May 2, 2012 in Charity, Ramblings, Tech Talk

These are a few pics from the Harley Davidson dealership on Monday 5/31. Craig (a member of drove down from Wilmington to fix my bike and the local HD dealership donated the garage space and some add’l tools. Jason at Moped Motion donated all the necessary parts. It was amazing to see a group of relative strangers jump in like a group of best friends to get the job done.

On the left – these WERE my variator clips. On the right, one of the new clips that Jason from Moped Motion sent me.

WOW am I short!

The not-so-good news is that the replacement parts did not fix the problem. The engine is still howling. I decided to try to make it to Charleston, SC…it’s about 5 hours away via 50cc scooter. The guys in Charleston wanted to take a look at it…so…I packed up camp in Myrtle Beach and hit the road. The engine was alternating between a whining/howling and a police-siren noise…the first time I heard the siren noise coming from the engine, I (literally) thought I was being pulled over by the Charleston police. It took me a minute to realize that the sound was coming from my engine! I made it to Charleston and met up with Will and Ricky…two more guys from They worked on my bike for a while and realized that it was something serious. We decided that a Honda Motorcycle dealer should look at it and try to give an official diagnosis. So I woke up really early this morning and drove to Velocity Motorsports. A tech looked at the engine and said that it is a failing engine bearing. That is really, really bad. In fact, it’s a potential show-stopper. They said it was a bad idea to ride the way it is. If the bearing completely fails, it could cause the rear wheel to lock up and I could loose control of the bike. I was trying to keep my spirits up after hearing this news.
I just received a call from Josh, another member. He has an old engine laying around in his garage. We are going to Frankenstein something together to get me to my next destination in New Orleans. This is a temporary fix until we can figure out what to do. To repair it correctly the cost will be between $800 – $900 at a Honda dealership… and to trade the bike in on a new one would be $2000+ So both of those options are out. The “Franken-motor” should get me to New Orleans and I can have time on the road for formulate a (hopefully) brilliant plan. Anyone personally know Jesse James from Monster Garage? Now would be a good time to call him. I could sure use a more powerful motor and some functionality upgrades to get through the journey…lol.

Here are a few pics from my trek to Charleston yesterday:

Spring is here!!

I risked life and limb for this pic…lol…Was on a windy bridge in heavy traffic…driving w one hand, I get out my camera and snapped this pic…that’s Capt. Will in front of me on his Ruckus.

Will and Ricky working on my bike. Thanks for the additional clips Ricky!

I met this woman in Starbucks this morning…her name is Alaine. She walked up to me and handed me a Starbucks gift card…inside the envelope was a note that said “Thanks for caring”. I got choked up when I read it. Seconds later, a gentleman approached me, gave me $20 and said “good job”. Later that morning, I was in an IHOP an a woman came up to me and said, “Thank you for what you are doing…I was sexually abused when I was 5 years old”. She turned to the waitress and said, “Please give me this man’s bill”. Afterwards, as I was sitting there drinking my coffee a woman came up to me and ask me about the charities I was riding for…I could tell she was having a very difficult day…she opened up to me and told me that she was on her way to her sister’s house a few states away. Her sister was suffering from drug addiction and she was rushing to help her. It sounded like her sister was in a really bad way. This woman hugged me and thanked me for the inspiration that there was still good in the world, because today, she was having trouble seeing it. Finally, out in the parking lot a woman and her daughter approached me and the woman said that she was molested 35 years ago. He hugged me and said she was thankful for what I was doing. She said she felt our hearts connect with that hug. I felt it too. All of these connections with people occurred in just a few hours time frame…it was almost too much for me to process.

I would not have been able to share the blessings of this journey with these people had the bike been running properly. I was placed here today in this place and in this situation to share those blessings…and to tell them the good news that there can be a quality of life after child sexual abuse occurs. I needed to hear that message again and maybe they were hearing it for the first time. Today, my message of hope even went beyond child sexual abuse and inspired a woman suffering from the effects of her sister’s drug addiction.


So you see, there’s blessings in everything…even in our darkest hours, blessing abound. I won’t let this broken bike break my spirit and I WILL NOT let it stop my Journey. I will WALK 10,000 miles before I let that happen.
I’ve got a 10,000 mile long heart to wrap around North America. I have a job to do.


April 29, 2012 in Ramblings, Tech Talk

MY Honda Ruckus started to make this strange whining noise on 4/26…I was supposed to leave the Apache Campground the following morning for New Orleans. The noise was getting worse by the hour. I spoke with Dave, a Honda tech back home at Z&M Cycles in Greensburg, PA. He said it was either a transmission issue or a main engine bearing failing!! Neither is a minor issue. I met Aaron (blue shirt) the manager of a local car wash and he offered to take a look at it for me. We both agreed that the noise sounded like it was coming from the transmission. He did not have all of the correct tools so we agreed that a bike shop should take a look at it. So I hobbled over to Armadillo cycles just outside of Myrtle Beach and the tech (Jay) looked at it for me. He also agreed that it was a transmission issue and noticed that the belt was glazed and I had flat spots worn on my roller weights. Problem is that Honda dealers do not stock these parts.
I was STUCK. No parts, no tools, and no understanding of how to fix the bike. I posted on my favorite Honda Ruckus website
Actually, it’s the ONLY Honda Ruckus website as far as I’m concerned. These guys rock!
I posted that I was in desperate need of parts, tools, and assistance. WITHIN HOURS I had parts being mailed out to the campground (THANKS TO JASON AT MOPED MOTION) and Craig from Wilmington offered to drive to the Apache with his tools to fix my bike! TOTALRUCKUS.COM TO THE RESCUE!!!