Friday, April 24, 2009

Desire and Disillusionment... Part One

She was sitting in the student union office of my high school, a representative of a local girl’s academy working on a cooperative project. Her hair was a waterfall of burnt sienna, in contrast to a flawless complexion. She had brown eyes that looked through the souls of shallow men, and the kind of mouth I wanted to bend into a smile, before exploring it with my own. The year was 1971 and though she was my age, she was way out of my league. There were cosmic forces at work here, but I was a truly vapid adolescent at the time, and had no idea that leagues hold no meaning for uber men -- nor future writers. I would carry a torch for this woman for 17 long years... Before taking her to Europe on a two-week trip, following my first divorce.

It was there I would learn one of life’s most important lessons: that all the desire in the world does not automatically make a good fit.

My brains may be in my dick, but 98 percent of my body’s nerve endings are in my ass. While burning romance is the fire that warms my soul, a nice cushy seat on my motorcycle has been my fantasy for years. You can imagine my dismay when the most recent object of my passion -- a coveted custom seat from Russell Cycle Products -- was rejected by my ass the way donor organs from investment bankers are shunned by humans.

I was scheduled to meet my long-time riding partner and sidekick Dick Bregstein at the Himalayan Exotic Indian Restaurant last Wednesday, April 15th, for lunch. It was to be my first ride of the season -- a whopping roundtrip of 12 miles. My bike was ready for a brawl. Completely tuned up last January, the final touches (powder-coated crash bars and a matching muffler) had been installed the night before by riding buddy and fellow Mac-Pac member Clyde Jacobs. “Molly,” one of the stars on my pit crew, had spend the afternoon wiping the grime and grit from last year off “Fire Balls.” A coat of polish had restored the bike’s deep red luster. It looked like the official motorcycle of the Vatican’s College of Cardinals.

Mac-Pac member and my riding sidekick Dick Bregstein, at the 
Himalayan Exotic Indian Restaurant on the day of my fateful ride.
(Photo by the author -- Click to enlarge)

My helmet, jacket, and boots were ready two hours before I needed to leave for the 10-minute ride. Yet I cannot deny that I had butterflies in my stomach... Butterflies that felt more like aggravated bees trapped in a jar. I was experiencing the absolute worst case of performance anxiety.

You see, my last few rides of 2008 were pure misery. The arthritis in my hip made it impossible to just put my left foot on the peg. I had to gradually ease it up, then jolt it back by shifting my whole body. This would send a lightening bolt of pain up my spine. The right foot was a little easier, but not by much. I needed to stretch that leg carefully, so I could take the foot on and off the peg at will. It sometimes took 300 yards of straight road before I could get the right foot up to the peg. At the close of last year, it was taking me 20 minutes or longer to mount the bike. Other men would have given up this lifestyle by then. They can kiss my ass.

Though I am walking better now, and am somewhat thinner, there was no guarantee I wouldn’t have a repeat performance. The anticipation of a reoccurrence of last year’s pain had soaked my shirt with sweat before I’d even got out to the garage.

I was expecting miracles from that custom seat, the same way I had expected pure heaven from that lady I’d met in high school. But the sad truth is that I seldom get whatever it is I am expecting. And if there is a wedge involved, you can bet I will draw its thin edge.

I had some slight trouble mounting the Russell seat. It took me two tries to get my leg over it. (This was still a major improvement, as it used to take me 6 or 7 tries before I could get my leg over the standard saddle.) While the Russell Day-Long seat was just about as high as the Sargent seat it replaced, it was much wider. Because of the triangular nature of this seat and its western-horse saddle style, there are definitive cut-outs for the rider’s thighs. Now it should be clear that the folks at Russell plainly state that it it could be necessary for the rider to slide forward when coming to a stop, to assure a good stance in holding up the bike. This doesn’t bother me a whit. I often slid forward on the other seat when I expect to come to a full stop, or when traffic got thick and it seemed I’d be giving the shifter a workout. And in most cases, I only put my right foot down when I come to a full stop, so a slight tilt to the right is fine with me too.

But I have thighs like two slabs of uncured bacon and the positioning is somewhat restrictive for me when flat-footing the motorcycle. The cut of the custom seat is such that I can only get my legs down at point where they are at the outer ends of the pegs -- as opposed to behind them. This puts an additional strain on my already weak right knee. It’s a touchy point as I can generally only use my right one to balance the bike.

