Thursday, April 9, 2009

My Ultimate Humiliation... My First Experience With A Scooter (Sort Of)

I am occasionally required to do something in the way of serious writing to pay the bills and put comestibles in the old nose bag. Yet there was a time when I had my choice of jobs. Two avenues of labor beckoned to me as a young man. One was to become a piano layer in a bordello. I had the job for two days, but was discharged for not having the vaguest idea how get noise out of the ivories, and for dipping into the profits. The second was to become a public relations writer, which is still pretty close to whoring, though in the literary sense. My skills as a practitioner of the black arts were called into play by the business travel industry down in Washington, D.C. this past week, which accounts for my absence from this forum, and my irregular response to clever statements published elsewhere.

My travel arrangements were similar to those professed by the late Hunter S. Thompson. I drove my own vehicle, surrounded by the things that keep me sharp and comfortable (fifty cups of coffee, a box of cigars, and fresh pack of teki maki from the sushi place down the street.) Consequently, I arrived in DC looking like a bag of rumpled laundry that escaped from a prison hamper. The hotel parking valet scorned my 14-year-old Suburban like it was shit. A cloud of cigar smoke drifted out the open driver’s window, causing him to cough like a shop steward from a coal mine.

“Will the door come off if I open it, sir,” he asked.

“Fuck you, Rinaldo,” I smiled, pocketing the two dollar tip he would have had. “Don’t scratch the rust.”

The hotel was a sprawling affair, spanning three towers, two conference centers, and about 60 meeting rooms. A famous designer used a floor plan based on a prairie dog colony to lay this place out. With a rack rate of $300 a night (which nobody pays anymore), it is exactly the kind of hotel I really hate. Registration was a mere 200 yards from where Rinaldo picked up my truck with distaste.

I was early for the event and noted, with smug satisfaction, that I had beaten the usual crowd to the desk. It was then I noticed there was no usual crowd. This was my first taste of the devastation that has hit my industry. A bellman was ready in an instant, another symptom of the state of the industry, and after another brief 900-yard walk, I was in my room.

The sweat poured out out of me.

My regular readers are aware that I am the world’s largest living mammal, dwarfing the legendary supersaurus. (It is reported that this huge creature had one brain in its head and another in its ass. There are those who feel I may have more in common with this creature than size.) I am fairly crippled with arthritis, and the sweat comes from dealing with pain in my hips and knees. Still, walking around this hotel at all was a major improvement for me as I couldn’t walk more than 25 feet in any direction last November. I have been losing weight, and Doctor Williams from Orthopedic Associates of Bethlehem (Pa) has been working wonders for me.

I am most often compared in size with the supersaurus.
The appendage at the back is not a tail, but a prehensile penis (another reason for my popularity in certain circles; I can find the "G" spot in a fog with my eyes closed, and tickle it with a toothbrush).
(Ilustration courtesy of Wikipedia -- Click to enlarge)

Business travel industry events used to be total pissers 15 or 20 years ago. Now they are like attending reunions at someone else’s school. The best line I heard at this event was “flat is the new up.” That’s like looking at me and saying “55 is the new 30 and thin.”

Losing weight has helped me enormously. But I wasn’t ready for some things. For example, I picked up my dress clothes at the cleaners and threw them into a bag. When I put them on, they were all one size too big. I found myself limping down hallways with my cane in my right hand, and holding up my pants with my left.

I managed to walk the halls of this place for two days. Every office I needed to hit was three quarters of a mile from wherever I was. Still, I was determined to cover the ground without giving in, even though that “God-Help-Me” look was plastered on my face and my shirts were soaked with sweat by 10 am.

Until Sunday.

The press office was located at the farthest perimeter from the center of the action. I paced it. It was about 9 football fields from my room. I did the distance once, and heard my left hip pop.

“Fuck this room, and fuck this hotel,” I said. Then I offered a passing bellman $5 to ride me to the press room on his luggage cart. He hesitated, looking around. There was probably a rule against this. I raised the ante to $10.

