Whilst these great motorcycles serve as the thread to hold the theme together, this is a collection of stories from motorcycle enthusiasts around the world, from amazing adventures to everyday memories, from thought-provoking reflections to the humorous.
Some are written in the form of personal diary entries and include details of visits to friends and relatives, unmissable tourist spots, favourite restaurants, weather and road conditions, thus enabling the reader to lose themselves in the story as if they are present on every twist and turn. Other stories are polished essays to convey the feeling of people met and places visited. From the USA to Argentina, Alaska to New Zealand, Taiwan to Indonesia, and many more places around the world, whilst the various writers in this book share a passion for Victory Motorcycles, there is something for everyone.
Anyone with an interest in motorcycling, or indeed more generally in travel, will enjoy this book.
|Publisher:||Author Solutions Inc|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.19(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Jim Tom Stimpson
Jim Tom Stimpson is riding the wheels off his Victory motorcycles and there are quite a few of his stories in this book. He is passionate about the brand and has written extensively about his experiences, sharing his thoughts, travels and adventures, and inspiring others to ride, ride, ride!
Jim Tom bought his first Victory, a V92C, in 1999 with 4,000 miles on the clock. It now has over 150,000 miles recorded! In 2008 he bought his first Victory Vision which he has now ridden over 133,000 miles. That's ¼ million Victory miles!
Jim Tom has a 60-mile daily commute to his work at Heil Environmental in Fort Payne, Alabama. He is as a devoted family man, a distance runner, and a volunteer assistant for the high school football team. He is also a devout Christian and a very active deacon at Sand Rock Baptist Church.
This is the first of several stories from Jim Tom's in this book.
It's August 2011. My 1999 Victory motorcycle, which I'll refer to as Ol' Blue, had recently been tuned up. "She" was running poorly and in desperate need of brake pads and tires. I was very stingy with Blue and wouldn't let anyone have her long enough to do the work required to make her truly road worthy. I want to ride my bike every day (it doubles as my work car) and having it serviced could mean giving it up for several days.
Blue didn't need anything major just scheduled maintenance like a fresh set of spark plugs, new intake gaskets, fork seals, etc. The absence of mechanical failure is a pride point for me. My bike had never had any motor work at the time of this journal entry which is quite a testament to the bike and the brand considering she currently has over 136,000 miles on the odometer. However, to God be the Glory for allowing this machine to run trouble free for so long. I pray over my bike a lot, that it will run true, and I will be granted safe travel.
I did finally cave and surrender my bike to a shop to be serviced and when I got Blue back she had fresh tires, brakes and a solid heartbeat. She was now road worthy. I had been toying with the idea of riding to Sturgis this year as I hadn't been there since 2006. I signed up for a Custom Victory Motorcycle giveaway - actually, I sign up every two or three years. The thing that made this one different from the rest was that you had to be present to win. It was kind of a joke that I would use this as an excuse to go to Sturgis this year. I told my wife, Kay, that I had to go in case I won this bike (wink), although I didn't need an excuse, she could see how much I wanted to go and was so wonderful and supportive about the whole thing.
It would be unlike any trip I had ever taken. Kay didn't have enough vacation time to go with me so I would be going solo. School also starts the week of Sturgis so a responsible adult (that rules me out) needed to be home. I didn't have much vacation myself so had to plan a very concentrated version of Sturgis this year. Work was slowing down too which further promoted the no frills version of Sturgis I was planning, except one could not use the term "no frills" to describe my trip. It was a 3,400-mile non-stop thrill-ride. It was roughly 1500 miles one way to Sturgis from Sand Rock, Alabama.
My first cost cutting idea had two goals: I would ride straight through and avoid any lodging expense, which is normally the second most expensive part of this trip. The ride would require a level of endurance that I wasn't even sure I had and I didn't want the anxiety of having other riders go with me, or the guilt I would feel if something happened to them while trying such a challenge, so going alone made sense.
The second part of this idea was that I would qualify for the Bun-Burner 1500 award (1500 miles in less than 36 hours) from the Iron Butt Association (IBA). I was actually shooting for the Bun-Burner Gold (1500 in less than 24 hours) keeping in mind that even if I failed that I would qualify for the standard bun-burner certification. I would later complete the gold version on my 2012 West trip. The IBA is a motorcycle long distance endurance community offering several types of rides and membership.
On a previous trip to Sioux Falls, I had already successfully completed a Saddle Sore 1000, which is 1000 miles in less than 24 hours. The Bun-Burner 1500 was the next logical step in the offered long distance certifications. You have to collect your gas receipts and mail them to the club for verification to become eligible for the endurance awards.
