W H A T ’ S
I N S I D E
MO NT HLY C O L U M NS Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure
FREE WHEELIN’ ..................................................3 WHATCHATHINKIN’ ...........................................4
Brian Rathjen • Shira Kamil
POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE.......................5
Mark Byers, L.H. McCoy, Raphael Erhard, Bill Heald, Andrew Walcott, Dr. Seymour O’Life
ON THE MARK ....................................................6 BACKLASH..........................................................8
Editorial Office BACKROADS, POB 620 Augusta, NJ 07822
INDUSTRY INFOBITES.......................................9 MYSTERIOUS AMERICA..................................12 BIG CITY GETAWAY .........................................14 GREAT ALL AMERICAN DINER RUN ..............16 WE’RE OUTTA HERE ........................................18 WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE ............................20 INSIDE SCOOP .................................................22 UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR ...................48
FE AT U RE S RETURN TO MIDDLE EARTH...........................25 MOTORCYCLEPEDIA’S VTWIN EXPO.............44 INTERNATIONAL MEALS ON WHEELS .........46
PR O DU C T R E V IE W S GARMIN ZUMO 396.........................................11 HELIBARS FOR R NINET RACER.......................42 NOVUS PLASTIC CLEANER ............................43 TILE SPORT TRACKER .....................................47
BACKROADS (ISSN 1087-2088) is published monthly by BACKROADS™, Inc. 2018. 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.
BACKROADS • JUNE 2018
FREE WHEELIN’ BRIAN RATHJEN
Manifesto vs Dawn of the Machines I usually have too much to say. Most times writing this Free Wheelin’ column comes easy, quick and without much effort, unlike my partner who has tons of ideas that fly away once she sits in front of her iMac. But for the last few days the normal fertile ground of ideas has gone fallow. Perhaps it was the fact that we had a few good days in April that were quickly dashed by yet another cold front and rain from Canada and parts west. I’d sit down at the screen and…. crickets. Talking about this with a friend the thought came that I needed an app that would have all my parameters for an acceptable Free Wheelin’ and then – like the Bat Computer – spit out 750 words and a slick accompanying image to go with it. This morning, while mulling over my plummeting batting average, I made coffee and began to go through that morning’s inbox. There were two emails that grabbed my attention. At first glance they seemed unrelated but, by the second cup, I began to find common ground between the two. It hit me that the rise of the machines is steadily springing up around our world like unwanted weeds come June. The first email was yet another navigation app that promised to be the next “must have” thing for today’s motorcyclist. Like many before, it would take in what
Page 3 you like and dislike and then create a route just for you… that you can then share with your tribe, team or whatever millennials say these days when they mean to speak of friends. Why do I see a few thousand riders under 40 years of age now texting their posse to pass on this article –“TL; DR”? I am certainly not against much of this new technology – and there have been a few times when I have asked a GPS to get me somewhere (usually out of a crowded urbanized area) but this new app – which hails from Europe – wants a fee (don’t they all) of $75 US and is really all about smart phone technology on only smart phones. What gets me is the heavy trend with all these navigation apps to take control of, and the fun out of, your ride. THEY choose the roads you will ride - supposedly using your input. Me, I still prefer maps – traditional paper or digital. It doesn’t matter to me, as a map is a map is a map. I have said it before, but feel free to use this – MAPS: Manually Acquired Positioning Systems. Let’s look at Garmin’s BaseCamp, which some hate, but I prefer and am very comfortable with. Yes, it will plot a route for you, which is great if you are simply looking to get from Point A to Point B. But, what about Points C through Z? They could be fun too. So with BaseCamp, and programs like MapSource, you can be in control. You are looking at a detailed map and, while doing so, will most likely come across some squiggly little line that cuts up and over a mountain, or down through some hidden valley that you did not even know was there. You choose the roads, you choose the turns, you choose the ride. I am pretty sure that if you relied on your smart phone app du jour it would zip right passed these – Contiued on Page 7
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
WHATCHATHINKIN’ SHIRA KAMIL
Like Moths to a fLaMe I was having a conversation with our southern contingent, Mark Byers, about his mentoring of a young woman he had hired. As he put it, “If her personality was a drink, it would be a Mountain Dew mixed with a Monster Energy and a spritz of vodka. I call her my CEO - Chief Enthusiasm Officer.” It was very exciting to hear of her zeal for motorcycling and that she was already taking the MSF course, with plans are getting a bike as soon as possible. Mark asked her to hold her horses just a bit, as he would be happy to go bike shopping to see what was out there. On their first foray, she spied a 2014 Versys ABS in Kawi Green which she fell in love with. Hopefully, after some negotiations, she will be its proud new owner and have many long and happy miles on it. We might even meet her at one of our Backroads Rallies one day.
This made me think back to my first bike; well, not really my first, as that was a utilitarian vehicle that I knew would be dropped, banged and mishandled - all unintentionally - in my learning stages. But my first ‘oh my God, I have to have it’ motorcycle which was a Honda CBR F2. I recall seeing one in a dealership, on the road, somewhere and thinking that would be the perfect bike for me. Not too long after I expressed that to Brian, I came home to find one parked in our driveway. It would be the first of many motorcycles with which he would surprise me, and that’s why I keep him around. Oh, and to get the pot or pan that is hanging just out of reach in our kitchen. So, why do we choose the motorcycles we ride? I’m sure if you ask ten different riders you might get ten different reasons. In the case of Mark’s new riders, she had some parameters such as ABS and price point. Others might look at horsepower, displacement size, height or other features that would make the most sense for their needs. Most beginning riders, especially those of limited inseam, opt for a ride that has a lower saddle. There are those who wouldn’t think of owning anything other than an American made motorcycle. And there are those who would only ride something European. Such a variety of flavors in our motorcycle world, and all are tasty. But what really draws our attention to a particular model? In my case, I can honestly say that color has much to do with my choice in rides. I am like a hummingbird attracted to the brilliance of the spring blooms. The CBR that came to my garage was black and gray, but not too long after I had it I put some custom paint on it, making it white, red and gold with flashy graphics. The second surprise that arrived, which still resides in our garage, was a neon green Honda 919. This one was lusted after on a trip to the Honda Hoot when it was in Knoxville, TN. The good folks at Honda let me take it for a good long spin and, aside from being drawn to the color, the bike just fit me perfectly. Boom, Brian once again sprung it on me at a local dealership. This one, too, had custom ink applied, as I always thought it looked like a Brazilian tree frog, and I made it so. Then there was the bright yellow Ducati Monster that I just had to have. This was one of my more impulsive buys and purely a lustful decision. Yes, it fit me well and we enjoyed many happy miles together, but it was not a very practical motorcycle for my purposes. It certainly needed more maintenance - costly maintenance than my previous rides as well as some adaptation to make it a touring-capable motorcycle. But, damn, was it a bright shiny thing of beauty. There’s a song by Sunny Jim called ‘As If’ where he loses one thing after another - boat, guitar, girl - and sings ‘As if it were the only guitar, as if there wouldn’t be another.’ Perhaps that was my thought when I initially got the Ducati and when I decided to sell it. Lust does strange things to a person. Of course with age and, maybe, maturity, tastes change and I brought home my BMW F650GS. This was a practical choice, this would carry me far and wide in comfort and would fit most situations I might find myself in. This was a utilitarian ride. Hmphf, it was not bright and shiny. Eventually my head was turned, and my current resident two-wheeler was presented to me the yellow and black Bee-Strom with the bright gold rims. So, my question to you, dear reader, what brought you to own the motorcycle that lives with you? I’d love to hear your stories. Please send your emails to: email@example.com along with an image.
BACKROADS • JUNE 2018
POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE BILL HEALD two-wheeLeD, high-speeD punDitry Oh, if only there was someplace I could go to get some opinions about stuff! We just don’t have enough people in journalism, social media, talk radio, podcasts, YouTube channels and WhatNot (I think Amazon owns that last one) telling the rest of humanity how to run their bidness. Of course, my sarcasm drips like 90-weight gear oil as I write this, for one of my pet peeves is the rampant proliferation of unqualified opinions. But as I am (to some degree) a realist, I know I really can’t do Jack about this situation, so I shall avoid cursing the darkness further and light a candle. Or, I can just sell-out and do some pontificating myownself, and tell the motorcycle industry how to dramatically increase their profile and sell tons more motorcycles. I can spew simplistic opinionage with the worst of them, and think it’s high time to do so. So how do we get more people interested in motorcycling? One area that always seems to work with all manner of products is getting them in movies and television, and actually the OEMs (especially Ducati) have done this pretty well of late. But one area that has really been hurting in my view is racing. The AMA Superbike series used to be a world-class draw and pulled in a great deal of interest. But now, things are different. In fact, things are less than stellar. The reasons why are sad, annoying and leaves one shaking one’s head, then putting one one’s helmet, and then shaking one’s head again. But hey, I’m here with sage advice on how to fix it.
Page 5 So here goes: Do you remember when the AMA Roadracing series introduced the Harley-Davidson Sportster racing series as a companion race program with the Superbike racing weekends? It was a long time ago, but the idea behind it was brilliant. During Bike Week at Daytona every year, a lot of the powers that be wondered how you could get all those Harley revelers to visit the track as part of the week’s celebrations. If you have a bunch of racers duking it out on Harley’s entry-level V-Twins, it might introduce a new ingredient into the stew and it turned out to be pretty successful. It also helped start the roadracing careers of some truly talented riders, thanks to the relatively low price of admission and the learning opportunity it presented. The bottom line here is it also helped sell Harleys, and in some cases was a gateway drug to get the odd Harley lover interested in more potent sporting machinery. Or so I believe. This is opionionland, and I can boldly state all kinds of wild conclusions. Now, given the track record of this once successful venture, I propose we prime the pump once again. What if we take machines that are not exactly designed for the race track, and put some seriously talented riders on these mounts? If you recall, NASCAR became huge by starting with a simple concept: ordinary street cars, piloted by talented, hungry racers, unleashed on a racing surface to see what would ensue. What did ensue was some crazy-fun racing, and while the current iteration is but a corporately bastardized shadow of its former self, I think they were onto something. A stock vehicle taken to the limits is really entertaining, and it’s something the spectator can really relate to. “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday” was not a mere cliche´, it worked. Motorcycle racing, as you know, is a bit different. A good sport bike can be raced in practically stock condition, as they are amazingly tight machines that are armed with components and engineering that is very close to full-on race bikes. But as I’m looking to expand the appeal of the non-sporting motorcycle through devious means, let’s grab the beast by the handlebars and Continued on Page 7
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
ON THE MARK MARK ByERS
secret sauce A friend knew a woman who had a series of car accidents. Curious, he screwed up his courage and rode with her. The next time I saw him, he shook his head and said, “Mark, I would have been happy if her hands had been on the wheel fifty percent of the time and her attention was anyplace but on the road.” Clearly, her careless driving was bearing bitter fruit; however, her analysis of the situation was “I’m just accident prone.” There are motorcyclists like her: accidents waiting to happen. They don’t have the skill, focus, training, or attitude that makes a successful rider. The other day, I watched a rider make a turn onto a busy road in a series of jerky lines, so clearly there are those who lack the requisite skills. I also know people who are too “inside their own heads” about the hazards of riding and who are therefore, self-fulfilling prophecies of doom. They are so worried about crashing that they are guaranteed to do so because of an overabundance of caution and lack of confidence. On the other hand, I know motorcyclists who have ridden safely and successfully for decades, almost from birth. They ride worldwide, in urban areas, and in areas with questionable roads and seldom, if ever, crash. They’re like Will, the savant in the movie “Good Will Hunting,” when he describes his genius as like sitting at a piano and mysteriously just knowing how to play. The contrast between the accident-prone woman, Herky-jerky Guy, and the successful motorcyclists I know made me wonder if there’s a
recipe for success or if some people just have certain attributes – a secret sauce – that mysteriously gifts them the ability to ride. There are variables: environment, time of day, training, and a myriad of other things that can affect the outcome. Herky-jerky might do OK by riding in daylight and within his limits. Larry Grodsky, a nationally-known motorcycle safety expert and author who taught thousands of riders, died on his bike in Texas after being hit by a deer. It raises the question: what ingredients in the secret sauce make the difference? Our friend Norm Smith rode from China, across Siberia, and into Western Europe at 78 years of age, negotiating the “Road of Bones,” among others. Two other people on the trip died in an accident, while Norm is still riding at age 91. Is it fate? Is it skill? Is it a gift? Is it a series of precautionary measures? Or is it some amalgam of all of the above? Some years ago, I wrote a column called “A Hundred Little Nothings” in which I mused that there wasn’t any one magic bullet I used to keep me safe, but rather a collection of a hundred things – techniques, habits, precautions, skepticisms, and even mild paranoias. I’ve been lucky to have those things, along with the Giant Ouija Board of Fate, to keep me out of harm’s way. Conversely, my colleague Jeff Bahr, a very skilled and experienced rider, was killed when an octogenarian pulled out in front of him. Like Grodsky, was fate his hunter? I hold the opinion that an ingredient of the secret sauce is innate rather than learned. Just like there are some people you can send to all the leadership classes in the world who will never be effective leaders, I think that there are some people in the world who weren’t born to be motorcyclists: they lack a pint of focus, a cup of awareness, and even a tablespoon of aggression. Their fears add a squeeze of lemon juice to the sauce that curdles the milk. And even in cases like Larry Grodsky’s, where the experience, skills, attire, attitude, and all the other ingredients are there, sometimes the soufflé still falls. It’s an abject lesson to all of us, particularly those who think they have it all figured out, that we really don’t.
