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2013 Volume 19 No. 7


Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure

The Road to Cooperstown

Backroads Spring Break

Pilgrimage to Oaxaca Opinions on Group Riding Monthly Columns • Ice Cream Run

W H A T ’ S


MON T HLY COLUM N S FREE WHEELIN’.................................................................................4

SHIRA’S ICE CREAM RUN............................................................23


BACKROADS SPRING BREAK 2013 ..........................................28

ON THE MARK ..................................................................................6

SPRING BREAK TRACKS DAY.....................................................35

POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE .................................................7 PILGRIMAGE TO OAXACA ...........................................................38 THROTTLE BLIPS ..............................................................................8 BACKLASH .........................................................................................9 THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD ....................................................11

PRODUCT REVIEW S SCHUBERTH C3 PRO ....................................................................25

MYSTERIOUS AMERICA...............................................................13

MOTORCYCLE MARKETPLACE...................................................46

BIG CITY GETAWAY........................................................................16

J&M DIGITAL CONTROLLER FOR H-D .....................................49

GREAT ALL AMERICAN DINER RUN.........................................19

STICKY FINGERS ............................................................................54

WE’RE OUTTA HERE......................................................................21 UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR ..............................................45 INDUSTRY INFOBITES ..................................................................50 WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE .......................................................53


Brian Rathjen • Shira Kamil ~ Publishers Contributors: Jeff Bahr, Mark Byers, Andy Goldfine, Bill Heald, Tony Lisanti, Don Toothman, Dr. Seymour O’Life Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure

BACKROADS • POB 317, Branchville NJ 07826

Phone 973.948.4176 • Fax 973.948.0823 • email • web

For Advertising Sales Information: 973-948-4176 BACKROADS (ISSN 1087-2088) is published monthly by BACKROADS™, Inc. 2013. All rights reserved. BACKROADS™ may not be reproduced in any manner without specific written consent from the publisher. BACKROADS™ welcomes and encourages submissions (text and photos) and suggestions. Include phone number with submissions. BACKROADS™ will only return material with enclosed sufficient postage. The written articles and opinions printed in BACKROADS™ are not necessarily those of the publisher and should not be considered an endorsement. The Rip & Rides® published are ridden on the sole responsibilty of the rider. BACKROADS™ is not responsible for the conditions of the public roadways traversed. Please respect the environment, read your owner’s manual and wear proper protective gear and helmet. Ride within your limits, not over them.


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FREE WHEELIN’ BRIAN RATHJEN STG – Smaller TacTical GroupS a beTTer way To ride The other Sunday morning I arose and was sitting outside with a cup of coffee. We were in production for the next issue so I knew riding for me really wasn’t going to happen. To the south I could hear the rising roar of a large – VERY LARGE – group of cruisers coming up the hill. Dozens of bikes came rolling by, incredibly close to each other. The thought of “space cushioning” nowhere nearby. One woman looked over and I could see she had a look of “Ha, don’t you wish you were me.” Although I loved that spring had sprung and riders were out enjoying a fine Sunday, no, I did not want to be you. I prefer my riding a bit more personal, tiny and comfortable. We have all heard that bigger is better. Well… maybe… with big block Chevy engines, Saturn V rockets and some bedrooms that might be the case. But, the more group rides I do the more I am aware that smaller is better, safer and more fun every time. These days I do not get my jollies running with a police escorted ride (Sorry Blue Knights - we do love ya) or mass group jaunts with 20 plus riders. Especially with riders you have never ridden with before. I have had a few bad situations happen when unknown and unskilled riders have roamed into my world.

Over the many years I have been riding motorcycles it has become more and more apparent that STG, or what I like to call “Smaller Tactical Groups” are just safer, operate their machines better and generally have more fun than the crowded circus that is so many big rides. They also have added advantages such as easier everything! Fuel stops? Done. Table for six at 1 pm? Absolutely. Not being noticed as much by local authorities riding down Main Street, USA? Far better chance with a light STG group of six or so, than that mass of 20 plus loud riders being perceived as a hoard of Visigoths by the locals. Years ago I did a piece about the Stealth Factor; the combination of the dire need to be seen; yet being unobtrusive at the same time. It is a balancing act we need to play. We riders run a fine line between wanting to be seen and also wanting to be not seen. I want Grandpa to see me and my friends before he knocks me off my wagon while making that left turn in front of me, but I don’t want Police Chief Miller seeing me riding through his town - with his daughter on the back. Yep, it’s a balancing act, I tell ya. That is why smaller riding groups are simply better all around. They draw less attention. They are easier to control. They do less to infringe on the general public. Come on…have you ever wondered if that person in the car, waiting for a few hundred riders to pass by on a police led run, REALLY has to pee or worse? It is hard to think that Mr. Kaopectate is now a big fan of motorcycle riders. So you say you have a larger group? Here is the deal. Even riding in STG you still will arrive, more or less, at the same time, or there abouts. It’s easier, simpler and more fun to ride with a few than a lot. Over time certain riders will gravitate to each other. Some like to ride slower; others a tad faster. With a Smaller Tactical Group you will find it more a pleasure than a chore to figure this out. I am certainly not telling you to walk away from your large riding club, but you might find scooting away with a smaller band of amigos makes your ride that much better, safer and more fun.


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W H ATC H AT H I N K I N ’ SHIRA KAMIL Heading out for summer rides, whether on one’s own, with your honey or your riding buds, gets the juices flowing. Just sitting down with some maps and browsing the world wide web for places yet undiscovered (at least to you) starts the heart racing with anticipation. We’ve got a calendar full of rides, rallies and events to keep you busy for the next few months. With Americade in the books, and July upon us there’s entertainment near and far. Close to home you’ll find the legendary running of the Ramapo 500. The Ramapo MC has been hosting this for more years than I’ve been riding and doing a damn fine job. Join them for a weekend of great roads (embrace the gravel, it will make you stronger), camping (or not) and camaraderie with your new and old friends. If you’re looking for more of a road trip, head out to Salem, Oregon for the 41st International BMW MOA Rally. This roaming rally has it all - great seminars, vendors that will make your head explode, terrific live music every night and the gathering of some fine people. Yes, it’s a trip, but why did you buy that motorcycle if not to get it out and see this beautiful country of ours. Find out more and make your plans Okay, how about something in between in August - the Daniel Boone Rally in Boone, NC. As they say, visit three states with one rally. Yes, it’s camping but at a KOA, so facilities are top-notch. Ride the Blue Ridge and the other twistilicious pieces of tarmac this part of the country has. Not to be forgotten is the Killington Classic to the north of us (well, me at least) held during Labor Day weekend in Vermont. From the turnout last year, we’re looking forward to bigger and better things from the folks who handle Americade. A great time of year to be in Vermont. And, of course, don’t forget Backroads Fall Fiesta, this year to be held in Williamsport, PA - Little League capital of the nation. The weekend of September 19-22 will see us rolling into the foothills of the Alleghenies for some tremendous riding - on and off-road. And to follow up with the theme we seem to have created this year, below you will find your assignment, should you choose to accept…

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Backroads’ Baseball, Rivers and Riding Challenge So here we are done with the Spring Break in Cooperstown, New York, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. But, our Fall Fiesta will be held in Williamsport, home of the Little League, where our future baseball heroes arise. So with that in mind we have a quest for all of you. Our Cooperstown rally was held at the headwaters of the Susquehanna River, and that was all about riding and baseball. Williamsport, which lies along the Susquehanna River much further south, will also be about baseball and riding. With that in mind we want you all to think about and create one picture that combines rivers, baseball and riding - the summation of a wonderful year of Backroads’ rallies. Okay, if somebody gets a picture of Andrew McCutchen reading Backroads on a bike in front of Three River Stadium… well they win! What we want is a great picture. So go to it and we look forward to your submissions when we gather in Williamsport. Of course, if you didn’t make it to Cooperstown or can’t make it to Williamsport, you can send us your digital masterpiece – remember it has to be HIGH RESOLUTION – and we’ll throw it into the ring.

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ON THE MARK MARK BYERS Group Therapy Riding in a group is always an adventure, even with an experienced cadre of trustworthy riders. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I ride with others, I’m always aware that I may be under scrutiny by my peers, especially if I’m leading the ride. By the same token, I am also consciously or unconsciously aware of those with whom I am riding. I think it comes down to self-preservation: we want to make sure the people with whom we are riding aren’t going to take us out should things go pear-shaped, nor do we want to be the first lemming off the cliff. It occurs to me that we typically take training whose focus is on individual skills, yet we frequently ride in groups. I think the AMA has a video on group riding, but I’ve yet to see it and I’m in no hurry to do so. Why? I have a theory associated with going out to dinner that says if you go out to eat with more than six or eight people, the chances of dissatisfaction go up exponentially because someone will be unhappy with the selection of restaurant, the tab, or the wait for such a large table to be seated and served. I have a similar rule of thumb when it comes to rides: more than six or eight people and the group gets unwieldy. I’m sure you’ve all been there: a group of people meets at a well-known gathering place for a ride and the next thing you know, you’re searching for a gap in traffic big enough to get the whole entourage out on the highway. Someone invariably puts life and limb at stake to block the highway, and off you go in a ragged formation that eventually becomes a ragged staggered formation. I’ve done lots of stress-inducing things in my life, including massstart bicycle racing, and sometimes riding in a big gaggle of motorcycling strangers exceeds any stress levels I had doing that. That’s why, in general, I avoid mass rides of any kind. I’ll never forget my first big charity ride, wherein my altruistic feelings were dampened by

the sight of a Gold Wing tumbling down the right lane after the inattentive rider inadvertently made contact with the bike in front of him. Watching the rest of the line try to avoid the crash without causing further mayhem was fascinating and it’s a miracle only one bike was involved. I clearly remember one of the ride “marshals” exhorting those who stopped to help to keep moving lest we have a pile-up of even greater proportions. Since then, I’ve confined my altruistic activities to buying raffle tickets or just plain donations. As a rider, I cringe when I encounter a group of people out on a group “club” ride because they often are too large to pass and are moving at a pace that is below that which is necessary and legal. It’s essentially a giant moving roadblock that can snarl traffic for miles behind. It’s a ride, not a parade. I’ve also been part of a group that made several wrong turns, en masse, and had to find a way to get the whole train turned around. I’ve seen schools of fish and flocks of birds make beautifully choreographed mass turns…and that’s NOT what it resembled. Over the years, these experiences have reinforced my idea that a group of six or eight is about the most with whom I want to be. If you have a larger group, the answer seems pretty simple: break it up into “flights” of six or eight riders, each with a designated leader who knows the route, and let them go out at intervals some minutes apart. If you have hot-shoes who like to go a little faster, let ‘em go first. If you have folks who need a little more time, let ‘em ride drag: they can attend to anyone they find along the way who has had a mechanical problem. Put a couple experienced people with them, especially if there are newbies out there, and let them ride their own leisurely pace. If you have the opportunity, let the groups choose different routes, with the more experienced folks taking a longer or more challenging route that will place them at the destination at approximately the same time as the slower folks, who take a more direct route. As I write this, “Rolling Thunder” is about to take place in Washington, DC, and I have followed my personal tradition of placing as much distance between it and myself as practical. I have an ulterior motive: my own personal family veteran turns 89 in a couple days. He’s a great excuse not to join the herd, and I’m just fine with that.


P O S TC A R D S FROM THE HEDGE BILL HEALD The FuTure iS laTer If you are involved with writing about new stuff (whether it’s motorcycles or mustard) you spend a lot of time telling people what’s changed on a product we’re already familiar with. Progress marches on, although sometimes it marches right into a sinkhole or off a cliff. Often what’s new is not as good as what it was designed to replace, but it’s our job to tell people what’s out there when the newest upgrade arrives. What we don’t do near as often is ask why something we were convinced would be the Next Big Thing never actually catches on, or in some cases never makes it out of the concept stage to begin with. Motorcycles are great examples of machines that both embrace new technology and at the same time keep the status quo in areas you might have thought would be ripe for modernization. The question is, then, what determines what fresh engineering gets adopted and what gets stuck at the starting line? Perhaps I should examine one particular motorcycle component to address this query, for when we focus we often gain insight. Sometimes we just muddle things up, too, which I can apparently do with a task as mundane as ordering a cheeseburger and asking them to “Hold the Evil.” Seems a reasonable request, but… A recent encounter with a now defunct motorcycle (the Yamaha GTS1000) made me recall when this bike went into production in the early 90’s with James Parker’s RADD hub-center front steering system. Unlike conventional front forks, this was a truly radical (of course) way of both suspending and steering the front wheel, and there were many advantages to this approach. By isolating the steering and suspension functions from each other, this front

Page 9 end was in some ways superior to conventional forks. For example, entering a corner under braking suspension compression on conventional forks could alter the bike’s geometry. As it turns out there are advantages to this alteration under many circumstances, but there are also advantages to geometry staying the same (which the new design maintained even under really hard braking). Overall the functionality of the RADD suspension was impressive and full of potential had the system evolved over time through deployment on all kinds of motorcycles. However, unlike things like radial tires, fuel injection or antilock brakes this suspension didn’t gain wide adoption. In fact, the only alternative front suspension that has bloomed in popularity is BMW’s TeleLever front suspension that the company has continuously refined and expanded throughout their two-wheeled lineup. This is very different from the system found on the retired Yamaha, and in fact (and this has always amused me about the design) it’s even difficult for the uninitiated to spot the engineering uniqueness because the sliders used to locate the front wheel look near-as-dammit like conventional front forks. I’ll go even further by saying there’s actually owners out there who don’t even know there’s something very different suspending their front end, as one of the great strengths of the BMW design is how it feels so similar to the front forks so many have grown up with. But with the exception of BMW’s excellent innovation, the front forks have persevered while so many things like carburetors, incandescent bulbs and analog instrumentation have been fading off into the sunset. Why is this? I think there’s an excellent lesson here in the complexity of mass-producing something as involved as a rolling machine. Motorcycles, especially of the sport and sport-touring variety, have to be incredible stable, predictable and reliable in the steering and suspension departments. When unexpected conditions are encountered the operator needs to be able to put the bike exactly where it needs to go, regardless of road conditions (within reason of course. (Continued on Page 12)


