listing: http://www.solarcapitalist.com/global-sunlinq2-usb-plus.aspx

Solar Capitalist LLC is our sister company handling Global SUNLINQ Portable Solar Chargers, as well as Deltran Battery Tenders (including solar powered units) and related SAE 2 Pin connectors, leads, and adapters.

Bohemian Biker LLC and Solar Capitalist LLC are authorized dealers for both the Global Solar and Deltran lines of products.

Capitalize on the Sun’s Energy !

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Responsibility

by on Mar.11, 2011, under Thoughts

So, I’m going to head off in a new direction here – prompted by thoughts emerging from my post on buying American (“Made in America”).

Let me start like this…  throughout my life (here at the age of 55), I have noticed how often people poo poo, or deny the suggestion or identification of “something awry”…

Today, I had a “Blinding Flash of the Obvious” – to use a phrase credited to motivational writer/speaker, Tom Peters (I believe in his book “In Search of Excellence”).  

It occurred to me that people might often poo poo, or deny the suggestion or identification of “something awry”…because it would then cry out for attention, and of course… that might call them into action.

Wow…  that would be like “taking responsibility” for something…

Conversely, if we poo poo and deny…  we can potentially side-step “responsibility” for that task…

Oh boy, now we have the whole topic of “integrity” creeping into the conversation…, i.e., as long as no one else calls us on it, and we can avoid confronting ourselves about it – we’re home free !!!

But if our friends are true enough to call us on it, or if we do have “integrity” with our self – we’re going to find ourselves taking responsibility for things that need to be addressed.

Now we can’t be taking responsibility for, and getting in-action on too many things…after all, we can only do so much.

The answer may lye in the “First Things First” approach discussed by Stephen R. Covey in his book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”.

Certainly, it is incumbent upon us all to determine what’s important to us in a “top down” manner, and take action accordingly.

For example, if we profess that our family is most important to us – then when “something awry” emerges in our family…like a family member needing attention, or care – we are called to acknowledge it, and take action accordingly.

            

An alternative might be to do this – “if I don’t see it…it doesn’t exist”, and off we go on our merry way…most likely leaving it for others to address.

Now, pertinent to my little company here – if I recognize something is awry, guess where the buck stops?

I can certainly get help if I need it, but if I don’t take responsibility for taking responsibility – there’s No One else here to call me on it!

Back when I was teaching Hunter Education full-time, I used to have a conversation about this very topic with my students.

Obviously, when you’re out there in the woods…most often, there’s No One around to call You on “Not Taking Responsibility” for something – be it abiding by game laws, or your own safety (like treestand safety – wearing a safety harness).

On a grander scale – the predicament of Our Country. 

Seems “Taking Responsibility”, or not…is at the center of many of the  issues at hand, i.e., taking responsibility for Our Own Education, Our Own Finances, Our Own Health, OUR OWN BEHAVIOR !!!

                        

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Made in America

by on Mar.11, 2011, under Thoughts

Thought I’d share a few thoughts on this topic, since I definitely have some. 

First – I’d like to share that to my surprise, I am often encouraged to look for an offshore source of products.  Seems that for some, the desire for cheap hardware exceeds any concerns with respect to the bigger picture for America. 

I will take this opportunity to clarify that I am a strong proponent of the swiftly growing global economy.  Never-the-less, I am committed to a strong America.

Early on, I was blessed with the help of an elderly representative with one of the first manufacturing firms I contacted – a manufacturer here in the U.S.A.

This gentleman seemed to recognize and appreciate my entrepreneurial spirit and determination, and he was not only very helpful to me… but patient.

He has since retired, but I will never forget how he encouraged me along in my early attempts to carve out a niche.

One of the things he did was take me serious enough to manufacture samples for me, and then allow me to place small initial orders…as necessary to get my little gig going.

To me…this was the kind of business relationship building that makes all the difference in the world.  This firm remains my most counted-upon for manufacturering to this day.

This is exactly the manner in which I planned to behave in building my company’s business relationships, and I have.  Not only do I maintain a similar spirit with my customers, but I have extended the same to other suppliers with whom I am associated.  I’ve long known – strong and enjoyable business relationships are personal relationships. 

I am pleased with the business relationships I have built.  Oh, there have been suppliers with whom…after a while…I realized a strong and enjoyable business relationship wasn’t in the cards…and I moved on.

What supporting a good business relationship looks like to me is “saying what you’re going to do…and doing what you said you’re going to do”, i.e., doing business with integrity.

Back to the topic of “Made in America” – I’ve often thought attempts to “Buy American” were a bit futile.  For example, buying an “American” car or truck, only to realize that many of the component parts are made offshore.

Many of my suppliers no doubt utilize foreign manufacturing facilities – that is a sign of the times.