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BACKROADS • JUNE 2018 Someday I’d like to publish the ingredients of my sauce – the ones of which I am conscious – in hopes that others might successfully include them in their recipes. I’m not vain enough to think that my recipe is the be-all and end-all; in fact, I’m still using things like the CLASS school to refine it. I am adding pinches and dashes of knowledge and training all the time in hopes of achieving that evasive perfection. Even so, the Giant Ouija Board of Fate may have other plans and may never reveal the elusive, final ingredients of the ultimate secret sauce. free wheeLin’ Continued from Page 3 as would BaseCamp itself – unless you actually created the route. In a society that is letting machines do more and more of the choosing for us, I choose not to let them take away one of the last things I still can have control over; what pieces of road I really want to ride on my bike! That brings me to the second email that grabbed my attention this day The Self-Repair Manifesto (www.ifixit.com/Manifesto) Created by ifixit.com, their thought is to get their manifesto posted in every workshop, hacker space, and garage in the world. So many manufacturers are telling us that you void the warranty if you attempt to fix or repair something and iFixit feels it’s time to take back our right to repair! They are pushing for the Right to Repair Act which would require manufacturers to provide owners and independent repair businesses with fair access to service information and affordable replacement parts. So you can fix the stuff you own quickly and get back on with your life. That sounds great! Who would be against that? Well, manufacturers like John Deere and Apple don’t like the idea. When your tractor breaks or your cell phone stops working, they want to be the only people who can fix it. And, they get to set whatever prices they want for parts and service. It really comes down to having control and choice in your life. I will always choose to make my own ride but, most likely, will let, and pay, for a professional to repair my Tokina lens. Choice is a good thing… Bible.
Page 7 Continued from Page 5 postcarDs froM the heDge let the games begin. I want a full dress touring class, ridden two up, to be a support class in the current racing series. I’ve mentioned this before but this time I think it has actual potential. Hey, these days you wake up and some new insanity has popped up, so why not? These big, steaming rigs can be tweaked in terms of suspension, tires, etc. but are to be left largely stock, and the 2-up requirement could be serious fun. Think of the strategy! Why, like with sidecar racing of old, the co-rider could to do some serious Cirque du Soleil-style moves on the pillion to help steer the might frigate through the chicanes. As with all racing, the rigors of the racing environment will expose weaknesses in the bikes, which will be good for R&D work on the breed and ultimately result in better tour bikes. If the class grows, the racing could be expanded and at certain venues (like Daytona) longer races with pit stops could be introduced, which means more strategy and race planning. Shoot, at pit stops the two competitors could even have a mandatory position change, so the passenger becomes the pilot and vice versa. It would be a true team effort, as it is in the real world with co-riders doing most of the thinking. Or, that’s the way it has been with me, anyway. I believe this weird race series would get some initial attention, and then once the world sees how interesting this highly skilled competition is it might just generate some curiosity in the racing action as a whole (and ultimately in the motorcycles themselves flying around the track). That’s how you get people in the saddle; by just striking some interest in something different and intriguing and letting them explore what it’s all about. There, how’s that for pontificating?
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
BACKLASH Adirondacks Travels Hey guys, Love your magazine and look forward to reading every copy. I am planning a week in the Adirondacks the first week of July and wondered if you had a month in the back issues dedicated to that ride. If so is it possible to get a copy? Thank you for considering my request art snow Art - you are in luck as we have years worth of Backroads available online. Log onto www.backroasusa.com. You can also check out our GPS Vault for additional routes in any area.
The Backroads Report Good Day Brian and Shira, We are up to Number 3 now with The Backroads Report. As an independent observer of businesses and branding (I have studied those subjects a lot - I was a franchise lawyer for many years), I have to say that I think that this is a solid addition and a good branding and revitalization platform. It makes me think of the magazine when I am not thinking of the magazine because it comes to me when I am passive and not thinking about motorcycling. It definitely energizes the brand - it feels like “added value”. From my vantage
Letters to the Editor point, its tone is right, its feel is cool and it is a good length to read - just enough to make me think I want to get on my bike and not so much that reading it or skimming it becomes a burden in my busy day. It is a step into the world of the internet without giving up your roots. A great step towards leveraging the Backroads name and growing the brand to people who are not currently Backroads subscribers as well. Keep energized… gary Danger Brian & Shira Greetings. I just want to compliment you on the “Backroads Report”... nicely done! Somehow, I have dropped off the subscription list, so it’s nice to see Backroads going electronic and keeping in touch. Please keep doing what you are doing, it’s great reading. Thanks, croft Long
Garmin Woes Dear Backroads, Boy, is it tough to find an email address to send this. I couldn’t find one in your magazine. I looked online and I finally found this one under article submissions. I’m not on Facebook so I couldn’t go that route. This is in response to a letter in April’s issue about Garmin’s BaseCamp. I too gave up in frustration after many hours trying to figure it out. I almost sold my $600 Zumo, but all I was offered was $25. An alternative is called Tyre to Travel. It is British. You just have to download it to your computer. The free version works just fine. Not sure what you get when you buy it. There are links to tutorials on how to use it. We just took a 3200-mile trip to Austin for the Moto GP. The first few days were through the mountains of Virginia and Kentucky. I mapped out a back route on Tyre to Travel and was able to follow it easily after loading it into my Garmin. I love your magazine. When you pass through Roanoke for your rally, be sure to check out Pop’s Ice Cream. It is an old fashioned soda fountain. All the best, kathy giglio Like anything, Kathy, Garmin Basecamp has a learning curve. We did a number of articles on step-by-step directions of creating and loading your own routes. We’ll see if we can locate them online for you and send them your way.
Hold the Presses! On Sunday, May 20, your Spring Break road show is traveling right past the best one day vintage bike fest in the whole mid-atlantic states region: British and European Classic Motorcycle Day • classicmotorcycleday.org/ BTW: am I allowed to join the Spring Break ride for just one day? I’d like to partake in Happy’s Hungry Mother Fookin’ Thumbprint of God ride. Fred, Actually, we are going nowhere near Clarksburg, MD on the 20th. We’ll be heading from Floyd, VA to Mooresfield, WV for the night. But thanks for the heads up – maybe next year we’ll dedicate a ride just to the rally. Of course you can join for the day. All the routes are available for download for the GPS (which I guess you saw in the April issue) as well as printed routes on our rally website. ~ed.
BACKROADS • JUNE 2018
IN DU STRY INFOBITES 2018 WOMEN’S WORLD RECORD RACE On Sunday, May 6, four women hailing from four different countries embarked on an epic journey to rewrite the record books. The 2018 Women’s World Record Race, organized by Urs “Grisu Grizzly” Pedraita and the Grizzly Race Team, will decide which rider claims the Guinness World Record for the fastest woman to circumnavigate the globe by motorcycle. Representing the United States is Kuryakyn dealer-direct representative and longtime powersports industry veteran, Faith Ahlers. The four riders will begin the endurance race simultaneously in their respective homeland, setting out on a grueling 15,374-mile route inspired by Pedraita’s 2014 Guinness World Record for the fastest circumnavigation by motorcycle that took only 16 days, 12 hours and 19 minutes. The women will navigate some of the most remote areas on earth without assistance from a support team or chase vehicle. For more information on the 2018 Women’s World Record Race, including live GPS tracking, rider bios and more, visit www.kuryakyn.com/c/womens-world-record-race. BackLash Dear Shira and Brian, Thank you for sending a copy of the May 2018 edition. We were so excited to see the magazine and your impressions of our home. Thank you so much for the wonderful and kind comments. We do pride
News from the Inside RAISING FUNDS FOR CHARITY • SUNDAY, JUNE 3 Supported by Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, REV’IT!, Triumph Motorcycles, and Royal Enfield, Ride Sunday is the first event of its kind to attempt to unite the global motorcycling community. The first Sunday in June will see hundreds of thousands of riders around the world take to the streets, with over $1M USD of donations anticipated for 50 plus charity beneficiaries. Ride Sunday is open to all motorcyclists and scooter riders regardless of bike style or riding preference, be it on-road or off-road. Any rider with a motor and two wheels is encouraged to participate and raise funds for a charity of their choice by either joining a certified dealer ride, hosting their own ride, or joining an existing group ride via www.ridesunday.com.
LIMITS TO ETHANOL BILL WOULD LIMIT E-15 FUEL A measure to limit proliferation of E-15 fuel (gasoline containing 15% ethanol) has been introduced in the U.S. Congress. The “Growing Renewable Energy through Existing and New Environmentally Responsible Fuels Act” has been introduced in the U.S. House (H.R. 5212) by U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and in the Senate (S. 2519) by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM). This proposed legislation intends to cap mandated ethanol content in the ourselves on offering the best we can, using local farm products as well as a local coffee roaster. Please come see us again. Sincerely, the frumes family - the Borland house
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
IN DU STRY INFOBITES nation’s fuel supply at 9.7% and would stop the federal government from forcing E15 fuel into the market. Capping the ethanol mandate would ensure continued availability of fuels deemed safe for motorcycles, such as E-10, since E-15 fuel is not approved for use in motorcycles and can damage fuel systems and void manufacturers’ warranties.
AMA CHAIR TO ADDRESS MID-ATLANTIC WOMEN’S MOTORCYCLE RALLY Maggie McNally-Bradshaw, chair of the American Motorcyclist Association, will give a presentation during the 26th Mid-Atlantic Women’s Motorcycle Rally, scheduled for June 21-23 in Front Royal, VA. McNally-Bradshaw will be part of a story-telling event during which women will discuss survivorship, triumph and success, with the twist of how motorcycling helped them. The AMA also will have a booth in the rally’s vendor area. And Wilson will participate in some of the group rides scheduled throughout the event. “The rally touches women is so many different ways, it is truly an amazing thing to see,” Brandt said. “For some, it’s transformational, offers a place of female camaraderie and for many, a place to find the friendship and reinforcement needed to face the challenges of cancer head on. “We are so lucky to have had some many survivors participate and inspire us,” she continued. “I’ve met amazing women and created life long bonds with them.” More information about the rally is available at www.mawmr.org.
News from the Inside
HARLEY-DAVIDSON GETS REPRIEVE EUROPE EXEMPTED FROM TRUMP TARRIFFS
Harley-Davidson is breathing a sigh of relief at news that the European Union will be temporarily exempted from America’s new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. European ministers had specifically named the Motor Company, along with Levi’s jeans and Jack Daniels whiskey, as a target for punitive European import duties in retaliation against President Trump’s announced 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% tariff on foreign aluminum. At least for now, the EU, along with Argentina, Brazil, Australia and South Korea, has been temporarily exempted from the U.S. tariffs, giving those countries time to try to negotiate permanent exemptions. For other countries including Russia and Japan, the tariffs are set to go into effect. Despite the exemptions, prices may still be driven up by the additional costs that Harley, and other American manufacturers, will encounter due to the new American import tariffs.
COUNTING CROWS (FAKE NEWS) The California D.O.T found over 200 dead crows on California Highways recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be from vehicular impacts. However, during analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on the ...bird’s beaks and claws. By analyzing these paint residues it was found that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with motorbikes, while only 2% were killed by cars. The Agency then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of motorbike kills versus car kills. The scientists quickly concluded that when crows eat roadkill, they always have a look-out crow to warn of danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout “Cah”, not a single one could shout “bike”.
