Yet at age 19, at the alleged peak of my potential as a casual and willing sperm donor, I was fairly convinced that I didn’t have any existing character traits that identified me as preferred breeding stock. The painful truth was that most women I met back then seemed to instantly know that they were never going to have sex with me — throughout their entire lives. Reversing these conclusions became a painful preoccupation with me.
A careful study of other men, who routinely got their horn honked by blonde bar hotties, revealed they:
a) wore animal hides;
b) had a body mass that was 120% muscle
c) had 98% of that body mass covered by tattoos
d) largely communicated by grunting and eye contact
e) bought their footwear in a shop that once supplied Storm Troopers
f) rode motorcycles
After a brief consultation with an unscrupulous Japanese motorcycle dealer (who may have been the King of the Gypsies), I came away secure in the knowledge that if you took care of the last point, all of the others would come gradually. So I put my faith in Japanese cutting-edge technology of the time and bought a green two-wheeled powerhouse with a two-stroke engine modeled after a three-cylinder nuclear reactor. To put a real curse on things, I also bought two candy-apple green metallic helmets too.
Now I did this in an era when the preferred color of a motorcycle was “black;” when the preferred color of a motorcycle helmet was “black;” and when the preferred sound of a motorcycle was distant thunder (but if sound had a color, it would have been black too). I left the dealer’s like a cheap Las Vegas act called “The Flying Unfuckable Douche.” Some men can go through life secure in the knowledge that they are setting trends. I just made impulsively questionable decisions.
But a motorcycle is a motorcycle... And nearly all can function as talismans. Despite its stupid color, its wretched sound, and marginal handling (read “dangerous”), the Kawasaki was fast, somewhat loud, and to the point — it always started. This was not something riders of more popular two-wheeled sex generators could always say. In fact, many were the occasions when their pillion candy sat at curbside, smoking a Marlboro, while these clowns jumped up and down on kick starters that barely produced a series of dull thuds.
Every man has something to help guarantee the propagation of the species. Some guys have muscles... Other guys have great tans... I have the “Battered Baby Seal” look, and a line of bullshit like the extended runway at Newark Airport. My motorcycle, the Kawasaki, gave me enough of a sense of identity to sit at some dangerous thug bars in Jersey City, and peddle my shit with confidence.
Since I couldn’t really grunt with authority... And since my riding leathers were nothing more than a WWII army fatigue jacket... And since my footwear came from the boot department at Sears... And since I drank Irish whiskey straight (the drinking age in New Jersey then was 18)... And since I smoked a cigar (really odd for a kid my age)... I emerged as that rare individual — the “original.” And as an “original,” I told stories. And when “Angie” turned up at the bar one night, I watched her from the corner of my eye, and told a story or two an octave or so higher, and got everyone around me laughing. And I did this keeping a straight face, without cracking a smile myself, carefully watching her reaction.
I did this three of four times over a two week interval, until the evening came when she was suddenly standing next to me. I had just peeled off a pretty good story about something that had happened to my pal “Cretin” (a personality well-known to the inmates of this saloon and to my dedicated readers), when she looked me right in the eye and asked, “Want to buy me a drink?”
“Is this a trick question?” I asked in reply, gesturing to Vinnie the bartender to refill her glass.
“You’re really a funny guy,” she said. “Can you say something funny now?”
Naturally, I couldn’t.
So I tried grunting with purpose and gave her a point blank blast of the “Battered Baby Seal” look for good measure. For those just tuning in to Twisted Roads for the first time, I have discovered that by manipulating my smile to the side a bit, while maneuvering my eyes downward, I can assume the facial properties of a battered baby seal. These are harp seal pups that are mercilessly beaten into mittens, hats, and fur collars for coats by highly-sophisticated Canadians, who never miss an opportunity to criticize their gun-toting neighbors to the south. The sympathy element this gets from women is unbelievable.
Angie touched my cheek and squealed with delight. “I love it when you make that face,” she said. “You’ve been making it at me all week.”
I clutched my helmet under my arm and played my trump card. Smiling, I told her it had been a real pleasure but that I had to go... Something about an early fall ride I did every year... Up the Palisades Interstate Parkway in the dark... To the Bear Mountain Inn, where I’d spend the weekend. I explained how I would ride around the upper Hudson Valley, over the next day or so, taking in the last warm weekend of the season.
“You’re leaving now?” she asked.
“Can I come?” she asked.
I said nothing for a full four or five seconds, but looked into her eyes, commanding every muscle in my face and groin to remain frozen.
“Okay,” I said.
Angie slipped into that other stupid, metallic-green helmet I had, and climbed on the back of the H2. Our first stop was her place. Her neighborhood was in one of Jersey City’s seedier parts of the “Heights,” where some of the streets still ended in cobblestones and abandoned factories. She was in and out in 5 minutes, without having gained anything in apparent baggage. (Angie’d grabbed a couple of changes of panties and her toothbrush; all of which were jammed into her purse.)
I kicked the Kawasaki into a growl and we headed north.
