Friday, September 30, 2011


The greatest holiday on the German Calendar — Oktoberfest — has found its way from Munich to Port Clinton, Pa. On Saturday, October 15, 2011, Herman Baver, of Hermy’s BMW and Triumph will symbolically slice into a knockwurst, officially welcoming this great German tradition to one of the oldest, and most respected, BMW and Triumph motorcycle dealerships in the state (since 1963).

“When one German sausage is sliced, they all go,” said Baver. “The team at Hermy’s BMW and Triumph is celebrating the arrival of crisp riding days, color in the trees, and kind of good company you can only find among your riding buddies. And the celebration will start with a hot German lunch right here.”

Above) Herman Baver will be slicing sausages and cutting prices during the Oktoberfest Celebration, At Hermy's BMW and Triumph, on October 15, 2011. Photo by Leslie Marsh

A broad selection of traditional German sausages and other Bavarian specialties will greet riders coming in to mark the change of season. Soft drinks will also be provided, although there are two fine public houses (where dinner can also be had at the end of the day) close at hand.

“Sausages won’t be the only thing being sliced,” said Baver. “We are cutting prices on hard-to-find fall riding gear and accessories that will often beat online sales, even without taking the shipping charges into consideration.” He added that there is no greater satisfaction than spending an afternoon in a bike shop, being able to personally inspect the gear you want, and then to ride home with it. A more complete listing of the sales item will be available here (and on Twisted Roads) early next week. “We intent to make this a great day for anyone riding in from New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland too.”

Above) Hermy's BMW and Triumph has been serving eastern Pennsylvania on Route 61, in Port Clinton, since 1963. Photo by Leslie Marsh.

Dozens of door prizes — ranging from the sublime to the usual — will be awarded throughout the day. More than a few surprises are planned for those who hang around towards the end of the event, with some on-the-spot price reductions good for 15- or 20-minute intervals.

Hermy’s Oktoberfest will commence on 9am, on October 15, 2011, and run through 4pm. “I can’t think of a better way to mark the beginning of the fall,” said Baver, “then by starting the day with a glorious fall ride under your belt, and then downing a few sausages before winning a prize.”

Above) The Hermy's line-up includes the new K1600, the S1000RR, the F800, and a full compliment of "R" bikes — all price to go. Photo by Leslie Marsh.

Guests of honor at this event will include some of the most sophisticated motorcycles and retro bikes on the planet, each at a price to entice.

Hermy’s BMW and Triumph is located at Route 61 (Southbound), Port Clinton, PA 19549-0065 (less than two miles north of the intersection of Rt. 61 and I-78, in Hamburg, Pa.) For more information about the Oktoberfest at Hermy’s BMW and Triumph, call 610-562--7303; or go to:

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Motorcycle Batteries and Nipple Connections...

My self-imposed writer’s exile in a “rustic” cabin at Elk Neck State Park was in it’s fourth day, when the Saturday morning calm was shattered by the roar of BMW “R” bikes. (An opening sentence should be crafted to introduce intrigue and to set a story’s action, as well as to pique the reader’s interest. And some license may be taken by literary experts, such as myself. But anyone familiar with the “washing machine sounds” made by BMW “R” bikes has already had difficulty swallowing the word “roar.” I beg the reader’s pardon.)

Perhaps I should begin again.

My self-imposed writer’s exile in a “rustic” cabin at Elk Neck State Park was in it’s fourth day, when the Saturday morning calm was shattered by the fart-like growl of approaching German motorcycles. Few machines make a noise like they’re running on pumpernickel and limburger cheese, and had I been rustling a newspaper, or frying bacon, I never would have heard them.

“Hmmmmmmmm... That sounds like BMW ‘R’ bikes,” I thought.

The heavy morning mist divided to reveal three classic examples of BMW engineering, riding in a tight formation — according to rank. (Remember the German thing.) In the lead was one of the premier cardiologists and heart specialists of the Philadelphia area, Dr. Peter Frechie, mounted on a classic 1976 BMW R90 S. He was followed by Gerry Cavanaugh, a retired Nixon-era CIA operative, mounted on a fire-engine red 2004 BMW GS 1150. Bringing up the rear was Dick Bregstein, a retired historian dedicated to the preservation of Coney Island hot dogs, on a silver-gray 2000 BMW “R1150R.”

Above) Dick Bregstein, "just another day at work." Photo by Mike Cantwell.

They pulled up to the cabin, swung the bikes around in unison, and chased the spiders off the front of the historic hovel with a blast (such as it was) of “R” Bike exhaust. Then the leader, Frechie, barked the order, “Unmount!” They did so like leather and ballistic-clad chorus line dancers from hell. The cabin, built by Maryland’s Declaration of Independence signer Charles Carroll, and modernized four score and seven years afterward by Lincoln, failed to impress “The Cadre,” as they now refer to themselves.

Above) Not only are the cabins at Elk Neck State Park "Rustic," but the one I stayed in was a kind of petting zoo as well. Rare "Chesapeake Jumping Mice" (capable of leaping six feet at a shot) were breeding in the kitchen, while a huge spider named "Duane," would wake me by dragging my Harley Davidson chain wallet across the floor — still attached to my Kevlar riding pants. Photo by Pete Buchheit.

They refused to come in, and demanded that I come out immediately. Later, Peter Frechie would say the cabin was only suited for squaters and mice. (It was actually loaded with mice that I was training to type and take dictation for crumbs, the current wage of the moto writer.) Bregstein picked up a stick and began poking spider webs by the door, until he succeeded in aggravating a specimen that hissed and arched its back like a feral cat.

“What literature of significance have you written living in this pile of firewood and shingles?” queried Frechie, in a manner that may have intimidated lesser men.

I began to read from my laptop: “I’m having a problem getting this spark plug out of my Sportster,” said the tanned, blond co-ed in the tight halter top, biting her lower lip. “Do you have the tool for the job?” The BMW “K” bike rider answered her question by pointing to a huge, throbbing mass in the center of his jeans. “I have the perfect tool for any job,” he replied.

“You’ve been here four days and all you’ve written is moto-porn in which you have the staring role?” asked Frechie.

I nodded once in sullen defiance.

“We got here just in time,” said Cavanaugh.

“I want to hear the rest of the story,” said Bregstein. “And I hope the details are accurate. For example, is the tool metric or SAE? How could a “K” bike rider have a tool to fit a Harley Sportster?”

Cavanaugh smacked Bregstein in the back of the head, and “The Cadre” ordered me to join them for breakfast, seven miles away in the town of “North East,” Maryland. The boys mounted up again, and then the hand of God came down to smite the proud and the sinful.

Above) "Cadre" members Peter Frechie (left) and Gerry Cavanaugh demonstrate their group's new "salute." Photo by the author.

Frechie’s flawless “R90S,” which is lovingly maintained by the same folks who take care of the Mona Lisa, barked once like a gecko (lizard), and fizzled like a damp fuse, when he pressed the starter button. To a group of BMW riders, there is nothing like having one in their number get the raspberries when the starter is pressed, as it implies either stupidity or having a small dick. Cavanaugh and Bregstein exchanged a look of bemusement which spoke volumes.

The source of many such looks for others, Frechie simply grunted, rolled the bike a few feet, and hit the starter again. The bike hesitated and caught, as if the starter were its testicles and the doctor had taken them in hand and demanded it to cough.

The seven miles from Elk Neck State Park to the cute little town of North East, Maryland is a delightfully fast run through some forested spots, some fields, and some tiny communities with churches that would seem comforting to author H.P. Lovecraft. Frechie was behind me, and I thought his headlight looked as dim as the latest economic news out of Washington. I led “The Cadre” to a great little diner in the heart of town, where there is always ample parking for bikes, in the odd little corners where a car will not fit.

The 1976 “R90 S” is the iconic BMW motorcycle. Years ahead of its time, it came with a powerful boxer engine, full instrumentation (including a voltmeter), electric starter and amenities like a hand-operated air pump (with a full tool kit) under the seat. Frechie, whose other bike is an MV Augusta, does not treat this machine like it was a museum piece. He routinely rockets around between 85 and 90 miles per hour.

“This machine is in every respect a modern motorcycle,” said Frechie, “not withstanding it is 35 years old. It gives a much better and more comfortable ride than the Augusta, which is really geared for the track.”

Yet on this day, Frechie’s brow was furrowed.

“The voltmeter is reading 3 volts,” he said. “Do you think this bike could have a three-volt system?”

“A can of peaches has higher voltage than that,” said Cavanaugh. “Let’s deal with it after breakfast.”

The waitress, who’d been married to the same man for 22 years and who’s been trying to kill him for at least 15 of those, gave us a great window table, where we could see a dark cloud forming over Frechie’s bike.