BACKROADS • JUNE 2018
PR ODU C T SPO T LIGHT the aLL new garMin zuMo 396 MotorcycLe navigator Brings Live features to stay connecteD on every riDe
Garmin International has announced the rugged zumo 396 LMT-S, a GPS designed specifically for motorcyclists that want to turn their routes into thrilling experiences. The rugged navigator offers a glove-friendly, 4.3-inch display in a new embodiment and packs a diverse feature-set ranging from clear, turn-by-turn directions, free real-time services1, built-in Wi-Fi, preloaded TripAdvisor points of interest, and for the true riding enthusiasts – twisty adventurous routing options to enhance every ride. Staying connected is simple with the zumo 396. Using the Garmin Smartphone link app, owners can wirelessly pair their Bluetooth—enabled smartphones to the zumo for access to a suite of free live services, including traffic conditions and weather updates. Riders can safely store away their smartphones for convenient hands-free calling, in addition to receiving key Smartphone Link features such as smart notifications, and LiveTrack – a feature that gives riders the option to share their locations with friends who want to track their adventures. Built-in Wi-Fi allows riders to easily keep maps, software, and points of interest up-to-date on the navigator without the need for a computer. The zumo 396 also simplifies the planning, sharing, and tracking of routes by making it easy for riders to swiftly export GPX files – files containing preferred routes – from their mobile devices to the zumo for solo or group rides. The zumo 396 enhances the adventure with convenient on-screen controls for music and media sourced from a rider’s
Bluetooth-enabled phone or media player. To make the most of their adventures, riders can choose their route preferences using the Garmin Adventurous Routing settings to limit major highways and discover those hidden, winding, hilly roads. What’s more, the zumo includes detailed maps of North America, millions of Foursquare POIs and new TripAdvisor ratings for restaurants, hotels, and attractions along a route or near a destination. The zumo 396 is equipped with new Automatic Incident Notifications — if an incident occurs, the zumo can automatically send a text notification with GPS location information to a predetermined contact. The navigator also encourages rider awareness and safer driving by providing helpful rider alerts for upcoming sharp curves, railroad crossings, state helmet laws, red light/speed cameras, and more. Built to withstand the elements, the zumo 396 is resistant to fuel vapors, UV rays and harsh weather. The zumo 396 LMT-S has a suggested retail price of $399. For more information, visit garmin.com/zumo.
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JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
Morton’s BMW Motorcycles Presents Dr. Seymour O’Life’s MYSTERI OU S AMERIC A Looking for Bigfoot at aMericaDe What do Benedict Arnold, the United States Navy and Bigfoot have in common? Ha… that is an odd one I know. What if I were to tell you that the common denominator of these three is a small town in upstate New York, just a short ride from Lake George and the Americade Rally? Would that clear it up for you? Right, I thought not. Well here is the story that we will find in Whitehall, New York. In 1759, Whitehall was settled in a valley at the southern end of Lake Champlain. This colonial town was founded by British Army Captain Philip Skene, and was originally known as Skenesboro. Skenesboro became the first settlement on Lake Champlain and was a center of maritime trade. The Revolutionary War caused the capture of Skene’s trading schooner and the building of our first American fleet by Benedict Arnold at this place. Let’s remember that before he was a traitor he was a badass general and hero of the Battle of Saratoga where he received wounds that began his slow downfall into infamy. Because of the Revolutionary War actions, the New York State Legislature, in 1960, declared the legacy that names Whitehall as the Birthplace of the United States Navy. But, Mysterious America has visited this region many times and what brings us back is something big. Very big! Let’s jump back a few decades to the summer of 1976 when two teenage boys, Marty Paddock and Paul Gosselin, were camping outside Whitehall and came across something neither had ever seen before.
It stood nearly 7 feet tall covered with dark brown fur and was stalking its way across the field, where the boys had made their camp. A year later, the same creature was spotted by Officer Delano Berube who was manning a radar trap outside of town. When he spotted the beast he flipped on his lights. According to Berube, “The Bigfoot stopped dead in the road. It threw its hands up over its ears. Then turned its left shoulder down, just like a running back would the moment of a hand off. I knew it planned on ramming right into my cruiser, but its pause was just enough time for me to start the car and throw her into drive. I peeled out. Just as the creature was about to shoulder into my hood, I took evasive maneuver and the damn thing hit the side of the car instead. Banged it up good. Had to replace the door, in fact. I half expected the car to flip, but it kept going. The creature took chase, it was fast enough to stay about three car lengths behind me, grunting and growling the whole time. It finally broke off when I crossed over Wood Creek. Damned thing just stopped and screeched bloody murder.” Dozens of other reports have surfaced in this part of the borderlands between New York and Vermont and they all report the same creature. There is even a great new book called ‘Monsters of the Northwoods’
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BACKROADS • JUNE 2018 written by noted Bigfoot author Peter Bartholomew. These stories and legends did not start with two kids in the 70’s, but rather go back before the Europeans came to this region. Local people throughout the region all seem to have tales of benevolent forest gods. Along the Delaware River the native Lenape tribe called it The Messing – today it is known as Big Red Eye and you can still hear stories told of sightings even to this day. In fact one of the chief stories of Big Red Eye happened along the property than runs along the land where Backroads Central can be found. I knew they bought that place for a reason. But to the north along Lake Champlain things have taken a fun turn and sightings can be seen on a daily basis. Whitehall, New York has become for Big Foot what Pine Bush, New York is for UFO enthusiasts - Ground Zero. Unlike some towns that might roll their collective eyes at the prospect of being known as home base for a mythical creature, Whitehall has embraced it and now even has a festival in honor of Bigfoot in addition to making a town ordinance which affords Bigfoot protected status to stop any hunting or even an attempt to capture the creature. The Skeene Valley Country Club has Bigfoot as part of their sign and you
Page 13 will find a Bigfoot pizza and wine shop as well as four different Squatch’ statues around the town; the newest being an 11’ 8” high, half-ton steel sculpture that depicts Bigfoot in full stride that local shop owner Paul Thompson has added along Route 4, right outside the Vermont Marble, Granite, Slate & Soapstone Company. And, it is quite the head turner. Ha, Seymour – there ain’t such things as monsters. Really? This is not the first time Lake Champlain has embraced a cryptid animal, as the lake itself is allegedly home to Champ, the American cousin to the Loch Ness monster. For those of you who have never heard the word “cryptid” before it is a branch of science called Cryptozoology, the study of “hidden animals”, which concerns itself with animals whose existence has not yet been recognized by mainstream science. These animals are often the stuff of legends, written off as myths or elaborate hoaxes. Some famous cryptids are Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and El Chupacabra, all of which remain shrouded in mystery. However, many animals widely recognized today were once among these cryptids. In the 1800’s there was a legend of a half man half animal of great strength and power and terrifying to natives. The creatures go by many names, among them ngagi and enge-ena. In the sixteenth century, English explorer Andrew Battel spoke of man-like apes that would visit his campfire at night, and in 1860, explorer Du Chaillu wrote of violent, bloodthirsty forest monsters. Up until the twentieth century, many of these tales were ignored or discounted until in 1902 a German officer named Captain Robert von Beringe shot one of these “man-apes” in the Virunga region of Rwanda. We now call it the gorilla. Who is to say what is out there these days, even in the semi-crowded regions of the New York/Vermont border. It is all part of Mysterious America. Should you be looking for a destination while in Lake George during Americade, Whitehall, NY is about an hour’s ride through some pretty territory - Bigfoot resides on US 4 just over the Vermont border. O’Life out!
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
Hanover Powersports Presents
BIG CITY GETAWAY the catskiLL connection part one how new york got its water 8,500,000: A big number that makes up, more or less, the population of New York City. Here is another big number: 7,800. That is the number of miles from New York to Cape Town, South Africa. I bring this up as this spring the largest city in southern Africa began to go dry as a long drought had depleted its water supply and the unthinkable became a very dangerous reality. New York City has some of the finest water in the world and most of it comes from one region. Just north of Backroads Central locale, nestled in the peaks and valleys of the Catskills, are a number of man-made reservoirs that were created by forward thinking men who had the vision to know that the city of New York would need much more water as it continued to grow. These days many of us head up along the backroads that encircle these huge man-made lakes as they offer some prime riding but, if you could peer under the surface, you would find sunken towns, submerged farms and just a bit of forced relocation necessitated by the big city to the south’s needs. Construction commenced in 1907. The aqueduct proper was completed in 1916 and the entire Catskill Aqueduct system, including three dams and 67 shafts, was completed in 1924. The 163-mile aqueduct consists of 55 miles of “cut and cover” aqueduct, over 28 miles of grade tunnel, 35 miles of pressure tunnel, six miles of steel siphon, and 39 miles of conduit. The 67 shafts sunk for various purposes vary in depth from 174 to 1,187 feet. It would cross the Hudson River at 1,100 feet below the river’s bed at Storm King through what would be called “The Syphon.” Think about that. Not only did it come off the mountain and down to the river bed, but an additional 1,100 feet further, where engineers finally found bedrock under the thousands of years of silt at the river’s bottom. This was a monstrous undertaking, but a necessary one, as only boring through solid rock would assure a constant flow of water without leaks (15
daytrip ideas to get out of the daily grind tons per square foot of pressure to deal with) and make it virtually maintenance free and safe. Most of the system is powered naturally as the water flows by gravity through the aqueduct at a rate of about 4 feet per second. (Thank you Romans) The aqueduct normally operates well below capacity with daily averages around 350–400 million US gallons of water per day. Nearly half of New York City’s water supply flows through the Catskill Aqueduct from the beginning at the Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County, to the Central Park Reservoir in New York City. We thought it would be fun to follow along, as best we could, on two wheels. First stop where it begins – The Catskills of New York Although the Ashokan Reservoir looks to be a beautiful and tranquil place it was the center of controversy and angst back at the beginning of the 20th century. Before the project was discussed a group of speculators calling themselves the Ramapo Water Company (backed by Tammany Hall) had bought up many of the prime water sources to the south and, at that time the Catskills was off limits to this sort of development. Many in New York City and State refused to deal with what they considered criminals at the time. If there were some stretching of the laws they would surely do it themselves – so laws were changed with a pen stroke when in 1905 the New York State Legislature enacted legislation that created the New York City Board of Water Supply and allowed the city to acquire lands and build dams, reservoirs and aqueducts in the Catskills. Imminent domain soon followed and the locals were bought out, whether they liked it or not. They were so-called public hearings but the need of the many outweighed the need of the few - or in this case the people of the Esopus Valley; and by the end of it hundreds of homes and businesses were razed and nearly 2,000 people were forced out, even a large number of graves were disinterred so the land could be inundated. The town of Ashokan and surrounding communities became the Atlantis of the Catskills.
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Page 15 Construction of the dam and aqueduct was done mostly by local works along with African-Americans and Italian immigrants, who also did the job of razing most of the trees and buildings in the area. Fights would often break out in the labor camps where the crews would eat and sleep, so a police force, which would later become the State EPA Police, was established to keep peace in the camps. The dam was constructed with Rosendale cement, which at the time was the world’s strongest cement. When the dam was completed, giant steam whistles blew for one hour, signaling to people in the valley to evacuate immediately.
Things would never be the same in the Catskills as their future had arrived with steam shovel, workers and newly written laws. As a side note the first time New York City attempted their own water system they were convinced by two assemblymen – Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr - to let a private company handle the titanic task. The two agreed on a bill to be presented to the Legislature in Albany. Yes. Hamilton and Burr in agreement and working together – sort of. The bill was to grant a charter to the Manhattan Water Company as sole supplier of water to the city, and it was to contain provisions to assure water supply and protect the public interest. But at the last minute, unbeknownst to Hamilton who was not in attendance, Burr added a caveat to the bill allowing his friends at Manhattan Company to reap the profit – in perpetuity. The Manhattan Company took their profits and, instead of keeping the water system in fine tune, went into the far more profitable business of banking. Fires and disease outbreaks followed over the decades and this hot mess continued until 1842 when the Manhattan Company agreed to turn the water control back to the city in exchange for the right to continue banking. We all know what happened to most of these players… Burr went on to become vice-president, and tried to take over Mexico, in addition to shooting and killing Hamilton. Hamilton went on to become a hugely successful Broadway show – who would think! And, the Manhattan Company? The company became the ChaseManhattan Bank. That’s right – Chase. What, you think cronyism is something new? As Paul Harvey might say…. Now you know the rest of the story. Next month we’ll see how this water made the trip across the Hudson River – a project that rivaled the building of the Panama Canal!
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
G REAT A LL AMERICA N DINE R RUN Moto coffee Machine 357 warren st., huDson, ny 518-822-8232 • motocoffeemachine.com anD faceBook hours: 7aM-5pM Most Days What fuels your soul? Does the idea of a day’s ride, discovering and exploring, finding new paths and roads to add to your travel portfolio, bring shivers and smiles to your face? Or simply heading on an already known route but passing a previously unnoticed stopping point which may change the whole dynamic of the day. This is the essence of motorcycling – the adventure and the excitement of what’s to come. But what really fuels your soul? Exciting food? A kick-ass cup of coffee? BOTH? Then read on, because not only does MOTO Coffee Machine bring you these but a shop full of motorcycle accessories, gear and more in a comfortable and funky space. We had heard of the shop from a few folks and decided, on this spring-like day in February, to head east and see what the buzz was about. Nestled on the main street in Hudson, NY, which in itself is a pretty cool burg, sits a haven for riders seeking sustenance, java and chain lube. Antony Katz, a graphic designer in a previous life and a mechanic in a pre-previous life, had both a love of motorcycles and caffeine. Teaming up with Aaron
Dibben, the barista, and Kate Darling, a French Culinary Institute chef, he took his design space and morphed it into MOTO Coffee Machine, giving birth to a destination at the intersection of great roads, dark roast and innovative food. The front of the shop houses the coffee and food, featuring revolving roasters from New York and other states and the imaginative creations of Chef Kate. There’s counter and table seating with an open-kitchen atmosphere. While the menu mainly revolves around breakfast, you will find lunch offerings as well. Kate’s main focus is her amazing waffles – both sweet and savory – which are as light and delectable as can be. From the sweet side you’ll find everything from classic, with organic butter and maple syrup, to espresso, with espresso syrup, organic chocolate syrup, organic chocolate espresso beans and whipped cream. Choosing from the savory side you’ll be tempted with crispy prosciutto served with grilled tomatoes, herb salad and chili mayo to smoked salmon garnished with caper berries and
tasty places to take your bike
BACKROADS • JUNE 2018
spicy mayo. Not into waffles? No worries, as Kate will whip you up a ‘simple’ egg sandwich with organic egg, cheddar or goat cheese and pesto on a grilled roll or, perhaps, a coddled egg paired with lemon chili oil, pesto, greens with a grilled cheddar waffle (that’s not too much waffle). If you’re feeling even healthier, there’s house made granola topped with yogurt, maple syrup, some fresh seasonal fruit, chia seeds or goji berries. Should you be hankering for some lunch try their soup of the day or how about a duck sandwich with grilled duck breast (cooked to your liking), wild mushrooms and melted brie on a grilled roll.
