So here is how it went down...
14 hours solo into a really crap riding day I'd reached as far east as Mississippi on my way to Florida. Exhausted I pulled into a large, yet awkwardly empty, parking lot of a convenient store. I centered-standed my F800GSA, threw my helmet over my rear view, and slipped my riding jacket off.
I stood there with my head down a sec, eyes closed taking a deep breath. No sooner than I had exhaled a car whipped into the space next to me and two dudes hopped out. First thought… 'why so close, there is an ocean of empty parking spaces?' My second thought was prompted by the fact that one of the dudes came directly to me and the other dude b-lined straight for the store building, stopping right at the corner where he leaned up against the wall… obviously to gain a vantage point of me and the front of the store at the same time. Hence my second thought…. 'Faaaaahck.'
The man was 'kindly-ish / sociably-isa' on me like a lab to a tennis ball… peering right into my eyes (assessing me). Physically and instantly into my personal space he started in,
"WHAT UP BRO!? Sweet motorcycle. Whats in the bags? I bet you running weed huh!??" Followed by a guarded snicker-chuckle-snort kinda thing.
His look out buddy smiled and kept darting his head back and forth. At this juncture came my third thought…. 'Faaaaaaachk'.
I replied cordially laughing with something like… "I wish." And laughing a bit myself to hopefully develop some sort of rapport aside from the one that seemed to be developing.
The dude was a beast… 6'3"- 250 kinda critter and he was right in my face making non-sensical/ irrelevant small talk and all but licking my bike and gear like a hungry lizard. My Glock was in my pannier directly in front of me however dude had has hand on the pannier as though resting his weight on it as he jabbered on 12 inches from my face— personal space invader level= pro.
The tension was building and Mr. Twitchy Lookout was rapidly escalating his darting head motion. My fourth thought… 'I gotta do something…like now'. So… I did.
Back in grade school my folks would let us go to the mall behind our house and watch movies. A tragedy occurred where a young boy was violently assaulted in the theatre restroom. I remembered thinking at that time… 'if it were me what would I have done'. Who knows right? But it occurred to me that if it did ever happen to me… Id…. Well… I'd act like I was bat shit crazy… so… that's exactly what I did.
Phase one… invade dude's personal space to take mine back. I looked at his watch and just reached out and grabbed it yelling, "SWEET WATCH MAN!" He snatched his hand back thanking me and looking perplexed. From here in I had to play this thing right. I had to be just nuts enough not to seem aggressive and also not give my strategy away . Mr. Twitchy stopped the lookout and pinned his eyes on me surprised. In effect I had instantly become the prey that wasn't acting like prey. It threw the predators off their common game.
Phase two… keep right in the mans grill with the same 'enthusiasm' as he was shitting on me with. I started to ramble on to him about my bike as though I were the sham-wow guy… like I was trying to sell it to him quickly… grabbing his hand trying to get him to touch my gear… all sorts of things like that. I quickly realized he was extremely uncomfortable with ME in his space. So I pressed in and in as kindly and covertly crazily as I could muster.
Phase three…. This unintentional and highly fortuitous phase was the kicker. You see I had been on the road… cutting real miles… chomping em' down… along with 2 ridiculously debauch stops at McDonalds. My stomach had been churning like an early frontier era butter-maiden prepping for a wedding banquet. In a stroke of inadvertent genius…. brothers and sisters… I let her rip. Pure Chernobyl this one…a bona-fide dog killer. This fart, the stuff of divorces and emotionally scarred nephews, hit the air waves like Elvis… truly an instant sensation.
The man stumbled back in pure disgust blurting… "What the hell man!? What the hell is that!!?"
I never broke stride yapping about the bike except to grab my stomach and say… "OMG, I'm so sorry, I'm not well bro." I continued on sort of manically laughing (just enough… not too much) I kept on selling the bike…
"Just listen to this motor man! Just LISTEN!"
I hopped on my bike and fired her hard on the throttle. By this time Mr. Twitchy's eyes were like dinner plates looking at me paralyzed by a hard dose of WTF? Beast man had stumbled a solid 8 feet back with his hand over his nose and mouth in utter disbelief and completely off his game. I continued on ranting and twisting the throttle hollering things like…'It's a V damn twin!', 'THATS 5K RPM's!' 'Listen to 4k vs. 6K, you are gonna love it!'
Phase four…. a.k.a Checkmate… When I park I always try to park facing outward for simplicity. When I had hopped on the bike I intentionally sat right on my riding jacket. These two mongrels did not have the time to recompose before I stood up laughing, Saying "What do you think man!?" Reaching for the key I instead in one fell swoop hooked my wrist through my helmet shield hole and came down hard onto my jacket / seat. But instead of coming down straight I did so with all the inertia forward. I always did this for fun anyway. The forward inertia would cause my center stand to fold and away I'd go. And… away I went. I was in 3rd gear winding it out already when I breached the parking lot into the barren service road exit.
Not that they had a chance at that point to catch me, nor would they want to even try, I was running 100MPH by the time I hit the on ramp and let her eat at 90+ MPH for 20 minutes before spotting a well lit, busy little diner next to a bail bondsmans office.
And that was that…. Oh, I went in and ordered a salad.
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Billy J is co-founder of Story Moto ADV, a dual sport / adventure riding brand with strategic initiatives serving the health of the adventure touring community in order to develop a unified voice for speaking resolution into motorcycle land closures in the U.S. due to overcrowding and other public land use conflicts. He has been a rider for 45 years, an extreme adventurer for 31, and an avid dual sport adventure rider for 20. His first time living on a motorcycle for more than a year was in 1988 and most recently for 16 months living and riding full time with his wife Bonnie J and their kids on a tour that wrapped up in the summer of 2019. The are plugging away at the Story Moto ADV compound for another round set to commence in the Summer of 2020.
CONTACT BILLY J: STORYMOTOADV@GMAIL.COM
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