Motorcycle Friends are the Best!

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8/24/2018 11:22 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/26/2018 3:52 PM

There's something about Motorcycle friends that are not like others I have met throughout the years. It's hard to put into words but there's a certain camaraderie as only a fellow Moto-head can understand.

Maybe it's the fact that when you line up behind the Starting Gate with 40 other Riders and the ADRENALINE is pumping at Full Tilt because you want to be the guy leading into the first turn but so do the 39 other dudes! w00t

And yes we all know that something could go terribly wrong and it has (RIP Mark A, we miss you) but you have to maintain a certain calmness amongst all the noise and excitement.

There is nothing else in the world that can replicate that feeling.

I've been in Arizona for 31 years now and I've known Don for just about that whole time and consider him one of my best friends. He is the most positive person I've ever known and honestly cannot think of one time he's ever complained or had anything bad to say about anyone, just an all-around great guy and also top-notch mechanic who will help you out when needed.

He's been battling stage 4 colon cancer for a couple years now and has had numerous chemo sessions in that time.

Here is a 20 year old picture of Don and I before we go into battle at the Lake Elsinore Grand Prix.

Photo

My other good buddy, Jimco who I've also known for a long time rode his Harley up to visit Don in Show Low recently as he retreats up there in the summer to work his mobile RV service. While he was there Don had talked about the upcoming annual Howling at the Moon dual-sport ride, this time in Prescott, late October.

Don also mentioned how he's had his eye on the new Husky dual sport bikes for a while as he currently rides an XR 650 and does a pretty fine job doing it.

(Sidetrack to story)
Matter of fact, back in February my longest running good friend (50yrs!) Jeff--from Balboa, came out to ride our Annual Four Lake Saloon TT as my Zonie friends luv him.

So we met Don over at Backyard Taco and we woofed down the delicious Mesquite fire grub.
Jeff enjoying the Backyard Taco and a side dish of grilled onions and roasted chilies.

Photo

Anyway, a new Husky dealer had opened up in Mesa and Jeff wanted to go check it out, so we followed Don over there as he had already been checking out the new Husqvarnas.
Here is Don getting the feel of the bike and having the "I want this Bike!" feeling run through this veins... grin

Photo

So after Jimco gets back in town he gives me a call and talks about his conversation with Don and how he would really like to get him a new motorcycle.

I thought it was a great idea but really wasn't in the financial position to be able to do it. He was thinking maybe we could get our friends to help.

I suggested I would send out a group text to our crew and see if somehow we could all pitch in or help in anyway so that Don could get his Dream Machine for Howlin at Moon. I also sent Jimco the picture above so that he would make sure he got the right bike if that's what he wanted to do.

And that started the ball rolling and we had replies and contributions from our Crew to Jimco as he was the majority stakeholder in all of this.

Not more than a few days later Jim sent me a text with a new Husky in the back of his pickup!

And here is Don with the surprise of a lifetime. smile
Photo

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I think he is in a State of Shock wondering if this is a dream! hahaha
Photo

Because this all happened so fast it was impossible to have everybody there to surprise Don with the bike. So I invited him over to put the bike on my new lift and we could have a barbecue and gawk at the sweet machine.

I wanted to surprise Don with the amount of people that would show up but he arrived a half hour early and asked where is everybody? hahaha

Photo

It turned out to be a good time and it was great to have the old Moto crew back together. I hadn't seen a couple of ol mates in a while including whyz (Bob) who is also a forum member here.

Photo

As the night rolled on and many beers were consumed, Don had received all kinds of suggestions on what he should do to the NEW bike! (Especially from Smiley! Haha)

So we decided to break out some wrenches and do a little Factory Tuning.....laughing

Photo

Our final stop on the 4 Lake 4 Saloon TT back in February

Photo

I want to give a special shout-out to Jimco for his HUGE heart and contribution and to all my other Arizona friends who helped make this possible.
Bob, Dano, Kimbro, Bill, Marko, Dr. Phil and Smiley.....
Also to my girl Jan who has been a huge support base for his wife Cathy.

Stay close to your friends guys.....

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8/24/2018 11:51 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/25/2018 9:53 AM

Heck yeah, that's what it's all about. Very cool. Wishing your friend the best and hope he kicks that nasty stuff.

