Monday, April 13, 2009

The Rides Begin...

The last of the missing parts are expected to arrive tomorrow and “Fire Balls” will be reassembled on Tuesday night. This 1995 BMW K75 is the low seat design with a really shitty seat latch. The plastic lock retainers had broken last summer and I ordered new ones from Bob’s BMW. There is no expectation that the replacement parts will be any better than the old ones, nor that they will last much longer, but my new “fat-assed” Russell Day-Long saddle moves a tad when I got on it and the replacement lock will anchor it better. Now that I know how fragile the lock is, I can handle it with kid gloves. This is one part that should have been made of metal as opposed to plastic.

The powder-coated muffler and crash bars were delivered over the weekend and this machine is now predominantly red and black. The bike got a full tune-up in January at the legendary Rubber Chicken Racing Garage. The tires are rock hard at the right pressures. The battery tender is flashing a green “good to go” signal and there is every expectation that my first shake out ride on Wednesday evening will go smoothly. I am planning a short 72-mile roundtrip run up to the rail museum at Strasburg for the test ride. I will do another of these rides on Thursday night as well. My concern is not so much for the bike, but for my knees and hips, which are acting up again since I stressed them last week.

“Fire Balls” will get a thorough wash and wax on Thursday night.

My good friend Michael Cantwell is riding down here from upstate New York on Friday. I took the day off from work and am planning to ride into New Jersey to meet him about a third of the way down. His ride will be close to 400 miles for the day. I’m hoping to do a picturesque cruise up Route 100 in Pennsylvania, to I-78, to I-287 in the “Garden State,” running into my pal somewhere around Parsippany. (This is assuming the new seat is easier on my back and hips.)

Situated here in southeast Pennsylvania, there are a number of varied riding terrains close by. On Saturday, April 18th, I’m planning on showing Michael the salt Marshes of Delaware. For those who are no longer getting my riding list e-mail (due to an unexplained malfunction), the details of that ride are included below. Anyone looking to make this ride should confirm it with me on my private e-mail (

Ride #1
Title: “The Impact of Refineries and Nuclear Discharge on Crabs And Migratory Birds”
Date: Saturday April 18, 2009
Assembly Point: Exton Diner (Route 100 and Ship Road/Diagonally opposite the Drafting Room)
Time: 8am (If you are meeting for breakfast)
Kickstands Up: 8:45am

1) Depart Exton Diner via Rt 100 south to Rt. 202 South
2) Pick up Rt. 926 South To Rt. 52 South
3) Take Rt. 52 South to Rt. 141 South
4) Take Rt. 141 South to Rt. 9 South.
5) Take Rt. 9 South to (Parking Lot Opposite Nuclear Power Plant for Group Picture)
6) Take Rt. 9 South to Unmarked Road on map leading into Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge ($4 charge per bike). There are great views of the bay and of the marshes here. However, roads are dirt and gravel, Riders choosing not to do this can wait by the flush toilets and picnic tables at the interpretative center. Bring binoculars and a camera, if you have them.
7) Take Rt. 9 South to Rt. 1
8) Take Rt. 1 South to Bowers Beach Road going into North Bowers Beach
9) Lunch at JP’s on the Wharf -- 12:30pm

• JP’s On The Wharf -- This is a cool seafood and steak joint on the water. North Bowers Beach is a tiny little resort community that looks like recession hit it in 1954 and stayed. The last time I was here, there were two bars here. The other one was a Harley joint. When the tide comes in, it comes up through the storm sewers in the street. There is a full bar at JP’s, for those writing travelogues. Lunch without drinks can run $15 on average. The road to get into this place (Bowers Beach Road) runs through the salt marshes and is very pretty. It’s about 5 miles long, as I recall.

Other lunch options ---

• Sambo’s Tavern (Leipsic, De) just after the federal wildlife refuge. Also on the water, but no view as it is a saloon. I have never been here but there were three reviews. One said the crabcake was average but overpriced. The other two were stooge reviews that were planted.

• Three Cavaliers (Dover, De) Dick, Dave Oehler, and Rogers George have eaten here. Full bar, incredible crab soup, not cheap. Average fried chicken. They will remember us as we stood out in the crowd.

Lunch is going to be $15 - $25. All of these seafood joints are expensive.

