Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Foot... And He Might Have Made It!

Tearing up the back curves in rural East Tennessee requires little effort as the majority of these seem to semi-dissolve under the light pressure of motorcycle tires. The rider is constantly assailed by visions of sheer wonder — either from a landscape that changes with each twist of the throttle, or from local ladies on horseback, out tending the garden, or just hanging over the back fence. Regrettably, each of these views seems to dangle at the edge of some dramatic change in elevation, requiring one to burn through left boot toe leather working the shifter as hard as Blue Tick hound can scratch. This can generate a substantial thirst, especially on a summer day. And nothing takes the edge off a moto-thirst like homemade lemonade (fortified with something) and a slab of country ham.

I was somewhere between Tate Springs and Kyle’s Ford, TN, when the smoky aroma of a country ham nearly pulled me off the 1995 BMW K75. The source was a tavern that was old when bands of cutthroat preachers used to lie in wait hereabouts to rob and annoy solitary Indians. While New York City restaurant guides would have described this place as “intimate,” it was tighter, darker, and smokier than the last cigar I had out of Jamaica. There didn’t appear to be an open table, nor a seat at the bar. Now while only one thing in the world has a more seductive aroma than country ham, nothing ignites the short fuse of my impatience like waiting in line. (I don’t wait in line for the other thing either.) I turned to leave when a voice dripping with colloquial welcome said:

“Pull up a seat, if you don’t mind sharing a table.”

The speaker half rose, extending his hand. “Louie,” he said, taking a pile of ballistic gear from the other seat at his already cramped table.

“Jack,” I said. “Most folks call me “Reep.”

We exchanged the usual pleasantries and in the course of disclosure I told D.H. “Louie” Wendland that I was the publisher of Twisted Roads, in seasonal exile at Cape May, NJ.

“Keep your voice down,” he hissed. “These are are polite, God-fearing people... Yet they have limits. Who knows how they’d react to having a fast-talking, K-75 ridin’, snake-oil merchant from New Jersey moving among them?”

The waitress arrived with the local specialty, ham that had taken the “cure” in a spa of an adjoining smokehouse, surrounded by vegetables made popular in novels like Steinback’s Grapes of Wrath (collard greens and black eyed peas). As to emphasize Louie’s point, she arrived in time to hear the two words “New Jersey,” which was enough to make her wince.

“Some things are best left unsaid,” said Louie, “unless there is no avoiding it.”

Above: D.H. "Louie" Wendland, with his 2008 ZG 1400. Photo submitted by Louie Wendland.

D.H. Wendland is a man of eclectic tastes. At one time, his stable held a 1989 K100RS, a R1100 S, then a R1150R a 2007 K1200GT max loaded. He has just acquired a 2006 Triumph Tiger. “Louie” had read Twisted Roads once or twice and believes my work will improve with age. I believed my New Jersey reflexes would enable me to stick him with the bar bill.

“I have a story for you,” he said, looking me dead in the eye, with the gaze of a man who has a story to tell. “You can use it in your blog. But I’m going to change all the names to protect the innocent few.”

“That’s fine. I’m going to change all the facts so it will end up reading like the federal register anyway,” I replied.

“It involves a group of close friends and a ride in which two motorcycles get too close to each other... By a foot,” said Louie.

“Does it involve a tanned blond, who gets a tramp stamp tattoo of her boyfriend’s name, not realizing the artist has misspelled it?”

“No... it doesn’t,” said Louie, after thinking a bit.

“You might be surprised,” I replied.

On this particular day, a pride of metric sport bikes (sans a representative from Munich) assembled in a county of East Tennessee, known to favor the antics of Hooligan riders. (“Favoring the behavior of Hooligans might be a bit strong,” said Louie. “It'd be more truthful to say ‘They’re slow at making an actual arrest for anything less than murder.’”)

“The Hooligans rode in a loose phalanx formation, not endorsed by any particular riding discipline, which occasionally required participants to raise their front wheels from the pavement. One of these individuals was known in local riding circles as ‘Cyril The Gimp,’ owing to a previous miscalculation regarding the need to make an abrupt 270-foot stop in a 30-foot long blind alley,” said Louie. “He used to be known as ‘Cyril The Dope,’ but that was before it was discovered he could still kick the shit out of the unwary.

“Well Cyril had just raised his front wheel in salute to all the free spirits of the world, when the rider in his left front quarter, suddenly slowed and pulled right, into a convenience store. In hindsight, this action made it something of an inconvenience store, as the bikes slammed together and flailed to the ground,” said Louie. “Both riders were tossed to the pavement, where Cyril slid for bit before coming to a stop against a handy tree.