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There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear.

8/25/2018 5:50 AM

Great story!!! You are right, motorcycle friends are the best.

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8/25/2018 6:01 AM

What an amazing thing to do for a friend! Nice work guys. Wishing Don all the best.

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8/25/2018 6:07 AM

Well done! EVERYBODY involved in the Ronnie Mac at Budds Creek thread should read this. Life is short guys.

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8/25/2018 6:08 AM

Vital needs much more of this!

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8/25/2018 6:12 AM

Hell yeah that’s what it’s all about. Good people and good times. Hope y’all get many more days like that.

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8/25/2018 6:21 AM

Total bad ass-ery to all involved!

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8/25/2018 6:38 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/25/2018 6:43 AM

Awesome story! I met and remained great friends with some of the moto guys around here. It's all walks of life that make up the moto community down here in Louisiana, generally all great people. Great write up. Me and my wife recently spent our anniversary in Sedona AZ, beautiful place. That last picture reminded me of Sedona. man I would love to take a bike around some of those trails there.

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8/25/2018 6:51 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/25/2018 6:52 AM

Well done Gary and friends.

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8/25/2018 6:52 AM

This kind of post is why Vital remains relevant in my life. The other stuff here can get old, but this is gold! Congrats on a job well done.

They say the measure of a man is his friends, and by that your buddy is a demigod.

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8/25/2018 8:01 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/25/2018 8:57 AM

Cancer blows! Hope your buddy Don kicks it's ass!
Sounds like you have a bunch of great guys around you!
I am lucky to have a large group as well. We have hit 4-5 big trips every year for the last 5-10 yrs. We all have a common addiction! Last year at lake Havasu we ran into a group of kick ass 70 yr olds on dirt bikes. We spent half the day riding with them! We all said that'll be us in 40yrs!

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8/25/2018 8:16 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/25/2018 8:17 AM

"Stay close to your friends guys".....
Thnxz for sharing..

So true. I recently lost a good friend a couple of months ago. We raced - rode together for the last 3 decades & had recently helped with the purchase of an 06 RM250 he never got to ride. RIP Ken K.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

8/25/2018 8:41 AM

Motocross bros are the best. Not exactly sure why but it's true. Nice story thanks for sharing. I hope your buddy roosted you good on his new bike.

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8/25/2018 8:51 AM

Great feel good story! Hoping for the best for your dear friend....here’s to many more years of riding for you and your buds

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8/25/2018 9:09 AM

Very Cool.

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8/25/2018 12:37 PM

What a great story. Much love and hope for your buddy struggling w/colon cancer.

Moto friends are the best.

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8/26/2018 1:24 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/26/2018 3:49 PM

Thanks guys every one of your replies rings so true....smile

So here's an update on my ol' buddy--the last two chemo sessions the results were it moved from his colon to his lung the second PET scan just last week showed it has enlarged slightly on his lung.

I called Don yesterday as he had just recently drove back to Show Low to ask him how he was doing, his reply was "GREAT" and he said so very empathetically!

He said, "So the doctor at the VA (which Don has high praises for) said the last two chemo sessions have not worked and he wants to go outside the box and try something new to the VA but has been tried at other Hospitals, it's called an Immune Therapy".
But first they have to do a test for it to see if he could be a candidate.

He had much enthusiasm in his voice it's just amazing his outlook on life at this stage. One can learn from being around someone like that and I feel very fortunate to be a good friend of Don.

I've learned a lot from knowing him as he was also a former roommate and we used to go to all the tracks together.

Even after I got married he lived in the basement and all was good.

Here is Don on his trusty ol CR500 that he used to race and then turned it into a Dual Sport bike.
He never rode it for the last 8 to 10 years or so and I'm sure he wants to sell it just needs to find the time.
Photo

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All these pics below have been through the years of knowing he has cancer and chemo treatments you would never know it by the way he acts and lives his life.
I'm sure amongst you guys you've known people like Don who have the brightest Outlook even when it looks dark outside. We all can learn on how to treat others and live life with a smile. smile

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Don also enjoys going to Suns games with me even though he's not a huge sports fan ( he would rather be tinkering or fixing something) we have a great time and here he is displaying his new shirt they were giving away!
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Back in February on the Arizona 4 Lake 4 Saloon TT
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8/26/2018 1:41 PM

Great story G-man and I really hope the best for Don. Nothing like having a great group friends and to surprise him with a new Husky is icing on the cake. Reminds me of all my riding and camping buddies. We can talk shit with the best of them, but we'll always have each others backs.

