California Dreamin’

July 7, 2012 in Ramblings

This is my amazing trek from Yuma AZ to El Centro CA!

I woke up at 7:00AM at the Travel Lodge in Yuma Wednesday morning. I inspected my bike and found a HUGE nail jammed in the trailer tire. I was debating whether or not I could make it to CA with the damaged tire. The punctured trailer tire was bothering me so I decided to try to get it fixed before I left Yuma. I called Liberty MotorSports in Yuma at 9:00AM when they opened. To my surprise, they had the tire in stock! (3.50 X 8.00)

I arrived at 10:30AM and was greeted warmly by the entire staff…what a great bunch of people! While I was there, I asked them if they could do an oil change, and change the rear tire (Tim gave me a like-new OEM Kenda). I asked them if they could work with me on the price of everything because obviously, it was a charity ride.

They replaced the rear tire, swapped out the front tire, and changed my oil as requested. They finished everything by 1PM…when I went to pay they said “No charge, it’s on us”. Wow…what an awesome group of people.

So it’s 1PM and I am just hitting the road…kind of a late start but the bike maintenance was necessary. I started out on RT 8 and rolled into California. Seeing the “Welcome to California” sign was a really big deal to me. I can’t believe I made it from Pittsburgh, PA to California on a 49CC scooter.

I am REALLY excited about my journey through CA. I am not sure what to expect and the unknown is exciting to me.

I was on RT8 and came up on a sign that prohibited motor driven cycles from continuing on RT 8. My nice short trip just became complicated and LONG. I called Frank and we had to figure out a new route. My 68 mile journey turned into a 130 mile journey through a deserted, barren desert. To be honest, I was feeling a little scared…I turned off the highway and what I saw was an old straight 2 lane highway cut through a very deserted, barren area. It was 2PM and HOT (102F).

I was not prepared for this trek…I did not have enough water and had no idea how much gas I had in my Ruck. I trudged forward apprehensively…

I never realized that such a barren wasteland could be so BEAUTIFUL. WOW! What was even more exiting was the barren sand dunes I stumbled across. Almost indescribable. The dunes were a smooth, pristine tan color…carved and swirled by the wind…they almost look “creamy”…and the scale…they were so huge that they almost looked fake…like you were looking at a surreal painting. At one point, I looked around in a 360 at the dunes and I got goosebumps from head to toe. The scale of it was more than I could comprehend.

By this time, my eyes, nose, and mouth were clogged with a talcum powder fine sand (note to self – check air filter on Ruck as soon as possible). My eyes were dry and gritty and it was getting hard to breath. I drove through the desert for several hours and out of nowhere came upon farmer’s fields full of green crops. What!?!? Giant sand dunes and barren desert then green fields…with no transition!?! One second I am in the desert…the next second I am in fertile green farm land…was I hallucinating?!? …lol…was this a desert oasis or mirage?!? …lol…lol. How strange…

Tom, meet Tom

June 29, 2012 in Ramblings

I am safely in Tucson, AZ right now…headed to Phoenix in the morning. I wanted to share this amazing story with all of you. It happened in Sierra Blanca TX.
I was the only person staying at the Americana Inn in Sierra Blanca. It’s about a 30 room motel and other than myself, it was completely deserted. Around 9:30PM, I went outside so I could wheel my bike in my room. I heard someone singing and playing guitar. I looked to the upper end of the parking lot and saw a guy sitting outside playing music. He was singing Bette Midler’s song “The Rose”. I have not heard that song since I was 13 or 14 years old.
I grabbed my camera and started walking towards him. It was then I noticed that he was on a bicycle. Attached to that bicycle was a trailer. The conversation went something like this:

ME: Hi, I’m Tom.

HIM: I’m Tom too.

ME: I’m on a Journey.

HIM: Me too.

ME: I’m riding for charity.

HIM: Me too.

ME: I made by own cart.

HIM: Me too.

This man’s personality was so similar to mine that it was unsettling. Empathetic, open, good natured, spiritual…it was like looking in a mirror.

I felt like I was filming a scene for some strange independent film or something…I felt like I was standing there talking to myself as I was on my Journey…


Tom’s rig in front of Tom’s rig…lol.