On our visit, we started with a steaming cup of good old American joe, ordered our food and wandered around the back of the shop, home to several more motorcycles in various states as well as a full line of curated riding gear, parts and accessories. Antony started riding at the age of 16 in London and, long story short, ended up in the states with a graphic design studio in Hudson, NY. Because he always had a love of mechanics, wrenching and handson projects, he began rebuilding bikes during down time or when he needed to clear his head, in the front window of the shop. He restored a 1972 Moto Guzzi Eldorado and a few others, all while folks would wander in and ask him about the projects – was it performance art, a museum, etc. In his mind he thought the idea of having a place for riders to gather, kick tires while drinking the best coffee, buy great gear and have a wonderful meal would be his dream ‘job’. Not five years later he closed the studio and turned the space into what you see today – MOTO Coffee Machine. Sitting down to our food, we both marveled at how very beautiful it was. Turns out that beauty translated to some pretty awesome flavors as well. On this day we opted for their soups of the day – an organic white bean soup with shallots, fire roasted tomatoes, fennel and a side of herb waffle along with an organic spicy tomato topped with yogurt and toasted sesame oil with a side of cheddar waffle. To be quite honest, that bowl of soup could very well have been enough for my lunch but, no, we had more coming. I chose the savory waffle of the day – duck banh mi with seared duck breast, pickled cucumber, avocado, cilantro, mint and a spicy mayo and Brian went for the egg salmon sammie. Both were incredible. Fully sated, we headed west to Backroads Central with plans of a return visit in the not too distant future. Here’s a 100 mile ride from Hudson Valley Motorcycles; with their new Caffeine and Gasoline Sundays, it’s a great morning ride for a perfect meal at MOTO Coffee Machine. gps: www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/4d2ulo ~Shira Kamil
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
WE’RE OUTTA HER E the starLight MoteL 8722 rte 28, Big inDian, ny 12410 • 845-254-4449 • starlite-motel.com This column is and has always been about “The Escape” – but, although we try to keep things within a reasonable price, it does appear that the words reasonable and affordable are going the way of the buggy whip and my trusty floppy drives. It is hard to have a happy escape when your wallet is on fire. For some reason this seems to be even more so just north of the New York / New Jersey border in the old mountains of the Catskills, as more and more owners of the inns and B & Bs think they are still in Manhattan. It can get frustrating when looking for a place to lay your head while exploring the colorful, fun and pleasant backroads of these mountains. Years back we discovered a place in the thick of all things Catskills that really did fit the bill and, all these years later, is still making travelers feel right at home with genuine hospitality – The Starlight Motel. There are a lot of places in this part of New York who like to say they are
a weekend destination keeping you on the backroads from the 60s and 70s, but the Starlight actually is. It may not be the Ritz, but it is everything a rider will need on the road and then a whole bunch more. Honestly, the Starlight is a great piece of Americana and one that Michelle has worked at in a serious manner to offer her guests a most comfortable and enjoyable stay. We pulled in to the Starlight on a suddenly beautiful April afternoon. The day’s ride did not start out this way, believe me, so the sunny and warm ending was appreciated. The Starlight, a pet-friendly place, has been a proud member of the Backroads Moto-Inn Program for years and that logo is easily seen alongside the window of the office. The motel has eight nicely appointed rooms, one with a King and the rest with two Queen beds, very clean bathrooms and seven rooms coming with a small attached kitchen. All rooms have been newly renovated from their old cabin-like décor to modern country décor, which the Starlight calls Premium Rooms. We call them just right… and we always like when there is parking at the front door of the room, as it makes loading and unloading the machines a breeze. The kitchens have all you would need if you want to set up shop for a few days of Catskill exploration with plates, pots, pans, flatware, coffee maker, stove and large refrigerator. The bathroom’s shower is plentiful, powerful AND hot and, after a half day running around in the rain with tem-
BACKROADS • JUNE 2018 peratures just above freezing, it was most welcome. Our room had white towels that first had me really concerned about dirtyin’ them, but they were very nice towels. The word plush comes to mind, as did the thought that we need something like these at home. The rooms all have 26” Flat Screen TV, with 90+ Cable Channels, DVD Player, Video streaming with Netflix, Amazon Video, & HBO. Okay… add Netflix to my “need to have” list right below plushy towels! You will also find free NSA-quality wireless along with individually controlled heat for when it’s too cold and air-conditioning for when it’s too hot. On those fine Cinderella Nights just open the screened doors to the back and front of each room and let in the fresh Catskill night air. The Starlight is nestled at the bottom of Rose Mountain, a 3,100-foot peak that overshadows this part of Route 28. This rocky mountain side adds to the country ambiance here, as right out the back door of each room you will find another reason why the Starlight Motel is a superb choice for couples and, especially, small riding groups looking for the perfect Catskill base camp. Michelle has created a wonderful outdoor area for her guests. Picnic tables, screened-in dining porch, comfortable chairs around the fire pit… and each room has it’s own small barbeque grill. If you have a good-size group staying overnight, or for a few days, there is no need to get back on the bikes after a long day’s ride and a hot shower. Pick up some steaks, veggies and adult beverages on the way in and make a small party of it in the Starlight’s backyard! If you are looking for a nice dinner locally there are two good choices about the same distance in either direction. Peekamoose (very nice) is to the east, right on Route 28 and Zephyr down the road to the west in Pine Hill. This night we chose Zephyr, as we had never been there before. It was an excellent choice. Their zucchini fritters, werved with roasted garlic aioli, sweet basil pesto, shaved aged Romano and balsamic reduction, are becoming legendary. Our mains included an amazing herb-dusted local pan-roasted trout with fire roasted asparagus, whipped potatoes, roasted corn tomato salsa and caperberry remoulade and succulent maple-roasted crispy duck with dried apricot cranberry stuffing, crispy potato hash and toasted almond berry compote made for a great way to end the day. Back at the Starlight the beds were perfect and offered a long and uninterrupted sleep. (what, no cats walking on our heads?)
Come morning we looked to see what Michelle had put in our Breakfast Baskets…cereals, a bagel, a muffin, granola bars, oat meal, hot chocolate, jams, peanut butter, Nutella, butter, cream cheese, teas, coffee (real brewed coffee - not K-Cups) and fresh milk and creamers in the fridge. This made the morning so much better as we could make some brew and have a choice of a quick bite before packing up and taking off for the day. The Starlight also offers an historic farmhouse called The Maple house, just a half mile west on Route 28. The udated old home has four bedrooms, two baths and a fully modern kitchen and can sleep up to 10 riders (very friendly riders). What a great addition to an already neat place. I think we pretty much made the case why a visit and overnight to this part of the Catskills should include a stop at the Starlight – but that brings us round to our original point. The Starlight Motel’s rooms, with all that we just told you, run for just $99 during the week and $135 during the weekends and holidays. The Maplewood House rents for $200 mid-week and $375 on the weekends – with a two-night minimum. In a region that seems to be getting more and more pricy the Starlight Motel is a breath of reasonable fresh air –and we like everything about it. We think you will too.
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
The Law Office of Paul G. Gargiulo Presents
Welcome to the Jungle - The Art of Learning to Ride Skillfully A column dedicated to your riding survival ring of fire • Dr. L. H. McCoy I fell Into a burning ring of ﬁre I went down, down, down and the ﬂames went higher And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of ﬁre, the ring of ﬁre Johnny Cash We might not want to talk about it but, according to Google, it is the most searched for health issue on the web and certainly something that can affect our day-to-day riding if we have a flare up. Ahhh, shucks, don’t be bashful about The ‘Roids! According to the National Institutes of Health more than half of Americans over 50 suffer from these on occasion and 75 percent of people will suffer from them at some point in their lives. So, just about everybody. If you find yourself on your bike, miles from home, and you are having a massive and painful hemorrhoid issue, riding can become almost impossible – not to mention dangerous - as pain tends to draw your attention away from the important things like traffic, road conditions and will make a mess of your incredible riding skills. So what exactly are hemorrhoids? They’re basically varicose veins of the tush. The veins in the anal area and lower rectum become swollen and inflamed, sometimes from pushing during a bout of constipation and straining too much, as well as sitting for hours at a time or simply just the aging of our bodies. To make matters worse it seems there are two different types of hemorrhoids –internal and external. The internal you can’t see or feel, but can cause bleeding, and external ones that are at the anal opening and cause a lot of itching, pain and discomfort and these are the ones that can affect riders the most. Other than the Ring of Fire felt down below there are some other symptoms that might let you know you have joined Club H. Hemorrhoid symptoms can also include bright, red blood smears on toilet tissue, stool or in the toilet bowl. If the blood is thick and dark, however, it could indicate a more serious problem, such as colorectal or anal cancer, and you should check with your doctor.
WHAT TO DO… Well a bit of preventative medicine and habits can help avoid Roid’ Rage in the fist place.
STAND UP… Avoid sitting for extended time. Getting up from work to walk, stretch and move about is a great idea no matter what. Sitting for a long period of time, especially sitting on the toilet, can cause or worsen hemorrhoids. Don’t read an entire issue of Backroads in the loo.
WIPE WET… The best way to keep from irritating already inflamed tissues is to wipe them with either wet toilet paper or, better yet, pre-moistened wipes like Kleenex Fresh or, if you need a more manly product, DudeWipes.
DON’T WAIT… When you feel the need for a bowel movement, head to the first gas station or restaurant you can find. Waiting can cause back up, leading to increased pressure on the weakened veins. Although some fuel station bathrooms are scary to habitate, many bigger stations have to have their bathrooms maintained – it is part of the contract with the fuel companies.
KEEP HYDRATED… The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep stools soft so they pass easily. You want to avoid constipation, which can make a bad problem worse. So drink plenty of water on the road and we recommend riding with a waterpak and sipping it through out your day on the road. It will help put out that Ring of Fire as well as hydration, which keeps your brain functioning at a better level. It’s also good to keep a bit more fiber in your diet. Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains are all a good idea.
STOPPING THE BURN… There are a number of quick pain relief creams available over the counter Nupercainal and RectiCare come to mind and both use lidocaine as a local analgesic to swiftly sooth the pain and put out the discomfort. RectiCare is also available in very convenient wipes that have both lido and glycerin. Their foil packaging is small enough to be put into any tank bag and can make the difference between limping home through the Ring of Fire or finishing of a cool day’s ride. So, don’t let your love of riding bring you down – take precautions and you’ll avoid that fiery ring to ride another day.
BACKROADS • JUNE 2018
RIDE LIKE A PRO NJ Advanced Riding Training Classes Being Held in New Jersey ‘NEVER FEAR that U-turn or dropping your 800lb. or any motorcycle again’ • You can learn the 3 simple techniques that master low speed maneuvers that Motorcops have been using for years • Our instructors - all active or retired motor officers - will instruct the use of Motorcop riding techniques to help you better control your motorcycle
There is a difference between just riding and riding well
Pre-registration is recommended as classes fill quickly. Gift certificates available • Course Fee is $175.00 Visit our website to take advantage of this special offer.
