Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Saddest Sign Of Middle Age, As Told To Me By A Biker...

In the modern Western-movie classic “Silverado,” veteran actor Kevin Kline says, “A good, smelly saloon is my favorite place in the world.” There are days when I am forced to agree with him. I didn’t have a neighborhood bar when I lived in East Goshen, Pa. The only place that could have qualified as a gin mill of character catered to 25-year-olds. (The last time I was in there the barmaid was a huge snapping turtle.) The other bars on the edge of West Chester had an aura of falsehood about them, with bullshit Irish names and bogus “authentic” pub decor.

Things aren’t much improved in Cape May, NJ, where the neighborhood watering holes are primarily attached to eateries, though several have definite characters behind the bar. I had a decent time over a plate of Cape May Salties (some of the finest oysters on the half shell that I have ever tasted) at the bar in the Lobster House recently, where the barman — Bob — mixed me a couple of Negronis with elan and wit. It is currently possible to have two Negronis and a half-dozen Cape May Salties for less than $20, and that includes the tip.

But I like a bar where the smell of the booze has permeated the walls and whose good-natured patrons can be relied on to burst into song at the drop of a hat. (Technically, a place of this nature should also include cigar smoke but you can forget that in the Continental US.) The roar of a motorcycle (from outside) and ballistic gear would always be fashionable in my kind of joint. These places are hard to find without a specific recommendation. Saint Paddy’s Day found me writing myself into a funk as deep as the Marianas Trench. I had just reached a point in the dialogue where the moto-bride’s mother (inspired by her daughter’s choice of a groom) had suggested that the words “Eat shit and die” be incorporated into her daughter’s wedding vows, when I thought, “I have to get away from this.”

I jumped in the truck, now known as “Big Balls,” and lit up a cigar the size of a Ducati muffler. Cranking Meatloaf out of the stereo, I headed though the salt marshes to the blue water of the Atlantic. The New Jersey shore is coming alive months ahead of schedule as global warming (or a season of manure-laden political campaigning) is now driving mid-March temperatures into the 60’s and 70’s (degrees fahrenheit). This means the crowds are returning earlier, bringing with them traffic and longer waits for a table with a view of the water. Yet the road was wide open as I bounced over the little steel-grate toll bridge into Wildwood Crest, and headed into one of New Jersey most successful shore communities.

The “Wildwoods” represent a mixed community of 15-story condos crowding the dunes, along with the systemic preservation of 1950’s-style motels (complete with fake palm trees), and amusement piers. My destination was the corner of East Wildwod Avenue and Atlantic Avenue.

Tucker’s Pub is alleged to be the real Irish watering hole in these parts and it certainly had the trappings for it. Not the nonsensical Celtic crap on the walls (photographs of the old country and slogans of the Easter Rebellion), but about a dozen bagpipers clad in green plaid, wearing the badges of local police and fire departments, accompanied by several hundred people with pleasant faces as Irish as Paddy’s pig. Tucker’s is a legitimate saloon. The building was originally built as a bank, and the massive vault door is still in place behind the bar, which seats about 70 on nice stools. There is an outside porch and dining room filled with tables as well. The tin ceiling is museum quality and the decor of dark woodwork is offset by dozens of flags hanging from the ceiling. Many of these are unit flags from the armed services as well as Irish cultural representations.

It took a while to find a space at the bar... In fact, I found myself standing behind a stunning blond for about 10 minutes. Her only article of green apparel that day was a lacy garter with a verdant ribbon over her black jeans.

“I’ve never seen a green garter before,” I said with a grin.

She turned and shot me a smile, knowing full well what I actually said was, “You have the hottest ass in this bar. I would wear it as a top hat to a Presidential inauguration.”

I got a stool next to a burley guy who wore the leather gear and visage of a Harley rider. His face bore the marks of seasoned road warrior with hundreds of thousands of miles under his belt. Everyone else was slamming pints of Guinness and Harp... He was nursing a “Bud” and a double shot of “Jack.”

I ordered a Harp “shorty” and a shot of Jamesons.

