Day Twenty

   

"The Rhythm of The Road"

Tuesday
September 24, 2002

Reno, NV -
Bend, OR

432 miles

6:42 riding time


Newspaper Guy with Penny the Min-Pin

"She thinks she's ten foot tall, don't mind her a bit."  I was admiring Newspaper Guy's miniature pinscher, also known as a 'Min-Pin'.  This particular one goes by 'Penny'.  Penny was barking at two space-suited aliens on strange contraptions ... oh wait, that's us.  Newspaper Guy was delivering San Francisco Chronicles to the newspaper vending machine just outside the Black Bear Diner when we pulled up to have breakfast. 

"Those are BMWs, right?"  He pulled the stubby cigar butt out of his mouth long enough to let out an admiring whistle.  "Them are nice bikes."  I nodded my head in agreement.  And I wasn't even wearing Whiz's rose-colored glasses.  Another great day of riding, without any problems from the bikes.  Life is good.  And we'll be home in one more day.

Ready to roll at oh-dark-hundred

Starting in Tucson a couple of days ago, we decided that we needed to start riding earlier in the morning in order to get more miles in and to beat the heat.  Once we got used to this adjustment in the routine, we found that we actually preferred getting up at 4am and being on the road by 5am, rather than our previous routine of waking at 6am and rolling by 7am.  The hours just before dawn are quiet, the traffic is sparse, and we can knock off 100 miles before breakfast.  With this new schedule, we've been doing more than 400 miles a day and getting into the motel with enough time to comfortably prepare your daily entree.  It could be a permanent revision to the W&G style sheet.

After breakfast we rode north out of Susanville CA on highway 139 which winds up above Eagle Lake.  It was a beautiful ride through the Lassen National Forest.  Very little traffic, very pleasant road.

Gizmo strikes a pose on Highway 139 above Eagle Lake near Susanville CA

Whizmo admiring Eagle Lake View of Eagle Lake from 139

As we crossed into Oregon and the Klamath Falls area, the scenery switched from forests to farm land.  There are many picturesque old farm structures lining the road, decaying but apparently functional.

As we rode up US 97 through central Oregon toward Bend, I had plenty of time to reflect on this year's trip.  We often refer to The Road as a proper noun.  It might more properly be considered a condition.  The Road imposes its order on your life.  At the beginning of a trip, things are scattered, processes unproven.  Slowly things come together, until the routine and rhythm become the backbone of every single day.  When we play to the rhythm, things go smoothly, and few words need to be spoken as we wind through the day.  On the days that we break the routine, we lose the rhythm.  You quickly realize that there's a price to pay when you ignore the wisdom of your own accumulated experience.    Every trip has its own unique rhythm.  The sooner you find it, the happier you are.  The rhythm carries you through the days that would otherwise be disasters, like day 14 when we rode through a thunderstorm.  I ended that day with a smile on my face.

Upper Klamath Lake area

Rules to Live By from
Big Mt. Cafe, Chemult OR

Another thing that The Road delivers is experiences that can't possibly be anticipated.  You certainly expect your fair share of humorous encounters, entertaining local color and awesome natural beauty.  That's true for any road trip.  But the W&G secret sauce adds an element of real-time interactivity with you, our readers and correspondents.  Knowing that you're there, reading along with us every day, provides the incentive to immediately start writing as soon as we're done riding.  Scanning through the incoming mail each day is always a highlight.

Every year we make lots of new friends through the adventures of Whizmo & Gizmo.  Some of you we meet on the road, others here on line.  No matter how we've met we share a love of adventure and The Road.  During the course of these tours, we get lots of requests from people who want to be added to our mailing list.  This is always gratifying to us because it means that you are recommending us to your friends and acquaintances.  We thank you for that.  Every request for a subscription is an affirmation that what we're doing is worthwhile.  But beyond the subscription requests, your encouragement, and the jokes we can't print, sometimes there are deep surprises in our interaction with you.

This year, a most unusual twist occurred for me personally as a result of this website.  I'd like to share it with you. 

