Rogue Zulu Cross Country

Though I have a YouTube channel called: “Fifth Gear Foodie” I go by numerous road names. Some call me Romulus while others call me The Bandit. All nicknames earned. Nevertheless, and for the purposes of this blog I am Rogue Zulu. The name Fifth Gear Foodie came about because I want to eventually develop my YouTube channel into an ongoing series–Pick up where Anthony Bourdain unceremoniously left off with his show “No Reservations” but with more of a cross country biker twist.

I want to provide a blend of culinary reviews based on the restaurant, bar, and winery scene along with my own culinary creations while on the road either motorcycle camping or staying in unique hotels. This isn’t quite as new of a thing as several other bikers have touched on the aforementioned topics. However, from what I’ve seen so far none of them have created an all-in-one kind of theme, and I’ve certainly never seen a theme of this nature from a black perspective. The black biker scene is quite prominent although the focus is more so from the black motorcycle set rather than an independent black biker’s perspective.

Don’t get me wrong–I rock with people from a myriad of backgrounds. Even though I’ve chosen to be of the cruiser persuasion I love all kinds of 2-wheeled motorcycles American and metric alike. When I say I rock with people I also mean in a multicultural sense. I’m a pluralist and I don’t believe in discrimination of any kind other than discrimination against ignorance, which knows to color or boundary. One thing I definitely don’t care for, though, is political opinions. Right and wrong yes. Leftwing or Rightwing no. Both are feathers of the same bird. There, I’ve said as much as I want to say on that note.

After 3 days of camping on Lake Meredith in Fritch, Texas it was time to move on. My time there was enjoyable but the weather hindered what could have been an even more amazing experience as in my time spent in Eureka Springs. Two nagging problems persisted. The nut and bolt kit I bought at Walmart had proven to be almost worthless due to the softness of the metal the bolts are made of, and a balding tire that I had to trust for the next 35 miles until I got to the Kawasaki dealership in Amarillo. From time to time since the nuts were not self-locking they worked themselves off the bolt and I had to either stop and re-tighten or replace them with the nuts I had left.

Miraculously, my rear tire held up as I rode into Amarillo and pulled up to the dealership. I was in luck as no other customer was there at the time, so my bike was rolled up on lift. I was quickly and efficiently taken care of and sent on my way–Next stop: Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. Funny thing is I don’t recall seeing any signs welcoming me into the New Mexico. Nevertheless, the gradual change in surroundings from populated areas with active businesses to large tracks of empty land and desolate structures gave an indication. Stark smells of livestock and feed permeated as I traveled down the road.

Off in the distance were large industrial farm structures and 18-wheelers that carried various farming products. A dust storm loomed and I pulled aside to don my tan gator for protection from the swirling dust clouds. The funny thing about cagers or people in cars is they seem to be cruising right along until someone passes them on a motorcycle, then all of a sudden it becomes a race. Whether they just want to get a closer look at the black guy in a leather vest with 150 pounds of gear strapped to the back of his bike or they’re just being ornery is irrelevant. As an experienced biker I don’t like to be approached on the road by people in cars because some have a tendency to want get ahead and cut you off or wander into your lane and become a hazard. They aren’t aware of the dangers of behaving in such a way because they’re of the mindset of being protected in a shell of steel and glass not out in the open and exposed.

Fortunately, the majority of people out there are conscious of their surroundings and make an effort to look out for bikers. It also helps that my Vance & Hines Short Shot pipes are very loud ergo the saying: Loud pipes saves lives. There is a lot of truth to that saying. I have literally been in situations where a cager brain farting at the steering wheel would try to mindlessly execute a right turn into an intersection right in my path and I revved my engine to catch their attention or people that try to mindlessly execute a lane change without looking. A couple blips of my pipes always captures their attention sending them swerving back into their own lane. It doesn’t work every single time but 98% accuracy is certainly better than nothing.

Once on base I was underwhelmed by the surroundings. I felt like I was in a penal colony located on the moon. Though I enjoyed my camping experience in Fritch I was weary from the adverse weather conditions and decided military accommodations would be the best route to go. Also, upon further Google investigation the couple of hotels in the area were dangerously close to a busy road. I didn’t want to deal with hearing cars and 18-wheelers roaring by all night or wake up to see my bike vandalized or worse gone.

A quick trip to the commissary for steak and veggies and its Fifth Gear Foodie time. While grilling on my trusty Coleman stove I noticed to my chagrin that there was a storm on the horizon and the wind began to pick up. A weather radar check revealed that I had a little over an hour enjoy my outdoor grilling experience before I was once again pelted with horrendous rain. While grilling a young Airman wandered over to my cook site and was fascinated with my setup. He saw that I was shooting while I was grilling but he still stood there in awe as I narrated. Once done we had a great conversation on our military experience his being in the Air Force mine being in the Army National Guard.

Right on cue the wind picked up aggressively as I had just finished eating. By the time I was done putting everything back in my room the storm overcame the base. The next morning I set out to see Billy The Kid’s tombstone in Fort Sumner. Now mind you this is not where Billy the Kid is actually buried this was just his tombstone. The closer I got to Fort Sumner the more the topography started to look be reflective of that wild west, painted desert appeal.

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