If we are going to meet up with folks from Delaware, there is a shitty gas station (Getty, I think) on the left of Rt. 9 (headed south) about a quarter mile from the tall bridge over the canal, in Delaware City. They won’t let you use the horrid bathroom and the coffee machine is all the way in the back. I am bringing a thermos of hot coffee to sip at the nuclear plant, and at the wildlife refuge.

10) Continue South on Rt. 1 to Cape Henlopen State Park at Lewes.
11) Continue South on Rt. 1 to Maryland, where road becomes Rt. 528
12) West on Rt. 90 to Rt. 366.
13) Rt. 336 to US 50 Bypass
14) US 50 to Rt 313 (North)
15) Rt. 313 to Rt. 392
16) Rt. 392 to Rt. 313
17) Rt. 313 to Rt. 213
18) Rt. 213 to Rt. 841 (Pennsylvania)
19) Rt. 841 to US-1

The total distance is about 265 miles.
Please meet at the Exton Diner with a full tank of gas
There is virtually no gas on Rt. 9 and I am not gonna fuck around looking for someone’s brand, or one that is 11¢ cheaper.

Please RSVP if this run appeals to you.

Ride #2
Title: The Amish Horsepile Sample Run
Date: April 19, 2009
Rally Point: The Pottstown Family Diner
Kickstands Up: 9:30- 9:45am (Arrive with a full tank of gas)

This will be a gentle ride through Lancaster County following the Mac-Pac Breakfast at the Pottstown Family Diner, on Sunday, April 18th. Breakfast is at 8am, and we expect to be underway by 9:30 or 9:45am. The ride will run through some very pretty Amish farm and horse country.

1) South on Rt. 100 To Rt. 401
2) Right turn onto Rt. 401 at Ludwig’s Corners
3) Left from Rt. 401 onto Rt. 82
4) Right from Rt. 82 onto Rt. 322
5) Left onto Rt. 10 from Rt. 322
6) Right onto Rt. 30 from Rt. 10,
7) Left onto Rt. 41 from Rt. 30.
8) Right over Amtrak tracks at first light, and right again onto Rt. 741
9) Stop for coffee and piss at Strasburg Railroad Museum

10) Zigzag around Pennsylvania Railroad Museum and go left onto Rt. 896
11) Follow Rt. 896 to Rt. 372
12) Go right on Rt. 372 and follow across the Susquehanna River to Rt. 74
13) Go left on Rt. 74 (bad corner) and cross into Maryland, bearing right onto Rt. 136
14) Take Rt. 136 to US-1.
15) Go Left on US-1 and cross Conowingo Dam.

• Deviation: go right onto Rt. 222 and stop at Union Hotel Bar (wild boar on menu). This is a Harley joint.

16) Take US-I to Maryland/Pennsylvania state line. Have picture taken at Mason/Dixon line sign.
17) Turn right from US-1 onto Rt. 10
Turn right from Rt. 10 to Rt. 946
Deviation: Turn left onto Rt. 841 and follow four miles to the Whip Tavern -- Authentic English Pub and great place to look at hot asses of women in jodhpurs. (Not a source of cheap beer.)
20) Follow Rt. 946 to Rt. 202. -- Ride ends

If you are planning to make this ride, let me know at Mark the e-mail "Cantwell Ride."

These details have been posted for my Mac-Pac friends and others in the area who are not getting the regular e-mail at the moment.

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


redlegsrides said...


seems like you've got your next few rides dialed in!

wish I was closer so I could join in...instead I will use your postings of said rides to do so vicariously....

sgsidekick said...

Wow. Reading your ride itineraries just made me homesick for the east coast!

Unknown said...

Sorry, will be with you in spirit. You've picked a starting point just a little too far away for us.

Unless you alter your first instruction.

1) meet up with the western contingent. Take I-76/80/90, exit 4th avenue exit, Seattle Kingdome. Meet up at the Thrifty Parking lot just south of Airport Way on the east side of the street . . .

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

cpa3485 said...

You are not too excited about this are you?

Prehensile kid in a candy store?

Your obvious excitement has rubbed off on me. After April 15 I am taking a few days off and plan to do a bunch of riding as well.

Stay safe my friend and have a great time!!

Unknown said...