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THROT TLE BLIPS JEFF BAHR Take ThaT, nicheS! I took a count of my bikes recently and realized that I’m living too large – at least for my current economic situation. In all, my garage contains four motorcycles and one scooter (plus six bicycles - but let’s keep that on the down-low). This is at least two motorcycles too many. If I rode all of them there isn’t a force on good green earth that could make me part with even one of them. But the truth is two of these bikes are castoffs that I no longer ride and never got around to selling (a 2008 Kawasaki Versys 650 and a 2001 Suzuki Volusia 800), and the other machine, a 2007 Yamaha V-Star 1300 Tourer, has lost its luster since it’s not equipped with certain features that have become important to me, most notably ABS. Plus, it’s too damned heavy! With this in mind I now plan to shuffle-up the motorcycle deck. If all goes well I’ll end up with my newest bike (a 2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650) and a mystery middleweight cruiser yet to be purchased. I’ll also be keeping my stylish little Aprilia scooter because it’s cute as a button and some things shouldn’t be negotiable, damn it! Sounds simple, right? It’s not. The reason? As I said I’m looking for a middleweight cruiser with ABS. Specifically, I’m looking for a Japanese cruiser thusly equipped. I might as well be searching for the Holy Grail. A cursory internet search of the top four Japanese marquees yielded these findings: If I were in the market for a heavyweight cruiser or a smallish 750 there are a few that come so equipped. But in the 800-1000cc range there is nothing… Nada. Zilch. Zippo. This begs the logical question: Are machines in this class less likely to topple over during a panic stop? Or, are the manufacturers simply playing to each motorcycle niche by offering features that they believe will sell best within that class, while ignoring those that don’t think will move as well?

I’m guessing it’s a strong case of the latter. Think about it. When you choose a certain style of motorcycle you are essentially painting yourself into a corner, options-wise, often without knowing it. For instance, if you’re a cruiser guy or gal whose hands get cold easily, you’ll need to go to the aftermarket for heated grips. OEM manufacturers apparently believe that, since you like to play the tough individualist role on your cruiser, you’ll simply laugh at the cold. Hence, you wouldn’t be willing to pay extra for something as sissified as heated grips. Maybe you ride a 600cc sport bike and like to take jaunts to your Uncle Fred’s cabin way up in Winnipeg, Canada. If that’s the case, I sure hope your throttle hand isn’t prone to cramping on the freeways because the OEMs don’t offer cruise control on this level of machinery. They never have, to the best of my knowledge. Once again it’s likely a case of perception based on economics. The manufacturers believe that, in general, touring riders gravitate toward larger machines such as Gold Wings, open-class sport-touring bikes and portly baggers. So they offer a plethora of creature comforts for such machines – nifty doo-dads like cruise control, two-way radios, stereo receivers with Blue Tooth and other accessories. But woeful be the poor chump (me) who dislikes the feel of such big, heavy motorcycles. S.O.L is one way to put it. Look, I fully understand the manufacturers’ reluctance to raise the base price of a machine by including options that they don’t think will appeal to their target audience. But can we outlaying riders (AKA malcontents) order certain options a la carte? This business model has long existed in the automobile world and they seem to be doing okay. In this day and age - with myriad studies pointing to the life-saving effectiveness of ABS braking - I’m floored that most middleweight cruisers don’t come thusly equipped, or at the very least offer ABS as an option. If one of the Big Four offered an ABS-equipped cruiser in this size range, I’d be at that dealer quicker than you can activate your anti-lock brakes! As it is I’m stuck in cruiser limbo “Waiting for the world to change” as singer John Mayer artfully put it. Fingers crossed…


Come in today for your Summer fun and cleanup vehicles. ©2012 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, ™ and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. In the U.S.A., products are distributed by BRP US Inc. BRP reserves the right, at any time, to discontinue or change specifications, prices, designs, features, models or equipment without incurring obligation. Some models depicted may include optional equipment. BRP highly recommends that all ATV drivers take a training course. For safety and training information, see your dealer or call the ATV Safety Institute at 1-800-887-2887. ATVs can be hazardous to operate. For your safety: always wear a helmet, eye protection, and other protective clothing. Never carry passengers on any ATV not specifically designed by the manufacturer for such use. All adult model Can Am ATVs are Category G ATVs (General Use Models) intended for recreational and/or utility use by an operator age 16 or older. For side-by-side vehicles (SxS): Read the BRP side-by-side Operator’s Guide and watch the Safety DVD before driving. For your safety: wear a helmet, eye protection and other protective gear. Fasten lateral net and seat belt at all times. Operator must be at least 16 years old. Passenger must be at least 12 years old and able to hold handgrips and plant feet while seated against the backrest. ATVs and SxS are for off-road use only; never ride on paved surfaces or public roads. Always remember that riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. Never engage in stunt driving. Avoid excessive speed and be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Ride responsibly.

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Can-Am Metuchen 911 Middlesex Ave, Metuchen, NJ (732) 491-2900


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Letters to the Editor

Hi Brian, I’ve spent the day going through back articles cutting out pages and downloading my summer’s rides from Backroads. I have to admit time is limited for me and I don’t read the mag cover to cover sometimes. Some small reply caught my eye for some reason and it mentioned a Febuary article and cancer. I just found that mag and read your ordeal. I hope and pray you’re cancer free now. That was a hard thing to do, share your personal experience. I’m not an emotional guy but I was choked up. I’ll see you at the Backraods 250 in June. Can’t wait to share some wind. …cancer has changed, and so have I. Life goes on, even becomes normal again. I refused to let cancer wreck my party. There are just too many cool things to do and plan and live for. If you’re going through hell, keep going.

~ Kris Carr ~ Winston Churchill

Dear Brian, Great article on your Texas trip! I’ve never been there (other than airport stopovers) and am now looking forward to including that State in a future ride. And as far as ride planning goes, during my recent perusal of the Backroads educational catalogue I could not find the course offering for “Spousal Navigation and Route Planning” you frequently mention during your musings. Can you please train my wife to have a great riding route loaded into my GPS each THE 2013 morning? Currently the directions she typically furnishes are not very precise, but short and sweet…. Jon Bressner Brian, My wife and I just returned from our annual Texas trip and thought you might enjoy an experience we had. We did, for the most part, the same places you and Shira did on the Victory. First let me state that before we left home, Columbus, Ohio, I looked at my tires, Michelin Pilot Road 3’s, and thought we had enough tire for the trip. Okay some rough weather to get thru the first couple days, but by the time we get to Texarkana the sun is out and the temps are in the 70’s. Remember it’s the first week in May. Our destination is Big Bend country and we make our base at the little town of Alpine, Texas. That day I took a look at my tires. Surprise, not going to make it home, on those tires, if we spend a couple days riding the Hill Country. Another surprise, just down the street from our hotel is Alamo BMW A quick call to Alamo BMW and they said to come in and they would work us in for tires. Thanks to the great people at Alamo BMW our beemer has a new set of Road Three’s, so now we can spend as much time as we want in the Hill Country. We wanted to spend a couple days riding the Ozarks on the way home so we headed for Harrison, Arkansas, via some of our favorite roads in that state. One of those roads is Arkansas Rt. 16 which goes thru a little town called Nail, not a joke, look it up, been thru there many times. This time, and for no apparent reason, my wife says on the intercom, “better check the tires when we get to our hotel tonight, in Harrison.” Well I did check and guess what was in my brand new rear tire ? A freakin NAIL. Okay so now what ? No big deal, I carry a plug kit and plugged the tire myself. But this presents another problem. BMW, in their infinite wisdom, placed the rear tire valve in between two wheel spokes which is impossible to access with a gas station air pump. Fortunately I found a tire store that gave me access to their air hose. My advice to anyone touring on a motorcycle is to carry a plug kit. Go to a tire shop, pick up an old throw away tire and practice using said kit before putting in

your saddlebag. I just ordered a mini compressor from Aerostich. Whatever you decide upon, try it out before leaving home. Best Regards, Philip Eramo Philip, Sound like an excellent trip. We always have a tire repair kit AND a small pump. Shira got a flat a few years back on the big road and, with semis zipping by we plugged it and it held air for 3 months, until we changed the tire. Stop N Go Kits are great and the Cycle Pump from BestRest is a lifesaver! ~ BR Hey guys! Just dropping you a short note about a nice trip my 13 year old daughter Samantha and I took last weekend. Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday we put on 675 most enjoyable miles riding around Lancaster, PA. We stayed at the Days Inn Wyomissing in Reading, PA, which was a pretty decent launching point. Never been there on a bike before and had a blast. Sometimes one or two roads makes a trip memorable. This time Gold Mine Road in Jonestown, PA provided about 8 miles of twistilicious giggles, and 23 miles of solitude on Clarks Valley Road, through Swatara State Park and past the DeHart Reservoir, was pure bliss. Great road to ‘zone out’ on, and just enjoy the

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Page 12 Mail:BACKROADS PO Box 317, Branchville NJ 07826 Email: Fax: (973) 948-0823

Got something to say? We’d love to hear it. Letters may be edited, never censored, to fit.

Also your trip to Dorset VT. was particularly interesting since I have been going there all my life. If you should return stop at the state park on Lake St. Catherine and East Poultney square. Also in Poultney is the Green Mt. College. At that end of Main St. is a small cafe next to a gas station. The food is local and very good. I enjoy you magazine very much so keep up the good work. Jay Weiss Thanks Jay, Great thing about that area is that it is hard to go wrong road-wise!

smells of the fresh air, and the sound of my cruiser. We also had lunch at The John Wright Restaurant, on the banks of the Susquehannah River in Wrightsville, PA. Delicious food, reasonably priced, and a nice scenic view. We covered many miles through Amish farm country, and as always, followed your advice, and avoided straight roads and local traffic at all costs. Not very technical riding up there, but very relaxing and scenicAs usual, the more fun I’m having, the less photos I take. But the memories will last in my head. There’s plenty of room in there, for sure! Anyway, we look forward to seeing you soon for the Backroads 250+. Be well, Larry Barasch “Wrong Island”, New York Hey Backroads, Just finished your 2nd article on the Riverside Cafe. If you are interested I can show you an alternate route thru Pa. along the Delaware River up up to and thru Calicoon NY. I plan to go this Sunday weather permitting.




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Andy Goldfine

ridinG iS a Social Good parT 1: The miSSinG piece Two pieces, actually…First, riding is a social good. Same as eating healthy, exercising and higher education. Everything we do that makes us stronger, clearer, smarter, and sharper means we can better help ourselves and our species. We become better husbands, wives, parents, and workers…better leaders and followers. Riding motorcycles does all of this…and it gets us from A to B with a smaller ‘footprint’,saves us time, and reduces congestion and increases available parking. Win, win, win. So why isn’t everyone riding? Because it is harder. Sitting on a comfortable couch eating junk food, watching TV, smoking cigarettes, drinking, and uh,… it’s all bad. As are cars, pizza and ice cream. But that stuff all feels soooo good…and I like every bit of it, too. The people selling us our cars, pizza and ice cream are not going to tell us those things are bad for us. And I’m keeping my car, pizza and ice cream. I’m already eating about as healthy, exercising as much, and riding as often as I can. What’s missing? Incentives! I want to be rewarded for doing the right thing. Because, (ahem…) this is America! Everyone here deserves this. There are only two meaningful incentives. (I already can easily ride in almost any weather to almost any destination—comfortably, efficiently and cost-effectively. Not enough.) 1. I also want to be able to save time filtering between all of the cars, just like riders in California (…and the entire rest of the world). It’s statistically well-proven to be far safer for everyone, and it’s super-easy once you’ve done it a few times. 2. I’d also like some legal protection in case something goes wrong. Like a ‘vulnerable road user’ law for all us walkers, bicyclists, skaters, skateboarders and motorcyclists. For everyone who uses roads not surrounded by glass, metal and airbags. We all need the same level of legal protection highway workers in states like Michigan enjoy. “Kill a worker: $10,000 fine + a year in jail” roadside construction zone signs there read. We want that level of protection, too. Those are the two missing pieces: Lane sharing (‘splitting’ or ‘filtering’) tolerance and Vulnerable Road User protection law. It’s that simple… parT 2: how do we GeT There? Begin with “all politics is local”. There’s no reason any municipality cannot enact a law to allow lane sharing and separately another to better protect vulnerable road users. Yes, such laws would be extremely tough to pass (of course!), and anything like that is certain to be court-challenged at state and federal levels. But this is where the pressures for reform and social change must begin. Riding is a social good. Your city council and mayor can make it legal to filter through traffic on every road and surface street within their jurisdiction. And put up billboards and issue proclamations to educate the rest of the public. Your town can pass laws to better protect vulnerable road users, too. Laws that encourage bicycling, walking, motorcycling and the other healthier ways of getting yourself from A to B. Your city can become the most motorcycle, pedestrian and bicycle friendly place in the country, and can put up signage boasting this beside every road that enters your municipality. Messages welcoming and supporting all these better ways of living, and encouraging visitors and citizens alike to partake of such healthier mobility options. Auto makers and sellers (…and many other strong stakeholders) won’t be happy such activities are being incentivized, though. It will take much courage, com-

mitment and perseverance to effect these changes. …but maybe someday sooner-than-you think your community will become an even better place to live than it is now. Just sayin’…Riding is a social good. parT 3: Follow-up and TacTical conSideraTionS. Bicycles have the moral high ground. Sweet pathways got built, lane widths were striped off, and cities vie for acknowledgement as most bicycle-friendly. This isn’t a good fit with the world we’ve built. 100+ years of infrastructure investments and preferred lifestyle patterns. Pedaling cannot be made practical for most. Too-long commute distances, hills and the challenges of surrounding traffic are too much. America doesn’t want to be the Netherlands. Denver cannot be Copenhagen. Riders need three cities of 500K population or more, each with a few elected leaders willing to try. Mayors and councilors with motorcycles in their garages. The AMA, the MIC and Ride to Work should combine forces and target each with background strategic planning, campaign financing, quiet political lobbying, deal making, public education programs, and whatever else it takes. Two of the chosen ‘test’ city efforts will fail. But one should succeed, and motorcycling will have established a working template for what is possible. A powerful model for all cities that shows everyone how to get others there.

