Dear Mr. Riepe:
I hope the BMW rally was kind to you and you survived in living colour. I would have made it to the rally this year, as it was really quite close; but my other commitments were just a bitch, especially when you plan like I do, which is much the same as a dog... Yell "Squirrel," and I'm off in another direction. This drives my wife insane.
We made it back from Atlanticade, which was quite a caper. It's the first time that our group ever had the Mounties pay us a visit: eight of them no less, plus a twenty-year-old security guard who had obviously chosen the wrong career path.
It was close to 11 pm and we were sitting around the fire pits of the gorgeous Fairmont Algonquin Hotel of St. Andrews. Our group was essentially the core sponsors of the rally, which usually dumps about $5 to $8 million (Canadian) into the local economy every year. The average age was about 103, so it wasn’t what I'd call a tawdry affair. The loudest noise may have come from some squeaky hearing aids. However, the hotel’s security guard, who I’m sure had been reared by some religious cult to think that motorcyclists are the Lord's bane, demanded that we leave, mumbling something about a local ordinance, which he could neither recite nor produce.
Above) These are exactly the kind of police who would strike terror in the hearts of BMW "R" Bike-Riding Extremists... It is no coincidence that many BMW "R" bike riders wear these same pants, either out on the road or just relaxing in the garage. Photo from Wikipedia.
Well, getting folks who are quite comfortable and are enjoying the evening to snap to the order of the hotel’s adolescent commando is much like moving Stonehenge three metres east. The general response was, “Fuck off and bring us some more wood… Please.” Even though we offered typical Canadian politeness, the little bastard came back with enough Mounties to perform the R.C.M.P. Battle Charge.
Then things got cute.
My brother, 72, offered a beer to one of the coppers. Alan (one L please), 82, recited a Robert Service poem about the Royal Mounted Police and the shooting of Dan Mcgrew (which was very dramatic). All of the girls wanted to see the ordinance. (One was a golf writer from N.Y.) That's when things generally degraded into a slow motion, good natured brawl. Everyone eventually toddled off, and then I’m pretty sure the Mounties then beat the shit out of the security guard and the hotel manager, just on principle.
That was one day before I hit the deer.
I rather enjoy deer, from a distance. I’ve clobbered my fair share, but never before on a bike. My wife was riding her 650 GS and like a good person, was behind me by about three miles. I was noodling along at about 50 mph when this monster reached out and touched me. I was riding my Teutonic Pig, an 07’ 1200 GS Adventure, which at the time was wearing full knobs — which I didn’t think would offer me the kind of braking power they did. (I must send Metzler a thank you note.) I nailed every bit of brake that I had, with the anti-locks kicking in, and I was able to move about three inches to the left, which I’m sure saved my bacon. The upper crash bar impacted with the doe’s hind leg, and according to my wife, sent it into quite the speed wobble. The bike took a major shudder, but everything remained upright. I coasted over to the side of the road, trying to get my heart rate down to below 4000 rpm. I was actually more worried about my wife. Where there’s one deer, there’s usually three. So I was watching the rear views hoping that no more furry things charged out of the ditch.
Above) Stuart Seaton, columnist for Motorcycle Mojo Magazine (Canada), and deer sushi chef.
Total damage: zip, zero, nada, with the exception that my right side was covered in deer snot. Well, I think it was snot. I wasn’t really taking a running account out of what orifice was spewing what. It was a good plastering though. By the time I hit the border it had hardened into some sort of science project and is now ensconced within the fabric of my Motorrad pants. It’s probably liquid deer pheromone that will forever attract coyotes, wolves and other unwanted beasts. I noticed that it made my old Labrador positively curious, which I thought interesting as she’s so old that she barks in sign language.
All in all, t’was a fun trip. Hope yours was as fun (minus deer snot and cops).
©Copyright Stuart Seaton 2011