“That your Road King outside?” I asked after a bit.

“Yup,” he replied. “It ain’t on its side, is it?”

“Not when I last saw it,” I said. “It’s a beautiful bike.”

His machine was the classic Harley... A balance of dark green paint and lustrous chrome, highlighted by leather tanned from sin-free cattle. There wasn’t a spec of dust on the bike, though it had 32,00 miles on the clock and was only last year’s model.

He glanced at my cane and asked me if I rode. I gave him the details, with the emphasis on my addiction to German motorcycles and a brief explanation that I needed the cane since my last wife unloaded a 12-gauge into my hip. He looked at me with raised eyebrows, and I explained that she’d caught me playing pirate with her younger sister.

“Pirate?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I replied. “I was giving her a jolly rogering in the hot tub.”

While not exactly the truth, this explanation makes perfect sense to a lot of Harley riders.

His name was Raul Murphy. He explained his mother had been a hot-blooded Spanish beauty while his late dad was a hot-tempered Irish prick, and that he had inherited the worst traits of both. “My mother could carry a grudge like a bag of groceries, while my dad could drink himself into a blood feud in less than 15 minutes,” Murphy said.

I told him I never knew my father, but that I occasionally got birthday cards from the Federal Witness Protection program when I was little. “My mom got a job scrubbing the white line of US-9 where it runs through Hudson County,” I lied. “She’d be on her hands and knees with a scrub brush, everyday, working to get the skid marks off the white lines, with traffic zooming all around her. Mom did this for 28 years, until she saved up enough money to hire a comedian to entertain at my first wedding.”

“Why did she do that?” asked Raul.

“Because after meeting my new in-laws, she thought I would never laugh again,” I said.

Raul and I lingered over our beers, but we each ordered another shot. In the reverie that so often punctuates comments and stories traded by riders, Raul noticed me staring at yet another blond, at a table of nine, each wearing a green tee shirt and the comic impedimenta of hard-drinking folks anxious to be associated with the ancient and sophisticated culture of Hibernia. While I am sure they discussed the significance of the Book of Kells that afternoon, they were also chugging drinks called “Irish Car Bombs.”

This second blond had a softer, more attainable look. She had a laugh that identified her as a genuinely free spirit and the kind of person you’d want on a pillion. She led the singing when the Irish tenor on the juke box gave it a rest, and Neil Diamond broke into “Sweet Caroline.” But she became positively beautiful when dancing around to some rock number.

“You like that one, huh?” asked Raul.

“I like ‘em all,” I laughed. “I’m gonna send that one a note just before I jump into the La Brea Tar Pits. I got too old and too gimpy too fast.”

“”There are very few advantages to getting old,” said Raul. “Can I tell you a tragic story of middle age?”

Raul was pushing 55 and looked pretty good for the half-century mark. But as he tells it, middle-age is more than just creaky joints, less hair, and tighter pants. Sometimes, it is the loss for a certain zest of life.

He’d been enamored of a younger woman in her mid-forties for quite some time. Work occasionally threw them together and he always detected a certain flirtiness, suggesting the door of romantic possibility was ajar, if not actually open. She’d let him take her to lunch, to work-related events, and occasionally out for a drink... But she’d balk whenever he tried to kick things up a notch. And then, when he’d had enough and started to pull away, she’d give him call or walk into his shop, and the process would start again.

“I couldn’t get her out of my mind in the beginning. I wanted her so badly that I could taste her in Chinese take-out food,” said Raul. “I imagined the fun we’d have together... The conversations we’d share... The places we’d go to... But I couldn’t get it off the dime.”

He described the gradual process by which pragmatism transcends desire, and how the lack of fulfillment gradually exposes a potential lover’s flaws, to the point where you’re just barely going through the motions of pursuit. In his opinion, this process is accelerated after a certain age. He called it “the age of practical intolerance.”

“I used to think of this woman as I’d polish the chrome on the bike... Imagining what it would be like to rub cocoa butter on her body, in the warm sun. And then one day, I realized it was more satisfying polishing the chrome,” said Raul. “That’s when I just gave it up... And she started chasing me.”