According to the story, it was here that a passerby, an elderly lady who tends bar at church bingo, noted that Cyril’s left foot was twisted all the way around, with the toes pointing behind him. She called this to his attention by gesturing downward and screaming.

“From the time he was a boy, Cyril has always associated screaming pedestrians or pointing bystanders with the arrival of the police, and regained his wits quickly,” said Louie.

“Reaching down, he spun the prosthetic foot — his trophy from the alley incident — back into the proper alignment. Then he picked up the fallen bike with a familiar resolve,” said Louie. “The poor old woman was utterly speechless, and that was when one of Cyril’s riding buddies told her, ‘He can do that with his head too.’”

“Are you absolutely sure that story is true,” I asked Louie.

“As sure as Rocky Mountain oysters come in shells,” he replied.

“I’ll use it in Twisted Roads...,” I said. Then I mentally debated if I should send Louie a free box of Big Jim’s “Insanely Delicious” Chocolate Chip Cookies or a copy of my book. “Fuck it,” I thought. “The cookies are really special. He’ll get a copy of Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists — for Cyril.”

“Great story,” I beamed. “But now I have to take a piss, if you’ll excuse me.”

There is a distinct advantage to locking up your gear on the motorcycle, especially if your exit entails climbing out the men’s room window. I knew the joy of reading his story in Twisted Roads would be more than ample compensation for sticking Louie with the meal ticket as well as the bar bill.

I heard the sobbing seconds before I saw her, a beautiful blond in a halter top, sitting on the ground next to my K75, crying her eyes out.

“Whose Cupcake are you,” I asked, “and why are you crying?”

“My asshole boyfriend just dumped me, over a tattoo — that I got for him,” she said through a flowing curtain of tears.

“Well that can’t be reasonable,” I said. “Tell me what happened.”

The blond — whose name was Charlotte — had just gotten a rather elaborate tramp stamp tattoo, complete with French curves and little bears, around her boyfriend’s name, which was “Teddy.” But the tattoo artist, who got drunk as a lord working for six hours inches above her flawless ass, spelled “Freddy” instead. The boyfriend automatically assumed she was cheating on him, and stormed off in a huff.

“I think that tattoo is absolutely beautiful,” I said, brushing it with my eyelashes. “Allow me to introduce myself... My name is Freddy. Do you like red motorcycles and insanely delicious chocolate chip cookies?”

Prize Announcements...
There were two winners of Big Jim’s “Insanely Delicious” Chocolate Chip Cookies this month. Each was a reader who submitted a superb letters to the editor.
• The first was Colin Cronenberg, whose genuine letter was used in the last “Dispatches From The Front” column.
• The second was SnowQueen, a reader of significance who has been intriguing everyone with her comments and insight regarding my early riding career. (There are some who are going to yell “foul” at this one... Too bad. It was a judgement call from the publisher. Note to SnowQueen — The Valentine’s touch was very sweet... I wasn’t expecting that. Do not give Stephen any of the cookies.)
• Big Jim stated that cookies were shipped February 21, 2012.

• Get a Letter Posted on Twisted Roads
• Get A Story Published on Twisted Roads

Win A Prize!
Send your letter to jack.riepe@gmail.com, marked “Dispatches From The Front...”
Send your story to jack.riepe@gmail.com, marked “Fifteen Minutes Of Fame...”

Moto Gear Annoucement:
I got this from a friend tonight, who is listing a pair of BMW Touring Cases for twin-shock airheads with BMW or Krauser mounts.
Alleged to fit: R75/6, R90/6, R80/7, R100/7, R100, R80, R65, R65LS, R100RS, R80RT, R100S, R100CS, R100RT (Not Krauser)



Above: These are the lucky bags that have gone round the country, and have successfully gotten my friend laid in 23 states. (I guess he didn't rub them hard enough in the others.) Photo supplied by Twisted Roads reader.


The seller states:
These have working latches with keys. All straps and hinges work.
Bags are heavily customized with stickers, decals and emblems including Porsche, Barracuda, Mercedes-Benz, Helix, Malibu, Bettie Page. Left bag has bottle opener.
There are repaired cracks and logos bolted through the plastic. Owner bought these bags used 20 years ago and customized them while traveling America.

Twisted Roads is not offering this gear, but is doing so as a favor to an old friend.
Please contact the seller directly through here:


Public Service Announcement — On Behalf Of The Working Man!
It is common knowledge that I am in exile in Cape May, NJ, this season. And as a writer, I frequent the dunes, the salt marshes, and the lighthouse — at all hours of the day or night. On one of the worst nights of the year, I watched a black-hulled vessel, with a white superstructure, claw its way into the Atlantic, rocking in the swells. I could see it for a long time, as the working decks were ablaze with light. I had no idea that 65% of the nation’s clams passed through New Jersey... Or that some of the most succulent oysters — Cape May Salties — are taken from here.