It took me 20 minutes to find all this out, and I was now late for lunch. Moving the bike in the driveway felt damned odd. I yelled for Stiffie (Leslie), my significant other, to come out and keep an eye on my take off. I felt there was a distinct possibility that I could drop the bike as I duck-walked it to the top of the sloping driveway. By this point, the sun was beating down on my black helmet and matching Joe Rocket ballistic jacket, and despite the cool morning temperature (slightly over 50º), the sweat was running down my face in channels.

There was a slight temptation to return to the garage and get the truck. I thought of the two busy intersections I would hit within seconds of leaving the driveway, and the necessity of having to get my right leg up and down quickly.

“Fuck the garage and fuck the truck,” I said out loud, nodding to the next door neighbor, who was filling her birdfeeders, hung in such a manner so the excess seeds fell onto our lawn, spawning all nature of weeds. She regards me as the epitome of white trash and I do the best I can to live up to her expectations. (Please read the blog episode where I attempted to piss on her cat.)

And then the most amazing thing happened.

My left leg rose to the peg, got hung up for a second, and found it without difficulty. The slightly different height and positioning of the Russell Day-Long seat made this possible. I did not experience the jolt of pain. I smiled at the old bitch next door, pulled in the clutch, snicked the bike into gear, and let her rip. My right leg came up to the peg without a problem and I was actually in second gear by the time I hit the street, about 75 feet later. That hasn’t happened in the last two years. (Score 50 points for the Russell Day-Long saddle.)

There was no traffic at the first intersection, and I did a pause and go. This scenario repeated itself at the next corner as well. I did get stuck at two other lights and getting my right leg up and down was less of a problem than anticipated. But it was still very awkward. In fact, this would be a first class pain in the ass if I got stuck in stop and go traffic, which happens all the time.

I hit the highway and let the ponies run. “Fire Balls” got up to 95 mph in no time flat and ran like a champ. The gauges showed no problems and the new voltmeter was giving me lots of little colored lights to match the output of the charging system. The new seat felt very odd -- but not uncomfortable. It was not a big cushy catcher’s mitt like I anticipated, but a firm support across my ass. My knees were still not without discomfort, however. But it cannot be denied there is a distinct benefit to getting my feet up to the pegs.

I rolled up to the restaurant a good half hour late. This place is a madhouse on Fridays, but it looked half empty today. Then came the surprise.

I couldn’t dismount.

With the bike on the side stand, there was no way I could get my right leg past the fat man wing on the right side of the seat. For what seemed a lifetime, I was trapped half on and half off the motorcycle. All I could think of was my vast weight, added to the 560 pounds of the motorcycle, being held up by the side stand, which is attached to the bike via a mechanical linkage. (The side stand on the legendary BMW K75 automatically retracts when you pull in the clutch.) I expected to hear a metallic snap, prior to having the bike fall over underneath me.

"Sam" -- The owner and manager of the Himalayan Exotic Indian Restaurant, Frazer, Pa.
(Photo by the author -- Click to enlarge)

The sweat covered my face, my neck, and my hands as I struggled to remount the bike. Once on again, I rested for a few seconds and tried to dismount one more time with the same result. The sweat had now pooled under the bike and ducks were swimming in it.
I considered kicking a mallard with attitude but didn’t want to fall off the bike. Dick was less than 75 feet away, in the restaurant, but my cell phone was locked in my top case -- behind me.

So I blew the horn. I blew it 25 times.

One of the extremely polite Indian waiters came out and waved to me. “Hello, Mr. Jack,” he said. “Are you okay?” I nodded and he disappeared inside before I could tell him to get Dick for me.

So I blew the horn another 25 times, until Dick stuck his head out of the door and asked, “Why don’t you just come in?”

“Because I can’t get off this fucking motorcycle,” I said, with some emotion.

“What,” asked Dick.

“The new seat is like Chinese handcuffs,” I explained at volume. “The more I struggle to get off, the more trapped I am on this fucking motorcycle.”

Several ladies who were having a conversation close by took note of the fact that I had a “fucking motorcycle” and moved off, fearing they would be asked to participate in demonstration, or so I suspect. Once Dick was aware of the problem, he rose to the occasion and came close to wetting his pants with laughter. He stuck his head back inside the restaurant, and said something I couldn’t hear. In a instant, an army of Indian waiters came streaming out to lift me off the bike.