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Page 14 Riding is a social good. Motorcycles and scooters offer the convenience, range and speed of cars, with a minimal eco/energy footprint and a broad range of personal health benefits. They are more than toys for those with interest and discretionary funds. If one big modern American city can incentivize riding, others will follow. It could happen. Andy Goldfine is the owner of Aerostich, makers of some of the finest riding suits in the world and the greatest catalog that you can get by logging into poSTcardS From The hedGe (Continued from Page 7) No suspension can help you when a sinkhole just slightly smaller than the Grand Canyon appears suddenly). The handlebars also need to communicate with the rider as much as possible to help make safe riding happen, and regardless of how good a new design is if it feels even slightly different it can be problematic. Then there’s all the other mess o’ complications new engineering can create, because many components (especially tires) are meticulously tuned to work with conventional forks and something different may well stress the tire in different ways requiring a different type of construction. As formidable as these obstacles are, perhaps the simplest barrier to a new design may be the most valid: the telescopic fork continues to get better and better, and is a tried and true commodity. There’s a reason the fastest, best-handling machines on two wheels (the MotoGP race bikes) still use conventional forks to tame the tarmac. Granted, some of these fork sets alone cost as much as new street bikes, but they allow the best riders in the world to exploit their talent (as well as insane amounts of horsepower) to the fullest. And unless a non-conventional fork design works better they will continue to use what works best to win. As for street bikes, we shall see if a new system that is really wildly different finds its way out there in big numbers and becomes the new standard. Factors that has pushed things along like fuel injection and ABS brakes have been world-wide emission and safety regulations; things that are unlikely to be a big factor in suspension development. And to be honest, I’m a big believer that with many things in life, radical change is not always the way to go, i.e. when it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We’ll see. Change is a risky proposition, but the rewards can be substantial indeed. 1269 DOLSONTOWN RD MIDDLETOWN NY 10940

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Morton’s BMW Motorcycles Presents Dr. Seymour O’Life’s MYSTER IO US GuSTave whiTehead - The man ThaT waS FirST in FliGhT When last I was touring the south I spent some time along the Outer Banks and, always a follower of history, made it a point to stop by the famed Kitty Hawk, where the Brothers Wright made their legendary flight on the frigid morning of December 17, 1903. Along the way I couldn’t help but see how the state of North Carolina has taken great pride in this historical moment in time; with even each North Carolina license plate saying ‘First in Flight.’ But, what if that is not exactly true? There are many accounts that the first powered flight happened some two years, four months and three days before, on August 14, 1901. The almost unknown flight of #21 “Condor” carrying its pilot and creator Gustave Whitehead some half a mile through the skies near Bridgeport, Connecticut. Whitehead, who Americanized his name from Weisskopf, when he immigrated from Bavaria, Germany, was a mechanic by trade who lived and worked in Boston, New York, Buffalo, Tonawanda, Johnstown, Pittsburgh, and finally Bridgeport, Connecticut around the turn-of-the-century. A trained machinist and sailor as well as an early aviation pioneer his flying machine looked more like a flying boat than what we commonly would consider a flying craft.

AM ERICA The #21 craft wings had nine bamboo ribs attached to bamboo leading and trailing edges. Japanese-silk surfaces were attached on the underside of the wing structure, an arrangement that allowed the silk to billow up firmly around the ribs. The craft had two engines-a ground engine and a flying engine. The ground engine was used for traveling on the plane’s four wheels to test sites and during the takeoff roll. At liftoff, fuel to the ground engine was turned off, with all power then going to the main flight engine. On August 18, 1901, Richard Howell, a reporter for the Bridgeport Sunday Herald, published an account of the early morning flight of August 14, in which he claimed that Whitehead travelled half a mile through the air at a maximum altitude of fifty feet. Thanks to the rise of news wire services, the story was picked up by a large number of American newspapers and a handful of overseas publications. In two letters published in the April 1, 1902 issue of American Inventor, Whitehead himself claimed to have made two more flights on January 17, 1902, the best of which he said that he flew seven miles over Long Island Sound. According to an article in the January 1935 edition of Popular Aviation written by Stella Randolf and Harvey Phillips, Whitehead made his first flight in a steamdriven aircraft just outside Pittsburgh in the spring of 1899. Two years later, in August 1901, he made another flight with a gas-powered plane #21 near the town of Bridgeport, Connecticut. In 1902 he made a flight with an aircraft numbered 22 that flew over Long Island Sound. If all this is true, these flights would have meant Whitehead proceeded the Wright Brothers into the air by at least one, or maybe even three years.


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Kawasaki Goes Bigger

Why haven’t I ever heard of this man and his flight Seymour, you ask? Well, let’s toss some conspiracy into this chapter of Mysterious America, shall well. The SmiThSonian conSpiracy The story goes that a deal was made between the Wright Estate and the Smithsonian and that the Smithsonian would only retain the right to display the famed aircraft “The Flyer” as long as they never feature any flights that could have possibly been made before Kitty Hawk. Hmmm? Some theories even go so far as to say that the Smithsonian has knowingly lost or destroyed the only known photograph of Whitehead in flight and that Gustave, being a German immigrant, would be overlooked in favor of the home grown Wright Brothers.

Looking to validate the reports of Whitehead’s flight and the possibility that the #21 could actually leave the ground, Andy Kosch, a teacher at Platt Technical High School, in Milford, and a small group of associates had the plans for #21 redone and spent a year rebuilding an exact replica of the craft. It flew on the very first try for some 330 feet, proving that the original claims that Whitehead was first in flight could very well be true!

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Page 17 So did Gustave Whitehead really beat the Wright Brothers into the sky? This was an issue that was never likely to be settled to everyone’s satisfaction. But that might have changed on March 8, 2013 when the respected “Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft” fi-

nally credited Gustave Whitehead with the first manned flight of a powered, fixed-wing aircraft. “That’s the bible of aviation,” said Andrew King, executive director of the Connecticut Air and Space Center in Stratford, home to a life-size replica of No. 21. Even now the Smithsonian is reconsidering the way the history of flight has been portrayed in the history books. These days you can take a flight of your own, by motorcycle and visit the Connecticut Air and Space Center and see

the full-size replica of #21 as well as many other fine examples of flight and aviation in the Nutmeg state. So maybe North Carolina might want to redo their license plates. Maybe Connecticut should as well. Let’s remember that also Connecticut brought us the Sikorsky Helicopter and the Frisbee! ‘Nuff said… O’Life Out!


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Hanover Powersports Presents

BIG CI T Y G ETAWAY marTin GuiTar FacTory 510 SYCAMORE ST., NAZARETH, PA 18064 610-759-2837 • WWW.MARTINGUITAR.COM What do Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Joan Baez, George Harrison, Clarence White, Merle Haggard, Stephen Stills, Arlo Guthrie and Eric Clapton and so many other great musicians have in common – other than the talent thing? They all play Martin guitars. And, Martin guitars are dreamed up, created and given birth right in our own backyard in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Christian Martin came to the United States from Markneukirchen, Germany in 1796. His family was long into instrument making and his father, Johann Georg Martin, also built guitars. By the age of 15, C.F. Martin was apprenticed to Johan Stauffer, a well-known guitar maker in Vienna, Austria. Guitar politics in Europe, gave him reason to sail to the New World and soon the young man found himself in New York City. Back in the day European craftsmen operated under the guild system. The guitar (in its modern form) was a relatively new instrument,




daytrip ideas to get out of the daily grind and most guitar makers were members of the Cabinet Makers’ Guild. The Violin Makers’ Guild claimed exclusive rights to manufacture musical instruments. Union troubles back then too. Since the year 1833 Martin guitars have been created, first in New York and soon after in their present home of Nazareth, Pennsylvania. As the years went by C. F. Martin guitars evolved and innovations were created. In the1850s one of C. F. Martin’s major design innovations was the “X” bracing system for the guitar top. Still in use today on all steel-string Martin guitars, the bracing system is largely responsible for the distinctive Martin tone, characterized by brilliant treble and powerful bass response. C. F. Martin, Sr., died on February 16, 1873, leaving to his family and the musical world a fine tradition of guitar making. Succeeding him at the helm of the young company was his son, 48-year-old Christian Frederick, Jr., who was born in Germany. Since relocating from New York City to Nazareth, the Martin Guitar Company had evolved from a one-man operation into a thriving entity employing over a dozen craftsmen. Originally located in the Martin family homestead, Martin guitar operations had expanded to the point where a factory was needed. In 1859, a plant was constructed on the corner of Main and North Streets in Nazareth. Having undergone numerous expansions, the North Street plant is still


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used today as a warehouse and shipping location for strings and accessories, as well as the site of Guitarmaker’s Connection, a retail supply house for instrument making and repair. Martin opened its “Custom Shop” division in 1979. Martin built its 500,000th guitar in 1990, and in 2004 they built their millionth guitar. This guitar is entirely hand-crafted and features more than 40 inlaid rubies and diamonds. It is worth an estimated $1,000,000. As of 2007, Martin employs 600 people. Thirteen workers are devoted to quality assurance. In October, 2009, Martin purchased at auction a D-28 that was played by Elvis Presley in his last concert for $106,200. When we visited Martin for our Mystery Ride II in April we were treated to their free factory tour. Donning headsets, as the place can be fairly loud, we walked through the factory stopping along the way at the different stations where we could see the guitars being born. Starting from raw and sometimes exotic wood, to beautiful lathing, cutting and that special X-bracing. Then on to fitting and pearl inlay, painting, polishing and finish and stringing – and all Whether you have an hour, a weekend, a week or more to leave it all behind, here's a new bold and blacked-out-styled machine to satisfy that urge to get away from it all—the brand-new Gold Wing® F6B. The blacked-out styling treatment with long and low lines gives the Gold Wing F6B an aggressive look, while large-capacity saddlebags, a comfortable gunfighter-style seat, premium audio system and more means there's no need to rough it on the road.

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Page 20 the while being inspected to insure that every Martin guitar was perfect in every way! By the end of the hour-long tour we were all a bit more educated on the Art of the Guitar and had a good idea why a Martin guitar is so special and why they command the prices they do. As with most ‘factory tours’ Martin has a gift shop, where I found

myself buying all sorts of guitar accessories. But, Martin offers those who play guitar something very, very special; the incredibly rare opportunity to play some of their superb instruments. Along one wall were some of the lower end guitars, but I found myself drawn to the 1833 Room, where they keep the good stuff. The more “expensive” machines. Did I really need to play a $3,300 dollar D-12-28 twelve string or a D35 Johnny Cash six string that sells for the same? You know it would only cause jealousy, angst and ungodly lust – but, I did. You would wonder why they didn’t have one of their authentic D-45 1942 Brazilian Rosewoods hanging up for any yokel like me to play. Oh, right - $60,000.00 – that’s why. The 1833 Room is acoustically perfect and even in my hands (I

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have been told I play like I have boxing gloves on) the guitars sounded incredible. Magnificent. Phenomenal. Which way to Carnegie Hall? Their museum is a guitar lovers dream, with guitars from Martin’s storied past and some very, very famous instruments as well. Elvis is in the building! At Backroads Central we have a number of guitars, but our only Martin is a tiny Backpacker, not a full-sized guitar by any means. But, the Backpacker does have it’s own milestones as it is the only guitar to venture into outer space aboard the shuttle Columbia and the only guitar to summit Mount Everest as well as making it to both North and South Poles. Such a well-traveled guitar works for us and I think I will go get some ultra-light Martin strings today and give my Backpacker some new tone. You kinda get inspired when you visit a place like the Martin Guitar Factory. Enjoy our ride down to Nazareth and enjoy the factory – especially if you love guitars like we do.


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G RE AT ALL AMER IC AN D INE R R UN bocuSe aT The culinary inSTiTuTe oF america 1946 CAMPUS DRIVE, HYDE PARK, NY, 12538 1-800-CULINARY • 845-452-9430 • WWW.CIACHEF.EDU words/images: Brian Rathjen • images: Phil Mansfield & Al Nowak I have never been moved by a salad. Ever. Until March 15, 2013. On a crisp late winter day we spun north to the Culinary Institute of America, which lies along the eastern shore of the Hudson River Valley. It was Shira’s birthday and I wanted to do something I knew even I couldn’t screw up, thus the reservations for lunch at Bocuse, the newest Frenchstyle restaurant in Hyde Park, New York. The dress code at Bocuse is rider-friendly so after parking the bikes in the new enclosed parking garage and being a bit early, we strolled around the campus watching student chefs busy doing their preparations for the day’s lunch and dinner meals at the CIA’s various restaurants. Come our reservation time we walked back to the newly installed Bocuse and, after checking our jackets and helmets, were seated at a table with a superb view of the glass enclosed kitchen. French cuisine is ever-evolving. The menu says, “The Bocuse Restaurant highlights traditional regional fare and iconic classics re-imagined through the lens of modern techniques. Your experience will be modern and classic, exciting and comforting, foreign and familiar.” I would add to that “You arrive hungry and ride away very satisfied.” We have featured the Culinary Institute of Amer-

tasty places to take your bike

ica a few times in the pages of the Great All American Diner Run, and our title for this column could never do any bit of justice for a place as grand as this. Still… a new restaurant? We were intrigued. So being this was somewhat of a surprise and I knew that I had done good for Shira’s birthday I was just ready for an excellent meal. We are sure the menu changes from time to time, but we’ll stick with Bocuse lunch menu as this would work better for riders looking for a exquisite lunch at one of the most famous and respected schools in the United States. Our ride to the CIA this day took us on a slightly circuitous way heading up towards the Catskills and then across the river – we would cross the Hudson again and overnight in the town of Rosendale later that evening.

