Sunday, March 6, 2011

Just Horsing Around

So today, this olelongrooffan headed down to Main Street, Beachside, to see what was happening down there for Bike Week. This is the first year I have ventured out into the wild during Bike Week, usually keeping holed up in the Taj Mahal during this week to avoid a whole d*mn bunch of bikes that come to town during this week.  However, this year I thought I might check it out to share with those of you Counting Along With Me as well as my fellow Hoons.

Having said that, parking in the vicinity of Main Street, while not as expensive as parking out by the Daytona International Speedway, still costs ten bucks for cars and trikes and for a fin you can park your bike.  Well, Counters, this olelongrooffan absolutely refuses to pay to park at any event so I just tooled around looking for a place to create a spot. As I was cruising around and was about three blocks from Main Street, I spotted this sign and there was a spot available just in front of whatever that bubble shaped car is that Kia.  As this olelongrooffan has the tools and the talent to parallel park, I was set.  Take that you parking lot shysters!
I know, I am a bit far from the curb....Gimme a break will ya?
TGIS....Thank God It's Sunday!!  Yes, that is the Calvary Christian Church to the right but as it was 1:30 in the afternoon I figured I wasn't robbing some church goer out of a parking place.
So I strolled on down Peninsula to Main Street and in the parking lot of my Parts Friends I was able to check out what this olelongrooffan needs to haul behind my Comanche the next time I do an On The Road trip here on By The Numbers.  $2,495 may just be a bit out of reach these days though.
I then meandered down Main Street to check it out.  Yeah, there were a whole bunch of bikes and biker dudes and dudettes down there.
Butter Face!
Believe me when this olelongrooffan says there was plenty of cleavage down there, both *ss and breast.  Not that I really noticed though.;)
Among the few hundred motorcycles I say today, I liked this old Cushman the best!

So after about 45 minutes, I checked the time on my cell phone, does anyone wear a watch anymore? and decided to call it a day and head back to the Taj Mahal and set up a blogpost or two.  Well, as I was walking back up Peninsula, less than a hundred feet north of Beach Street, I saw the female biker cop that thejeepjunkie called "Precious" a few weeks ago out at the Daytona 500.  She was moving some barricades to block traffic and I hollered out to her.  "Looks like a busy few weeks for you."  She looked at me, then did a double take and said "Yeah, it's been a little crazy.  How you doing?"  "Still working on my effort to Celebrate Life.  Why are you blocking off traffic?"  "The Budweiser Clydesdales are due in about ten minutes.  You aren't leaving are you?"  "Not Now," was my response.
So, I hung around (BTW that is "Precious" on the bike to the left in the above image) and waited for their arrival.  I had seen them just a couple weeks ago during the opening ceremony for the 500 but I figured, why the h*ll not?
And they came cruising down Main Street from A1A and then
turned north on Peninsula.
Check out that seat belt for those passengers atop that beer wagon.
As this olelongrooffan was on my way out anyway, I followed that wagon up Peninsula until I got to the Indian.  I got in and turned at the next intersection to avoid following that wagon. I was cruising a block east of it and decided to head over to the SunTrust lot and get a sight of them without a bunch of tourista bikers in the way.  And I have to tell you my horse loving family members...those horses strut their stuff.  High kick feet, heads bobbing up and down and just an overall thrill to see.
Ya know, I would even take the job of the dude driving this golf cart these days!  So I climbed my skinny *ss back into the Indian to head up to the Taj Mahal when I spotted the site of these three transporters, although I was seeing from the vantage point of that yellow EV down the street.
So, of course, this olelongroofan sauntered on down the street to see what was to be seen.
Well, Counters, I have to tell you it was pretty cool. Although I have seen one of these teams probably 75-80 times during the lifetime of this olelongrooffan,
I had never seen them being set up or taken down, at it were, and here is What I Saw Today.  See that horse to the right in the above image?  When that horse dude in the center of that image unfastened her tethers to the rest of the team he told her "Hold" and walked away.  The pony stood frozen in place until another horse dude came over and said to her, "Alright, let's go" and she followed him around into position to be stripped of her gear.