“Sir,” he said with a trace of a Latin American accent, “There is a little electric car at the bell stand that I could let you use. Please wait here.”

He returned five minutes later with a little red scooter/chair. Now I have seen fat, stupid-looking dopes, riding around supermarkets in these things, and I swore I’d die before I ever got on one. But at that moment, it looked like Nirvana. I eased my huge fat ass into office chair on the back, and heard my hips sigh.

“Do you know how to drive such a vehicle,” asked the bellman, pocketing the tenner.

“Hold my beer. Watch this,” was my reply.

I took off down the hallway at about 40 miles per hour. Pressing the horn button made a noise like a bugling elk -- and flashed the headlights. Chambermaids, conference participants, waiters, and presenters ran screaming for their lives, or flattened themselves against the wall as I buzzed by.

The device above is close in design to the vehicle produced by the hotel bellman.
(Photo courtesy of the internet -- Click to enlarge)

For the first time in 31-years, Jack Riepe felt the wind in his hair -- in a hotel. Hearing me yelling as I approached, a reporter from USA Today swung open the door to the press room and I arrived in style. (This is absolutely true.) I am among my own in the sanctity of the press room. These guys know me and anything goes.

I used that scooter four more times before I left for home. Parked outside the press room, it became an object of interest for a bunch of kids attending some youth event. They changed all the settings on the machine. When I went to ride it for the last time, it appeared to have no power. It was then I noticed a knob with a indicator that would point to either a tortoise or a hare, or any point in between. My esteemed colleague, Kate Farrell, who often introduces me to others with the preamble that I am mildly retarded, explained that this was the universal language for illiterates.

"See if switching the knob from the turtle to the rabbit makes a difference," said Kate.

It did.

I still wouldn’t use one of these things in a supermarket. But walking close to a mile carrying 30 pounds of crap is a bit ambitious for me. In the meantime, the weight loss will continue. I hope to be riding "Fire Balls" in a couple of days. But this is my ride report for today, and I am sticking to it.

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


sgsidekick said...

Jack, you wouldn't be able to use a scooter/cart in a supermarket. My mom has tried, and each and every time the danged thing has run out of the farthest corner from the exit as possible.

I don't see where the humiliation comes into play in your story, unless it came from not knowing what the tortoise and hare meant. What I would give to be a bug on the wall of one of your "meetings"!

Oh, Ron did mutter something about "prehensile my left cheek!" whatever THAT means.

Unknown said...

Hi, Jack! Glad to hear that your and that doctor's efforts to reduce the load on your joints is bearing fruit.

I confess, when I saw the word 'humiliation,' I vainly thought you were going to refer to my hornswoggling you into believing the turtle story in my blog. (Hmm. The spell checker doesn't recognize hornswoggling. It suggested horsewhipping.)

If anyone wants to read the turtle story that Jack believed, it's at (it's actually pretty bland compared to Jack's more interesting stuff.)

Anonymous said...

I can commiserate with your need for a vehicle in these little, quaint conference centers. I attended one in Grand Rapids, MI in the early 80's when I used to sell truck parts. The place was packed with all these reps, like myself, from all over the country. That's when I pulled out the unicycle that had shown up under the Xmas tree that year and used it to go from conference room to conference room. Maybe the folks I was repping for took a dim view of this action because we didn't have that line much longer. It could also be that the product they had was unsalable in the aftermarket, but they didn't want to hear that. At least I got to pull the ultimate wheelie in the halls of the Holiday Inn.

Big Jim

Ihor always said...

Dear John, I am so sorry to hear that I TOLD YOU SO!!!!
What color Cricket are you going to order? Aaahooogah horn optional.
Keep up the intensity of your weight reduction, half of you will still be more than most people can take!
And Tena, if you can't see the humiliation, it's because John is blocking your view. Step to the left about five feet Riep,... that's better.
All uphill with good intentions, Ihor

Unknown said...

