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2013 Volume 19 No. 5
Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure
RIDING DEEP IN THE HEART OF
The Return of Shira’s Ice Cream Run Updates on all Backroads’ 2013 Rallies Monthly Columns • Product Reviews and MORE
W H A T ’ S
I N S I D E FEAT URES
MON THLY COLUMN S FREE WHEELIN’.................................................................................4
DEEP IN THE HEART .....................................................................27
SHIRA’S ICE CREAM RUN ...........................................................44
POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE .................................................6
BACKROADS SPRING BREAK UPDATE....................................56
ON THE MARK ..................................................................................7
BACKROADS MYSTERY RIDE ONE ...........................................58
THROTTLE BLIPS ..............................................................................8
BACKROADS 15TH FALL FIESTA...............................................64
BACKLASH .........................................................................................9 INDUSTRY INFOBITES...................................................................12 BIG CITY GETAWAY........................................................................14 MYSTERIOUS AMERICA...............................................................16
PRODUCT SPOT L IGHTS & REV IEWS
GREAT ALL AMERICAN DINER RUN.........................................18
OLYMPIA AIRGLIDE 4....................................................................47
WE’RE OUTTA HERE .....................................................................22
NELSON RIGG SURVIVOR ADVENTURE DRY BAGS.............47
UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR ..............................................49
MOTOLIGHTS LED REPLACEMENT BULBS ............................60
EARTHX BATTERY .........................................................................60
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE .......................................................62
Brian Rathjen • Shira Kamil ~ Publishers Contributors: Agostino Racanati, Jeff Bahr, Mark Byers, Bill Heald, Steve Smith, Dr. Seymour O’Life
BACKROADS • POB 317, Branchville NJ 07826 Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure
Phone 973.948.4176 • Fax 973.948.0823 • email firstname.lastname@example.org • web www.backroadsusa.com
For Advertising Sales Information: 973-948-4176 BACKROADS (ISSN 1087-2088) is published monthly by BACKROADS™, Inc. 2013. All rights reserved. BACKROADS™ may not be reproduced in any manner without specific written consent from the publisher. BACKROADS™ welcomes and encourages submissions (text and photos) and suggestions. Include phone number with submissions. BACKROADS™ will only return material with enclosed sufficient postage. The written articles and opinions printed in BACKROADS™ are not necessarily those of the publisher and should not be considered an endorsement. The Rip & Rides® published are ridden on the sole responsibilty of the rider. BACKROADS™ is not responsible for the conditions of the public roadways traversed. Please respect the environment, read your owner’s manual and wear proper protective gear and helmet. Ride within your limits, not over them.
July 2013 - Pages_2011 Page Layout-New 5/27/13 11:54 AM Page 1
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
FREE WHEELIN’ BRIAN RATHJEN
What’s in a name? Down south they tend to name certain roads with interesting monikers. The infamous Tail of the Dragon instantly pops into mind. Deals Gap with its 318 turns is probably the most famous of these. We like the Cherohala Skyway much better. This two-lane romp from Robbinsville to Tellico Plains is simply superb. Although these places have taken their positions within the serious riding community, we have become aware of other roads that are equally enticing and exciting. A number of years ago I was up north of the Arctic Circle and Shira was enjoying one of the last Honda Hoots - Boy, we miss that rally. When we got back and compared notes she was all aglow about a road and region she “discovered” that ran through Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia. As soon as possible we found an excuse to head south and to have Shira explain in person all about how cool this road was. It was certainly everything she said. We have ridden this region many times since. Just recently the folks down in this part of Virginia have taken a good look at all the great roads they have in their region and names have popped up. Wytheville and Smyth County have put together a great map highlighting all the fun roads in this part of Virginia. But, I do want to make mention of the names. Ahh, yes the names. The Claw of the Dragon, a full 224 miles. Think about that. 224 miles. Holy crap! Possum Run? 62 miles of awesomeness. The Wooly Mammoth. A nice 138 miles of motorcycle nirvana. This jaunt actually has a mammoth at the Middle Appalachian
Museum in Saltville. Who doesn’t want to see a mammoth? These folks follow this up with the Turkey Strut looping around Tazewell, Smyth and Wytheville. This runs along part of the Back of the Dragon. There seems to be a lot of “dragons’ here abouts. My favorite road name has to be the Horn of the Cow. Looking at the map Little Creek Road looks to be phenomenal. So here we have a region of Virginia that not only enjoys having riders come and visit, they are actively encouraging us as well. With that in mind I do have a tiny thought, but I’ll save that ‘til the end of this piece. All these great names got me to thinking. I have thought about this in the past. Why don’t we have cool names like they do down south. Sure, we have the Hawks Nest. Nice animal sort of name. But, really it is all of about a mile long. Storm King is a great road; but there are many others that just need, well, a name. A flashy moniker. Something that grabs the attention. Thus I will put forth a few names for your perusal. County Road 519 from the New York state border to the Delaware River in New Jersey. This road goes up and done, in and out and is one of the finest riding road in New Jersey. Thus I offer a name to go along with 519 – The Confused Squirrel - as it dashes back and forth and can sometimes get more than a tad interesting. Just north in Orange County, New York there are a number of little roads that slash back and forth across the lower Catskills; I call them the Angry Rattlesnakes. See? We can have fun names too. Along the back of New Jersey is the Walpack Valley – NPS 615 (National Park Service). Just off of this you will find the tallest waterfall in this region that has many falls. Locals tell of a sasquatch-type creature (Continued on Page 57)
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BACKROADS • MAY 2013
W H ATC H AT H I N K I N ’ SHIRA KAMIL Globetrotter or Daytripper From the moment you throw your leg over your first motorcycle, the notion of where it will take you fills your head. Perhaps it all started from your bicycle days, when you’d rush home from school, jump on your bike and see how far you could go before having to return for dinner. I know that Brian told me of tales of the Explorer’s Club he and his friends developed, pedaling their two-wheels from Astoria further out on Long Island, sometimes too far for their own good. Nonetheless, they were pushing the envelope, and no doubt their parents’ patience, while finding new adventures along the way. This question – Where should I go? – is what spurred us to start the publication you hold in your hands. It’s all too easy to plunk some money down and take over the keys to that shiny new ride. The more difficult task lies in where that ride will take you and what new adventures you will have with it. For as long as there has been a motor on two-wheels, people have taken them as far as they could. We’ve all heard of the exploits of these navigators of the globe – Robert Fulton, Ted Simon, Nick Sanders, Dave Barr to name a few. Dr. Gregory Frazier, who has circumnavigated this round ball we live on 5 times, recently released a book titled Motorcycle Adventurer about Carl Stearns Clancy who, in 1912, was the first man to go around the world with his 1912 Henderson. To borrow a passage from the man himself: ‘In 1912 Carl Stearns Clancy and his riding partner Walter Storey set out to become the first motorcyclists to “girdle the globe.” Using two of only five Henderson motorcycles produced by the famed Henderson Motorcycle Company in 1912, the duo left Philadelphia and started their land trip from Dublin, Ireland. After a frightful crash on Day 1 and miserable weather in October and November, Storey left the 21 year-old Clancy in Paris, and Clancy soldiered on alone. Clancy spent the next months riding south to Spain, and then across North
Africa, only to be halted before attempting to cross India. Undeterred he shipped his motorcycle to Ceylon where he toured for some days, and then shipped again to Penang. Once there he discovered there was no road to Singapore, so it was back on to a boat for Hong Kong, Shanghai and Japan. Landing in San Francisco, Clancy began what he called the most difficult part of his ‘round the world ride: San Francisco, CA to Portland, OR, and then across the northern part of the United States to return to New York. His journey lasted 10 months and he had ridden over 18,000 miles.’ 100 years later, the duo of Feargal O’Neill and Joe Walsh are attempting to recreate this monumental ride with today’s comforts. They will be riding BMW R 1200 GS Adventures and trading the three-piece tweed suit and cloth cap for modern helmets and gear. At this point in time, they’ve left London and are expected to make landfall in San Francisco on June 2, with their final photos being taken in New York on June 21. They invite any and all to join along their ride along the way. You can follow their travels through Horizons Unlimited at www.horizonsunlimited.com. Closer to my heart, some friends of ours have sold off their worldly belongings, packed what was left on their two BMWs, and set off to see what the world has to offer. Nita and Issa, western Canada residents, sent their rides off from New York and joined them in London at the end of 2012. I’m sure they have a plan of sorts, and have done MUCH homework to make this come together. Again, I borrow from their words: It all begins with two people, two motorcycles, two years and more than 140,000 + kms on the horizon. Our story is a simple one, but our work will stretch far beyond any simple life we may have once led. We are not athletes, we are not extremists, this is not a race and there is no time limit. We are simply two lives, attempting to reach out to many and we have been blessed with the privilege and opportunity to take something that we simply love to do, a step further. The path is unknown, the wealth of knowledge uncovered will be life altering. (Continued on Page 57)
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MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