But, I have been digressing. Let us get back to the salad. I started with a Lyonnaise Style Frisée Salad that combined great greens with bacon, always a


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plus, and a single egg that had been done at precisely 148 degrees for 20 minutes, then tossed in an ice bath and carefully shelled and salted before being placed on the salad bed. It was like a softboiled egg without the shell and just as tasty as can be, I tell ya. Shira’s appetizer of foie gras en torchon au cacao was easily its equal. Other things to tempt you are marinated salmon tartare, a scrumptious lobster bisque and orders of escargot and frog legs. Hey, it is the culinary institute…. so go elsewhere for your bloomin’ onion.



Moving onto the entrées you had seven wonderful plates from which to choose. Roasted rack and Epigram of lamb, poached breast of chicken, sautéed skate Grenoble-Style, Potato-crusted lemon sole and lobster and vermouth ragoût stood out; but I went for the filet mignon of beef with marrow custard and Shira chose the breast of duck with blood orange. Both excellent beyond measure. One small glass of Spanish tempranillo simply added to a wonderful dining experience here at the Culinary Institute of America’s newest offering – Bocuse. Remember to save a bit of room for dessert, as there are some amazing offerings. One we spied was ice cream made at the table with dry ice. Very dramatic and looked amazingly tasty but too much for this day. Shira fed her sweet tooth with the Chocolate and Chocolate assorted truffles and homemade tidbits. I took a taste. If you are planning a ride up along the Hudson River then you might want to consider something special for you and yours. A great group ride to Hyde Park and lunch at Bocuse or any of the fine restaurants here at the CIA will make a ride well worth remembering. We’ll have some fun bringing you up, but get you there in somewhat short order. While there you might consider some of the other great offering the region has - FDR’s Hyde Park and the Vanderbilt Mansion right up the shore.


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Bergen County Harley-Davidson Presents

WE’RE OUTTA HE RE Snowed inn 104 MILLER BROOK ROAD, KILLINGTON, VT 05751 800-311-5406 • WWW.SNOWEDINN.COM As motorcyclists we usually have a big aversion to anything remotely snowy. Well, except for that Bill Jones guy that publishes Snow East magazine. He seems to like both.

Us? Our idea of a white Christmas means riding some motorcycles along the glistening white sands of the Gulf Shore of Florida in late December. But even the town of Killington, Vermont, well known as the largest ski region in the east, has a spring, summer and fall. And, for we riders this is why we wanted to tell you about a great place we found during last year’s Killington Classic Rally. Heading up the mountain, on Killington Road, you will find Miller Brook Road. Up along that you will find an exquisite place to hang your helmet cheerfully called the “Snowed Inn.”

a weekend destination keeping you on the backroads Get it? Snowed Inn… never mind. The Snowed Inn has been owned and run by Innkeepers Manfred & Jeanne Karlhuber since the 1980’s and the small four-room guest house they purchased back then has continually grown and evolved to the wonderful place they have today. The couple didn’t have a clear vision as to what their new property would ultimately become, but as they

raised their two children, hosted hundreds of guests, invested countless hours of hard work, and made a few sacrifices along the way, the Karlhubers transformed the Snowed Inn into one of the most popular bed and breakfast inns in Killington today. As we said the Karlhubers family was raised here and the Snowed Inn is still a “family affair.” And, that came across during our stay there. The Inn itself is well appointed with that wonderful combination of wood and stone. Consistently expanding, upgrading and improving the structural


Page 24 and aesthetic parts of the Inn (five rooms were redecorated just last year), the Karlhuber’s son, Tom, who is now an architect, created the design plans for the expansion and redesign of the front facade of the Inn in 1996. A family endeavor still to this day, to help spread the word about the Inn, their daughter Kerstin, a filmmaker, created the Inn’s video montage as well as its Facebook page.



Renovations in recent years also have included upgrading and redecorating rooms, adding fireplaces and two-person Jacuzzi tubs, ceramic tiling, and other amenities. Outside the hot tub is calling you at the end of the day and the deck they’ve created is a true marvel. We want one just like it at Backroads Central. The Snowed Inn offers three different styles of rooms with three standards, four deluxe and a number of suites as well. We had a standard room for three nights and it was clean, comfortable and roomy. It only gets better from these, so you will not go wrong no matter which room you choose. Rates range from a Standard room/Summer/Weekday for $89 to 2Bedroom Suite/Winter/Weekend for $400 (Summer rate for this room is $230). While there we found the Snowed Inn to be a great base-of-operations for exploring the Green Mountain State and all it has to offer. It was also an excellent place to enjoy the Killington Classic. Breakfast was a “create your own” business, with cereals, hardboiled eggs and do-it-yourself waffles (loved that). Basically all you would need for a light morning meal before heading out on the road. We prefer this sometimes to the occasional heavy meals that some Bed & Breakfasts tend to serve. This also allows us to be light on our feet and happily hungry for an early afternoon lunch. The Snowed Inn’s prime location is just a short way from Killington Road and it’s plethora of shops, bars and restaurants. It was easy for us to double-up on one machine for a short ride to any of these great and diverse eateries or, if adult beverages called, we could take a short stroll to the closer establishments. We have always been big fans of Vermont and with Killington and the Snowed Inn right off Route 100 and 4 it is surely easy to get to. But, don’t stick to the bigger roads while enjoying your stay at the Snowed Inn as you will find miles off adventure on the tiny backroads, but do expect a bit of gravel here and there. Enjoy Vermont and the Snowed Inn cause we’re outta here!



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kilwinS 37 STeinwehr ave, GeTTySburG, pa 717-337-2252 •

Ice Cream R s ’ a r un S hi

Adding to the ever-expanding list of ice cream adventures I have and will continue to bring you on, this month’s gastronomical gallop will feature a place that has been bringing ‘Sweet in every Sense since 1947’. Although Kilwins is a franchise organization, their products – ice cream, fudge and almost everything chocolate – are all created from the finest ingredients and their shops excel in providing customers with great service. Each shop strives in continuing the tradition established in Michigan, their home base, by Don Kilwins back in 1947 - uniquely combining high quality products with a warm friendly customer experience that is supported through a successful community of caring owner operators. In each shop, daily, the finest quality, tra-

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ditional down-home confections and ice cream are kitchen made fresh from original recipes. Their values are simple; Treat others as you want to be treated, do your best, and have fun! (well, we’re all good at this, yes?) These values translate directly to a culture of people who are driven to provide an exceptional confectionery experience. Coupled with their high quality products, in-store craftsmanship, and genuinely friendly staff they create an atmosphere that their customers want to visit again and again. From sight, to taste, touch, smell and sound a visit to Kilwins provides an authentic sensory and taste experience like

none other. My visit to the shop in Gettysburg brought all these experiences and more. Set in the town that saw the Civil War’s most famous battle in July of 1863, the Kilwins here was open in 1993 by the sister-act of Polly Parone and Paige Levan. When I opened the door to the shop, the overwhelming waft of chocolate and sweetness hit me like a rhythm stick. This day I was only interested in their creamery offerings, but come hungry and you could very possibly go out on a diabetic coma. Homemade fudge, chocolate, toffee, caramels, brittles, corns and, of course, ice cream can all be found in their cases and shelves. Since the day was on the cool side, I opted for a waffle cone LOADED, and I mean loaded, with Georgia Peach and Toasted Coconut as I figured I could finish before it started to melt. (that’s why I usually get a cup – I’m a slow eater) When I tell you that I had the bloat after only eating half the ice cream – not even making it to crunch the cone – I’m not exaggerating. I even asked the young lady scooping to go light on the scoop, as I know how much I can, and can’t eat. This ice cream was so good that I absolutely hated not finishing, but there was just no way. Creamy, delicious and packed with flavor, Kilwins ice cream ranked right up there with the top homemades I’ve had in the past.

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Well equipped at an MSRP of $10,600 plus tax, title and all other local charges.


Sport Bike Day Saturday, July 13 Special Guest

Teach McNeil

MONTGOMERYVILLE CYCLE CENTER 2901 Bethlehem Pike Hatfield, PA 215-712-7433

BMW Sponsored Stuntman

Call for details.

Motorcycle shown with optional equipment. Price as shown at an MSRP of $10,600 plus tax, title and all other local charges. ©2013 BMW Motorrad USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name and logo are registered trademarks.


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Sitting outside on the very convenient park bench, we watched the bikes ride by, lusting after our cones. We were here for a BMW MOA rally and, after having a great day’s ride treated ourselves to dessert. While slurping down our treats, we met a couple, BMW riders but there in their car, who were envious of our rides and eats; Backroads’ readers as well.

Kilwins is almost always making something in their front window, or elsewhere in the shoppe. Whether it’s waffle cones and bowls for Kilwins Original Recipe Ice Cream, or a batch of hand-paddled Mackinac Island fudge, or dipping The Perfect Apple, or spreading out the local favorite, Nutcracker Sweets toffee coated popcorn with nuts, on our marble slab, or... well you get the idea, you’re sure to catch them making something! You can always talk them out of sample too! There were just too many flavors I wanted to try to walk away without sampling. No matter which you choose, you will not be disappointed.

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If Gettysburg is not within your ice cream riding zone, here are a couple of other locations. I’m sure their quality and selection will be just as spectacular and you’ll ride away happy, sated and wanting more. 637 wyckoff ave, wyckoff, nJ 293 main St, huntington, ny 130 deer park, babylon, ny other locations in maryland and rhode island Enjoy and I’ll see you down the road.


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Who would think a review of a helmet could be done so easily… I guess I can just say one name - Michael Schumacher, better known as “The Stig.” What? I have to write more? Okay, I can do that. Globally known for creating some of the finest head protection available, the German-based company Schuberth has been manufacturing helmets for all sorts of professions. From police and firefighters to racecar drives and, in our case, motorcyclists. The newest cutting edge technology for us riders is the C3 Pro. An upgrade from the previous C3 this helmet features a number of innovations, in addition to having one for men and one for women. Very important these days. There are numbers of things to touch on here but we’ll start with the Schuberth C3 Pro being very light and incredibly quiet while riding at speed. The outer shell of the C3 Pro is offered in two helmet sizes and combines an aerodynamically optimal shape with excellent protection. It is manufactured using Schuberth’s compression molding process and thus permits great stability and a low weight. The inner shell, created with a unique EPS foam, is modular in design to ensure optimal shock absorption. This complex segmentation guarantees enhanced force absorption and distribution and maximum safety. This multizone foaming allows optimal shock absorption if the helmet is ever actually put to use. But all the protection in the world matters not if the helmet itself is not very comfortable to wear all ride long. The C3 Pro certainly is. The folks at Schuberth developed the inner lining with, what they call, a Comfort Fit concept. This combination of carefully selected COOLMAX and Thermocool materials and the additional use of Interpower coatings also make the inner lining a highly-effective moisture removal and cooling system. It is both allergen free and antibacterial and is easily removed if it ever needs to be washed. The C3’s strap adjusts on both sides for a more comfortable fit and closes securely with a micro-lock ratcheting system. For added nighttime visibility the C3 Pro has added silver reflective material at the nape of the neck. The easily removable and replaceable shield has a pin-lock Visor for fog free use, as may helmets do today, and the integrated sun visor is very easy to operate at speed. The eye opening is very large and allows for a great deal of peripheral vision, a big plus with us. The most notable change to the C3 Pro is the integrated spoiler, which offers enhanced downforce. Even at higher speeds the C3 Pro develops practically no upward lift. At ludicrous speed, done on public roads at great personal and financial risk, the helmet was aerodynamically perfect and there is little if any buffeting that we have found with other helmets. We mentioned the C3 Prop is very quiet. That is due to many hours in the Schuberth acoustics wind tunnel when designed and tested. We have no way of testing this ourselves but Schuberth claims you get only 82dB(A) of noise at 100 km per hour on a standard machine without a fairing. That is impressive. Our on-road testing, in a variety of speeds and conditions, proved the C3 Pro to be the quietest modular helmet we have ever tested. The C3 Pro is equipped with a further development of the proven C3 ventilation system. Thanks to the new design of the ventilation elements, the supply of fresh air is increased by up to 30%. The combination of multipath channels in the EPS foam shell and the head/chin/mouth ventilation ensures that fresh air is distributed effectively over the entire head area. The air


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*3asy Ride is a retail installment sales contract with a balloon payment. Financing provided to well-qualified customers by participating BMW motorcycle dealers and assigned to BMW Financial Services NA, LLC or BMW Bank of North America. The monthly payment examples are based on 48 month contract, 5.24% APR, 30 days to first payment, zero down payment. Excludes tax, title, destination and registration fees. Program not offered in NC, ND, NH, NV, PA, & WV. The total amount financed must be greater than $10,000 in HI and MD. In NJ, the selling price must exceed $10,000. 3asy Ride products may not be used in ME for contracts with a term of less than 48 months. Subject to credit approval. Offer based on a non-promotional rate – rates subject to change on a monthly basis - see your BMW Motorrad sales representative for details.