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
LakesiDe Licks 288 ny 299, highLanD, ny 12528 845-691-7080 • lakesidelicks.com •M Mon-fri: 11aM-9pM • sat: 7aM-9pM • sun: 8aM-9pM The town of New Paltz, NY has some very quaint shops, restaurants and a brewery, I’m told. During our research for the ‘Catskill Connection’ Tour, we found our route passing through so I thought to seek out an ice creamery to bring to you good folks. Of course there is one – Huguenot Creamery – which is located right on the main street in the village of New Paltz. We ended up there around noon on a Saturday and A) they were closed B) it was impossible to even stop to take a photo due to all the traffic coming through, let alone find a parking spot. Undaunted, our heroes rode on to the next stop. Lakeside Licks, located directly on Route 299 with plenty of parking and super friendly owners, Marie and John. John, who worked in construction for many years, decided to try a new venture and converted the one-car garage they had in Speculator, NY into an ice cream shop. Being in the center of town didn’t hurt the business at all and, after three years of scooping ice cream,
they opened a second location in Milton, NY, which was a bit closer to home. Within two years, they were on to their third in Highland, NY, complete with indoor/outdoor seating and an 18-hole miniature golf course - and now you know the rest of the story. In addition to serving premium Hershey and Perry’s hard ice cream, they have breakfast and lunch available. You can stop in for a pre-ride breakfast of eggs, breakfast burrito, sandwiches, French toast, pancakes or breakfast grilled cheese (eggs, cheese, choice of meat and home fries on Texas toast). That’s a pretty good base for a nice day’s ride. If you happen to find yourself a bit peckish in the afternoon, the lunch menu includes stuff from the fryer as well as your burgers and dogs from the grill and an assortment of wraps and sandwiches. And, at any time of day, you can have yourself some ice cream. As I said, Lakeside Licks offers Hershey and Perry’s ice cream in a multitude of flavors. I opted for a small scoop of Hershey’s Salted Caramel Bananas Foster: Brown sugar banana ice cream with a salty caramel twist and vanilla cookie pieces- but the Roadrunner Raspberry: White chocolate ice cream with rasp-
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berry swirls and raspberry filled chocolate cups looked pretty darn tasty as well. Marie said that Perry’s Cannoli was one of their top sellers and I know that, had I more room for another scoop, I would have gone for the Toasted Coconut. They also have soft serve with some 30 different fusion flavors available, a ton of special sundaes including S’mores: vanilla with marshmallow topping, chocolate syrup, graham crackers, whipped cream, nuts and topped with a cherry or Shamrock: green mint chip ice cream, hot fudge, Andes candies pieces, whipped cream and a cherry on top. If you are like me and want to try different flavors, their child scoop at $2 is perfect; but should you be more of an ice cream monster, go for the large 4-scooper which will only set you back $3.75 – what a deal! If you, like 50,000 other riders, head to Lake George for Americade the first week in June, take a ride to the original Lakeside Licks in the middle of Speculator, NY on Route 30. Here’s you’ll find a walk-up window and ice
cream on some of the prettiest roads in New York State. As a bonus, I’ve given a 160-mile loop from Canada Street in Lake George to Speculator as well. Last year John tried to get a Bike Night going on Tuesdays (they have a Car Cruise on Thursdays during the summer) but wasn’t too successful. I think that this location, in between I-87 and Route 9W, is a great spot for an evening ride. The surrounding roads are pretty tasty and before or after some ice cream you can challenge your riding buds to a game of miniature golf before riding home. That sounds like the perfect summer night to me. So let’s see if we can’t get this going and to do that I’ll offer up two rides: one 75mile route from Hudson Valley Motorcycles in Ossining, NY and one 65mile route from Cycle Motion in Middletown, NY. Download all three routes, GPS + printed, for Lakeside Licks here: www.sendspace.com/filegroup/zsostwiih6h1p0pf8q0ns8pophwfuaMp
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
Inside Scoop News cow’s Brow at winDy Brow farM scoops new Jersey In honor of their five-year anniversary, the Cow’s Brow Creamery at Windy Brow Farm will be serving up ‘Only in Jersey’ collection of ice cream, with a new flavor coming out about every four weeks. Jake Hunt, the master of dairy at the Cow’s Brow, was looking for something special to help celebrate the anniversary, and since the Hunt family has been in New Jersey for over 350 years, he thought what better way than to honor his home
state. I was present when they brought out the first flavor, Taylor Ham and French Toast, and it was as good as it sounds. Having a locally-tapped maple syrup base for the ice cream, it contains pieces of caramelized Taylor Ham (don’t call it pork roll!) and swirls of house-made challah French toast. When I asked Jake how this think-outside-the-box flavor came about, he said it was
a play off their maple bacon flavor that has been pretty popular. I tried to pry what future flavors we might see, but he was keeping things pretty close to the chest. I would imagine he’d have to do something with corn and tomatoes, not necessarily together. With his creativity and natural talent for dairy creations, I’m sure they will be incredible. The ‘Only in
Jersey’ theme will culminate at their big celebration during their SummerFest in August. The Cow’s Brow at Windy Brow Farm is open in the spring on Fridays from 11am -7pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-5pm. I’m sure their summer hours will be longer, so please check on their website – windybrowfarms.com - or Facebook page for current hours. In addition to their amazing ice cream, they have marvelous homemade pies and breads and the most delectable apple cider doughnuts I’ve ever tasted. You can find them at 359 Ridge Rd, Newton (Fredon Township), NJ
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Return to Middle Earth A Backroads Ecuadorian Adventure words: Brian Rathjen • images: Brian Rathjen, Raphael Erhard (Raf Prod.)and Andrew Walcott (Drone Pilot)
have always been of the thought that most motorcycle adventures begin when you strap on your helmet and hit the starter button. Occasionally it seems to start even earlier than this. We had planned our return trip to Ecuador for nearly a year now and had a number of readers and friends joining us for a 10-day tour in the land of the Inca and Shuar – but, with less than a week to go, a series of storms battered the northeast; the first one packing big winds and the second packing big snow. Although it has two wheels, handlebars and an engine, the snow blower is not the same as a motorcycle. Days without power, a magazine to produce and delayed flights south to the equator all piled up to start this escapade days before we even landed in Quito. It was midnight before our jet vectored through the peaks of the Andes Mountains and nearly 3am before we got to close our eyes.
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helados de paila of Quito Day returned and here we were, in the capital of Ecuador. We made a stop at Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental, the operators who would be While walking Independence handling the logistic for this journey, before spending the next two days playing Plaza in the old town section of tourist before we were travellers. Quito, I came upon the most unBoth Shira and I had been usual ice cream creation and way of here a few years back and service I have ever seen. Helados de fancied everything about this Paila is a tradition born in Imbabura South American country. We Province, which happens to be the were happy to explore the birthplace of the head chef of Café capital again, this time with Plaza Grande, the only place this some friends along for the concoction is served. It’s a frozen ride – columnist Mark Byers treat made of fruit, water and sugar, and wife Betsy riding pillion spun until the sweet liquid mixture and others that have been becomes solid, then mixed with trapart of the Backroads fabric ditional fruits such as guanabana, for many years. Helene and naranjilla or blackberry and served Kristen (proud Siren mem- in a frozen copper pot. It is then bers), Laurie who rode with served by the purple-robed cone us in the Canary Islands last year and beau John, along with Ed, Gary and Mike head called a Cucurucho amidst the - longtime amigos and a new friend - Ron from Arizona. smoke of dry ice surrounding it. It is quite the spectacle and if you are unOur time in Quito before picking up the bikes and heading out were spent aware of the traditional service, it is quite a surprise. doing the touristo thing while taking in the sites: the Botanical Gardens, the Basilica, a wonderful lunch off Independence Plaza at the Plaza Grande Hotel, complete with Shira getting served ice cream steaming with smoke served by a Cucurucho (see sidebar for more details). Although to Americans his purple getup might seem a little too familiar (and not in a good way), they are really purple shrouded religious icons who come to the forefront in Quito every Good Friday when the city celebrates Christ’s final days. The cones are a sign of humility and the purple is the color of penitence. In this hotel the Cucurucho serve Helados de Paila the rest of the year in a grand style.
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The major domo of the restaurant, Dino, saw that we were riders and he, being one too, brought us to the roof of the Plaza Grande Hotel, the oldest in Quito, that offered a stupendous view. This was only out done by the vista from the top of the cable car, one of the highest in the world, that brought us up Pichincha Volcano to a level of 13,000. They even had an oxygen bar on top as well. O2 for everybody!
Quito to Valle Hermoso We got an early start as we had to pick-up and sign off on the bikes. Most of them were fairly modern bikes, but like horses, you have those you ride on the weekend (maybe) and there are those that work for a living. These machines were not show bikes and were set-up to earn their keep. Suzukis, a few BMWs, a KTM and two Honda Africa Twins made up our little fleet. I was on a fairly new Africa Twin (DCT) and Shira on a BMW G650GS, which had seen a bit of miles.
On this trip we’d have two guides from Freedom Tours with us – Andy, a young Canadian spending the last few years here in South America and Raphael, who was our exemplary lead guide and road mechanic, whom we had met before. Both men would be invaluable throughout the tour. Also along for the ride was Chapparo – Raph’s dog and head of security. We did our best to follow Raphael’s lead out of the long city. Quito is nearly 40 miles long and 5 miles wide and getting out, even on Sunday, was daunting.
Our first stop would be the beginning of many highlights as we spent some time at the Equator. Like Jimmy Buffett’s plane – the Hemisphere Dancer – we took some time to skip back and forth between northern and southern hemispheres. Unlike the marker we would cross later in the trip, this place was a bit touristy for my tastes, but fun nonetheless. We did a bit of the cultural thing and then headed west along Andean roads that began their ever warming descent down from the heights with roads that mixed wide sweepers and humble towns that you would blow though in a second if not for mountainside vistas. Overlooking one wide and verdant valley we stopped for lunch. Fresh trout served in an open-air restaurant with dozens of Ecuadorian hummingbirds of all sizes, shapes and colors gracefully darting about.
Did you know Ecuador has over 120 species of these birds alone? We did not but, after this lunch, we can believe it. Late afternoon found our group arriving a bit more worn than we thought we’d be on our first day on the road – but were all quickly revived by the absolute magic that was our hotel for the night called Kashama. A steep stroll down the hill and steps brought us to the very large rooms that spread along the Rio Blanco that flowed west into the setting sun in an almost fairytale fashion. Impressive waterfalls cascaded down in deep pools that had a siren’s call to many of us, while the others enjoyed a cold cerveza on the wide tile deck. Floating along the tarn, lit by a deepening sun the storms, the power outages and wintery stress of the previous days melted away into the warm waters heading towards the Pacific. We would be following west come morning.
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Valle Hermoso to Canoa After a typical Ecuadorian breakfast of eggs or fruit and yogurt we got ready for a soggy start. Although nestled across the Equator, Ecuador is said to still have two seasons – the dry and the rainy. Mid-March was the rainy season and that was in full force come morning with a heavy rain rumbling through the region. After breakfast we suited up in the humid showers and continued our descent toward the Pacific coast many miles to the west. Even in the wet season the rains did not last for long and by the time we reached the coast the sun was breaking through and the region was heavy with heat and moisture. This part of Ecuador had been hit terribly hard on April 18, 2016 when a monster 7.8 earthquake crushed the towns along the coast and points inland. The Ecuadorians have done a good job since in repairing and replacing
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road ways and the many building that were heavily damaged, yet remnants of this quake could still be found all along our route south on the coast. We stopped along the beach to take it all in and watched as two boys on horseback took the sudden appearance of the bikes and gringos to urge the horse into full gallop along the waves; the kid’s equestrian version of a show-off wheelie. We took lunch in the coastal town of Pedernales, just a few miles north of the Equator. This town once had been beautiful, but was just now slowly coming back - with the torn up roads still being mended and new construction to be seen all about as we rode through the potholed and dusty town streets. When this happened the crew at Freedom Bike Rentals brought much needed supplies and equipment to the region again and again from Quito. Good men they are. Heading out of the town we found the roads were still wavy and buckled and we could feel the bikes rising and dropping along parts of the pavement that got a bit twisted during the upheaval. I can’t imagine the fear these people had with this quake and the dire threat of a giant wave possibly to follow.
It did not. Shrimp is a huge export of Ecuador and we vectored along dozens of shrimp farms that can be found along the part of the Ecuadorian Pacific coast. Our troop would be on this part of the coast for two nights staying at a very cool beachside hotel owned by an ex-pat Kentuckian just south of the town of Canoa, with the wide Pacific and a splendid sunset before us. As we walked in and stripped off sweaty hot gear we were handed ice cold beers and soda. The Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 500 Rock & Roll songs were playing throughout the open-air bar and pool with water pouring Tiki god and cauldron. Like the tee shirt says –“Life is Good!”
Free Day in Canoa For the most part riders took the day off – walking the mile or so down the beach to the actual town – also in the middle of a rebuild. There were whole square blocks that had been leveled and cleared and where once businesses thrived and homes stood were empty lots and foundations with nothing to hold.
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God damn. But the Ecuadorians were past this and doing what needed to be done. For me I would spend money freely in this town. The beautiful stone paved roadways stopped half way down the hill, running into dusty streets to the sand. Everywhere there was construction going on, but in the Ecuadorian fashion that said it didn’t have to get done in a hurry – just right. We did a little browsing and took lunch on the beach before meandering back for an easy afternoon at the Canoa Beach Hotel - body surfing (well, attempting) in the warm equatorial Pacific, catching up on a good book or being seduced by the evils of social media. Along one stretch of sand our friends Lori and John came across a sea turtle washed ashore. It had swum to the great beyond some
days back, but this morning was a feast for the crabs that scurried in, around and under its carcass - the circle of life. Later, while checking the bikes, Shira spied a Pacific Pygmy Owl perched right above the bikes – as if his job was to keep watch on them. Later in the afternoon, while John tackled the beach with the KTM, I rode the Africa Twin back into town and found a young slender barber, maybe 19, who happily and very slowly and skillfully stripped
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away my winter’s growth of facial hair. I looked up to see the door filled with curious faces as this scene drew a bit of a crowd…. with the big Honda parked outside and a large American, with patchwork sunburn, seated in the barber’s single chair. It took an hour as he shaved with a single “finger-held” razor blade and did a most excellent job. It appears that getting unshorn and cleaned up in foreign lands has become a habit with me. Price…just four dollars. I handed him a Hamilton. It seemed that while I was away the mice found the tequila. A festive bunch they were. This was only made better by another magnificent sunset and a great meal along the beach.
