In most of life's pursuits...
Today I had the privilege to meet one of the few.
The day started early in Cherokee, the alarm sounding before the first rooster crowed. Rode the four hours to El Dorado, Kansas to visit the 321 Kawasaki/Ural dealer there. They had just open for the day when I walked in. Met Bette and Lee, the co-owners. With Lee's sharp business sense and Bette's organizational and promotion skills, it is easy to see whyu they have been successful.
After talking about Da'mit and the UCCC ride, Bette exclaimed you need to meet someone here locally who is going to Russia next month to visit the Ural factory, then will tour Russia for a week on a Ural. Malcom lives in another town but I think you two should meet. While Bette tracked down Malcom, I went to McD's to upload two days of blogs. By the time I got back Malcom had arrived. Meet Charles Malcom, one of the genuine few:
Malcom is 84 years young, rides his 2007 Ural Patrol most every where he wants to go. When he bought it new, he rode Baja California with two other Uralists. Says he started riding dirt bikes when he was 55. So he has 29 years of riding experience under his belt now and still going strong. A real inspiration for us all.
One of the few issues I have had with the Ural, is the elastic loops that tie down the canvas sidecar cover had broken. Bette knew of an upolstery shop that might fix it. Malcom and I rode our Urals over there and waited while they replaced the factory loops for heavy duty ones they used for boat covers. Here is what they new loops look like, The back side is plastic so will not scratch the Ural patina.
Those should hold the cover tight.
When Malcom and I returned to the dealership, Bette had lined up the editor of the local newspaper, El Dorado Gazette. to interview both Malcom and myself. Julie the Editor was very patient as Malcom and I told her story after story of our adventures and misadventures riding motorcycles in various parts of the world and riding Urals in particular.
She asked that Malcom and I pose next to our machines for a photo to go with the article she would write about us. One thing is for sure, Ural owners are not couch potatoes glued to a TV. They are out going and doing, age is just a number, not a limitation
Got a final photo of Malcom, the 321 Kawasaki/Ural owners, Lee and Bette. We wished each other the best in their adventures. Was time to get back on the road to bank a few more miles. Am half a day ahead of schedule.
Am really glad I met Malcom today. His attitude and positive outlook inspires me. I feel like the new kid on the block when with him. Thank you Malcom for dropping everything at the spur of the moment and riding over to meet. Your upcoming Russia ride and factory tour sounds exciting. Something few do, while riders like you, just do it.
Ended the day in Lyons, KS. Forecast is for heavy winds and thunderstorms tonight. Tried to camp but the wind was so strong I could not hold the tent down long enough to stake it. A guy stopped and offered to help hold it down, but by then I figured the storm heading our way might be too much for my little tent to withstand. Don't fight mother nature, go with it. Got a room for the night.
This ride has been memorable. Am not even halfway there yet. Will be in Fort Collins, Colorado in two days to visit the Ural dealer.
Life is good ya'll, so go live it.