“Steve Williams was regarded as the perfect choice for conducting this interview, as hundreds of thousands of two-wheeled blog readers across the country — and around the world — regard him as the epitome of honesty and integrity, which is clearly evident in their response to his writing and his photography,” said Riepe. “The majority of the these same people consider me a horse’s ass. But I have learned to live with it.”
Above: Publisher and author of Scooter In The Sticks, Steve Williams. Photo by Gordon Harkins.
Thirty-five years in the making, Riepe’s motorcycle book is judged to be a critical work that will realign the perception of riding for millions, especially non-riders. While it retains the tang of his blog, Twisted Roads, each chapter is linked to the others in an order that tracks the evolution and maturing process (such as it is) of his bizarre riding philosophy.
The title of Riepe’s book is The Motorcycle: A Talisman Of Eternal Youth. It is due out in the late spring.
Some see you as a modern day Confucius of the motorcycle riding experience. How does that responsibility weigh on you as you write?
More people see me as the “Austin Powers” of the motorcycle riding experience than Confucius, with one foot in reality, and the other precariously balanced on the lingering perceptions of my misspent youth. The greatest responsibility that haunts me is a compelling need to leave my readers entertained, as well as occasionally informed. There is nothing to compare with riding into the dawn of a clear, warm spring day... Or the excitement of leaning into a red hot, hight-speed curve... Or the erotic sensation of having a woman tighten her pillion grip on you as the engine screams through the gears... Unless it is having the bike slip off the side-stand when you are taking a leak, fifty feet away, with your pants around your ankles. All have a special place in the reality of riding, and that’s what I write.
Above: The official Federal Witness Protection Program picture of Jack Riepe. Note the dramatic contrast in sincerity levels between Steve Williams and Jack Riepe.
You’re a committed BMW rider. How can your book possibly have any relevance to me, a Vespa rider?
I am committed to the BMW riding philosophy, which combines a love of speed, distance, and bullet-proof gear — plus a deep appreciation for applied mechanical evolution — with a sense of camaraderie that transcends typical club ritual and douche bag club politics. I fell in with a bad BMW-riding crowd — The Mac-Pac. Based in southeastern Pennsylvania, these guys are expert riders, great armchair mechanics, devoted friends, and dyed-in-the-wool pissers. By and large, they are all straight-shooters who never hesitate to step up to the plate when anyone needs help — whether they ride a BMW or not. They have zero tolerance for bullshit, especially from Motorrad... And still, they let me join. This was the “BMW” essence that colored my moto commitment.
My motorcycle book will incorporate humor with a strong interpretation of the two-wheel sensation, common to all bikes and scooters. That two-wheel sensation weaves excitement, triumph, fear, frustration, romance, abandonment, freedom, camaraderie, loneliness, and great personal satisfaction into a series of interconnecting chapters that span 34 years of interrupted riding. While substantially different from my blog, I guarantee you will identify with many of my experiences. It is written in a softer style with more of an accent on the allure and seduction of the riding experience.
With so many motorcycle books on the market already, what makes yours worth reading let alone purchasing?
There are many fine motorcycle books on the market today. Yet most of these are the work of riders who are trying to write. I am a professional writer, and a story-teller of 35 years experience, who rides. In addition to conveying the details of a situation, I attempt to draw the reader into the story, either placing them in my shoes, or carrying them on my pillion. I minimize the moralizing and the editorializing, while putting a greater emphasis on the riding experience, and the entertainment value of the story. This book will seduce the accomplished rider, the weekend explorer, the novice, and the non-rider with the riding sensation.
Above: Steve Williams and his ride of choice: the iconic Vespa Scooter. Photo by Steve Williams.
How did you make the monumental decision to become a writer rather than a fireman, accountant, or something useful instead of writing this book?
Everything I do is somehow tied to my need to procreate. I related this absolutely true story at my presentation on moto-writing for the BMW MOA rally in Bloomsburg, Pa, last summer:
I met the cutest little brunette at a high school dance. Her name was Evelyn Ann Elizabeth C. (“C” is not really her last name. But she is now rich, influential, and possibly vindictive. So I am not using her full name, though I remember every delightful thing about her.) I was desperate to impress her into giving me a date. She asked me what I wanted to be (if I grew up), and I stalled. She told me she was headed for a career in journalism. Sensing an opening, I lied and answered, “Me too.”