channels in the inner shell direct the air, which enters through the forehead ventilation, over the back of the head to the rear of the helmet. The low pressure prevailing at the rear of the helmet ensures that the internal air is constantly extracted through the air outlets and the special netting in the neck padding. This newly designed vent scoop increases airflow to over 2.5 gallons per second. That’s a lot, especially on a warm riding day. On the road we found the helmet to have plenty of fresh air moving about with this excellent design. If it is a bit chilly a quick move closes the vents. On the modern electronic front the C3 Pro is built specifically to accommodate the Schuberth SRCSystem. This helmet is even equipped with two integrated antennae to boost reception and a Bluetooth connection – very cutting edge and it works. Reception with the SRC was clear and strong. The C3 Pro is loaded with the latest firmwear, but you can always upgrade as more improvements come along. Installation of this unit, which replaces the lower part of the liner, was easier than I thought and in no time I had it up and running. The connection between a mobile phone with Bluetooth capability and SRCS is extremely simple to set up. Incoming calls can be accepted with a voice command and using the keys of the SRC-System. This also applies for navigation devices with Bluetooth capability. After the SRC-System has been connected to the GPS device, the rider can receive the voice instructions conveniently over the two earphones. This is a pricey $399 extra, but if you want it and have to have it, it is worth the bucks. The C3 Pro and C3 Pro Women list from $769 to $799 and is available at finer dealerships now. See to find a dealer near you ~ Brian Rathjen

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July 21 • Utica, NY August 4 • Pittsburgh, PA August 4 • Central Valley, NY August 18 • New England September 15 • Philadelphia September 22 • Balt/Wash. DC


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Backroads Spring Break 2013 The Road to Cooperstown Words: Brian Rathjen • Images: Dave Erfer, Carlos Laboy, Tony Lisanti I have been told the road to Cooperstown starts when you are very young, and takes years of practice and then, just a bit of luck. Even with that, unless you are pretty consistent, let’s say 3.5 times out of ten, you still might not get that phone call telling you you’re headed to upstate New York. This year nobody really got that call - so how pleased were we that our readers could still get to the town that holds the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in the best way possible – by motorcycle on one of the best days for riding that I can remember. Our Backroads group came from all directions. South from Canada, west from New Hampshire, north from North Carolina and three separate STGs (Strategic Tiny Groups) riding up from northern New Jersey. Our route simply came together perfectly as we swung up across the

Delaware into Pennsylvania and then back into New York State and the lower Catskills. Roads that just a few weeks before were barren and cold were now alive with the colors of spring. Purple Lilac, white Dogwood and pink Cherry trees were all in bloom. Red Wing Blackbirds darted in and around open fields as our groups made their way to Cooperstown and the Lake Front Hotel, perfectly situated at the southern end of Lake Otsego, just a hundred yards or so from the headwaters of the Susquehanna River and just a short walk from the Hall of Fame. But, more about this famed river and baseball later. We had come to ride! The Lake Front offered a great view, comfortable rooms and well situated bar and restaurant. Perfect for us at the end of a great day’s ride. By evening time every room was


taken and the lot parked full of machines of every variety and nationality. Just as we like. After a required warm shower and a cooling adult beverage we took a walk into town. Our group had a wide choice of restaurants this night and they made the best of it. For us it was wonderful to celebrate a 35th anniversary with our Canadian friends Bruce and Gail along with world travelers Ron and Terry. In the mean time everybody found dinner and libation at the various haunts that call Cooperstown home. There was live music at the Lake Front, with the Singing Dentist entertaining our group with his acoustic guitar talents. A good time was had by all, including NotSo and Pepe, who were very glad to be back on the road. Although a tad cooler the next day the sun was still beaming and after breakfast the Lake Front groups took off in all directions. This part of New York has so much to offer and we would all see a lot of it. There were a bunch of us with a hankering for barbeque and just a hundred or so miles to the north

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and west was the town of Syracuse, home of the original Dinosaur Barbeque, so with routes planned off we went. The ride there brought us west along the smallish towns and hamlets that make up New York’s Leatherstocking region and by early afternoon we had to fight just a bit of Syracuse traffic to finally arrive at the famed Dinosaur. As we had promised the meal was superb and while we were eating other riding groups from the

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Spring Break Rally began to roll in. We did a longish and circuitous route back east and then south along tiny backroads to finally pop out just a tad north of Cooperstown.

and then again later the next evening. Welcome Chris. After dinner a few local pubs were explored, as well as the live band at the Lake Front (a bit too loud, but entertaining). Most made it an early night for there was plenty of riding to be done come morning, including one group doing a Tracks Day; visiting the New York Safety Track and the famed Unadilla.

For the rest of the afternoon groups returned safely and with tales and stories to be told. Earlier that week one of our group, Jon, had inquired with a local restaurant if they could handle a very large group for dinner. They assured us they could and by Friday evening there were eighty-something hungry riders strolling over to Nicoletta’s Italian Cafe for a superb buffet dinner. We even had a new addition as a rider, Chris from outside Detroit, had ridden to Cooperstown for a Detroit Tigers weekend at the Hall of Fame and ran into our group. Like the Borg he was instantly assimilated – joining us for the buffet

Unfortunately for me some odd things and circumstances suddenly appeared and I was kept busy for that evening and a good part of the next day. As we have all heard many times – Shit happens. Shira had created a ride she was calling General Agnew’s Run, as our friend Scott had suggested some of the stops and roads along the way. This

BACKROADS • JULY 2013 brought together some choice roads in the area, a park with an incredible view clear to Albany, a nice café for lunch and the always-appreciated ice cream stop. Even though Shira put it together, she seemed to be able to avoid any gravel.

A few folks made their way to the Secret Caverns, the smaller, less visited sibling to Howe Caverns up the road. We had done a piece on it a few months back and apparently whet their appetite for a visit. The Tracks Day run worked out well and many got a view of the brand-new Safety Track and the famed Unadilla. Seems the Safety Track had been rented out

Page 33 for the weekend by a group of Canadian riders and our group got a glimpse of the track in action, although not by them (sorry about the confusion). They were able to stop for a bite to eat and watch the laps. By the time machines were rolling back in we had a pretty good idea that all had a great day except for one incident with a chicken crossing the road and a motorcycle. The bike won and the chicken well, didn’t, as I was told. As with so many of our events a bunch of rear wheels came back just a bit dusty, dirty and quite worn, as just a few miles of gravel were traversed.

Many did half-day rides and spent the afternoon at the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Farmer’s Museum and Fennimore Art Museum while exploring the great little New York state town called Cooper. By evening, the deck at the Lake Front was bustling with our peeps all having an easy going end of the day with just a few tall tales and tire kicking going on. The sunset was beautiful and brought to end another wonderful day at the Spring Break. That evening some groups walked back into town for dinner while others stayed planted at the Lake Front and their excellent restaurant, where the evening was finished


Page 34 with a great local classic rock band. Some had taken video of the riders at the NY Safety Track, as well as our group on the road, and a laptop was pulled out for the viewing.

Things were very good at the 15th Annual Spring Break. But all good things have to come to an end and Sunday morning we found that some weather had rolled in but nothing dire, just cooler and damper. Hugs were given, liners were put on, electrics were fired up and slowly I sadly watched the two parking lots at the southern end of Ostego Lake empty. With a small cadre of buddies – what I like to call the inner circle - we rolled out behind them and along some smaller roads mimicking the

southerly flow of Route 28, pausing for lunch in Phoenicia and then a quick scoot back to the Jersey border and home. Another Spring Break in the books! We would like to thank all who came and especially those who helped out when unexpected circumstances called. Tony Lisanti for suggesting the Lake Front Hotel in the first place, Jon Bressner for getting the big dinner together and Byrd and everyone else who assisted Shira when I was called away to Never Never Land, or was it the island from LOST? And, let us not forget the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion for helping Shira when she really needed it. The Fall Fiesta will be here before you know it. Get ready for our Great Backroads Baseball, Rivers and Bikes Photography Contest. See page 5 for details. We hope to see you there!


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…And now a word - and pictures - from our peeps Spring Break 2012 Brian & Shira, First off let me say it was an absolute pleasure meeting and hanging out with both of you at the rally in Cooperstown over the weekend. You two and the rest of the group truly made the 1100 mile round trip memorable and worth while. I made it home safely Sunday and hope everyone else in the group did as well although the last 3 hours of my ride were very warm as temps reached 90. It really did bum me out to know you and everyone else I had fun with were riding hundreds of miles in the opposite direction but I know we’ll get together another time. I’ll have you know too that I’ve been reading the 2 magazines you gave me and have enjoyed them very much. In fact today at work here at Ford I took your May issue into our weekly team meeting and shared the story of Brian introducing me to Jeff Kurtzman and him gushing about the new Boss 302 Mustang he recently purchased. I showed them the picture of Jeff at that track day on page 55. Relaying how much Jeff gushed about his yellow Mustang put a smile on the Mustang teams face. In fact we’d like to send Jeff a token of our appreciation for spreading the good word on his Mustang. I didn’t get Jeff’s contact information so if you knew how I can reach out to him I would appreciate it. Hope you two are well and look forward to hearing from you soon. Your Friend, Chris Gielda - Michigan

visit to the Brewery and sample more of the offerings. What a brilliant location, edifice, tasting room and cafe. Duvel of Belgium has invested wisely in this USA craft brewery. Even Tony showed up, just to purchase Ommegang’s Game of Thrones brew! If only we had our tow vehicle... ~ Alan Kovitz

The old bat lathe just captured the essence of the town to me. The nostalgic ball game was a blast to watch. It literally felt like we stepped back 90 years in time. The

Hey Backroads, Another fantastic Spring Break! Cooperstown and the Lake Front Hotel was just perfect with fantastic roads and scenery. Lisa and I have enjoyed each Spring Break for the last 10 years and they just get better and better. I’m not sure there is another event that attracts such friendly people. Another job well done! Mike & Lisa Hoffman Stymied in our attempts to locate the New York Safety Track, we were rescued by a passing pickup truck driver who said “follow me”. We followed him back to his garage where in short order he emerged riding a pristine 1978 R75/5, and we continued following him on a spirited jaunt through the local backroads, eventually arriving at the track. A short fun stay at the track was followed by a chicken sacrifice and an enjoyable lunch with the thankfully appeased Chief Schenevus. ~ Jon Bressner Set out to ride with no route with the intent to get lost. Found two interesting points off of RT-80 A large home with a road side sign Augi A. Busch. Budweiser Busch? Number two was the World War 1 memorial in Cooperstown. Thanks to the better half Elaine who was focused on the surroundings while the operator was focused on the road. ~ T.Deming Arriving at the Lake Front late Thursday afternoon, second order of business, after washing away a touch of road grime, was meeting the ladies at the Hotel watering hole. As they were quaffing the locally recommended delight, Ommegang Witte, I figured to join them in tasting the beverage. Well played, as the refreshment hit more than one spot - might have hit three or four. So, myself and the ladies decided to make a

horse was in the Fenimore Museum of Art. The lake is the view from the hotel. ~ Jim Whoever Ok…..there is never a ride where it’s not about the food…where you eat or what you eat. But I will say that the few days after a BR Rally, you really need to burn off some good calories consumed. Another subject. Before a road trip there are certain safety things that you should consider before you put that stand up. Don’t just check the pressure, if it has more than 5,000 on it, check it out all the way around.


Page 36 Twisties and core showing don’t mix!! Let it be known that it is not important to mention who these belong to, but feeling that we are all family, we want to make sure that we will have MANY years to share these stories and tails so we want to think healthy once in a while and we need to check our equipment when needed. ~ Barry Wolf This weekend had it all, good weather, nice hotel, entertainment, bike talk, ride talk, reconnecting with friends and making a few new ones. Whether it was getting help with a GPS route, or breaking

each others chops over a drink it was a fun time! The riding was great too. The people at the hotel and restaurant could not have been nicer. Having Brian back on his feet and meeting Chris from Detroit who just happened to be in town on his own journey were two high points for sure. I only wish the weekend didn’t end I would the chance to spend time more time with everyone. Brian and Shira- you have created much more than a magazine or a rally. ~ Tony Lisanti

The home FronT caFé 192 main St, altamont, ny • 518-861-6452 • When you step into The Home Front Café in Altamont, New York you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back 60 or 70 years. I first noticed the old style counter and stools which reminded me of an old fashioned ice cream parlor. If I wasn’t so full from a delicious lunch I would have had a big malted or banana split or something.

Then as I walked around I noticed all the war (military) memorabilia dating all the way back to the 40’s. Jack and Cindy Pollard, the owners, have collected an amazing collection of posters, uniforms, sheet music, pictures, and there’s even a periscope from an Iowa class battleship. They have a very unique and cool collection of a time gone by but not forgotten. When you go, and you should, enjoy a great meal and a trip back in time. ~ Dave Erfer


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Backroads Spring Break 2013 Tracks Day Tony Lisanti Saturday of the 2013 Spring Break greeted the Backroads faithful with a breeze and mostly sunny skies. The air was cool and would make for a comfortable days ride. After much needed coffee and breakfast, the maps and GPS devices were out and various routes for the day were discussed. Arrangements had been made to visit two tracks. One new, one old but with different missions. The first would be the New York Safety Track located in Davenport, NY to the southeast of Cooperstown. The New York Safety track is a brand new road facility constructed on private property for the sole purpose of offering proper skill training to all levels of riders. The second track would be the famed Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New Berlin. Unadilla has been around for a while as they are celebrating their 43rd year. You may recall past articles covering the AMA Pro Motocross National held there each August. The sole purpose of this track is to test the skill of man and machine. A number of groups set off on their journeys to each facility. Our group set out from Cooperstown and soon settled into a “spirited” pace on the way to Davenport. After about an hour’s ride through some great country roads we arrived at NYST. When we arrived at the track we found the staff very friendly and accommodating. The track was hosting Track Fever for a riding group from Canada.

