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A friend of mine, Charlie Treese,who lives down in Fort Smith Arkansas has been battling a cancer in his arm for years now, & has undergone hospitalization & chemo & all the rest of the enjoyable things that go with this terrible affliction/disease/curse!!!
The below ride report could be his last one, as, the day after his birthday, he goes in for surgery after everything else didn't work, the worst case scenario will be that he loses 1/2 of his arm! Skip down to the bottom paragraph if you don't want to read the ride report................"Good luck Charlie my friend!"

Last Ride?

It was 80 degrees here today with a brisk wind from the west/northwest. Too good to waste, and perfect timing.

I chugged some ibuprofen and rolled the bike out into the pile of leaves the wind has deposited in front of the driveway. Suited up in the Olympia jacket without the liner, meaning all mesh was open. Headed out with a full tank and rolled north on I-540 to the Hwy 64 exit in Van Buren, turned east on 64, then left on 282 toward Rudy. 283 crosses I-40 via overpass, then delivers several miles of tasty twisties and undulations, then runs up the hill and crosses over I-540. I stayed on 282 as it parallels I-540 for a few miles before crossing it again, then plunges steeply downhill to a nondescript creek with a rustic old railroad bridge going over it. Stopped for a couple of photos. Also took one of the far hill - fall is still raging in the river valley with lots of yellows, oranges, and some reds here and there. Still a little bit of green, too.

282 dropped me off onto old US 71 at Mountainburg and I headed northward, every upward, still twisting and turning and enjoying colorful views all around. At the top of Mount Gaylor the temp dropped at least 10 - 15 degrees and the leaves began to disappear with what remained being mostly brown. Downhill from the top into Winslow, a little warmer, but much less colorful. North of Winslow I turned east on AR 74 and enjoyed more twisties and undulations, diminishing colors. By the time I reached AR 16 most of the color was gone and it was cool.

Headed south on 16 I met a lot of bikes, passed several cars, enjoyed some brief burst of speed. Leaves still scarce and brown, pavement damp in spots from the cold road sweating under the warmer air. At Brashears I turned south on AR 23, aka The Pig Trail. One car pulled over to let me by and I blasted past another and enjoyed the run to Cass mostly unencumbered by traffic. Same on into Turner Bend.

I was astonished to find not one single bike at Turner Bend. Not even one. Only a few cars. I parked and removed my helmet and went inside the store to get some refreshment. A YooHoo and some cheese crackers seemed just right. Sitting on the bench out front, a few bikes went past in each direction but only one stopped, just as I was getting ready to leave. It was a - ready for this? - a Honda Rune! Yes, I've seen two of these things in the wild, and both have been at Turner Bend. What's up with that?

Back on the road south and I could tell my left arm was done. I had planned on an extension of the ride, but now knew I couldn't. I caught some traffic and passed it with ease, then caught a clot of it a few miles short of I-40. I contented myself with just following them to the slab where they all pulled into the truck stop. I hated to do it, but the arm dictated an early end to the day, so I wheeled up onto the slab and settled into a steady 75 mph cruise on I-40 for the 31 miles to I-540 south, and back to Fort Smith. Refuled at the the station on Grand with the pure unleaded (no ethanol) and puttered on home and put the RedZen in the barn and added the last of my Sta-Bil to the tank. I still need to hook up the battery tender, but that'll have to wait until another week or two down the road. Tally for the day: 140 miles.

So the bike is parked. It will not be ridden again this year. It may never again be ridden by me.

They're cutting on the arm on Wednesday. They'll try to salvage it with some reasonable use of the hand, but if they get in there and there's too much nerve and vascular damage they'll just take it off at the elbow. I'll be in the hospital 2 - 5 days depending on how I recover. I'll let you all know when I'm out and how it went.
 

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Sorry to hear about your friends health struggles.

It may take a bit of modification, but Charlie should get back on that bike!
 

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Hate to hear about your friend and wish him all the best.
 

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Sorry to hear about your friends health struggles.

It may take a bit of modification, but Charlie should get back on that bike!
I agree. Some years ago I went to a "Bike Night" at an A&W in Airdrie, Alberta, and a fellow with only one arm showed up on a Suzuki Bandit 1200S. I chatted w/ him, and inspected the control set-up a bit (unfortunately I didn't have a camera w/ me...).

VERY cool that he was able to ride!!!
 
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