The chase wasn’t obvious at first. It was subtle to the point where it could easily be concealed, or recalled. “And it was then I realized I had reached a point in my life where I just didn’t give a shit if I dotted all the ‘i’s or crossed all the ‘t’s for someone else. A week later she turned up at a bar where I was hanging out, and asked me for a ride home on the bike.

“She lived in a chic-chic part of town where parking was tight and the only spot within a block or two of her place was by a yellow curb, beneath the sign ‘No Parking From Here To Corner,’” said Raul. “But I figured, ‘What the hell! This was finally going my way.’

“She put on some throbbing music from the 90’s and took off her shoes and jeans. Then she sat in my lap and started kissing my mouth and throat. And the damnedest thing happened. All I could think of was the $75 ticket I was likely to get on the bike... But she was a good kisser, and I had been waiting for this for three years,” said Raul.

“She ran her hand up and down the inside of my leg, before opening my pants. In another second or two, I would have opened them myself — with both hands behind my head,” said Raul.”

I nodded knowingly at this point in the story.

“And then she started with a trombone solo... All I could think of was the last line on that ‘No Parking’ sign which read, ‘Tow-Away Zone,’” said Raul. “All I could envision was some guy loading my perfect bike onto a flatbed.”

He paused, and belted down the Jack Daniels. Then he looked at me and said, “I told her, ‘Honey... I’ll be right back. I gotta move the bike.’ I zipped up my pants, ran down to the street, and fired up the Harley. Then I made a half-assed effort to find another place to park... Before just riding it home. You really know you’re middle-aged when a blow job is just too much aggravation.”

“That’s the saddest story I ever heard,” I said, wiping a tear from my eye.

“Ain’t it though,” said Raul.

“Did she ever call you again?”

“Who?”

“Quite right,” I said.

You meet the most profound people in legitimate, neighborhood bars.

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Tucker’s Pub
Atlantic Avenue and East Wildwood Avenue • Wildwood, NJ
609-846-1110


The atmosphere and menu in Tucker’s is worth a ride to the Wildwood, New Jersey area. Of course, I am talking about off season. Parking and crowds look like they could be a first-class pain in the ass in the summer. (Stop and go shore-town traffic can be an issue for big, heavy, heat-generating motorcycles.) The joint is close to the boardwalk and the beach, which means parking on the street would go quickly, even if you got there around 11:30am.

The “Hot” Reuben sandwich is about an inch and a quarter of thinly-sliced, corned-beef, topped with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. The bread was quality rye, finely toasted in butter for a unique flavor. It was priced at $8.99, and couldn’t have been better. A pint of Harp on St. Paddy’s Day was about $4. I got a taste of the Maple Bourbon chicken wings, $9, and they were terrific too.

Not sampled was the fish and chips, which looked really impressive, and which was priced at $15.99. The chips (or French fries) are the steak fries variety and looked like professional cut and posed model fries for cook books.

Service here was very good, despite the mob, and every effort was made to seat folks as soon as practical. The wait staff was competent and pleasant. The hostess ran things with a practiced eye. The music was set to the right level, and conversation was not a problem. I would happily take a woman here if I could find one that would take me up on my offer. Tables are nicely spaced in the dining room and patrons do not get the impression they are eating on a plane. A sign at the door advises that biker club “tee” shirts or colors are not allowed.

I’d drop in here for dinner on a Friday night (in a heartbeat), and sit at the bar for a night’s diversion. There is no waterfront view, or any view, though there is is nice wrap around porch with tables.

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The Lobster House
906 Schellengers Landing Road Cape May, NJ 08204
884-8296


This is a full-service sit down restaurant that is right on the wharf at Cape May, NJ. It is featuring Cape May Salties, raw oysters that are the equal of anything I’ve had from Prince Edward Island, at about 1/3 the price. Of course, the place has a reputation for clams on the half-shell as well. While the seafood here is very good, my focus for this blog episode is the bar. Get there around 5:30pm (or noon), sit at the bar, order a dozen Cape May Salties and a Negroni or a Manhattan. Savor both. If it is the weekend, you may be lucky to have “Bob” as your barman. He has a personality like a game show host and mixes a cocktail like a gifted scientist. During the week, it might be Alise. Tell them “Negroni Jack” sent you.

