Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Knitter's Day at the Biker Boneyard

Well you know you can make anything relate to anything if you are interested in both. LoL.

Yesterday we went to what we refer to as the Biker Boneyard in Morristown, TN. I have been there before. It looks from the outside to be some innocuous brick building. Inside, it is like nothing you have ever seen, or imagined. It goes back (and back, and back) into the bowels of some of the filthiest "rooms" you have ever seen. There are leaks in the roof (because it doesn't matter if there are), so there are puddles of greasy sludge everywhere.

The rooms are "arranged" into rough categories... Large Kawasakis, 3 wheelers, rims, pipes (above left) , Hondas, Suzukis, Yamahas, scooters. Bike skeletons everywhere, in various stages of decay or pilferage. And EVERYWHERE, hanging from the ceiling like so many bats, are tanks. Every size, color, make, year, and stage of damage you can think of. Some of them are burned. Some are so scarred, you shudder to wonder if that biker walked away or ended up in a pine box.

You wander around, searching skeletons for the parts you need, hoping to find ones that will actually fit or at least Frankenstein on to your bike. If you find parts you think will work, you go and find one of the Biker Wizards who works there, who will follow you into the lightless depths with a super flashlight and toolbox. Or, you can take the parts off yourself and save!

I took a picture of one of the Wizards' shirts. A guy (possibly a manager? hard to tell) asked if I wanted a shirt. I told him I was going to spend enough money in here today, he could probably part with one for me. Off he went, to some mysterious cleaner place, and returned with THREE shirts. Pay dirt. I passed a woman (obviously a Boneyard Virgin) vigorously hurrying her husband out of there. She had a white shirt on. I didn't offer her one of mine. LOL.

You can find art anywhere you want to. There was a hole in the roof, where the bright outside sun was shining in and down on a particular wreck like a beacon. My daughter Des and I both looked at it, held our hands up and sang, "Ahhhh!" like a choir. Turns out that wreck didn't have the parts I needed, but I had to go look. When God speaks... at least check it out. LoL. She named this picture, "Yes, Lord."

There was one piece of brick wall, next to a doorway to an even danker room (I didn't go in), with a grim reminder. Shame it isn't always true.

People in cars who have never ridden a motorcycle don't realize at all what it is like to have to ride like at any moment, someone may not see you... may cut you off or maim you or deprive your kids of a parent.

I wish every motorist took our sport seriously and every motorcyclist rode with prudence and enjoyment of the sport to last a lifetime, not just a few possibly fatal thrills.

While Tony took off the parts we needed, I was kind of like a second set of thumbs. So Des and I set up some silly art and took the pics.

This first one is a 4-cylinder engine head. I stuck Mountain Dew bottles in it (they fit perfectly). Sorry about the lousy quality, I took the pic with a cell phone. Fueled by Dew. Doesn't get any better than that.

This ONE purple rim in a pile 6 feet (almost 2 meters) high of all other rims was too good to pass up. Purple is my favorite color, and it felt just like me, being different in a pile of sameness.

We found a wreck where the headlamp had been duct-taped on... had to have been BEFORE the wreck. Notice the headlamp then lasted better than the rest of the bike. The funny thing about this is that about 4 years ago a cycle shop sold us the wrong size headlamp. It wouldn't fit in the ring that holds it in place, so my dh taped around and around it with clear packing tape, which held the light in place for over a year. ROFLOL.

One bike seems to have had one of its guages mysteriously and oddly replaced by a Pirates of the Caribbean compass. Hmmm....

And, we hung around long enough to begin hallucinating Super Heroes dwelling in the nearly silent, still atmosphere of the warehouses. In fact, we caught glimpses of Spidey himself wrestling an instrument cluster off a particularly reticent bike...

And at another point, performing the grueling task of moving a larger-than-life Yahama tank off what must have been a subway train full of suffering humanity...

And his Alter Ego, Swinging ominously through the warehouse.

When all was said and done, I got the front triple tree, front forks, an instrument cluster (both guages and indicator lights), a set of handlebars, a clutch assembly, 2 clutch connector screws, and 2 clutch handles, for $200 cash. Well worth the trip.

We ate at Taco John's and by the time I came home, went to church, and got back home, I was nearly catatonic. But happy. We had a good time, a ROAD TRIP (always a thrill), and the bikes will BOTH ride again. Not to mention enjoyed some off-the-beaten-path art.


Desiree said...

You are much more eloquent than I; my blog on the same subject (but with a couple different pics) was not nearly the fairy tale quality yours is. said...

I love the pictures! Makes me a bit dirty feeling and tired to think of all that work you did but well worth it!!! Thanks for shareing hopeing your feeling better!!! Huggs and God bless you lady Marion

Bend Beanies said...

What? No Harley parts? I bet not, that's where the MONEY is, ha-ha!
I knew an old guy who had piles like that in his back yard, in the open, and some of it was Harley. He had a fortune in those piles, rotting in the weather. But since I love motorcycles, I thought the piles were also quite beautiful.

my7kids said...

nah, he said Harley guys don't buy the used parts... they go to the dealer and pay big buck$ for the factory ones. Or just buy a new Harley, if they can still walk.

Bend Beanies said...

Yeah that's probably true anymore. See I remember the Olden Days when AMF had Harley & all the guys built custom choppers out of used/salvage parts.