The main dining room of the Himalayan Exotic Indian Restaurant, Frazer, Pa.
(Photo courtesy of the author -- Click to enlarge)

The scene defied description. I felt like a Maharaja, about to be lifted from the howdah of an elephant’s back. Though in this case, it was the elephant being lifted. I declined this degree of assistance and made a mental note to kill Dick at my earliest convenience. I ended up restarting the bike and using the engine to maneuver the rig close to a concrete stop in the parking lot. I then used this as a step to elevate myself, and pull my leg over the seat.

A "Howdah" is the little house on top of the elephant. Dick Bregstein thinks I should have one of these on my K75. Oddly enough, Dick disappeared shortly after making this suggestion.
(Illustration courtesy of Wikipedia -- Click to enlarge)

“I called the house when you didn’t show up,” said Dick, “But I couldn’t hear what Stiffie was saying as someone was blowing a horn outside.” My old friend commented that my riding might become somewhat restricted if I had to dismount on a pylon each time. I forget what my reply was, but Dick found it highly inspirational.

I used the same concrete stop to mount the bike on my return ride home. And once again, I had no problems getting my feet to the pegs. I triggered the garage door opener a hundred yards out, and rode the bike right into the bay when I got home. I didn’t bother shouting for Stiffie. She has long since been deafened to my bellows. The bike’s horn, magnified by the close quarters of the garage, got her attention. I thought her assistance might be useful in preventing a catastrophic dismount. There was nothing to serve as a step in the garage, so I brought the bike as close as practical to a shelf, then threw my weight on that, to pull my leg over the seat.

“That was instructional as well as entertaining,” said Stiffie. “I should have been wearing a costume with spangles on it as a drum rolled in the background. We'd be a sensation in Vegas. But aren't you likely to find your riding somewhat restricted by the availability of flexible storage shelves if this is what it takes to dismount.”

I had something clever to say to Stiffie, just as I had for Bregstein, but thought the better of it as homelessness does not suite me.

Some slight alterations to the new seat are going to be necessary. My thought was that the ends of the fat man wings need to be taken in a trifle, and that the leading edge of both needs to be reduced by an inch and a half. I am in discussion with the folks at Russell Cycle Products over this at the moment. These changes will give me enough room to plant my feet behind the pegs, and to swing my leg around the saddle.

In the meantime, I was screwed. My old pal Michael Cantwell was riding down from the Adirondacks and I had three rides planned for the weekend. The first was to meet him, and riding buddy Mack Harrell, at the last rest area on I-78, in New Jersey. This would be a roundtrip ride of 189 miles, and it was not unreasonable to assume that I might have to get off the bike to take a piss or something during the duration of that ride. I did what any individual in my position would have done: I turned to my riding club -- The Mac-Pac -- the premier chartered BMW riding group in eastern Pennsylvania for advice and assistance.

This is like turning to a firing squad for a recommendation on ammunition.

Clyde Jacobs suggested wearing a pair of ladies 6” high heels, though not the stiletto variety, to gain the height I needed to dismount.

Melinda Bonnani recommended I find a map that listed destinations with suitable things I could stand on to mount and dismount the bike. Barring that, it was suggested that I could carry a cinderblock in my top case to use as a step.

Matt Piechota thought it might be inconvenient for me to carry a cinderblock on the tail piece, and suggested that Dick could carry it for me.

Chris Jacarrino felt that a cinderblock might not be up to the job and thought a small floor safe, available from Harbor Freight might do the trick.

Howard Portugal, a man I do not know well (though that will be of little consequence when I exact my revenge), suggested I adapt a two-wheeled tow truck to elevate my bulk from the seat.

Mike Evans, a professional prick, explained that I should learn to ride while wearing a pair of in-line roller skates. According to Evans, the boot part of the inline skates would offer substantial protection and support for my feet. Dismounting would occur simply by lowering my legs to the ground, and having two assistants roll me off backwards.

