While thinking about the time frame between now and kickstands up on May 13, I am astonished how fast time has gone by since our mission complete in May 2019.
January is normally the time we all begin thinking about getting our bikes in good running order. Most do this in January or February to beat the spring rush at dealerships or repair shops. Tires are an item you want take a good look at, as well as any curious noises you hear after starting up from a winter rest. Last year I left town with a very curious electrical problem that seemingly was causing the oil pressure gauge to go lower than normal. I put a new sending unit on it and it increased but not to where it needed to be, while other electrical anomalies popped up.
My Harley did fine from Colorado to California holding an okay pressure so, patting myself on the back for doing a good job, I promptly stopped worrying. Later, on the Midway Route in Forrest City, Ark., the battery went dead and all the checks were not good! I missed two days of the Run riding around in a chase vehicle looking for a dealer who could install a new stator. (Thanks, Chase and Chaplain Corps! You went way above and beyond!) I guess the phrase from former President Ronald Reagan, “Trust but verify,” applies to this Harley.
We finally drove into Boswell’s Country Road Harley Davidson in Cookeville, Tenn., in front of the pack. This dealership—like most along all our routes—made our bike (and a few others) a priority. That afternoon and night we actually brought them eight bikes. Amazingly it was a Monday but the service manager called in extra help, allowing eight riders to continue the mission.
The next thing that needs attention is our own health. Run For The Wall is a grueling 10-day mission that takes a lot of stamina both physically and mentally. Starting to get in shape now will pay great dividends in May. If you are on any medications, it is prudent to discuss with your physician whether these meds could interfere with your driving skills in any way.
After the holidays is a great time to start walking off those extra pounds you put on. I already have started to peel off the five pounds I put on over Christmas and hope to reach my goal by end of February.
Walking 4-5 miles daily or swimming is a great way to improve your physical and mental strength. Here in Colorado I walk a lot and often have to dress like Nanook of the North to accomplish these goals but it seems to help make the RFTW mission a better experience for me and those around me.
These are just a few of the things that help you prepare for the mission of your life. Next month I’ll discuss a few of the other things you can do to help your planning process. Meanwhile, for those new to RFTW and those who want a refresher, check our New Participants tab on the website for many good tips on preparing for this mission.
If you have not seen the new RFTW updated website please go to rftw.us and check it out. There are many improvements and I am sure you will find it easier to use while enjoying the new videos. I would like to thank Central Route road guard Ted Kapner for the update and many donated hours to RFTW. Also, thanks to BOD Communications Director Nick Hentges for his help in the transition process.
One more thing…
Many have asked about the AMVETs Rolling To Remember Run event that will take place on Sunday, May 24. We have not received any details yet but we are prepared to provide RFTW escorts early Sunday morning for those who would like to participate. After talking to their executive director, it appears this will be a very well managed event. I encourage RFTW riders to consider participating in the first Rolling To Remember Run. If you would like to read more about this and see the new patch check out https://amvets.org/rolling-to-remember-demonstration-ride/.
Is it May yet?
Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BOD President