“That can’t be good,” said Bregstein.

“I don’t believe in omens,” said Frechie.

At that moment, a low-flying crow dropped a lifeless, black kitten on the seat of the R90S.

We all had the breakfast special, which included a meat by-product, called “scrapple,” from neighboring Pennsylvania. Scrapple is a fried slab of pork snouts, ears, tails, and eye-lids, flavored with a mild sausage spice, bound together with less appetizing fillers, and served in a dog’s bowl. It is a rite of manhood to eat it, and then smack your lips (with an old fly swatter).

A man and a woman at the next table joined in our conversation. They looked like a sailing couple, wearing Docksiders, and caps with a maritime air about them. The old guy was deaf, and he appeared to be reading Frechie’s lips. Peter had just said, “I guess I am going to be late getting home.” And the “captain,” (as I called him) started to jump up and down in his seat, laughing. His wife leaned over and shouted, “He said ‘late,’ not ‘laid.’”

Twenty-five minutes later, the cadre bent over the exposed battery of the R90S.

My first thought was the obvious one, that the battery had crapped out. In response to my question as to the age of the battery, Frechie shrugged, and stated it was almost new. He had bought it the year NASA launched the Hubble Telescope.

Cavanaugh got the battery out, and noticed it had vacuum tubes in it, and was stamped, “Experimental: Edison Labs/Menlo Park, NJ.”

The boys tried jumping the R90S from the GS 1150. If any current model BMW has a fault, it’s that the bikes are built around the batteries and you need Gandalf’s staff to get to the terminals. But Gerry Cavanaugh’s GS is different. He knew he might be riding over gravel stretches as long as 60 feet, and installed auxiliary terminals, accessible without pulling off the body work, to accommodate contingencies such as these.

He made the connections to the GS and handed the cable ends to Frechie, not realizing the doctor has extremely limited mechanical experience, and thought they worked like a defibrillator. Frechie attached them to his nipples, held the battery with his fingers, and yelled, “Clear.”

Above) Thinking a "jump start" was similar to using a defibrilllator, Frechie hooked the cable grips up to his nipples... Photo by the author.

Gerry cranked the bike and Frechie learned something about the more effective interrogation means of South American police institutions. Another attempt, with the cables connected directly connected to the posts, indicated a new battery was in order.

Above) After yelling "Clear," Frechie understood the success of police interrogations in select areas of South America. Photo by the author's Droid Incredible.

“Where the hell are we going to find a battery that will fit a 35-year-old BMW in a place like this,” said Frechie.

North East, Maryland, at the head of Chesapeake Bay, has more than it’s fair share of wealthy boating enthusiasts. “The Cadre” found a marina catering to the maintenance of 1932 Chris Craft boats, one model of which requires a battery that perfectly matches the one in the R90S. Peter bought the boat, pulled the battery out of it, and gave the 23-foot, mahogany speedster to some kid on the street.

“Here, take this and get the fuck out of here,” he told the kid.

The R90S started right up, and “The Cadre” set off for home. Frechie would be an hour into the trip before noticing that the voltmeter was again reading low. Suspect next was the alternator, though the real culprit would be another link in the electrical chain. Some printed circuit, or something, had given up the ghost, and another could be hand-crafted — but only using one of the jewels from the Pope’s tiara.

Frechie bought the tiara, removed the jewel, and tossed the rest of it to some kid on the street. He said... Well, you guessed it.

Twisted Roads Exclusive:
• Jack Riepe's "Farewell To Pennsylvania Ride" will meet at the Frazer Diner (Westbound US-30, Frazer, Pa, about a quarter mile west of Rt. 4o1 and US-30) at 8am, for breakfast, on Saturday, October 15th, 2011.
• It's kickstands up at 9am, for an exilerating ride through parts of Pennsylvania settled by Hessian deserters, to an authentic German Oktoberfest celebration at Hermy's BMW and Triumph, in Port Clinton, Pa.

• German Sausages an Bavarian Specialties For All Who Make The Ride!

* Riepe's departure signifies yet another woman coming to her senses...

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dispatches From The Front...

The “Dispatches From The Front” episodes of “Twisted Roads” deal with open correspondence to the author, bits and pieces of stories not yet published, real endings to stories that were published in sanitized hardcopy venues, interesting pictures that haven’t yet made it into print, and ride announcements. Deeply personal questions regarding relationships or those of a sexual nature are handled by our experts in a manner which you would expect.

Previously Unanswered Correspondence From Readers

Dear Twisted Roads:

So there I was, recently attending one of those huge motorcycle rallies that spring up like horse-shit mushrooms in the summer. My goal was to find a sizzling piece of pillion candy to make this rally experience the perfect ride. I cruised the vendor tents first. A lot of these vendors have red hot moto-chickistas pushing their stuff at the counter. There was one or two... But you could tell they were with the big guy, opening boxes in the back. Then I attended a few seminars on really important issues, like All The Beer All The Time; Using Old Motorcycle Oil To Seal The Neighbor’s Driveway for $200; and Soap And Water: The Ultimate Foreplay Advantage. Sometimes these seminars are conducted by smokin’ hot women who are looking to find the real alpha male... The guy who asks the most challenging questions. There was a babe with a pointer and some charts in the Soap and Water class, but she was the original model for the army’s clap movie in the Civil War.

I was about to give up, and point my Sportster to another distant glowing spot on the horizon, when I passed a tent in which one of the hottest ladies I have ever seen, stood before the crowd. She was about 35, had long blond hair, and a rack I could have hung my helmet on. Every time she turned, she wagged a red hot ass in my direction, that was starting to percolate my DNA. I was in love... Not the cheap kind of biker love that results in a fast ride to the nearest beach and some naked off-shore drilling. Not this time. I wanted to take her to someplace fancy... A hotel with the little bars of soap on the sink and cups wrapped in plastic.

She was teaching CPR. From outside, I watched her bend over a dummy and blow into a tube. The tube disappeared between her lips, which were as full and pouty as little facial love pillows. I watched her cheeks fill and empty with each deep breath. And then the dummy’s eyes lit up and rang a bell. All I could think of was, I got something that works just like that... Except it is more like a washing machine hose, filled with scrap iron. I was gonna walk in a volunteer for the next class, when I heard her say, “If you see a person collapse on the street, confirm they are breathing and get started. You have only seconds to act.”

That was all I needed to hear. I gave out a large gasp, clutched my chest, and did a swan dive to the dirt, right outside the tent.

She was standing over me in a pinch. The scent of her was amazing. (She may have attended the Soap and Water seminar too.) I had my eyes closed, which I thought was a nice touch, and I heard her say, “Everybody get back. I am a trained professional.” I sensed her making a judgement call, and she added, “I need to see if this man is breathing.” And with that, she kicked me in the balls like she need to score a field goal by knocking my nuts over the Washington Monument.

I started breathing just fine. I breathed through my nose, my mouth, and my ears. I am writing to tell you guys that if you get a chest pain, it’s probably nothing compared to getting revived through CPR.

Fallen Arches, New Mexico

Dear Moose:
Thank you for reading Twisted Roads and for participating in this forum. We felt your comment was especially pertinent to a growing segment of our readers who no longer pass out at biker events without covering their testicles with both hands.

The Editor

Dear Twisted Roads:

I am tired of reading how one out of every three BMW riders is a raging douche. And I am tired of reading that statement here. To prove these statistics false, I have ridden to BMW clubs across the country, collected riders in groups of three, and asked, “So who’s the douche?”

In most cases, these “K” bike riders would simply roll their eyes at each other, and bust out laughing.

I consider myself the typical BMW “R’ bike rider. I have a $70 haircut; wear a one-piece, whale-foreskin “Hindenburg” armored riding suit; have a “Von Cheese Meister” yogurt maker on my handlebars; and head up the “Living Bylaws Committee” for my local club. I am delighted to tell you that your “BMW Rider Douche” statistics are skewed... So are your stories about BMW riders getting laid in parking lots, on the shoulders of the road, and in interstate highway rest areas. That’s another thing that has never happened to me neither.

Jerome Terdly, Jr.
“R” Bike Rider
Chairman Living ByLaws Committee
The New Jersey “R” Bikers Perfection Team — Finderne, NJ

Dear Jerome Terdly:
Thank you for reading Twisted Roads and for participating in this forum. I forwarded your comment to our statistical analysis department for clarification. I am pleased to report that the “BMW Rider Douche Statistics” have now dropped considerably. The new numbers reflect that only one 1 in 4 BMW riders is a raging douche. While this is good news for BMW clubs across the country, it may hold a different significance for you.