Then the techies in the group got into it. Wayne Woodward and Joe Dille started researching folding stools from places like Harbor Freight and Fisher Price, that they thought would be small enough to carry, but strong enough to hold me. It was Joe Dille’s opinion that kids in America are now getting fat enough that several models from Fisher Price could hold me (with a little modification). David Hardgrove actually pulled up to the garage with a plastic folding stool he thought might do the trick. It did not fit in the topcase, but he thought it could be bungeed to the bike. Joe Dille sent me a plan to build a mounting block from simple two-by-fours, while Jim Sterling asked for the measurements of my topcase to build me a custom one. Ken Bruce did build me a step and said he’d alter it to fit the top case.

Mac-Pac member and Dutch sympathizer David Hardgrove brought me a folding
step stool that he thought would fit in my topcase. The soul of encouragement, 
Hardgrove said, "I hope your fat ass doesn't fall off the stool and knock the bike over."
He added that he wanted the stool back if it wasn't compressed into the floor.
Hardgrove is on the run from the "AUTBD" -- Americans United To Beat The Dutch.
(Photo by the author -- Click to enlarge.)

Then there is Ricky Matz. Not a member of the Mac-Pac but a long-standing friend (over 30 years), he built me a a step that he disguised to look like an official OEM BMW part, called Der Schteppen Footz. This came in the mail complete with a bogus logo, bogus German instructions, and a chain to attach it to the handlebars, allowing it to be reeled in after mounting. This was hysterical. (Too bad it does not fit in my topcase.)

Yet at the crack of dawn of Friday, April 17, 2009 (the day I was to meet the guys in New Jersey), Gerry Cavanaugh and Horst Oberst arrived at the house with the stock seat from a K75 low mount. Gerry owns a K75 of this model and offered to lend me the seat until I could get the one from Russell altered.

Mac-Pac member Gerry Cavanaugh pulled the seat off a low riding K75 he had in the garage
and lent it to me so I could get on and off the motorcycle for the weekend without 
looking like a complete horse's ass. 
(Photo by the author -- Click to enlarge)

I cannot begin to tell you how touched I was by all of this. The sympathy and the humor extended by this group went a long way toward dispelling my disappointment. The fact that three gentlemen offered to build me a step, and that two did, is unbelievably heartwarming. But that Gerry Cavanaugh actually pulled a seat from his spare bike and drove it down to me so I could make the first of my scheduled rides, was simply above and beyond the call of duty.

It has been said that a lot of BMW clubs are full of supercilious douches -- and they might be. But the Mac-Pac is all wool and a yard wide. I have never met such generous, gracious, and well-informed individuals in my life. I am honored that you guys have yet to pass the by-law prohibiting me as a member. Every person in this club is an ace, for the exception of eight individuals. Contact me off-line for their names.


A Surprise Gift From A Reader

Imagine my surprise the other day when a representative from an international delivery service, rang the bell, waved to me through my office window, and tossed a box with my name on it into the bushes. (I am going to have to start tipping these bastards.) Inside was a jar of “Tired Old Ass Soak,” from Tena Abbey, along with a card wishing me luck with my new custom motorcycle seat. (Please read the above article.) The description on the jar reads:

“A revitalizing mineral bath used to treat exhaustion due to harrowing workdays, demanding deadlines, overbearing bosses, excessive exercise, rotten luck, frustrating delays, and any other bad stuff that happens.

"Tired Old Ass Soak" -- Do not mix this with rum. It is a external application.
(Photo courtesy of my tired old ass -- Click to enlarge)

“This refreshing bath essence will sooth away the years of torture and abuse that your tired old ass has taken. The essential oils give your body strength and physical energy again.”

Tena and Bugser Abbey as viewed by Monet
(Illustration supplied by Tena Abbey -- Click to enlarge)

This was very kind of you Tena. Tena, and her husband Bugser (Mr. Cupcake), are friends of mine from the Motorcycle Views list. We’ve been communicating and chatting with each other by computer and phone for nearly four years. We plan to meet for the first time in October. I used the bath crystals last night. My ass was a challenge for the stuff, apparently, as the water turned to steam when I sat in it. Reading the ingredients, it seems to contain rosemary, eucalyptus, and vetiver. Stiffie later admitted adding lye for an additional zing.

The Other “No Zone” When Dealing With Trucks

BobSkoot is the author of Wet Coast Scootin (link found in the column on the right under “Destination”), a blog that deals primarily with riding a scooter in and around Vancouver, British Columbia. An accomplished photographer by hobby, Bob’s posts generally include great scenery, close ups of local interest, or developments (like floods or bike shows), plus the odd bit of very important information. He recently attended a truck show put on by the folks at Peterbilt and came away with some incredible data.