“Do you write for the school paper?” She asked.
“I have offered to do a weekly column,” I lied even further, “but we have yet to agree on the focus or content.” I went to a progressive Jesuit prep school in Jersey City. The newspaper office was a hub of organized activity and editorial industry. There were seniors with pencils behind their ears, juniors running around with cameras, and sophomores typing away. It looked a lot like work and my offer to write a column was rejected and scorned. (I get the same reaction from most editors today). Columns were for those who had proven themselves in lesser assignments.
But across the hall was the “Student Publicity Committee office.” I had no idea what they did. No one did. Inside, a person was sleeping on a desk, two were smoking a joint, and several others were staging a cockroach race. The favorite to win was a brutish water bug named “Duane.” I went in and announced I was ready to write whatever needed publicity.
“Why the hell do you want to be on the Publicity Committee?” one asked.
“Because it may give me the opportunity to see tits for the first time,” I replied.
“Perfect,” he said. “You qualify.”
I was sworn in on a copy of the Manhattan Yellow Pages. Then I was told to write up a summary of the “cool” stuff going on in sophomore year. I put a spin on the lies that I heard going around and dropped the names of the cool kids like I was friendly with them. (The cool kids hated me.) I submitted my “copy” and was shown the door.
All that mattered was that I could now tell this cute tomato that I wrote for the “Publicity Committee,” whatever the hell that was, when I called her later that week.
The shit hit the fan two days later. I walked in the door at home to discover my mother raving over something that I had done.
“Why don’t you ever tell us about this stuff?” she asked. “Do you think I’d give you a hard time if you discussed it with me? I’m your mother. Why do I have to hear about this stuff from the neighbors?”
I had no idea what the hell she was talking about. But the local daily newspaper — The Jersey Journal — was open and spread out on the kitchen table. In section three, there was a column called “The High School Set.” The headline on the column was mine, as was the byline. I had skipped the school newspaper step entirely and went right into getting published by the real deal.
It was one of the few occasions on which my mother was proud of something I did. I didn’t have to call the cute brunette. She called me. “Why didn’t you tell me you were writing for the real paper?” she asked.
“I don’t like to seem like I’m bragging,” I said. Three days later, I got my first French kiss and “over the bra” cheap feel. I assumed (sometimes incorrectly) that writing and getting published would result in increased sexual awareness. It was this first experience, and others, that convinced me to be a writer. I have never looked back.
What is the first step in producing a book like yours?
The first step was in convincing myself that I had a compelling story to tell. I ran a couple of experimental chapters (dealing with this new approach to the material) on Twisted Roads and the response was very encouraging. I wanted to write a kind of sequel to “Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance.” I think I have.
Did you have any rituals to get you primed for writing this book?
Riding a BMW K75 between Vermont and North Carolina primed the pump. Brushing my teeth with gin helped get it flowing. Watching a naked blond in the shower (while I had the daily opportunity) kept me focused. And understanding the relationship between keeping my readers satisfied and meeting new blonds (brunettes and red heads), keeps me going.
I assume you have much experience in this area --- how do you deal with criticism of your writing in general and any that might be directed at this book in particular?
Readers either love my work or hate it. Those who hate it, really hate it and hate me too. I have discovered they aren’t shy about it either. I have been attacked on FaceBook, in “Letters To The Editor” (published in at least one moto mag), and on the street in Cape May, NJ — where a beautiful woman spit in my coffee.
I got a critical fan letter from a nice lady yesterday. It starts:
“Dear Son Of A Bitch:
This kid looks just like you and I want....”
Fortunately, these are people who also fear and detest the punch line as one of life’s realities. Those who fear the punch line generally find themselves the brunt of one. I examine all criticism (unless it is from women to whom I was previously married, in which case I just ignore it) for validity or constructive advice. My last former hot squeeze — Stiffie — said I should concentrate on writing stuff that is not moto-related. Soon I will have another work ready, titled “Midlife Crisis: Let The Games Begin.” It is my take on day-to-day living at age 55.
I heard that Angelina Jolie is writing a dusk jacket blurb. Is this true?
Not really. But I have asked 7-time AMA Grand National Champion (and twice the holder of the title “World’s Fastest Man On Two Wheels”) Chris Carr to write the forward... And he has agreed.
What are the chances that a movie will be made from this book? Who do you think should play Jack Riepe?