Conversely, as long as I can find an American  manufacturer that turns out quality products, at reasonable prices, and in quatities I can handle…they will be my 1st choice.

I’m also all about participating in the Global Economy, not only in terms of selling abroad, but…when necessary, buying as well.  For example, there may be times when a component or assembly is no longer available here in the states.

So, getting back to individuals encouraging me to seek cheaper manufacturers abroad – no thanks. 

I will continue to support domestic manufacturers to the greatest extent possible.

We welcome email at: bohemianbiker@bohemianbiker.com

Currently, our products are available through our new e-commerce website at:  www.solarcapitalist.com  

Solar Capitalist LLC is our sister company handling products such as those discussed above, as well as Portable Solar Chargers – Capitalize on the Sun’s Energy !

 
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See something that interests you? Email Us !!!

by on Mar.05, 2011, under Hello World!, Thoughts

Although eBay has been instrumental in gaining us exposure online, we encourage you to email us at: bohemianbiker@bohemianbiker.com

Please don’t feel forced to communicate with us via eBay – we answer numerous customer questions and inquiries via direct email.

On a daily and ever increasing basis, we process customer orders outside of eBay – often after answering technical questions or inquiries regarding quantities, combinations, and/or combined shipping.  BTW – we make it a point to use the most economical means of shipping (usually USPS 1st Class Mail), and we will always give our customers the benefit of combined shipping.

Direct email interaction not only allows us the opportunity answer questions, but also the opportunity to tailor a transaction to a customer’s specific needs.  We have a merchant account that facilitates the processing of credit card transactions, and we trust you will find us both flexible and accommodating.

In the interest of having the opportunity to provide the best possible service, we encourage customers to 1st email us questions – prior to placing an eBay order. 

2011 showed a marked increase in interaction outside of eBay – indicating this is preferred by many customers.

In addition to providing sometimes “hard-to-find” electrical components in desirable quantities, and at reasonable prices – another critical component of our niche is the ease we communicate and provide while doing business.

So, whether you are a Biker, or not – email us directly at:  bohemianbiker@bohemianbiker.com

We will answer your questions regarding access to the 12 volt power onboard your motorcycle (or other vehicle/craft) for a cell phone charger, heated clothing, or a GPS unit.  Your Deltran Battery Tender Quick Connect with its SAE 2 Pin connection, for example, provides such access using one of our 12V Power Port x SAE 2 Pin assemblies.

Currently, our products are available through our new e-commerce website at:  www.solarcapitalist.com  

Solar Capitalist LLC is our sister company handling products such as those discussed above, as well as Portable Solar Chargers – Capitalize on the Sun’s Energy !

 
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Biker Friends & Acquaintances

by on Sep.23, 2009, under Thoughts

Of the many really cool aspects of the “fraternity” of Bikers…in the most global sense…is the diversity…and the instant “relatedness” that is present between us…upon sight…and meeting.  

I hesitate to use that word “fraternity” because it has “male” connotations…  According to www.dictionary.com one of the definitions of “fraternity” is: the quality of being brotherly; brotherhood: liberty, equality, and fraternity.

These days…in accordance with the very welcome increased participation of women…on their own…a less “male” oriented term would be welcome…

A similar example that comes to mind would be the Fraternal Order of Police…  Obviously there are now a significant number of women in these ranks…

I know I have a lot of company…as a male…welcoming women to what was…at least in the past…a pretty male dominated activity… 

I’ve got to say…I have a special appreciation for my lady riding “two-up” with me  (Jann riding with me below…note the smile on my face…seen in the mirror)…I figure I have a lot of company here…

jann-i-brkfst-run-sept-09

 *Credit to our friend Nancy Tilley for this great shot!

Never-the-less…I am intrigued by…and have a strong appreciation for…women riding their own bike…which Jann does at times, as well…

Beyond her exercising a level of skill and independence in this way…and enjoying the fulfillment related to that…it also provides the increased cargo carrying capacity of two bikes vs. one…when traveling… 

The increasing presence of women in the Biker ranks is certainly an additional factor contributing to the widening diversity of Bikers…

It just so happens that I have played an active role in the introduction of many women to another once male dominated activity…shooting sports.   As a state-employed full-time shooting instructor, I was fortunate enough to be  the initial instructor for the shooting instruction segment of my state’s Becoming An Outdoors Woman (BOW) Program.  I still participate in a lesser capacity, but have turned this position over to an even more qualified female  instructor/friend, who assisted in the early years.  