The Editor

Dear Twisted Roads:

I wrote to you guys last year, begging for some relationship advice, as my old lady was on the verge of stepping out with some asshole who rode a Yamaha. You said I should attempt to be “more communicative, more understanding, and more willing to give from myself,” which apparently meant taking a lot of shit and waiting for her to come first, which would mean pissing away a whole weekend of riding.

I am writing to tell you I resolved the problem myself.

First of all, there are few arguments that cannot be concluded by simply saying, “Shut the fuck up.” These three words convey a mood... Suggest a course of action... And generate peace in the household. Secondly, despite your bullshit, most woman really do want a high-pressure air compressor for Christmas, with a case of extra oil for it on Valentine’s Day. (I proved that.) And finally, you set a dangerous precedence by letting a woman orgasm first, or at all. My experience is that she’ll never put a second spit shine on the narwhal after that, if you catch my drift.

So I did it my way. Last night, my wife got me raging blasted, humped the hell out of me, and had me tattooed while I was passed out — all for my birthday. She wants me so badly — and all to herself — that she had her initials tattooed on my forehead: Denise Nancy Rugeriota. (I never even knew her middle name was “Nancy.”) Right now, she’s outside doing a brake job on my Harley. (I didn’t know she knew how to do that either.)

You assholes at Twisted Roads aren’t always right.

All my love,
Vinnie Rugeriota
Amish Curse, Pa

Dear Vinnie Rugeriota:
Thank you for reading Twisted Roads and for participating in this forum. Enjoy your next ride. Go fast into all the curves.

The Editor

Dear Twisted Roads:

Something very odd happened here the other night. My girlfriend and I were sitting around the living room, which we often do after going for a rousing Sunday Goldwing ride to the diabetes clinic with our club. She was knitting another coat for the cat, and I was reading a new book I’d purchased. On a whim, I started to read an interesting part of it aloud... It was about a biker, who had just smoked a cigar and who was having the most incredible things happen to him as a consequence.

My girlfriend stopped knitting, and began to wipe my face with the little garment.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Wiping off a more comfortable place for me to sit,” she replied.

This has happened on three occasions now. In fact, it has happened every time I have read aloud from Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists, by Jack Riepe. Have you ever heard of things like this happening before with regard to this book?

Yours Very Truly,
Shandy Gaffer
Tuttlesville, MN — Home of the Lutefisk Martini

Dear Shandy Gaffer:
Thank you for reading Twisted Roads and for participating in this forum. We’ve heard these rumors for years. But here in the bunker, it’s hard to tell what is fact and what is really good fact.

The Editor

For more information on this book, including "How To Order And Save A Fortune In The Process" click here.

Please Take Today's Poll:
Knowing what you do about the riding habits of different marques, what brand of riders would be most likely to pull over and have scorching sex in the bushes?
The poll is on the upper right.

Monday, September 19, 2011

When You Find A Naked Biker Chick In The Living Room...

The ringing phone woke both of us — me, and my hangover. This was one of the two years I had the townhouse on Boulevard East (1975-1976), in Guttenburg, NJ, with a view of midtown Manhattan that could have gotten a cigar store Indian laid. Too bad I wasn’t a cigar store Indian. But if reading the alarm clock had been a test for the right to mate, I’d have failed anyway. I’d consumed my weight in rum earlier that night, and now had eyes that rolled around independently of each other, like those stupid lizards that turn up in the lobbies of first class hotels on the Amazon River.

It took me three attempts to determine it was past one a.m., and by that time the phone had stopped ringing. But the ringing in my head took up where the instrument had left off. I had just resolved to sleep through the cranial carillon, when the phone started again. Only two people would call me at that hour, and both of them was “Cretin.” One was the happy Cretin, who may have found himself with two women hot to trot, but not necessarily in a threesome.

Above) The view of Manhattan from Boulevard East in Weehawken, NJ. This is easily one of the most scenic streets in the world. Photo from Wikipedia.

Cretin’s apartment usually had some great architectural elements, or a view to rival mine. Invariably, however, it was a total shit house, like a flea market in hell that had been targeted by a car-bomb. He’d call me whenever he had dual action he didn’t think could handle the crime scene that was his place. He once brought a hooker back to his house who asked, “Did you bring me here to give you head, or to wash the dishes?” On occasions like these, having a tidy apartment and a toilet that didn’t match the decor of a Turkish prison offered an advantage.

I would have been delighted if it had been the “happy” Cretin.

It was the “disturbed” one though, who was working through the process of a really bad idea by the time he called me. With Cretin, you took the bad ideas with the good ones as the average usually worked out to a damn fine time. Dark forces were already at work, however.

“Reep, do you recognized my voice?” asked the broken glass and dog shit Hudson County accent that could only belong to one person.

“Christine,” I asked. “Is that you?”

“Listen Shit-For-Brains, I’m in a jam and I need help. Are you sober enough to find your dick and put a sock on it?”

The last time I’d heard this line, he’d run up a $800 tab for lap dances in a totally nude juice bar someplace outside of Paterson, NJ.

“You know that corner bar down on Gibbet Street? I need you to ride down here right now on that piece of shit you call a motorcycle, and park around back, behind that saloon. Bring that other stoopid-lookin’ helmet you’ve got too,” said the slightly disturbed Cretin. “And make sure you come up from the side street, and park in the back.”

“I don’t like that place,” I said. “A big ugly guy on a red Harley gave me a hard time there once.”

“That guy is ‘Ass Face’ O’Hanlon,” said Cretin. “And he’s still here here.” This guy was so ugly that a bar floozie once told him he’d look perfectly natural with toilet paper sticking out of his mouth. From that moment on, he was known as “Ass Face.” It was my understanding that everyone — including his mother — called him that.

“I’ll meet you on the corner.”

“Listen Suck-Nuts... I need you to give me a ride... That’s why you have to bring the second helmet... And I need you to pick me up in the alley, behind the bar, with your headlight off. And I need you to get here in 15 minutes, before this shit hole closes.”

“You’re going to ride pillion on my piece-of-shit Kawasaki H2,” I asked? But there was no reply. He was already moving on to “phase two” of what already sounded like a bad idea to me, and I hadn’t left the house yet.

Though cryptic, my instructions seemed simple enough. Cretin wanted me to get dressed, get on my bike, and ride down to a gin mill in Jersey City, where I was to come up on the dark side street, and park around back. (He didn’t really expect me to hang a sock on my dick. That had been a rhetorical question for me to determine if I was conscious enough to handle the bike. This was a favorite expression of his that I did not understand the first time he used it in conversation. So he was not expecting me to answer the door on that occasion, stark naked with a gym sock on my Johnson. Nor was I expecting to see him in the hall with two women. It was to their credit that they stepped in and stayed like this was all perfectly normal — Author’s note.)

The little town of Guttenberg is perched atop the Palisades (cliffs towering 40-stories high, lining the New York City waterfront). I decided the fastest way to get to Jersey City across the checkerboard of towns that make up North Hudson County was to take Boulevard East south, through West New York, Weehawken, Union City, and Hoboken. There was a good deal of traffic on the Boulevard at 1 a.m., as it is a great place to walk and make-out with someone if you are between the ages of 15 and 25. Following the contours of the cliffs, Boulevard East is one curve after another, on perfect pavement, on a tree-lined artery that could be in Paris. Gentle input to the handlebars brought the Kawasaki effortlessly through each curve. Though the speed limit was officially 25 miles per hour, 40 was normal in most places and I hit it.

New York City was spread out on my left... Like Oz, if that mythical place were jeweled towers and glittering canyons. If you got stopped at a light, you could occasionally glance straight up a cross street — like 42nd Street — a mile and a half across the Hudson River. It was late spring, and the cruise ships were in too. I found myself shooting down the hill into Hoboken ten minutes later, where the elegant street dissolved into potholes and was lined by factories (including the old Maxwell House Coffee Roasting Facility and old fruit warehouses). I charged up the 14th Street viaduct (which was falling down then and has hardly improved more than 25 years later), and rolled into Jersey City like a bad rumor. I didn’t frequent the section where I was headed, and never really like the look of it. It was a maze of streets with two and three-story houses, with false peaks and flat roofs, and gray windows that aspired to cheap decorations at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

I worked my way around to the darkened side-street, killed my headlight, and coasted into the alley behind the bar. It was as black as pitch in there, and I ran into two garbage cans that were hosting a convention of cats. “Shit,” I muttered under my breath. “That fuck, Cretin.”

There was a steel door out back that was partially open, leaking a wedge of light. The wedge expanded, revealing Cretin’s face.

“There’s one more can out there... Want to try again and see if you can pick up the spare?”

