Subject: Finishers Wander 10 - Weatogue, Connecticut
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2004 19:35:06 -0700
A man was admiring the bike as I went about my morning packing routine.
In the small world department, his brother also rides BMWs and recently moved
to a town only a dozen miles from my home. I gave him information for his
brother to consider about the local motorcycle clubs. Then in discussing my
trip he asked, "Couldn't find anyone to ride with you?" Spoken like a true
There are bikers and there are riders. Bikers have to ride with someone because their purpose is to be different ... just like everybody else who is different like them. They flock. Riders sometimes ride with someone, but they each ride their own ride. The longer the distance the rider is interested in, the less likely it will be with a co-rider. Distance riders don't flock, they fly. They gather when the flying is done.
It is very difficult to find someone with a compatible riding style when the trip will cover multiple days, and especially multiple adversities. You can adapt relatively well when the ride is a day long, but when you expect to be across the continent in 4 or 3 or 2 days (yes, it is possible in under 50 hours - many have done it) then you can not afford the time or the attention to adapt.
I myself do not like to ride distance with someone else - it is too much work unless that person has the same habits: saddle time, road speed, stop breaks, food needs, shopping/tourist/visiting vs. riding/riding/riding. For example, I do not eat lunch. That usually means no stop except for gas until motel time. No museums, no sightseeing, no feet up on the beach wall. I ride.
So, my answer to the man in the morning was: "I didn't look for one".
Mama often told me: if you can't say something nice, don't say anything.
Well, I spent most of the day riding through the cities of Wilmington,
Philadelphia, Newark, and New York ... so I have nothing to say.
Had it not been Sunday, I would have stopped at Lepore's Hand Made Chocolates in Hoboken. With a name like that, they have to be good. But even never expecting to find myself in New Jersey again, I had to pass.
I did, however, notice the trees north of mid-Delaware don't know it is spring. Yet from just above Philly, the forsythia are rampant in bloom. Entire hillsides are shocking yellow where the backdrop tree line is winter gray. It makes an odd juxtaposition where the eye, enticed by the yellow, looks for burgeoning life and finds only stillness in the trees.
Last week when my ABS went bad I put out a wanted ad on the Internet BMW
Riders marketplace. The units are fairly rare so I thought it would take a
while. Got a quick answer from Richard, and after exchanging a few emails
found his home was only about 30 miles off my planned path through New York.
With arrangements made to meet him later, I had an hour to kill. It has been 23 years since I lived in Poughkeepsie. Thinking about the roads, I could not remember how to get cross town from the east to the old house. So I just went on autopilot and found the way by thinking about something else, letting the subtle "turn here" markers work that you use every day when you know the route and are, of course, thinking about something else. Amazing how that stuff hides in the vast empty resources of the brain. Then I sat for a few minutes in front of Building 706, remembering. The thought I left with was - be careful what you ask for, you might get it.
Unfortunately, Richard's ABS unit did not work in my bike (different version), so I am still blinky blinky. And now off through the rolling rocky hills of western Connecticut to spend a night with relatives. (Actually just an excuse to meet the new dog Scout.) Maybe it is because I am from this area, but northwestern CT has just about the perfect mix of town and country, farm and field, mountain and river, and scenic history. It is so lovely ... if it wasn't so damn cold!
Georgetown US13 I495 I95 US1 Garden State, US22 I78
Holland Tunnel, Houston St, FDR Drive, Willis Ave, I87
Sprain Brook, Taconic, US44 NY343 CT4 US202 Weatogue
Sam Lepore, San Francisco