6d6749b549e449f396b48fbaa8b35ab4fwwomanshooting1

 

 

 

 

 

So…I am well acquainted with some of the topics that rise out of this sort of process…  For example, the availability of equipment and clothing to support women’s participation… 

It’s pretty obvious that not only motorcycle clothing manufacturers have recognized the growing “female” Biker market segment…

In addition, we see the initiation and development of motorcycle clubs and internet forums specifically for women… 

Certainly there are growing pains, and points of contention…but all-in-all…I think most would agree…these are very necessary, welcome and positive developments… 

As in my experience in the realm of shooting sports…I am often impressed at the level of knowledge and skill, as well as the attitude toward participation…of some of the female Bikers I know and meet…  

I consider myself fortunate to know and ride with several women that have taken on being a Biker…”jumping in feet first”…developing their riding skills…finding the model that suits them best…learning all they can (including how to perform maintenance tasks)…and putting on the miles.

dana-i-waldorf-md-091

Recently, I accompanied Dana, a dear friend to both Jann  and I,  on a 250+ mile run…as part of a 600 mile (one way) run of my own…followed a few days later by the return trip…re-united near her destination. 

We started out in pouring rain and wind at “O-dark thirty”…and after a couple hours crossed a bay bridge in high winds.  

Although the experience was a bit “hair-raising” for both of us…over a couple cups of coffee to calm our nerves…we laughed and let those back home know we had “weathered the storm”.

I’d put Dana’s skill and determination up against that of many Bikers I know…(especially considering the number of Bikers that are mainly “Bar Hoppers”…weekend Bikers at best…not being of the mind to travel or tour on their bike).  

She rides like the woman she is…cool, calm, and collected.  Many of the other women in our riding group (including Jann) call her their hero. 

Dana has earned my respect as a Biker…with her cool headedness, positive attitude, skill, and determination.

Rain, nor wind, nor darkness…would stop Dana from heading out on a scheduled trip…and knockin’ down a full day’s ride…

 

Another lady…I have been fortunate enough to be-friend…has not only been a lifelong Biker…but has worked in H-D dealerships and served in many capacities within several Biker organizations.deb-devine-evo-woman

Deb, aka…Evo Woman, is a walking encyclopedia of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, riding, and Biker organization knowledge…serving in officer positions within several HOG and Rolling Thunder chapters.

I count myself fortunate to have gained her friendship, and bank on her knowledge-base on a continuing basis…not only along the lines of motorcycle related topics, but business savvy, as well.  

This lady has so much to bring to the table…well beyond just motorcycling related.  She is now dabbling in the area of mentoring “at risk” youths…and it seems she may have found her niche!

So…again…I count myself very fortunate to be surrounded by…and in touch with…a significant network of amazing Biker friends…both male and female.

Each and every time I make a new acquaintance among Bikers, I view it as opportunity of one nature or other…whether it be a future close friend and/or riding companion, a networking contact, or simply enjoyable interaction. 

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The key is being open to the opportunity when it presents itself…

One of the things I am known for by my friends and family is striking up conversations with total strangers anywhere…and what I often find is that there is some connection.  I don’t think I’m in any way alone in my proximity to connections…I’m just especially open to the possibilities and opportunities as well as making the kind of conversation that leads to uncovering them…

 

 

 Here’s a perfect example that occurred just this past weekend at DelMarva Bike Week weekend…  Jann and I are back at the bike in the gravel parking lot of one of the venues… It’s late Sunday afternoon…and things are pretty much over for the day…so the parking lot is relatively empty…  A few feet away another couple is puttering around preparing to leave, as well.  So…into action I go…  He’s a clean cut looking man…obviously retired military…Marine stickers on his windshield confirm that.  She’s obviously younger…seemingly adept at riding 2 up with him…   Conversation comes easy between the four of us…once I initiate it…  No sooner does it start…and we find out…despite them living relatively closeby…she’s from the same town in northern DE as Jann…he’s from a town near my daughters’ home town in South Carolina…  I mention the Squat-n-Gobble…my favorite coffee and breakfast spot down there…and they both burst into laughter…it’s their’s too…600 miles away, mind you…  Next thing you know…the ladies are off into their own conversation…he and I are in our own…  Then I hear…”Ray…you’ve got to hear this…” from Jann…  Turns out the lady is a shooter…and sure enough we have shooting friends in common.  Eventually, we exchange business cards…wish each other safe riding…and say our goodbyes.  

This kind of scenario happens for me over, and over, and over…as I’m sure it does for others, as well.  To me…being a Biker immerses us in opportunities such as this.  Consider how many of us Baby Boomers are out there riding and attending Bike Events…  Seems to me…part of the reason we’re doing this is…we not only love motorcycles and riding…but we love hangin’ out with like-minded people…  There’s a bit of an…”I already know this about you”  goin’ on…  It’s a point of instant “relatedness”…  A starting point for easy enjoyable conversation…  And…you just never know what will follow…  I have story after story of people I’ve met…no matter how far from home…with whom I’ve discovered a connection…  I call them my “Six Degrees of Separation” occurrences…   

On top of this “connection” discovery aspect is…I find it amazing what people you meet are into…be it their career or hobby.  Ranging from an extraordinary second career in a unique field…to a never heard of  hobby.   