Jacksaid "For the first time in 31-years, Jack Riepe felt the wind in his hair . . ."
I must say that you are quite the innovator, or should I say on the leading edge of new transportation technologies for the aged. I am sure it would fit snugly inside your rust coloured Suburban.
May I ask if this model has the optional tachometer, or optional heated seat switch ? or Mag wheels ?

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

irondad said...

I'm back from my own hotel trip. Your story was entertaining as usual. Makes me eager to see what new twists and perversions you're coming up with.

The reason you're humiliated is that a real swashbuckler ( like me ) would ride a motorcycle through the hallways. Of course, you drove, for understandable reasons. So I will let you off the hook for that one.

Where I'm really disappointed is that you stooped to riding the scooter/quasi wheelchair. A man with a fifty foot prehensile appendage and your talent for bullshit should have been able to get everyone else to push your ass around on the wheeled luggage rack.

Thus catered to, you could be shouting orders instead of trying to figure out why in the hell there were pictures of varmints on your dashboard.

P.S. somebody must have bleached your blog while you were gone. All the pages turned white. Looks nice!

redlegsrides said...


So, at the next conference, you taking your helmet and gear so you can be ATGATT while on the next scooter?

Actually, I jest, I am confident you'll meet your weight loss goals by the National and have no need for said scooter.

I also liked that phrase: For the first time in 31-years, Jack Riepe felt the wind in his hair -- in a hotel. You sure know how to turn a phrase!



John said...

My 79 year old mother has a "Go-Go" scooter which she just loves. It folds up and I can easily put it in the back of my little Mazda 3 when I pick her up.

Glad to hear the weight loss is going well. I am sure it will help. Get back on Fireballs in time for the mileage contest!

Baron's Life said...

From the looks of it you should have stuck to being a piano player in RENO, NV
Were these Cubans...? by any chance? Rinaldo would've loved one instead of the $2 bill you cheap skate.
My brain in neither in my head nor in my ass but rather in another part of my anatomy..
I enjoyed your post Jack...Enormously funny and witty.

ADK said...

I've heard from reputable sources that you have a vestigial brain in your ass. When did you get the other one? The prehensile part explains sooooo much about your former successes with the fairer sex. I suspect now that many of them had no idea who or where you were, while you practiced the equivalent of interstate molestation.

I'm sorry to say that I have missed a couple of your blogs recently while recovering from the worst bronchitis I've had in 15yrs or so, as well as the after effects of having a tractor trailer run a stop sign in front of me resulting in my throwing the Yellow Peril down the road a piece. The driver of said behemoth slowed down at the side of the road just long enough to watch me climb out from under the bike, and then hastily took off before I could get a plate #. The bike is scraped up some but mechanically fine, my dignity and temper are bruised and battered. Otherwise I'm fine. A nice, new, shiny flashlight would make me feel soooooo much better.

RossK6 said...

Jack - glad to hear that you are doing better with your arthritis. Hopefully there is some riding for you in the near future that you can blog about. Until I recover from some of my own stupidity, I'll have to live vicariously through you, so keep the blogs coming

ADK said...

Hey Baron, Is that a 69 or 70 BSA Lightning?

Jack Riepe said...

Dear ADK (Chris):

Zap my e-mail so I can send you my cell number. Call me today or soon.


Charlie said...

Found your post through a friend of mine and have to say your style is intriguing to say the least. I will be looking forward to future posts.

Young Dai said...

At least that is one vehicle your daughters will not be borrowing the keys for.

BMW-Dick said...