The wind was fierce that night, and rocked the truck like crazy. I could only imagine what it was like to work the machinery on the exposed decks of that fishing boat. But the next evening, Twisted Roads photographer Roy Grothing and I split a dozen Cape May Salties and a dozen clams (accompanied by scarlet Negronis in Martini glasses) at the landmark Lobster House,in Cape May, and toasted that crew.

Twisted Roads is the blog of working men everywhere... And no one is more deserving of your support than Garden State fishermen. Jersey seafood runs all year and you should treat yourself by asking specifically for New Jersey produced fish, shellfish, and processed clams. It’s like candy without the sugar. Any riders interested in participating in a New Jersey Seafood Night should contact the publisher of this blog at jack.riepe@gmail.com.

I got this letter today from Gef Flimlin today, and thought it was worth a mention.

In addition to being a Twisted Roads reader and a BMW “R” bike jockey, Gef Flimlin has worked since 1978 as Rutgers Cooperative Extension Marine Agent in Fisheries and Aquaculture and is also a Full Professor at Rutgers University. He helped form the NJ Aquaculture Association, East Coast Shellfish Growers Association ,sits on several national extension aquaculture committees, is currently on the Executive Committee of the National Shellfisheries Association, and two subcommittees of the US Aquaculture Society where he was recently on their Board of Directors. He has worked in many phases of shellfish and shellfish aquaculture including field experiments, disease tests, new species trials, production gear design and implementation, seafood handling to reduce food contamination, shellfish marketing and post harvest processing. He has over 40 extension publications focusing mainly on shellfish aquaculture, given over 90 class presentations, over 95 professional conference presentations, written 40 articles, 4 peer reviewed journal articles, and 35 published abstracts. He has worked with all extension personnel listed through USDA/NRAC.

Above: Gef Flimlin, Professor/Marine Extension Agent, Commercial Fisheries and Aquaculture, Rutgers Cooperative Extension — and his flawless BMW "R" Bike.

Communication from Gef Flimlin...

Each summer we in New Jersey seek out Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables because we know they are locally produced, are of high quality, and our purchases support NJ farmers. But what to do during the winter?

Even when our farmers are planning next year's crops, the NJ Commercial Fishing Industry is still working through the tough months of the winter. During this season, some folks think about eating fish on Fridays, others eat it all year because they like it, think its good for them, and enjoy cooking it. Presently over 85% of the seafood consumed in the US is imported. We actually spend way more money supporting fishermen's families around the globe than we do our own domestic fleets, and it certainly isn't locally produced.

Above: One of Cape May's proud fishing boats comes in from the Atlantic. Photo supplied by Gef Flimlin.

So when you go to the supermarket, your usual fish market, or favorite restaurant, specifically ask for Jersey Seafood. At this time of year, you can get clams, oysters, scallops, porgies, fluke, sea bass, skate, maybe tuna and swordfish, as well as frozen squid or canned clams and scungilli. Try something different, seek out a new recipe. Just say, "What do you have today from NJ?"

And if you think that locally produced food is important, if you like to eat seafood, and if you think that this idea has merit for NJ's fishermen, their families, and our economy, buy NJ Seafood, and then share this idea by forwarding this to your friends. The fishermen will appreciate it, and it might surprise them that you want to support them.

Thanks very much,

Gef Flimlin
Professor/Marine Extension Agent
Commercial Fisheries and Aquaculture
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
1623 Whitesville Road
Toms River, NJ 08755




©Copyright Jack Riepe 2012
All rights reserved

41 comments:

Cantwell said...

Dear Jack,

The riding season is opening up pretty quickly here in the North Country. I've seen lots of bikes out braving the twenty and thirty degree weather. I did not take my gem out of the garage yet, but she's ready to go.

I really enjoyed reading your post tonight as I've been thinking about what you've been up to. I hope you can manage to make it back up this way. I'll even let you ride my beautiful 1993 BMW K75.

Cheers,
Cantwell

Peter said...

Jesus Jack...this fucking blog isloaded with goodies tonight. The ham, salties, the clams, Big Jim's cookies.

Thanks for the read; as you know, I have a hard spot for tramp stamps!

The Jersey air suits you!

David said...

Jersey seafood is truly magnificent, The Lobster House is always a great place to eat or to buy locally harvested seafood. The hard work and bravery of our commercial fishermen is what brings these delights to our plates. These qualities I know first hand from my service at a USCG Lifeboat Station.

Jersey, It's not just the Garden State!

Jerry "Bull" Quinn said...