The first 15 or 20 miles were the northern end of Hudson County and the eastern end of Bergen County, NJ. I skirted a half-dozen communities that were simply a continuation of city streets (the primary difference being the flat roofs of the blue-collar middle class gradually yielding to the peaked roofs of the more affluent Bergen County residents) by taking Kennedy Boulevard to US-1. The Palisades Interstate Parkway starts (or ends) at the George Washington Bridge, and runs along the cliff tops on the west side of the Hudson River. The road is recessed from the cliff tops so the spectacular views cannot be seen from the highway. This is just as well as the PIP was engineered and built in the ‘30s, when the average speed of a car was 45 miles per hour. The entrances and exits for this major artery are still about 25-feet long... But traffic routinely rockets around at 70 mph now. The fatalities would be staggering if motorists could be distracted by the view.
The Kawasaki ran as well as it ever did that night, with the speedo pegged around 75 mph. It was past 10 o’clock and the night air was cool for the denim jacket and jeans she was wearing. I could feel her tits on my back as she inched herself into me for warmth. I pulled over to get her a sweatshirt from the pack I had on my sissy bar, as soon as I could see a gravel-free spot on the shoulder. (The shoulder used to be grass on the Palisades Interstate Parkway and I’d be damned if I’d pull onto that in the dark.)
“I have to pee,” she said, skipping outside the headlamp’s cone of illumination. “Don’t look.”
For once, I didn’t. What was the point? I’d be seeing her sugar scoop up close in less than an hour.
The focal point of Bear Mountain State Park (in the town of the same name), the Bear Mountain Inn, was 65-miles to the north. This imposing log and fieldstone structure is six stories tall, and was built of native materials as a works project in the height of The Great Depression. (I mean the Great Depression of the 1930’s... Not the current one.) The place housed three mediocre restaurants, a really mediocre state park-administered hotel, and the coolest bar in the Hudson Valley. “The Cub Room” was centered around a stone fireplace that could accommodate logs 18 inches in diameter and six feet long. The andirons were cast iron cub bears four feet tall. Above the fireplace was a four-foot by eight-foot oil painting that depicted an old man with a beard waking up in a field... And in blending in with the borders of the artwork were scenes depicting the entire story of Rip Va Winkle, by Washington Irving.
It was a Saturday night, and only the locals were drinking in the Cub Room that night. We’d pulled in, checked in, and still made last call. Checking in had been a trip. I was nineteen, and assumed she was about the same. The desk clerk looked at me like I was stealing something... But in the end the guy flipped me the key with a fast look at my driver’s license.
We had a couple of snorts at the bar (18 was the age for drinking in New York that year too), then called it a night. The Bear Mountain Inn was alleged to have been renovated a few times, but the designer must have trained at the Turkish Penal system. The rooms were small, spartan, and fully reminiscent of the Depression. But they were clean and warm. In fact, the first thing I did was to turn up the thermostat. (This can assist in making a blanket superfluous.)
I tossed my gear on the floor, unlaced my boots, and stretched out on the bed. There is something about watching a woman take off her clothes for the first time that still utterly fascinates me. I was certainly mesmerized that night. She took off her earrings, washed her face, and brushed her teeth. She took off her blouse and undid her bra with a single hook in the front.
Her breasts were the size of grapefruit with dark brown nipples... And like all nineteen year old breasts (that I can remember) were perfect, especially as they were aimed at me. She stepped out of thong panties, revealing a dark swirl of pubic hair, and laid down alongside me, with her head on my shoulder.
She put her fingertips under the tops of my jeans and said, “Don’t I get a peek?”
Once again, I grunted. (I had no choice at this point in time as I had swallowed my own tongue.)
And so began one of the most incredible nights — and there would be two of them this weekend — that I ever had on a motorcycle. Yet nothing is ever really perfect. Ninety minutes later, I felt like a spent shell fired by distant artillery, when this naked beauty nuzzled my neck and said, “Say something funny.”
The god of Motorcycle Cool giveth... And the god of Motorcycle Cool taketh away.
Twisted Roads Readers — How would you like to see the final version of Jack Riepe's new motorcycle book? As a traditional paperback? Or as an e-book? Please take the poll on the upper right hand column of this blog page. The book, The Biker's Guide To Eternal Youth and Jackhammer Sex, will be out next year.
Jack Riepe's Farewell To Pennsylvania Ride...
Saturday, October 15th, 8am
The Frazer Diner
US-30 (Westbound) Frazer, PA
Just west of RT. 401 and US-30
Saturday, October 15th, 8am
The Frazer Diner
US-30 (Westbound) Frazer, PA
Just west of RT. 401 and US-30
• Plans for Jack Riepe's "Farewell To Pennsylvania" Ride are in the final stage. The 6-day advance weather forecast is slated to be "partly sunny" with temperatures an ideal 66º (F).
• The ride is slated to begin at the Frazer Diner, on US-30, in Frazer, Pa (Westbound), with breakfast at 8am. It's "Kickstands Up" at 9am, with a 60-mile ride through rural Pennsylvania, To Port Clinton, Pa, where a hot German, Oktoberfest, lunch will be served to all who participate.
• Ride your own ride, or stick with one or two other riders...
• The Oktoberfest Lunch — with door prizes — will be provided by Hermy's BMW and Triumph.
• Riepe is leaving Pennsylvania as part of a strategic retreat, following the equivalent of his third divorce. (The man is a tower of strength, or something.)
If you are planning to attend: Please drop us a line so we know to look or wait for you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
©Copyright Jack Riepe 2011