Last weekend Jim Kennemore and I decided to ride up Highway 1 to Fort Bragg on Wednesday and spend the night.

Sunday I checked on the ’01 Ultra to make sure she would start. I disconnected the battery tender and gave the key a turn. She started right up, Looking Good!

Monday after making hotel reservations it was time to wash and gas her up. I had forgotten to plug in the battery tender. No sweat, she’s got a full charge. “Click, Click, Click” went the starter. This could be a problem. She had started right up on Sunday so I figured leaving her on the charger overnight would solve the problem.

Tuesday afternoon I tried again. At first the starter sounded strong but couldn’t quite get her going. She’s got some charge; she’ll be fine in the morning. Sometimes hope outweighs reason.

Wednesday morning, “Click, Click, Click”. Forty-eight hours on the battery tender and this is all I get. Something’s wrong. Pulling my SUV up to the Ultra I tried a jump start. Nothing.

It’s 9:00 a.m. and I knew that Jim and another buddy, Peter Meshot, were on their way to Michael’s Harley Davidson in Cotati to meet me at eleven. They won’t hear their cell phones. I can’t be a no show. I hop in the SUV and head for Cotati with just enough time to get there by eleven. My gas gauge is close to empty.

I didn’t run out of gas and got to the dealership with minutes to spare.

Jim has a tendency to be blunt and raunchy. I expected, and received a tirade. Peter, a gentleman, did not skewer me. Almost bleeding from the wounds Jim inflicted, I thought I would perish. But wait, I see a remedy. Outside in front of Michael’s was a popcorn machine with bags of popcorn. Two bags later I was cured.

We decided on the Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol for lunch. Good food, high prices.

Jim said, “I won’t ride to Fort Bragg with you in a cage.” I called the hotel and cancelled our reservation.

After lunch, Peter had to head home.

Jim followed me to my house. We took the battery out of the Ultra. I live thirteen miles from Livermore Harley and seventeen miles from McGuire Harley in Walnut Creek. He asked, “Whose closer Livermore or Walnut Creek?”

“It’s thirteen miles to Livermore, seventeen to Walnut Creek, let’s go to Livermore.

Those of you who follow this blog know who Jim Bob is. For those who don’t, Jim Kennemore, alias JAK, sometimes goes off the rails. When that happens, he says and does strange things. He becomes Jim Bob.

As soon as I said Livermore, Jim Bob appeared. “Let’s go to Walnut Creek. It’s closer.”

“Jim, it’s only thirteen miles to Livermore.” We went back and forth several times before in exasperation I said, “I’m going to Livermore. Get in the car.”

Harley batteries are usually good for two years, sometimes only one. Mine was four years old. For only $190 the Ultra was back in business.

For the almost spur of the moment ride, that wasn’t, we had a good day.