Jack, I've been spending the last week-and-a-half reading your blog. Your sister is right. You've got some serious talent. I've really enjoyed reading your stories.

I've been on the "injured-reseved-list" with a torn rotator cuff. They've seen fit to send me to work on light duty and, subsequently, I've had a-lot of time to read!
I thought that you might get a little kick out of knowing that I've been reading your blog on the "company dime!"
I come in. Sit down. Logon, and callup "Twisted Roads" By Jack Riepe
You really got my attention with the P.M.S. syndrome! After reading it I jumped to my feet and shouted, "That's it!"
My bike is all tuned up. Sporting new tires. And has been detailed down to the rag-threads left in the pinch-points! But alas, all I can do is go out into the garage and look at her.
Her name is, "Oh! Wicked Wanda!" She's a laquer-black and chrome 2009 Harley Heritage Softail. Her name is "Oh! Wicked Wanda" because she's sleek, sexy, and makes me want to do wrong. I'm sure you know the reference from staring at the British cartoon in Pen__ouse Magazine of the same name.
After nearly dying in the hospital ,(I Awoke in I.C.U. four-days after the surgery to find that I had very nearly checked-out twice just after the surgery due to complications), I promised my wife that I would take her on a motorcycle camping trip to the Gulf Shore this Spring. Whatcha think? Does traveling from Nashville Tennessee to Alabama, Georgia, and Florida's gulf coast for a week or two and back on two-lane-blacktops sound like a decent motorcycle adventure?

bluekat said...

Great post tonight Jack! or should I say Freddy :)

bobskoot said...

Jack:

It didn't take you long to recruit a whole network of new friends. How did the meeting go with your new motorcycle club in NJ ?

can't wait until you make your way WEST, hopefully this summer

take care
bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Charlie6 said...

Jack, I like the way you "added substance", ephemeral as it may be, to Louie's story. For the main character squid, I've not much sympathy but can imagine the horror in that poor old lady's face when he manipulated his prosthetic foot.

Very gallant of you, to "assist" a girl in distress over her recent loss....

dom


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Cantwell:

With any degree of luck, I hope to pop up there for a visit soon. While I thank you for the opportunity to ride "Connie," your pristine BMW K75,I suspect your seat height and mine are not that different.

I am likely to be waiting until I get a lower bike to ride. And hopefully, that won't be long into the 2012 season either.

Thanks for reading Twisted Roads, and for dropping me a line.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Peter:

The real goodies are the laughs though. I got this nice note from "Louie" and felt compelled to spin it into a piece. Big Jim's cookies are always a treat, but the Cape May Salties at the Lobster House are fantastic, and priced for value. These were some o the best oysters I have ever tasted, and that includes the exotics from Prince Edward Island.

PEI oysters are going for $36 a dozen in Pa, and you can get twelve Cape May Salties for under $14.

I have a thing for Tramp Stamps too.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear David:

New Jersey has many fine points. There's a blond living down the street here that should be listed as one of this state's greatest assets.

One thing I love to do, is eat shrimp at the bar of the Aztec Lounge on the boardwalk of Casino Pier (Seaside Heights)during the summer. Then I like to eat clams and oyster shucked right at the pier, while taking in the view (of the ocean).

Thanks for reading Twisted Roads, and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Jerry "Bull" Quinn:

I read your comment with amazement last night, and was sort of stymied by your reference to my sister. (I wasn't aware that my sister was making the rounds of Harley riders... But what the hell!)

"My sister," I thought. "How the hell would he know my sister?" And then I almost added that my sister thinks the shit I write is absolute nonsense and that she has never read anything I wrote, including that term paper I did for her in high school.

And then I remembered a long conversation she and I had last week. Now I know who you are exactly! Please tell your sister that I was on the verge of asking her out, 40 years ago, and changed my mind only because I thought she'd say "No," and laugh in my face. In fact, I had pulled up in my 1968 Volkswagen Beetle for the purpose of suggesting a movie, and she made fun of my car. "So much for that," I thought.

I'm sorry to hear of your rotator cuff operation and its complications. I recently woke up choking, but that was because a woman was holding a pillow over my face.

Your Harley sounds like a great bike. Send me a picture of it and I will use it in Twisted Roads. (Make sure you're sitting on it.) I sincerely hope to ride down your way this summer (en route to the west coast) on my next machine. I'd like nothing more than to take a few laps around the performance artist galleries in your neighborhood... With you in the lead.

I have a thing for BMW's. While I love the bikes... BMW-riding women drive me crazy. Between their skin-tight ballistic gear, their incredible choice of tattoos, and the way they cry out in German... I'm a lost soul.