The second major attraction here is the fish store. This place offers one of the finest selections of exotic and Jersey Fresh seafood in the area. It also features authentic New York-style cheesecakes and fine pastries for dessert.

The parking lot here appears to hold 3 million cars and buses... Because that many people will hit this joint each day in the height of the summer season. Ride your motorcycle here for lunch on the warmer off-season days now. It is my hope that if I start leading an exemplary life, and die in a state of grace, that I will find myself in a heaven where Bob is mixing my Negronis and serving Cape May Salties.

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Disclaimer...

Twisted Roads is not affiliated in any way with restaurants nor bars reviewed on this blog. Neither Twisted Roads nor Jack Riepe advocates operating a motorcycle nor any motor vehicle while legally or practically impaired by any controlled substance. Neither Twisted Roads nor Jack Riepe advocates eating raw seafood (that looks like female genitalia) as things could come to a bad end. Be very careful about what you put in your mouth. In recent years, drinking water, consuming alcohol, breathing air, having sex, getting married, getting divorced, smoking cigars, and believing in stupid things posted on the internet have all been judged to be harmful to your health. Just mind your own business... Keep your hands to yourself... And marry responsibly. If you like this blog, write in and tell us. If you don’t, keep it a secret and carry it to the grave.

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2012
All rights reserved

24 comments:

Conchscooter said...

I tried to explain how this was not happening to me in an e-mail but you tell it much better.

Doc Rogers said...

Yep ... been there, doing that. A drive yesterday in a friends highly modified GT500 Mustang (~640 hp) was more thrilling than my last hot date ... yep, I'm there ... and the funny thing is, I don't mind at all. A lot of it isn't the middle age, as much as it is the drama ... which I find that I have zero tolerance for these days. Thanks for the great read!

Brady Steffl said...

Looking good, Jack, nice installment. I'm really looking forward to the aging process given your descriptions.

The food and drinks, though, sound great. Middle 'Merica has its own idea of Jersey, and if I've got my finger on that pulse, it's not typically favorable. More like the sphincter that seeps the dregs of the eastern US into the ocean. Your depictions to a hell of a lot to repair that view, and, actually make it a destination worth viewing. (If I've learned to properly sort through your bullshit.)

At any rate, it's gone on the list of places to take one of the bikes, though it might need to wait a bit. If you're still there, and your hip hasn't completely disintegrated, I'd be interested in some of the sights. Blonde or otherwise.

Brady
Behind Bars

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conchscooter:

You were the first of several male riders to zap me offline, citing this blog episode as the most "truthful" in philosophical content. Quite frankly, I was surprised at how many guys related to the conclusions of "Raul Murphy."

Still, I found your email enlightening.

It's always a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for reading Twisted Roads, and thanks for commenting.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Doc Rogers:

As I stated to Conchscooter, I was surprised at the number of male riders who related to the position of "Raul Murphy." That so many popped up to support the concept of zero tolerance for "the drama" astounded me.

More astounding was that the majority of these riders felt the necessity to take the issue off line. I am delighted you found the piece to be a great read.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Brady:

It doesn't always turn out like this for everyone... But I suspect the "zero tolerance for romantic drama" in middle-age phenomenon is common enough for male riders established in their life's routine.

I do love dive bars, and the Jersey Shore has a textbook few. But Tucker's was not a dive, and I'd be there again this Friday if circumstances warranted. I was out with a bunch of BMW riders the other night, and mentioned wanting to hit a real "dive." Three guys simultaneously mentioned "The Aztec" in Seaside Heights, and I busted out laughing, having written about this place before.

Cape May, NJ, the jewel of the New Jersey Shore, doesn't have anything like a dive within 50 miles of the place, more's the pity.