I don’t like going into strange neighborhood taverns. I like sneaking into them even less. It’s like brushing your teeth with someone elses toilet brush. I had always considered this joint an “old man’s bar,” though I could see that wasn’t exactly the case. There was the standard human wreckage clinging to the stools, and a handful of humanoid shapes at a half-dozen tables concealed by a cigarette smoke screen. “Ass Face” O’Hanlon was sitting at the bar with a woman whose features were primarily canine. All I could think of was, “A dog sniffing another ass.” His right hand was in her jeans.

“Ass Face” was the only living human who'd ever kicked me in the balls. My balls screamed out for vengeance.

There was a smiling Cretin, in the company of a startling pretty woman. This one had a a seductive face, short hair, and a dynamic ass. Her shirt was tightly tucked into her jeans, creating a series of seamless curves from a well-defined rack to a waist I could have encircled with both hands.

“This is Linda,” said Cretin. “Linda Aces High.”

She apparently was.

Under different circumstances, I would have been jealous. But Cretin’s women usually came with baggage, The prettier they were, the greater the baggage. This one looked like she came with a barge-full of steamer trunks. Why would I say that? Because all the really pretty ones get taken first, and get their baggage early. Especially women who looked like this one, and who met guys like Cretin in places like this.

“This is Reep,” said Cretin. “Don’t talk to him or we’ll never get out of here.”

This woman looked vaguely familiar. This was because she tended bar in a place where Cretin had asked me to meet him once or twice before. It was her husband’s bar. And she had been giving Cretin a guided tour of her panties three nights a week for the last six months... Sometimes on the bar after she’d closed it.

Her husband had gotten wise and was currently sitting in a parked car at the curb, with several of his cronies, staking out Cretin’s Norton, which was on the side stand, under the streetlight. The woman had gotten a ride here. Cretin rode up on the bike. The plan was to have a few drinks... Get all kinds of warm in the cozy, hellish club-like atmosphere... And ride to Cretin’s place. It was obvious he still hoped to salvage the night while ducking a beating.

“I thought you wanted me to give you a ride,” I asked.

“Yeah,” Cretin replied... “Can I have your ride?”

I busted out laughing. I had been taking endless shit from him over my two-stroke, piece of shit, lollipop-colored, Kawasaki H2 for nearly a year. And now he wanted to ride it. “How do I get back from here,” I asked.

“On the Norton.”

Cretin’s plans generally entailed some measure of personal risk. This was the first time my role as a “beard” would also include being the designated decoy.

“There’s nothin’ to this,” said Cretin. “You swagger outside, get on the bike, and pull away at about 10,000 miles per hour. How hard can this be? You ride like an animal anyway. And for once, you’ve got a real motorcycle.”

This would be a night of realization. I realized that I was being tossed to the wolves for a piece of ass. And the more I saw that ass through sidelong glances, the more I realized there was no higher aspiration in life. (I would have walked in a mile of her shit to see where it came from.) The bartender yelled, “Last call, folks,” and I ordered a rum and coke. If I couldn’t go down with the taste of this woman on my lips, or any woman on this night, then I wanted the next best thing. We switched keys, and I realized my house key was on the same ring.

“Don’t worry about it,” said Cretin. “We’re going to your place anyway. But you should feel free to ride until dawn... Stop at an after-hours place. Watch how the Norton lures the pillion candy.”

I busted out laughing. The swindle was complete.

And then we switched helmets. Cretin had my two stupid-looking metallic green helmets, with the snap-on plastic shields. (Crap like this was popular in the '70s.) He gave me an open-face black job, and a pair of goggles that looked as if a WWI gas mask should have been attached to them.

“I’m countin’ on ya,” said Cretin. “And whatever happens, don’t stop within two blocks of this place.”

I walked out to the Norton Commando, threw my leg over the saddle, neither looking to the right nor the left. I switched on the ignition, triggered the handlebar-mounted choke lever, and kicked down on the starter. (This bike had an electric starter, but it was purely ornamental.) With the throttle liberally cracked, the Norton roared into life. I pulled on that clown-suit of a helmet, snicked the bike into gear, and left.

I thought I heard yelling in the street, but just kept going. My departure raised doubt among the lurkers as I did not leave with a woman... And I did not look like I hadn’t eaten in two months... (Cretin was skinny.) And I pulled away from the curb like an old lady. The 1975 Norton Commando was not the 1975 Kawasaki H2. If I was ever going to rob a bank, the Norton would not have been my choice of a getaway vehicle. It had four gears to the Kawasaki’s 5, and two/thirds of the horsepower. In truth, I developed a much healthier respect for Cretin’s aggressive riding on this machine. But it did sound as good as it looked.

I got two blocks away before a car came up from behind, pulled around me at a corner, and dumped a bunch of vicious guys in my face. One of these assholes tried to shove me out of the saddle, but I held on, and grabbed the keys from the ignition.

“You fucks are not getting my fucking bike,” I yelled. And with that, they realized I was not Cretin.

“Dis is Cretin’s bike,” yelled one of the plug-ugly bastards, who was foaming at the mouth. (I assumed he was the husband.)

“Not since last week,” I said. “He owes me for 10 grams of blow and I took this bike. After Friday, this is Joey Dee’s bike. You wanna take it up wid Joey Dee, be my guest.” I had never seen 10 grams of anything, and I made up the invisible Joey Dee. In a city full of tough Italians, I figured there had to be at least one Joey Dee, who routinely kicked the shit out of somebody. (Joey "Dee" was short for Joey DiTuna, or something like that.)

The plug-ugly husband was not so easily mollified. He started to yell about how Cretin was sniffing up his wife’s skirt, and how he was gonna kill him. I felt sorry for the guy, because I’d have been sniffing up his wife’s skirt too (in the day’s when I was 20-years-old). But I had that cold feeling in my balls, and my mouth was already moving.

“What does your wife look like?” I asked.

And in that split second, before he could tell me, I heard the scream of triple pistons in anguish, as a Kawasaki H2 tore up the pavement on US-1/9, barely two blocks away. The unholy two were already escaping into the stratosphere.

The plug-ugly described his wife to a tee, and I said, “I saw a woman who looked like that tonight... She was with a guy who owns a red Harley... In that saloon I just left. I don’t know if that was your wife, but that guy had his hand in her pants right there at the bar.”

The plug-ugly re-devolved into a cross between the Incredible Hulk and Godzilla. He and his droogies piled into the car and headed back to the bar. Unless I was very much mistaken, Ass Face O’Hanlon was about to get one solid beating. And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer, uglier guy. My balls felt better already.

It was now just after 2am. My headache was gone, and I had this classic Brit bike to play with. It gave a steadier, more sedate ride than the H2... But who the hell wants steady and sedate on a Friday night? I wanted danger, speed, and some hot patootie like Cretin’s. The Norton’s engine was throaty, but so what? Where was the push? I rode to an after-hours club in Union City, to try my luck with the Cuban girls. It took an hour, but I conned one into coming for a ride to my place on “The Boulevard.” She took one look at the Norton and said, “That’s Cretin’s bike,” and went back into the bar.

Above) 1975 Norton Commando. Photo from Wikipedia.

Above) 1975 Kawasaki H2. Photo from Wikipedia.

Cretin’s Norton was jet black with gold lettering, but had a red-tinted spider, about the size of my palm, painted on the tank. It was like the kiss of death. There wasn’t a place I could go where that bike wouldn’t be recognized. And sooner or later, somebody would think I’d stolen it, and be happy to do Cretin a favor by clocking me in the back of the head.

I couldn’t get “Linda Aces High” out of my mind and rode back to my place. I parked the Norton next to the Kawasaki on the sidewalk. Side-by-side, the H2 had many of the design elements of Brit bike: such as an upright position, a similar instrument cluster, and the choke on the handlebars. The chrome and fit was much better on the Norton. Yet the one machine was an exhausted design from a tired company, and other was a super-powered dinosaur. Both were headed for extinction. And in a way, so were the lifestyles that Cretin and I were living.

Above) One of the little parks that line Boulevard East, making it one of the most cosmopolitan avenues to be found anywhere. Photo from Wikipedia.

There was the tip of a bandana barely visible in the mailbox, and I found the house keys tied to it. Cretin and the woman were on the floor upstairs. They had dragged my mattress out of the bedroom into the living room so they could hump in view of the city, from the glass doors on the terrace. Spent, they were sleeping naked in each others arms, amidst the wreckage of a real bacchanalia. Cretin had stopped someplace for Chinese food, and there were open, half eaten containers of dim sum, shoo mai, and fong wong gai all over the place, among glasses of sangria, which he had mixed in the kitchen sink. There was about three inches of the fruity stuff left in the bottom of the pitcher. I drank straight from the vessel, with apple slices and cut up oranges sloshing against my face. My mouth was red as if I’d been sucking blood.