Mike Paull is a long-time W&G reader and a fellow BMW rider.  (Mike also documents his own motorcycle adventures at http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/paull/ - check it out.)  When we christened The Great Divide Tour a few weeks ago, Mike forwarded our mail to some of his motorcycling friends, suggesting they check us out.  A few days into The Great Divide Tour, I received mail from a young woman who found us through Mike's recommendation.  Here's an excerpt from her mail:

Cuzmo

Mike Paull headed me to your web site today. Fabulous! I look forward to following the rest of the Great Divide trip. I am impressed that you can keep up with the real-time journal so well. I barely managed to scratch out the basics "where I'm sleeping, something I saw today, how many miles I rode" in my own journal, let alone sorting through photos and publishing for any and all to see. I just returned from my summer jaunt -- Seattle to the Northeast, visiting everyone I know along the way. Took me six weeks to get to Nova Scotia that way. Then I decided it was time to be home, so one very tiring week (4200 miles) home. But the trusty BMW (1994 R100GSPD, in my case) did just fine. I was a bit stiff.

Anyway, this is slightly more than a missive of appreciation from one motorcycle traveler to another. Although I know there are other Rikers out there, so far, all the ones I've met, I've been related to (my mother is a Riker). Somewhere I recall hearing of a Riker cousin in Seattle, so I'm wondering if you might be he?

Through subsequent correspondence, we determined that we are in fact related.  There were multiple coincidences associated with this chance virtual encounter - we both live in the Seattle area, we both ride motorcycles, and we both worked for the same large software company.  We're planning to get together soon to compare family trees and histories, then to stitch together these separated wings of the family.

It's quite startling to suddenly learn that today you have more relatives than you thought you had yesterday.  My mental map of my family relations is now obsolete.  I'm looking forward to rebuilding that map.  But even more startling is the realization that if Whiz and I hadn't been willing to share our lives on The Road with you, this chance encounter never would have happened.

During the off-season, Whiz and I get together for coffee once in awhile, critiquing past efforts and kicking around ideas for future tours.  We frequently debate the degree of personal exposure we feel comfortable with in this venue.  We each have wives and families, and we enjoy our privacy.  But we've gradually built up confidence that it's OK to share these unique experiences with you through the personae of Whizmo and Gizmo.  It's obviously fun for us, or we wouldn't do it.   Maintaining the website every day while touring has grown to a significant amount of work.  This whole thing began because we thought creating these pages could be an efficient means of keeping our families assured that we were fine, things were going well, and that we were having some interesting and worthwhile experiences out here.  We learned it was also interesting to a larger group, which continues to grow.

In spite of all the fun and positive feedback, exposing yourself in writing to this degree every day has its risks.  We don't allow ourselves much time to review or edit what we've done.  Every single day, I want to go back and punch up or polish what I wrote in previous days.  I know it could be better, and maybe someday it will be better, if I ever figure out what to do with all these rough drafts.  But regardless of our doubts, we keep playing out out this unwritten script.  We coax each other to continue participating in this collaborative creative writing experiment, conducted from motorcycles and motel rooms.  We challenge each other to write deeper and better accounts of our daily experiences.

Sometime next spring, Whiz and I will meet over coffee, a road atlas of the United States and a blank pad of paper.  We'll talk about whether we should do another Whizmo & Gizmo adventure, and if so, how we should document it.  When the question arises about whether we should continue to be as personal with what we write, I know what my answer will be: Absolutely.  Not only have I made new friends and renewed old friendships ... I've found family. 


Yesterday we challenged you to be the first to visit Whizmo and/or Gizmo Pass, and send us proof of your visit.  Wouldn't you know that one of our faithful readers has already visited both passes, a mere 3.5 hours after we issued the challenge!  We received the following photographic "proof" of Lauren Riker's achievement.  Hmm, how did she do that?

Lauren at Whizmo Pass Lauren at Gizmo Pass

We promised an appropriate reward to the winner, so I guess we have to cough up.  Lauren, you are hereby awarded an all-expenses paid college education.  The judges hope that you will continue to develop your Photoshop skills.  Now get back to your studies and quit fooling around on the Internet.  Your dad expects excellent grades this quarter.