There are very few, if any, places along the New Jersey shore where you will find anything like the "Outer Banks," but you can find a good deal of local color. I was in a joint called D'Arcey's (Avon-by-the-Sea) and felt right at home.

Don't get me wrong... A lot of New Jersey criticism is well deserved. Jersey City is still a smear on global culture. People in Hudson County speak their own odd dialect, and the word "fuck" is like the word "bon" in France. Traffic is unbelievable. And Seaside Heights is the painted whore of the Jersey Shore.

I was born and raised in Jersey City. I cut my professional teeth in Hudson County. I first got laid in New Jersey. (I got fucked there too.) I love some aspects of Seaside Heights, and it's a bad year when I don't get a drink in the Aztec.

But there is real sparkle in the way they pour a cocktail at the bar in the Lobster House (Cape May). And for anyone who craves a raw bar, it is an absolute must to taste Cape May Salties (oysters), which aren't very salty at all. But man, are they fresh and good.

There's a lot to see here in New Jersey, and a lot to experience. But you have to know where to look. It would be fun to ride with you in the Garden State... Let's do it sometime.

Thanks for reading Twisted Roads and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Redbeemer said...

Jack,
Great story as always!
I can relate to it and, well let's face it, it's more to the truth than we men want to admit. Chasing the car as a pup is fun and part of life, sitting on the porch having the car come to us is a more enjoyable life style.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Redbeemer:

Thank you for reading my tripe and for writing in.

You put it nicely... The analogy of the young dog chasing the car, and the older mutt on the porch — having the rabbit come to him — is a good way to look at it. I still don't mind the chase, but I'm over jumping in and out of bedroom windows in the dark.

Thanks again for the comment.

Fondest regards,
Jack/Reep

bobskoot said...

Jack:

knowing the rewards of jumping into that bedroom window in the middle of the night, sounds enticing.

but perhaps not as rewarding as an unknown encounter in the middle of the night whilst arousing you from your deep sleep would seem like a dream

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Dan Mckenzie said...

Ya, at this point in my life, I've come to the conclusion that riding down a deserted road in western Canada, freezing in the cold rain, is better and more memorable than sex. And I'm good with that...

BKRNRD said...

I can relate to the middle aged story.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bobskoot:

The trick to jumping in and out of bedroom windows, regardless of the hour, is in understanding how to land without making a sound, nor looking surprised at the outcome.

The second part of the trick, known as the "prestige," entails acting like a sleepwalker if the husband or boyfriend is home.

I guarantee you will master these fine points if you continue to read this blog.

Thanks for reading Twisted Roads, and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dan McKenzie:

Depending on what is behind you, or what may be in pursuit, I would agree that riding down a desert road can be better than sex. Without firsthand knowledge, I am certain it must be better than sex in a Turkish prison.

Thanks for reading Twisted Roads, and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear BKRNRD:

Thank you for reading Twisted Roads, and for writing in. I am amazed at the growing number of comments that have accrued on FaceBook, this blog, and my personal e-mail, from guys who not only relate to this particular story, but who have similar ones of their own.

Got a good story, Biker Nerd, drop me a line. (It doesn't have to be about this topic.)

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

BeemerGirl said...

Hmmm...No girls have written in...

And I'm just not sure what to say. Though I can't say that I relate to the story at all, as I am of the fairer persuasion that is more used to being chased than doing the chasing. ;) Something tells me things might be different in more "mature" life.

God I hope that isn't the case! :)

Good story that, unforunately, reeks of mature male-hood on Raul's part. You, on the other hand, can always be relied upon to act as the alley tomcat.

Steel Cupcake

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Steel Cupcake:

Actually, the ladies did write in... But their vehicle of communication was FaceBook or my direct email. Three laughed, and referred the stories to their husbands.

And I got a lot of guys zapping me, complimenting me on my courage to write this sensitive truthful perspective.

Not all mature, sensitive guys (like myself) find themselves in this position. Yet enough of them do to create a significant voice in the room.