Thanks for reading my blog, and for writing in. Tell your sister I said, "Hey."

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear BlueKat:

Thanks for reading my tripe and for dropping me a line. I can change a name like a license plate, if it works to my advantage.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bobskoot:

This is the same network of friends and Twisted Roads readers I've always had. Many of the folks I will be speaking to at the New Jersey Shore BMW Riders group (next month) have participated in my annual White Castle Birthday runs.

It is my dream to ride west this summer, astride a vicious-looking, and savage running BMW K1200, named POIZN. But that is just one portion of a much larger plan. I am seeking to re-establish a permanent residence, at the same time that I will be releasing not one, but two, new books.

I sincerely hope to meet you guys on the west coast. Thanks for reading and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Quite frankly, I had fun with this piece. A story can be good therapy for me sometimes... I almost typed, "I am not a big fan of 'Hooliganism'," and caught myself. That would have been total bullshit.

While I am not a big fan of attempting "wheelies" nor "stoppies," that is because I would fall on my ass and damage the bike. I have no compunction of running the tach up to the red line in the highest gear and testing the limits of the tires, however. (And I in tend to show Pete B. And Clyde J. a thing or two when I get my next machine, an Orient Blue, BMW K1200GT.

And my secondary dreams would include a K1300, but I will never get my leg over that tall son of a bitch, without a ladder.

I feel sorry that a rider lost his foot doing something foolish... But I have been in his position more than once, and made an equally short-sighted decision more than once.

Thanks for reading Twisted Roads, and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

MattPie said...

Jerry "Bull" Quinn: when Jack asks you for a picture of yourself and your bike for the blog, think hard about sending him one. You might want to consult with Dick Bregstein on this one.

Jack, great story. I'm game for any seafood run you want to call. I'll even be on the planning committee.

Flimsky said...

Jack,
Thanks so much for posting my little note about folks buying NJ Seafood. The biggest response I have gotten back is people don't know where to get Jersey Seafood. The easiest thing to do is to simply ask. If they don't have any, then ask why not.

These guys work hard, none get really rich as shown by the condition of their pickup trucks. Spreading the word that people appreciate that they literally risk their lives to put food on our tables goes a long way.

Thanks much.....Gef

Anonymous said...

Hi Jack!,
More good stuff!

It's great when folks can take something like the loss of a limb and deal with it in such a way that they can have some fun with the situation.

I saw the late cartoonist Al Capp on a talk show many years ago. He had lost his left leg as a child. He related a story of how he had been at a convention (or something) and had been partying heavily until rather late. He finally went up to his hotel room and headed right to bed. Being rather wiped out from all the partying he just undid his pants and leg and dropped them off with the leg still in the pants.

The next morning he called for room service. When the guy delivered his breakfast he saw the leg, still in the pants, sticking out from under the bed. Not missing a beat he asked, "Will the other gentleman be having anything?"

Mr. Capp seemed to really enjoy telling that story.

As for "Hooliganism" I've got a few stories about a high school friend I call "Crazy Joe" that are staples in my bag of memories. Although I was the good guy that usually helped keep Joe from going too far most times. His mom really liked me.

Jerry "Bull" Quinn said...

Jack, I cut and pasted that part of your e-mail that delt with my sister and sent it on to her. She tells me that she doesn't remember ANY of that incident with your 1968 Volkswagen Beetle. She did say that she feels bad about you remembering that she laughed at your car!
As for your sister reading any of your stuff...I guess I'm a snitch but...She told me that she thought that you were a VERY TALENTED writer...She's the one that told me about your book and your blog!
And, incidentally she and I shared a serious belly-laugh over the infamous Senior Paper caper! I guess, with the benefit of hindsight, she appreciated your rapier-like-wit! Jack..."Because I couldn't find any crayons" indeed! NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Did you see the warning I got below your offer to use my picture for your blog? I dunno...Do I need to consult the named friend of yours to be safe?

Brady Steffl said...

Jack,

I can ask about Jersey seafood, but the fish counter at the Rewe (Rah-vuh) consisits of frozen paddock and salmon of questionable providence. Seafood in Bavaria, is anything that is not pork.

In Minnesota fish that isn't walleye is scary. And Walleye is good. Oh jesus, I need some fried walleye.

Next is Kansas. I'll try there, but considering it is as far from a large body of water as possible (all bodies of water, I think) this too might be out of reach.

I'm starting to miss Virginia...'

Brady
Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

Jack Riepe said...

Dear MattPie:

It is always a pleasure to hear from you, and I can't think of anything nicer than having a seafood dinner with you and the guys at a local Jersey Shore joint.