I'll try to meet you at the photo parking lot, or sooner. Yes, I'm not following directions. Deal with it.

Jack Riepe said...


If we get going by 8:45am, we should roll in there about an hour and a half later... Say 10:15am.

We'll wait that long. You should have the bases covered if you get to that open spot by 10am. It's just opposite that old bar. There is a port-a-potty there and a boat landing.

I'll be drinking coffee and smoking a little cigar.

Fondest regards,

Anonymous said...

Dear the miserable 18 wheelers, half of whom have no sleep and are coked. the land of publishers, who might you suggest for a little mystery and a nasty kill? I finally have time and mind.

Grandad 43 said...

Jack, fireballs should look great with the new color scheme.
Nice rides planned, need to take a look at my calendar. Lets' hope the weather cooperates this riding season,
Grandad 43
PS 14

Conchscooter said...

I hope one of you cretins takes a camera along and knows how to USE it. I wish I could be there whining about the discount I get on my Shell card.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Chatlie6 (Dom):

It would appear the Saturday ride is going to be a bust. Only three riders are going to show up at the moment. There are Dick Bregstein, Mike Cantwell, and myself. Rogers the Rogue is thinking aboit meeting us at a photo stop.

I can life with that. A small group just makes it easier to change plans along the way. Tomnorrow night will be my first shakeout ride. Thisshould be interesting.

I wish you lived closer too. The wekend would be a pisser if you showed up.

Thanks for reading and for writing in.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...


You are going to be the subject of a post tomorrow, when I do my next "Dispatches From The Front."

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bob Skoot:

Spirit doesn't count. We expect you here at 8am on Saturday. Bring the Dungeness cab. About 25 of them. The major points on interest on this run have appeared in my blog before. Beautiful pictures actually. I'm hoping to get a good story out of this though.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear CPA3485:

Load your stuff onto that scooter and go have an adventure. Pik a spot on the map, find out if it has a cheap motel, and cruise your way there on back roads.

Write the story up, lie in the photo captions, and let us do the rest. Have a good run this weekend. Watch out for low flying sheep.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Anonymous:

Get a copy of the complete works of Mark Twain. You want t read the mystery titled, "Pudd'n Head Wlson." Then read his essays: The Literary Crimes of Fennimore Cooper, The Stolen White Elephant, and To The Person Sitting in Darkness. All by Twain. Do not pay for an anthology unless these are all in it.

By the way, you want the version of Pudd'n Head Wilson, with the two endings.

Thank you for reading and for writing in.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Grandad 43 (Dave):

Get off your ass and fire up that Victory! You need to be on the road by 6:30am if you are going to meet us at the Exton Diner, Rt. 100 and Ship Road, at 8am for breakfast on Saturday.

Sunday's ride would be familiar territory for you, but it looks like rain. Wear your PS Tee Shirt.

Want my cell number, zap me on e-mail.

Thank you for reading and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conch:

Never fear... There will be pictures and details galore. Some true.

And like I said, I'm doing one blog Key West Style.

Fondest regards,

John said...

I hope to join on the #2 ride. Saturday is the anniversary, so no ride on Sat.

John McClane said...

My RSVP. Yup, definitely want to do it.

Just too far.

Just don't forget your camera.

Woody said...

"Cantwell Ride"? Cant Ride Well?

Wednesday looks to SUCK for riding. It also happens to be my 52nd birthday and I'm bummed I can't sneak out of work and go for a ride. I may be 'absent' from work Friday to make up for it.

You're passing thru my stomping grounds as I grew up in New Castle, DelaWARE?. As you ride down 141 and cross over Rt 13, you'll pass my Junior High of the left (George Reed) and about a mile later, you'll pass my high school on the right (William Penn). Please feel free you give my high school the middle finger salute. I always do.

Have you ever visited Hysterical, er I mean Historical New Castle? It's a quaint little town with an authentic cobblestone street (should you visit, I strongly suggest a parallel street). If you ever look at a state map of DE, the upper border is a perfect arc. The center of that arc originates at the pinnacle of the town hall in New Castle.

Watch your speed on Rt 9. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry town has a cop with Radar. Especially watch out in Delaware City. You will know you are getting close to DC, because you must pass the Valero refinery to get there. It will make you think you are close to the ball park in Philly. It stinks (literally).