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8/26/2018 4:02 PM

peltier626 wrote:

Awesome story! I met and remained great friends with some of the moto guys around here. It's all walks of life that make up the moto community down here in Louisiana, generally all great people. Great write up. Me and my wife recently spent our anniversary in Sedona AZ, beautiful place. That last picture reminded me of Sedona. man I would love to take a bike around some of those trails there.

Thanks man yes the scenery especially around Sedona is some of Arizona's finest but yeah it's beautiful all around here come on out with your bike and I'll show you some really cool trails.
smile
Photo

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8/26/2018 4:06 PM

ob wrote:

Motocross bros are the best. Not exactly sure why but it's true. Nice story thanks for sharing. I hope your buddy roosted you good on his new bike.

Hahaha that is so funny cuz what I wrote on the card that we gave him was "You better not Roost me!" smile
True story

Unfortunately we haven't got to ride together yet and Don hasn't done much either with the Arizona heat it's too hot to ride in the valley unless you get up really early and he's up north in Show Low now during the summer anyway.

Can't wait to ride with him though on his new white steed he's going to love it on the howling at the moon ride.

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8/26/2018 6:37 PM

This is what the sport is all about. Plain and simple. Enough said....

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8/28/2018 11:16 AM

Update:

Looks like Don will be going to his FIRST ever MotoDesNations! smile

Jimco coughed up his spot in the trailer and I bought him a plane ticket.

If you happen to see him there--shake his hand, he doesn't have any idea he's a celebrity as I have not shared this thread with him.

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5/15/2019 9:10 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/15/2019 11:07 PM

Current update on my buddy Don.
He has not been able to ride his new husky much at all only a couple times as the chemo has really eaten away at his body and he's lost a lot of strength and weight.

The last time he tried to ride he had to go back a third of the way into the ride as he was in too much pain.

Yesterday his Wife and Family took him to the VA hospital as he had lost feelings in his legs he had to wait till around midnight before they could get him in a room he was in a lot of pain waiting he's been taking a lot of pain meds as well and it also has blocked him up pretty bad.

They ran some tests and found a tumor on his spine T-2 thru T-8 .

They needed to go in and remove it and also remove bone so they need to replace that with Rod screws and pins.

It is a risky surgery and also the fact he has cancer makes it even riskier and the surgeon said there could be paralysis but he is already semi paralyzed right now as he can't feel his legs very good at all.

Don was anxious to get the ball rolling.

I went into the room after the doctor left and was talking to Don and grabbed his hand.
Some of the first words out of his mouth was he will not be able to ride again and he has a new bike just waiting for him and he hadn't completed installing his new handguards yet. It was the first time in my life I've really seen Don with a worried, concerned look on his face. sad

Just got news a few hours ago from his nephew Jake (who now rides too!) that the surgery was successful and he is in a lot of pain.

There's going to be a lot of rehab and it's going to be very painful for him.

I just Pray and Hope that he can pull out of this okay he really is the Greatest guy I've ever known....

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5/15/2019 10:49 PM

Prayers sent for your friend G-man.

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There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear.

5/15/2019 11:26 PM

Seriously beautiful- I hope Don kicks cancers ass

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5/16/2019 12:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/16/2019 12:33 AM

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5/16/2019 12:31 AM

Thanks for the support everyone! It really does mean a lot. G-man you awesome bro, everything you've done for don has been amazing. Hes doing a lot better now that hes out of surgery, we still have a long journey ahead of us. I have all the faith in the world that don is one man that will overcome this challenge!

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5/16/2019 11:57 PM

stevens12b wrote:

Thanks for the support everyone! It really does mean a lot. G-man you awesome bro, everything you've done for don has been amazing. Hes doing a lot better now that hes out of surgery, we still have a long journey ahead of us. I have all the faith in the world that don is one man that will overcome this challenge!

Thanks guys I really appreciate it and also to Don's nephew Jacob, looks like he's just registered and made his first post. smile

I know Don is very proud of you, especially how far you've come in Life and your Service in the Military.