had just changed the oil. Now it’s true that both of these motorcycles use wet-clutch transmissions that share the oil with the engine, but in every other way (except for both having six speeds) they are different. I’m talking about BILL HEALD different engine types, different displacements, different centuries of origin, different countries of origin, different mileage, even different clutch actuation the stranGe Case of the nifty shiftinG as one has a cable clutch and one is hydraulic. Yet both of these gearboxes, There are many rituals that one goes through which on occasion tend to be a bit notchy, have been butter smooth since when waking up a motorcycle from a long winthey have braved the Sands of Spring here in northern Connecticut. What ter’s nap. Granted, it isn’t the labor-intense chore gives? it used to be ages ago thanks especially to many improvements in the chemI have no idea. istry of gasoline, oils and fuel stabilizers, and as a result the starting of an But, I have theories. I believe that the number one factor in improving engine that hasn’t been doing much reciprocating in a while is far less drashifter feel on a transmission like these that use crankcase oil is the oil itself, matic than it used to be. Of course, when winter has been mild (unlike this provided the transmission and linkage are in good working order. Your clutch year) and you manage to ride every month there is no real storage interval. free play also has to be in spec of course, and there’s certainly something to But when you’re fortunate enough to own more than one motorcycle, it’s be said for proper shifting technique. But the oil’s viscosity and cleanliness, likely at least one of your steeds got some sleepy time that means a wake-up as well as the additives and other elixirs that compose its body, have a huge process. Periodic battery charging over the winter effect on the smooth engagement of all those sn’t that great? Why, I’m a regular gears and cogs. Now, I haven’t changed the oil is a huge time saver when it’s time to get back on the road again, and one thing I have discovered Sherlock Poirot. It’s also probably com- in these bikes for a while but the mileage hasn’t with today’s new fuel-injected marvels is they replete rubbish, so I continue to specu- been very great since the last change and I use ally need some serious juice to start as opposed late as to why both machines are the best motorcycle-specific oil I can get my to older carbureted units, all other factors being shifting so beautifully at the moment. hands on that is totally happy in the wet-clutch equal. I tack on that last caveat as it’s amazing environment. Given that the oil has been sitting how much the cranking effort depends on engine configuration, even in some for quite some time any debris, dirt and other intruders have had a chance to cases more than displacement. Some V-Twins in particular need some heavysettle. Therefore the clean oil remains up higher in the system, and it will duty voltage to get those big pistons going, while something like a 90-degree take a bit of riding and warmer temperatures before the detritus has a chance V-Four balances itself to the point that it requires less initial muscle. I base to get back in circulation and mess with the smooth engagement of the gears. this on my experience recently with a carbureted V-Four versus a fuel-inIsn’t that great? Why, I’m a regular Sherlock Poirot. It’s also probably jected Triple, as both had almost new gel batteries yet the Triple needed far complete rubbish, so I continue to speculate as to why both machines are more electron oomph to light up all the computers, pumps and whizz-bang shifting so beautifully at the moment. If my theory isn’t exactly valid, could stuff to get started. It’s a price we pay for the latest in induction technology. there be some other mechanical reason that’s associated with being parked But this wasn’t what has fascinated me the most about the resurrection for a while? And what if there isn’t a mechanical reason, then, but the whole rides of this spring. I noticed something that is a good thing, and yet I have smooth-shifting thing is purely the result of a rider, who has been off the road no explanation for why the bikes sitting idle for a bit contributed to it (but it himself for quite some time and is unusually focused on doing everything in certainly appears to have been the case). On both of my wildly different moa precise manner? Could it be he was so thrilled to be back in the saddle with torcycles, the shifting action was much smoother than usual; almost as if I (Continued on Page 57)
P O S TC A R D S FROM THE HEDGE
BACKROADS • MAY 2013
ON THE MARK MARK BYERS
the frau Motorcycles are meant to be ridden. The greatest expression of love for any machine is to use it. Failure to do so is an exercise in mechanical cruelty, unfulfilled potential, and unrequited love. Lately, I’ve looked at the ladies of my garage with lament. There are beautiful motorcycles out there that, by virtue of their number or age, are not getting the attention they deserve. Either by habit or necessity, a couple have fallen into disuse and it breaks my heart. I’m sure it breaks theirs too, as they sit, staring longingly at the open door of their cage, only to see another bird take flight instead. When I think of them, in my mind I hear the words Taupin wrote for Elton, from “Skyline Pigeon.” Turn me loose, from your hands Let me fly to distant lands, Over green fields, trees and mountains, Flowers, and forest fountains. Home along the lanes of the skyway. My old, black BMW airhead roadster isn’t something I’m going to take on icy forays across salt-strewn winter roads: that would be contemptuous of her hand-painted pinstripes, but she at least deserves an occasional do-sido down a dicey, sun-dappled lane. I danced with The Frau for the first time in a long time just a week ago: her battery, stronger than any of the others, cranked her aging motor vigorously and she started and ran for all she was worth on a trip to the island, eager to show that she still lives, still breathes. “I’m STRONG!” she said with every twist of the throttle, “I can still do this!” she cried with every curve conquered. I’m a fickle suitor, however, and of late, I’ve found it more enticing to dance with her svelte Suzuki sister, whose booming V-twin lopes with tons of torque and encourages me to do evil, dirty dances. I don’t know if I love the Suzuki more, but I love her more often.
Page 7 The Suzuki is sexy; The Frau is a dowager. For this dark and lonely room, Projects a shadow cast in gloom, And my eyes are mirrors Of the world outside
Thinking of the way That the wind can turn the tide, And these shadows turn From purple into grey
The Frau deserves better. She deserves better than to sit under a shroud with Sta-Bil in her bowls and an electronic IV keeping her pacemaker charged. Her viscous brown blood needs to be stirred and her starter needs to be whirred. Those beautiful, twin chrome bagpipes need to play that unmistakable, rough boxer march as she breathes through those big Bings. Her snowflake wheels need to spin under the influence of the Continentals with the old-school tread pattern. She needs a purpose, and her purpose is to ride…and be ridden. Otherwise, she weeps brown tears that fall gently on the floor beneath her veil. I feel her pain as I wipe them away. Let me wake up in the morning, To the smell of new mown hay, To laugh and cry, to live and die In the brightness of my day. I want to hear the pealing bells Of distant churches sing, But most of all please free me From this aching metal ring And open out this cage towards the sun. This piece was first called “Thinning the Herd.” I started to talk about selling The Frau. I wrote that keeping her makes no sense if we’re not going to dance: she costs me money for upkeep, insurance, and registration. She requires valuable space in the garage and drains valuable electrons from my meter. She sits there, serving only to make me guilty at not paying more at(Continued on Page 57)
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
THROT TLE BLIPS JEFF BAHR CharaCter: is that What they’re CallinG it noW? A loaded word to be sure, “character” can be defined in at least a thousand different ways. In the motorcycle realm character is sometimes used to describe a machine with soul, as in “this bike might not be the quickest but it sure has character.” When a motorcycle lacks this all-important trait it can be the kiss of death for that machine, at least in the eyes of a potential owner. When I purchased my first street bike in the early 1980s, a friend and longtime rider took me under his wing. Not terribly impressed with my new, 450cc machine, Charlie was rather blunt. “Your bike is okay but it lacks character,” he said dismissively. This baffled me. What could he possibly mean? My new bike ran great and featured upto-date technology to boot. In fact, more than one bike rag listed the parallel twin as the best buy in its class – particularly for someone new to the sport. When pressed Charlie explained that my bike was “a little too smooth and refined - not rough enough around the edges.” Again, I was baffled by his remark. At this point Charlie offered me a ride on his bike so I could get a better sense of what a machine with character felt like. Before I took off he looked me square in the eye and issued a stern warning. “Be careful guy,” he said with drama dripping from his voice. “After you ride this bike you’re gonna want one!” Well, I’m here to tell you that Charlie was so off base he must’ve been hitting the crack pipe. Sorry Charlie. In all honesty his motorcycle stands in my mind as one of the worst machines that I’ve ever ridden. Here’s why: At idle, the 1000 cc bare-bones beast shook uncannily like a paint mixer – or perhaps the San Andreas Fault. Whenever the rev’s dropped
below 2000 rpm in any gear the engine misfired and threatened to stall. The bike made far more noise than power. With only four gears on tap I found myself stirring the gearbox for a missing fifth cog – anything to quell the horrendous shaking of this evil monster. I also noticed that this machine, which was barely a year old, leaked oil copiously. If this was character I was damn glad that my bike lacked it! To be perfectly honest the experience led me to wonder if Charlie was completely in charge of his faculties. Sorry Charlie. I still carry the same outlook. In my mind character should describe positive attributes that draw a rider to a machine - perhaps just the right vibes coming from the motor, intuitive handling that sets one right with the world, or unique styling that blazes its very own path. The list goes on. But far too often I’ve seen character used the way that Charlie used it – as a reassuring word that attempts - often subconsciously - to disguise a cornucopia of design and engineering shortcomings. Either that or there’s an overabundance of masochists in our sport. So, just when did bad become good in motorcycling? I have to ask because I never got the memo. When riders enthusiastically sing the praises of machines that (take your pick) are under-engineered, idle poorly, vibrate excessively, handle like a bus, stop badly, backfire, shed parts, make lousy power, break down regularly, etc., etc., it really makes me wonder. Do such riders have an aversion to quality? Call me crazy but I find character in those machines that can actually complete the tasks that they were designed for. I dig smoothness, clean acceleration, handling manners, comfort, basically any and all attributes associated with a well-designed motorcycle. And I have a special love for bikes that break new ground in our sport – particularly from an engineering standpoint. Improving the breed they call it. Hip, hip! Anything short of this is bad juju in my view – the mechanical equivalent of character assassination. You may think I’m off the mark here and that’s fine. If so, can we at least agree to disagree? This will ease relations when I’m summoned to tow your character-rich machine home. Sorry Charlie.