Canoa to Vinces Our day started along the coast on the road south crossing Los Caras Bridge, the largest bridge in Ecuador, over to San Vicente and making a mid-morning stop in a town called San Jacinto – where squid, plantains and fresh juices were taken on a cabana deck above the waves. The hammocks worked for a while as this would be our last stretch along the Pacific and we wanted to make it last. The route then headed east back towards the farmlands of Los Ríos Province, known for its myriads of rivers and for its miles of banana, rice and cacao. Although the coast was pleasant and cool we quickly discovered the interior was stifling, with high temps and even higher humidity. Who knew you could have over 100%?! We had come to Ecuador and we got what we asked for - but here hydration was key.
We rode through the provincial capital, where the traffic went from interesting to manic, as cars, trucks and riders jockeyed for spots and positions. It became a game of a controlled chaos only made more interesting when I got a hard brush along the side by another passing motorcyclist. That he was National Police did not seem to matter – he got ahead. In fact here passing the police was a given and vis-à-vis. There was still much quake damage to get around and one road was simply twisted and ripped, while other roads have been newly paved and concreted. It is all a work in progress and we even had a small, yet slippery, water crossing tossed into the mix as well. - all part of the adventure. Along the countryside we spied many hawks high on the wires, searching for a meal – smaller than our Redtails – they were still formidable looking raptors. There was even another pygmy owl perched high above as well. In this region you will find Ecuador’s agriculture heartland as we passed through cacao farms and dozens of rice patties. Here the farmers will harvest the rice and simply spread it along the side of the road to let the crop dry in the blaring Equatorial sun – which is very, very strong.
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS ran through deep green banana trees that closed in on the roadway. Large bunches of the fruit hung from the tree, protected by blue plastic bags. Our hotel for the night was a bit rustic, but the pool was wet, the food was good and the beer cold. So far we had seen plenty of wildlife but were not prepared for the knot of toads that surrounded our hotel. Hundreds of these large toads were out in force and we have never seen anything like this.
Vinces to Cuenca
In the large town of Vinces, that has been called Little Paris for its French influences, there is even a small Eiffel Tower along the riverfront that was choked with humanity when we arrived in the late afternoon. As happens we were the center of attention, which can be both good and bad. As my friend Ed said later his Spidey-Sense was tingling. I knew what he meant. It is best to always to be on your guard on trips like this. This part of the nation is known for its bananas and famous for arriba chocolate – claimed to be the best in the world. It was a short jaunt along a few miles that
Today’s journey would be a bit further than the previous – which mostly hung in the 150-range. Not big miles, but plenty of smiles, as we took many stops and were here to see Ecuador, not just ride through it. First we did a walk around the cacao farm. It is amazing to see where all this chocolaty goodness has it beginnings. But, be forewarned, as some might call it a “rain forest” the word jungle came to mind as marauding and thirsty bugs had their way with us the short time we were in amongst the trees. Still, well worth the blood sacrifice. We left the same way we came in, through a tunnel of banana tree, with their giant leaves and hanging fruit, and made time for a tour of a local banana farm which was both interesting and beautiful as it seemed to go on forever. By this time the early morning mist had morphed into an early morning rain that would be our companion to the top of the Andes. A typical Ecuadorian lunch was enjoyed at a street-side restaurant, filled with locals and National Police. Soups and rice with your choice of beef, shrimp or tripe. It was hard to go wrong and we just soaked in the local color as the rain banged off the metal roof, sounding more dire than it actually was. Continuing west the start of the Andes Mountains was not an easy affair as the rocky giants seems to stand abrupt and defiant against the Pacific to the west. The road wound around the mountains and disappeared into a white
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cloud that enveloped the tops and then quickly cloaked us. What started as a hearty charge up the peaks slowed to a white cane, fourway flasher scenario that wound ever and ever higher. Around 10,000 feet we broke through the clouds on the far side and as we entered Cajas National Park the brilliant sun of Middle Earth made its return. The stop at 13,000 feet was nothing less than breathtaking, and so was the air here. Just a brisk walk to the baño made you slow down as the air was so thin. It was phenomenal to take this all in and all agreed that this day’s ride was the best so far. Remarkably the riding would only get better from here. We rode down to the colonial city of Cuenca, fighting the tough late afternoon city traffic but eventually found ourselves at the palatial Mansion Alcazar. This was once the presidential mansion and easily one of the nicest places we have ever stayed on any tour we have ridden. Rose petals placed around the rooms, deep, hot and strong double showers and NSA quality Wi-Fi.
This day was Shira’s and our riding companion Ron’s birthday and the lovely redhead had arranged a sixcourse dinner at a private chef’s home on the other side of Cuenca. We took a bunch of cabs over and got to celebrate two important days in a wonderful style. Chef Yasu moved to Cuenca from NYC some 20 years ago and, after having a traditional restaurant, started serving friends and family in his home. This developed into a
weekly fusion menu open to the public and served in the warm and intimate setting of his home. The dishes were creative, innovative and delicious – with many ingredients unknown or served in ways other than we had seen. A sincerely outstanding evening. That night, crawling into bed, we felt a warmth near our feet – as a hot water bottle had been added to the beds and a wonderful chocolate birthday cake had been left for a nighttime snack. We had started the day at a very “rustic” old cacao plantation and ended up at the high-end of society. We could get used to this.
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Cuenca to Macas Cuenca is a very neat city and well worth spending a day or two strolling around, but we had what would turn out to be our longest day yet and had many miles to cover. But, before leaving the city we followed Raphael’s lead through the center of town, past the flower market and then up to the high vista at the Mirador de Turi, offering a broad and panoramic view of the town below. The route then headed back into the mountains and along the Ruta De las Guitarras, a region of Ecuador famed for its handmade guitars, mandolins and ukuleles created from the wonderful hardwoods of this tropical nation.
We stopped by one shop and the owner proudly showed us how he created some of these stunning instruments. A mandolin made from an armadillo’s shell was particularly enticing. If yesterday’s ride through the Andes was fun, this day’s jaunt through the many passes would be spectacular! You can say ‘Alps’ all you want but the easy and graceful way the roads run up, along and through the Andes in Ecuador make for a far more pleasurable ride than the hairpin, switchback and labor intensive mountains of Europe on any day. Both regions can be technical but one is more techno-lite and just more of a fast paced fun. All along this ride we had wide variations in temperatures and humidity, all which would be taking a toll on us. Many rode with Camelbaks, but others overlooked the need to hydrate and one rider paid for this, becoming severely dehydrated and was of grave concern for a while as she lay in the shade looking a bit like the turtle on the beach. Chilled Gatorades and ZipFizz to the rescue; we watched her for the rest of the day. The road wound through deep valleys, ringed by tall peaks. Dozens of waterfalls poured down, some just trickles others would try to charge you to see in the States. One large waterfall ran right through some heavy machinery and pipes diverting the water onto conveyor belts that seemed far out of placed in the surreal mountains. My thought was gold or copper mining; and that was confirmed at breakfast the next day by a South African mineralogist who told me that mineral extraction has been a longtime political flashpoint in this country, especially with the in-
BACKROADS • JUNE 2018 digenous peoples who feel their land its being bartered away by the government to foreign interests, particularly China. On a more positive note it seemed Ecuador is very proud of their new hydroelectric system. The plan is that 80 percent of electricity production is to come from hydroelectricity in just a few short years, which was evident by the large dam and massive power lines snaking over the passes. Although this day’s route was shorter by nearly 80 miles than the previous day we still began to run out of daylight and then there was the blackness that came crawling over the mountains to spread down through the valley. I looked to the northwest and had that “Ruh Roh” feeling. Although we still had an
hour of light suddenly it was like riding through an eclipse. Headlights shone on the rough macadam and gauges were suddenly brighter. The little green “ping” from my SPOT GPS Tracker began to catch my eye. Then the winds bent the trees and the rains swallowed us like a tsunami. We got very wet as we rode the last 30 miles into Macas and a warm, dry beds for the night. It seemed that each day we would run across the “critters of the day” – this day was beetle and snail day. One gas stop was infested with these large beetles that seemed to all be dying, splayed on their backs and kicking their segmented legs. Little monsters they were – but all easily topped by the softball-size snail Shira and Ed found that night outside our room. They once called this side of the Andes a jungle, and with good reason.
Macas to Baños A hard rain was pounding the region when we were getting ready to leave this day and what is true in the United States is true in South America as well. Getting caught in the rain is a drag; starting in the rain sucks everywhere around the world. That being said we gave the tempest a half hour to wear itself out. What I can say about today’s ride was best summed up at breakfast when I stated, “Left, right, left, right, no pavement, rocks, pavement back, rains begin, rains end, sun comes out, right, left, right, left, crazed dog, happy dog, stunning waterfall, waving child, deep valley, hot & humid… Ecuador’s Andes!” We rode up and into the Sangay Park with its rainforests, three volcanoes and many lakes known for the birds that inexplicably kill themselves by diving deep into the waters. Here at around 11,000 feet the rains, that had come back to follow us on our journey, made for a chilly ride and we were happy to drop down lower to the relative balminess of 8,000 feet. After dealing with the chilling rains, we were happy to pull into the gated
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS Controlled capitalistic chaos it was. A few of us were having some…err…gastronomical issues, so I stopped to buy a six-roll pack of toilet paper for a buck - as a memento for them. The teenage girl who I bought them from quickly became the star hawker and had her 15-minutes of fame for selling to one of the unknown riders passing through the town. Shira told me later it was such a deal and that I should have bought a hundred and had them shipped home. I wouldn’t know. We then motored along some spectacular tiny and tight roads heading to Baños de Agua Santa, passing under the shadow of Tungurahua. At 16, 480 feet, it is the most active volcano in the country, erupting as recently as 2014. This day she was a slumbering giant, but reading about what happened during the last eruption we were glad she was sleeping soundly. The town has a number of public baths, with the hot springs fueled by the same fires as Tungurahua, and we did a quick soak (could have gone without this) before taking dinner at the hotel and then strolling the town that was hopping on this Saturday night. Picture an Ecuadorian mountain town version of Key West. In truth a trip around the town is highly recommended - more than going to the crowded public baths.
parking area and enter a pretty swanky restaurant. The other patrons may have given us sideways glances, but many just looked and smiled as we made our dripping way to a private dining room. We had another superb lunch of hot sopa, magnificent shrimp and assorted other equally delicious items in the town of Riobamba, which was a giant open street bazaar with merchants and sellers hawking everything you can imagine along the streets and from the shops.
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Our hotel this night was run by two Ex-pat Americans from Alabama, by way of Chicago. They epitomized Steve Goodman’s song Banana Republic in every way and manner. Making small talk I asked… ‘Cubs or White Socks?’ I then got a pontification of the evils of professional sports and the inequality of Barbie dolls and actual human females. Yup, yup, yup…. This is why there are so many ex-pat bars in some of these towns. On a better note, we had a great surprise as Court and Sylvain, the owners of Freedom Tours, joined us here for the next few days. Tomorrow we would have a shorter day, as we would ditch the bikes in the afternoon for a canoe to head to our next destination, the headwaters of the Amazon.
Baños to the Ahuano – the beginnings of the Amazon If the last few days had been a thrilling two-wheel adventure this day would get the adrenaline going in a different way. Near Baños, the Rio Pastaza and her gorges have become a mecca for adventure-tourism and, like the last time we were riding in Ecuador, we would get a chance to soar with the condors as Freedom treated us to a zip-line run across the deep gorge with the Pastaza’s rocky rapids waiting below. All but a few took to the skies… but there was a catch. There is always a catch, isn’t there? There was no ride back, but a walk across the Ecuadorian Bridge of Death, consisting of a number of swaying steel cables and various tiny planks,
Baños is a town that refuses to let you sleep in. As the first bit of light clears the mountains the town, seeming to party way into the night, begins to awaken with barking dogs, trucks rolling by and the occasional loud 2stroke scooter with someone heading to work, even on a Sunday. Breakfast and a morning briefing and time to go.
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boards, tires, steel grate and lots and lots of open air. I was half expecting the “old man from scene 24” to ask me five…no three…questions before allowing me to cross the Gorge of Eternal Peril. As we were not given much choice we took it as a Team Backroads building exercise. About two hundred feet down, ¼ mile in length and swaying at each step, it had a wide range of chemicals reaching remote parts of my body. Thank you, Court and Sylvain, for arranging this. Really… thank you and remember, mi amigos, that revenge is sweet and I am very patient.