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Because of the commitment to the group renting the facility, taking a siting lap or two would not be possible. We parked our motorcycles and walked a short distance to a viewing point just above the last turn on the course. There we watched several riders of various levels putting in some laps. Some were accompanied by instructors keeping a careful eye on them. The 2.1 mile course boasts 450 feet of elevation change and is laid out in a relatively secluded area. The track is freshly paved and has a number of amenities including camping areas, showers, bathrooms, storage for bikes, cars and RV’s. The facility even has room to land a small plane or helicopter. Breakfast lunch and dinner are available as well and we took advantage of the hotdogs and chicken kabobs being served.


Page 38 Work was still being done on the spacious main building. There were two main parking areas, one adjacent to the front straight away and the main one in a lot below. There were numerous campers and tents set up with a number of machines in various states of track prep. We could hear riders at full tilt on the front straight just behind. At one point I thought we would have to restrain Chuck Potzer. I thought I saw knee pucks under those jeans. The NYST is available for reservation to individuals and groups of two and four wheeled variety. You can even rent the home on the property which accommodates eight adults. The facilities stated purpose is to increase skill level and raise safety awareness to help keep motorcycling alive. By the looks of things they are well on their way to achieving that goal. Back in the saddle and or our way back to the east, we found more great roads winding through farms and around small rural villages. We managed to not hurt any dogs that happened to run in front of us. At least I got to practice panic braking keeping me on my toes. In no time at all we found our way the to NY Route 8 and pulled up in front of the great white barn marking the entrance to the Unadilla Valley Sports Center. In stark contrast to the brand new road facility at NYST, Unadilla is most definitely “off road” It is the home of Professional Motocross in NY. It is actually two tracks - one Pro Track and a newer amateur track in the back of the property; U-1 and U-2. I had never been to the track when it was “closed” but there was a fair amount of activity. The facility had just completed the season opener with an amateur racing series on U-2. Preparations were under way for some major track changes to U-1 for the upcoming Pro National in August. Concession buildings were being made, hillsides were being scraped to accommodate spectator viewing and the track layout itself was being changed. Motocross has been raced at Unadilla for over 40 years, beginning in 1969, long before the sport gained the popularity it enjoys today. The track gained national attention by hosting rounds of the Trans-AMA series in the Fall, and the inaugural AMA Pro Motocross Championship in the early 1970’s. 2013 Trophy Whatever the distance, you’ll cover it in style and comfort; the generous, luxury seats and ergonomically designed riding position mean the miles melt away barely noticed.

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Unadilla then became home to the only United States round of the FIM 250cc Grand Prix of Motocross. From 1977 to 1992, this annual battle between Europe’s and America’s best riders made for some epic races and resulted in the crowning of four world champions at the conclusion of the event. It also has the honor of being the first motocross facility in America to host the prestigious Motocross des Nations in 1987. I had been to all these races over the years! In 1989, Unadilla became a regular stop on the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship schedule. The track was created by Ward Robinson. After attending an event similar to trials, he and his wife Peg became inspired to build a racetrack. He found what he thought would be the ideal location and purchased a large piece of farmland. He named it Unadilla Valley Sports Center, though today it is more widely known as simply Unadilla.

The racing began in 1969 and continued when Ward contacted the AMA in order to start promoting larger races in 1970. His goal was to attract champions from overseas and test them on his piece of U.S. soil against our American heroes. The rest is motocross history. All time greats like Bob “Hurricane” Hannah, Roger DeCoster, David Bailey, Ricky Johnson, Jeff Ward, Jeff Stanton, Jeff Emig, and Ricky Carmichael all raced and won here. As the track grew, so did the Robinson family with Ward’s daughter Jill

BACKROADS • JULY 2013 and son Greg. “It was my job to learn all of my dad’s duties, from working on the track to maintaining the grounds and things like that,” Greg explains. “It was Jill’s job to be my mom’s right hand, taking care of administrative duties, organizational details, front-gate operations, etc.” The two were expected to work every summer, but since the family valued education, they were expected to balance racetrack duties with school activities. Once Jill and Greg graduated from college, they set off on their own careers, which they continue today. However, they remain instrumental in the management of the track and are very passionate about the sport that they grew up with. Jill and Greg were on hand on this day and greeted us after we made some tracks of our own to the back of the property. We managed to get one adventure bike, four RT’s and one full dresser Harley all the way back to the rear spectator area without incident. The Hoffmans, Hilleys, Donoghues and Mr. Pete Miller now

have very famous dirt to clean off of their bikes! From there we enjoyed watching some amateur riders on U2. We could also look back towards the front of the track to see the layout around this rolling piece of farmland. We made our way back to the entrance and we chatted with Jill and Greg, saying our goodbyes. Unadilla will be hosting a vintage motocross known as MX-Rewind in June and the Amateur Nationals leading up the the AMA Pro-Motocross in August. The ride back from Unadilla was only about 30 miles or so but we made it back with the same “enthusiastic” pace in no time and rejoined the rest of the Spring Break crowd. Both tracks are great facilities-one with long history and one beginning to build their own. •

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Pilgrimage words and images: Don Toothman

All over Mexico, pilgrims are on the move. Traveling by foot, bicycle, or even tractor trailer, they’re headed to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The newspapers say over 5 million pilgrims will congregate at the church on December 12 to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron “saint” of Mexico. What’s all the fuss about? We’ll get to that, but first I have a pilgrimage of my own to make. Traveling south from Mexico City, the plan is to take a week to visit pre-Columbian ruins and negotiate the twisties on old Mexico 190 to the beautiful state of Oaxaca, ending up back at the basilica in Mexico City on the 12th. That’s a journey worth three weeks, not one, so we best get started.

rUiNS aND riDiNg Oscar Calderon, the owner of Mexico Motorcycle Adventures (, picked me up at the airport in Mexico City, F650GS in tow. Leaving the gridlock (the work of the pilgrims, perhaps?) of Mexico City behind, we headed northeast, to the ruins of Teotihuacán. It’s a massive site, in the Valley of Mexico, 25 miles from Mexico City. No one knows for sure who the inhabitants The author on top of the Pyramid of the Sun. Pyramid of were, but we know for the Moon in the background. sure that they loved to build pyramids. The Pyramid of the Sun is the second biggest pyramid in the Americas. At its zenith, between 150 and 450 A.D., the city had a population of up to 250,000, making it one of the largest cities in the world at the time. The next morning,

Ironhorse Motorcycle Lodge is the Smoky Mountains Premier ‘Motorcycle-only’ resort. Located in the heart of the Smoky Mountains and minutes from all the great motorcycling roads like ‘Tail of the Dragon’, Cherohalla Skyway, Blue Ridge Parkway and Moonshiner 28. Amenities include on-premise restaurant for breakfast and dinner with creekside dining, covered bike parking, nightly group campfire, laundry, gift shop and WiFi DSL HotSpot. We have a pavilion with multimedia entertainment, private function meeting room, RV sites as well as rustic luxury cabins cabin rooms, bunkhouse and tent camping. Perfect for singles, couples or group getaways.

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I’m thankful I’d remembered my heated vest, as the mercury barely breaks 40 degrees. But I’m even more thankful I’d brought a GPS loaded with the latest map set from Bicimapas (, as the road signage is pretty much nonexSunset at Teotihuacan istent, and I’m avoiding the big roads. The roads entering the village usually end in the main square, leaving you to choose among several options to exit. Pick the wrong one and you may end up in Tijuana. 2nd biggest pyramid in the

Though the pyramids world, Cholula, is still covered at Teotihuacán are very with dirt, trees and a church. big, the Great Pyramid at Cholula, near the city of Puebla, is even bigger. In fact it is so big, it is the world’s largest monument, at least by volume. The Spanish conquerors often used the pyramids they found as a source of stone for the governmental buildings and churches they erected. But this one was so big they didn’t know what to do with it, so they gave up and built a Catholic church on top instead. It doesn’t seem so big close up, as it’s still unexca-


Page 41

Could be Arizona, but it’s The road twists and turns for a couple hundred miles. northern Oaxaca state.

Oscar and his uncle brought the replacement motorcycle

vated, and covered with dirt, brush, and trees, besides the church. Having finished with the ruins for a while, it was time to do some riding. Old Mexico 160/190 between Cuernavaca and Oaxaca is a destination in and of itself. 200+ miles of twisty, clean tarmac, meandering through a region that looks a lot like the drier portions of Colorado, dotted with little pueblos, and with elevations of 4000 to 8500 feet. Heated vest on for the mornings, and stripped down to just leather in the afternoon, the mercury went from the low 40’s to the mid 80’s. Perfect blue skies. A full day was devoted to just this road (in fact, it was so much fun I ended up riding it again in the opposite direction at week’s end). Reaching Oaxaca the following afternoon, I paused only for a quick lunch, before continuing the curve fest on Mexico 175, a little snake of a road that winds over the mountains, up to 9500 feet, before plunging relentlessly downhill to reach the Pacific at Puerto Angel. This is pretty remote country, with few services. I nearly ran out of gas, a victim of having not firmly closed the gas cap on the GS, but while on reserve

I was lucky to find a little gasolinería, where I bought 10 liters, enough to make the coast.

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The roads and ruins alone were reward enough, but the highlight of the trip turned out to be the work of a rock and a taxi driver. 35 miles inland from Puerto Escondido, on a heavily potholed mountain road, that rock threw itself at my radiator, radiator fluid spewing everywhere, evoking plenty of #$%@!& on my part. I had just passed through a small town, San Gabriel de Mixtepec, so back down the mountain I coasted with the engine overheating. When you are looking for a certain service or specific address in a foreign country, the best person to ask is a taxi driver. In this town, that would be the conductor of one of the 3-wheeled, golf cart sized, 1 HP buggies that were constantly buzzing back and forth through town. In the best Spanish I could muster, I was soon on my way following the driver of taxi #18, who I came to know as “Chevy,” to the local “mecánico de radiadores.” That turned out to be the luckiest turn of events all day: not finding the mechanic, but running into Chevy.


Page 42 Abraham (left) and Cristino ‘Chevy’ (right) showed me the town.

San Jose del Pacifico makes for a cool overnight stop on the way to the Oaxacan coast.

And you thought the Swiss like chocolate.

I couldn’t understand all of the explanation, but “grande” and “problema” together in the same sentence doesn’t mean good news. The hole was too big to be fixed. A few phone calls later, made from the local “phone cafe”, and Oscar was on the road for the 12-hour trip to San Gabriel to bring me a new bike. Now that’s service! Meantime, I hunkered down for the night. Whenever they hand you a roll of toilet paper when checking in, you know you are in for an interesting experience. After depositing my bags and the precious toilet paper in my hotel room, I went back out to explore the town and see what else of interest I could find. Bumping into Chevy, he offered to buy me a beer. A few beers later, Chevy and his friend, Abraham, who had joined us, took me for a tour of town. First stop: the juke joint on top of the hill overlooking town to listen to their favorite musician, Alvaro Monterrubio, who hails from San Gabriel. Very cool. Next stop: a taco dinner at the little takeout restaurant his wife runs 365 days a year from their front yard. Very delicious. Here I was snapping pic-

tures with a pretty expensive camera, and they refused my efforts to pay. Very generous. San Gabriel is a small town with a big heart. I was actually a little disappointed when the bike arrived the next morning, though the mountains and pilgrims awaited on the road to Oaxaca.

Monte Alban occupies a gorgeous site on top of a hill overlooking the city of Oaxaca.

oaxaca, Not chihuahua Next up was “wah-HAW-kah,” the city and state in southern Mexico, the land of moles (the spicy sauces made of chilies and chocolate, not the small, furry mammal) and chapulines (grasshoppers toasted with garlic). The valley of Oaxaca, the historic home of the Zapotec and Mixtec peoples, is one of the most fertile in Mexico. A list of the plants domesticated here constitutes a who’s-who of Mexican foods: corn, beans, chocolate, tomatoes, chilies, squash, and pumpkin. Throw in some cervezas and you’d have a fiesta. If you love Mexican food, Oaxaca itself is worthy of a pilgrimage. With 500,000 people, a wonderful year-round climate, and a busy airport, Oaxaca is increasingly attracting international visitors. Despite the sophisticated shopping and trendy restaurants, 20

The Cathedral in Oaxaca at dawn.


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minutes out of town you are still in old Mexico. One night of “luxury,” though, was enough for me. After an early breakfast of hot chocolate and egg bread, I was finally off in search of more pilgrims.

got guaDalupe?

The saying goes that “95% of all Mexicans are Catholic, but 100% are Guadalupanas.” In 1531, nine years after the Spanish had conquered the Aztecs, the Virgin Mary reportedly revealed herself to a local who was walking in the hills outside Mexico City, asking that a church be built in her honor. The “Virgin de Guadalupe,” as she is called, is considered to be the mother of all modern Mexicans, who are almost all of mixed ancestry. Being a darkskinned manifestation of the Virgin, surrounded by the spines of the maguey plant (yes, the one Even the celebration The Virgin of Guadalupe, Cuernavaca of the Virgin de Guadalupe has gone commercial.

used to make mescal), she is a mixture of the Old and New Worlds. During the Mexican War of Independence, the rebel armies marched underneath Guadalupanan flags. To many, she is The symbol of Mexico.

Central plaza dominated by a Catholic church is the norm.