Cars like the Mazda Miata are completely invisible to truck drivers operating long-nose vehicles to a distance of 25 feet -- DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE TRUCK! That means a motorcyclist could easily swing over in front of a truck while maneuvering in traffic, and if circumstances were right, the driver of the truck would never see the biker until after the huge vehicle ran him over. For incredibly dramatic pictures of this, click on bobskoot: wet coast scootin.

Not The Usual Pictures

There are lots of blogs out there to read, but many seem to say the same things over and over again, or feature rather flat photography (like guys standing around motorcycles, which is common to my posts). Domingo Chang is long-distance, year-round BMW rider based in Colorado. His blog -- Redlegs Rides -- is routinely punctuated with extraordinary pictures of hairpin turns, buttes, tortured rock formations, and stone of unusual colors. (The link to his blog is also on the right, under “Destinations.”) Several of his pictures have been published in the BMW MOA’s monthly magazine for their stark contrast and bold expression.

Now that the snow has melted, Dom Chang is back to focusing on the imagery of Colorado again. In one of his posts, he painstakingly took pictures of existing landmarks then went back through various archives to compare how the scenery around these has changed. This made for a great ride report that can be found here.

He also comes up with some of the damnedest accessories. Those of you who are likely to be on the road in rural parts of the world will be interested in this custom carrier for a gas can.

Author's note: 

I deeply regret the delay in publishing the events of last week. In two or three days, I will post the details of the ride last Friday, and the more tragic events of last Saturday, in which Mack Harrell surprised his wife Karen, with a flying dismount, which resulted in her breaking two bones in her leg. Karen is recovering and Mack has signed up for rudimentary motorcycle riding lessons.

Copyright© Jack Riepe/Twisted Roads 2009
AKA The Lindbergh Baby (Mac-Pac)
AKA Vindak8r (Motorcycle Views)
AKA The Chamberlain -- PS (With A Shrug)


Grandad 43 said...

Jack, apparently Iam the first to read your latest offering to the faithful.
You had me laughing out loud thinking of the events described. Ducks, swimming in the pools formed by the beads of sweat, lol
You truly have some great riding friend in the Mac Pac group who certainly went above the call, to attempt to relieve your dismount challenges. Glad to hear that you can get your feet on the pegs.
Heard about Mack & Karen, glad it was not worse then it was.
Grandad 43
PS 14

ADK said...

Dear Jack, where's my flashlight?

MSF, The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, has demonstrated that over 100 motorcyles can be simultaneously rendered completely invisible to truck drivers if they are riding just so, in the drivers blind spot(s)!

Fortunately even you Jack are considerably taller than a Mazda Miata while seated on your bike, no matter how many of us wish it were otherwise.

Sorry to hear about your troubles with your Russel Day Long seat. I seem to recall you having difficulty with dismounts in the past, although not from motorcycles. Jan (a former Riepe paramour) once told me I took her two days to exit your loving embrace, only rendered possible with the help of the guys that constructed the Channel Tunnel. Have you given any thought to deploying a block and tackle on the bike? At least you would be able to operate this extraction device alone and leave the rest of your posse to enjoy lunch and riding at the weekends undisturbed.

Can't wait for you to come and visit.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Grandad43:

I'm glad you wrre able to read my pitiful circumstance, laugh out loud, and then tell me about it. I would drink myself into a stupor today, but the only thing in the house is Weight Watcher fruit smoothies -- and I've already had 9 ot those.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Chris:

It should be noted that Jan walked with a limp for a week, and would announce me to her friends as "Estan es un hombre!"

I worked out the details of your flashlight with Missy. She won't tell you either.

And for someone who's greart at quoting statistics, I seem to recall you saw a truck, tracked it to the intersection, estanlished eye-contact with the driver, stuck your tongue in his ear, and still managed to have the bastard run you off the road.

Just saying.

Fondest regards,

John said...

Jack. I am truly sorry that your seat did not work up to expectations on the first try. From what I know of the Russell folks by reputation I am sure that they will help you out the best they can. I was hoping to join one of the rides last weekend but the wedding anniversary on Saturday meant that I couldn't do anything that day, and then Sunday I was already committed to various and sundry tasks. Just a thought, couldn't Dick get down on all fours and you could use him as a pprtable stool?

redlegsrides said...