I looked down at the two sleeping figures, never realizing I’d have a chance to see most of this woman naked before this night would be through. Let the record show there is no romance in seeing a naked woman by default. It is only special if the candle-light is filtering through the pitcher of sangria, and she is undressing for you with purpose. I covered them with a quilt. Then I grabbed the keys to my own bike, went down to the street and took off. I had 90 minutes before dawn, and I wanted the sun to find me eating breakfast on the slopes of High Point, NJ, in a diner on Route 23, that catered to WASP woman who rode horses. There is something about elegant asses in jodhpurs that starts a day off right.

Author’s note: Please read the first two paragraphs of my last Twisted Roads episode for more definitive information regarding my friend Cretin.

Do you have questions regarding anything moto, relationship-building, women, science or nature, please send them to Please mark the subject line (Questions For The Dispatches Column). Questions from readers will be used for this Thursday's Twisted Roads Blog episode. All questions will be answered by Doctor Albert Hissingaz, a licensed dry cleaner (in Serbia).

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Motorcycle As The Vehicle For Romance... Cretin's Approach and Mine

4 Stars - **** For Humor Content

My friend “Cretin” was an anomaly even for Jersey City, where such things were common in the late ‘70s. A graduate from a parochial prep school, he was fluent in Latin and had mastered the mysteries of physics. He could quote Shakespeare and the latest street price for cocaine. In a pinch, Cretin could and would snap the antenna off a parked car and beat someone half to death with it. He had a thing for rough bars and rough-running Brit bikes that ultimately ended up in pieces on the floor of whatever apartment he was infesting at the moment.

Cretin was an anomaly in another way too. He was at the back of the line when they handed out good looks, but this did not stop him from getting drop-dead gorgeous women, who apparently did the kind of things that would have embarrassed a farm animal. Ravaged by acne, swathed in shoulder-length hair, he weighed all of 165 pounds at 6 feet tall and dressed like he shopped at a second-hand store for Tartars, Huns, Mongols and Barbary Coast pirates.

One of his women was a stunning blond he picked up in a west coast commune. She was panhandling on a street corner, wearing a combination bed sheet and toga, when Cretin followed her back to the cult — and joined. Five days later, they returned to New Jersey, after he impressed her guru with the depth of his sincerity. That was the year Glow Sticks were big with kids, and Cretin bought a hundred glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets.

“All she wore last night were these red and green glowing latex tubes, and I did her doggie-style on the back of the Norton,” said Cretin. “That’s what I call a tank slapper.”

“But your bike is parked on the street,” I noted.

“I had Hot Rod and Critter help me push it up two flights to get it into the apartment,” replied Cretin, in that matter-of-fact tone that made this episode seem perfectly routine, which for him it was. (The story actually got better... Even though it was a cool October night, he had all the windows open as the Norton was running. "I wanted the full effect of the sound and the fury," said Cretin.)

By contrast, I couldn’t get laid in Times Square (a notorious hooker exchange that year), even though I was thin and had huge blue eyes that would have done justice to an Irish lemur. And I could quote Shakespeare much better than Cretin, having memorized Shylock’s soliloquy for kicks. (Cretin claimed that only an idiot would memorize Shylock, from the Merchant of Venice, when a woman would readilly appreciate the Moor from Othello.)

“Women like the bad boys, at least once or twice in their lives,” said Cretin. “Eve had been with Adam for what? A week? Ten days? Before she got sweet-talked by a snake. You come across as talking white-bread toast that was left out in the rain. Get yourself a motorcycle and learn the social aspects of applied contempt. Women will be writing their phone numbers on their panties and jamming them into your pocket.”

So I went out and bought a green Kawasaki 750 H2 in 1975, my first bike, and started walking around neither looking to the right or the left, apparently indifferent to women. “How am I doing?” I asked Cretin, pulling up my new bike.

“Does this piece of two-stroke shit sound like a motorcycle to you,” asked Cretin in response? “And this writer’s trance you’re walking around in has people thinking you’re a Night-of-the-Living-Dead douche.”

And it was then I noticed that none of the other biker barflies had motorcycles colored like a popsicle; nor ones that made a noise like a tyrannosaurus weed-whacker. Plus they didn’t feign contempt... They seemed to sweat it. So I did what I do best: I said “Fuck it,” and limped along trying to get a feel for the game. I had a few successes, but nothing that really constituted a romantic bull’s-eye. I practiced riding the motorcycle, instead of just leaning up against it outside the bar; and my batting average improved slightly when I was able to pull up without wobbling to an uncertain stop.

Yet it wasn’t until I had the bike a few years, and had long since abandoned the idea that I could ever be really cool, when fate pulled my number. I had my first serious writing job by then, working for a small business publisher, and was beginning to make a name for myself with copy that struck a chord with advertisers. I had a truck too, but rode my bike to the office a couple of days each week, as it aggravated the shit out of my boss. (I eventually aggravate the shit out of everybody.) This attitude, coupled with the fact that my boss felt I would be killed on the highway any day, compelled him to hire an associate editor for my publication.

She had more degrees than an thermometer and struck me as a pain in the ass.

Flat-chested, full lips, and a svelte little ass, she was a WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) princess who came across as the kind of writer who understood the words but couldn’t get a reader’s blood pumping. On her second day, she handed me a rewrite of a feature I had just completed. I told her to leave it on the edge of my desk. It remained there untouched for a week, where she could plainly see it through my open office door.

She finally asked me about it, and I told her I preferred my work the way I wrote it. She played her trump card, claiming the publisher really liked what she had done with it. I explained that the publisher was a total asshole, who never read his own publication and who relied on me to write his speeches for everything — including the Rotary lunches where he stood up and recited his name by reading it off a card. (Apparently, I had mastered the kind of contempt advocated by Cretin, but it had nothing to do with a motorcycle. It came from unabashed arrogance and total confidence in my work.)

She audibly sniffed, and started to sob. Then the “You’re-A-Real- Douche” warning light flashed in my office. Unbeknown to me, she was married (at 25-years-old) to her college sweetheart who’d been having a affair with a bottle of bourbon since graduation. His greatest asset was an ability to dish out boozy abuse, and she’d already had it for dinner the night before and for breakfast that morning. (I would learn this six months later).

“This isn’t about you,” I said, handing her a clean Harley Davidson bandana. (That I had one and that it hadn’t been used to wipe oily spark plugs was miraculous in itself.) “This is between me and the publisher. I prefer to be asked about my copy before it’s changed. And as far as him being an illiterate asshole, it’s true. I’ll read this right away and get back to you.”

The article was about as important to me as the color of the toilet paper in the executive can. I stamped her revised piece “approved” two seconds after she left and wrote, “This is great!” across the top, without so much as giving it a glance. I gave a lot more thought to the faint scent of her perfume that lingered on the bandana, and put it in a drawer instead of back in my pocket. Things might have died right there if the testosterone donors in the office hadn’t started fawning and pandering over her; because then I started to notice the things they were noticing.

But I felt the need for an edge.

The green Kawasaki H2 had been replaced by the insurance company of an old bastard who never saw the “stop” sign nor me neither. Some biker trash in a bar told me that green motorcycles were unlucky, so my second H2 was purple. (It never occurred to me to question motorcycle advice garnered in a bar.) Since this woman was a WASP, educated in private schools and colleges covered with ivy, I gambled she had never been on a motorcycle and wouldn’t know one bike from another.

I was right on both counts.

I told her it might be easier to do working lunches on Fridays, to clear up any doubts regarding assignments for the following week. It was the third of those working lunches that she pulled on a helmet and rode off to a little restaurant on the back of my bike. She never questioned the fact that the restaurant was 20 miles away. It was her first motorcycle ride, and she had no idea that the H2 was despised by traditional riders. I was careful with her on the pillion, taking turns gently, requiring a minimum of lean, until I knew this was the second-most fun thing she’d ever done. And by that time, I was determined that I wanted to be in on the first-most fun thing too.

There was talk in the office that was ridiculously easy to quell.

My arguments were, “She’s married... And if she wanted to fool around, she could have any guy she wanted. You think she’d pick me over any of you guys?” There was no answer to that question, other than “No.”

I wasn’t the best looking, nor was I the smoothest. I was closer to being the most aggravating. And no one was willing to take the odds at 50 to 1 that were coming out of the secretarial pool. There was another editor in the office named"Tommy," (his real name, and I hope he's reading this). He started to move in on my game. So I told the nice WASP princess how Tommy had gotten his former secretary pregnant, and how he told everyone it was a group sex thing. (This was totally untrue. For one thing, he never rated a secretary. But the story served my purpose well.)