Page 43 Obviously, then, the week leading up December 12 is a special one in Mexico. Thousands (okay, actually millions) of pilgrims are on the road, many headed to Mexico City, others to local

Adorned church and

festival sites. Most every celebration in Malinalco town celebrates in some way. Big cities, like Oaxaca, had full-blown multiday festivities, with parades, seemingly constant fireworks, carnivaltype rides, and plenty of street vendors. Lots of merriment, but a bit like the Virgin of Guadalupe meets Walt Disney. My favorite was the small town of Malinalco, about 70 miles southwest of Mexico City. The city is most famous for its Aztec ruins, which I had planned on visiting the morning of the 12th, before heading back to Mexico City. The ruins were the cake. The icing was the festival the city was having for the Virgin. This town has seen its share of gringos before, but the festival was not for tourists: I was the only gringo I saw in town that day. This is a festival that (Continued on Page 52)

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Page 43

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Page 47


What’s Happening



Every Sunday • Eastern Suffolk ABATE Breakfast Run. Crossroads Diner - Calverton NY. 10:30am. Eat and Ride After • 631-369-2221

9-11 • 36th Annual Daniel Boone Rally presented by the Carolinas BMW MOA #220. Three states - one rally! Join us at the KOA Campground in Boone NC for the best riding anywhere. Rain or shine, ride NC’s Blue Ridge Parkway and High Country, southwestern Virginia and northeastern Tennessee. Enter your classic/vintage motorcycle in the judging contest. Plenty of room for everyone and all brands. GPS: N36 15.54,W81 39.87. $45 before 7-31/$50 at site incl. camping for two nights, rally pin to first 300, 5 door prize tix, motorcycle judging, catered BBQ dinner Sat. donuts & coffee Sat/Sun. endless coffee, tea, hot chocolate • • 704-914-7120

Every Tuesday • The Ear - Spring St, NYC. Come meet some fellow riders and do some benchracing or whatever. 8pm-ish Third Tuesday • 7:30pm ABATE of the Garden State, North Jersey chapter. Black River Barn, 1178 Rt. 10 West, Randolph, NJ. 7:30pm. New members and all mc brands welcome. Help fight for rights as a motorcyclist in NJ! Alex Martinez 973-390-1918 Every Wednesday • Chelseas Restaurant/Pub, 1051 Rte. 22 East, Lebanon, NJ 6-9pm, weather permitting all summer • Second Wednesday • Harley-Davidson of Long Branch Restore the Shore Dinner Rides. Meet at HDLB, 671 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ @ 6pm with full tank • leave @ 6:15pm • • Ride-Restore-Rebuild Every Thursday • Bike Night at the Chatterbox Drive-In, Rtes. 15/206, Augusta, NJ. Tire kicking, good food and friends • Every Saturday • Stop by the dealership at 9am for coffee and bagels. Ride departs at 10am. Return to the dealership for FREE food and music. Proper attire MUST be worn! No shorts or sneakers. • Bergen Harley-Davidson/BMW Motorcycle, 124 Essex St, Rochelle Park, NJ • 201-843-6930 •

23-25 • Kingdom Thunder Rally, Burke, VT • 24-25 • Championship Cup Series at Summit Point Racetrack. Bob’s BMW will have a hospitality tent. Hang out with Jeremy Cook, riding Bob’s sponsored S1000RR. Complimentary snacks and beverages. 25 • 1st Annual Poker Run to benefit the Harmony Lodge Foundation • Sign in: Harmony Lodge #8, 519 Rte. 206, Andover, NJ 9am-12Noon • Endsite: Franklin Fireman’s Pavilion, 137 Buckwheat Rd, Franklin, NJ. $20/pp incl. food and drink, top 3 poker hand prizes, 50/50, raffles, vendors, live music by Morning Door and more • For more info visit

Last Saturday • Ride to Eat. Meet at Morton’s BMW Motorcycles, Fredericksburg, VA at 4pm. Scenic ride followed by dinner. • 540-891-9844

29-Sept. 1 • Killington Classic Motorcycle Rally, Killington, VT • Rides, demos, vendors, contests, parade, music, dinners, fireworks and SO MUCH MORE! Registration opens May 15 - DON’T BE SHUT OUT OF YOUR FIRST CHOICES. 518-798-7888 •

JUNE 2013


24 • Bob’s BMW Track Day at Summit Point • Learn how to be the better rider you always wanted to be in a safe environment. Jeremy Cook, Bob’s BMW S1000RR racer and champion, will be there to provide advice. Lunch, snacks, beverages, on-site techs available for mechanical convenience and more included. To sign up or for more information please contact: • 301-497-8949

8 • 7th Annual Rice-O-Rama Vintage & Custom Japanese Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet • Singletary Rod and Gun Club, 300 Sutton Ave, Oxford, MA • 10am-5pm rain or shine. Bikes that you just don’t see anywhere else, from 2-strokes to turbos, singles to sixes, scramblers and scooters. Trophies in over 20 vintage and custom classes. Huge Swap Meet with tons of hard to find parts • 508-344-4202 •

29 • Closing the Loop fundraising ride for fallen Marine CPL Ian Muller. On 3/11/11 Marine CPL Ian Muller was killed during combat operations in Helmand, Afghanistan. During the past 2 years, the Muller family has helped marines from their son’s unit make the trip to Vermont to visit the grave. Proceeds will help continue their efforts. Sign in/Endsite: Marty’s First Stop, 421 US Rte. 2, Danville, VT • 9-10am • KSU 10:15am • $25/bike.

18-21 • New York Motomarathon • Hosted by the Celtic Motorcycle Club • Bronx-Lake George-Ongunquit, ME. For more information and specific hotel and date information, visit or call Caty Metzger at 303-621-5356

29-30 • Championship Cup Series at Summit Point Racetrack. Bob’s BMW will have a hospitality tent. Hang out with Jeremy Cook, riding Bob’s sponsored S1000RR. Complimentary snacks and beverages. 30 • Nassau Cty FireRiders X-Mas in June to benefit the children of St. Christophers-Ottilie. Sign in: 9am-12pm Applebee’s, 938 S. Broadway, Hicksville, NY. $10 and unwrapped toy incl. breakfast and bbq to follow ride. • 30 • Rollin’ Fast Cycle Sports Opne House and Victory Demo Truck Event. Free demo rides, great specials and fun for all. 104 Main St, Lebanon, NJ •

JULY 2013

19-22 • BACKROADS 15th Annual Fall Fiesta. Host hotel: Genetti Hotel, Williamsport, PA. To book your room, please call 800-321-1388 and ask for the BACKROADS Group Booking. Rooms start at $115.95/night incl. breakfast and secure parking. 21 • Bob’s BMW Oktoberfest and Fall Open House • 9a-4p • Seasons change but there’s always fun at Bob’s BMW Oktoberfest and Open House. Food, vendors, product reps, door prizes and great one-day only specials • 10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD • 301-4978949 •

DECEMBER 2013 21 • Bob's BMW annual customer appreciated day! Get into the holiday spirit at Bob's while we say THANKS to our amazing customers for what we know is going to be another great year. Food, great company, door prizes and special holiday savings • 10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD • 301-497-8949 •

9 • Women’s Track Day - New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, NJ • Sponsored by Tony’s Track Days. For more information please visit 12-13 • Motorcycle Mall presents Jason Britton and Team No Limit Stunt Show • 655 Washington Ave, Belleville NJ • 973-751-4545 • 13 • Christmas in July to benefit David’s Touch ( Sign in Indian Motorcycle, 2365 W/B Route 22, Union, NJ 9-11:30am • Noon Run Time. $10 with toy; $20 without. 13-14 • 37th running of the Ramapo 500 - 500 mile weekend motorcycle tour. LIMITED TO FIRST 400 REGISTRANTS. Sign in: Veterans Memorial Assoc., 65 Lake Rd East, Congers, NY 7-9am, July 13 • Pre-registration NOW for $35/Day of event if available $48 CASH ONLY. Includes: 500 miles of gorgeous scenery and backroads, camping with river swimming, fantastic Saturday night dinner and entertainment, awards and prizes, Sunday breakfast, starter pin/finisher's patch. Garmin GPS route upload service will be available at sign-in for an additional fee. Campground located in Chaplin, CT - lodging available nearby • • 845-300-1247 18-21 • 41st BMW MOA Inernational Rally. Salem, Oregon - BMW Motorcycle Owners of America. Held at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Great riding, seminars, workshops, vendors, live music and friends - the list is endless. for full details and updates • 636-394-7277 19-20 • Crossroads Motorcycle Rally 2013, Farre’s Field, Waterbury, VT • 20 • Woodstock Harley-Davidson Rock & Rumble. 2 Live Bands, biker games, door prizes, food, vendors and much more. • 949 Rte. 28, Kingston, NY • 845-338-2800 •

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21 • 23rd Annual Charity Poker Run/BBQ to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters Org. of Orange County sponsored by OCNYHOG. Sign in Moroney’s HD, 833 Rte. 300, New Windsor, NY 9am. $20/rider;$15/pass. incl. scenic ride, BBQ, door prizes, ride-in bike show/games, trophies, vendors, music and more. Pre-register via PayPal at Questions? email 27 • Harley-Davidson Long Branch Vintage Bike Show & Swap Meet. 9am-4pm. 671 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ • 732-229-8518 • 28 • 2nd Generation Motorcycle Assn. 10th Annual AMA Dice Run for Charity to benefit United Hospice of Rockland. Sign in: JR Motorsports, 39 Rt. 9W, Haverstraw, NY • 9:3011am. Riders/walk-ins: $20/pp • passengers: $10. BBQ on deck on Hudson River at Haverstraw Elks Lodge, 877 Elks Dr, Haverstarw, NY. Live music, sunshine and fun.

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Page 48


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Page 49


Sussex Hills Ltd.

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Rider Education Of New Jersey

See us at the International Motorcycle Show January 18-20


Basic RiderCourse • $275 Basic RiderCourse 2 (old ERC) • $125 “New” 3 Wheel BRC & The Advanced RiderCourse

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Page 51


This is way cool. Stream music videos down off of YouTube with your favorite Smartphone, and direct by Bluetooth the audio signal into the factory Harley radio, thru J&M’s new Bluetooth digital music controller. You can also stream stereo music down off of Pandora and/or your SmartPhones’s own internal music files, and direct them by Bluetooth into the Harley audio system, thru J&M’s Bluetooth enabled digital music controller. These exciting music streaming features will work with an iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Samsung NOTE or almost any Smartphone available in the marketplace today that incorporates Bluetooth as part of its design. J&M’s new digital music controller will also connect to a standard iPod by wire and direct the stereo music into the Harley audio system aux input, using the iPod’s own onscreen controls, while at the same time keeping the iPod fully charged. J&M’s technicians have configured the input signal levels from the new controller, to the Harley radio, so that the system volume levels available on the highway and overall sound quality thru the entire system, is significantly better than what is available when using Harley’s own iPod adapter, XM satellite radio module OR built-in FM stereo. The Harley radio control menu selections of bass, treble, front/rear fader, auto volume control, driver/passenger intercom, bike-to-bike CB radio and handlebar volume control, (if activated) all remain unchanged when using J&M’s Bluetooth digital music controller. In fact, when mounted on a Harley Ultra with the optional J&M microphone signal integration component, and linked by Bluetooth to a cell phone, the driver can actually talk on the phone thru his or her J&M or Harley brand helmet headset, without affecting the driver/passenger intercom or CB functions of the audio system (phone calls are accepted or initiated onscreen). A Garmin Zumo can also be linked by Bluetooth to the J&M music controller, while an iPod is simultaneously connected by wire, and when a navigation command or cell phone call is received thru the Zumo, it will automatically interrupt the iPod music signal into the system. All of this from little black box about ½ the size of a pack of cigarettes, and priced under $230.00 for the complete kit. Actual installation is pretty simple once you remove the fairing, everything is plug-n-play, but placement of the music controller is somewhat critical so that you don’t block or interfere with the internally mounted 2.4 ghz Bluetooth antenna. This digital music controller Bluetooth/Smartphone/iPod kit includes all direct plug-n-play harnesses for the Harley Bagger audio system, wired extension cable for iPod, “Lightning” plug adapter for new iPhoneV, 3.5mm aux extension cable, metal mounting bracket, pre-gummed Velcro mounting strips and a complete installation, operation & easy to use Bluetooth linking instruction manual. Log onto for more information or to order yours.

For over 30 years Circle Cycle has helped riders get and stay on the road Our variety of powersports products is second to none. Whether you’re riding offroad, backroads, or on the track, we’re here to get you where you need to go. In northern New Jersey there isn’t a friendlier or more knowledgeable staff than ours. We’re happy to help you find the parts you’ve been looking for.

Online Shopping Available Check our catalog pages - if you don’t see what you want, give us a call or stop in - we’re always ready to help!

Circle Cycle For the discriminating rider.


570 Broad Avenue Ridgefield NJ

CYCLE 201-945-2200



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IND USTRY INFOBITES THE GT GIANT AND STREET MASTERS AT THE BMW MOA RALLY BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (BMWMOA) is hosting the Chris Peris Riding School and Streetmasters July 16th at Oregon Raceway Park in Grass Valley, Oregon. The day is designed to provide the ultimate experience for BMWMOA members in meeting, talking, and riding with two legendary racers who raced in the same series, on the same tracks, separated only by a couple of decades. Peris Riding School is dedicated to helping our students reach their full potential by teaching proper riding techniques used by today’s top pro riders. Whether you are a racer, do trackdays or would like to become a more skillful and experienced street rider, we will provide you with all the skills you need to succeed. You will learn about throttle control, trail braking, shifting, how to choose a line in a corner, body position and how to use your eyes more efficiently. Through a series of classroom sessions, on-track drills and lapping with instructors, Peris Riding School will provide you all of the instruction and feedback you need to become a better, faster and safer rider. Streetmasters is committed to improving rider technique, situational awareness and confidence in the real-world with their Advanced Cornering Workshop. They may be a small regional training company, but they are dedicated to their core mission of bringing rider improvement and safety to motorcyclists of all types and abilities. Streetmasters has actively pursued this goal since 2004. Walt Fulton, who some of you may remember from the mid1990s BMW “Battle of the Legends,” is the chief instructor and co-owner of Streetmasters. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to students of all levels - and he’s eager to share that knowledge with you.