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BACKROADS • MAY 2013
Letters to the Editor
Good folks at Backroads, I live in NJ & was considering a week long VA/W.VA, May motorcycle trip on my KTM SMT. Having never been there & knowing you guys have gone everywhere, I was wondering if you had a suggested route you’ve traveled. My intent is to ride 200+ mile days & settle in at cozy Holiday Inns throughout the trip, as my wife works for them. Figured 4 different hotel stops on the route would make due. Any/all input is welcome & greatly appreciated. Thank you! Greg Cancel Greg, Both states are great to ride, but VA is a bit more “lawish.” Here is a link to special our Destination West Virginia issue we did a while back: issuu.com/backroadsmagazine/docs/june2009 Your hard part will be finding Holiday Inns in some of the smaller towns. But if you choose four Holiday Inns in different parts of each state just plan your route as interesting as you can between them. If you are using a GPS, you could really have fun with this! Hi Brian and Shira, This is a belated although heartfelt note of appreciation that you shared the information about Brian’s treatment in the February issue. Please know I’m sending lots of love and appreTHE 2013 ciate being a part of the Backroads community. Thank you for your transparency. I hope you are feeling stronger with each day that passes. Hugs, Kristin von Donop Kristin I really appreciated it. Wacky last few months for sure, but far more good days than bad. So looking forward to the riding season and seeing all of us on the road! Considered yourself hugely hugged!
This being said, a lady came to our place with her husband to buy boots. She really wanted the Diamond (with a little heel and looks like a fashion boot), but her feet were too wide for that boot. She fit perfectly into the sport touring model Simo (but it has no heel and looks like a motorcycle boot) but did not buy it because it was “not pretty”… This is a lost cause… Catherine Brian, The Mrs. would like to know where the cover photo of the April 2013 issue was taken. Speaking of riding gear for the ladies, we paid a visit to Bob’s BMW a couple weeks ago and the Mrs. found a pair of Rev-it pants in a ladies size and she loves them. Too cold to ride here in Ohio, but I caught her in the garage the other day sitting on the bike with her new pants, making vroom, vroom, vroom sounds. Does she have PMS or what?? (parked motorcycle syndrome) Philip Eramo Philip, That was taken in Canada, near Quebec, a little while back. Glad to hear that Bob’s helped the Mrs. out - I’m sure the weather will be good enough for a test ride soon.
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I Am Woman, Hear Me… Backroads, I read the article Free Wheelin’ on women’s clothing in the April 2013 issue of Backroads. I’ve been having a hard time finding women’s clothing that fits properly. I am petite at barely 5’ and I find that the sleeves are not only way too long, but any protective armor in the sleeves is hinged in the wrong place making it hard to move my arm. I’d love to have a great jacket and Olympia came the closest, but still my movement was restricted and the sleeves where way too long. I have found gloves (xxs) and finally managed a helmet as well (xs). It’s jackets I’m having the problem with since my arms are apparently too short. In your research did you come across any dealer that make good, protective clothing for us ‘vertically challenged’ folk? I’m also limited since stores on LI seem to carry mostly the leather fashion stuff. We went to CT to try on the Olympia jackets. Also went to Revzilla in PA. Melanie Theisen Melanie, While altering of gear may be an option, I, too, have found the armor to sometimes fall in the ‘wrong’ place. With my Olympia jacket, there are several Velcro strips to move the armor up or down the sleeve. I found this to help a great deal. My pants are ALWAYS too long, but can be hemmed easily. - Shira Brian, The one segment that is not well covered is if you are a woman and you want good gear but you are plus sized. Like a size 18 or something like that. In general, you have to go into men’s gear.
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Page 10 Backroads Peeps, Long gone are the days of custom leather suits out of necessity. Now they are a wallet choice as opposed to the only choice for women riders. Same thing for gloves. I still have my Thurlows which were specially made for me after sending them my hand print. My Vanson leathers are also part of my clothing arsenal made for me in 1985 (and they still fit). Today choices for me are as endless as they are for anyone who cares to look. I can wear Kevlar jeans in classic blue or black denim. Why even Harley Davidson has a brand new line of jackets and pants for me if I want, as well as BMW and Triumph, besides the full array of non-specific motorcycle brand gear. Let’s face it: Women are the new money machine in motorcycling and you better believe the industry is well aware of this and as you noted has given us what we want in every style imaginable. Even Aerostich has a suit designed for women. Finally! Seek and yee shall find!! Thanks for the heads up just in case some women don’t know! Hugs to you and Shira, Helene (Avid rider for 35 yrs plus) Hi Brian, Hope all is well. Just wanted to let you know April is another great issue of Backroads. I especially liked your article, “The Wallkill: The Forgotten River.” I’ve done parts of that ride on different occasions; it was great seeing it detailed in its entirety. I have also kayaked the Jersey portion of the river
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS during high water and that was a fantastic experience as well. Sincerely, Kenneth W. Dahse Hey Gang – After reading Jeff Bahr’s article in Throttle Blips “Ride Your Own Ride”, it tightened up that all too familiar knot in my stomach as I have just formed a DS riding group in the Northeast and am praying the testosterone fueled behaviors in Jeff’s article do not visit our new posse. As a female, and longtime rider, both on & off-road, and EMT, I’ve seen the ugly aftermath of rowdy & aggressive riding ending in wrecked rides, flared tempers, and hospital visits. I am hoping to set the tone early that these behaviors are not welcome in my pack, but we all know that somebody at some point will be ‘feeling their oats’ and do something stupid to compromise the ride and the safety of the group as a whole. While Jeff’s article did a good job displaying this endemic bad behavior of raucous riders, I’d like to hear more about how we, as group & ride leaders, can work to minimize it, or better yet – avoid it all together. I’ll be riding through the woods with a pack of men behind me this season and will need every shred of good advice I can get! Stay well and ride safe friends! Victoria Z - Bridgewater, CT Victoria, It’s always a bit difficult to have a group of riders, who have not ridden together at all or much, get along. From past experience with group rides, it doesn’t hurt to have a short rider’s meeting to familiarize folks with riding etiquette. I’ve always found being blunt works best; let them know that if they refuse to ‘play nicely’ they will be asked to leave, or at least not be asked to join another ride. Good luck and have fun - Shira Hi guys, Had a great time on your “Mystery Ride”. You kept us guessing about the destination all the way there. For the first ride of the season for me, 268 miles was a real nice way to start. Thanks again, Dave Erfer Hello folks, After about 6 weeks on the waiting list I got my reservation this evening at the Lake Front Hotel for your upcoming Spring Break event. Can you tell me if there is any registration procedure or itinerary? I’ll be riding in from Long Island on May 16th but I don’t know when I should plan to roll in. Thanks in advance for your help and keep up the great work with the magazine. I look forward to its arrival each month. Jeff Grube - Westhampton Beach, NY Jeff, As you’ll find out, we are a VERY laid-back group. There really isn’t any itinerary and no registration procedure. We will have several rides offered, all selfguided or you can join others if you’d like. At the end of the day, we’ll relax with some adult beverages and kick some tires. We will have a route that we’ll take up to Cooperstown from Yetter’s Diner in Augusta, NJ on May 16. We’ll meet at 9:30am and leave by 10 for the ride, if you’d like to join in. SMALL GROUPS, not one large parade. If you’d like the GPS route, please send us an email and we’ll send it along. email: email@example.com for route
Got something to say? We’d love to hear it. Letters may be edited, never censored, to fit. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org MAIL: POB 317, Branchville, NJ 07826
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
IND USTRY INFOBITES BOB’S BMW OFFERS DISCOUNTS FOR MSF INSTRUCTORS AND BRC GRADUATES FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW For the second year in a row, Bob’s BMW Motorcycles will be offering a financial reward to MSF Instructors and recent graduates of the Basic Rider Course (BRC). The program offers a 15% discount to active MSF instructors and recent graduates of the BRC. Graduates that purchase a new or used motorcycle at Bob’s BMW will also receive a credit of $250 to apply towards the motorcycle purchase or to apply towards accessories for the motorcycle. Bob’s Safety Program was established last year to support the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s primary objective to provide rider education and training. Owner of Bob’s BMW and motorcycle enthusiast, Bob Henig believes wearing proper riding gear while operating the machine is just as important as taking the safety courses offered by the MSF. “What is so often referred to as an accident is actually an incident according to Law Enforcement Experts. The reality is that 9 out of 10 incidents occur not by accident but rather by complete ignorance, lack of proper training, or not practicing the skills learned through proper training. This is why rider education is so important; through proper training and regular practice, the number of incidents on the road can be reduced,” states Henig who goes out to practice his skills every time he gets on a motorcycle. Henig decided to design the Safety Program at Bob’s BMW to support the
News from the Inside efforts of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. “The unfortunate reality is that motorcyclists don’t have the protection that cars do which is why riders must always be prepared, watch and predict what other vehicles are doing, and wear all the gear, all the time—ATGATT,” states Henig. The Safety Program at Bob’s BMW Motorcycles offers active MSF instructors a 15% discount on apparel, parts, and accessories now thru February 28, 2014. The idea behind the program is elementary: lead by example. If instructors are wearing top-rated safety gear that they have been properly fitted for, students of the BRC (who are typically new riders and tend to be more influential than the advanced rider) will follow suit. Then, assuming the recent graduate of the BRC follows the example set by their instructor, the new rider is rewarded with a 15% discount at Bob’s. On top of the 15% discount, when new riders purchase a new or used motorcycle they receive a $250 credit to use towards the purchase or towards accessories for the bike. It’s a win-win for everyone involved! To qualify for the Safety Program, MSF Instructors must provide a copy of their current MSF ID card and class schedule for the 2013 courses they are teaching. Recent graduates of the BRC must bring in a copy of their course completion certificate. Questions? You can visit www.bobsbmw.com for complete details on the Safety program and all other programs now available at Bob’s BMW or contact email@example.com.