So I took her to lunch every Friday for nearly a year. In that same amount of time, the Panama Canal had been installed... Polio had been cured... And Cretin got laid 72 times by 43 different women, or so he said. This was the slowest seduction in the history of mankind.

Yet her home life was getting progressively worse and I was getting progressively better at listening, at acknowledging the things she did really well (like organizing things and attending to a million odd details), and at anticipating when she was having a really bad day. Then there were those great motorcycle rides. The Kawasaki had become our private amusement park. Yet there comes a time when you must put your cards on the table and call a spade a spade. We were enjoying the social aspects of an affair, without the complexity of seeing each other naked.

There are times when complexity is the spice of life.

It was the last warm weekend in September, and the leaves were turning on the trees. I suggested a picnic on the Pequest River for our working lunch... I knew a spot away from prying eyes, and just barely accessible by this bike. (The H2 was challenged to stay upright on the smoothest of pavement, let alone a little dirt or gravel.) I packed a gourmet lunch — full of Italian specialties — from Lisa’s Deli, in Hoboken, NJ. I had a bottle of wine, two plastic wine flutes, china plates, silverware and a tablecloth in a pack lashed to the bike’s sissy bar.

This was a job for Mr. Smooth.

Five miles from my special picnic spot, that three-cylinder free-for-all the Kawasaki called an engine shit the bed. Clouds of evil-smelling smoke came out of one pipe, then two. The bike started to conga down US-46 as the power strokes became somewhat random. It was virtually firing on one cylinder by the time I got to the "secluded" spot. There were three old guys fishing on the opposite bank of the river. One came over to look at the motorcycle. He’d ridden a motorcycle in Custer’s 7th Cavalry (or something like that), 115-years earlier, and he wanted to tell me about every oil-change he ever conducted. His name was Ted, and he was a retired glassblower who had taken up bee-keeping.

Then the WASP princess invited Ted to join us for lunch.

I pulled the bottle of wine from the pack, and briefly considered smashing in his skull with it, but thought, “What the fuck. Plan ‘A’ is toast. At least it isn’t raining.”

The rain started 10 minutes later.

I did have a large poncho in the bottom of that pack to use as a groundcloth, if the riverbank was a bit spongey, considering I had planned on using the tablecloth as a bed sheet. Ted and the beautiful WASP woman held the poncho over their heads, while I used a lull in the drizzle to switch out the spark plugs. The ones in the engine were pretty smeared and I got sooty splooge all over my hands.

"Well she's not going home with my oily fingerprints on her ass today," I thought. And I wiped my hands on the bandana I had preserved, untouched, from our first meeting.

The cursed purple H2 started on the first kick. The ride back to the office was fairly uneventful. We’d dodged the rain, but some of the roads were wet. She gave me a fast hug, like you’d give a casual friend at a wake for someone you don’t really mind had died, and went into her cubicle. I felt like an America’s Cup contender, who’d taken a shotgun blast through the sails just short of the finish line. I went back to writing a story on travel taxes and would have hung myself had there been any rope in the office.

I worked late, with the intention of being the last one to leave that Friday. I didn’t care to face my secretary, a dazzling blond, who was putting two and two together and coming up with a damn good interpretation of my motives. Yet just before 6pm, with the lights out and the workplace quiet, the WASP woman came into my office and said:

“I fully expected you to hit on me today like those clowns in advertising do all week. But then you never flinched when the bike broke down and I invited that old geezer to join us for lunch. I realized my mistake when you and he talked about engines for an hour. And then you went to the trouble to get that beautiful lunch, and didn't eat any of it.” She paused and looked into the saucer-sized eyes of an Irish lemur. “Your secretary told me you did that for her and Rachel in production too.”

I hadn’t, but my secretary’s stock had just gone up 20 points... Rest assured, I would gladly pay for it in giving her days off.

“You really are just a nice, thoughtful, romantic kind of guy, who wants everybody to be happy.”

Then the beautiful WASP lady kissed me like she was out to win a prize, and nailed me right there, on my own desk. There is nothing that compares with getting jumped at work by a prim and proper office beauty who has the reflexes of a jaguar.

This was a trend that would last nearly two years, leaving cinders where I once had a soul. I wanted to write about it that weekend, but let it go. I thought putting the events to paper would jinx them. And then when the affair ended, I never wanted to think about it, let alone put it to words. But I did go straight to the bar that night to tell Cretin. He and the cult queen been tossed out of the apartment. Apparently, the Norton went into gear when he and the blond went back for a repeat performance. The bike almost went through the kitchen window.

Please take this simple poll:
Who has the most appealing approach to motorcycle seduction?
A) Cretin
B) The Author

Vote on the upper right.

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Addendum To The Current Blog Episode

Factual Content: 100%

• To read this week's humorous story regarding the betrayal of a close friend through a sexual liaison with a woman, please read my blog for Tuesday, September 12, 2011.

• To discover the conclusion of the poll regarding the question "Does having a dog ride around on a motorcycle gas tank constitute animal cruelty," please continue reading below.

• To order cpoies of
Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists, please go to the end of this blog episode.

The Final Consensus Regarding The Dog On The Gas Tank Issue...

Only two votes supported the notion that riding around with a dog on the gas tank constituted cruelty to animals, from the perspective that any dog perched in that spot would be exposed to increased risk in an critical or emergency maneuver. One of these two voters clarified his position (in a private e-mail to me), stating that rider distraction from having a dog on the gas tank should constitute a major concern for any motorist or rider sharing the roads.

In the first few days following the introduction of the poll, conventional wisdom supported the position that having a dog on a motorcycle did not constitute animal cruelty, but that the dog’s riding position should be restricted to crate or special seat (with a restraint). Forty-six out of 100 riders voted for this position fairly early.

It was a position I myself supported. If I loved a dog, I wouldn’t place it where the animal could be easily knocked of into traffic or harm’s way.

Yet within a week, 48 voters not only supported the position that a dog could easily handle himself on the gas tank, but documented stories of riders they knew whose dogs were allegedly tank-trained. Ninety-eight percent of poll participants clearly stated that in no way did allowing a dog to ride on a motorcycle constitute cruelty to animals. Statistically speaking, the position of whether to allow a dog to ride o the tank or in a crate on the pillion was a dead heat. Once again, some of the most experienced riders I know (many with well over 100,000 miles under their saddle) are divided on a key point — like helmets and oil.

I got the final comment from Twisted Roads reader John Langsford II, who wrote:

Jack — You have probably received 50,000 dog pictures since posting your latest blog, but email is cheap so here's a few more. One is the dog mentioned in the blog, the picture of the rear crate was taken a Morten"s BMW Fall Open House 2008. A fellow BMW rider that goes to New Hope and Van Zant rides with a small white dog in a baby chest carrier. At Ephrata I saw a fellow with a small dog in his tank bag (homemade) complete with heating pad for winter riding. At the Vermont RA Rally met a couple with a dog in a tank bag they ordered from England with windows and a Sun Roof for the dog to stick his head out to catch the breeze. Todd and Laura's dog always looks great in the sidecar

Above: Dave Thomas and his dog, who rides around in a pillion mounted open-case. Photo submitted by John Langsford II.

Above: Larry Bowa (dog), Laura Hirth, and Todd Trumbore. Photo submitted by John Langsford II.

Above: Special luggage rack-mounted pet crate seen at Morten’s BMW in 2008. Photo submitted by John Langsford II.

Regarding Reports of 4-Hour Erections And Other Marvels Atributed To Reading Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists...

On March 4, 2001, Chester Heaver, age 65, ordered a copy of Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists, and read three chapters before retiring for the evening in the company of Evangeline Heaver, his wife of 35 years. Though he and Evangeline were close, they hadn’t been sexually active since Chester fell off the high row in the stands during the tractor pull at the Harumph County Fair, ten years earlier. Chester’s power piston had simply given up the ghost. Yet after reading these chapters, “A First Time for Everything, The smoking Dog of Schiller’s Corners,” and “The 200th Cigar,” Chester’s weed whacker rose to the occasion and went right after the bush. It was still plowing the “lower 40” four hours later, when Evangeline shot him at point blank range. In fact, it was still thumping the casket cover in the funeral home three days later.

