Hey there, Mike! Mike Tahija in Manteca, your brother, Stephen Tahija, is sending you a big shout out. Isn’t it true that Stephen rides a Sportster, and he got you into motorcycles when you got out of the military, and you now ride a Night Train? So, how the heck are you?… Happy birthday to all you motorcycle riders who celebrate in November. Happy birthday to IHR members Jay Cuccarese in Salem, Oregon, Bob Moore, somewhere up in Oregon, and Gene “Taz” Thompson in Hidden Valley Lake. Happy birthday in Santa Cruz to Charles Atwater, Pete Gallager, Dennis Grazian, Bud Gussman, Lisa Racine, and Terry Swinggi. Happy birthday to my good friend, Joelene Downey, in Midland, Oregon, to Samuel Martinez in San Jose, to Rusty Barter of Stockton H.O.G. and to Dave Silva in Danville. This is a big year for you, isn’t it, Dan? I believe it starts with a 6 and ends with a 5! In Vacaville, happy birthday to Sam Fernandez, Kathy Lukachinsky, Kenny Mann, and Chuck Matheson. And a very happy birthday to Lompico Lyle, chairman of Monterey Bay Confederation of Clubs and founder of Ghost Mountain Riders MC… I have lived in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Alabama, and, of course, California, but it does not matter where I have lived or how many years I spent there. I was, am and always will be a Texan. I was born and raised in Texas. My roots are there, and Texas calls to me. So, every few years I need to go back and breathe that Texas air. I need to see a cowboy, and I need to gaze at the horizon. Jack and I rolled into Texas through El Paso and hung a right to ride south. At our first stop, Jack asked me what was wrong. I had been doing 60 and 65 mph on a 75 mph road. Hey! Nothing was wrong; I was just taking in Texas. We continued south and visited Judge Roy Bean’s place west of the Pecos. It’s a shame that he never actually met Miss Lily Langtry. After riding through Del Rio and the streets of Laredo, we arrived at the border crossing in Brownsville. Rather than go into Mexico, we turned around and headed for Corpus Christi. I love anywhere along the Gulf. Growing up, I spent summer vacations at the beaches stretching from Galveston to Port Isabel. My spirit was getting renewed. I was disappointed that monsoon storms kept us from continuing to Houston where I have relatives. Instead, we cut north and visited my childhood home in Seguin. We went to houses where I had lived and took lots of pictures. Don’t tell me that you can never go home again. I have to tell you a good one on Jack. While in Seguin, we went to the post office. When we reached the lobby, an elderly cowboy looked at Jack and said, “Howdy.” Then, I had to hustle Jack out of the post office before he insulted the man with his laughter. When someone says “Howdy” to you, you are not supposed to laugh. You are supposed to say “Howdy” right back to them. We finished our business in Seguin and continued riding north. We rode through Temple, and fully visible from the freeway is the Horny Toad H-D. When we put the kickstands down in Waco, Jack couldn’t wait to get back to Temple to get a horny toad T-shirt. My thought was that I would rather slit my wrists than wear one of those shirts. But, long story short, we did ride back, and now you may see me riding around sporting a horny toad on my back… You know, destination rides are good (especially when the destination is Texas), but it is the getting there that brings about all the adventures and stories. Listen to bikers talk about their road trips. You will hear tales of storms, animals, people and mishaps. After the thousands of miles I have rolled down the road, I can talk for hours about what has happened. I would love to exchange sagas with you. E-mail me. Let me know how you have fared… If you have a 2014 Harley, take it down to your nearest service center and have it checked for recalls. Harley estimates approximately 10 percent of over 105,000 bikes have a clutch problem. The problem is that the hydraulic clutch will not disengage, and causes the bike to creep forward from a dead stop. However, another recall is for a pinched front brake line that causes the front wheel to lock up. Can you picture that tug-of-war when stopped at a light in downtown Los Angeles?


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