Now, I can't believe you warned poor Jerry Quinn, a good old boy from Tennessee (formerly of JCNJ) that he should contact friggin' Bregstein about the evils of cooperating with this blog.

I have been savaged badly at the hands of Bregstein over the years, and for what? For making him famous as my confidante and foil. And the backhanded nature of your remark suggests you could do with a little publicity too.

Sincerely,
Jack/reep
Twisted Roads

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Flimsky:

How clever you are to conceal your real BMW-riding ID when commenting on Twisted Roads. You should learn to wear a bag over your head when posing for Twisted Roads pictures too. Your reputation is now shot. (Please read the above dialogue with Matt.)

I was delighted to plug the efforts of New Jersey fisherman and will do so again in the future. As you can see, I am trying to get up interest in a New Jersey-wide ride to the coast for oyster, clams, or calamari.

I have gotten response from as far away as Boston. (The power of Twisted Roads.)

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep
Sub Umbra Petri

Bill said...

Reep,

A couple funny stories from a motorcycle riding amputee:

I did loose my leg while riding, I won’t go into detail but I recovered well. I was preparing to go out for the first ride of the since loosing my leg. Picture this, wife standing by my side, so proud, bike running helmet and gear on, bike running sweet, in gear and she decides to give me a hug. Tears well in her eyes as she says, “you’re so scarred you’re shaking!” Well, at that point I just reached forward and shut off my 73 Triumph Bonneville, my shaking stopped.

Next story reminds me of the one you just told. Again Wife is involved. I was reading to take out my Ducati out for a quick ride before dinner. She arrived home just as I was getting ready to go and began to talk. I took off my helmet, talked and when she was done I replaced it then she began talking again. Took off the helmet again and repeated. Finally it was time to go. Out on the highway finally, I ripped through first and second gears when I felt the helmet strap banging on the side of the helmet. I’d forgotten to fasten it.

Large parking lot just up from the house adjacent to the highway so I decided to quickly pull in and fasten my helmet. Of boy, how about doing a stoppie in the lot, YES! NO! at abou 55 the front wheel locked up and I fell down. Things went fast and when I looked up the Ducati was behind me in a puddle of gas and my leg was about 10 feet further into the lot. A 60’s or so lady ( I was 50;s or so then) had witnessed the accident was pulling up asking if she could help. Panicking, I crawled to my leg and was stuffing it under my pants saying don’t worry, it’s supposed to do that when she walked up. She said she didn’t understand what went wrong. I just said it was my fault, I was trying something stupid and it didn’t work. Gas was all around my bike and I couldn’t get enough of a foothold in the slimy asphalt sealer/gas mixture and she actually helped pick up the bike and I rode off. I can’t imagine the story she tells.

Bill

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Anonymous:

Since my last exchange of off-line email with you, I take great satisfaction in knowing who you realy are. How the hell does this blog encourage hit and run comments from mysterious women and friends who pop up like the targets in the "Whack A Mole" game?

I too have lost limbs, sort of. I lost my balls in my first divorce and my lungs in the second. And I have damn little left of my mind after this last break-up. However, balls grow back... I now breath through my ears... And a mind is a terrible thing not to waste.

I loved the work of the late Al Capp. He once had an episode of Lil Abner in which someone wanted a ham sandwich made by Moshe Dyan.

I am amazed that everyone knew a "Crazy Joe" character in their youth... But none ever did anything stupid on a bike themselves. (I am the exception.) My pal was the late "Cretin."

Send me a Crazy Joe story and you might win a box of cookies.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Jerry Bull Quinn:

I hold no ill will against your sister. If every woman who laughed and spit when I pulled up on a bike or in a car were stood end to end, they'd circle the earth — twice.

Please tell your sister she exercised really good judgement at the time.

For the benefit of the three or four readers who follow these comments, Bull Quinn referenced a term paper I wrote for my sister when she was in her senior year of a girl's academy.

I was already exercising my muscles as a writer in college and was highly incensed by the stupid topic she was assigned. That topic was: Address The Good and Evil Points of the Film "A Clockwork Orange."

I rolled up my sleeves and went to town on it. I left no stone unturned in my scathing attacks on "legislated, programmed behavior."
I tried to walk my sister through it... But then — as now — she never read a damn thing I wrote.

Her teacher asked her three questions. My sister knew about as much about Pavlovian behavior as she did about quantum physics, and the game was up.

She came at me screaming, "Why the hell couldn't you write the damn thing like I wrote it?"

My response was, "Because I couldn't find any crayons."

Bull, I have logged more miles riding with Dick Bregstein than any other individual and he is one of my closest friends. He is still a prick. Go to the BMW MOA website and look up the "Devil and Dick Bregstein." It was my column for their magazine in January.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bill:

You win... I would like to do a full profile piece on you for a Twisted Roads story. Please contact me at jack.riepe@gmail.com

First prize is a copy of my book, "Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists." You might get the cookies too.