Dear Jack:
That Rascal Look-Alike is you, Baby.
It's stable, doesn't lean, it's Cap and Trade friendly. Obama and Al Gore should dip you in bronze to honor you before our next scheduled ride.
I did get out for a couple of hours last Sunday. I rode to Lancaster and back. Thought I might pick up a new set of kicks at the Amish Blacksmith Discount center, but I forgot that it was Palm Sunday. All the non-believers must have been on the road, because it was crowded on 30 and in the shopping center parking lots.
The bike ran well, although it did stall again at a traffic light as I was downshifting from 3rd to 2nd. It may be a simple idle adjustment (simple for the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage). It was a pleasant day even though my speed was kept in check by the traffic. On returning home and zeroing out the GPS, I did notice I had hit triple digits. Boys will be boys!
Let's try to ride soon.

Cantwell said...

"... prehensile penis..."

I was thinking something else...maybe this...


If anyone can confirm this, it would explain why everyone thinks Jack is talking out of his ass...


Joe Dille said...


Mobility scooters can be a godsend. Patti usually gets oen when we to a museum or historic park. They make such a visit possible.

The most interesting time was when we got one at the Franklin Institute. This thing went like stink even on the "tortise" setting. This would be the perfect vehicle for an outdoor venue like Valley Forge park or Longwood gardens. Not the best choice in a crowded indoor space filled with King Tut's treasures!

Ride Safe,


Conchscooter said...

Do you do prehensile colonoscopies?

cpa3485 said...

Prehensile colonoscopies?

Prehensile penis?

Interstate molestation?

Where do you people come up with this stuff?


Obviously my brain doesn't work the same way!

Baron's Life said...

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Easter

Woody said...


My personal highlight of this story was reading that your pants are too big. Great job and keep up the good work!

Happy Easter!


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Tena:

I was absolutely desperate, wracked with pain, and soaked with sweat as a result -- and thus was driven to use that little electric scooter. I have absolutely no qualms about speaking my mind regarding the challenges of fat people. I used to be thin, and now I'm not. I don't believe this is the result of genes or deep emotional problems. I like to eat.

Normal people would rather ride farther and hump harder. I'm trying to rectify these issues. There are plenty of reasons for people to use these electric vehicles in supermarkets. But I am amazed when I see folks whose huge fat asses spill out of these things, filling up the little baskets with cookies, cakes, and ice cream.

I make it a point to go to the store once or twice a month. I take a full list, and use a cart as a walker. This is strickly a matter of what's left of my masculine pride.

My first ex-wide has a terrible neurological problem. Similar to MS, she has real problems walking and is as thin as a rail. She should always use one of those little electrical carts -- and I don't know if she does.

You will be the subject of an addendum in my next blog.

Thank you for readingmy crap and for writing in.

Happy Easter to you and Mr. Cupcake, who is jealous of my PA.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Rogers:

I can't believe you are shamelessly promoting your "Mayberry RF Friggin'n D" blog on my site. Go right ahead. I would have mentioned it again sooner or later. And yes, you did get me with your April Fool's story about the snapping turtle. Of course, you had help in the lie from one of your kids, who as I recall, is forbidden by Val (your wife) from reading my blog.

I would never use my kid to lie for me, unless there was a very substantial payoff.

We can do a joint story next week. Keep Saturday open as I am scheduling a run through Delaware next Saturday.

Happy Easter!

Fondest regaards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Big Jim:

You must have looked like the Chrysler Building riding that unicycle in a hotel lobby. Did you take out all the sprinkler heads on the ceiling?

What did you do with the unicycle? I'd like to try it at the Mac-Pac breakfast next Sunday. Maybe I could ride it between the tables balancing a ball on my nose.

Are you going to ride the side car rig to breakfast next Sunday?

Happy Easter to you and Dot!

Fondes regards,

Jack Riepe said...


Ihor Sypko is one of my oldest friends (from high school), and has gone trout fishing, phesant hunting, deer hunting, black powder hunting, backpacking in the Adirondacks, canoe camping on Saranac lake, and general hell raising for 40 years. He can tell me anything he wants -- and still get the kind of response everyone else gets.

Dear Ihor:

Fuck you.