In the sleepy hamlet of Fenny’s Notch, West Virginia, Mucca Fignotti, an immigrant stone cutter from Croatia, learned that his romantic suit with Emma “Teasy” Smigget was going south. He had captivated her with his “Gypsy eyes,” but failed to nail her enduring attention with an average performance in the sack. Dejected and in the throes of despair, he found a discarded copy of Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists along the tracks where he had planned to get run over by a train. (The book had been autographed to Chester Heaver.) Fignotti read three well-earmarked chapters and discovered his manhood preceded him by a good foot (measured in dog years). He arrived at Teasy’s trailer with a spackle bucket of rocks dangling from the far end of Thor’s Hammer. She was finally impressed.

And in the crossroads of Knowleton, NJ, Chrissy Wilcox-Flumen, the much abused wife of a local cheesewright, found solace from a household full of marital demons in a second-hand book store. There she found a copy of Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists, with a smudged-autograph to a farmer out in Harumph County, and handwritten notes (in a Croatian dialect) across the bottoms of several pages. She bought this used book, for $187.00, read three chapters, and grew a set of balls! Chrissy went home, made a special chicken pot pie, and shoved it right up her husband’s ass — hot out of the oven. Then she bought a fire-engine red motorcycle and set out across the country, reading this book aloud to other women in similar circumstances.

These results are not typical.

In fact, they are purely anecdotal and cannot be proven. Author Jack Riepe even denys them and refuses to discuss his own romantic successes, which are significant, likely attributed to the book. But he has taken possession of the original book autographed to Chester Heaver, and is selling if for $50. In the meantime, he is offering new (not used copies) of Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists (with bindings as tight as young clams) for the final...

End Of The Summer Price of $25
plus $5 Shipping & Handling

This is the last time this book will be offered, individually autographed and personally inscribed by the author, for this price. The Christmas Sale price of this book will be $35 in November, as the final paperbound copies of this book are distributed.

In Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists, Riepe puts cigar-smoking in perspective, and relates it to love (getting laid), making romance last (how to pretend to listen), and the manly arts (hunting, fishing, spitting, and public speaking). Critically acclaimed, this book improves the quality of at least one life with every sale.*

Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists is more than just the funniest damn book ever written about cigars. It's a unique perspective on romance, politics, economics, science and America's hottest new trend -- cigar smoking. Winner of the Wilmington Institute of Holistic Dry Cleaning's prestigious “Golden Hand Grenade Award” (for advice on relationship building in third and fourth marriages), this book offers a rare insight into subhuman nature. Author and humorist Jack Riepe spared neither himself, nor anyone else, in a desperate bid to tell his side of 30 outrageous stories.

*Riepe's life

To Order Your Copy of
Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists:

Email your full name, address, and phone number to:
Indicate the book is for yourself.

Put: "Book Order" in the subject line. Each book is shipped with an invoice and a stamped, pre-addressed payment envelope. Write a check, and slip it in the mailbox.

To Order A Gift Book For A Friend:

Email your full name, address, and phone number to:
Put "Book Order" In the Subject Line

Very Important:
Also include the gift book’s recipient’s full name, (First and Last), and tell me something about him. (i.e. he plays golf, he rides a motorcycle, he hunts, he smokes cheap cigars, tell me something.) Your name will be included in the inscription on the book.

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Betrayal Of A Biker Friend With A Naked Woman...

3.5 Stars For Humorous Content *** 1/2

It had been a rough day, in a rough week, in a rough month, where the events of daylight permeated night making sleep impossible. The typical outlets of release — raging weekends with the guys, eying the nipples on the topless dancers, and twisting the throttle on a motorcycle — weren’t putting a dent in life’s real challenges. In fact, the challenges had trivialized the diversions to the point where each seemed to be robbing me of potential solutions. Cracking a bottle of rum only obscured my perception of the obvious... Slipping a dollar into the g-string of a red-hot dancer only emphasized the shallow connection between my hand and her supple flesh... And the motorcycle that had become my church for the past five years revealed itself to be an extension of my current mood.

The bikers I noticed on the street were younger, tougher, and more inclined to spit in the eye of reality — and these were just the women. I am talking about the real riders, the guys on Harley’s, Moto Guzzis, Beemers, Old Brit bikes, and Jap cruisers that bear the practical customization of preference; with gear lashed to the frame through the systematic practice of thousands of hard miles; and tool kits whose cracked, rolled sleeves have tasted the ground alongside roads whose numbers are forgotten by even the local residents. I was losing the vision of myself as a member in this club, having become more of a tolerated observer. And observers in this club are only tolerated just so long.

As I said, it had been a rough day, culminating in the kind of unspoken conversation in which a woman’s look explains that she has reached the point where she can barely tolerate the way a man is breathing — in and out. In the absence of a good solution, a bad one is better than nothing, and I staged a tactical retreat to a lawn chair left in the garage, where I lit up a maduro the size of a Ducati muffler, and poured myself a glass of Irish fire nearly as big as my ass. I listened to the soothing strains of Steppenwolf and sucked on that cigar like it was the tit of truth, flicking the smoldering, thumb-sized stump at the slinking form of the cat next door. (The pet of my aged neighbor, old Biddy Bitchwell, this cat does not miss an opportunity to slink into this garage and piss on my shop rags, gloves, or anything else it can find within range.)

The humidity was up, even though evening temperatures were dropping into the ‘60s, and the cigar smoke and whiskey lulled me into a passable excuse for sleep. And it was in this trance that I had my out-of-body experience. I found myself on my bike, casually taking the twisties of an unmarked country road. The perfect pavement followed the contours of a creek on the right, passing through deeply forested stretches, occasionally bracketed by rock embankments. I was trailing the tail light of my riding partner, Dick Bregstein, lazily choosing whatever line he picked through the curves, matching his speed, which was slowly increasing.

Bregstein rides a BMW “R” bike, which combines mechanical perfection with the romance of a steam engine, as it’s design predates the Egyptian Pharaoh Kahmet Rah. Yet in this dream it growled like a Harley, with each twist of the throttle. I slowly realized that each growl had lyrics like a song, which is what the exhaust note of a motorcycle really is. And the refrain of Dick’s bike was:

“Though we’ve ridden thousands of miles,
“And burned thousands of gallons of gas,
“Accept this run for what it is,
“And shove that K75 far up your ass.”

“That’s unlike Dick,” I thought to myself. And then I realized maybe it wasn’t. There was the time that Dick “Armor All-ed” my seat... And pulled a panic stop that cause me to rap my balls with the gas tank. Then again, there was the time he offered to tie my boot (sparing my arthritic knees one extra dismount from a bike that is as tall as the Chrysler building, after 8 hours on the Blue Ridge Parkway), and he lashed it to the brake pedal.

We pulled over beside the most perfect lake, barely visible from the road, shrouded in low trees and a mountain mist. A faded wooden sign read, “Decision Lake, Essex County, NY.”

“I gotta squeeze my lemon,” yelled Dick, before heading off into the brush. (For those from Nebraska, this meant he had to take a leak.)

I swung my leg over the saddle, hanging in the balance for a second, then dropped to the ground eleven feet below the saddle of my 1995 BMW K75. Taking a piss is always a good idea whenever you stop (if you’re older than 50 and have kidneys tenderized by motorcycle shocks), and I stepped into the brush before unzipping and uncoiling “The Dragon.” (By the way, this lends an entirely new significance to bikes owned by hot babes bearing the sticker “I rode The Dragon.”)

“Wow,” said a woman’s voice.

“I beg your pardon,” I replied, feigning a really good James Bond accent. (I once took 23 online courses in ventriloquism, and made the voice emanate from the task at hand.)

“That’s clever,” said the woman’s voice, which was like warm honey pouring over my soul. “Does it do tricks too?”

“It has a mind of its own, and occasionally gets me into a tight spot.”

“I bet,” said the voice, which now appeared to come from below, from a woman swimming in the lake. But this wasn’t just any woman. This dream was the character of Diane Lane, the naked Diane Lane from the 1999 movie Walk On The Moon.

“You look hot,” she said. “Come on in. The water is great.”

I shed my riding gear in a second, and stepped into water that took my breath away with a flash chill, but which soon enveloped my body like a balm. She took me in her arms and kissed me, like the character of the Diane Lane who kissed the “blouse man” in the better scenes of the 1999 movie Walk On The Moon. And I realized in that second, that I have been “the blouse man” at various times in my life, and would likely be again.

“I am never going to leave this lake,” I said, directly into the lips of the character of the naked Diane Lane from the movie Walk On The Moon.

“You can have whatever you want... I only ask one thing in return.”

“Anything,” I whispered, pulling her around me.

“I want you to kill Bregstein,” she said, looking into my eyes.

I was stunned. And she repeated it.

“I want you to kill Bregstein, by hitting him on the head with a heavy rock.”

“But why...” I stuttered.