If any of you really visits one of our passes, please let us know.

 

Grand Finale Contest -- Pitch the Pitchmen -- We Have Our Contestants!

Wow, here we are at the Whizmo & Gizmo Grand Finale Contest.  And you, faithful reader, are going to determine the 2002 Honorary Izmo of the Year Award.  Below are listed each of the 'Pitch the Pitchmen' submission finalists, in the order they were received here at W&G headquarters in Bend Oregon.  Please read each entry, then vote for your choice by clicking the 'Vote' hyperlink under the name of the contestant.  It's that simple!  Here are the very explicit rules:

Contestant The Pitch
Tom Brady
Wading River NY

Vote


LET US SELL YOUR CUSTOM MOTORCYCLE SEATS!
HOW CAN TWO ASSES WITH THIS MANY MILES ON THEM BE WRONG?

 

Mike Leskin
Houston TX

Vote


"YOU ARE WHAT YOU RIDE...THE MEN, THE LEGENDS, THE WAY OF LIFE...WHIZMO & GIZMO...COMING SOON TO A TRUCK STOP OR ROADSIDE DINER NEAR YOU!"

FREE CANS OF FRITO-LAY BEAN DIP FOR THE FIRST 15 ADULTS...FREE BALLOONS FOR THE KIDDOS...AUTHENTIC WHIZMO & GIZMO BUSINESS CARDS FOR ANYBODY WHO HASN'T ALREADY BEEN GIVEN ONE!

Dear Prospective Whizmo & Gizmo Sponsor:

After a detailed screening process, based upon your company's products and/or services, your firm has been selected as a prospective sponsor of Whizmo & Gizmo Touring Enterprises, Incorporated, the world's leading producer of lifelong dream-fulfilling motorcycle tours.

Ask yourself, "Could I use more business?" If the answer is "Yes," and we think it is, this is the opportunity you have been seeking to maximize those advertising and corporate sponsorship dollars!

Whizmo & Gizmo are just a couple of regular guys, probably a lot like you and your neighbors, except for just two things: 1) they are not employed in any sort of meaningful, productive work and 2) they love to ride motorcycles all over the world.

Now...for you, as a potential sponsor, here's the really interesting part: They are available to carry your company's logo to all those out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten track markets that you have not been able to reach by conventional print and electronic advertising media.

Why place your logo on a motorcycle or racecar that will only be seen by a few thousand people sitting around an oval track on a Sunday afternoon? Whizmo & Gizmo will carry your company's name and logo to every corner of the globe, including many places where there aren't any people at all!!

A number of major corporations have already signed up. (This is a boldfaced lie, of course, but who will know?!) Just imagine...your company's name and logo displayed next to those of other corporate heavyweights such as Johnson's Wax, Frito-Lay, Compaq and Jake's General Merchandise.

Our representative in your area will be contacting you personally in the next few days. She will be happy to explain the various levels of sponsorship. Currently, there is some prime logo placement space remaining available on the back of Whizmo & Gizmo's jumpsuits. Less expensive space is available on clothing which is shown when the boys stop for lunch or a well-deserved break from riding.

In today's world of tight advertising budgets, we think Whizmo & Gizmo will give you the most bang for the buck...especially if they stay sober! Thanks very much for your consideration. I remain

Very truly yours,

Virgina P. Mountjoy
Director, Corporate Sponsorship Activities
 

Bing Gordon
Atherton CA

Vote

Put the "Mo" in Your Product Sales

 

 

 

 You'll thrive, because they drive.

 

Have your sales gone flat?  Are your customers using Tivo to ignore your commercials? 
Are your spokespersons under investigation for child molestation and steroid usage?

 

Are you tired of over-cologned advertising executives who are afraid of the open air?  
Do you need to get readable and get real?

 

Do you need credibility in the heart of America?  Do you need a grass roots campaign?  Or a 'no roots at all' campaign? Do you need to sell water trucks in the flood season?

