It was 22.06.2011, 2400 hours when under a full moon, a balmy breeze, and after a quick pull out from a well tanned and willing wench, the silence of Mallory Square in Key West, Fl, USA was rendered with the sudden throbbing of two opposed unmuffled cylinders from a restored 1969 R69S BMW touring bike cranked over by a black leather clad man on a mission....the UK/US Cycling Charity Challenge was on!
With petrol in the UK hovering at $10 a gallon, and Belgium mandating moderation in all things, the UK team was limited to competing on simple chain driven, pedal powered two wheelers propelled by riders fueled only on pints of warm brown ale , steadfast determination and the fact their balls were scrunched and their thighs were chafed so bad all they wanted to do was finish their assigned leg and relieve their aching balls, in one manner or the other!
Starting off in a raging gale, and setting the pace in the UK was the legend in his own mind, former F1 racing driver J.J. Jaggerdone, only recently forced to give up his career in local club racing when some BASTARD stole his 1963 Austin Healey Sprite right out from under his nose and the bridge in Amsterdam he called home!
Back in 1975 JO lost his lucrative ride with Ferrari after calling Enzo a greasy Wop Bastard," after he was ordered to slow down and let a gay team mate take the checkered flag at LeMans in order to promote Ferrari sales in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Saudi Arabia and Greece. JO was 17 laps ahead at the time and to show his distain, pulled up to the finish line and waited 45 minutes for his team mate, Angelo Linguini, to cross before revving up his ride and crashing it into the wall at the first turn at 175mph and then calmly giving the finger to his pit crew, walking off the track!
A look back at an article in Road & Track of the time quoted JO as saying, " I never said I was tasteful, but I can drive the wheels off anything with a motor, and certainly better than guy who sucks spaghetti through his lips using a spoon!"
Things didn't go much better at Renault or Peugeot either, with JO quitting in disgust saying " the fucking pieces of shit don't handle, are slower than a snail, and when you complain, the mechanics just throw their hands up in the air and give up! Bastards!"
From the other side of the pond the leather clad rider was on a mission too..from Key West to Dodgeville, Wisconsin, the corporate headquarters of Lands End Clothing (don't laff, it's the best I could do, I'm in a time bind here), a distance of some 1406 miles as the Black Raven Flies.
The seven mile bridge was almost deserted as the BMW, the last R69S built in the Munich before the factory was moved to Berlin, purred throatily across the emerald waters, reverberating as far as three miles off shore where the mini submarines from Colombia were running silently and shallow as they ferried their loads of cocaine into some swampy key to be off loaded and shipped to the major urban centers of the US.
The coal black bike, accented with touches of chrome and tasteful white pin stripping was 450 pounds of engineering marvel propelled with an opposed 2 cylinder boxer engine putting out 42 HP and a top speed of 108 MPH while covering 44 miles per gallon of gas from it's 4.49 gallon gas tank.
The shaft drive spun effortlessly and smoothly, it's suspension floating over the surface of the highway, heading north and to a rendezvous with destiny!
The trip until Miami was uneventful. A few missed deer on Little Deer Key that had ventured out to graze on the side of the highway, the odd armadillo that couldn't move fast enough and were turned into Guacamole dip for the majestic blue and white herons waiting for the tide to change so they could continue fishing, the odd wine bottle, and the full case of empty Corona Lites littering the road as he passed Holliday Isle where naked Coeds were still flashing their titties at passing motorists at 4:30 AM!
He slowed down reaching the limits of South Beach, pausing to pay the Cuba Libre Toll, to a state worker who looked a lot like Che Guevara, before cruising up A1A to Ft. Lauderdale and stopping for breakfast at an all night greasy spoon next to the infamous Elbow Room which still had a life sized picture of George Hamilton when he was white in 1959, and they were still playing Connie Francis songs, but this time for the gay crowd who were still looking to score 'where the boys are."
The sun was starting to come up in the east, the waves were calm, the cabana boys were setting out their umbrellas, surf boards, jet skis, and doing business with a few early morning revelers exchanging cash for a baggie of herbal growth to ease them into the light of the day and help transition them until the next night's all night party!
He zig zagged his way through the early morning commuter traffic, between the Bentleys, Rolls, Aston Martins, turbo porches and the not so ordinary Chrysler 300s, the ones with the 24 inch chromed rims , the tires with a 1/4 profile, the blacked out windows, and the rumbling sounds of Rap music bouncing off the bridge abutments.
Finally on I95, heading north, he set the GPS heading for Orlando, a distance of 212 miles, looking forward to hooking up with another old friend and army veteran who kept a perfectly restored Royal Enfield in his garage, along with several other valuable collectible automotive classics including a twin turbo Yugo race car with a custom chassis that he won the 'unlimited' class at Sebring 4 years running before he got bored and got into shooting himself out of a cannon at the Lake Okeechobee Swamp Cabbage festival every year.
Unfortunately, last year he fell 1 foot short of landing in the kiddy pool filled with jello and naked women, and spent 3 months successfully recovering in California with Charlie Sheen 'trying to get his head back on straight.'
Who knows, maybe he could talk The World's Most Interesting Man into continuing the journey.
Some may call him Quixotic, but he remained, UnreMorseful!