Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bye, Bye Bike Place

Usually around this time of year we are reminded of the passings of memorable people, places and events. Many of the deaths were given mucho news space. We had the likes of Harry Morgan, Joe Frazier, good old Kim Jong-il, inquisitive Andy Rooney, visionary, Steve Jobs, even the creator of Doritos, Arch West, Spiderman's uncle, Cliff Robertson, giant sized Police Academy graduate, Bubba Smith, two sides of the alcohol scene, Betty Ford and Amy Winehouse, "Just one more thing" Peter "Columbo" Falk, "Mister Mirth" Jack Kevorkian, "Macho Man” Randy Savage. Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, "Our Gang" child star Jackie Cooper, diamonds best friend, Liz Taylor, beauties like "The Outlaw" Jane Russell and Anne Francis (Honey West), Fitness guru, Jack LaLanne and every body's favorite terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. Sport celebrities disappeared from the spotlight while others retired to rehab or jail time. All of these events received more than their fair share of notoriety and in some cases, rightly so. But, this past year a piece of Wisconsin hystory has quietly disappeared from our midst unnoticed. During my many backroad journeys I have tried to document unusual and significant landmarks and hystorical oddities. One such place is (or was) "The Goofy Bike Graveyard". Interestingly this little piece of Americana happens to be on the same road as a number of other "oddities". One of which recently "made me laugh" on my other blog, I've passed this spot many times and even stopped and photographed it planning on doing a "Wisconsin Hystorical Site" story about it. I never did get around to writing that story and now . . . alas! It's gone. I don't really know the whats, whys and hows of the place but my best guess is . . . once upon a time in a land far away. (sorry wrong story) to continue, my guess is that on a dark and deary night many years ago a lone rider cruised along highway 133 hoping to find shelter from the harsh Wisconsin winter. As the weather worsened the visibility became, well you just could see anything. (although along this stretch of road there's nothing to see anyway) In short, he missed a slight curve in the road and slammed into a scrawny barbed wire fence. The impact knocked his helmet clean off his head and deposited it right on top of one of the fence posts. He flew in another direction while his bike came to rest along the fence line. In short time the night creatures dragged off and devoured his remains but the remains of the bike and helmet remained. (I think that's my record use of "remain)" For some strange reason this incident reoccurred many more times through the years. Witnesses say that the headlights of the "fence" bikes still glow a reassuring lure to unsuspecting riders. (Kinda like the Lorelei's of Blue River) Each time the helmet nestles upon a post as if placed there by some leather clad spectre and the bike finds a final resting place on the fence line. It's said that on a quiet night you can still hear the lowly growl of a Harley grumbling through the the darkness. The yard which is guarded by the ghostly troop is filled with such an assortment of wierdities that I haven't even come close to making up (I mean finding) the meaning. I'm sure it had some sort of ritualistic significance but it beats me. Now, the sad ending to this tale of wonder. It's gone! Everything is gone! Not an eerie trace. If I hadn't taken photos you would never have believed that such a place ever existed. Honest it was really there and I have pictures to prove. (I also know at least two other people that saw the place in its glory days - right Hollister?)

Maybe the cows in the background can explain this. I can't.

May best guess . . . some sort of totem?

Black Flag! Quick pass the Black Flag!

The wonders just go on and on.
A snowmachine and some sort of half ATV, half John Boat???

My guess is that this guy was only going "Half Fast"!

The canon must be for warding off those big bugs.

It had to start somewhere. (Note the blocks on the pedals.
Must have been a little guy)

This could be the bike Arte Johnson rode on "Laugh In".

(for those of you old enough to remember "Laugh In".)

The only more ominous than the bikes and helmets
were all the black caldrons everywhere.

The "Bike Yard" today! (Actually yesterday)