Fondest regaerds,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Brady:

Thank you for trying... As the average Twisted Roads reader knows, I am not a big fan of New Jersey. (Having been born and raised in Jersey City, I an entitled to my opinion.) However, there are some things at which New Jersey excels.

They are:
1) Diners -- The Best In The World
2) Obscure burger joints (White Manna in Jersey City)
3) Seaside preservation (Cape May)
4) Oysters and clams on the half-shell,with rum and Coke, on the boardwalk, looking at hot asses, from the bar of the Aztec (a real dive), on Casino Pier in Seaside Heights
5) Great Seafood caught locally -- Two great places to enjoy it are the Berkley Fish Store and Restaurant (Seaside Park) and the Lobster House (Cape May).

But since you are lost in the Fatherland, why not go to Hamburg and try the seafood of the Reeperbahn? I liked it. And its sort of on the half-shell.

Thanks for reading and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

shorewoodbill said...

Jack-
I know Bill, the amputee above, you should ask him about his bicycle story, also, he claims he can't swim because he just goes in circles.
Best regards,
Shorewood Bill

Anonymous said...

Hi Jack,
re: "Dear Anonymous:

Since my last exchange of off-line email with you, I take great satisfaction in knowing who you realy are. "

Sorry....wrong Anonymous. I forgot to tag the end of my last message with "1974". I guess you could say I'm lucky and have never met you in person. LOL But if you ever head south you got a free place to stay for awhile.

I have a soon to be ex wife that is trying to take all she can. We'll see how much my lawyer and the judge let her get away with later this month. Actually, even if she gets what she wants I'll still be better off than I am now, except for my 401K being pretty much wiped out. But fuck it...I'd rather sleep under a bridge than waste more time stuck with her.

re: Al Capp and "a ham sandwich made by Moshe Dyan" I seem to remember that bit...vaguely. But it does remind me of a good one to pull on the holidays. A lot of folks like to have a ham dinner for Christmas since they usually had turkey for Thanksgiving. Now...is it just me or does it seem just plain WRONG to be celebrating the birth of a jew by eating a ham dinner?????

re: Crazy Joe. I'll write up a few stories about him and send them your way. This guy was the classic example of someone that could end up neck deep in shit and come out smelling like a rose.

1974

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Shorewood Bill:

I just heard from "Bill the Amputee," and I believe we are going to chat shortly. I'll let him know I herard from you.

Thanks for reading and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear 1974:

I have another reader who comes on as "Anonymous" too, a friend I have met on one occasion, and a guy I chat with on the phone periodically.

I thought the writing style was a little different this time, though. I was under the impression you and I had met face-to-face once too.

Not so? What state are you from and wha do you ride?

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Anonymous said...

Hi Jack,
I'm originally from PA/Ohio area but am living in the south now. Riding an FJR1300. Until the court date later this month don't want to say anything in print that might later be used against me. LOL At least by posting as "Anonymous" I might have some level of deniability.

We've never met. I forget now how I found your blog, but been reading faithfully for a little while now. Always a fun read, and a good way to kill time at work.

So....did Snow Queen ever contact you outside of this blog comment page? If she wants to keep you at arms length and/or out of sight from a significant other she could always set up a "disposable" hotmail account. It worked for me...for a while anyway.

1974

Jerry "Bull" Quinn said...

Jack, It's good to know that you're not still mad about that putdown about your car from my sister. A guy's first car is pretty much his first love!
I'll send you that pic of me astride my bike as soon as I can. I seem to have misplaced my data cord for downloading pics to my laptop in the mad,screaming, frenzied lunacy that is moving. After living for Twenty-four-years in our home we were faced with putting it on the market and getting a surprise offer on it. And moving into my mother's old home. My mom passed away last spring. With the economy the way it is, and the glut in the market of homes in that price range, we had to grab it in a hurry and move. NOW I CAN"T FIND ANYTHING!
You still haven't given me your opinion about riding from just east of Nashville Tennessee to the Alabama, Georgia, and Florida gulf coasts. Does that qualify as an ridin adventure?

Steve Williams said...

You know calling a woman cupcake isn't polite in the south don't you?

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Steve Williams:

I have never had a problem calling a woman "Cupcake" anywhere... It's tasting the frosting that geets me into trouble.

Thanks for reading my tripe and leaving a comment.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bull:

I was hardly pissed... I asked a girl out on the next block. She said, "No" too, but that didn't keep me down either.

Please tell your beautiful sister I think of her often, and start drinking early.