My good friend and most experienced riding buddy, Brad, came to me a few years back…via this same sort of chance meeting.  I had stopped at our local Starbucks for a caffeine fix…seeing a Harley parked out front…I looked for the owner once inside.  There he was…black leather vest and all.  Next thing you know…I’m accompanying him back to his hometown of Columbia, Missouri…putting in 700+ miles in 15-1/2 hours our first day out.  Although we had done a bit of riding together before we left on this trip…(and having made solo 600 mile day runs back and forth to SC)…it was my first crosscountry trip with a more experienced and seasoned Biker (Brad has more than 150K bike miles under his belt…having biked all over the western states…including a trip to Sturgis).  I earned my stripes with Brad on that trip…staying right with him…blastin’ down the interstate at 80 mph…never being the reason for stopping.

BTW – My Buddy, Brad…is quite an interesting character…coming from a very colorful past.  Way more spiritual than most men I know…especially with respect to riding (and music…”the blues”…as in “get the Led out”)…one of the things I especially appreciate about him.  An intellectual and philosophical man, Brad could easily be a college professor.   In addition to a previous college degree, at 54 (same age as me)…he just completed a 2 year program in nuclear medicine.  Another prime example of the diversity that exists among Bikers.

My Buddy Brad, and Laurie...our host's girlfriend.

My Buddy Brad, and Laurie of Columbia, MO.

I’ve even developed lasting friendships out of acquaintances made at our weekly Hooter’s Bike Nites…  Guys and Gals I have exchanged cell phone numbers with…rattle the cage of from time to time…and see wherever the action is.  Facebook has emerged as the most recent means of relatively constant contact.  The venue of the weekend is normally run up the flagpole for all to see…and potentially rally to.

One of our favorite Biker gathering places…here near the DE-PA-MD Junction…is the Union Hotel Restaurant & Tavern – Port Deposit, MD.   I love this weekly gathering of Bikers…complete with live music, great food, and drink – all outdoors!   We sit at the shaded picnic tables…enjoy pitbeef sandwiches…listen to the band…and hang out with the crowd.  Always a non-stop flow of bikes in and out of this popular meeting place on a Sunday afternoon.

A monthly event we enjoy is the Ephrata 1st Sunday Rally  at the American Legion Post / Legion Park – Ephrata, PA.   Starting early in the day (8 AM)…this is kind of a unique venue with the added enjoyment of riding through Amish Country…  Oh yea…watch out for the buggies…and what the horses leave behind…LOL 

Out of all this…I am in the constant process of maintaining a network of individual circles of Biker friends…not just here in my hometown and state…but across the country…actually…all over the world.

As an example of one of these “circles of Biker Friends”…here is another scenario that has occurred for me…  A year ago, I had left my home in northern Delaware before daybreak on my bike…and made my way 80+ miles south to assist with one of the BOW shooting programs I mentioned previously.  Having arrived early…I was poking around looking for a place to grab some breakfast…low and behold…a fleet of bikes at the breakfast cafe of a campground…perfect!  Holly Lake Camp Sites  No sooner do I park my bike…here they come out the door.  The first fella I talk to turned out to be the leader of a County Police Explorer Post I was in when I was 18.  Since that day…I have been receiving the “Breakfast Club” emails from him…rode with his group…joining them for breakfast at times…and staying in contact with him throughout the year via email.  In fact, Jann and I just saw him during DelMarVa Bike Week…and yes…as it turns out…Jann too has known this fella for years!  This type of occurrence is one of the reasons we call Delaware…”A Small Wonder”… 

Through people with whom business has put me in contact, and Facebook…I have developed an enormous number of friends and acquaintances…online.  Biker friends from here in Delaware…to the state of Washington and Alaska…to countries such as the Netherlands, Norway, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Croatia, Macedonia, Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, the United Kindom, and on and on. 

All of us with the love of motorcycles and riding in common.  The conversations and friendships just grow from there…  How cool is that…???

For many of us, Facebook has created a welcome groundswell of connectedness.   The ability to communicate with an enormous number of contacts has been made as easy as making a post…thereby providing the opportunity to receive comment.   At the same time, we are able to monitor the posts and comments of our FB Friends.  I actually maintain two Facebook accounts…one under the name Raymond Bowers, for my personal use…and another under the name Ray Bowers, intended for business use (has photos of products vs. people).  I stay logged onto Facebook virtually all day long, and spend a great deal of time interacting there.  Similarly, I spend a great deal of time on email interaction…mostly via bohemianbiker@bohemianbiker.com  

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