I deeply resent the implication that I have the ethics of a Tomcat. Then again, if the shoe fits.

Your upcoming ride sounds great.

It is always a pleasure to find a note from you in this column.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Michelle said...

Jack,
LOL, thanks for the very kind note on your last blog posting. I get it now, the situation between you and Snowqueen is what you want it to be. The phrase "the thrill of the chase" comes to mind. Far be it for me to stick my opinion in where it is not warranted. I read maybe too much into it I guess. Just felt she was being quite a bitch for toying with you or at the very least a tease? Not used to the single life as an adult. Been locked away in a marriage for way to long. But I am a quick study and am learning rapidly. Though my opinion and comment got your attention right? I can't believe you would like to send me one of your coveted cigar books. I have actually been on the lookout for this book for a while in the local bookstores. Had about given up and was going to go on Amazon and order it. Rony introduced me to your articles in BMW ON. I immediately fell in love with them, though it didn't hurt that I was not in a particularly good mood when he read the first one to me. By the end I was laughing so hard my sides hurt and my eyes were watering. I forgot completely what had been bothering me and was happy and laughing. He found your online blog and I quickly signed up for your postings. I guess you could say I am a bit addicted to your writings. My favorite part is that they are not technical. You write about your experiences and the enjoyment you get out of going on rides. And yes there is usually some voluptuous woman involved, but hey that's Jack Riepe. I am sure you are quite the lady killer in person based on what you write and the fact that you say that they are all truthful. Though I question how much was truthful in your Christmas shopping expedition. Seriously? Sounded a bit exaggerated but extremely enjoyable. Rony will love the book as well. I am sure we will be fighting over who gets to read it first. I have always been an avid reader so if your book is anything like your postings I can finish it in a day or so. As far as going for a ride with you. That would depend on the timing. I am a "baby" rider at present. First got on a motorcycle as a pillion in July of last year. I previously thought all bikers were a little off and had a death wish. I quickly learned that these people have it right. The feeling of being on a bike is something I can't explain but have embraced and perhaps become again addicted to. So much that the women in our club talked me in to do the class. Low and behold I freaking passed the test. still think the state of Florida is crazy for giving it to me. Bought a bike and am now very slowly learning to ride it. Thus to make a long story short, haha, I am no where near ready to ride with the famous "Reep". However, since I still enjoy riding pillion, I could ride with Rony on his and we can all do the Alligator Alley thing. Told him you had suggested taking a ride and he was thrilled at the chance to ride with you. So let me know when and i can make the arrangements. Rony is the ultimate in finding awesome roads in Florida to go on.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Michelle:

You never have to apologize for taking a stand on Twisted Roads. I encourage my readers to shoot from the hip and and take whatever aim they can muster.

The point I was trying to make about "SnowQueen" is that it is impossible for that woman to aggravate me. Nothing she can say will ever raise my hackles, and finding a comment from her is like coming across a $50 bill in an old pants pocket.

I'd be delighted to hear her voice, but have no expectations. Could she appear "bitch-like" to the unsuspecting bystander? Perhaps... But the average person is not blessed with my Saint Francis-like virtue and ability to see the gentleness in all things.

Is she eating my cookies and saving me the crumbs? Only time will tell.

Continued to Michelle...

Jack Riepe said...

Michelle (con't)

I am thrilled that you can relate to my stories both as a woman, and as a rider. I am indebted to "Rony" for introducing you to my work. Many men actually read my stuff to their paramours in bed at night, as many women find my metaphors soothing, inspirational, and at times stimulating.

You are the second "woman" rider who won a cigar book this month. "Monica" of the New Jersey Shore BMW Riders won one for her husband "Norm" at the group's monthly dinner last week. She sat down, looked into my eyes, and said, "I could listen to your stories all night." Then she guessed the magic number.

There is a broad gap between my monthly columns in the BMW MOA's "Owners News," and this blog. My column is strictly vanilla, and would barely stand up the flavor of "Big Jim's" Chocolate Chip Cookies. There is no such restriction on this blog.