When you cross the Canal, your next town will be Port Penn. We affectionately referred to it as "Pig Penn". Fortunately, it will pass quickly.

Next major venue will be Augustine Beach, where you will stop for the photo op. After AB, the roads gets twisty and you are literally riding a few feet from the salt marsh.

Bombay is not too far away :-)

I'd like to join you, since it's probably been 40 years since I've been to Bombay, but it's tough for me to get in rides on weekends. Have fun, be safe.

Cantwell said...

Hey Woody,

I really thought I'd heard them all... now I can say I have. "Can't ride well"... good one.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear John C.:

There is a 30 percent chance of rain on Sunday, which could work out, as far as I am concerned. I'm shooting for riding "Fire Balls" to the Mac-Pac breakfast on Sunday. Yet if the rain is steady, Cantwell and I will take the truck. As the plan states, we can start the ride around lunch time in Frazer.

I'm sure I'll see you ove the weekend.

Thanks for reading and for writing in.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. McClane,

I deeply regret that you will be unable to join us this weekend. Please be advised that there is a dearth of ruins in this part of Pennsylvania, so I'll be taking pictures of my knees instead.

Thank you for reading my tripe and for writing in.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Woody:

And so for me, the season begins. This will be my 4th or 5th ride through this area and I've come to expect its beauty, and its oddities.

For example, if you stop in front of the Valero refinery, the police are on you in a second. The Getty station in Delaware city is afraid someone will steal their toilet, so if you have to take a leak, you must use the port-a-potty at the boat landing at Augustine Beach.

Some Vets have established a campground and have marked it with a a real "Huey" helicopter mounted in a dive over the gate.

Lighthouse Road does not lead to a lighthouse but to a prop from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The salt marshes are incredibly beautiful. The Bombay Wildlife Refuge is very pretty, and you can see some very interesting birds.

The crab soup at Three Cavaliers is to die for. The iron lighthouse on Rt. 9 is amazing.

It will be very cool to ride with this maniacle group again... Especially Bregstein.

Thank you for reading my blog, and for writing in.

Fondest regards,

Unknown said...

Jack: Today is Wednesday.

We are all waiting in anticipation of your inaugural ride tonight. Of course, your tonight is 3 hours ahead of our tonight, so I expect a ride report by the time I arrive home from work


bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bobscoot:

The rain is coming down in sheets and the inaugural ride will be to lunch tomorrow.

Fondest regards,

Unknown said...

Jack:for you, and enjoy . . .

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Steve Williams said...

Great sounding rides. I've done them in a cage but not on two wheels. I would be at the Exton Diner but feel I can't because I have no kickstand on the Vespa.

Oh well, I'll have to entertain myself alone around here..

Have some great rides!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Steve:

Don't let the kickstand stop you! we'll hold a seat for you by the door. There will be a special kickstand-free section reseved for scooters in the parking lot.

The time is coming when I'll be riding out your way, though!

Fondest regards,

sgsidekick said...

Phew! You had me scared there for a minute!

Unknown said...

Thank goodness you are OKay. I read about it on RogersGeorge. I knew something was wrong when you did not post your Thursday NOON ride report. But I see you are out and about, following your comments all over the world. Also hope that your rider friend is OKay too.
Thank you for your kind words, No-one would ever think that a truck has a blind spot DEAD AHEAD.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

DC said...

For those of you who may be following this "comment thread", let me fill you in.

Jack's Saturday ride started as planned. About 15 or so riders assembled at the Exton Diner at 8 am. We had a nice breakfast, the staff was prepared for us. Riders left in small groups, per Jack's request. We did kind of rejoin during the ride, heading down rte 100 and 202, which was great fun, but then separated again. After riding a few miles west on a nice two lane road, one of the riders fell over at a traffic light. Unfortunately, his passenger broke her leg in the fall. Jack, was with this small group. The incident ended the ride for Jack, who graciously took it upon himself to transport the injured passenger to her home (after visiting the hospital) in North Jersey, while (the uninjured) rider rode back. At last count, she is recovering as well as can be expected.

Never a dull moment!


sgsidekick said...

Thanks, DC, for filling us in. We've been waiting for Jack to report in, and now we know why the delay.