News from the Inside Oregon Raceway Park located 29 miles south of the Columbia river is a 16-turn, 2.3 mile road course with over 100 feet of elevation changes.

MSF’S “RIDER CHOICES” NOW AVAILABLE ON ITUNES The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has launched its third iBook on Apple’s iTunes as part of an ongoing effort to promote motorcyclist safety on the roadways to a broader riding and non-riding audience. exclusively for iPads, “Rider Choices Released ” specifically addresses the questions and concerns of prospective motorcyclists, their families and friends. The interactive 32-page “Rider Choices” iBook is priced at just 99 cents.

ZERO BIKES TAKES HONORS Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, announced that for the third consecutive year, the 2013 Zero S has been named as “European e-Motorbike of the Year 2013” at Europe’s Clean Week 2020 elections, followed in second place by the 2013 Zero DS. Hosted at the Zolder circuit in Belgium, Clean Week 2020 is aimed at providing an annual review of future-fuelled, environmentally friendly vehicles, bringing together a diverse mix from the motoring and motorcycle industry to provide an independent analysis of alternative powered transportation technologies available today. “We’re honored the Zero S has defended its title again for the third year. With up to 137 miles range in the city, a top speed of 95 mph and a CHAdeMO accessory that allows recharging in around an hour, the 2013

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BACKROADS • JULY 2013 model line is truly exceptional,” said Edwin Belonje, Managing Director for Zero Motorcycles Europe. “This award names the Zero S as best in class, an opinion shared by the panel of 12 specialist European journalists who extensively tested all the vehicles presented at Clean Week 2020.”

41ST INTERNATIONAL BMW MOA INTERNATIONAL RALLY SALEM, OREGON JULY 18 – 21, 2013 The 41st BMW MOA International Rally will be held on July 18-21, 2013, at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. The grounds cover 140 acres with air-conditioned buildings for registration, Country Store, commercial vendors, seminars and vintage display. The camping options are flat areas with or without trees. Evening entertainment is in the open air amphitheater with afternoon music on a small stage by the food vendors. The multimedia closing ceremony is in the pavilion. The theme of this year’s rally is Beemers, Bigfoot and Blue Skies. Use your imagination - come prepared for the unthinkable - and don’t ignore the Bigfoot caution signs. The vendor building will be in a high traffic area so you can see and touch the latest accessories and apparel and look for the item(s) that you can’t readily find in your home area. Shipping will be available for the items you can’t live without and don’t have room to pack. The National Rally is volunteer driven in the planning stages, in the rally set-up and in providing all the components that make it a fun time for the rally goers. We need lots of volunteers for the event. Think about volunteering ahead of time - details will be in the BMW Owners News and on the MOA website - or stop by the volunteer booth when you arrive at the rally. During the event, which opens at 8 a.m. on Thursday morning, we hope you can volunteer to work a shift and make new friends. Diverse opportunities are available and we need your help. Helping out makes you feel a part of the rally. Early arrival volunteer registration will open around noon on Wednesday the 17th. The 41st Rally will be the fourth time MOA has selected Oregon for the National. The state has a lot to offer and the Oregon State Fairgrounds is an ideal rally location. Salem is a cool place to visit. The downtown area (available by bus from the rally grounds) has numerous eateries, a large mall, a riverfront park with a carousel and a charter boat. Working with TravelSalem, we are in the process of obtaining discounts and attractions in the area such as the Oregon Gardens, 15 minutes from the rally grounds. A tram is available to take visitors through the beautifully landscaped grounds. The Pacific Ocean is 90 minutes from Salem and there are 362 miles of

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Page 53 public coastline from Coos Bay to Newport. An afternoon visit to one or more of the 50 wineries within an hour’s drive could be an option. The rugged mountain terrain in the area has fabulous roads for on- and off-road riders. Portland is only an hour away up the I-5. Questions? Contact or visit

CYCLE NEWS ARCHIVES OPENED NEARLY 50 YEARS WORTH OF BACK ISSUES RELEASED Do you want to relive the great history of motorcycling, learn more about the amazing bikes and personalities that helped build the sport or simply find your name in the results section from races long ago? For nearly 50 years, Cycle News has covered the sport of motorcycling with a weekly magazine. Now, for the price of a regular magazine, you can get online access to all 2,300+ back issues of Cycle News. “It’s amazing to have almost 50 years of Cycle News at your fingertips,” says Paul Carruthers, longtime editor of the weekly

publication. “The staff has always had the archives available in bound volumes to turn to since day one. Now we’re giving that same opportunity to the rest of the world.” The issues are organized by decades, starting with the 1960s and spanning nearly six decades to the current 2013 issues. While these weekly snapshots of motorcycling history may be priceless, access to the digital archives is much more affordable: A subscription is just $1.99 for three months of access, or $4.99 for a full year of access to each decade. Better yet, the Cycle News Archives can be read on any device equipped with a web browser (MAC, PC, tablets like the iPad or your smart phone). You can also use up to three devices with the same subscription.


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(Continued from Page 41) is put on by the locals for themselves, which made it all the more special. Seemingly the whole town participated, from the littlest of niños to the city elders. And, there was none of the commercialism I had witnessed in Oaxaca. It was moving, witnessing this celebration that unites not just families or even individual communities, but also the whole country.

BaSilica or BuSt Riding back into Mexico City that afternoon, passing by Ajusco Volcano (the road takes you up to 11,800 feet), I found myself wishing that we had a similar celebration in the USA. I looked forward to punctuating the end of the trip by making it to the Basilica of Guadalupe that evening. I guess I had already forgotten about that horrendous Mexico City traffic. Hot chocolate and egg bread - breakfast of champions.

A couple of hours later, with the sun already starting to set, I was lucky enough just to have made it to my downtown hotel. Here, they politely informed me that there was “no way to get to the basilica” other than by walking the 5 miles with the other 5 million pilgrims, as even the gridlock was experiencing gridlock. That’s a pilgrimage that I decided would have to wait for the next visit. So, instead, my last evening in Mexico was spent watching ice-skaters pirouette around the central plaza in an outdoor rink built just for the festival. A strange but not too unbefitting ending to a magical week, I suppose. On second thought, maybe I should have found another taxi driver.


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Welcome to the Jungle - The Art of Learning to Ride Skillfully A column dedicated to your riding survival

Where are you? Many riders have said that when they ride they can get away from the dayto-day problems of the world; that they are reveling in the ride and can just enjoy themselves on the road. But, the next sentence usually following this statement is that they can “sort out” all the thoughts that crowd their mind and some motorcyclists enjoy working out tough problems while enjoying a nice easy ride. This can be good for some riders and bad for others. Seems like sometimes the solace of finally being by oneself can bring on all sorts of other demons. I remember listening to riding instructor extraordinaire, Reg Pridmore, speaking to our CLASS at the track at Watkins Glen one sunny afternoon a few years back and asking us “where our minds were at and what were we thinking?” as we lapped around the big track in New York’s Finger Lakes. “Were we thinking about that upcoming downhill left sweeper or were our minds thinking that maybe we’d try the good looking steak at Seneca Lodge that night?” His point was that our minds sometimes wander and sometimes they wander when real concentration is called for. Certainly the track calls for undivided attention, but on the roads of America it is best to keep in the “now” as well; rather than dwell on the issues, problems and conundrums of your life. Truth is though we all tend to think a lot while riding. But, there are certain times in every ride when you have to put away your thoughts and bring your mind to bear on the many tasks that are required to pilot your ride safely. There are other things that take away your attention


from the ride at hand as well. Some of these issues are just insane, like the guy I spotted the other day with his cell phone tucked into his half-helmet busy chatting away at a busy highway intersection. Oblivious teenage girls texting their BFFs, semi-truckers making their deliveries, “old men with hats” going wherever they go and this guy tooling along talking on his phone while riding his motorcycle. How much attention do you think he was really using to see what was going on around him? Where was his mind at this moment? Another instructor once related attention much like a dollar bill. When you are in the right riding zone you are using something like .90 cents of that dollar, or riding concentration on your ride. Sometimes that drops down a bit. If you’re thinking about that project at work, well, you might only be using .40 cents of that riding concentration. If you are the guy with the cell phone tucked into his helmet you, maybe, are using .05 cents here; and that makes no sense at all. Another distraction that occurs more and more these days are GPS and iPods, mp3s player and the like. I am guilty here as well. But, I have learned on more challenging routes to turn the distractions way down or off completely. When music is coming through my headsets it is almost always so low as to be background if anything. It is hard to keep your mind where it needs to be when The Who is loudly telling you about their generation. Riding a motorcycle well requires hundreds of tiny tasks. Seeing, reacting, anticipating all requires that the rider be in the present, the here and now, and not thinking about the past or future, not daydreaming or fantasizing. Not chatting or texting but trying to use as much of that dollar of riding concentration as possible.

Are you a new motorcyclist? Or a former rider who’s been away from motorcycling and now looking to return? Either way, this book can help you get on the road safely and more confidently. “Help! They’re All Out to Get Me!” is written to help make any motorcyclist a better, safer rider. Within its pages you’ll find tips and tricks that will make motorcycling less stressful. Get your copy today at • or

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PRODUCT REVIEW STICKY FINGERS Back in 1971 The Rolling Stones released Sticky Fingers – Brown Sugar, Wild Horses - it was and is considered a Stones classic. But this is not the sticky fingers I am talking about. What I am talking here is the inability to use your smart phone or device while wearing your riding gloves. It is a bit of pain to have to remove your gloves every time you need to answer a call or send a quick text to tell your buddies that you are already at the restaurant and where did they get lost? But, if there is a need somebody will come up with a solution. Thus our title “sticky fingers.”



Any Glove is a liquid product that you apply to the finger tips of your glove which enables you to operate your smart phone or any touch screen device. The instructions tell you to apply the rather viscous chemical to the tips and then dry with a hair dryer. A second coat is recommended and total application took us all of ten minutes. Any Glove will discolor lighter riding gloves, so take that into consideration, but we have always gone for functionality over looks. In testing we did use an older pair of Held gloves that were already dark and the stain from the Any Glove actually looked like it belonged there.

Before application we tried to operate an iPhone to no avail. Once Any Glove was applied the phone’s operation was a breeze. Once the second coat was dry we were amazed at how well this product worked. iPhone operation was spot on. Applying the liquid to other parts of the glove we were able to pinch and zoom easily. The Any Glove application lasts for a number of weeks, depending on how you use your glove and the weather you travel through. We would recommend giving your glove another application one a month or so. Each Any Glove bottle holds 550 drops and should easily last the northeast riding season. A bottle of Any Glove is just $19.95. Log onto their website at to order yours.



The problem with leather gloves is there is no conductivity. We have found three (well maybe two) products that can solve this problem. The first two are nearly identical - Thumb Dogs and Farkle Fingers. Farkle Fingers are being sold by Adaptiv, the same guys that have created many motorcycle-specific products. Closer inspec-




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Page 57 tion showed the elastic on the Farkle Fingers to be twice as good. On the road the Thumb Dogs disappeared from constant front brake use in the mountains. The Farkle Fingers hung around, especially when I added a touch of glue that kept them there on a more permanent basis. So I think we’ll stay with Adaptiv on this, even though they cost a bit more than the Thumb Dogs. Farkle Fingers are, basically, tiny finger gloves that snug over the finger tips of your riding gloves. Farkle Fingers will make any pair of gloves touch-screen friendly. Just pull the Farkle Fingers over the tips of your gloves and you’ll be able to use any touch-screen device. Make calls with a smartphone, navigate a GPS, or change your mp3 player settings, all without having to take your gloves off. Farkle Fingers are stretchable and fit easily, but we recommend a touch of adhesive to keep them in place. Farkle Fingers are simple and they work as advertised. $21.98 for four from USED OILHEAD & K-BIKE PARTS Hundreds of used parts at 50% off new cost or less Order online 24/7 ~ M/C, Visa, Discover or PayPal 100% money-back guarantee ~ parts ship in 24 hours

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Backroads is happy to announce the location of

our 15th Fall Fiesta ~


September 19-22, 2013 We will be staying at the historic Genetti Hotel in downtown Williamsport, home of Little League Baseball and gateway to the Allegheny mountains. There are miles and miles of great roads, paved and dirt, to explore during our visit and Williamsport offers a variety of activities for after the bikes are parked. Conveniently, the Genetti is across the street from the Bullfrog Brewery, as well as next door to the Community Arts Center.

To book your room (which you should do RIGHT NOW), please call 800-321-1388 and ask for the BACKROADS GROUP BOOKING. Rooms start at $11595/night (plus tax) which includes a great breakfast every day and secured off-street parking.


Ride New Zealand February 2014 13 Nights • 2000 miles of Fantastic Riding Auckland to Christchurch (North & South Islands) Large selection of motorcycles to choose from Guided Tour with support van There’s Plenty of Time to get your ducks in a row and join us for a trip of a lifetime.

Choose from these bikes…

For more details and bookings please contact: Fred Rau • 951-672-0239 • Visit Te Waipounamu Website for information

July 2013  
July 2013  

Backroads Spring Break 2013 Recap A Couple of Takes on Group Riding Pilgrimage to Mexico Our great monthly columns including Shira's Ice Cre...