One of the woman in attendance noted this and said, "That horse is better behaved than my children" which drew chuckles from the small crowd.  Then another woman chipped in, "That horse is better behaved than my husband" which got a huge laugh from everyone, including the horse dudes.

This sweety pie was checking me out as I was checking her out.  Yes, they are all mares.

Check out the size of those hooves.
And if you ever see scruff marks on pavement such as these, know they are from Clydesdales shod horse hooves.

Later as they were loading up the wagon, one of the horsemen was sharing a story with a co-owner of the local Anheuser Busch distributor.  Apparently at one time the powers that be at Seaworld instructed the horsemen for the Clydesdale team stationed there to put rubber shoes on those draft horses as they were tearing up the paver brick streets during their parades. Subsequently, one of the the men with the same last name as noted in that distributor's franchise was at the park and as the team was on parade, inquired why he couldn't hear the clip clops from those hooves.  He was informed the management had required the placement of rubber shoes on those Clydesdales to prevent said damage.  His response? In typical St. Louis, Missouri fashion, "Bullsh*t, the sound of those hooves on the pavement is as iconic as the Clydesdales themselves.  I own this park and I own those horses and I want to hear those hooves and I don't care if we have to replace those paver bricks every day!"  Everyone who was standing around there today and heard that story started laughing heartily at that story.

Even though this olelongrooffan has been told I can spin a pretty good yarn, that story is the Honest to God Truth!
And, of course, this image is for all my kinfolk in the Show-Me-State
Now, I had noticed the disc brakes on the rear of that wagon while checking out the undercarriage of it and captured this image of one of them.  It was of interest to me as I knew this 1903 Studebaker wagon did not possess disc brakes when constructed.  I asked one of the horse dudes about them and he told us the Federal Department of Transportation required their installation back in the '60's.  So they were retrofitted.  He commented that there is no way those brakes could stop this nearly 8,000 pound wagon, even up hill.  "The best brakes this wagon has is the 34,000 pounds of horseflesh up front." He also added the FDOT later wanted them to install brake lights on this wagon only used in parades.  Well Counters, it apparently took a court case initiated by the same guy who b*tched about the horseshoes to get the kabosch on those brake lights.  Hey Government, take a step back sometimes, will ya?
Sooo anyway, sorry about that.  I thought it was cool that when the yoke (I think it is called) is removed from those big o horses, the guys just tucks it over his head and carries it into that transporter.
And check out how tightly this draft horses are tethered
into place in those specially built trailers.
And I am not sure what those specially built stainless steel stands cost but one of the horse dudes commented it sure is a lot easier to wipe down all of the wood components of that harness system.

Just as a side note, this olelongrooffan can hear, from 1,200 miles away, thehorsefarmer, thebarngoddess, sharkangel, The Little Princess, and, mostly likely, beautiful niece Sara correctly naming every piece of this harness system and silently scolding this olelongrooffan for not having that knowledge.
But, possessing the true four wheeled fan passion that this olelongrooffan possesses, I had been wondering all along where the wagon was transported and how it was loaded?

Well Counters, after the first six members of that World Famous Team were disconnected from that harness, the remaining two members toted that wagon around to the rear of the transporter that carried all of the harness gear.  They were then disconnected and disrobed, if you will and led to one of the other transporters.
The horse dude to the right in the above image lowered that tailgate and

that long drawbar was replaced with a much shorter one.  While that pristine condition long one is used for equine steering, this then installed short one is used for human steering.
They then connected a cable inspired by an electric winch to inspire that wagon...hey one of those?
into the rear of transporter number three.

And there is it all settled into its travelling spot with those leftover boxes of Budweiser beads sitting on the floor just underneath those stainless stands and between the rear wheel chocks.
And that horsesh*t gathering golf cart goes in the side door of that transporter.
And then like a great dream ending,
those Clydesdale transporting transporters were gone and off to another adventure in advertising.

And know this, Counters, this olelongrooffan, today, was really able to

Celebrate Life.

1 comment:

Horse-farmer said...

In fact I do have one of those winches to pull the stagecoach onto it's trailer.

Hames.... Hames are the silver things that go around the collar.

Good post, that team is a wonder to behold. And training is perfect.
thanks tom lee