I was pumped! I had been planning this economic Sturgis trip for weeks. Lean was the theme and that included packing. I studied long and hard on what I would need, when I would need it, and how much. My friend Joel Meeks had a great motorcycle travel bag he let me borrow, and one more thing that was probably most instrumental in making a trip like this possible - a luggage rack for my luggage rack! He had made a luggage rack extension and this device would allow me to pack so much on the back that I looked like the Clampets going down the road. Considering I would be gone six days and tent camping exclusively, it made loading the bike a breeze. As you may know, even compact camping gear can be bulky. Dining out is another expense that can devour a trip budget, pun intended. Because of the "April Fury" tornados of April 27th and the several-day power outage that followed we had amassed a sizeable inventory of canned soup. Also a friend heard I was doing this type of trip and donated four military MRE's (Meal-Ready-to-Eat) to my cause. The soup had pop-top lids so I wouldn't need a can opener, just a spoon. I packed an entire bag of nothing but soup, crackers, MRE's, and granola bars. My goal was to bring all the food I would need for the whole trip.
I also needed a couple of things for my bike to make the trip go as smooth as possible. I equipped Blue with a cup holder and a magnetic tank bag with a map window - very helpful items for such a journey. My bike was due an oil change in 1000 miles. I made a tough decision to wait and change the oil when I got back. It would put me way over on my recommended oil change interval but it would save me about $60. In retrospect, I wish I hadn't done that.
It's Tuesday August 9th. The bike is packed. I hug and kiss the family, we pray (thankfully, many people prayed for my safety on this trip) and I'm off. I get my starting gas receipt in Collinsville, Alabama, at about 8am and hit the superslab.
I really focused on getting my rest leading up to this trip, and eating the right things whilst on the trip to promote alertness. It was perfect traveling weather and me and Blue ate up the miles. The trip routing I chose had me going west at sunset in Missouri and it was very difficult to see. I was driving right into the sun for what felt like an eternity. Next time I will map it and time it so that I will be going north at sunset and west after sundown.
I was traveling at about 80mph through Kansas City, Missouri (where the speed limit on the interstate is 65, ridiculous) and a state policeman using a hand held radar gun clocked me and subsequently pulled me over. I thought "great! I'm trying to do a low budget trip and I get a ticket. He walked up, I dismounted, and he asked for license and proof of insurance. I didn't have an insurance card (it's the most elusive thing. I can never think to have an insurance card on my person) so I pretended to be looking for my insurance card as we talked bikes. As fortune would have it, he was a Victory fan. We talked about the bikes that Victory makes and he, like me, was interested in the Vision. I have studied that model for a long time so I was able to answer a lot of his questions. In doing so I found favor with him. I guess he got tired of waiting on me to find my non-existent insurance card and was gracious enough to write me a ticket for equipment malfunction which is not a moving violation so it doesn't go on my insurance. I appreciated that, even though it would still be an expensive lesson.
It really was rough riding going up and I-29 was terrible. It was even closed in two different places detouring me off in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night which was very frustrating when I was trying to do a timed ride. One thing I forgot about is that the roads are very rough once you leave Tennessee. They will beat you and your bike to death. It made me really appreciate the road conditions in the south.
I got sleepy somewhere near Sioux City about 2am and took a nap on a park bench at a rest stop. Two hours later I was on the road again. Beautiful day that next morning and I traversed I-90 on in to Sturgis. That was the first sign of rain I encountered but it only rained for a couple of miles as I road toward Belle Forche, South Dakota to a place called Wyatts Hideaway Campground. This is where I would lay my head for the next couple of days. I chose this place because it is Christian operated and quiet time is observed between certain hours at night. One time, while camping in Daytona Beach, my neighbors stayed up all night playing loud music. About 3am, I asked them if they could turn it down and they did, one decibel, maybe! So, after that, I vowed to sleep with earplugs and shop for camp grounds that not only advertises quiet time but where it's honored by guests too. I know it's a crapshoot finding a place like this but I have to say, I highly recommend this campground - it was a great experience in every way.
I arrived 32 hours after leaving home but I was so excited about the ride and being there that I didn't even feel tired. There are always highs and lows during a ride that long but the beginning and the end leaves you very energized. I set up camp and headed back to Sturgis just to look around for a bit. I got on the main drag where I got stuck in the main street traffic and got really nervous. Riding a bike with over 100,000 miles on old oil, I did not want to take any chances. I could tell the bike was getting very hot so I got out as soon as possible. I headed back to base camp and got some rest.
The next day would be great. I took a beautiful ride out to my favorite place, Devils Tower. No matter how many times I see it, every time is like the first time. It was a great day just taking it all in. I wish my wife could see this and I really hope that I can bring her very soon. As the day wound down, there was a storm cloud coming and I was desperately trying to get to and inside my tent before it hit. The sky there is so wide open. If a storm comes through at home it fills the whole sky and it's all you see, but when a storm comes at Sturgis, Belle Forche in this case, it can be just as big but the sky here is so different, it's such an expanse that you can see the beginning, the end and both sides of a storm. It's hard to explain, it's something you kind of have to see to understand. I did beat the storm to my tent, barely! It didn't release much rain, a mostly wind gust and a few drops of rain and it was over.