The character of Jack Riepe would have to personify a certain smoothness, to exude a charisma that appealed to women, and to be well-respected by his peers. The actor I would pick would be Ian McShane in a recasting of his role as “Big Al” Swearengen from the classic HBO series “Deadwood.”
You already have quite a following of your writing on Twisted Roads. What are your thoughts on the book spawning a riding religion in the manner L. Ron Hubbard established the Church of Scientology with his books?
Religion is a tricky subject, though there are friends of mine who think the fact that I get paid for anything I write is a miracle. I like to think Twisted Roads has developed a strong cult following based on its healing powers. Many women claim it takes their mind off menstrual cramps while a growing number of Yamaha-riding guys feel it gives them a “Viagra” effect.
Your stories often present experiences and situations far beyond what most of us will ever experience. Won’t your book leave readers feeling their existence is nothing but a bleak shell of a life?
Quite the contrary... I write to provide my readers with an avenue of escape. I like to think they are cheering each time I make it over the wall... And know that I am holding the door open... So they can follow me.
How do you blow off steam after a long, hard, filthy episode of writing?
I pour myself a tall Baccardi and Coke, light up a cigar and read other blogs. I like Redlegs Rides, Life Behind Bars, The Classic Velocity Blog, Nikos World and Key West Dairy. I enjoy a dozen others, written in places like Alaska (Richard’s Page), Vancouver (Wet Coast Skootin’), and Washington State (Scootin Old School). Now sometimes I write late at night and finish up at dawn, in which case I have a Bloody Mary and call in a massage specialist named “Cheri Pie.”
What will the feminist take be on your book? You know you're a pig right? (This was added with a grin, but an outside influence was suspected to be at play here.)
I believe feminists will rally around my book, as women have played a important role in making me the man I am today. The stunning brunette — SnowQueen —who has commented on this blog of late, was the first woman to ever ride pillion on a bike I owned. She will be featured prominently in several chapters of the new book. (She bitched she wasn't in the cigar book, though her dog was.) I started riding a motorcycle as a mature adult because a woman insisted I get a motorcycle. I love women. If it was up to me, I’d love a different one every weekend — with all my heart — and forever. There is nothing like the image poetry of a woman on a motorcycle, with the kind of smile that freezes your soul in the permanent state of being 19-years-old.
Above: Photo of Mac-Pac Rider Kimi Bush astride an MV Agusta Tamburini... This picture proves my last point. Note Mac-Pac Rider Gerry Cavanaugh appearing lost in the background. He is asking if anyone has seen the missing parts of his pants. Who the hell wears shorts with black dress shoes?
Take The Reader Poll At The Upper Right:
The hot brunette — known as SnowQueen — was the first woman pillion rider to grace Riepe's 1975 Kawasaki H2, and his paramour throughout college. (Actually, SnowQueen was his first in many regards.) She has access to the best riding stories of his early career... But won't email him. Her contact is confined to hit and run remarks in the comments section of this blog. This drives the author crazy. In fact, he may now be rabid. Please take the reader poll at the upper right. Justify your opinion in the comments section of this blog episode, and you could win a copy of Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists, autographed and inscribed by the author.
On March 14th, 2012, Twisted Roads publisher Jack Riepe will address the New Jersey Shore BMW Riders monthly dinner, at Schneiders German-American Restaurant, on Main Street, on Avon-By-The-Sea, New Jersey. The focus of this event will be: "Has The Modern Teutonic Riding Club Become The New Version Of The Boys In The Bund?" The speaker may demonstrate a new kind of hydration system as the restaurant is a BYOB. It is rumored that this event will commemorate the speaker's turning 47-years-old in mid-speech. Details will be documented in an upcoming chapter of Twisted Roads, and be featured in the author's monthy BMW MOA Owners News column.
©Copyright Jack Riepe 2012
I have to say that you have profound taste in the blogs that you read, mostly.
Best wishes as ever from Knutsford
Dear Mr. Riepe,
Again, it was an honor to have the opportunity to have you answer my questions about riding, writing, your book and life.
I anxiously await the release of your book. It will take it's place on my bookshelf next to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Desert Solitaire, Walden, and Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists.
Scooter in the Sticks
Hell, if you make it over a curb, let alone a wall, I'll throw you a frigging party.
Jack, I look forward to reading the book and cherishing it for years, so I can sell it at great profit some day.
May I suggest a subtitle for the book, related to your riding style? I feel "How to Succeed in Riding without Really Leaning" would capture the essence of riding with you. :)
In response to the comment that I have a warped sense of reality, I prefer to think of it as my "playful side". It allows
me to have a selective memory that recalls all the fun and wonderful moments we shared, in a relationship that sometimes was best described as a comedy of errors.
For my part, I have only the fondest and deepest affection for you.
But , there is a new man in my life.
His name is Big Jim!!!
His "Insanely Delicious Cookies" are amazing!!! They are so fresh and each bite rewards with just the right taste of chocolate chip or peanut butter chip. It is the perfect cookie recipe! They are great to include in gourmet gift baskets for any occasion.
THANK YOU Big Jim ... you are my new hero!
I was worried about your recent hibernation to Port May, but I notice from your 2nd photo that you are doing well and you eyes are not bloodshot. I can't wait until you get a regular land line.
. . . and also this achievement of locking yourself in your cabin to finish this work of Art, for which we are all panting in anticipation.
can't wait to get more of your musings, and more photos like those of Kimi
Quote: " this event will commemorate the speaker's turning 47-years-old in mid-speech "
interestingly life must agree with you, as you seemed to have shed 8 years
luv, from Vancouver
Riding the Wet Coast
I hope to someday have the pleasure of riding around with you in Britain. You can lead... I could barely figure out which side of the road to be on in a car. I'd never get it right on a bike.
I actually read dozens of blogs, some each day. But felt like I could only mention a few.
Thank you for reading and for writing in.
Dear Mr. Williams:
Thank you for enabling me to provide Twisted Roads readers with yet another landmark blog idea that covered a number of interesting points. I really did set out attempting to model my blog after yours, at least three years ago.
But I could never match the degree of sincerity and purity of thought that comes so easily to you. Instead, I had to limp along with falsehood and an editorial shell game. The self-portraits you sent me are incredible.
I am forwarding them t my friend Roy, a great and intuitive photographer, for my new official photograph.
Thanks again for your help and cooperation with this.
Dear Mr. Cantwell:
I have heard from Ihor that he wants to make another mountain house run shortly. That means at least one more night around the whiskey bottle in his cozy kitchen, as the winter runs down outside.
And then I will climb whatever curb you can find, just before kicking your ass. The day is coming when I will have a K1200GT, and you will forever be riding in the shadow of my tail light.
I can hardly wait to see you and Chris again. Maybe we can drag Lee Kazanas out of his lair too.
I am still laughing over your comment. For those just tuning in, MattPie is a Mac-Pac rider commenting on the number of my close friends who had me inscribe their cigar books with a warm sentiment, only to discover they resold them at a huge profit to speculators on fucking eBay.
Matt, I love your alternative title and in tend to use it, give you full credit. (Yeah, right. Enjoy the profit on your resold book.)
The weather is changing and the title SnowQueen will have to be put away for the season. Will it be okay if I go back to the other name I had for you? It was "Princess." I also called you "Spinweed" for a while. Choose one. Soon.
It was nice of you to mention the special moments we shared. I am about to publish the story about how you brained me with a bucket of chop suey because I was being an asshole. (It would be good to have an accurate quote from you as no one will believe I was capable of acting like an asshole. Actually, there is a woman in West Chester, Pa who will easily believe it.)
Also, I just filled in a transitional chapter of the new book about a little moment you and I shared atop the cliffs of the Palisades. You weren't wearing much. In fact, I think I had your jeans pulled over my head.
There really is a very valid reason for you to email me about reading these things before they go to press. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Big Jim will be thrilled to hear how much you liked his cookies. Too bad he drank himself into an institution waiting for your response. (The last time I saw him he was sipping Woolite out of a brown paper bag on the steps of the Betty Ford clinic. His final words to me were, "There is no SnowQueen. You ate those cookies, you fat prick." As a member of the Mac-Pac, Big Jim shares the group's boundless confidence in me.)
If you don't mind, I am going to put your comment on the right side of the blog page, as a testimonial to "Biog Jim's" art.
Continued To SnowQueen...
I remember your "playful" side well. You would be astounded at what I remember. As far as the comedy of errors goes... You were far more sophisticated and understanding than I was at the time. I was a life support system for testicles that could type. And we were in our early 20's! Look at the people we know in their early 20's! Would you trust them with a box of shit?
I recently found four stories I wrote when I was with you. I can see your influence in all of them. And yet, I could do a much better job on all of them now.
I learned a lot in recent years. For example, I learned you don't have to say, "Have a nice fucking day," just because you were born in Jersey City. I learned it isn't important to be "right" in every discussion or argument you have with someone you love. And I learned that if the first draft of anything looks good to you, then it really sucks. I learned this living on a street in West Chester, Pa, from a woman who used to dream of holding a pillow over my face until all movement stopped. (Didn't you have dreams like that too?)
I have this effect on a lot of people. I was once on a hunting trip with Ihor, and we were camped on the wooded shores of the AuSable. The tent was a tight fit, and I awoke with a start to find him pulling a plastic bag over my head.
"What are you doing" I asked.
"Eliminating your character flaws," he said. "Hold still and accept this like a man."
Continued to SnowQueen...
I was touched by your line, "For my part, I have only the fondest and deepest affection for you," even though it is a lie. I know you plan to wait until all these great SnowQueen pillion stories are published in a book under my name... So you can sue the shit out of me.
But there will be no satisfaction in it for you. I am going to tell the best of those stories in person to the members of the BMW Shore Riders of New Jersey on March 14th, at Schneider's German-American Restaurant, Main Street, Avon-by-the-Sea. I will save an empty chair to my right, for the prettiest brunette in the place. Then I will throw myself into the frigid Atlantic, following the presentation.
You can sue my daughter... That would be like suing a Siberian tiger.
I had to publish all this in this "comments" section because you are breaking my balls by not contacting me on email.
Big Jim just called. He said he'll throw a box of cookies into the back of my pickup and we can drive up to the last address I have for you (which must be close enough), and sit in the driveway, passing the Woolite back and forth.
Thank you for your kind note. "Port May" is an old canal settlement on the banks of the Weasel River in Missouri. It is marked by a gas station, post office, and whore house, which are all on the second floor of the city hall.
I currently live in Cape May, NJ, which is the crown jewel of the New Jersey Shore. The average house here is about $3 million bucks.
My cabin is a three-bedroom, two bath, two living-room period-house (1923) that is decorate like a museum, with many pieces from Germany. I am 5 minutes from the water in any of three directions. Forgive me if I gave the impression I was living in the battered mens shelter.
A friend with the reddest hair and the softest eyes did me a favor I can never repay.
I'm glad you are breathless with anticipation over my new book. I plan to bring 40 of them with me, when I eventually ride to the Pacific.
Thanks for reading my tripe, and for writing in.
It is obvious to anyone who has been following this whole "SnowQueen" scenario for the past four months, that this gentle, well-spoken woman is out to crush Reepey's balls in a vise, for past transgressions, no doubt.
And from what I can tell, she is undoubtedly justified. This guy sounds like the ideal candidate for being neutered, and then made to wash hair in a super-model hair salon.
I would make him kiss my dog-shit encrusted, glass-slippered foot for the way he goes on about that battered baby elephant seal look of his. It's about time some woman took him out and broke his balls royally. I hope he gets tossed in an unmarked grave before she ever emails him.
Did I win the book?
Please autograph it to "Genitalia-free Ken, the perfect man from Barbie, who takes no shit."
As for this interview, I am highly suspicious of any guy on a scooter who is more sensitive than my female gynocologist, asking questions from a human toxic waste site.
Practical Shoes Betty
The Office Sour Puss
Flat Seltzer Springs, ND
Let me get this straight: the SnowQueen "won" a box of cookies so Riepe could get her email address. Then she ducked him. I hope "Big Jim" beats the shit out of them both. I want to read about real biker stuff... Like Harley's and topless women whose hooters hang over the shoulders of the rider in front of them.
I had some of Big Jim's cookies... They were better than getting laid on the hood of a '57 Chevy, in a cheerleader's driveway. But did they put that under the cookie ad "on the right hand side?" Nope. Did I win any cookies? Nope. Did I get a free cigar book? Nope. I got shit.
Thanks for nothing Twisted Roads...
The Trailer Park No One Can Explain
On Route 30, Malvern, Pa
Dear Twisted Roads:
Is this blog written for bikers or what? If so, then the poll should include another answer like "Instead of cookies, should we offer ladies donuts, which can be served on a throbbing love muscle?"
Amish Curse, Pa
I was on the verge of cancelling my subscription to Twisted Roads after reading that pandering plea by Riepe, in the comments section, which was an obvious attempt to get this brunette to show up at the New Jersey Shore BMW Riders Dinner.
I thought, fuckin' Riepe has no fucking pride. Then I realized he's tryin' to see this SnowQueen broad on March 14th, MARCH 14th! March 14th is the official holiday of Twisted Roads. Google March 14th and you'll see Riepe's scheme in all its glory. The man is incorrigible.
Cape May Saltie
Stink Eye Road
Middle Township, NJ
You published four chapters on your blog last summer, claiming they were from your new book. Are they? Cause they were steaming hot. Not that I keep track of dates, but it seems to me there's some overlap with these women in your early riding career.
Rectal Park, Iowa
wow, to be mentioned first in a list of notable blogs you choose to frequent...so that's what the peak of one's blogging career feels like. :)
Kudos to Steve for questions to made you think and maybe squirm a little bit, I know they would have done that to me.
Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner
Absolutely awesome!! Put me on the list for the book! Based on the 'Queens endorsement I can't afford the new wardrobe if I get hooked on the cookies...
Nicely done Jack,
I look forward to your new book and continued blogs. Take care, Doc Rogers
1. Be sure to use the baby harp seal look on your dust over..
2. If you are going to be a big time celebrity author, you need to elevate your choice of rum. Appleton VX.
What an honor to be mentioned in your post. Now I need to get busy and actually do more posts...
So which questions (if any) did make you squirm a bit?
Now you've got my interest. Wow, you are transporting 40 books in your sidecases on your way to Eureka, CA. That leaves no room for clothes and toiletries.
I have to make plans . . . any idea when you are arriving in CA ?
Riding the Wet Coast
ps: Like Richard, I am deeply honoured to be mentioned in your blog.
Please make whatever planbs you require. It would be a mistake to build them around me.
1) I am planing to present at the BMW MOA rally in Sedalia, Mo this summer. Those dates are July 19-22,2012.
2) I do not know how well I will be able to ride by them. Sedalia might be the extent of my endurance.
3) Who knows what kind of a bike I'll have. I really want that K1200GT, and it will have to be modified (lowered) for me to get the most out of it.
So make your plans, and rest assured I will try to hit the date.
I was delighted to mention your blog, as I did others. All of the blogs listed under my "Destinations" category are special to me. And I try to read them often and comment when I can.
I do look forward to seeing you this summer. And in truth, I would love to meet "Bolty" and "Ms. M" too.
Dear Richard M.:
Many people do not feel honored to be mentioned on my blog. Riding buddy Dick Bregstein has described being mentioned on Twisted Roads as an invitation to receive shrapnel. My mechanic, who I love dearly, said that if he is mentioned on my blog just once, he'll kick the living shit out of me.
But I felt compelled to note those blogs that are most often published on a regular basis, and which hold my interest. Several were not mentioned, but that didn't mean I like them less. There are some I am just sorry not to see more of.
I always like reading about your adventures.
Dear Classic Velocity Blog (Wayne):
Cheap rum, cheap cigars, and cheap women (Hah! I defy you to find one!) are the essence of the writer's life. But I do not complain. Ever.
I am dusting off the battered baby seal look for use this summer. Hopefully, my sense of mourning may have passed by then.
Thanks for reading and writing in.
Dear Doc Rogers:
Thank you for your kind and encouraging note. I think riders such as yourself will find my new book deeply moving, deeply compelling, and deeply full of shit — like some of my other stuff.
But it will be different.
Big Jim's "Insanely Delicious" Cookies are worth the $15 bucks a dozen, plus the shipping. No commercially prepared cookie even comes close. In fact, if you never ate a piece of cake, pie, or another cookie for a month — looking to justify the modest expense of this gourmet treat — you'd find yourself well rewarded.
I have added your name to the growing list for a numbered copy of the first thousand books to come off the press.
Thanks for writing in and for reading Twisted Roads.
Dear Charlie6 (Dom):
It is my honor to list you and the others in my destinations list as "friends." I have been chatting offline with some of you guys for years.
The question that made me squirm the most — that I chose not to answer — was, "Have you ever made it with the sister of a wife or girlfriend, and if so, what excuse did you give when you were caught?"
Dear Practical Shoes Betty:
Welcome to the Twisted Roads network of riders/readers. Please acquaint yourself with my previous blog posts, look at the pictures, and then go fuck yourself.
Dear Bill Stutzelutitz:
The Twisted Roads prize committee is pleased to announce that you have won a free lunch at the nearest White Castle Restaurant — in the company of Practical Shoes Betty — who wrote the comment above yours.
I think the two of you should get married and spawn mutants. The prize is for 6 cheeseburgers each, two orders of fries, two large Cokes, and one order of onion rings.
Twisted Roads will foot the cost of the food only. All other expenses, such as travel, accommodations, and a lobotomy are solely the responsibility of the winners. Also, you have been entered in a drawing for a grand prize: a video of me eating Big Jim's "Insanely Delicious" chocolate chip cookies.
Don;t thank me now. Just send me a picture of Practical Shoes Betty.
Dear Chopper Knutsford:
Your suggestion has been passed on to the advertising department. And quite frankly, I can't see how they'd complain.
What's the point of bringing up details like this now?
Giving this one last attempt. Loved your article as usual and cannot wait for the book. The picture of you with the big eyes reminds me of that guy in the movie "Who framed Roger Rabbit". Also am working on that picture for your blog. Should be coming at you soon.
Now that I have figured out that you cannot use the iPhone to post comments on your blog I am all set. I have so much I wanted to say to you. First, as a female reader, I think your stories are great! How much is the truth and how much you ad-lib I don't know, but either way they always make me laugh. I was saddened to hear of your exile to Cape May. I too went into a sort of exile at the beach last year. Long boring story so I won't get in to it here, but just know I understand completely how you might have been feeling of late. Secondly, I have been following your communications with Snowqueen and have just one thing to say to you about it. That is "let it be". Past loves have a strong pull on people. I know this from personal experience. Recently came in contact with my first love. Funny how after almost 30 years we still have very strong feelings for each other. But I have come to the realization that these feelings are the past and the past cannot be duplicated. You say you were an asshole at certain points in time and that her taunting you is warranted. I think you are only remembering the wonderful times you had together and not remembering the unhappy times, my opinion of course. As they say opinions are like assholes...everyone has one. But I believe there are two sides to every argument. What made you act like an asshole? Something that happened sparked that side of you. That is what you need to remember now and not push so hard for communication. To Snowqueen, if you are truly toying with this man I think you are a bitch! No one deserves this kind of treatment. It is cruel what you are doing. Either come clean or leave him alone. "shit or get off the pot" as my friends would say. Yes, he might have done some pretty mean things to you in the past, but seriously, were they so bad that you would hurt him like this? I can tell from what he has written that he seriously cares about you and would agree to whatever terms you placed on him to simply get the chance to communicate with you on a more personal channel. I would hope that you are a big enough person to allow him that opportunity. If you have already then cuddos for you...if not and you have no intention of doing so then leave him be. Again, my opinion.
Welcome to Twisted Roads, the motorcycle blog for raw adventure and romance like broken glass. I’m delighted that you have figured out how to leave a comment and even more thrilled that you left a long, thoughtful one. And please let me take this opportunity to congratulate you on passing the “riders safety course.” At some point in the next year, I intend to ride from Maine to Florida, and I’d like nothing better than to share a stretch (Alligator Alley perhaps), riding with you.
I am flattered you have “so much you want to say to me,” without the letter beginning, “Dear Shithead.”
To address your first point, everything I write is the absolute truth, with an emphasis on the humorous aspect of life. (Very little in life isn’t funny in some regard, after the smoke settles.) I am delighted that my stories appeal to you as a female reader and rider. I occasionally hear from a number of women readers, and some send me presents. A lovely lady from Amish Curse, Pa send me a pit bull yesterday. (It was rabid and pissed.)
My exile to Cape May, NJ has been a real eye-opener to me. Yet from the ashes of the old Phoenix rises the soul of a new cock-bird.
I got that nice warm fuzzy feeling from your advice and from your taking my part before the “SnowQueen.” That hasn’t happened too often lately. And since you were so kind to step into the gunfire, I thought I’d fill you in on the backstory.
Continued To Michelle...
I have no expectations of chasing down the SnowQueen and hooking up with her again. I beg your indulgence if I gave that impression. I would never pursue that gentle, elegant, and sophisticated woman with a perspective that lingers from when I was 18 - to 26-years-old. She was out of my league then and I suspect she is more so now. But man oh man, did we have some great adventures together. I want to write about those and I’m being pressured by deadlines. I’d love to get her memories of those occasions before I go though the first 28 drafts. (And in that regard she is breaking my balls.)
Would I buy her dinner? Absolutely. Would I blush throughout the entire meal and stutter? You bet. Would I give her the patented “Battered Baby Seal Look? At least once, just to see her bust out laughing.
And I have no difficulty imagining her reading this blog, flashing that gorgeous smile, with a hint of a laugh, knowing she raised my eyebrows with another “hit and run” comment. I actually had a brutal week — on two separate occasions — when a short note from her took the sting from reality. (And you can bet your ass she knew it.)
I have loved a handful of women in my life, and three of them will forever be like distant planets, influencing the tides of my thought and writing. “SnowQueen” is the “Venus” of the lot, low on the horizon, and the picture of tranquility. “Lambkin” is the mother of my daughter, and the “Mercury” in this universe. “Stiffie” was the comet who gave me a second chance at being 17 again, and who showered my existence with a glittering tail of stardust. There are some other planets up there, but one is the home to man-eating aliens (and not in the good way) and another spawns acid-spitting triffids. They are best left alone.
“SnowQueen” has a special license to say what she wants... When she wants... And how she wants to say it. (She earned it the hard way.) I claim she is taunting me, but she really isn’t. This blog would be a sadder place without her hit and run comments. I’d rather be occasionally surprised by her popping in and out than regularly disappointed by having her go back into the 30-year abyss. But I cheered the part in your note where you told her to contact me, as she was a cruel, and vicious SnowQueen. (I’d be obliged if you wrote again and told her I was pale, withdrawn, and sitting in a dark room – talking only to a stuffed toy. She’ll write you back saying not much has changed in 30 years.)
Continued to Michelle:
I can only remember the wonderful times that have ever occurred in my life. (Just like I can only forever see any of my past loves exactly as they looked on the day I first met them. Imagine: they never age nor become a pain in the ass. ) What the hell would be the point in remembering anything else? But the truth is that I can’t remember anything SnowQueen ever did that could have aggravated me. Come to think of it, every woman I ever had the pleasure of seeing in the moonlight was never anything but kind, encouraging, and passionate to me. I drove these poor women to distraction.
I am the yellow stain on the pure white snow of womanhood. (And I admit it.) You know what made me act like an asshole? Male reflex hormones. I took “prick pills” right up until 1995, not realizing that they were a conversion drug, as opposed to a stimulant. (Yes, Michelle, I was slowly becoming a human prick. Just ask Lambkin, she’ll tell you.)
Getting your kind note in my defense was like winning a small lottery. And for this act of generosity and courage, you have won one of my rare, and coveted “cigar books.” Please zap me back at email@example.com with an address and your email. And be prepared to tell me about your search for a bike.... Because you have been selected to become a Twisted Roads personality.
i'm looking forward to meeting up with you on your ride out west jack, whenever that comes to be. maybe snowqueen will stop playing (sorry, she obviously likes it, or you) and actually join you?
It is my understanding that Bobskoot and others are planning a west coast blogger's rally for the second half of July, around the 20th and the 21st. Naturally, this is right on top of the BMW MOA rally, where I intend to be speaking.
So I'm not going to be able to make that.
But let me tell you what I have in mind... I want to start at dawn, from the beach at Seaside Heights, New Jersey, by filling a baby food jar with water from the Atlantic. If possible, I want to get breakfast at the sleaze bar at the Aztec. Then I want to head straight across the country, dallying in Utah, where they have those amazing buttes and incredible landscapes.
Then I want to head to Eureka, Ca, to see the Pacific and the redwoods. I want to get my bike as close to the sand as I can, and then pour the water from the Atlantic into the Pacific.
I would then love to ride to San Francisco, eat at Fishermans Wharf, and ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. Are you close to Eureka? Have you ever ridden there? Does any of this sound doable?
I just sold "Fireballs," and I am working on getting another bike, among other things.
I doubt I'll ever get an email from SnowQueen, nor a call. The chances of her ever seeing me again are about equal to my winning the PowerBall lottery.
But her notes are cool.
Would you be embarrassed to ride around with some clown on a BMW? Thanks for reading Twisted Roads, and for writing in.
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