Jack, sorry about the initial issues with the new seat, am sure the russell people will square things away...

You really do have great friends in the Mac-Pac, you are a lucky man....that they're a sarcastic and prone to kicking you while you're down before helping you up is a bonus!

Thanks for the plug re my blog...glad someone liked the "then and now" shots...not sure why I find them so fascinating, but then again, I was a History major in college.

As with all your fans, looking forward to the posting re the rides you had recently....


Unknown said...

Hope you get your seat remedied soon. After all that pent up anticipation it's hard to go to an emotional letdown, esp. when it didn't initially do what you expected
You've got my mind going, what about a small wood platform: 2 pieces of 4x4's jointed by a flat piece of plywood which is carried "straddled" to your rear seat and tethered with polypropolene cord (so you can retrieve it whilst seated)?
Thank you again for your kind words & personal endorsement. If anyone is ever planning to take a trip to British Columbia, I would happily make recommendations (but cannot take responsibility for unexpected/unplanned outcomes)
And to Mack & esp Karen: hopefully, your mishap wasn't worse and trust you are in good care, and heal well. You're lucky to have a friend in Jack (I feel priviledged to know him too)
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Conchscooter said...

I've heard there are lots of unemployed in the Rust Belt. Maybe you could get one of those Goldwing trailers and tow it around with two dudes you pick up at the K-Mart parking lot, and have them hop out to prostrate themselves so you can step on them to get off?
It was a while coming but thanks for a great laugh. I shall enjoy exhibiting you for money on Duval Street- the great motorcycle dismount.
You have so many friends there is hope for me if I lose all hope and decide to become more like you?
Your friend

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Conch:

My friends are your friends... Of course, look at what they primarily ride. Welcome to the boys in the bund.

I am looking forward to your company on Duval Street. It is my intention to get there a few days earlier, make some friends, and introduce them to you as well. It's part of my "Pole Dancers Are People Too" program.

It's easy to be like me: start drinking, sweating and yelling.

Your pal,

ADL said...

You know, bile will not get you anywhere. Although it did get you Jan, and another trip to Europe; your Sargasso Sea of relationships it seems. Jan confided in me many times that her fingers were ALWAYS crossed when she did the Nacho Libre bit.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear ADL (?):

Isn't "ADL" some kind of learning disorder?

Fondest regards,

sgsidekick said...

Jack: I was beginning to wonder if I needed to call said international outfit and pitch a bitch fit, as I didn't think they'd delivered for me! Glad "Stiffy" was able to add to your enjoyment and experience.

I was sad to see your seat was giving you difficulties. I sent the soak as a joke, not a prediction! Maybe if I sent a lottery ticket?....nah, you wouldn't share.

A possible solution to your dilemma:
You could tie a rope thru the top holes to retrieve. Just trying to help you out! If you continue to loose weight like you are, soon it will be a non-issue.

Sorry to hear about Mack and Karen. Please give them our regards. It could have been worse, but wasn't. Maybe you are a good luck token? Just can't figure out how you attach to a key chain...

BMW-Dick said...

Dear Jack:

My entire house would have been shaken with laughter as I read the epic tale of your "Day Long" adventure had I not used up my laughter credits watching you try to get off of the bike at the Himalayan.

It was a site to behold. Small children in thatched roof villages on the outskirts of Bombay will be strumming sitars and repeating the tale for decades in the Maharajah's chat rooms.

Of course, as the tale is passed from one giggling child to the next, details will change. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually we heard that Vishnukandu, the Indian god of moving the immovable, shoved a rocket up your ass that was touched off by angry waiters carrying torches, and you ascended into the heavens. On a clear night, so the tale will go, you can be seen rolling around the bowl of the big dipper like a turd going down the drain of a crapper.
A fitting end I'd say.

Cantwell said...

You can have my credits.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear John:

The issue of mounting this motorcycle is a passing thing. I will get the better of this one way or the other.
The Saturda ride got scrubbed for me and the Sunday ride got cancelled owing to rain on Monday. Mike Cantwell opted for a day-earlier departure to avoid doing 400 miles in the rain.

I feel bad asking Dick to get down on all fours, and then there is the question of the load factor. I plan on riding today, even though my hips are still screaming. (It is Saturday, April 25.)