I seem to remember a camping trip, where you, Bill Matz, and I hiked up to Indian Falls, on the blue trail to the top of Mount Marcy (the highest point in New York State). It was an eight-hour forced march to the top, of an exhausting incline.

You were constantly saying, "Riepe, you're getting ahead of me again," as a way of protesting the pace I had set. The situation has now changed somewhat, but I have the picture of the three of us on Mount Marcy (in the fog) to remind me.

Happy Easter to you (in about two weeks).

Fondest regards and thanks for writing in.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bobskoot:

You wrote, "I must say that you are quite the innovator, or should I say on the leading edge of new transportation technologies for the aged."

My response to you is the same to Ihor (see above.) I was amazed at all the technical stuff this little scooter had on the dash. There were controls for lights, for a horn, for speed, and for some other settings -- plus a voltmeter -- like I have on the Beemer.

And it was really fast. But the best part was that I could carry all my stuff when I was ready to leave the press office. My computer bag was fereighted down to 30 pounds or so and I had a printer in the box.

The bad news is that it seems I have taxed myself last week, and I am not bouncing back as anticipated.

I mentioned you again in a reccent response to Conch, and am planning to begin my opwn ride reports in about five days.

Happy Easter to you and your family, Bob!

Thanks for reading my stuff, and for writing in.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear IronDad:

Business travel conferences are not what they used to be. Then again, what is? These events used to be three-day parties with plenty of opportunitu for drinking and getting laid. Now there is just a lot of tired-looking people hoping the light at the end of the tunnel is not a coal gas fire.

I got on the damn little scooter and triggered the throttle with a vengence. I was amazed at how fast that electric motor got up to speed and how it held it. I'd swear it was between 20 and 25 mph.

Now there isn't a lot thrill in that, unless you driving through a tight hallway filled with people. This will seem really stupid, but I did feel the breeze arond my ears and whispered, "Fucking escape."

In the old days, women would have carried me down the hall. But in sad truth, that stream is drying up too. The winter was too long in ending.

Happy Easter, IronDad!

Thanks for reading my tripe and adding to my credibility by writing in.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

The problem with that scooter is that it could get habit forming. I liked getting to my destination without working up a sweat.

Next year, I am going to request that the press room be closer to an elevator that I can reach in 6 steps or less. But then again, it will probably be two miles from a pissoir. I am also going to get a folding hand truck to carry my stuff on. That would be the smartest thing yet.

But you are quite right, that I should have far fewer problems being lighter on my feet.

It is always a pleasure to find a note from you in my comments section.

Happy Easter to you and your family.

Fondes regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear John:

Riding is a matter of confidence. I believe I now have enough experience in electric scooters to take on your Mom and her "Go-Go" in a race. In fact, I insist on it.

Do you realize that we have only ridden once together -- in that epic Centralia run? I'm planning some others for this season. I look forward to the next season and to the mileage contest.

Thanks for writing in and for reading my interminable stories.

Happy Easter to you and to your family.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Baron's Life:

Nothing puts me in bad humor like attending a conferece these days. I had spent the day o speech rewrites and was aleready up 15 hours by 6pm. I ordered a fucking hamburger and a cup of soup via roomservice and the tab was $54 bucks.

This is why these places are all starving. That, plus the $12.99 for internet service that barely worked. I would never say that my brains were in the man gland, but do occasionally admit to sharing control of this body with the "copilot," who is also known as the Kamikaze of love.

Happy Easter Baron! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a little something.

Fondest regareds,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear ADK:

The fact that I am Irish and have two brains makes up for the fact that you are British and have none. (The space in your head being used as a container for the purest gall the world has ever seen.)

There are many advantages to havinf a prehensile schwantz. I can always hold my cell phone up to me ear with my right hand and still shift the truck in traffic. Also, women love it when a guy can find the "G" spot without asking for a ladder, 40 feet of rope, and a map.

