The Outlaw Spirit

Before every man lies a mission. Inside every man lives a power.

Jesus conducted his ministry quite literally by "The Book," and added weight to his messianic claims with magic, miracles and prophecy. 

Luke Skywalker used the Force to save the Galactic Empire, and swung his saber on the fringes of incest with his sister in the process.

Oscar Wilde used flamboyance and verbosity to popularize decadence in the Victorian era in a way that left him sated, but penniless and ostracized.

When the burdens of society become too great for me to bear, my Outlaw Spirit takes control.

Of course, anything close to a religion, a life force or a state of mind can be difficult to explain. 

I look at my Outlaw Spirit like a religion without a deity, or a battle without bloodshed. It guides me, but it doesn't define me. Sometimes it breaks the rules, but it never breaks my will. 

Whatever my Outlaw Spirit might be, I try to channel its powers for good, not evil. Of course, I would never judge another person's Outlaw Spirit as inferior to mine. We all have our angels and our devils. Wielded without caution, Cupid's arrow is just as likely to blind as Satan's pitchfork. 

Yesterday I took my Outlaw Spirit—or did it take me?—on a sub-24-hour, 400-mile motorcycle ride to Malibu Beach for a night of camping and debauchery. Billdozer took the helm on all advance planning for our excursion, so I simply sat back and enjoyed the ride. As we rolled over the mountains and up the California coast, our posse gained both fresh meat and steam. 

Chris Huber, his friend 74 Rich, Keith Mulligan and Joel Smith joined us at our first stop in Laguna Beach. Mad Dog Moeller rolled up on his Panhead-powered traffic cone at precisely 9:00 am, and his bike quickly lived up to its name by dying on the side of the road less than a quarter mile into our journey. Chris motioned us to ride ahead without him, so we stayed on course. Next stop: Huntington Beach, to pick up Jason Balls and Murray Baxter.

Jason and Murray were right on time. Both men had invested enough late-night prep in their handbuilt death traps to ensure a speedy, trouble-free ride through Long Beach, the LA harbor district, San Pedro and around the Palace Verdes peninsula before descending into LA county's South Bay for lunch in Venice Beach with Caleb, JD and DicE Matt. Not even a minor battery malfunction on Jason's Ironhead could detain us in San Pedro for more than 30 minutes, and lunch at Red's Firehouse was a treat. Because I'd already eaten a breakfast burrito during the battery repair in San Pedro, I fed my Outlaw Spirit a breezy caprese salad and topped it off with an oatmeal cookie. Just like its vessel, my Outlaw Spirit also has a gay streak and a sweet tooth.

When we went outside to fire up our suicide machines for the final 40 miles of our journey, Jason's Ironhead was DOA. Billdozer's jumper cables weren't thick enough to carry the juice, so Jason needed a whole new battery. Caleb and I visited a Kragen Auto Parts store and a Ducati service center on our scavenger hunt before descending on Bartel's Harley-Davidson on Highway 1 to buy a $120 battery.

After affecting the curbside switch, we peeled onto PCH and played Frogger with 30,000 car-bound Santa Monicans. The bumper-to-bumper bullshit had everyone's Outlaw Spirit on edge, but eventually our splintered posse regrouped at a Starbuck's five miles south of our destination. After some testy negotiations with the ranger at Leo Carillo Campground, we set up camp and made preparations for dinner. This included sending two four-man scouting parties into town for all the beer, fried chicken and snack-size candy bars they could fit in Joel's saddle bags, and using JD's GPS to find a pizza joint that delivered. An hour after dark everyone was fat, numb and happy. That's when Chris Moeller showed up in Jason's pick-up truck with firewood and more beer…

When it comes to Outlaw Spirit, few mortals possess more of the life force than my friend and soul rider Chris "Mad Dog" Moeller. Ten hours and 150 miles earlier, Chris was on his hands and knees in Laguna Beach trying to squeeze 400 measly miles out of his third complete engine overhaul. When Chris realized that wasn't meant to be, he dragged his bike back to his home on a flatbed, stole his girlfriend's car, swapped it for Jason's pickup truck, grabbed some old pallets from his company's dumpster and headed to Malibu with a baseball cap and four cases of beer. But not before stopping at The Swingin' Door Bar to quaff a couple cold ones for the road. When Chris pulled into camp, the fire was blazing and the pizza was still hot. For the next five hours Chris entertained our crew with stories about snowboards, tow truck drivers, wedding dresses, UGG boots and a moose in a jacuzzi. When there were no more stories to tell, Chris made sure I was warm and comfortable by throwing a burning 4x4 on my sleeping bag… while I was in it. Eventually Chris found refuge on the toilet, where he cuddled up in a flowing river of his own stomach bile until some junior ROTC soldiers awakened him from his nap. After sharing a plate of breakfast burritos with me, the Outlaw Spirit that swept Chris into our campground the night before just as swiftly swept him away. When Chris returned his girlfriend's car this afternoon, I'm sure she greeted him in her sweatpants with open arms. 

As strong as Mad Dog's Outlaw Spirit might be, it's still no match for the love of a beautiful woman.



Flatironmike said...

jealous, as always

thanks for sharing the weekend outing

cro said...

amen bruther!