 

Then it's time for you to turbocharge your sales with the twin titans of two-wheeling, Whizmo and Gizmo.

  

Features to remember:

  • Recommended by Fortune Magazine, who put Kenneth Lay on their cover in Jan 2001.
  • Sustained 100% readership of target audience for an 18-stage internet campaign!
  • One truck-stop shopping: copywriting, photos, website and stunts!
  • Especially effective to AARP members, silver hairs and Rolling Stones groupies!
 

This water truck sold in 3 days,
during Seattle’s worst rainy season in 30 years! 

  Graduates of the prestigious Harvard Bee School!
Glenda Revelle
New York City NY

Vote

TOP 10 REASONS TO SPONSOR WHIZMO AND GIZMO
 

10. Holding your logo placard gives Whizmo something to do with his hands in all those photos.

9. Gizmo “marks territory” in the shape of, you guessed it, YOUR LOGO!!

8. Whizmo and Gizmo’s next tour named after your company or product: e.g., The 2003 Right Guard Ride, or The 2004 Odor-Eaters Tour.

7. Whizmo designs a bike in the shape of your product and rides it on the next tour

6. Thousands of fanatically devoted followers waiting hypnotically for W&G to tell them what to buy.

5. Whizmo & Gizmo willing to deface both state and federal property with your corporate brass nameplate on well-traveled byways throughout North America

4. Gizmo reinterprets Maslow’s hierarchy to include a Need for Your Product

3. What Whizmo and Gizmo do to your competitors:

2.  Your company logo tattooed here:

1.  They make such lovely spokesmodels.



 

Steve Ellis
Seattle WA

Vote

THE 
WHIZMO & GIZMO
 MO' MOTION 2003 CAMPAIGN
 
Do your sales merely mosey along?  Do your advertising campaigns lack motility?  Do you lack momentum in your quest for success? 
 
Then join the Whizmo and Gizmo Mo' Motion 2003 campaign, a veritable mobile modus vivendi.  In your behalf, the boys will ride any motorized two wheeled device - motorcycles to motor scooters to mopeds - anywhere from Moline to Mobile, the Mojave to Moclips, or even from the Moselle to Mogadishu.  In so doing, the boys will be a colorful mosaic of your logos and brands, their efforts in your behalf shamelessly motivated by cold, hard cash.  As pitchmen, they are the most.  Let their motive be your motif.
 
So, get on board, and abandon those old sales campaigns that move like molasses.  Take a step up to a new, high-tech sales campaign fueled by motorcycles and modems.  Take your sales from the Mohorovicic Discontinuity to the moment of truth!  Take a step of which not even Momus - much less your CEO - could complain.  
 
Adopt a new modus operandi; adopt a new mot juste; adopt  "Mo' Motion!" 
J. Ozinski
Kirkland WA

Vote

I think a Lemon Pledge campaign centered on Led Zeppelin's Lemon Song would boost sales considerably.  The only down side, and there always is a downside, is that Gizmo will also have to get one of them Yaller 'Stiches.  Anyway, the way this would go is that with the song in the background, the Izmos are patrolling the highways, looking for visors that need attention. When they find a fellow motorcyclist in need, they whip out the Lemon Pledge, and jump into action. They could have bandeleros of small Pledge cans over their shoulders. Kinda like Zapatic/Teutonic squeegee guys, except no tips are accepted.

The lyrics for the soundtrack would be as follows, to the tune of The Lemon Song:

THE LEMON (PLEDGE) SONG
(J. O. Zinski)

I should have waxed my visor, long time ago (X2)
I should have sprayed them gnats, down to the station floor

I should have sprayed that Lemon Pledge, at least one mo' time (X2)
'Cause every time I spray that Lemon Pledge, really makes my face shield shine

Some people say that I use Pledge just 'cause it smells so fine
But I use that Lemon Pledge 'cause it's so benign

Went to wax last night, buffed as hard as can be
Waxed that visor, took that visor, ran through a swarm of bees
I should have done mo' waxin', long time ago
Then I wouldn't be without no vision, that's fo' sho'

So spray it, Izmos, till the Pledge runs down the visor (X2)
The way you spray that Lemon Pledge, makes buyin' the large economy size much wiser

I'm gonna leave them bugs, down on the station floo...ooo...ooo...oor.