Thank you for reading my blog and for writing in.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

I'm sure I'll get the seat business resolved sooner or later. Hopefully sooner than later.I also have to arrange to get another shot in my hip this week, as the last one, which I got in January has pretty much worn off.

The powder-coating on the muffler didn't work either. It looks like I am definitely going to have to go the route of Jet-Hot. Well getting one piece coated will be cheaper than four!.

It was a pleasure to plug your blog! I think the piece I mentioned would make a excellent article for the MOA Magazine.

Thanks for looking for my blog this week and for writing in.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bobskoot:

It is always a pleasure to get a note from you, Bob! I expected the seat might require some adjustment when it came out of the box. Even the artists at Russell had no idea of the size of the ass they were dealing with.

I'm sure I'll get this one resolved.

You and I (and Joe Dille) think exactly alike. We all came to the same conclusion of building a solid step, made of two by fours that could pop in and out of the topcase. In facrt, I will be working on it this weekend. The advantage of the 2x4 step is that it will not take up all the room in the topcase.

The day will come when I ride into British Columbia, just like I will in Key West. And it will be a utter surprise, with mischief and mayhjen planned.

Thanks for writing and saying "Hey" to my pal Rogers George.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Tena:

Thanks again for the "Tired Old Ass Soak." My ass certainly appreciates it. As I have said in these comments before, the seat will get fixed and I will eventually not have a need for a step.

The gift was a total surprise, and I had a lot of fun presenting it in the blog.

Mack is doing okay, though I suspect he took a shot in the ribs or something. Karen will be ot ogf action for a bit, but back again as god as new. It's a pain in the ass to have to deal with an injury of this nature at the beginning of the smmer, but there is never really a good time for this.

Fndest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dick:

One more time we have managed to turn a normal afternoon into something of an insane adventure. Isn't it amazing how these things keep hapening to us?

Well buddy the riding season is on us, and I am thrilled to know we will be on the road again tomorrow.

The four horsemen of the asshole apocalypse will ride again this month.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mike:

Expect your invitation to join you in the Adirondacks to be taken seriously.

You'll learn not to open your big mouth.

It was fun riding with you and introducing you to the club last weekend.

Fondest regards,

Anonymous said...


By some chance and miracle are you the same young at heart person that was described in a recent issue of the BMW Owner's News?

Cause if you are; you're a much lighter weight, compared to me.

And I well understand why you have problems hopping/mounting/jumping on any steed with two wheels.

Some one once suggested I look at a motorcycle larger than my 1981 Honda Goldwing. The Leopard tank that was delivered to myf front door was OK for size but getting inside, now that was a whole different problem. Tank was returned to its rightful owner, somebody did also suggest maybe an old Reliant Robin wit the top cut off of it might do but no such device existed.

Have friends who pilot/aim BMWs of all shapes and sizes and none of their machines are satisfactory for fitting either.

I will admit though your desire to lose all the extra rotundness is an admirable decision and I wish you the best in doing so...your mechanical structure will thank you for the reduction in physical mass.

Remember one Melba toast a day for the next three weeks, morning and night. You're allowed one pine float a day. Keep smiling, and for reference about me look at the Intrepid Commuter blog.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bryce:

That was me in the February Issue of the BMW MOA ON Magazine. Either Dick Bregstein or Pete Buchheit took the picture. I am losing weight and expect to be 5 sizes smaller by the summer time.

It has become easier to mount the bike as the poundage has come off, but there are still challenges.

I have several stories slated to run in the MOA mag too. I will hread over to the Intrepid Commutter blog now.

Thanks for reading my stuff and for writring in.

Fondest regards,

Woody said...

Dear Sir,

Sorry this comment is so delinquent.

Please include the proper spelling of my surname in future blogs, which is WoodRUFF.

I'm happy to hear that you are continuing to lose weight and that the new seat should be 'da bomb with some tweaks. Should things not work out as planned, we techies can instrument a 1pW laser and reshape you ass so it looks like Angelina Jolie.

I'm looking forward to parts 2-4, because part 1 was spectacular.

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

Jack, I found this entry especially informative. And, your usual flair with the language kept me on the edge of my seat...speaking of which...I could feel your discomfort managing mount and dismount on your new seat. Lots of help out there will surely get things resolved. It is good to hear that the pain wasn't as bad.

Lots of info in this blog too. And, thanks for the news about Karen. I remember her well from the days.