This is an exclusive Grey Beard Biker opinion piece. All opinions are his and his only. If you do not agree with them, please hop on your girly Honda Grom and motor away. – GBB
I have been suffering from writer’s block recently. It’s not that I don’t have opinions on things or have plenty to say. It’s because, as my beautiful gal in North Carolina says, “everything is rinsed and recycled!” My true love is definitely one damn smart lady – and pretty too. But that is another topic. So this morning, I was thinking about what I could bloviate on in a blog post. I could not think of a damn thing. #Antifa, #BlackLivesMatter, #COVID19, #BlueLivesMatter, #Anarchy – blah, blah, blah! I have absolutely nothing to say on any of these topics right now which haven’t already been beat into the damn ground.
But then, I thought about America. What America is to me. What I miss about our country – the greatest country on the face of the earth. The things which are not happening today with the re-tightening of COVID-19 lockdowns. There are so many things which are not happening today which really are part of the fabric of this great republic. Things which are unique to the America we all love. Things we do which sets us apart from any other country on the face of the planet. Let’s look at a few.
Major League Baseball
You inevitably do not know this about me. Your favorite Grey Beard Biker grew up playing baseball. From Little League through high school and then adult hardball. I was a catcher from the beginning, always wanting to be involved in nearly every play, calling the pitches and most importantly wearing the cool protective gear. Since the early 1970s I remember going to St. Louis Cardinals’ baseball games – and I would get especially excited when they were playing our arch rivals – those lowly baby bears – the Chicago Cubs. I devoured baseball stats and had my player heroes throughout many years: Johnny Bench, Ted Simmons, Lou Brock, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Dizzy Dean, Babe Ruth and of course Jackie Robinson (God Rest His Soul)! And the baseball cards. Does anyone else remember riding their bike to the corner store, buying a pack of Topps baseball cards, putting that paper-thin piece of rock hard gum in their mouth (it would shatter) and trading the cards you didn’t want with your little buddies? Man, I sure do.
Major League Baseball has been called the Great American Past Time for years – often being compared to apple pie. For many Americans, Spring Training is a great distraction from the winter doldrums. It is almost a national holiday for me when pitchers and catchers report in late February. And when Opening Day takes place, I almost always take the day off to watch my beloved Cardinals play on MLB At Bat. And you can count on me playing this song at some point during the day as it reminds me of MLB because Mastercard used to be the primary sponsor of the MLB:
Over the past couple of weeks, MLB and the Major League Baseball Players’ Union have come to an agreement to start the season during the last week of July – probably the last Friday of the month. This is great news. They have made some significant rules changes and also changed the playoffs, but we will be playing ball soon. This is good news. Even though the season will start out without fans in the stadiums, we will still hear, “Play ball!” resounding through our TVs.
Motorcycle Rallies & Events
Fortunately, for a biker like me, most of the rallies occur during the summer months. Rallies and other biker events, like MLB, mean summer is upon us and as bikers are a most patriotic group of Americans, the Stars and Stripes are proudly waving everywhere you look. This is America! The largest rallies, Laconia Motorcycle Week and Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are still taking place, although Laconia has been postponed until August. I have already missed one of my favorite American Flat Track races, the Red Mile, in Lexington, Kentucky, because it was canceled. There have been dozens of other events canceled too. And I cannot help but think this damned COVID-19 thingy is a #COVIDHoax! When these cancellations take place, millions of dollars of tax revenues do not flow into the cities and the states. Liberal governors and mayors are to blame for this.
Fortunately, there is still a full slate of rallies to go to and me and my lady have booked rooms for The Race of Gentlemen, in Wildwood, New Jersey, the last weekend of September. Hopefully we will see some of y’all there. It is truly an American biker/hotrod event and the Stars and Stripes will also be on full display there. Check out my video from a couple of years ago from T.R.O.G.:
Summer Vacations & Cookouts
I have pretty much ignored social distancing and shelter-in-place orders since the advent of them caused me to begin a constant Ground Hog Day loop. But even though I am a old damned Granite Head, and ignored the things I was ordered to do, it seemed like I was living in a suspended state of animation.
Summer for me means lots of trips. They may be weekend trips like last weekend’s 950-mile ride to the North Georgia mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway and The Great Smoky Mountains. While I made this trip alone, I met lots of other bikers, smoked plenty of awesome cigars and slept like a baby every night.
But because of my Granite Headedness, I am doing things which many fellow Americans either can’t do – or won’t do. And those of you that are not grabbing life by the proverbial balls, I feel for you. Get out and live life. I still believe we need not let this #ChinaVirus cause us to lose our identities – and the things we love. Someone very dear to me told me recently, “I feel like life is passing me by.” While I haven’t let anything pass me by, many of you have. Don’t let this happen to you. Get on with your life. Take your summer vacations. Invite all of your friends over for a cookout and pool party. Don’t let this weird 2020 go by without doing the things you love.
Grey Beard Biker’s Must Do Thingys:
I never write an opinion piece without offering some sage advice on what all y’all should do. And this opinion rant is no different. So here are some things which we all need to do. It will help the economy and most importantly it will help Keep America Great – #KAG On!:
- Support your local MLB teams, and when they allow fans back in the stadiums, buy tickets!
- If you are a biker, reserve a room and attend a rally. If you want to meet the original Grey Beard Biker, and his amazingly gorgeous and beautiful true love, reserve your room for The Race of Gentlemen and buy your weekend passes!
- Buy 30 pounds of hamburgers and 200 hot dogs, along with 12 bags of chips, 10 pounds of Muzzie deterrent bacon (for the burgers) and invite your entire neighborhood and all of your friends over for a cookout.
- Plan your vacation and spend lots of good old greenbacks with locally owned businesses – they need YOU!
- Go to the beach and get a tan
- Throw a huge pool party and serve a few adult beverages
- Get your fireworks and have a blast on the 4th of July (or go to the fireworks display if you are fortunate enough to live in a #RedState like I do)
- Go to the park with your dog, lover or both (you know I will be doing this)
- Take a long hike in the woods with that special person (you know I will be doing this)
- Ride your damn motorcycle and make sure to give the biker wave to other bikers – I always do this
Until next time, bikers and great Patriot friends, enjoy life – don’t let it pass you by. And most importantly for you biker brother and sisters – keep the shiny side to the sun and dress for the slide not the ride.