BMW HISTORY AND HERITAGE ON FOUR WHEELS AND TWO ON DISPLAY
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BMW’s rich heritage will be showcased at the Saratoga Automobile Museum in an exhibition called “BMW – The Ultimate Driving Machine.” The exhibition, which will feature a retrospective of BMW cars and motorcycles, will run from May 6 – November 3, 2013. The array of BMW automobiles will include road cars and race cars, both from the modern era, as well as pre-war. The exhibition will also celebrate 90 Years of BMW Motorcycles. “This exhibition at the Saratoga Automotive Museum will provide visitors a great look at BMW’s long heritage and provide a sense of how the company has evolved to become the leading premium automobile and motorcycle manufacturer in the world,” said Ludwig Willisch – President and CEO of BMW of North America. “It will also show just how integral motorsports has been throughout the company’s history.” “This exhibit looks to be one of the best we’ve ever had at the Museum,” said Museum Chairman Charlie Montano. “ Working with BMW to create this one of a kind auto experience in upstate New York was thrilling,” continued Exhibit Committee Chair Alan Rosenblum. Exhibit Committee member Bob Bailey added “Both BMW of North America and our local dealer, Keeler Motor Car have contributed hours of time, effort and resources to make this a reality”. The display of BMW automobiles will feature the marque’s most renowned prewar model, the BMW 328. The 328 dominated the racing scene in the late 1930s and early 1940s and will be shown both in road form as well as a custom-bodied 328MM, prepared for the Mille Miglia, one of the most vaunted endurance races of its day. The 1950s saw BMW produce such divergent models as the Isetta “bubble” car as well as the 507 Roadster, designed by Count Albrecht Goertz. The exhibition will include the spiritual successor to the 507, the BMW Z8 which arrived in 2000 – 45 years after the 507. BMW’s two-wheeled heritage will also be a key part of the exhibition. “BMW’s motorcycle heritage dates back even farther than its automotive heritage,” stated Peter Nettesheim, renowned BMW motorcycle collector, curator of the motorcycle portion of the exhibit, and
BACKROADS • MAY 2013 operator of the Nettesheim Museum in Huntington, New York. In 2013 the company celebrates 90 years of BMW Motorcycles. In the 1920s BMW quickly earned a reputation for speed and reliability. The use of an opposing-twin “boxer” engine and shaft drive, unique in those early days, remains in use today on many models of BMW Motorcycles. The exhibit will feature three motorcycles from the 1920s including a 1925 R32, the first model, as well as a 1928 R63, featuring a 750 cc engine and a 1929 R62 Touring model which established BMW’s reputation for producing motorcycles ideally suited to long distance travel, a reputation that remains to this day. 1929 saw the first racing championships for BMW on two-wheels, a trend that continues to this day. Also featured will be a 1931 R16 and a 1934 R11 with a stamped-steel frame. One highlight of the exhibition will be an unrestored military 1942 R12 found in a barn in France. A 1955 R25/3 featuring a very economical single-cylinder engine is an example of a model best suited for a recovering post WWII Germany. Throughout its history BMW motorcycles have gained a solid reputation for authority use, even here in the United States. A 1969 R60/2 German “Polizei” police motorcycle will represent an earlier example. BMW Motorcycles have been widely known for their two-cylinder engines, a legacy which continues to this day. A later example can be seen in the R100RT on display. Innovation is every-bit a hallmark for BMW Motorcycles as it is for BMW automobiles. In the 1980s BMW gained a reputation for the performance and smoothness of its 4-cylinder motorcycle engines. In 1989, BMW became the first manufacturer to offer ABS brakes on a motorcycle. In the same year, BMW also introduced the K1, it was the most aerodynamic motorcycle on the road, which will also be seen in the exhibit. That innovation can be seen today with BMW’s first-ever super bike, the S1000RR. The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located in Saratoga Springs, New York and dedicated to preserve, interpret and exhibit automobiles and automotive artifacts. The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM from Memorial Day to Labor Day and closed on Mondays after Labor Day. For additional information, visit www.saratogaautomuseum.org.
BUILDING A “WALL” FOR RIDER SKILLS AND SAFETY Imagine vast motorcycle-related resources on one webpage in a single viewing. The “wall” will serve as the hub for skill-building awareness and enjoyment in the motorcycling community. This resource is for all riders and organizations that have an interest in building or promoting riding skills. It is also an enjoyable place to explore various organizations in the motorcycling community. Organizations or individuals show their support by purchasing “blocks” of various sizes. Initially, the digital wall will be constructed block by block with linked images supplied by participants. After all the blocks have been filled, it will continue to spread safety awareness in the motorcycling community for years to come. “The idea of extensive rider resources all viewed and visited from one single webpage seemed like a simple and fun way for riders of any skill level or segment to engage in growth opportunities,” said Jon DelVecchio, Street Skills author and podcast host. Since the focus of the wall is rider skill-building and safety, any organization that directly relates to rider safety, is in the motorcycle industry or supports motorcycling is encouraged to participate. Individual motorcyclists that identify with the concept are welcome to join as well. This is a unique way to take action to promote rider safety and enjoyment. Visit and participate at www.MotoSafetyWall.com
UNITED STATES SENATOR FRANK LAUTENBERG TO RETIRE Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has announced he will not seek re-election next year. Lautenberg has served five 6-year terms in the US Senate and at the age of 89 is the oldest member in the Senate. Lautenberg has been a thorn in the side of motorcyclists for decades. He has been the chief champion of mandatory helmet laws serving in government today. In 2005 he introduced an amendment that would have put mandatory helmet law in place for the entire country, trampling on the States rights. Due solely to the work of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and its members that amendment was defeated 68-29. (Continued on Page 54)
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MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
Hanover Powersports Presents
BIG CI T Y G ETAWAY sybil luDinGton • a revolutionary War heroine Steve Smith A ride just for the sake of exploring new roads can be very satisfying, and it can take you through some fabulous riding areas you might not have previously discovered. These opportunities seem to come about at the spur of the moment by just saying, “I wonder where THAT road goes.” A few years ago I was doing just that on a ride revisiting some roads less traveled in New York State’s Putnam & Dutchess Counties. Along the way at an intersection I spied a rectangular white sign inscribed with “Sybil’s Ride” that was affixed to a utility pole. Stopping to get a closer look, it also said “April 26th, 1777” and had a dashed line outline with a red star. Putting the pieces together I surmised this was the outline of the ride route and the red star was a “you are here” mark. The sign showed no roads; only a large red arrow pointed the direction to turn. Being on a discovery ride I figured “what the heck” and turned the handlebars in the direction indicated and continued on. My decision to turn was inspired by an immediate flashback to my school days in Mahopac, NY where we learned about Fredericksburg, the colonial name for the area I previously lived and was presently riding in, and the huge amount of Revolutionary War history embedded here. The marker sign refers to Sybil Ludington, and the legendary ride she did that has become a well known part of local history. She even got national attention when her image was put on a U.S. bicentennial series postage stamp. As I continued riding I thought about what I learned about Sybil. At the time she was 16 years old and the eldest of twelve children of Colonel Henry Ludington, the commander of the local volunteer militia. The night of April 25, 1777, the Colonel was notified of a British attack on Danbury, Connecticut. The taking of Danbury would provide the British a strategic advantage to continue moving attacks further into New York. As head of the local militia, he needed to muster his troops from their homes and farmhouses, as well as warn the locals of possible British attack. Sybil volunteered to ride her horse, Star, around Fredericksburg to warn residents of the attack and alert the militia troops to muster at Ludington’s home. Ludington began her ride at 9:00 PM and traveled a 40 mile loop through the towns of Carmel, Mahopac, Mahopac Falls, Red Mills, Kent Cliffs, Farmers Mills, and Stormville. Her ride was done overnight, in a rainstorm, and on muddy roads. Folklore has it that she managed to defend herself against highwayman using her father’s musket.