Now, aren't you glad I didn't do a Beano ad?

For those not familiar with the original lyrics, I provide the following:

The Lemon Song
(Burnett)

I should have quit you, long time ago. (X2)
I wouldn't be here, my children, down on this killin' floor.

I should have listened, baby, to my second mind (X2)
Everytime I go away and leave you, darling, you send me the blues way down the line.

Said, people worry I can't keep you satisfied.
Let me tell you baby, you ain't nothin but a two-bit, no-good jive.

Went to sleep last night, worked as hard as I can,
Bring home my money, you take my money, give it to another man.
I should have quit you, baby, such a long time ago.
I wouldn't be here with all my troubles, down on this killing floor.

Squeeze me baby, till the juice runs down my leg. (X2)
The way you squeeze my lemon, I'm gonna fall right out of bed.

I'm gonna leave my children down on this killing floor.

 
Jonathan Cluts
Redmond WA

Vote


For the first time, limited addition Whizmo and Gizmo sunglasses are available to the public. You've heard about them, you've seen them on the web, but now you too can own your very own pair of Whizmo and Gizmo sunglasses. These are the very same glasses worn by the famous Whizmo and Gizmo on all their adventures. Choose between two styles, the classic Whizmo, or the fetchin' Gizmo. Don't be fooled, while these glasses look like the kind you can buy at many fine eyewear shops around the world, these are much more expensive! Quantities are limited! Order your pair today!
 
Adam Bellin
Bay Area CA

Vote


In the spirit of Bartles and Jaymes, Whizmo and Gizmo, spokespersons for W&G Spirits Division of W&G Foods, subsidiary of W&G Industries, LLP, bring you the new line of W&G coolers…

Gizmo says: “the thing I hate about California, is, you move out there from NY, the sun dries up all your zits, dressing up is like, wearing *socks*, and they haven’t had a new, good, thirst-quenching refreshing beverage come out in over 15 years! This is why we developed our new line of drinks:

Whizmo’s Mo-Whizzers, and Gizmo’s JizzyJuice. Whiz and Giz can’t agree on whose tastes best, so we’d like your opinion!

Also, try our new line of snack products…

WhizCheese & Giz’s Mo-Nuts
 
Peter Ellis
Snohomish WA

Vote


Are you tired of your sales, or lack thereof? Are you looking for a vacation from all the hard, backbreaking, and often thankless work that's involved in selling your product? Don't reach for the aspirin, the 'Izmos are here!

Whizmo and Gizmo, that famous motorcycling pair, will take care of your marketing efforts with the greatest of ease. What better method of gaining visibility than two men riding around with your product logo plastered over them, shamelessly plugging your product in those small towns you never thought you could reach before today? For the low, low price of nightly deliveries of Red Bull, Beano, and Frito Lay Bean Dip to their hotel rooms, Whizmo and Gizmo will turn your brand from gloom to zoom!

This offer only lasts for a limited time, so e-mail the 'Izmo's today!
 
Dan Newell
Medina WA

Vote

W&G will risk life and limb, spend 3 weeks and thousands of their own dollars on a marketing campaign. Why not let it be yours?  Yes, reach the affluent but difficult to find "40+ multi-motorcycle owning adventure hounds".  Remember, W&G will shamelessly plug anything for a pair of heated socks.
Tom Boyle
St. Paul MN

Vote

You're a rider, and you like to ride. You've ridden just about everything there is to ride: the wind, the waves, anything that bucks and kicks, gives you that thrill and makes you feel alive!  But you're afraid you've tried all there is, and that perhaps there are no new thrills left on this crazy old planet.  Well, I'm here to tell you that you're wrong - there is a vast frontier out there that beckons: until you've ridden the Internet, you haven't really ridden at all. And the way to get on board is with Whizmo and Gizmo.  They know how to ride the Internet like nobody else, and they bring that excitement right to your desktop. Feel the bugs in your teeth, the loose gravel under your wheels, and spirit of the open road ahead. You'll ride again, and with a passion you had forgotten was possible.  Come Ride the Internet - Ride With Whizmo and Gizmo.
John Helms
Atlanta GA

Vote

 (start with background music from the theme to Raiders of the Lost Ark.)
 