But the fact you are now following in his footsteps by riding dirt bikes and also talking to you recently I can tell by your enthusiasm that the Dirt Bike Bug has got a hold of you pretty good.

That's great to see.

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5/17/2019 2:01 AM

G-man wrote:

There's something about Motorcycle friends that are not like others I have met throughout the years. It's hard to put into words but there's a certain camaraderie as only a fellow Moto-head can understand.

Maybe it's the fact that when you line up behind the Starting Gate with 40 other Riders and the ADRENALINE is pumping at Full Tilt because you want to be the guy leading into the first turn but so do the 39 other dudes! w00t

And yes we all know that something could go terribly wrong and it has (RIP Mark A, we miss you) but you have to maintain a certain calmness amongst all the noise and excitement.

There is nothing else in the world that can replicate that feeling.

I've been in Arizona for 31 years now and I've known Don for just about that whole time and consider him one of my best friends. He is the most positive person I've ever known and honestly cannot think of one time he's ever complained or had anything bad to say about anyone, just an all-around great guy and also top-notch mechanic who will help you out when needed.

He's been battling stage 4 colon cancer for a couple years now and has had numerous chemo sessions in that time.

Here is a 20 year old picture of Don and I before we go into battle at the Lake Elsinore Grand Prix.

Photo

My other good buddy, Jimco who I've also known for a long time rode his Harley up to visit Don in Show Low recently as he retreats up there in the summer to work his mobile RV service. While he was there Don had talked about the upcoming annual Howling at the Moon dual-sport ride, this time in Prescott, late October.

Don also mentioned how he's had his eye on the new Husky dual sport bikes for a while as he currently rides an XR 650 and does a pretty fine job doing it.

(Sidetrack to story)
Matter of fact, back in February my longest running good friend (50yrs!) Jeff--from Balboa, came out to ride our Annual Four Lake Saloon TT as my Zonie friends luv him.

So we met Don over at Backyard Taco and we woofed down the delicious Mesquite fire grub.
Jeff enjoying the Backyard Taco and a side dish of grilled onions and roasted chilies.

Photo

Anyway, a new Husky dealer had opened up in Mesa and Jeff wanted to go check it out, so we followed Don over there as he had already been checking out the new Husqvarnas.
Here is Don getting the feel of the bike and having the "I want this Bike!" feeling run through this veins... grin

Photo

So after Jimco gets back in town he gives me a call and talks about his conversation with Don and how he would really like to get him a new motorcycle.

I thought it was a great idea but really wasn't in the financial position to be able to do it. He was thinking maybe we could get our friends to help.

I suggested I would send out a group text to our crew and see if somehow we could all pitch in or help in anyway so that Don could get his Dream Machine for Howlin at Moon. I also sent Jimco the picture above so that he would make sure he got the right bike if that's what he wanted to do.

And that started the ball rolling and we had replies and contributions from our Crew to Jimco as he was the majority stakeholder in all of this.

Not more than a few days later Jim sent me a text with a new Husky in the back of his pickup!

And here is Don with the surprise of a lifetime. smile
Photo

Photo

Photo

I think he is in a State of Shock wondering if this is a dream! hahaha
Photo

Because this all happened so fast it was impossible to have everybody there to surprise Don with the bike. So I invited him over to put the bike on my new lift and we could have a barbecue and gawk at the sweet machine.

I wanted to surprise Don with the amount of people that would show up but he arrived a half hour early and asked where is everybody? hahaha

Photo

It turned out to be a good time and it was great to have the old Moto crew back together. I hadn't seen a couple of ol mates in a while including whyz (Bob) who is also a forum member here.

Photo

As the night rolled on and many beers were consumed, Don had received all kinds of suggestions on what he should do to the NEW bike! (Especially from Smiley! Haha)

So we decided to break out some wrenches and do a little Factory Tuning.....laughing

Photo

Our final stop on the 4 Lake 4 Saloon TT back in February

Photo

I want to give a special shout-out to Jimco for his HUGE heart and contribution and to all my other Arizona friends who helped make this possible.
Bob, Dano, Kimbro, Bill, Marko, Dr. Phil and Smiley.....
Also to my girl Jan who has been a huge support base for his wife Cathy.

Stay close to your friends guys.....

Legendary

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