I am sorry to hear about your mom.

I would ride straight south to the Gulf of Mexico, and head east along the coast, keeping the water on my right, until I hit Key West, and had it on both sides of me.

And considering your ride, I'd take my time, seldom going over 65 mph, so nothing vibrated off. Then when I got to Key West, I'd call my wife and tell her how much I missed her.

Does that explain my situation?

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear 1974:

I thought our paths had crossed, but I can see I was mistaken.

SnowQueen has never contacted me, outside of the comments section of this blog. That is because contacting me is not in the rules. I get a little tingle every now and again, but that's the extent of it.

I sent her box of cookies for her Valentine's Day kindness, but it is unlikely that I'll ever know if she got them. In fact, my spies tell me gypsies live at that address, and that SnowQueen moved to Lake Tung Ting, in China.

I may hear from her on March 10th... That is the day I have promised to stand on the beach and throw my laptop in the water.

Smiley (in lieu of your first name), she is busting my balls in the most exquisite way. I can hear her laughing... Twisted Roads is all about making people laugh. That's why I write it.

SnowQueen is never going to contact me... Because as long as things are like this, I get to be 19-years-old every time I write about her. And man, that makes me laugh.

Isn't she something? Hot damn...

Fondest regard,
Jack/reep

Anonymous said...

Hey Jack,
I'd keep the laptop...unless you're in the market for a new one anyway. I got lucky. My "Snow Queen" contacted ME! I had tried to reach her first but her blasted work email thought I was trying to spam her from my work email. The day she reached out to me is the happiest I've been in 37 years!

I know exactly what you mean about feeling 19 again. I haven't had this much zest for living since I graduated high school and got married.

I'm not able to be with my "Snow Queen" either....yet. But who knows?

Oh well...the fantasies are always better than the reality anyway. Well, most of the time. Lately for me...well...I'm not tellin'

Let's just say that "Smiley" is a pretty good name for me right now in spite of the crap I'm going through otherwise. All my friends and family tell me I'm MUCH happier now that I'm living on my own. I even had a guy on my work instant message today tell me I seemed happier....and he's in an office several hundred miles away!

Like the song says... "you got to go through hell before you get to heaven."

Keep writing Jack...keep writing!

Smiley
1974

Jerry "Bull" Quinn said...

Jaaaack, I DO intend to take my time. I am, after all taking nothing but two-lane blacktops all the way down and back.
As far as calling the wife is concerned. I won't need to. She'll be with me. I was incredibly lucky to have married my best friend. We'd been married five-years and one-day I suddenly realized that I actually liked the women I had married. On April 14th of this year we'll have been best friends and constant companions for twenty-five-years.
I also am a returning rider. I rode a kawasaki 750 h2, (I called it "handgrenade"), brown/and cream, in my college years and then had an accident that ended my riding days in that I owed the money on the bike to the bank and had no insurance.
You remember my dad? He called that bike, "That Polish motorcycle...a Kuh-WAS-ski"
Interestingly the accident happened on a really great motorcycle road in Suffern New York called Spook-Rock-Road. I was on my way to see my girlfriend.

I did ride a time or two from Connecticut down to My Aunt's in Wildwood New Jersey for fun and sun. The place was called, "The White Marsh" and was on Hildreth Ave. It was one block from Wildwood Crest and two-blocks from the boardwalk. Catching the Garden State Parkway in the early morning hours of 3 or 4 A.M. in the height of summer with your girlfriend on the back is a memory that can't be bought and would never be sold!

I began riding again back in the mid-90's. I bought a 2002 yamaha Roadstar 1600 and traded that in in 2009 for a 2009 Harley Heritage Softail with less than 5000 miles on her.

Colin Cronenberg said...

Received the cookies yesterday!! I'm glad i've lost almost 60lbs since september and haven't donated my clothes yet, as I will be needing bigger pants today. Each one is like an entire box from the brown/green shirted cookie pushers. You have outdone yourself.

Colin Cronenberg
F800ST

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Colin:

Big Jim's "Insanely Delicious" Chocolate Chip Cookies represent the baker's art when it comes to self indulgence. It just doesn't get any better. Each cookie is like a slice of pie — really good pie. No other commercially prepared cookie comes close to it.

Thank you for reading Twisted Roads, the moto-blog that sends you stuff for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

BMW-Dick said...

Reeper:
Just got around to reading this. I was out of town fulfilling fantasies. The tales made me hungry for NJ seafood and Big Jim's addictive cookies. As soon as we get through the ice storm season I'll be down to see you. The guys have taken up a collection to buy you a tramp stamp. Don't worry about what it says, you won't be able to read it anyway; it's in Arabic, الهدف