Can you imagine what editorial shit I'd be cranking out if aspired to write technical stuff? My riding buddies won't let me near a fucking screwdriver.

There was a time in my life when a motorcycle was the threshold to unbelievably hedonistic good times. (Just ask SnowQueen, if you can find her.) Now that I am a candidate for the LeBrea Tar Pits, riding has assumed a different significance.

Please do not get all sweaty palms over my invitation for a ride through Alligator Alley just yet. I have plans to ride from Maine to Florida... And from New Jersey to California, someday. I want to do this before I die. There is no rush.

I would be delighted if "Rony" would assemble a posse of good lads, and map out a route through swampy, malaria-infested, alligator-choked bogs, with planned stops at topless joints and performance art locations where modern dance is supported by brass poles.

Local color (seamless tan) is important when writing about a ride.

I am delighted to meet all Twisted Roads readers, but as you are aware, thrive on meeting those of the Teutonic persuasion... Especially if they are riding "K" bikes. I have a thing for fast bikes with snazzy cooling systems.

Congratulations again on passing your test.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Charlie6 said...

Another outstanding tale Mr Riepe...and another reminder of how "sheltered" a life I've led....

dom

Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

Michelle said...

Jack,

As long as you don't mind company, you are on for any time for a ride thru the everglades or where ever you might want to go. Rony wis super jazzed about it when I told him. He laughed and said he would map out the appropriate "Reep" stops. He thought it also might be good to call the establishments ahead of time and tell them that a celebrity was going to arrive at their place and to have their best girls available for your amusement. Rony is always looking for an excuse to ride. We just recently went to Naples via backroads to visit friends and then took a detour to Everglade City looking for a little local flavor. If you don't know the history behind this little town they did a documentary on it a few years back. Evidently, in the 70's it was the hotspot for square grouper fishing. That is until the DEA shut them down and a large majority of the male population of the town got sent up for 5 or 6 years. Thanks to Rony's unassuming charm and personality we managed to meet a few "fishermen" that were there during the scandal and he even got his picture taken with Uncle Floyd. Trust me it is never boring on a ride with us.

As for women on K bikes, I don't have a K bike yet, unfortunately. the 650 is quite enough bike for me for now. Still struggling to not drop the damn thing yet. Hence the comment about Florida being crazy enough to give me a license. Also Rony is always willing to go for a ride if I am in the mood for twisties or aggressive maneuvers. They still make me giggle even now. Don't understand women's reluctance to ride pillion. I think it is awesome. All of the fun and none of the worry. I just hold on and enjoy.

By the way, awesome story again. Funny how men's love for their bikes transcends their need for physical activity. I have been once to Wildwood, NJ back in the early 80's. Back then walking on the boardwalk was a bit of a challenge. You had to constantly look out for break dancers dressed like Michael Jackson. But the town was cool and I really enjoyed it. I didn't even mind the mile walk over beach sand to get to the water.

Keep up the great stories!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Michelle:

As I have said before, it is going to be a while before I resume my riding status. The K75 was simply too tall for me with this arthritis. I am planning to get a K1200 at some point in the future.

When that point comes, I intent to ride from some place in Maine to Key West, and from New Jersey to California. Part of my itinerary would be to run through Everglade City. It looks like the kind of place that spells "homey" to me.

I would be thrilled if "Rony" put together a list of "performance Art" stops on my behalf. And as far as riding in company goes, I choose the entourage every time.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep

Nikos said...

Jack

Have you thought of one of those new C600 BMW Mobility Scooters? real bird pullers in Southend on Sea I believe?

Best wishes as ever from Middle Knutsford

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Nikos:

I am curious about the new BMW scooters on several levels. With gasoline headed to $4 per gallon, and maybe $5, in the Us this summer, I think the scooter as solid transportation is about to happen here.

Now, the BMW scooter (as I saw the prototype, boosted 80 horsepower. That's 9 more than my K75 had. Technically speaking, that rig could hold 100 mph easily.

However, I will want something that carries full luggage and other stuff, and not get the shit beaten out of me in cowboy bars.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep