Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Glacial Melt And Ball Drop...

Standing here on a New Jersey beach, a placid Atlantic Ocean before me, the news is not good. Two of the most relentless forces of nature are robbing me of sleep, reason, and the bonhommery that is my trademark as a moto writer. Those forces are glacial melt and ball drop. The leading experts on glacial melt say the oceans are rising at the rate of 3.2 millimeters per year (approximately .13 inches annually). My testicles are dropping at the rate of .13 inches daily. Calculations conclusively prove that a rising Atlantic and dropping testicles will make contact at 2pm, next Thursday.

Above: In one year, the rising Atlantic Ocean will claim another .13" of this doomed New Jersey Beach. Photo by the author. 

A biker’s testicles are the second most important thing in his life. The first is the other thing, which makes all of the significant decisions, and the third is his motorcycle. Scientists have concluded there is a significant link between testicle size and motorcycle horsepower. While neither is critical for the perfect romance nor a great ride, nobody really believes it. A comprehensive study conducted by the Wilmington Institute (Wilmington, NY) indicates that BMW “K” bike riders have the hugest testicles on average, and this includes the women too. (A number of BMW “K” bike riders carry their testicles in a single-wheeled trailer behind their bikes.)

Huge testicles can give a motorcycle rider two competitive edges. The first is on the track. Racers are required to throw their weight from one side of the bike to the other when taking high speed curves. Many times you can see them leaning on a puck-like device attached to their knees. This is known as a “testicle receptacle” and serves as a pocket for the same. It allows the rider to get an extra three or four pounds into the lean, while taking the strain off the extended knee.

The second is at the bar, after the bikes are parked for the night. Many riders will thrill the ladies in the crowd by hammering a spike into a railroad tie — in four shots or less — with simple squat thrusts. (I didn’t believe this at first until I heard a beautiful woman say, “That BMW rider must have some balls to come into a joint like this. I bet he could hammer spikes with them.”)

While huge testicles serve a primal purpose, they are often targeted by divorce lawyers as trophies for ex-wives, who are seldom satisfied to get the lungs. The worst of huge testicle reversal occurs when a man in in his early sixties, and his nuts begin to hang like the bad guy in a 1950’s western. They don’t decrease in size or bulk, but start to swing like twin wrecking balls (which of course was really cool when you were 19, and the arc of swing was a lot less than three feet).

I ignored the early signs of tragic testicle trajectory. Then one summer night, I had 52 drinks while plotting my editorial career’s high-points and went into the garage to confer with a noble BMW K75. I fired up the bike until it spoke in fluent conspiracy. Some say a K75 whines like a mother-in-law caught in a leg-hold trap. (It doesn’t. I compared the two in an experiment and discovered you can listen to one all night.) I was wearing a pair of Kevlar-lined, loose-fitting biker comfort shorts, designed to go under armored mesh riding pants, which ended six inches above my knees. I climbed on the bike with gusto, and without realizing it, slung my lowered pinecones onto the hot cylinder heads (or what passes for the same on a flying brick).

My right cojone now bears the legend “BMW” as a sort of brand, which it is. Thank heavens there is no roundel on the cylinder heads or I’d get caught up in that whole licensed logo thing. Leaping from the bike, I made it to the kitchen and thrust my pineapples into an open carton of fudge swirl ice cream. It was at that moment the love of my life de jour walked in. She said, “Whatever the hell you think is going to happen next simply isn’t.”

It is possible for an aging rider to work around Thor’s hand grenade drop, but it takes a little planning. I noticed that there is a chest pocket in my old Joe Rocket Meteor jacket that doesn’t accommodate my smart phone. I can put my testicles in it, though, which will make dragging them behind the bike a thing of the past. I do not recommend flying into the garage on a hot day, and tossing your jacket into a distant corner, however. Testicle drop works like an old window shade... Things only go in one direction.

I recently decided to make a play for a woman I know and went to plastic surgeon to investigate a testicle tuck. This  complex procedure rehangs 7 feet of existing material  to give a man in his sixties the testicles of a man in his late fifties. I was willing to give it a shot until the surgeon explained that the testicular rehang incorporated three mounting points. Two of these are on each side of the recipient’s groin. The third is on the underside of his chin. So while I’d have 38 inches of ground clearance (and guaranteed tidal resistance) I’d have a wrinkled turkey neck. Shaving would also become a 2-hour daily challenge.

There comes a time when a man must face facts. There is no easy way to beat the tides or gravity. A suggestion by a dedicated reader to inflate my love balloons with helium left me dangling 6 feet above the ground. Likewise, riding boots with 36-inch heels have limitations too. So I am doing the next best thing. I am declaring Saturday, October 24th as International Ball Drop Day. I will be at a local gin mill over in Seaside Park, NJ — Bum Rogers — for a bowl of lobster bisque and a platter of crab balls. I figure 12:30pm is good for an off season weekend.


Author’s note: Have you ever noticed that once you fall in love with a piece of gear (i.e. boots, gloves, helmets, etc.), they are forever changed by the manufacturer into something so truly fucked up that you would never buy it again? This has happened to me with fishing gear, computers, and trucks. I own a great riding jacket that was so thoughtfully designed I bought it in three (descending) sizes. Then I made the mistake of publishing how much I liked the coat. The manufacturer promptly fired all the people who worked on this riding gear and blew up the factory. Their new model was designed by the same twelve blind men who once consulted on the nature of the elephant. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Measuring Up To A Hard Woman...

The old lady looked awful. She was as pale as a sheet and barely animated. She wasn’t able to speak. Her skin was cool to the touch and her face bore the distress of inner torment. On her best day, she had a personality like a bag of snakes. Her hatred for me was part reflex and part instinct. Though there had never been any love lost between my mother-in-law and me, I certainly didn’t want to see her like this. I never wanted to see her at all, but circumstances intervened. And now she was here, hovering in the gray area of life on our little vacation to the mountains.

My plan had been to escape to the Adirondacks (the savage mountains of New York), to skinny dip in the creek; to sip wine in the moonlight; and to fool around with my wife in between... Then she asked, “Can we take my mom.” I would rather have taken poison. Her mother was getting on in years and becoming reclusive as well as abusive. The old bat never really came out of her room but her presence was like the shadow of plague. I could deny my wife nothing, and her mother had accompanied us on trips before. Yet this place was nowhere like anyplace we’d ever been before. It was personal solitude for two. I didn’t want her presence coloring the mist. The old lady in the narrow bed hadn’t moved in 24 hours. I didn’t like the looks of this. 

We were tucked away in a remote Adirondack cabin, where the primitive road dissolved forty feet before the driveway began. It was the last house on a power line that stretched 11 miles through woods where desolation was the fifth season. We’d be on our own if the lights flickered. They flickered now, and went out, as a deafening clap of thunder shook the house. A low moan escaped my mother-in-law’s lips as she clawed her way back to consciousness. Then the storm broke and the house was enveloped in the drumming of a maniacal rain.

There was an hour left to sunset, but the cabin was high up, on the western end of the valley, in the shadow of the Sentinel Range. It got murky fast in the center of the clouds, and my wife of seven years lit candles. Only one of them was for light. She was the first to speak: “I’m going to call the doctor.”

I said nothing. The unspoken question “What can he do?” hung in the air. 

As savage as the Adirondacks can be, there are remote communities of artists, musicians, and craftsmen scattered throughout these mountains. Among them are the deep forest retreats of scholars, philosophers, and medical people. By chance, the leading expert in my mother-in-law’s condition summered in the hamlet of “Beaver Creek,” about 9 miles distant. He’d come, if he was home. He might reach us in 20 minutes.  I knew we didn’t have an hour to wait for the inevitable.

“The phone is dead,” said my wife. Cell coverage wasn’t even a thought.

“I’ll go get him,” I said. 

The physical action of doing something would be better than just being in the gloom of the cabin, knowing what was transpiring in the loft bed, though I was pained to  leave my wife alone with her mother in this state. The rain poured off the porch roof like a  liquid curtain. I got thoroughly soaked stepping through it.

You get used to some things working the same way, day-in and day-out over the years, and there is a second of disbelief when they don’t. Turning the key in the Suburban’s ignition produced only silence, made more poignant by the drumming of the rain. I tried again. Nothing. Then I yanked the headlight switch. Nothing. I’d left the courtesy lights on. All twelve of them. The battery was dead. 

There might have been one or two ways to jump the truck, if I’d had time, or access to a phone. But I had to go — now. Parked under the eaves of the back shed was the 1986 K-75 (with the rare Sprint fairing) known as “Blue Balls.” I grabbed my jacket and helmet from a peg inside the shed door. The K75 growled into life as soon as I’d touched the starter, but it would take a minute the old lady couldn’t spare to warm up.

The driveway was 80 percent gravel and 20 percent water. The road was worse. A long, downhill, twisting slide into the valley, the steady torrent took the path of least resistance, sweeping the gravel into the curves. Branches and deadfalls hung up in the shallow current, collecting debris piles of their own. I snicked the K75 into first and scudded onto the road. The water was an inch deep against the treads, but the tires bit and I headed out. 

The jacket was mesh and the rain was cold. It’s hard to understand how these mountains can be as humid as the Yucatan jungle on one day, and cold enough to leech the warmth from a body 24-hours later. It was early August and the temperature was barely 60 degrees, only 6 hours north of a sweltering New York City. I wore the jacket because it was at hand and I thought its armor would be better than nothing in a fall.

I stuck to the crown of the road with moderate success. Super cautious at first, I felt more confident and worked the K75 into third. The crown seemed like a good idea in  the beginning, but the outside furrows of the road were getting edged deeper by the run-off, and I nearly bogged down in these. A bigger mistake would have been to stop on the crown and to have put my foot in one. It never occurred to me that I could have gotten pinned under the bike, and drowned in nine inches of water. 

I came across the first sizable tree branch blocking the road about three miles into the run from hell. It was a dead birch branch, about three inches in diameter, but all snaky with little twigs on it. Detritus was washing along its tapered length to the narrow end, which was pointing downhill toward a curve with negative camber. My first thought was to just slosh over the narrow end, but the water roiled into the underbrush there and I didn’t like the looks of it. So I rolled over it’s center, with broke with a loud pop. The crown of the road was hard enough to support the bike, though the branch’s narrow end popped up and followed the current over the lip.

The next two miles were slow but steady going and I knew I was running out of time. There were more dark patches than gray and coming back this way, even in the Doc’s Jeep, would be no picnic. The doctor would be with us for the night. That would be so much better for my wife. The road was covered by water at Wolfe’s Fork. In the gathering darkness, I couldn’t see how deep it was against the surrounding trees, and stopped, putting my feet down. The water ran over the tops of my boots. The headlight had been growing in influence as it got darker but the surging water just swallowed it. I had only a vague idea of where the road ended and where the swamp began. 

“Shit on this,” I thought. I gave the engine three or four good revs and let out the clutch. I steered through the junction, keeping to the center, knowing full well the road veered to the left somewhat, and that I’d be on the very edge of ground stable enough to hold the bike. 

Then I was through it. 

The crown of the road was higher in this stretch and the trees were cut farther back. It was easier to see more of the hard-packed cinder surface in what was left of the gray murk. I had three miles to go. I played the road over and over again in my mind. There was a turn coming up here and a bit of a dip there. I took every curve upright. There was no point in losing a second to dropping the bike. I kept the engine revving in third. 

Life deals you an odd hand every now and again. My mother-in-law’s relief depended on the person she hated most. I couldn’t remember a day when she didn’t hate me. The night before I was to marry her daughter, she offered me $10,000 to get lost. (Naturally, it was a personal check.) The highlight of every wedding reception comes when the multitiered cake is wheeled out. At our wedding, my mother-in-law swaggered over to the cake and bit the head off the little groom doll at the top. Then she  spit it into the punch. 

“I’ll make you wish you’d taken the money,” she sneered. 

You have to wonder what could make a person so nasty. My mother-in-law was the first of her family to be born here in the United States. Her mother came from Ireland, probably with funds stolen from the church poor box, and opened a waterfront bar called “Tar Box Molly’s.” My mother-in-law grew up spitting in the beer of semiconscious sailers and wharf rats. I could only imagine the scenes that passed for her childhood. 

The scene before my eyes brought me to a sliding halt. 

For years, a pokey little rivulet dripped through a rusting culvert deep under the road. That trickle flexed its muscles today, ripping out the old corrugated pipe and pavement, leaving only a stretch three feet wide and ten feet long. The water roared and surged like a living thing trying to squeeze through a tight collar. It was within an inch of devouring the remaining pavement. 

“Fuck me,” I hissed. 

I was beaten. The rain strained through my mesh jacket, carrying the stain of surrender. 

The woman I was married to got a raw deal. When she needed a carpenter, she got me. When she needed a mechanic, she got me. And now, when she needed a hero, she got a pissant too terrified to risk all when it counted. The clammy misery of failure enveloped me like a mist. Looking down into the mad rush of the water, I saw her face as plain as day. I saw the depth in her eyes. I saw her mouth, drawn back in that familiar sneer. And I heard my mother-in-law say, “I knew you couldn’t do it. Now my daughter will know it too.”

I screamed into the rain.

Some will say I acted foolishly. I pulled my Mini-Maglite out of my pocket, twisted it on, and dropped it just off center of this causeway. Then I retraced my steps for about three hundred feet, revved the engine to 5 grand, and let that K75 go. It fishtailed and slid. It caught. I shifted twice and got it up to 45. I couldn’t even see the ripped culvert in the rain and mist. But I could see the Mini-Maglite. I passed it just to the right.  

You cover 66 feet per second at 45 miles per hour. I was in and out of the cobra’s mouth  in the blink of its eye. 

I pulled up at the Doc’s place blowing the horn and yelling. He was just inside, smoking a cigar by lamplight. 

“Doc! It’s the old lady. You gotta come now.”

“We’ll take my jeep,” he yelled back.

“We gotta take this. The road’s gone.”

I suspect the doctor has had a hell of a life. He barely nodded. Then he was on the back  with an oiled coat and his old medical bag between us. I’d seen the well-creased leather bag in his hall a dozen times. He’s made a few house calls in the desperation of these mountains before. We recrossed the culvert without slowing. He wouldn’t let me slow down going up through Wolfe’s Forks. There were times when both of us held the sliding bike with our feet. 

The doctor was off the K75 and up the stairs almost before I’d brought it to a complete halt. He knew his business. The last vestige of daylight was fading and in that feeble light, my mother-in-law recognized his face — and knew I’d brought him. She knew I’d succeeded. Then the doctor pulled a wooden stake out of his bag and used a mallet to drive it through her heart. 

“We barely made it in time,” said the doctor. “Tell your wife to leave the damn stake where it is. You and I can drag this thing out into the daylight tomorrow and that will be an end to it. Why the hell would anyone want an old vampire hanging around anyway? Tell your wife I’m not doing this again.”

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2013
All rights reserved.

Who Reads Twisted Roads? 

Josh Campbell 

Above: This is Josh Campbell hard at work, feeding baby humming birds, perched 9,000 feet above central Kansas. Each hummingbird chick gets a cheeseburger the size of button and black coffee from an eyedropper.  Welcome to Kansas. Two great pictures, Josh. (above & below) 

Above: These are Josh Campbell's bikes in a very cool picture. On the left is a 2002 Suzuki SV650 which Josh claims "rekindled my love affair with motorcycles." On the right is a 2007 Kawi ZX10R, which he says, "has no soul but satisfies my need to taunt fate."

Lee Shreve 

Above: Lee Shreve (North Carolina) has rolled out an impressive array of Teutonic motorcycle muscle. On the left appears to be a K75 in my favorite shade of red. Next appears to be an R100/7, with a K1200LT on the right. Way to go Lee! 

Rodney Lyons

Above: Rodney Lyons wins the long-distance reader appreciation award for this episode, writing in from Western Australia. An eclectic rider, his stable features a prized Yamaha Classic and a beautiful Piaggio MP3 (300) in the back. Everybody knows that motorcycle tires are cheaper when you buy them in lots of 5! Rodney paid me the highest compliment. He said, "Riepe, you writing about Australia is a lot like me writing about Jersey City." Praise indeed. Thanks, Rodney. 

Do you read Twisted Roads? Send me a picture of you and your bike, and you just might win a prize! Send pictures to jack.riepe@gmail.com. Write, "Reader's Photo," in the subject line. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Debunking The Pre-Ride Meditation Myth

I have received numerous requests for a blog episode dealing with the spiritualism of pre-ride preparation — and why it should be avoided. Many of these requests came from women, who asked that I include a lesson in relationship building, illustrating how a man should always take direction from the woman in his life. Specifically, I was to avoid any reference to getting laid (or expecting a trombone solo) as an incentive in the direction-taking process.

I believe in accommodating my readers whenever possible (except for the  BMW “R” bike group in Minnesota who insisted I drink poison). This is the requested blog episode.

I apologize to my readers who were expecting humor. This is sophisticated science.

# # #

The face on the clock condemned me with a sneer, and read 2:45 A.M. It was set to detonate in two hours and fifteen minutes, when the first light of day would soil the sky. My eyes felt like I rolled them in cat litter and there was a dull throbbing in the pit of my stomach. These were the symptoms of holistic motorcycle pre-ride planning.

I was supposed to lead a breakfast ride of close friends and associates through a hostile Amish settlement. (The Amish were pissed over a steel vent fan that mysteriously fell from the heavens, stampeding a herd of chickens.) Arrangements called for me to meet the usual suspects (Bregstein, Frechi, Clyde, Gerry, Ron Yee, and David Hardgrove) in the parking lot of a local Starbucks. These hooligans are punctual to the point of pain. If I was ever more than an hour late, they’ll ride to house and rev their BMWs in the driveway. (They’d make more noise rustling a newspaper, but to these guys the symbolic gesture is everything.)

I should have been ready to spring into the saddle. My preparations were straight out of the holistic rider’s manual. The day before — Friday afternoon — I stopped work four hours early to meditate in a sweat lodge. An authentic sweat lodge is a yurt-like structure made of animal hides stretched over a frame of willow rods and bone pinions. I got plans for one on the internet but Home Depot was out of bone fragments, so I just sat in my old Suburban and smoked a cigar as big as my ass.

The cigar was potent and filled the vehicle with a dense cloud of rich, robusto haze. A wasp had followed me in from the driveway and had just begun to realize its peril. It tried stinging its way through the windshield, but to no avail. The nicotine fog enveloped it like an evil spirit and the insidious little fucker’s head exploded with a micro-pop.

The appreciation of nature is a critical part of the cigar/sweat lodge experience.

It takes 40 minutes to enjoy a smoke as dense and as perfectly rolled as an Arturo Fuentes Anejo Shark, in Maduro. (Maduro is a country in which the days are long and hot; the rum drinks are fruity and cool; and the women are dusky and seductive. I go there every time I light one and close my eyes.) The dense smoke of a great cigar presents a joint-like Nirvana (or so I’ve read) in the close confines of the rolling sweat lodge. I smoked so many cigars in that old truck that the windscreen was tinted yellow.

When that cigar was smoked to the point where I needed a roach clip to hold it, I tossed the smoldering clincher into the neighbor’s flowers. (Her cat had been pissing in our garage for years.) Then I looked to the parked K75 for spot maintenance. This ritual began by sitting in a Kermit chair and looking over the bike while sipping something restorative. I recommend a “Planter’s Punch,” made with Myers Dark Rum. These are the squeezings of a whole lemon, a whole lime, a tablespoon of sugar or simple syrup, and an ounce and a half of Myers dark rum, in a tall glass, topped with orange juice and ice, plus a squirt of grenadine. If you are riding the next day, limit yourself to seven or eight of these.

I discovered a loose mirror and set about tightening it. These mirrors were an aftermarket afterthought that turned this 1995 K75 from a bowling shoe into a glass slipper. The mounting screws were .34512 of an inch. One little wrench was specially cast for this size, before all of the dies were broken and all of the toolmakers who designed it were executed. I couldn’t remember if I left the wrench in my coat pocket, in the tool box, or on a rail fence alongside a dirt road in West Virginia. So I fudged it. The mirror would come loose in mid-ride, after I tried adjusting it at 60 miles per hour. Bregsten would run it over.

The seal on the top case was also loose. This was due to a gasket that BMW sells separately. It appears to be three inches too short on initial installation, and eight inches too long thereafter. I used a brand of super glue to hold the stretched-out gasket in place, closing the lid to guarantee a tight fit. An hour later, I would discover the lid glued shut in places.

It was then time for dinner. The truly spiritual rider does not freight up on carbs, huge cuts of meat, nor piles of starches the night before a ride. Experts claim light supping on things like watercress salad, cheese crusts, and herbal tea is the best thing to propel a rider out the door for a traditional Amish breakfast. I parboiled three green beans, a shallot, and some grubs I found in the garden for my evening meal. I planned to eat while reading a popular self-help book titled, How Not To Annoy The Living Shit Out Of Women... A Practical Guide For Men, when the love of my life waltzed in with a friend.

My lover at the time was a doe-eyed beauty, with a voice as soft as rain water trickling through orchids. She had a smile that refreshed my tortured soul and a kiss like a powerful narcotic. Her friend was another hot-looker with a personality like champagne bubbles set loose in the atmosphere. For the sake of this story, we will call the friend “Melissa.” Melissa was a statuesque brunette with a smile that promised a hot foot or a prison riot, and anything in between.

Melissa grabbed my dinner and tossed it to a rabid raccoon outside. The ladies suggested headiing to a local Asian joint, to savor some mild sushi (along with a cocktail or two), before calling it an early night.

“I am compelled to tell you two ladies that I am leading a breakfast run of philosophers through a hostile Amish encampment a first light. I plan to be in bed by 9:30pm, getting a full 7 hours sleep before this ride,” I said. "I want to wake up fully rested, refreshed,  and headache free, prior to pulling out of here with time to spare."

The beauty who was mine looked at me in that special way that women who have been with the same man for more than a decade use to say, “Wanna bet, asshole?”

“Sure you are,” nodded Melissa, with a look that suggested information to the contrary.

The Asian place was intimate, dignified, and accommodating.The sushi chef, whose name was Ichiban Makozowai, greeted us like old friends, which we had become. The manager, Izu Fong Chu, said to me, “Ha ha. Good to see you again, Mr. Jack. Your fren’ very funny. She no start food fight again tonight, huh?”

Melissa wanted adventurous sushi. She ordered cuttle fish babies served in remorse, shark eyeballs in aspic, pulsating octopus suckers, spicy tuna tongues, starfish balls in bonita flakes, politically astute shrimp brains, squid caps, and electrified eel dicks. She ordered hot dishes too. One was called “The Peacock and The Dragon.” According to the menu, it was a guinea hen that had been kicked in the balls and a komodo dragon that died of natural causes. 

There was no bar in this place but it was BYOB. The ladies had two huge containers of mixed cocktails. By the time we had eaten the last deep sea urchin on earth, the waiters were practicing ritual seppuku in the kitchen (disemboweling themselves). So we went to the Irish bar down the street, where it was Mariachi Night. At closing time, Melissa was wearing a huge sombrero, and reenacting the final moments of Poncho Villa on a Dublin Street corner.

I staggered back to the house, leaving a trail of clothing from the front door to the sofa. At 15 feet, the sofa was closest to a first floor bathroom. I couldn’t find a blanket and wrapped myself in a sleeping dog. Chunks of half-digested sushi began to reassemble and reanimate themselves in my stomach. A fiddler crab fought with an octopus in a deadly struggle. A school of yellow tail went into session.  I was close to death at 2:46am, about a minute after this story started. I knew I had seconds to make the bathroom.

There are times in a man’s life where he fully appreciates the principle behind seat belts. I wished the toilet had had them. Next to the commode was a nice little vanity with a candle on it. My lover back then was as practical as she was pretty. The candle was a small galvanized pail, filled with paraffin and citronella. It had three industrial-sized wicks in it. Next to it was my self-help book from the kitchen, which was opened to page 36. This said, “A man should always light a candle or ignite a block of thermite when taking a dump in a confined space smaller than a zeppelin hanger.”

Matches were thoughtfully provided. 

My lover had replaced the exhaust fan in this bathroom with a ventilation system from a Latvian lithium mine. Sometimes it was not enough. One night, the vent fan blew through the roof of the house and disappeared.

I lit the first wick. The citronella struggled. I lit the second wick, and the scent of the citronella was barely noticeable. Then I lit the third and a nuclear blast of citronella filled the room. Twenty minutes later, I stood up, ready to totter out to the couch again. But I am a fireman’s kid, and I blew out the candle first.

Each wick generated a thick plume of smoke, which rose to the ceiling — setting off smoke detectors throughout the whole house. A woman’s voice, tinged with impatience and a sense of irony, drifted down the stairs. She said, “You finally took a dump so vicious that it set off the smoke alarms.”

Does anyone want a used copy of How Not To Annoy The Living Shit Out Of Women... A Practical Guide For Men? I don’t need it any more.


Who reads Twisted Roads?

Dick Bregstein (PA), Pete Buccheit (MD), and Clyde Jacobs (PA) are celebrating their annual West Virginia Bacchanalia Ride this week. This is where the guys occasionally hit speeds of 62.5 miles per hour, stay up until 8:30pm, and eat meals with all the salt they want. Sometimes they will smoke a cigar, but Clyde complains it is usually all gobbed up by the time it gets passed to him.

Above: Things took a dark and dirty turn on a ride to West Virginia yesterday, when the Twisted Roads Editorial Review Board posed for their annual group picture. Please insert negative comments here. 

Yesterday they announced their riding was curtailed by humidity that went above 20 percent, which is Bregstein’s threshold. When I suggested that they watch something other than the weather channel and beauty queen reality shows, they sent me a picture of their team during morning calisthenics.

Above: Here is the kind of riding that Dick Bregstein (left) and Clyde Jacobs do best.

Above: Here is the idyllic senior citizens home where the boys have checked in for their stay at Berkley Springs.

Above: Paul Pollio sent this picture of ideal riding weather from Hancock, NY, where he pulled over for a drink of water. 

Paul Pollio (NJ) took a day trip from suburban New Jersey to Mount Washington (NH) for lunch yesterday. The rain slowed him to a more practical 86 miles per hour, Here is a picture of the rains in Hancock, NY yesterday, where Pollio pulled over to release a trout from his boot.

Above: The classic Indian Motorcycle that I almost got for a gift...

Henrietta Van Dratten (TN) sent along this picture of an Indian, which she bought me for a gift, and then took back. Technically speaking, this makes her an “Indian giver.” (I’m sure I will hear from 16 politically correct ethnic groups over that last comment.) I’ve known Henrietta Van Dratten for years, but under another name. This is all very strange.

Next blog in 24 hours... 
Dispatches From The Front

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