Friday, I signed up for demo rides: a Vision again and a Cross Country tour back to back. It put my questions to bed. I liked the XC but the Vision is still my favorite. It just felt more manageable, better balanced and more comfortable for me.
Then I was off to Deadwood at a lodge that was the meeting place for the Victory Ride. I registered online for this event. One of the required pieces of information was your bike VIN, which I thought was unusual. When I arrived at the sign-up table they had my "back stage pass" ready and waiting. It felt exclusive and important with the very cool pass and the owners' meeting. They made you feel like you were a part of something bigger. In the owners briefing they talked a little bit about the direction of Victory and it was pretty exciting to me, feeling kind of like a pep rally! And yes, I am a Victory cheerleader. There I met Rupert from the reality show Survivor and he was a great guy, very approachable, very funny. He has a tie-died Vision which is his calling card. He uses his bike and celebrity status to raise money for a children's charity. I really liked him. I met the Ness's, custom bike builders and contributors on special edition Victory models that bare the Ness name. I also met Michael Song, I don't know what his official title is but I know he is heavily involved in design for Victory. All very nice folks. No one minded having their picture made with me even though they had done a thousand already.
It was about time to depart for the Victory Ride to the Buffalo Chip campground. This is where they would give away the Klockworks customized Victory I signed up for, you know, the whole reason I had to come! There was a storm cloud fast approaching and right about "kickstands up" time it started raining. The decision was made to delay the ride 30 minutes. That's all we needed. The rain was gone and we took a beautiful guided route to the Buffalo Chip. Once there, we were given some cool free stuff and a meal and as we finished our meal, they gave away more prizes. I had an idea to call my friend Bubba, who is a big fan of Survivor and let Rupert talk to him. I called, he answered, I said "hold on, I got someone here who wants to talk to you" and I gave the phone to Rupert. He talked to him for a few minutes and playfully scolded him a little for not being there in person, and making him promise to be in attendance next year. I don't know who got a bigger kick out of it, me or Bubba.
I almost didn't do this event. It was a tough decision. I had to give up some other great attractions that I normally visit when I'm here to do this, but afterwards I was so glad I decided on the Victory Owners' Ride. It was a highlight for me on this trip. After the prize giveaways (I wasn't chosen as a finalist for the bike) I headed back to my campsite and took a farewell ride through Sturgis. I would be leaving the next day.
I got up, loaded up and headed out. I had thought about going through the Badlands National Park on the way home and even got in line to do so, but the more I thought about it I realized that I was burning daylight and needed to get home, so I did a u-turn in the road and aimed it for home. Actually, I wasted more time at Wall Drug trying to decide on souvenirs for the kids but I couldn't settle on any one thing, so I left.
I had planned a couple of key stops on the way home. My return route was much better than the ride up. I planned it through Spirit Lake, Iowa to see where my Victory was made. Unfortunately I made it there just a little too late to ask for a tour of the plant. It was second-shift Saturday and no one with the authority to escort me through, so I hit the road for the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa where they proudly display a Victory identical to mine. What gives the Museum Victory distinction is that its owner had ridden over 200,000 miles on this bike. That was my goal too. I wanted to be in the Victory 200,000-mile club, hopefully as member #2. My bike now has over 136,000 miles.
The only real rain I faced would be today and it was some of the hardest rain I had ever ridden through! I later found out about the storm that caused the stage to collapse at a Sugarland concert killing some concert goers and wondered if what I had ridden through was part of that system.
It stopped raining finally. I kept riding as long as I could and was getting very tired so I found a campground that night and set up camp about midnight. Lightning began in the distance but I was in my tent so wasn't very concerned about it. What I didn't plan for is my tent not being watertight. Yes it rained again, hard, and my feet began to get cold in the bottom of my sleeping bag, wait, my feet were cold because they were in a puddle of water! I chose to leave my air mattress behind in the name of "packing light" so I was sleeping on the ground all this time. What I learned is, even if the ground looks level and smooth when you lay down, you will find it is neither level nor smooth. So, not having the luxury of sleeping above the water with an air mattress, I constantly had to keep rotating to get away from the water. Finally, there was nothing to do but curl up on the highest ground in the tent and make the best of it.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Victory"
Copyright © 2019 Mark D. Vickers.