daytrip ideas to get out of the daily grind When Sybil returned home around dawn, the troops were already gathering and ready to deal with the British. Unfortunately, while the 400 or so troops could not save Danbury, they were able to prevent a further British advance. During the later Battle of Ridgefield they eventually pushed the British back to their ships waiting in Long Island Sound. Sybil has been referred to as the female Paul Revere, although his famous ride was only 12 miles long compared to her 40 mile ride. I wondered if Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had lived closer to Colonial Fredericksburg than Boston the opening line of his famous poem, “Listen my children and your shall hear… ” might have been quite different. I was trying to rhyme Ludington to come up with my own poem when I realized I was at a stop sign with no sign in sight indicating a turn direction. I continued my discovery ride and did not see another Sybil sign the rest of the day. I took a few more visits to the area, with one including a visit to a historical society to view a Sybil Ludington Trail brochure to piece together the route of all the correct roads that make up the loop of Sybil’s Ride. Following Sybil’s route through eastern Putnam County and Dutchess Counties proved to be an adventurous, rewardingly wonderful ride. I ended up on a few roads I had never been on before. Had I not mapped it out ahead of time things could have gotten interesting in a couple of places where a sign was missing where a turn was to be made. Keep in mind that the signs are posted to be more conspicuous when riding it in the historically accurate clockwise direction. This area is only an hour north of NYC between the Hudson River and Connecticut. You can get there by riding some really great back roads or can be expedited on the interstate. The nice thing with Sybil’s Ride being a loop is that you can jump on or off it anywhere along the way. What better place to begin the journey than from the very location Sybil did… the Ludington homestead, which was located at the present day intersection of I-84 and Ludintonville Road (exit 17). Heading south on Ludingtonville Road in the Town of Kent, connect with
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BACKROADS • MAY 2013
Page 15 Sherriff told us there was a more famous person than Ludington buried in the same cemetery - Elizabeth Montgomery – who any child of the 60’s would recognize from the TV show Bewitched. After some searching we found the gravesite. Something was awry with the dates. This person was too old to be young Samantha Stevens. After a bit of research I discovered this was the mother of the famous Bewitched star, a well known actress in her day who passed on her name to her daughter. If you are into Revolutionary War history, there is plenty of it around here. Here is a list of other things you can explore and find on your own within Colonial Fredericksburg
patriots of the revolutionary War monument park route 311, patterson revolutionary War Crossroads routes 311 & 22, patterson, pawling & southeast fredericksburg encampment routes 311 & 22, patterson & pawling John Kane house – Washington’s headquarters, pawling Quaker hill meeting house, pawling Quaker hill encampment, pawling ludington’s mill, route 52, Kent southeast museum, brewster
SR 311 in Lake Carmel over to SR 52. Continuing a bit south is Lake Gleneida in Carmel. Set in a picturesque location along the shore of Lake Gleneida is a statue commemorating Sybil Ludington’s ride by sculptor Anna Huntington. Smaller versions of the statue can be found at the public library in Danbury, CT, the Daughters of the American Revolution Headquarters in Washington, DC, and in the Elliot and Rosemary Offner museum at Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC. Almost across from Sybil is George’s Place, which is a local favorite breakfast & lunch stop. Continuing west on US 6 we soon enter the downtown section of the hamlet of Mahopac, a once prominent summer destination where city dwellers would come to enjoy boating and swimming at Lake Mahopac. The town got its name from the Wappinger Native 2013 690 Duke R A formidable hot rod American tribe of the Algonquins. Some historians befor enthusiasts and experts alike, light as lieve it to mean “Great Lake,” which seems to make a feather, lightning sense since it is the largest natural lake in the county. quick, amazingly suitable for everyday use, After riding around the south end of the lake we enter but with everything that makes a 690 Duke even sportier. the hamlet of Mahopac Falls. Very near where we turn off of SR 6N onto Hill St (CR 32), a falls from a pond 210 Rte 10 West powered a large gristmill that serviced a large area. This East Hanover NJ area is still known as Red Mills all because of the color 973-428-1735 of the mill. Not too far ahead is the country club where www.HanoverPowersports.com my wonderful wife & I began 25 years of married bliss. Tuesday, Thursday 9a-7p • Wednesday, Friday 9a-6p • Saturday 9a-5p OPEN MONDAYS 9A-5P • Sunday: Gone Riding Along the way there are remnants of the many dairy farms that were once abundant in this region. Many of the old farm lands of the area now lie under the waters of the West Branch and Boyd Corners Reservoirs passed en route. Continuing on into Kent Cliffs and Kent you will pass over the Croton River, which connect these two reservoirs and then heading northwest on one of my favorite strips of asphalt in this area – RT 301. The loop veers off RT 301 near Farmer’s Mill, but it’s worth a trip back just to ride the full length of this road. Heading toward Stormville in the hamlet of East Fishkill, I passed by Ethan Allen Drive and Nathan Hale Drive Quality, hand-crafted specialty bagliners roads named after revolutionary war heroes you might featuring PVC-backed, water-resistant have heard of that hail from this region. The village of nylon packcloth, heavy-duty nylon coil Stormville is the northern most tip of Sybil’s ride, and zippers, wrap-around nylon webbing from here the loop heads over Stormville Mountain handles for full support, extra Road back to RT 52 and south toward Ludingtonville. In October 1784, Sybil Ludington married lawyer Edpockets for filling ‘empty spaces’ ward Ogden and lived the rest of her life in Unadilla, and personalized embroidery. New York. She lived to be nearly 78 years old and was buried in the family plot at the Maple Ave Cemetery in Patterson, NY. After completing the loop we took a ride there to pay homage to this heroic lady. The locals say For styles, colors and pricing, head to the website at that numerous people visit the grave site due to her historical significance. Our visit to the cemetery had an unrelated side story. While parked outside the cemetery gate a local deputy or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
Morton’s BMW Motorcycles Presents Dr. Seymour O’Life’s MYSTERIOUS Secret Caverns • A secret no more Jeff Bahr An especially silly movie was released in 2004. Despite its ridiculous plot (we’re asked to believe that a group of hapless gym rats must compete in a professional dodge ball tournament to save their gym from a hostile takeover) Dodge Ball: A True Underdog Story has an endearing quality to it. That’s not too surprising if you think about it. Most people find it hard not to root for the underdog in these stories, particularly when that small fry is getting his brains bashed in by an evil player who revels in his power or size advantage. Such underdog stories abound in the real world. They’re not always as cut and dry as those portrayed in the movies, but when an underdog rises from the ashes of oppression to vanquish an all-powerful bully, the result can be every bit as satisfying. According to some, Secret Caverns - a comparatively obscure show cave located in Cobleskill, N.Y. - has been playing this underdog role since its inception in 1929. While Secret Caverns is blessed on a number of fronts, it has also been cursed, at least in a business sense. One need only look at its rather unfortunate address to discover why. If Cobleskill sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because of the infinitely more famous Howe Caverns which has virtually owned this town since its discovery in 1842. The massive Howe is everything that puny Secret Caverns is not, a fact that becomes strikingly apparent the very instant one enters their hillside compound and witnesses the humungous
A MER IC A visitors’ center perched high above. Trouble is Howe is located less than a mile from Secret Caverns - on the very same access road no less - so it siphons off much of its business. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Howe appeals mostly to those tourists looking for a sure thing – a pristine, antiseptic Disneyland of illuminated stalactites and stalagmites - hence the popular bus tours that make regular scheduled runs to it. Now, let me be blunt. If you’re the type who likes to run with the pack - who simply must visit the biggest and the smoothest - Howe is probably your cave. I’m sure you’ll have a nice visit and depart with some tales to tell (Howe features an underground boat ride and a one-off custom motorcycle that was produced exclusively for the operation by Orange County Choppers). On the other hand, if you’re sucked in by venues so dripping in weirdness that they qualify for our beloved Mysterious America, Secret Caverns is your only option. Such fans become true believers as they make their way to Secret Caverns from nearby Route 7. The smaller operation might not have a budget that allows it to advertise as broadly as Howe, but it more than makes up for it with bizarrely artistic billboards that begin to show up about a mile from the caverns. Are these grandiose works hippie fantasies come
