Subject: Wanderlust 11 - Thornton, New Hampshire
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 06:33:07 -0700
Wanderlust 11 - Thornton, New Hampshire
He leans forward from inside the computer and raps on the glass of the display monitor ... tap, tap, tap. "Hellooooo. You still there?" :)
"The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead
of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are."
- Samuel Johnson, American Philosopher, 1696-1772
Ah, yes. 'Tis I again. After a few days of down time, it certainly is good to be back in the saddle again.
Cue the music (the kind Terry hates) ...
I'm back in the saddle again,
Out where a friend is a friend,
Riding all day just to pass the time away,
I'm back in the saddle again.
This segment isn't so much about travel as it is catching up from a weekend campout, and a chance to drop a few names.
Well I have just had the most wonderful couple of days with the wilds of New England. I mean, _in_ the wilds of New England, although some of these folks certainly are wild in their own way. As you may know, the middle of June is Bike Week in Laconia, New Hampshire. The AMA national championship races are held on Sunday, and the motomania national extremism is held for the week proceeding. I am not much of a race fan, but it is enlightening and frightening to witness the subculture event that surrounds the races. Many readers will know about this, having been to Daytona for the similar spring bike week, but it is still quite a sight. My imagination is sufficiently regulated now, thank you.
Part of my purpose in aiming for Maine was to pass through this area and meet someone I'd been corresponding with for a year - President Judy, who is MSF, EMT, ARR, and lots of other letters. For most of the weekend I was riding in the fractiously friendly company of a group of MOOVers, led by WunderBud, the long distance wrench, and his trusty pillion Sue. (For the non-riders, 'pillion' is a motorcycle word you won't find in most dictionaries. No, I didn't just call her a lozenge. :) You just have to admire anyone who tours two-up fully packed on a K1! There was also everybody's little brother Steve, and the other (unrelated) Steve who claims they are twin brothers by different mothers. Then there was Laydown Layton (don't ask!) and finally President Dean who is partial to power slides. My kind of riders all ... just strange enough to like being together even if they're not sure where they're going. Proud to be self-made principals of the Anti-Destination League.
Although I previously referenced the Motorcycle Owners of Vermont, the happy crew which took me in is a combination of two clubs - that and the Yankee Beemers. In fact it seems that almost everyone is a member of both, and the clubs participate in each other's events in such interdisciplinary bliss it would make the mothers of twins blush. One shall-remain-unnamed said of both clubs "They may be better riders in the twisties, but we ride farther for better food." Isn't rivalry with oneself fun?
The gathering was at the Pemigewassat River only a few miles south of Woodstock and the state symbol of New Hampshire, the Old Man in the Mountain. This actually was almost a mini Internet BMW gathering. There were so many Presidents wandering about (every member of the IBMWR is President of the club) that I should have thought of reserving the official banner. On second thought ... it was weird enough already.
Probably missing some names, I tried to remember all those I met even before getting off the bike. There was Phactory Phil, DC Mike on the red and gold bike, Reid from Manhattan, the evil punster himself Yankee Dave, the rest of the Sled Dog Touring Team, even Cy came down to say hi. A warm welcome from all - who at one time or another unanimously agreed that I didn't look at all like what they pictured. ? Duh. Since I never described myself how would they know? Anyway, the Internet wins again. Meeting old friends for the first time is a unique experience.
A little later I was cowed in the presence of Der Heiffermeister Ted. What I mean is I was honored with 'cows', not 'cowering' - although I could see how some would do that. Ted is big. Ted is also the enterprising one who thought to emblazon the MOOVer's namesake in Scotchlite colored tape which is almost invisible in daylight and reflects brilliantly at night. I now have a herd of 'stealth cows' and even negative stealth cows (silhouettes) riding on my tail. Either I am going to be safer at night for being seen ... or I am more likely to have a personal bovine encounter. We shall see.
Some technotalk. As I arrived in Vermont, the K bike passed 24,000 miles which is a major maintenance service point. I called ahead for a 'travelers visit' with Frank's Motorcycles in Essex. They were able to take me in and do the 5 hours work for which I thank them. The cuddleable curmudgeon owner Lester did his best to be gruff, but he does have an image to uphold. He and Kenyon are as entertaining as they are talented, and I recommend a visit. Alas, the bike which I expected to be perfect needed an unscheduled part. The clutch cable was sticking and had to be replaced.
The bike finally feels like it is broken in. The engine is running smoother now after continuous days on the road, it stopped using any oil at all between changes, and on the back roads I am getting over 50 mpg.
No FuelPlus statistics today because it was not a destination day, but several people have said they are following my trip on a map and would like to know the routes I take. So from now on I will end with the routes ridden since the last report.
Long Lake NY28N NY8 NY9 NY74 NY9N VT17 VT100 VT100B VT2
Montpelier US302 VT25 VT10 VT112 US3 Thornton
Have Bike, Will Travel
Wire: Sam Lepore, San Francisco
88 R100RT and 95 K75RT