Your most recent sad tale left me a little shocked, though I am glad you escapeed without injury. You know, you might want to offer the "kids" a $200 wedding present as opposed to going to Bangladesh for the wedding ceremony. That way, you could get the bike fixed faster and meet me for a ride.

And by the way, you are being set up for a good one. I had help from a local up there for this one though.

Next time, figure the asshole isn't going to stop.

Sorry about your bike. I know how you loved having something that didn't look like a total piece of shit.

We're going to ride this smmer. Do you thunk you could take a weekend off from your intensive social schedule for two days of riotous living?

Happy Easter!

Thanks for dropping me a line.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear RossK:

The news is never real good or real bad. I was feeling great when I left for my 4-day business trip last week. Now I', feeling like shit again... Probably as a result of all the hobbling around I did.

But, one way or another, my riding days officially start this week. What happned to you? And if it was an involuntary dismount, than it's good you're around to talk aboit it.

Happy Easter! Thanks for reading my blog and for leaving a comment.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie:

Am I mistaken or did I read that this mean, green screamig machine in your signature picture is a new acquisition? If so, good luck and hot riding. I never did master doing anything off the road, but it appears your machine will make short work out of the dirt.

As you are new to my blog, you might want to scan some of the previous posts. The very first one is about as serious as I get with ride reports. But I have a couple of film reviews, a book review, and some other crap in there to raise either consciousness or eyebrows.

Thank you for reading my stuff and for writing in.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Young Dai:

My daughter -- Kayo -- is the kind of kid whio never borrows anything. She goes out and gets one of her own! So tell me, what do you ride and where do you ride it?

Thanks for writing i and leaving a comment.

Fondest rgards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dick:

I have had a problem recovering from last week's efforts. This convention stuff takes a lot out of me. I have it on good authority that I looked like ten pounds of shit in a two-pound bag on that little Jazzy sort of thing.

I am down to the wire again getting ready for the next season's rides. And as much as I say I do not have the jitters, it appears that I do. I discovered a small technical problem wit the mounting on this seat and was lucky in that I will have it resolved on Tuesday night. You might want to drop in on the garage Tuesday evening for a scotch and technical discussion.

I saw where Cutter thinks you should dump the gas from that tank. I have a siphon and and a way to get rid of it. I am definitely dumping the load of high-test I've got in my tank.

It goes without saying that I thought you'd be taking it easy on the next West Virginia trip, and you are bustimg into triple digits. Well Fire Balls will take the challenge this weekend.

Thanks for sharing this Dick!

Happy Holidays, Pal.

Fondest regards,

Grandad 43 said...

Jack, was grinning with the thought of you blazing down those halls,with your knees in the breeze.
Hey,can you get a handicaped tag for your ride and then use it on those extended expeditions to your room and other destinations ? Getting the bike in and out of the truck could be a problem though.
Got out with my son Thursday, for a jaunt over back roads with a view to Cabela's in Hamburg.
Got in 130 miles and it felt sooo good.
Happy Easter,
Grandad 43
PS 14

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mike (Cantwell):

You talk tough now, but your ass is toast at the Mc-Pac breakfast next weekend. Just wait until you get here!

Happy Easter, Mike, to you and your family!

See you on Friday.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Joe (Dille):

I have to tell you that I was delighted to have that little scooter as an option at that conference in DC. I'm on edge enough at these things, without walking around like a wounded moose. And when things get painful, I start to seriously sweat. Then I look like shit too!

But I tell yiou this, if I were going to go to Longwood, I would definitely call to see if I could rent one of these on site! I can see problems with the charge cycles though, and running into people as operators unused to the throttle get confused.

Also, machines like these definitely have a place at the MOA rally too!

Thanks for being a regular reader and for writing in Joe! Happy Easter to you and your family!

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conch:

You asked, "Do you do prehensile colonoscopies?"

I hope this question isn't part of a personal request.