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THIS ROUTE STARTS IN COOPERSTOWN, NY LEFT ON MAIN ST. RIGHT AT ESTLI AVE. BEAR LEFT AT CR 33 RIGHT AT HADE RD. RIGHT AT PETE HENDRICKS RD. LEFT AT RTE. 166 RIGHT AT DUBBENS CROSS RD. LEFT AT REZEN RD. BEAR RIGHT AT MIDDLEFIELD RD. BEAR RIGHT AT RTE. 165 LEFT AT CR 50 RIGHT AT RTE. 166 RIGHT AT RTE. 120 RIGHT AT RTE 10 LEFT AT GARDNERSVILLE RD. RIGHT AT RTE. 145 STRAIGHT AT ROCK DISTRICT RD. BEAR RIGHT HUBB SHUTTS RD. LEFT GROVENORS CORNER RD. RIGHT AT SAGENDORF RD. LEFT AT CAVERNS RD TO SECRET CAVERNS
BACKROADS • MAY 2013
Page 17 to life? Were they produced by acid-dropping album artists from the 1960s? Would they glow if placed under black light? I don’t have the answers, but the rich caveman art and subterranean humor (“Like a limestone cowboy!”; “Four out of five dentists prefer our cavity!”) work potential visitors into a spelunking frenzy long before they reach Secret Caverns’ parking lot. And from that parking lot things only get stranger. Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe that in 1995 the entire visitors’ center burnt to the ground. Many thought this unfortunate (suspicious?) incident signaled a death knell to the kitschy enterprise. But they were wrong. Secret Caverns roots run deep (Over 100’ to be exact) and the operation slowly but surely crawled back from the abyss. As you might expect the campy artwork carries over to Secret Caverns visitors’ center. Where Howe does its best to mimic a stodgy Tudor mansion, Secret Caverns chose to paint a humongous, in-your-face bat directly over its entranceway. Oh boy! You just know a barrel of fun is yours for the taking after you fork over the $16 entrance fee (Howe charges $23). Without giving it all away, I will tell you that the tour guides come off more like Borscht Belt comedians than stuffy cave experts. This wisecracking squad offers an entertaining take on the stalactites, flowstone and stalagmites found here while whetting (wetting?) one’s appetite for the grandest subterranean feature yet to come – a naturally occurring waterfall that’s second to none. “They” [Howe] can say all they want about their grand operation,” declared my guide with a Cheshire cat grin as he led us on the half-mile tour, “but we have a 100-foot underground waterfall!” Funny, right after he finished his comment I detected the sound of a distant drum rim shot. Perhaps it was my imagination. Or cave fairies. Or a fellow tour guide. Secret Caverns • 671 CR 9, Central Bridge (Cobleskill), NY 518-296-8558 • www.secretcaverns.com Open daily Mid-April through November • Call for hours or appt. • $16/adults • $8 ages 6-15 • Group discounts for 10 or more • Discount coupon available on website • ½ mile tour takes about an hourDown to the Bone Barbeque & Company
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
G RE AT ALL AMER IC AN D INE R R UN
172 laCKaWanna Drive, stanhope, nJ 07874 973-347-bone (2663) • WWW.DoWntothebonebarbeCueCompany.Com Location, location, location. When it comes to making it into these pages of the Great All American Diner Run “location” is not the end all, but it certainly does help. Take this month’s stop - Down to the Bone Barbeque in the lake plentiful region of northwestern New Jersey. Located along the shores of Lake Lackawanna, Down to the Bone offers diners the perfect place to sit down, relax,
tasty places to take your bike
take in the view of the lake and enjoy some of the best barbeque in the Garden State. We always like to fill you guys up with both good food and great history so when you are visiting Down to the Bone, and you know you will, and are taking in the pristine lake we’ll make sure you have the history of the lake. Back in the beginning of the 20th century a railroad was being created that would link Hoboken, New Jersey and Buffalo, New York. In this part of New Jersey the plan was that the rail would have no road crossings and for the most part it would run high above the populace on a system of giant cuts, embankments and viaducts. Thus the famed Lackawanna Cutoff was created; the last major railroad to be built in New Jersey. We will make sure the ride to Down to the Bone will highlight this bit of Jersey rail history as Henry Road goes right through it. As you pass through the tunnel and embankment that the old rail line is built on think of where they might have gotten all that fill to created such a large hill. When you look back at the lake realize that the lake was not here in the 1800s. Yep, this is where the material for the large embankments for the Lackawanna Cutoff was sourced. See you learn a bit of history and get a super barbeque lunch as well. And that s why we are really here – for some ‘Que! Here at Down to the Bone you will find all your favorites and so much more as the word “fusion” is used delightfully in their offerings. Let’s start at the basics, shall we? For starters you have a choice of rib tips sampler, steamers or mussels, Captain Crunch chicken tenders (Yummy!), crab
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Take a ride on one of the Northeast’s Scenic Byways - Route 97 - 20 miles north of Port Jervis. Dine with your fellow riders on the Delaware River. Enjoy our Expanded Canopied Decks. Great Daily Food and Drink Specials.
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BACKROADS • MAY 2013 cakes or their Triple Crown which is three deepfried samosas: beef brisket, vegetable, and smoked chicken; blended with flavorful spices & served with their own delicious spicy onion relish. Of course no self-respecting barbeque joint would not serve up ribs and here their ribs, both baby back and St. Louis-style, are smoked for hours before even being near ready for you and your friends and the smoked brisket platter cannot be beat either. If you have a hankering for a steak this day you’ll have four to choose from; 20 oz. bone-in ribeye, a 24 oz cowboy, a smaller flank and an awesome seasoned flank steak stuffed with a classic portobello mushroom duxelle, topped with red wine demi-glace and fried onion straws; served with choice of two sides. If Lackawanna Lake puts you in a seafood mood then Down to the Bone has you covered as well with brisket-wrapped smoked scallops, barbeque shrimp, triple-citrus salmon, pecan crusted tilapia or good ol’ fashion fish & chips. On the chicken side of things we thoroughly enjoyed the fried chicken platter but their smoked chicken looked great as well. One of our group went for the curry chicken which he though was excellent. As we said Down to the Bone serves up far more than just their excellent barbeque. You have your choice of several different pastas; Cajun chicken alfredo, smoke salmon carbonara, roasted vegetables for your vegan-types and a super barbeque Bolognese.
Page 19 If you have a good size and hungry group why not go for one of the Down to the Bone Combo Platters? Sure to fill the group up and maybe some of these goodies will find their way back home for a late evening snack as well. If you are a fan of Man vs Food or maybe just a glutinous maniac who cannot turn down a challenge then Down to the Bone has not one, but two for you. It is simply this… Finish ALL food from a Challenge Dish and receive a free Down to the Bone t-shirt and a complimentary ambulance ride to the hospital of your choosing! First up is THE BONE! Two monstrous 1 lb. burgers, each topped with 5 pieces of cheddar, Monterey jack & swiss cheeses and 5 pieces of thick-cut bacon; topped with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions & fried onion straws; served with an oversized bowl of chili-cheese fries and cole slaw. Order at your own risk! The second challenge is THE BEAST! You won’t find a dog like this anywhere! A grotesquely large 2 foot hot dog served on an equally ambitious bun, topped with chili, cheddar-jack cheese, pepper-jack cheese, red onions, bacon, fried onion straws, jalapeno peppers & pickles; served with a ridiculously large bowl of fries topped with brown gravy and mozzarella cheese. Yep with the great combination of attentive and friendly staff, the great lakeside tables and view, the delicious fusion barbeque menu
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MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
Page 20 and the Rip & Ride here Down to the Bone has it all. But, we’ll make it even better. On June 15th Backroads will be holding the 250+ Road Tour; which will bring riders on over 250 miles of the absolutely best motorcycle riding roads in the Garden state. This promises to be an event that riders will be talking about and stealing bits off for years to come. Jeff and company at Down to the Bone have offered up the place as our end up site for the road tour and we can’t think of a better place to end this day’s adventure; but wait, wait there is more…..
We will find three hardy and foolish participants who think they have the right stuff for the Backroads Beast Eating Contest, the winner taking home both Backroads and Down to the Bone swag. Yes, The Beast will be provided, on us, for this contest and may the biggest tummy win! Well, we have told you all about this great New Jersey dining experience and about the Backroads 250+ Road Tour now let us give you a fun Rip & Ride to get you guys Down to the Bone in style!
