Knowing When To Hold'em, Knowing When to Ride Away.

April 29, 2006

Saturday Morning came, and I was up to greet the day. Another Friday was just a distant nightmare in my string of hellish Fridays. I packed the video camera on the bike, as I was wanting to get some footage, but the gray skies may have something else to say about that. I headed out on Washington Street, and on to 465, to loop my way north and west to the PUD (Parental Unit Dwelling). I got there about 9 o'clock, plenty of time before Bryan and Bob would show up. Bryan has been a friend of mine for long time, since High School. Since we are approaching our 20 year reunion, I would guess we have been friends over 20 years. It is that public school math kicking in!

Mom was surprised, and seemed a little upset that I arrived early? We sat in the family room while the TV blared, and tried to talk. It wasn't long before I could hear the rumble of engines roar up there drive way. I stepped out to the garage, and noticed Bryan and Bob parking their bikes in the drive. I opened my saddle bag, and got a couple of foot stands for them so their kickstands wouldn't sink into the asphalt. It may have not been that warm, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Bryan and Bob marveled at the bike pipe, with Bob even taking pictures. Bob also had his son, Sean, with him.

Shortly before 10, we headed up to the registration, with a quick stop for fuel, and some air in Bob's tires. Growing up in this area, I am pretty familiar with the surroundings, so finding a gas station, and finding the starting point was easy. We were starting at new "Biker Outlet" in Carmel, Indiana called Adam's. The store was pretty small, but I was told that they could order just about anything.

For those of you who don't know what a Poker Run is, here it is: A Poker Run is a motorcycle ride that raises money for a charity. A rider, in a group, or usually self guided, will make four stops along a fairly short route. Each stop they either pic a card, or they get a paper stamped, and then draw cards at the end of the ride. The best 5 card draw hand wins a pot of money, and the other half goes to the charity. I guess riding isn't enough fun, or it doesn't get people to give money.

There seemed to be about 50 bikes, and since this was the first running, and promotional dollars were probably low, this was a pretty good turn out. It also seemed that most that were there to ride, ride a lot. Many of these charity rides feature thousands of bike, and riders with little more practice than riding to the charity event, riding in it, and riding home. It used to be that you could see odometers without the bike turned on, but with LCD's you can't. I would see a lot of 5 to 7 year old bikes with 1000, 2000, maybe even 3000 miles on them. Because of the fear of riding with inexperienced riders, I have shied away from many charity events.

We started off a little 11, with an escort from the Carmel Police, at least until the city limits. After that, we were on our own. It seemed most the riders were not in any hurry, and were being fairly cautious. Our first stop was Broad Ripple Park. The four of us seemed to be accumulating a group, as some weren't sure where the next stop was, but I had it in my GPS, plus it was only a block from where I work. We headed downtown to the Midtown Mental Health Clinic, the recipients of the money we were raising.

The third stamp would be up in Fishers, Indiana, at a bar called Sidelines. You had to step inside to get your stamp, which for any rider under 21, would be illegal in Indiana. I guess they could pay an adult to get their stamp? The fourth stop was not much further, and also in Fishers, and at another Pub, Kelly's. Then it was back to Carmel, and to the bike shop.

I would guess we returned from the ride around 1:15. I had read some info that the band was to start at 3:00. That was going to leave a lot of time with not too much to do. Later, we would find out that the Dick's Bodacious Bar-B-Que would not arrive until 3 either. The host tried to keep the crowd by handing out some raffle prizes. Most seemed worth 10 to 20 bucks, but everyone seemed happy when they won!

Shortly after two, a couple of guys that ride sport bikes, got up from the table, and handed me several of their raffle tickets. They had stopped giving away prizes, wanting to wait until some straggling riders showed up.

Finally, as it was nearing three, and Bryan, Bob, and Sean had left, leaving just Dad and I, they were setting up the food, and giving out prizes left an right. So here I am sitting here with about forty tickets, and NONE of my numbers are being called. I am not surprised. I hardly ever when anything at these things.

They had a lot of stuff to give away, and my Dad had a booty of three items, including buffets at Ci Ci's, a meal at Bubba Burger, home of the 18 ounce burger, and a 100 dollar gift card to Fox Pools and Game Room. I still sat there with a sunken chest! They were getting to the end, and the prizes were getting better. I was wishing to win one of the massages they were giving away to give to Nina. Finally, they had 100 dollar gift card to the bike store, and they called one of my numbers!! Then, the next item was another 100 dollar gift card, and they called another one of my numbers!!! I know had 200 bucks to spend in this shop. By the way, I believe the tickets were the ones the sport bikers gave me. Kenny Rogers was right, you got to know when to hold them, and know when to walk(ride) away.

Things wrapped up quickly, as it was already spitting rain, and the gray skies were not looking to friendly. Dad followed until I passed there street, and then I was on my own to ride home. I hit 465, and barreled around the city. About a mile or so from home, I hit a light rain. It didn't seem to be making the street wet, just me and the bike. It was to bad, and I didn't stop to put on the rain gear, I just rode on.

The forecast for Sunday was not looking good, so I imagine my anticipated Sunday Offering will not happen. See you for the next ride, or is it that read?


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