~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Got High At The Motorcycle Swap Meet

So I'm walking through the annual motorcycle swap meet here in our little town and I'm taking pictures, browsing the junk, and generally enjoying the day. As I walked past a large ladder jutting into the sky from one of the vendor booths I here someone say "Hey Bultaco man, you wanna climb the ladder?"  As I was pretty much the only one around wearing a red Bultaco hat as opposed to the usual H-D doo rag or Viet Nam vet hat everyone else seemed to be wearing I figured it was me that was being called out.  I looked at the ladder then at the guy next to it. He was selling a device called MonkeyRack or some such thing, it allows you to cantilever a large extension ladder off of the back of a truck or utility vehicle. "Why would I climb that" I said eying the 20ft extension ladder poking the sky. "You could get some good photos from up there!" said the fellow.

"Now you're talking" I replied. So I secured my two cameras a little better, crawled up into the bed of the pick up truck and prepared to head skyward on the ladder of death. "It's gonna sway a little" he said. He wasn't kidding but what the heck, the worst that could happen was that I'd plunge to my death at a motorcycle event and there are worse ways to die. Besides, the roll away tool chest in the back of his truck would probably break my fall. So I grabbed onto the ladder and started up, careful to place hands and feet firmly and not look about too much.

I suspect the sales guy thought I might give up part way when he said "If you get to the top, ring the bell." No problem, the swaying ladder rang the bell all the way up. He probably didn't suspect that the dumpy old guy with the cameras was also a former hang glider pilot who's flown places like Glacier Point in Yosemite.  I'm not especially afraid of heights as long as I've got decent equipment. I thought the ladder thing looked decent, it was painted red and hooked to a truck, that seemed like a good sign. Firemen do this stuff all the time, right?

Half way up I stopped to adjust my Nikon so it didn't clunk the ladder. I heard someone below me say "More balls than brains." He might be right, I have a crazy streak and it's not as wide as it once was but it's still there.

So I got to the top, got an arm securely around the ladder and shot a few pictures of the event. 20ft down below the swaying ladder I could see a few people looking up, no doubt hoping the guy on the ladder would plunge to his death and they could tell their friends about the cool thing they saw at the swap meet.

I half expected a crowd to gather and begin yelling "Jump! Jump! Jump!"

The blue tent is the Hells Angels booth. You'd think it would be red and white.
After I got a few shots with the camera the swaying of the ladder became a bit of a concern -- thoughts of buckled aluminum danced in my head -- so I headed back down. I thanked the fellow for the nice photo op and showed him the pictures on the camera's display screen. He seemed pleased.

Anyway, it was fun stuff and livened up an otherwise rather dull event. More pics of bikes and such to come.


mq01 said...

oh oh, wheres the bikes for sale?

B.B. said...

Well, it definately made for a good picture spot...but I don't think I could've done it!

Anonymous said...

well done- as for me, my feets stay on terra firma

Unknown said...


you are such a dare devil . What no bikes for sale ?

Riding the Wet Coast

Doug Klassen said...

MQ & friends, Not many bikes for sale at the swap meet except for random junkers. I took cash just in case someone had the ideal replacement for my departed Kawasaki but there wasn't anything even remotely worth considering. There were a couple of nice vintage Harleys for sale but in need of restoration. I couldn't afford them even unrestored.

More to come though on my bike replacement adventures.

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