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Heading to the rivers that make up the Andean beginnings of the Amazon the route followed along that now typical riding nirvana, with a number of tunnels added into the exciting mix. So far, other than the occasional tip over and light gravity storm, we had had no real incident on the tour, but this suddenly changed when, on a pass of one bus that ferries the locals from town to town, one of our riders was run off the road and into the rain gulley that runs along the side by the unseeing or uncaring bus driver. A bit of skill and a whole bunch of luck had him ride down into the culvert and then back out. The riders behind him had quite the show and, in truth, this rider and our group dodged a bad bullet on this one as this could have gone terribly bad. Yet a reminder to us all that motorcycling anywhere, especially the mountains of Ecuador, is best taken seriously and with a bit of riding talent. Ever diligent. Ever aware. We made an odd stop before lunch at a place O’Life would have loved – this stop had a cave with supposed bats (who could tell in the Stygian darkness), a tile-lined pool found deep in the rock and a hundred foot tree house with a view of the jungle canopy stretching east to the Amazon and west to the Andes. From here the rain forest (frackin’ jungle!) would stretch hundreds of miles to the Atlantic Ocean. The chilly and wet air from the previous day had been replaced with hot and
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Page 39 steamy and by late afternoon we rode to the Rio Napo where we stowed the bikes and loaded two powered canoes with our gear, motoring downriver to a sprawling “eco-style” hotel along the river that stood out in bold indifference next to the humble river town right next door. We have found you can build anything… anywhere…if can work the word “eco” into it. By this time I was done – over heated and drained from the day. The pool beckoned and I simply stripped down to my ExOfficio unmentionables and dove in. Sunset found us on a large deck overlooking the vista downstream with a few beers and more than a few smiles and a horde of ravenous no-see-ums. While folks prepared for dinner, properly deet’ed up, I sat with a cold drink looking into the mountains where an impressive lightning storm painted the sky miles to the south and hungry bats buzzed around the pool grabbing dinner. It might have still been winter back in the northeast but here was something else. Something very, very exceptional.
Ahuano to Papallacta
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Shira and I are usually awoken each morn at daybreak by Spenser T. Cat walking over our heads signaling the day has arrived. This day it was far more tranquil, as tropical songbirds chirped and our day commenced with the sun pushing through the mists along the Rio Napo. We had a free morning that would start with a canoe trek up river to a jungle compound that helped rehab wounded and hurt animals before release back into the wild, but our real reason for this ride up river was something that Ecuador Freedom Tours calls “Pack for a Purpose.” The idea being to bring some much needed supplies for local Ecuadorian schools that struggle mightily for the simple things we Americans and our children take for granted. Before we all left the states our group was told of this excellent program Sylvain and Court participate in and we all brought school supplies, toys and some sporting gear as well down from the USA. The children were fun, smiling and very into all of us as we spent some time with them. They sang songs for us and then played with us in the yard. The football and baseball were quickly brought into play. Simply wonderful and, on a trip that had had so many highlights so far, was a stellar moment of the tour!
So – we had two boats, a large supply of truck inner tubes atop the canopy and a briskly flowing part of the Amazon. With the mid-day heat starting to build we spent a bit of time floating down the river in the tubes before we headed back to the hotel, had lunch and loaded our gear back into the powered canoes for the motor back to the bikes miles upstream. The afternoon’s ride from the Amazon into the Andes was the typical splendid jaunt with which we had all gotten just a bit too spoiled. Along the way we made a point to stop in Misahualli, upriver along the Napo, where the monkeys absolutely rule the town. Pepe was in his glory, but stayed tucked in the tank bag because, as cute as they are, you cannot trust the monkeys, as they will steal anything that catches their fancy and will use you as a springboard to get to the trees. Still, they were fun to watch, especially one who spent the entire time we were there washing its hands furiously in the town drinking fountain.
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
All was going along swimmingly until we ran into the Antinarcoticos Police. We were stopped for a bit, Raphael handling all the questions asked by very seriously armed police, but then told to go on our way only to be stopped again by another cadre of weaponized constabulary five miles down the road. Busy day for the local Narcs. By evening we were again at 11,000 feet and pulling into the mountainside Termas de Papallacta, with naturally fed hot spring pools right outside our cabin doors. As hot springs go this was more like it! We heard another Nor’easter was most likely going to play havoc with our flights in just a couple of days – but right then we really did not care.
Papallacta to Quito to USA Today would be our last day as we all had late night flights back to the USA. But, before returning to Quito we had two stops to make, both special in their own way. The first was to another school to drop off the last of our supplies and say
American • Metric • Sport • Parts & Accessories • Award-winning Service • Performance Work • Dyno Tuning • S&S Pro Tuning Center • Power Commander Tuning Center
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BACKROADS • JUNE 2018 hello to the children. The second was about as cool as it gets in Ecuador; standing on the Equator, zero latitude, at the exact moment of the Vernal Equinox – the instant when, in the northern hemisphere winter turns to spring and, in the southern summer, turns to fall. I parked the Africa Twin straddling the line of the Equator and, true to what we had been told, our shadows disappeared when the magical change of seasons occurred. Truly, an amazing thing to experience here at the middle of the Earth. We took our last lunch on the road and, before long we were fighting the afternoon traffic of Quito and rolling into the gated court yard of Ecuador Freedom and the end of this remarkable adventure. Or, was it? Well, the flights back to the United States – Florida in this case - were a go. But from there anything to the northeast was iffy at best. Mark and wife Betsy ended up renting a car and driving back from Fort Lauderdale to Maryland. Everyone else got home by air, eventually, right into the teeth of the fourth hard storm to belt the region that March. We started in a snowstorm and ended this tour the same way. But….what an adventure! From the journey’s beginnings in Quito to the Pacific at sunset, to the cacao and banana plantations to the opulence of the Presidential Mansion in Cuenca. Experiencing the adrenaline rush of the gorge to watching our shadows fade away at the cusp of spring where the hemispheres meet. From the high and misty majesty that is the Andes Mountains to watching the smiling children of a budding school along part of the Amazon – Freedom’s Backroads of Ecuador came through in everyway! But especially with the riding. That was stupendous! For me everything else was a delicious and sweet icing on the cake, as each day had hours and hours of the most amazing roads. Little traffic, a great mix of decent pavement interspersed with, well, not. It all made for a spectacular 10 days. We all were experienced riders and our guide Raphael set a wonderful brisk pace that always kept the grins on our faces and never had us riding beyond any of our limits. Believe me, a slower paced tour would have caused an insurrection. Ecuador’s police have a practical approach to traffic and motorcycles; as long as you ride with a brain you will be tolerated – act the fool and you will pay. No revenue generation here, just an appreciated horse sense approach. Raphael and Andy were a constant help and made everything work as smoothly as it can in a place as diverse as Ecuador. They handled every dumb
request promptly and each issue efficiently - and with a smile. Well, Andy is young and Canadian and has not yet been jaded by the world, so there is that. You take all these things into consideration and the fact that, other than the occasional beer or trinket, you never had to touch your wallet the entire time and you can see the value of this tour, which run from $5,100 to $6,600 depending on your choice of machine. Passenger charge is a lofty $3,500, which we know held a few couples back. All that being said Ecuador Freedom Tours Bike Rentals offer many amazing options for the rider looking to truly escape from the ordinary and journey into a unique and exciting adventure… and this was the reason we chose to return to the middle of the Earth. Amamos Ecuador! You can find out more at freedombikerental.com
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT SPECIAL PERFORMANCE TRIPLE CLAMP HANDLEBAR RISERS FOR BMW’S R NINET RACER HeliBars new Special Performance Triple Clamp and taller handlebar risers for BMW’s R nineT Racer eliminate the extreme, hunched-forward stretch to its cockpit while maintaining the bike’s classic, flowing lines and unique clip-on handlebar style. The beautifully crafted replacement fork-top clamp and matching risers utilize the stock bars, but position them 3.5 inches higher and 4.25 inches rearward. This Special Performance kit transforms the Racer’s track-attack ergonomics, delivering more civilized, everyday comfort by drastically reducing weight transferred to riders’ hands, while also optimizing their wrist angles, shoulder positioning and spinal alignment to minimize muscle fatigue. Personally our days of riding in a cramp way are done – these risers made all the difference. Reducing cost and complexity, Heli’s 6061 T-6 aluminum top clamp and risers work with the BMW’s original hydraulic lines. Messy, time-consuming fluid bleeding is not required. The parts come in a tough, UV-resistant hybrid polyester silver powdercoat finish, at no extra charge. Everything is engineered to perfectly integrate with the Racer’s switchgear, bar-end weights, steering damper, ignition switch and fork lock. Meticulous fit testing ensures that everything steers clear of the bike’s low-slung windscreen. The kit doesn’t require permanent modifications, so the bike can easily be returned to stock. This makes installation straightforward using common Torx bits and a light-duty torque wrench, then following the comprehensive installation manual, which is illustrated with photos every step of the way. This printed guide is included with the kit and conveniently available online. HeliBars products are designed, tested and proudly manufactured in Cornish, Maine. They’re backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee via Heli’s 30-day return policy, and come with a one-year warranty. For more information about HeliBars comfort solutions, to find a dealer or place an order directly, please visit HeliBars.com or call 800-859-4642. Availability: Direct from heliBars.com, Western Powersports and motorcycle dealers nationwide. Retail Price: $499.00; $529 with a special handlebar removal tool. HeliBars part number: HRT05126
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Join Us in 2018
Patagonia, Peru, Bolivia Argentina and more! Visit our website for 2018-19 tour dates Ride through Bolivia, Peru and Argentina. Visit the full range of our beautiful and enchanting places and see our lakes, other-worldly deserts, Independent touring or guided tours with multilingual guide, mechanic and support vehicle. 17 Years organizing tours and BMW rentals. 80 motorcycles in fleet. World’s 2nd Largest BMW Travel Partner and Official BMW Dealer
the dramatic Andes, snow-covered volcanoes and, of course, the magic world of Patagonia.
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BACKROADS • JUNE 2018
PRODUCT REVIEW NOVUS #1 PLASTIC CLEAN & SHINE AND
#2 FINE SCRATCH REMOVER
A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I toiled my days and many nights shooting product photography for catalogs and ad agencies. Back in the ‘80s Plexi was a big thing and I kept the plastic manufacturers in business. Keeping these big sheets of shiny bright plastic was a chore and my “go-to” cleaner was Novus #1 Plastic Clean & Shine. Over the years the once familiar blue and white spray bottle drifted from my mind – as most things from a long time ago, in a galaxy far away. Recently I was in a local bike shop and spied a bottle of Novus #1. Right next to it was Novus #2 – their Fine Scratch Remover. Some 12 dollars later I rode away with the two bottles tucked into my top case. The #1 is a simple pump-style spray and it gently cleans plastic bodywork and shields without scratching. It is very easy to use and priced right – compared to a can off Plexus that always seems to be twice what it should cost - although the Plexus can travels well. Novus’ website claims that #2 Fine Scratch Remover removes fine scratches, haziness and abrasions from most plastics and with repeated use, Novus #2 restores faded and discolored plastics. Well, I certainly had enough tiny scratches and spots of discoloration on the small bit of plastic panels of my BMW GS – so I went at it with #2. Gee, that did not sound right at all, but I was more than a bit impressed – even after all these years. With a little elbow grease and easy tenacity the scratches faded from sight. Not gone completely, but far less noticeable. Both Novus #1 Plastic Clean & Shine and #2 Fine Scratch Remover offer a sharp and easy shine that resists fogging, repels dust, and eliminates static. It worked a long time ago – it works today. You can find both products at fine motorcycle shops near you.