While I have been known to satisfy requests of this nature, I only accept them from women between ages of 35 and 50. Also, I prefer it if they have been drinking for several days in advance.

Happy Easter to you and your wife.

Thank you for reading my stuff, and for leaving a comment.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear CPA3485:

I cannot speak for the others, but my inspiration comes from years of alcohol and controlled substsnce abuse. Conch is a bit of a loner, so I'm thinking it might be self-abuse in his case.

I have ridden with a lot of the guys who comment on my blog here, so they are speaking from some element of experience. But I am hoping to ride wth Dom Chang, Bob Scoot, IronDad, yourself, Conch -- AND STEVE ASSON -- before the year is out.

Happy Easter.

Thanks for reading and for writing in.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Woody (Wayne):

What a nice thing to say! I hope the time comes when me and the K75 can fit into my current pair of pants.

Thnks for reading my stuff and for writing in, Wayne.

Happy Easter to you and yours.

Fondest regards,

Steve Williams said...

The only humiliation I detect is that scooter is red. Other than that you were flying through life with a glimmer in your eye and fire in your heart.

This post was so good that I read it to my wife. She appreciates a good story, especially one written so well. Usually I only read something to her by David Sedaris or Edward Abbey. Now you seem to be on the list.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Steve Williams said...

One more thing. I read Kim a few others. She was completely stricken by the thought of the battered baby steel look. I think she has it filed away with "Blue Steel" from the movie "Zoolander".

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Ihor then said...

Dear John, I remember that first trip fondly and the Marcy Dam photo sits on my desk, easily within spitting distance. You should post the photo in a story at your earliest convenience. It will both inform and amuse your readers. Julian Easter is the 19th, and in keeping with the temperament of our long friendship, the funfilled days we have shared crossing the landscape and the hope for many more such days to come, I can only agree and reciprocate by saying: DOUBLE TO YOU FATSO!!!
And there's a babka with you name on it! Keep the cereal substitute this time! Your friend, Ihor

Young Dai said...

Big Fella.

Who am I, where am I and what are my wheels ?

Well I am in the Southeast of UK, in Southend which is a seaside dorm town on the Essex (north) side of the Thames Estuary. I work in Central London for the Damm Revenoo as a very minor part in the administration of our sales tax, known over here as Value Added Tax or the VAT.

What I ride is a '95, Honda ST1100a, with the ABS and other bits and pieces. I picked a largish bike because I am primarily a year round commuter rider, with a daily round trip of around 80-odd miles. Split roughly into 1/4 suburban, 1/2 fast dual carriage way and 1/4 close quarter misery through Central London. So I got a bike with a big light, a big seat, some road presence and no chain to adjust!

To wind down, and to improve my chances of surviving to my pension, I joined a advanced riding skills club 3 years ago,as well as imparting better riding skills to our members and every fortnight or so we arrange a group ride to no where in particular, but with a nice place to eat and interesting roads to get there.

This year I also hope to join another club ride to either Normandy or Flanders to look at the battlefields and cemeteries there.

I see one of your ride itineraries go to a railway museum, do you have an interest in trains or is this simply the best food in the area ?

Young Dai said...

Having read through your back copy I apologise for coming on like an arse. I would hope that what I could do on my bike would approximate the riding of some of your Macpac friends, but I do not claim to be a experten, just a cooking rider who keeps trying to improve.

Your report of the Blue Ridge Parkway made me salivate, I hope I can get to do it before the fun police ban two wheels all together. Has anyone you know done the Pacific Coast Highway either ?

Like you I enjoy railways both full size and model, but in UK the companies now seem to want to combine the worst features of airline travel, seat size, shoulder space catering etc with sheer ex-Soviet Union bloodyminded customer service. Imagine travelling coach the day before Thanksgiving, 6 feet off the ground at 60mph ! The do that veryday. We are all treated like the passenger in seat 29E

Young Dai said...
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