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Bonnie & Clyde's Permanent Escape from L.A

Making a break for it...

By Jeff, aka, "EzJ"
7/20/2017


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Background:


In 2007 Bill Hayes invited me to Bikernet Headquarters to be interviewed by Keith for Charlie Brechtel's TV show, "Sturgis Rider Live" for my documentary film, "Showdown In Durango." Since the taping I have kept in touch with Keith. I offered to fire off a few reports from the road for Bikernet News. Keith seemed to like the idea and agreed.

Escape from L.A.

A few years ago my wife, Debbie, aka 'Wings2Fly," and I decided we had to get out of Los Angeles. With a 2 year "To Do" list that makes me wince, we set about making our plan a reality. The day after last Christmas, our dream came true. As Steve McQueen said, "You do the work, you get the goodies!"

So here's the "Cliff Notes" summary of our travels. Any one who has questions or is interested in advice is welcome to email me at 00fxsts@gmail.com.

In November of 2015 we purchased our rolling home, a Class A diesel pusher equipped with a turbocharged Cummins with a 20k lb. hitch rating. We named her "Bonnie." We also purchased a stout 20' garage-built stacker trailer with a hydraulic lift to tote our motorcycles and Jeep. We named the stacker, "Clyde."

Las Vegas


We made it to 'Vegas and a nice RV park near our favorite casino, South Point, the day after last Christmas. After 36 years, it sure is NICE to be disconnected from the "rat race!" Once we parked, it took us a week to get "Bonnie" organized. In spite of the cold Nevada winter we couldn't wait to ride and we rode all over the place! Pals from Victor ID, Operation Gratitude co-founder "SSG" Elizabeth Cowie & "Torquesten" joined us Victory Cross Country Tours carted down to 'Vegas with their F350 dually and their 43' Venom toy hauler. The four of us roared through Valley of Fire on a freezing wet day, slugged it out with the tourists and security at Hoover Dam / Lake Mead, enjoyed several rides to biker-friendly Bonnie Springs Ranch, Red Rocks Casino, a ride to Goodsprings & up to snow packed Mt. Charleston in the cage. We visited the Indian - Victory dealership on Boulder Highway for service. They do a nice job, but I can't say the 3 of us 'Vic owner's are happy about Polaris's decision to discontinue the line.... Oh, I also found the perfect 'burger at "Bobby Flaves" on the 'Vegas strip, downstairs from the Aria Hotel & Casino. "Oink Factor" = 5 Oinks!

Phoenix AZ


Next stop was Phoenix Arizona to meet up with more biker pals and hit Arizona Bike Week. We hadn't seen "Boogieman" and "Tequila Rose" for a while so it was great for all of us to get together for rides and hangout time. We found an excellent RV park with a COSTCO directly behind where we parked "Bonnie" and with our friends a 20 minute ride up the 17 we were home for six weeks. "SSG" & "Torquesten" also joined us (again) - seems the snow in the Idaho mountains didn't do much good for their biker hearts. Even though the Valley of the Sun was heating up, we took several rides and visited Apache Junction - Goldfield Ghost Town with our grandchildren, Sedona, Chandler, Rawhide Ranch (for a huge RV convention), Flagstaff, Williams & the Grand Canyon (train ride with our grandchildren was like "it oughta be!") & Lake Pleasant. All of us ran up to Cave Creek for Arizona Bike Week mischief. I ran into Felicia Morgan outside of The Hideaway. Always nice to see the lady biker version of John Steinbeck. She looked great!

'Wings has been having a few medical problems so before leaving L.A. she shipped her beloved two-wheeler to her daughter to enjoy and picked up a new Can Am Spyder RTS. With three wheels on the ground and a "reverse" gear, she's able to still enjoy being in the wind. The quality of this machine is excellent but we discovered the front trunk hinge had mysteriously cracked. We duct taped the trunk lid and took her ride to what turned out to be the best Victory,Indian, Can Am dealer ever, "RideNow Powersports" in Peoria. Replacement parts were ordered immediately from Bombardier in Canada. A few days later 'Wings got her ride back in better-than-new condition and at no cost. "mailto:00fxsts@gmail.com>
 
Austin TX

After stopping in Lewisville Texas for RV repairs, we headed to Austin Texas to hit the "ROT Rally" and visit friends. Got there on backroads (283 - 183 - 620) -always better. We parked at La Hacienda RV Resort on Hudson Bend, minutes to Lake Travis and a huge restaurant-bar, " Ernie's On The Lake." Just walkin into "Ernie's" and 'takin in the view of Lake Travis along with the shaded open air ambiance makes a person want to hang out. This part of Texas was hot and humid - 90's every day and equally high humidity along with lots of bugs. It also rained "Texas style" several times. The downtown Austin nightclub and restaurant scene is a blast. As for food, BBQ & Tex-Mex & boudin sausage is everywhere and it's all good. Always nice to visit places with locals willing to hang out and play tour guide and our pals, Randy and Pam didn't disappoint. Lotta traffic and road construction in Austin so we also decided to take a city tour in an air conditioned Sprinter van with a college kid at the helm who could have a career as an auctioneer. The tour was informative and he drove us around pointing out landmarks including the founder of Dell Computer's home, the State Capitol, University of Texas and the cemetery where Chris Kyle is buried. (Thank you Sir!)

Our second motorcycle event was the Republic of Texas Rally, aka The "ROT Rally" held annually at the top of June at the Travis County Exposition Center. I'm a big Ray Wylie Hubbard fan and to be honest, I've waited all year to see him perform. Ray's performance in "The Cowboy Bar" (one of the indoor-outdoor bars) at 6PM on rally Friday was the highlight of this well attended, community supported event. I got to meet Ray for the first time and found him to be a humble gentleman - an American biker music icon who's worked for decades to make his way. Ray told me he was a little disappointed that his lead guitar playing son had been called to Chicago for a special gig, but Ray's show was terrific. Ray is an Austin local. He performed "Snake Farm" twice during an hour set that went non stop. The energy in that bar is something I'll always remember. The custom bike show had some real head turners and perusing the magnificent creations in air conditioned comfort at the Exposition's indoor arena was awesome, but honestly, I went to see Ray. There were vendors galore and I picked up my all-time favorite knife - a stiletto which I love to "open" - kinda like the sound of a 12 gauge shotgun shell getting chambered.

There's a long checklist to get ready to travel. It takes about four hours to load our motorcycles, hitch "Clyde" to "Bonnie," load the Jeep, and top-off fuel. With "Clyde" hitched, overall length is 65'. Knowing where we're going is important. We purchased Garmin's RV 760LMT GPS. 'Wings and I plot our course for each destination. "Clyde" is always a conversation piece. There's always admirers who stop to chat and ask questions. We get offers constantly to sell "him." No cigar!

Canon City & Cripple Creek CO


Stay tuned for our next adventures which will include Jim Wear's "Salute to American Veterans Rally" held in Cripple Creek Colorado. The theme to honor America's veterans set against the Colorado Rockies and the historical mining town of Cripple Creek are a perfect recipe for this biker's patriotic heart. This year the rally will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Hope to see y'all there.

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