Excerpted by permission of PartridgeSG.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Sturgis 2011 – Jim Tom Stimpson, 1,
Chapter 2 The Road to Hyder 49 States in Less than 10 Days – Steve Rolland, 11,
Chapter 3 Becoming A Victory Owner in UK – Keith Ogden, 20,
Chapter 4 Taiwan's Annual (Victory and) Indian Rally 2017 – Mark Vickers, 24,
Chapter 5 The Road to Vegas – Paul Pilgrim, 32,
Chapter 6 International Victory Meeting in Austria – Uwe Günter, 37,
Chapter 7 Gaining Courage from Riding – Miki Cady, 42,
Chapter 8 High-Ball Ponderings – Mark Vickers, 47,
Chapter 9 Super Swede – Ann–Catrin Borgh, 62,
Chapter 10 Sturgis 2013 – Jim Tom Stimpson, 69,
Chapter 11 What the Heck Happened? – Darryl "BigD" Wray, 93,
Chapter 12 Bike Oktoberfest 2009 – Gene Hunt, 95,
Chapter 13 Mt. Evans-Death Valley-Pikes Peak – Steve Rolland, 103,
Chapter 14 Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Riding – Mark Vickers, 115,
Chapter 15 Road Trip in Indonesia – Andre Zeeuw, 131,
Chapter 16 Vics and Pieces – Scott Tavener and Mark Vickers, 144,
Chapter 17 A Life Changing Purchase – Chuck Small, 154,
Chapter 18 Back to the Arctic Circle – Inuvik – Steve Rolland, 157,
Chapter 19 3rd Hard Ball Rally 2018 in Luxembourg – Uwe Günter, 169,
Chapter 20 The Cure for Alcohol! – Mark Vickers, 173,
Chapter 21 American Victory Rally 2013 – Jim Tom Stimpson, 184,
Chapter 22 Brooklyn to Argentina October 2015 – May 2016 – Mitchell Ross, 192,
Chapter 23 Gene And Nora's Birthday Trip – 2017 – Gene Hunt, 262,
Chapter 24 Nothing Compares to A Victory Vision – Rick "Bearcat" Gunder, 273,
Chapter 25 Victory and Indian Meeting France, 2018 – Uwe Günter, 278,
Chapter 26 A Tale of Two Bikes & the 2013 Victory Ride – Jim Tom Stimpson, 284,
Chapter 27 A Few Lessons Learnt & Some of My Favourite Rides (In Brief) – Amanda MacInnis, 289,
Chapter 28 Grizzly's Story – Urs "Grizzly" Pedraita & Mark Vickers, 301,
Chapter 29 Daytona Bike Week 2015 – Jim Tom Stimpson, 305,
Chapter 30 The Glamorous Mistress Gordon & Lola's Story – Mark Vickers, 310,
Chapter 31 Key West to West Quoddy Head – Kevin Munsey and Xena, 321,
Chapter 32 SC Trip to the Sahara May 2005 – David Tinker, 328,
Chapter 33 Italians Do it Better – Roberto, loziOne Ferdy, Andrea and Davide, 351,
Chapter 34 Sturgis 2015 – Jim Tom Stimpson, 355,
Chapter 35 Bike Tours 4 the Wounded Tribute Bike 2 – Victory Vision 8 Ball – Neil James, 380,
Chapter 36 The Motorcycle Club Member Stitch's Story – Mark Vickers, 389,
Chapter 37 20/20 Vision – Simon John Nicholson, 399,
Chapter 38 How My Anniversary Vision Came About – Jim Tom Stimpson, 402,
Chapter 39 Taylor Specialties – Bill Taylor (and Mark Vickers), 410,
Chapter 40 Victory Meeting in Eisenach 2017 – Uwe Günter, 416,
Chapter 41 Then There Were Eight A Weekend Trip to the AMA Mega Mile Flat Track Race August 2014 – Gene Hun, 420,
Chapter 42 2016 Daytona Beach – Jim Tom Stimpson, 426,
Chapter 43 Meeting Grizzly – Kevin Munsey, 438,
Chapter 44 Listen to Your Bottom (Down-Under) – Danny Harrison, 442,
Chapter 45 Thanksgiving Ride 2015 – Jim Tom Stimpson, 445,
Chapter 46 Love at First Sight? Vicky's Story From Australia – Mark Vickers, 454,
Chapter 47 100,000 Miles of Victory Pleasure – Chuck Small, 467,
Chapter 48 The Jackpot – Dave Budinsky, 470,
Chapter 49 Victory Meeting in Bavaria 2018 – Uwe Günter, 477,
Chapter 50 Riding to the Top of the World – Steve Rolland, 480,
Chapter 51 Trip to the 100th Springfield Mile – Gene Hunt, 489,
Chapter 52 BRP, Mayberry, And Walton's Mountain Ride 2015 – Jim Tom Stimpson, 493,
Chapter 53 The Victory Motorcycle Club and Me – Craig Toupin, 507,