Tom sang me a Johnny Cash song:

The more I talked to him the more similar our lives paralleled each other. At one point I said to him “Tom, don’t you find this more than a little odd”? “I mean, we have the same first name, we are both on two wheeled vehicles, we are both on a life journey, we are both riding for charity, we both made our own carts, AND we are the only two people here at this motel”.

He looked at me and smiled and said “I believe that everything happens for a reason”. “I don’t think it’s odd at all”.

This whole thing had me freaked out…then I started to think about why this could possibly be. Here’s another one of those transparency moments that makes me uncomfortable…but here goes…

For the past few days I’ve been feeling a little embarrassed and self-conscience. I decided to be transparent on this blog …as you can imagine, it’s difficult to really put yourself out there. Especially for men, it’s hard to express emotion…because we are wired by our culture NOT to do that…It is sometimes seen as a weakness, not a strength.
I’ve been concerned that maybe some of you might not want to read this thread because of my openness to express what’s really happening inside of me. To be honest, I thought about reeling it in a little. Maybe just focus on the bike more, or the food, or the scenery. But after meeting myself (lol)…I decided to keep doing what I’m doing…because I got an unusual (but blessed) look at the empathetic side of myself. It was almost as if God was telling me “Don’t touch a thing”. “You’re this way for a reason”. So, I’m goin with that :)

Tommy started his journey in Florida and will finish in Los Angeles. Fully laden, his cart weights almost 400 pounds!!! he carries about 15 gallons of water with him at all times. He had had over 50 FLAT TIRES!!! and for some odd reason, most of them in TX. He realizes that the cart is seriously overloaded and a lot of the flats were sidewall failures.

The night I met Tommy, I gave him $50 …I really did not have it to give but I knew it was the right thing to do. I figured it would pay for his room that night. The next morning as I was outside packing my trailer, a guy named John approached me, said “I believe in what you’re doing”…and handed me $50. Can this journey get any more unbelievable?

News Articles

April 9, 2012 in Ramblings

See links below for recent news articles written about my charity ride.

Bill White, the news journalist who wrote these articles is quickly becoming a huge advocate for child sexual abuse. He’s written many articles and blog entries on the subject…and quite a few times he’s really challenged people and raised awareness of this serious social issue.

You may have to do a copy/paste of the links below in your browser address bar to view these stories. Or go to www.themcall.com and enter “burick” into the website search box.

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/white/mc-bw-journey-from-silence-20120405,0,6523822.column

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/white/mc-bw-journey-from-silence-2-20120408-1,0,6186688.story

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/white/mc-bill-white-child-sex-abuse-law-20111121,0,6574231.column

 

Journey From Silence

April 8, 2012 in Ramblings

My name is Tom Burick and I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.
I am embarking on a one-man, 10,000 mile charity ride across 3 nations for stopitnow.org,  joyfulheartsfoundation.org, and the Horry County Sexual Assault Crisis Cneter in Myrtle Beach, SC  – all three of these organizations are focused on combatting child sexual abuse. Stop It Now! focuses on prevention…stopping the abuse before it happens. Joyful Hearts Foundation is there to provide counseling, assistance, and resources when it does occur. Horry County Crisis Center provides a variety of resources for victims of any type of sexual assault – including childhood sexual abuse.  
All three charities have a heart as part of there logo…so I have decided to plan the route in the shape of a gigantic heart that spans the US, Mexico, and Canada…in all, over 10,000 miles. My mode of transportation will be a 50cc Honda Ruckus scooter! 

The Scoot’n Yinzer

April 1, 2012 in Sponsor

The Scoot’n YinzeThe Scoot’n Yinze

Mitch Kehn

Mitch was kind enough to donate time and resources for the charity ride. He’s been in the motorcycle / scooter scene a long time and has collected a lot of resources along the way. He was also a morning radio show celebrity a while back and he knows an awful lot of people. Anytime I need something for the ride, his boiler plate reply is “Yeah, I got a guy for that”.
He is also a great scooter technician and paint/body guy. Someone tried to steal one of my scoots a few years ago. They didn’t make off with my bike, but they damaged it badly. Mitch did the body work on it and I can tell you that his paint work is flawless!
www.scootnyinzers.com