“There comes a time when the love of every beautiful woman requires a man to smash the Dick closest to him,” said the character of the naked Diane Lane, in the lake, from the movie Walk On The Moon.

“I think you’re carrying an element of symbolism to an extreme.”

She shrugged, and started to swim way.

“I’ll do it,” I said, picking up a heavy rock from the lake’s bottom.

At that moment, the ringing of my cell phone jarred me to consciousness. The voice of a shaken Dick Bregstein spilled out of the tiny speaker into the cigar-smoke tinged dawn of the garage.

“Jack,” said Dick. “I just had the most incredible dream. We were on a ride through the country someplace, and stopped to piss at a lake. A naked woman invited me into the water. I jumped in. She was going to take me to a hedonistic heaven, provided I could do one thing for her...” And here, Dick hesitated. “She asked me to ‘Off Jack.’”

“What happened next,” I asked.

“I complied, but must have misunderstood because she disappeared.”

“Who was the woman,” I asked.

Dick hesitated again... “She’s famous. I’ve had a thing for her for years. I watch her all the time...”

“Dick, who was it?”

“Joan Rivers,” said Bregstein.

“Dick, any man would have done the same had they found themselves in your circumstance,” I said. “Wanna ride today?”

“See you in an hour,” said Bregstein.

Note To Brady: I still cannot leave any kind of a response to your blog either, regardless of how I sign in or the browser I use. I will respond to your personal e-mail as well. Sorry.

Note To Johm McClane: Your blog is telling me I have to be invited to leave a comment. Should I feel offended?

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pet The Biker's Giant Squid...

A New Jersey biker was recently issued a citation by Marlboro police for “careless driving” and “the improper transportation of an animal,” according to a story carried in the online version of the Asbury Park Press. The published account states that Gyula Szatmari, 56, male, was spotted on a motorcycle, with a dog in his lap, by Sergeant Anthony Lena of the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). A Marlboro Township police officer was dispatched to pull the rider over and issue the summonses. Two other points mentioned in this piece are a) that it was raining; and b) that Szatamari had been warned about transporting the dog in this manner last year.

The rider admitted to carrying his pet on the bike for years like this, and the article was accompanied by a New Jersey Press Media file photo taken in 2009, depicting Szatmari’s dog (which appears to be a boston terrier, though listed as a “pug”) regally sitting on a sheepskin pad, atop the gas tank, and not in the operator’s lap. The story was competently written and included all of the facts that seemed pertinent to the piece.

The media file photograph on Szatmari’s pooch is enduring proof that dogs on motorcycles are good copy. Not only is this one a compelling human interest story, but it’s outcome will hold some significance for that small percentage of riders who buzz around in the company of their dogs... Significant because of the fine... And significant because it could set a parameters for determining the parameters for carrying cats, dogs, birds, iguanas, and giant squid on motorcycles.

I have one problem with this story as presented, and that lies with the implication of its headline, which reads: “Biker Pug? Marlboro Cops Charge Man With Animal Cruelty.”

Nowhere in this piece was Szatmari charged with “animal cruelty.” Specifically, the charges were “careless driving” and “the improper transportation of an animal.”
The phrase “animal cruelty” is conspicuous by its absence.

I consider “animal cruelty” to be the wanton neglect and abuse of dogs, cats, birds, and livestock. This includes torture, starvation, cock fighting, pit bull fighting, and breeding pedigreed animals like living assembly lines. Yet it would be hard to apply the popular definition of cruelty to Szatmari — based on this sole press media file photo. Bosco Szatmari’s dog) is wearing a knit doggie-sweater, with a dogbone pattern worked into the weave. Now the dog may be personally embarrassed by having to wear this, but that would fall under the category of mental cruelty. In this photograph, Bosco is sitting on a sheepskin fleece, that would qualify as a “tuffet,” suitable for Miss Muffet, if it was any thicker. Again, this is hardly the spirit of animal cruelty. .

Does carrying a dog on a motorcycle gas tank, or in the operating rider’s lap, constitute “careless driving?”

To me, careless driving means weaving over the lines, dialing a cell phone, texting, putting mayonnaise on a sandwich, sleeping, or otherwise not concentrating on the task at hand — which is operating a motor vehicle. Since I wasn’t there, it could be that Szatmari was grooming the dog, or training it to sit up. Otherwise, I would think “careless driving” would have to include something else.

Would it be smart to train a dog to ride on the gas tank? That’s another question. Bosco appears to cover as much acreage as a large tank bag. I don’t use tank bags because they obstruct my view of the instruments. Personally, I don’t want any distractions between me and the business of operating the motorcycle. This includes cell phones, cups of coffee, or cigars. But other riders — more competent riders — may not be restricted by my limitations.

The stories of bikers cruising around with dogs are well-known to all of us. Each is slightly different, and all are endearing. I know of two riders who never hesitate to bring their dogs on a run. One guy is a jazz musician whose dog rides around in an open milk crate securely fastened to the luggage rack on the back of his bike. His dog is white Labrador mixed-breed who accepts assistance getting into the crate, and needs none getting out. The dog can move around freely, to stare out the back, to ride with her tongue waving out in the breeze, or to crunch down.

My other riding buddy can be found in neighborhood parades, leading antique rides, or just heading off to the country for the occasional run on a bike that was new when Harry Truman was in the White House. About 50% of the time there is an Australian sheepdog in the sidecar rig. The dog has been trained to carry wrenches from the tool box. Now it could be argued that these dogs are more or less contained in something, and do not have to concentrate on balancing to ride the bike. But neither one is restrained in any way. And if they get caught out in the rain, these dogs will get wet; about as wet as they’d get in the yard on rainy night. I can also understand concern for debris, dust and sand getting into a dog’s eyes... But I also know the kind of crud dogs get into by themselves — without the benefit of a motorcycle.

If I had the kind of lifestyle where my dog rode with me, I probably wouldn't just rely on the animal’s ability to balance on the bike... I’d work out something in the way of a crate. Law spells out everything. I am not personally familiar with laws that spell out how a dog, or a cat, or a goldfish, should be carried on a motorcycle (in New Jersey nor elsewhere). I have taken two safety courses, and while the topic of pillion riders is on the agenda, I have yet to hear the recommended procedure for transporting animals on a bike. Gyula Szatmari’s case comes up in Marlboro Municipal Court on October 13th, 2011. If there is nothing that says a dog must be carried in a specific manner on a motorcycle in New Jersey, then I can’t imagine what they’d have him on.

I'm curious... Do you think riding with an unrestrained dog on the gas tank or pillion constitutes "cruelty to animals?" Take the poll at the upper right.

My taste in pets has always run toward the peculiar. When the other kids in the third grade had goldfish, I kept a bright purple sea anemone. I’d leave a couple of quarters (25¢ coins) in the tank, knowing the other kids would make a grab for them... Getting a full jolt of the critter’s venom for their effort.

The dog in my life at the moment is a German shepherd the size of a shetland pony. Atticus would have no interest in riding on the back of a motorcycle (unless it was covered with pork chops). Besides, his gentle nature is such that he would welcome passersby to rummage through my sidebags, keeping anything they liked. Yet riding in the company of my posse — Pete Buchheit, Dick Bregstein, Clyde Jacobs, and Gerry Cavanaugh — is so much like riding alone (as they are generally 50 or 60 miles ahead of me), that I found myself longing for the companionship of a pet... An animal with strong instincts and personality... A creature that reminded me of the mothers who spawned several woman to whom I was once married.

“Eugene” is the name of my giant squid. He rides behind me in an old turkey-frying pot bolted to the tailpiece of my BMW K75. Small as giant squid go, Eugene is about 18 feet long, and is approximately 2/3s of coiling tentacles that slip and slide around in the pot. He’s got eyes the size of VW Beetle hubcaps and about 6-feet of head that sticks straight up like the sissy bar from hell.

I recently got buttonholed by a well-intentioned person who felt compelled to advise me that I was astride a “donor-cycle.” He had all the latest accident statistics and data regarding how I'd end up a chattering head on table, requiring family members to wipe my ass. At first, I explained that I wasn't far from that now, and that my family members all carried croquet mallets to respond to my requests for ass-wiping now. Then I smiled politely, and advised the nice gentleman to look in the pot. His sermon ended in a muffled gasp. A pair of shoes was left on the curb about 30 seconds later. But “Eugene” is genuinely fond of women. So if any of you ladies out there would like to pet my giant squid, drop me a line. Just type in "Looking For Eugene" in the subject line.

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2011.
All rights reserved.

Note to "Brady of: Behind Bars...." Blogger no longer allows me to comment on your blog.
Note to John McClane's "Scooter In Turkey..." Blogger no longer allows me to comment on your blog.