Rip & Ride® • DOWN TO THE BONE BARBEQUE 172 LACKAWANNA DRIVE, STANHOPE, NJ 07874 • 973-347-BONE (2663) • WWW.DOWNTOTHEBONEBARBECUECOMPANY.COM
IN NJ FIND RTE. 23 NORTH LEFT AT CR 631 RIGHT AT RTE. 94 LEFT AT CR. 661 (BEAVER RUN ROAD) RIGHT AT RTE. 15 NORTH STRAIGHT AT RTE. 206 NORTH (ROSS’ CORNER) LEFT AT CR 519 SOUTH (NEWTON AVE.) RIGHT AT CR 626 (CROSS OVER DOUBLE BRIDGES) BEAR LEFT ONTO PARSONS RD. / PLOTTS RD. (RIGHT PAST HIGH SCHOOL) RIGHT AT CR 519 SOUTH RIGHT AT CR 622 LEFT AT CR 521 SOUTH STRAIGHT AT MAIN ST. IN STILLWATER CROSS STEEL BRIDGE BEAR RIGHT UP CEDAR HILL RD
LEFT AT FAIRVIEW HILL RD. RIGHT AT RTE. 94 LEFT AT YELLOW FRAME RD. RIGHT AT CR 519 LEFT AT HIBLER RD. RIGHT AT HENRY RD. CR 611 LEFT AT PEQUEST RD. RIGHT AT SUTTON RD LEFT AT WHITEHALL RD. STRAIGHT AT CR 517 RIGHT AT WHITEHALL RD. RIGHT AT T LEFT THRU TUNNEL RIGHT T RTE. 206 LEFT AT LACKAWANNA DRIVE. DOWN TO THE BONE ALONG LAKE ON RIGHT
BACKROADS • MAY 2013
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
Bergen County Harley-Davidson Presents
WE’R E OUTTA HE RE
a weekend destination keeping you on the backroads
the 1850 house & tavern 435 MAIN STREET , ROSENDALE, NY 12472 1-845-658-7800 • WWW.THE1850HOUSE.COM A few months back we did a piece on traveling along the Wallkill and Roundout rivers on a ride that brought us into the cusp of the Catskill Mountains. Along the way we found some very interesting roads near the town of Rosendale. Taking a better look at the town itself we found a great, if slightly hidden, jewel of this part of the Hudson Valley. The town lies beneath the 500-foot Joppenbergh Mountain, a giant pile that was mined for year with its minerals being used for the cement that Rosendale was famous for at the time. Just south of the town, along Route 213 a trestle for the W.V. R.R. crosses the Roundout on a bridge 900 feet long and 140 feet above the water. This part of the Empire State is fed by a number of outstanding motorcycling roads, the very reason we first found the town in the first place. Now Rosendale is not a huge town, but what it does offer in its few short blocks is a great bit of 21st century Americana. We rode into the town on the weekend of Shira’s birthday with a surprise over-night at the topic of this month’s column - The 1850 House. For years this nicely bricked building on the Roundout was called The Astoria but it fell into slight disrepair, as so many historical buildings do, but it found a savior in the early 2000s. Now under the new management of Michael Ruger, The 1850 House & Tavern has resumed its former glory with room accommodations and regular musical attractions. The place was named the #1 new accommodation in Hudson Valley Magazine and we can tell you that The 1850 House and the town itself is well worth the trip and would make an excellent base camp for exploring “The
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Catskills” with a group of friends, as the hotel has 12 rooms and one suite. All the rooms are well appointed and we particularly enjoyed the old sepia tone posters showing Rosendale’s history. In the tavern, we spent some time discussing the pros and cons of the last season of “The Walking Dead” with Ben the Barkeep. Taking a walk around the small town’s Main Street we spotted Rosendale Guitars. Thankfully they were closed at the time as the vintage Telecaster had my blood just slightly boiling. Terry Kath played the same guitar. We stopped in the Red Brick Tavern for dinner this night and I have to tell you the folks there were wonderful, as was the food!
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS Earlier in the day we had lunch at the Culinary Institute of America and the bar-side meal at the Red Brick Tavern was equally satisfying. Shira had really wanted to see Hyde Park on Hudson, the Bill Murray film on the affair FDR had with his 5th cousin (those rascally rich folk!) and wouldn’t you know it - the Rosendale Theatre, a privately owned movie venue just happened to have this very film showing this night. What a lucky birthday girl she was. A one-screen movie house (rare these days) it seemed that anybody who wasn’t having dinner at the Red Brick was here for the film. And, as we had just ridden by FDR’s estate, the movie was all that much the better. After the film we made our way back through the town and were drawn to some serious Zydeco music at the Rosendale Café. This great place ate up a few hours before we meandered back across Main Street to the 1850 House and our friend Ben the Barkeep – even if he hated the movie Battleship.
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS Back at the hotel there was a serious crowd at the small tavern and, even though we were strangers, we were made to feel like old friends. Later on the bedroom was as comfortable as could be and the early morning sun rising over the Roundout made for an excellent greeting to the new day. Ami, the hostess, made a superb breakfast and we then made a quick run around the river and the town before we fired up and headed south. The guitar store was still close…damn! Oh well, probably for the best. In addition to a wonderful overnight in the town of Rosendale we will give you an outstanding ride there as well. Follow along… ‘cause we’re outta here!
Rip & Ride® • THE 1850 HOUSE & TAVERN 435 MAIN STREET , ROSENDALE, NY 12472 • 845-658-7800 • WWW.THE1850HOUSE.COM
GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE PALISADE PARKWAY NORTH EXIT 14... RIGHT AT STOP SIGN STRAIGHT THROUGH HARRIMAN STATE PARK CR 98 /106 - GO 1/2 WAY AROUND TRAFFIC CIRCLE STAY ON 106 STRAIGHT ON RTE. 17A RIGHT AT CR 5 (PAST BRIDGE ON GREENWOOD LAKE) LEFT AT RTE. 17M RIGHT AT RTE. 208 LEFT AT RTE. 52 RIGHT AT RTE. 209 LEFT AT RTE. 55 RIGHT AT RTE. 55A RIGHT AT CR 46 BEAR RIGHT AT Y ONTO CR 42 PEEKAMOOSE RIGHT AT RTE. 28A BEAR RIGHT AT CR 4/ RTE. 213 FOLLOW RTE 213 RIGHT AT RTE. 206 LEFT AT RTE. 213 INTO ROSENDALE 1850 HOUSE ON RIGHT AS YOU ENTER THE TOWN
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BACKROADS • MAY 2013
ave you ever woken up and not really known where you are? For that first few seconds you kind of look around a room and take it all in. This morning I studied the painted-over transom windows, as the early light filtered through the shutters below. Outside I could hear some unknown songbirds greeting the day. The room was a tad cold, but the bed wonderfully warm. It was mid-February and the birds were out of place, a second later I came into a clearer morning mind and said, “Ahh, Texas.”
Shira and I had left a cold, snowy and fog-laden New Jersey the previous morning, flying out at dawn, and hours later finding ourselves in the middle of the Lone Star State and taking possession of a stunning Corey Ness Edition of Victory’s Cross Country series.
Deep in the Heart…
Touring the Lone Star State on Victory’s Cross Country words and images: Brian Rathjen
Page 28 We had been invited down to Texas a number of times to ride, test and generally have fun with Victory’s machines, and finally the stars aligned and we were Lone State bound. At this year’s New York Motorcycle Show we spent some time at the Victory Motorcycle area and, as always, were impressed with the look, feel, fit and finish of all their machines. We had a choice this day of Victory’s futuristic Vison or the slightly more traditional Cross Country and decided on the Cross Country with Corey’s stunning yellow and black flavor. This machine also has gobs of stowage capacity with over 48 gallons of space. The bags are roomy, weatherproof and lockable and the trunk large and stylish All this stowage space and the fact that the Cross Country has a load capacity of 560 lbs and a large 5.8 gallon fuel tank and we knew a week of Texas two-up touring would be a breeze. After picking up the Victory we did a quick ride into the capital city of Austin, just some 20 miles or so north. Austin is known for many things and music is one of them and where some towns paint up cows, pigs and horses – here in Austin they have stunning and brightly painted guitars about. The town also has a great section that runs along South Congress Avenue and it was here that we would start and finish this Texas soirée; at the kitschy but comfortable Austin Motel, located right in the middle of what is locally called SoCo. Shira had chosen this place and I have found, after many years, that she will be in the Hall of Fame when it comes to
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS chosing places to stay. We took our room and, famished, set out on foot to explore the many shops and restaurants along South Congress. This part of Austin prides itself on being a tad weird, but in a wonderful way. After a fine taco lunch the many shops kept our attention for a few hours. We strolled the other way, back past the motel and to the South Congress Bridge that crosses the Colorado River and heads into the more modern part of the city and to the capital building. From March through most of the summer this bridge is home to the largest urban colony of bats in the world with some 1.5 million winged princes of the night making roost under the specially constructed overpass. We waited till dusk, but being a month early we spotted nothing but a few signs to watch the guano. A return trip to see this incredible natural wonder is much needed. Heading back to the Austin Motel we remounted the Cross Country and explored most of the city by bike, taking in the capital building and the superb architecture that Austin in known for. Returning to SoCo we stopped for some tasty bird at Ms. P’s Electric Cock Fried Chicken, one of many little eateries that serve food out of a trailer food truck. This part of Austin, a big college town, is also known for these as well. Just down the road and conveniently across Congress and our hotel was Docs MotorWorks Bar & Grill and Tuesday night was their “Bike Night.” That being
BACKROADS • MAY 2013 the case we parked with the other machines, got a seat, and made some new friends. It did seem a bit odd here, at least this night in Austin, as where in the northeast Bike Nights are dominated by mostly cruiser-style, here the Cross Country was the odd duck in a sea of sportbikes and classic machines from Japan’s 70s. We hung for awhile but it had been a long day so we called it a night and rode back across the street and turned in.