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
Motorcyclepedia Museum’s V-Twin Expo • April, 22, 2018
We have not hidden our feelings about how the International Motorcycle Show that comes to New York City each year has slowly devolved and has lost almost all of its local flavor, zest and appeal. Walking away from last Manhattan’s event we thought it would be great if there was a more regional event – one that allowed local shops and dealers to showcase their brands, machines and products. In our minds it seemed that the perfect spot for this event would be along the Hudson River at the Motorcyclepedia Museum. So how pleased were we to see that this would actually happen? Good on Ted and everyone at the museum! With the weather finally beginning to cooperate in mid-April, Newburgh’s Motorcyclepedia held its first V-Twin Expo. Although V-Twins play a big part in the region’s riding culture – it is not the end all - and we had a few folks tell us they did not go because they thought it was an American cruiser only event. Nothing could be further from the truth. They could easily drop the V-Twin moniker and just call it the Hudson Valley Motorcycle Expo. It would open up appeal to an entire other segment of the riding community. As it was, a good number of local shops of all flavor of motorcycles took the time and made the effort to come to the museum early on a Sunday and many different manufacturers were represented – Ducati, Kawasaki, Triumph,
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Bar • Lunch • Dinner At the intersection of Great Homemade Meals and Beautiful Backroads
Breakfast Every Sunday 9am-1pm Tues 4-10pm • Wed-Sat 11am-10pm • Sun. 9am-9pm
the riverton hotel and restaurant
At Belvidere-Riverton Free Bridge, Riverton, PA
610-498-4241 • www.rivertonhotel.com
The Boat House Restaurant Perfect in Any Season Brunch, Lunch or Dinner on Swartswood Lake
Excellent Ride Destination
Tues-Sun 11A-9P Brunch 10A-2P Closed Monday Call for Seasonal Hours
1040 Cty Rd 521 • Swartswood NJ 973-300-0016
BACKROADS • JUNE 2018
Moto Guzzi, Royal Enfield as well as Harley-Davidson and, of course, Indian well, it is Motorcyclepedia and they do have one of the most serious Indian collections on the planet! It wasn’t just Harleys and Indians… Heck, one shop even brought a giant screen to stream Moto GP from COTA in Texas live. We took a table there and brought some magazines and Backroads tchotchkes and spent a nice day talking with the folks that seemed to come in waves throughout the day. Always appreciated to hear good things about this magazine, and some of the critiques were interesting as well. It was one of the first real good riding days in the year and a lot of attendees came by bike - as did we. We saw many of our friends and people in the industry that were vending or had just ridden in to check out the festivities. The modest $10 entrance fee allowed you to peruse the museum as well. We love to write about this place as it is so special and we are happy to have it right in the Backroads’ area. We thought the Expo was a great idea and we hope it grows in size and scope as time rolls forward.
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‘50s-Style Drive-In Restaurant Full and Varied Menu Room for the Whole Gang BIKE NIGHT IS HERE! Join us at
THE CHATTERBOX DRIVE-IN
GREAT FOOD • GOOD TIMES • EXCELLENT RIDING
Located at Ross’ Corners • 1 Route 15 • Augusta NJ • 973-300-2300
JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
America – The Chatterbox On very short notice we began our monthly Backroads International Meals on Wheels at a local favorite - The Chatterbox, in Augusta, New Jersey. Yes, we know it was cheating, having our first global food foray so close to home, but it was an early day decision, so we went with it. Making a bit of a ride to Augusta we circled south along Swartswood Lake then around the back end of Newton and into the tiny farm roads that make up the bulk of the pavement east of Route 15 and south of the Sussex Fairgrounds. This loop gave us a bit of a ride and then swung us around to Ross’ Corner and The Chatterbox. Normally a warm Thursday evening (Bike Night) has hundreds of motorcycles riding in and out of the circular drive, but this early April evening just a few bikes were to be seen. It had spritzed for five minutes earlier in the day so we could understand the trepidation.
Coincidentally it was also National Grilled Cheese Day, which kinda, sorta, maybe,… led to this outing – as The Chatterbox has a good number of these cheesy hot and scrumptious sandwiches. The Chatterbox is more than just burgers and the specials that night were solid offerings too – the butterfly shrimp were excellent. This was just the first of a riding season’s worth of International Meals on Wheels. Keep an eye of our Facebook Page and the all-new Backroads’ Report – a weekly eupdate that is free and that we will happily send to your inbox each week. You can sign up for it at www.backoradsusa.com. Ride often and we will see you next month with food from far away.
Fall Fiesta 2018
Endless Mountain Excursion • Sept. 20-24 book early - rooms are limited
Thursday, September 20 Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel
Fri-Sat, September 21 + 22 Altoona Grand Hotel
Sunday, September 23 Inn at Jim Thorpe
700 Lackawanna Ave, Scranton, PA 570-342-8300 • www.radisson.com/scranton $104 + tax (Backroads Group discount)
1 Sheraton Drive, Altoona, PA 814-946-1631 • altoonagrandhotel.com $119 + tax (Backroads Group discount)
24 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 800-329-2599 • innjt.com $98-$148 + tax (Backroads Group discount)
Originally a French Renaissance-style train station in 1908, the Lackawanna Station has been completely renovated while keeping its history and artistic flair. Get here early and visit the Steamtown National Historic Site, Houdini Museum or just stroll downtown Scranton.
A great two-night stop, complete with indoor pool and fitness center. Saturday you can visit Punxsutawney Phil and ride through the Allegheny Forest, head to Horseshoe Curve and take the funicular or the 194 steps to the overlook, or simply enjoy the beautiful curves and sights this part of Pennsylvania has to offer.
Built in 1849, the Inn at Jim Thorpe is a perfect stop for our last night on the road. Within steps of the front door, there are shops, dining, live music and historic sites to fill your evening. If you arrive early, visit the Old Jail Museum with its eerie dungeon cells and mysterious hand print.
BACKROADS • JUNE 2018
PRODUCT REVIEW TILE SPORT • YEARLY INSURANCE FOR THE INEVITABLE About a year ago we wrote a short article on the Tile – a handy remote tracking device for your keys, wallet or whatever you seem to misplace or never want to again. We knew when we bought it that, as this new season rolled around, we would be springing for a few new ones. The battery only lasts about a year. But, like all things, a year has given the folks at Tile time to improve on an already great thing.
They now have introduced the Tile Sport. The Sport was designed with their most powerful range - reaching up to 200 feet. The first Tile has stood up pretty well bouncing around on my keys for a year, surviving numerous days of rain, freezing and roasting temperatures. But the new Tile Sport is protected from dust and water and will stand up to a submersion up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. It is also twice as loud as the previous Tile. It works with both iPhone and Android phones and syncing it with your phone is very easy. You can choose from a variety of new ringtones to optimize your finding and it has a new enhanced Proximity Meter so you know when you’re getting closer to your lost item. The Tile Sport can be found on the web or at any number of outlets for about $35. They also sell packs of them; we have them everywhere these days – all the keys and our wallets. Well worth the insurance if we misplace our keys or wallet just once this year. • www.thetileapp.com
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JUNE 2018 • BACKROADS
UP C OM I N G E VE NT S CAL END AR EVERY MONTH - WEATHER PERMITTING Every Tuesday • Two Wheeled Tuesday at Spiegel Restaurant • 26 1st Avenue, NyC. An eclectic gathering of motorcycles served with multi-cuisine meals. Kick some tires, have some couscous, enjoy the crowd • www.spiegelnyc.com • 212-228-2894 Every Tuesday • Bike Night @ The Ear Inn, 326 Spring St, NyC Every Thursday • Bike Night at the Chatterbox Drive-In, Rtes. 15/206, Augusta, NJ. Tire kicking, good food and friends • wwwchatterboxdrivein.com Every Saturday thru October • Bergen County H-D Saddle Up Saturday. 9am for coffee and bagels. Ride departs 10am. Returns to dealership for FREE music and food. Proper attire MUST be worn! BCHD, 124 Essex St, Rochelle Park, NJ • 201-843-6930 First Sunday of the Month thru Sept. • Hudson Valley Motorcycles Caffeine and Gasoline. Meet friends and like-minded riders over coffee, tea and a bite before heading out for a great Sunday ride. HVMC provides a nice location for various rides to Upstate Ny, Connecticut or Bear Mountain. Showroom will be open. • 179 N Highland Ave/Rte. 9, Ossining, Ny • 914-762-2722 • HVMotorcycles.com
JUNE 2018 4-9 • Americade, the largest touring rally in the world, Lake George, Ny • For more details and registration online: www.americade.com • 518-798-7888 6-9 • DIrtDaze Adventure Bike Rally, Lake Luzerne, Ny • For more details and registration online: www.dirtdazerally.com • 518-798-7888 8-10 • AltRider Conserve the Ride: Woodward, PA. 3-day adventure getaway featuring over 150 miles of riding, delicious catered meals and camping with fellow ADV enthusiasts of all skill levels. INFO: www.altrider.com/conserve-the-ride-2018/pid/1525 10 • Warriors Run to benefit our Military, supporting the wounded, the fallen and their families. Sign in 8-9:30am/KSU 10am. American Legion Post 170, 33 W. Passaic St, Rochelle Park, NJ. Scenic ride with after party at ALP with food, entertainment, vendor. $25 rider/$15/passenger/$10 walkin. More info - email Steve: email@example.com 10 • 4th Annual SpringFest Poker Run to benefit American Legion Riders. SignIn/Endsite: Marsh Kellog Post #139, Country Rd 2001, Milford, PA • 9:30am - $25/rider • $15/non-rider or passenger. Food, drinks, prizes, tricky tray and live music with Midnight Slim. More info: Rich Catero: 845-662-1675 14 • Frontline Eurosports Thursday Rider’s Night with Late Until Eight hours and complimentary food (bustin’ out the smoker) to enjoy while taking advantage of Flash Sales. 540-387-9780 • www.frontlineeurosports.com • 1003 Electric Rd, Salem, VA. 9-16 • HeliBars Open House Week during Laconia Bike Week. 20 Industrial Way, Cornish, ME • 9am-5pm daily. Installs, shop tours, product specials. If you’re in Laconia for Bike Week take the short ride to Maine to see where HeliBars are made by American craftsmen and women • www.helibars.com • 800-289-1047 9-17 • 95th Laconia Motorcycle Week, the world’s oldest motorcycle rally, presented by Progressive. Details and registration: LaconiaMCWeek.com • 603-366-2000 18 • Ride to Work Day. www.RideToWork.org 20 • 31st Annual Gooch’s Garlic Run presented by Blue Knights NJIX to benefit Families of Children stricken with Illness. Sign in: 4:30-6:30pm; KSU 6:30p. Rockaway Townsquare Mall, Rt. 80/Mt. Hope Rd, Rockaway, NJ. More info: www.BKNJIX.org 23-24 • Gathering of the Antique Motorcycles celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Panhead sponsored by Jersey Shore Chapter AMCA - Bacon, Bike and Brew Festival. Allaire Village, 4263 Atlantic Ave, Wall, NJ. 11am-5pm. Free admission to all displaying motorcycles. All bikes 20 years and older welcome. Info: 848-992-4904 • ClaudeRains@JSAMCA.com • www.jsamca.com
What’s Happening 30 • Jersey Shore AMCA’s Old Fashioned Antique Motorcycle Swap Meet at Village of Allaire, 4265 Atlantic Ave, Farmingdale, NJ. 9am-4pm. For vendor or more information contact Tom Logan 732-458-2150 • www.jsamca.com
JULY 2018 12 • Frontline Eurosports Thursday Rider’s Night with Late Until Eight hours and complimentary food (bustin’ out the smoker) to enjoy while taking advantage of Flash Sales. 540-387-9780 • www.frontlineeurosports.com • 1003 Electric Rd, Salem, VA. 12-15 • BMW MOA International Rally, Des Moines, IA • for more details and registration online: bmwmoaf.regfox.com/2018bmwmoarally 14-15 • 42nd Annual Running of the Ramapo 500. Sign in: Veterans Memorial Assoc., 66 Lake Rd East, Congers, Ny. Endsite: Appalachian RV Campground, Shartlesville, PA. Overnight camping included in registration fee: Pre-reg $45 • Day of $60 cash only. Incl. route, Sat. dinner, awards and prizes, Sun. breakfast, starter pin and finisher patch. GPS upload available for extra fee. ramapomc.org 28 • 21st Annual Kids & Cancer Benefit Motorcycle Run. Sign in: Zippo-Case South Parking Lot, Congress St, Bradford, PA 9-11:45am. $20/pp or 3 raffle tickets for $50. Cruise through the beautiful mountains of scenic northern PA, the Allegheny Natioinal Forest and southern NyS. Proceeds benefit individuals and kids and cancer programs. For more details: www.kidsandcancerbenefiterun.com • 814-368-2764
AUGUST 2018 16 • Frontline Eurosports Thursday Rider’s Night with Late Until Eight hours and complimentary food (bustin’ out the smoker) to enjoy while taking advantage of Flash Sales. 540-387-9780 • www.frontlineeurosports.com • 1003 Electric Rd, Salem, VA 25 • Valley View Tavern sponsors Ride to Give to benefit Deerfield Valley Food Pantry. Sign in/Endsite: 131 Route 100, West Dover, VT • 9am Ride / 1pm Party. More info: 802-464-9422 28-Sept. 1 • 40th Wing Ding, Knoxville, TN • https://wing-ding.org/ 29-Sept. 3 • 115th Anniversary Harley-Davidson Celebration, Milwaukee, WI • www.harley-davidson.com/us/en/milwaukee-115th.html
SEPTEMBER 2018 13 • Frontline Eurosports Thursday Rider’s Night with Late Until Eight hours and complimentary food (bustin’ out the smoker) to enjoy while taking advantage of Flash Sales. 540-387-9780 • www.frontlineeurosports.com • 1003 Electric Rd, Salem, VA. 20-24 • 20TH ANNIVERSARY BACKROADS FALL FIESTA. The Endless Mountain Excursion. Scranton, PA, Altoona, PA and Jim Thorpe, PA will be our homes for four days of Pennsylvania's twisties, histories and mysteries. Details on page 38 or visit www.backroadsusa.com/rallies.html
Travel to the Middle of the Earth with Freedom Bike Rental • Backroads International Meals on Wheels • Products to make your ride more fun •...