“If you want to run with the big hogs, you gotta get off the porch.”

Yah, we call it like we see it down here in the South, and when you ride with Whizmo and Gizmo, these are two big hogs.

Now, don’t take my word for it, just look at the awesome website they have created to chronicle their adventures, and adventures they are.  Just look at what they have encountered during their travels:

  • the horrifying, threatening black skies of Wyoming
  • the bone chilling cold of… Wyoming
  • the cuddly softness and companionship of cute little lambs in…ah… Wyoming
  • a crazed woman threatening these two “hog wild” riders in…ah, er… Wyoming
  • the incredible loneliness while biking through the beautiful hills of…well…ah…you guessed it… Wyoming
  • the aggressive, perverse “come-ons” from drunken, homosexual farmers in…where else… Wyoming

(fade out Raiders theme)
 
Yes, all this in just one day on the road with Whizmo and Gizmo. (see day 8)
 
(fade in Proud to be an American by Lee Greenwood, or is that Al Green?)
 
You, at whatever American broadcasting facility, have a golden opportunity to share the wild, crazy, exciting and exhilarating adventures of Whizmo and Gizmo with the rest of the free world. No, this is not an opportunity, it’s your obligation. It’s your obligation because these two true road warriors and fine, upstanding Americans risk their own lives to bring us their adventures, at no cost to any of us. They willingly encounter the trials on the road that would make most men turn tail and run. Why, you ask? Well, the answer is simple. They do it because they just love to take those risks that the rest of us only dream about. They harbor an unbridled desire to share as many of their life experiences with the rest of America as they possibly can. I understand that their next adventure includes riding jet skis from Baja, California to South Beach in Miami. Are Whiz and Giz brave or what?? Yes, they are true American Heroes.
 
(let Proud to be an American finish and fade in He Works Hard for the Money (I know it’s “She Works Hard for the Money”, but work with me here!))
 
So, come on, sign up Whizmo and Gizmo, right away before you miss this tremendous opportunity. And, don’t forget, as Jerry Maguire would say, “Show them the money!!” Of course, it is clearly not evident from the tremendous job these guys do with their website, their custom embroidered apparel, and their high quality motorcycles, but these two are almost destitute. The only way they have been able to stay alive on the road has a great deal to do with local law enforcement vacancies and soup kitchens. Many days they survive purely on the love of riding and leftover Frito-Lay Bean Dip. Yes, bean dip. It helps to occasionally warm their seats and put fuel in their tanks. Yes, these bikes run on pure methane gas.
 
If you need more motivation, just look at the list of potential sponsors that we have almost “in the bag”. Frito-Lay, BMW, Michelin, the National Parks Service, Hampton Inns, Beano, Super 8 Motel, 4 B’s Gas Station (HOT!!!, they’re ready to sign up right now), a fireworks and artillery dealer in Wyoming, Ted Nugent (???), AAA Travel, the Calf-A Café and so many others that we can’t name them all. Your sales staff already has most of its leads. This is a ready-made success.
 
(fade out Hard for the Money and fade in a theme song Gizmo will write and record)
 
The Whizmo and Gizmo Show obviously has endless possibilities. They can bring us the world. And, it is wholesome family fun. There’s really something for everyone in this budding entertainment dynasty. So, don’t be a day late and a million dollars short. Please call me, John Helms at John Helms & Associates (dba: Whizmo & Gizmo Entertainment Management) and let’s do this deal today.
 
(let theme song play out)
 

Well, there you have it.  What potential sponsor could turn down any of these pitches?  Pick out your favorite, click on the 'Vote' link under the author's name, and let's find out who best knows how to Pitch The Pitchmen!