Austin to San Antonio
Making our way around early morning capital traffic was a breeze and we soon found ourselves rolling along the FM – farm to market – Roads heading somewhat south through a part of the famed Texas Hill Country. This region is extremely popular with Lone Star State riders and later in this trip we would explore more of the Hill Country in a big way. Today we were heading to the city of San Antonio, home of the Shrine of Texas – The Alamo. The roads in this part of Texas, our second largest state as if you didn’t know this, run around large farms and even larger ranches. Low scrub, oak and rock rule the day. On one of the long roads I switched on the music. The handlebar mounted fairing had an integrated audio system with KICKER® premium speakers that delivered powerful, crystal-clear sound in and around town. AM/FM/Weather radio is standard, along with an aux-
Page 29 iliary cord to use your MP3/iPod as your music source. The system worked fine in and around town but, like many such sound systems, got drowned out at serious highway speeds. The fairing, even with the lower shield did a decent job of managing the wind, although handlebar mounted fairings make low speed handling a bit tedious and heavy. By late breakfast we had crossed the Blanco River and near Canyon Lake we found Grandma D’s Café. I ordered an omelet but Shira wanted Texas so a taco with eggs was ordered and one single pancake. Just one Texas-Size pancake. It was about the size of Rhode Island; and to add to its bulk Shira ordered a peanut butter pancake. She was easily out of her league here and thankfully the Cross Country came with an air adjustable suspension and 4.6 inches of clearance. Up front inverted forks smooth out the bumps in good fashion. We rode further south and soon headed into a bit of urban sprawl that was San Antonio. By this time it was early afternoon and the city heat was on. A quick reach down below and the lowers and clear plexi panels on the fairing opened up and directed a good gush of cooling air around us and the bike making the urban run a bit more tolerable. Once again we scored well with the Havana Hotel located right on the San Antonio’s River Walk, but in a far quieter part of town.
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
Page 30 We had a number of things we wanted to see, the one being the River Walk itself, but first we unloaded our gear and went in search of the home of Barney Smith and the world’s largest Toilet Seat Art Museum. Yes, Doctor Seymour O’Life had given us a request to search out something for Mysterious America and being dutiful we accommodated him once again.
a stand for freedom from Mexico, and were wiped out in a 13-day siege of the old mission. Today it is hard to believe all this Texas history happened right here as the modern city itself has sprung up around the Alamo. Back on the river we stopped for adult refreshment and took in the sights and crowds on a Wednesday evening. A tad later, as the sun was setting, we found some good ol’ Texas steaks and then strolled all the way back to the dam and locks that control the limited boat traffic, mostly Rio Taxis, on the river. Walking the River Walk on a gorgeous night was just
Barney Smith’s odd museum is a true American wonder in so many ways! He’s been on national TV and much has been written about his humble collection on the outskirts of this Texas City - a truly fascinating place. Riding back into the city proper we spun by the solemn Alamo for a quick photo op, but with no real place to safely park the Cross Country we rode back to the Havana, grabbed showers and headed outside to San Antonio’s River Walk, a few steps from the hotel. The River Walk was created to help alleviate flooding and enhance the beauty of the city and it has done both very well. Every town should have something as wonderful as San Antonio’s River Walk. We strolled all the way down to the busy downtown section and then over to the Alamo to spend a bit of time exploring. In the late winter of 1836, valiant Texans and others, including Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie, made
what we needed after this past few months and winter. Tomorrow we would ride all the way to the Gulf, near the border with Mexico.
San Antonio to the Gulf Coast Along the coast of Texas there lies the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. Just north of there are a plethora of tiny beach towns and with just bit of “Fins” to them. This day we would make a run south towards the sea. Today was Valentine’s Day and even though we had nearly 300 miles to cover we gave the city traffic a bit of extra time to settle down before we loaded up the Cross Country and headed south. Where yesterday’s Hill Country ride was easy and pleasant this day the Texas terrain took on a quasi-
BACKROADS • MAY 2013
desert look with a few things that drew our attention away from the many straight miles we were covering. Stately cattle roamed near the road – Texas Long Horns. We also spotted a few ostrich farms – the Texas Long Neck and even a herd of Zebra, the Texas Long Stripe, totally out of place in the scrub and plains. We searched out a town called Bigfoot, but found not a Squatch, but a ranch named after the greatest detective Sherlock Holmes and a small museum dedicated to Texas and “Bigfoot Wallace.” William Wallace was a famous Texas Ranger, where he was a member of their Hall of Fame, and took part in many of the military conflicts of the Republic of Texas and the United States in the 1840s, including the Mexican-American War. The small own is named in his honor. Oil and new natural gas reserves rule this region and past the dammed Frio River we rode along the Choke Canyon Reservoir and through the only real town we had seen all day, Three Rivers. Part Texas country town, part Valero refinery it was like Mad Max had met the Lone Star State. We had known that a good part of today’s ride would be a bit straight and grueling but the Victory Cross Country, with its attractive diamond cut 106 CU V-Twin and gobs of torque simply ate up the miles. Although the low screen allowed for some buffeting the bike was rock steady as we made our way through southern Texas at a very quick pace. When the occasional and far between stop sign came along
the Victory’s ABS brakes, dual 300mm floating rotor with 4-piston calipers up front and 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper in the rear, handled the slow down and stop in an even fashion. Considering the bike weighs over 800 lbs wet, plus the two of us, the brakes worked really well. Somewhere just north of Corpus Christi the terrain mellowed out and we began to get that “we are getting close to the sea” feeling, or in this case the Gulf. Soon the Cross Country looking sharp with “Gold Digger Pearl” paint job and tribalesque Ness graphics was making its way over the long causeways and to the sea at the northern end of Padre Island. We headed north a bit to Port Aransas and to our home base for the next couple of days, the Laughing Horse Lodge, right near the gulf. We quickly dumped our stuff and rode down to the beach and then onto it as Port Aransas allows folks to drive along the coast itself, which we happily did. We stopped by the University of Texas’ Marine Science Institute, but it had closed for the day and we made a decision to certainly return the next day as our man Bill Heald had worked there many years back. Not far from our hotel we found one of the last great true beach bars in the town, the Beach Lodge, and a few Lone Star beers were in order.
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Come in today for your Winter fun and cleanup vehicles. ©2012 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, ™ and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. In the U.S.A., products are distributed by BRP US Inc. BRP reserves the right, at any time, to discontinue or change specifications, prices, designs, features, models or equipment without incurring obligation. Some models depicted may include optional equipment. BRP highly recommends that all ATV drivers take a training course. For safety and training information, see your dealer or call the ATV Safety Institute at 1-800-887-2887. ATVs can be hazardous to operate. For your safety: always wear a helmet, eye protection, and other protective clothing. Never carry passengers on any ATV not specifically designed by the manufacturer for such use. All adult model Can Am ATVs are Category G ATVs (General Use Models) intended for recreational and/or utility use by an operator age 16 or older. For side-by-side vehicles (SxS): Read the BRP side-by-side Operator’s Guide and watch the Safety DVD before driving. For your safety: wear a helmet, eye protection and other protective gear. Fasten lateral net and seat belt at all times. Operator must be at least 16 years old. Passenger must be at least 12 years old and able to hold handgrips and plant feet while seated against the backrest. ATVs and SxS are for off-road use only; never ride on paved surfaces or public roads. Always remember that riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. Never engage in stunt driving. Avoid excessive speed and be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Ride responsibly.
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Page 34 That evening we found some Texas seafood that was simply a delight and then we took a night time ride around PA, as Port Aransas is called locally, finding a tiny place called the Tarpon Ice House that had a good group of musicians playing, and a wonderful bunch of people just hanging. We sat down and took the music in for a spell, in between talking to locals about the Victory that had drawn in a few curious passersby. Although still classically styled the Cross Country offers a more modern and sexier take on a large touring cruiser. We thought it has some of the best lines in the market today.
By evening’s end Shira was up dancing with a bunch of local gals and the Texas hospitality could not be beat here on the Texas coast of the Gulf.
Free Day on the Gulf Coast Does the name Grus Americana mean anything to you? Well, it is the genus name for the whooping crane. They are very rare. So rare that they almost were extinct but are slowly making their way back. To be truthful I thought they were goners years ago. These birds, which are still evidentially alive, are the tallest birds in North America and have the widest wingspan as well. They are impressive and, along with the sandhill crane, are one of just two crane species found in North America and that the only place they can be found is just east of where we were in Texas. For thousands of years these massive birds have migrated from northern Canada to the Gulf coast. That being the case, and Shira and me being avid birders, planned to seek out the mighty whooping cranes of the Texas Gulf Coast. Leaving Port Aransas we made a quick stop for a much needed photo op with a giant megalodon shark; one of many such faux sharks found around
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS the U.S. coastal and beach towns, but this was a big one and worth the stop for the digital moment. We then rode along the beach back to the Marine Research Institute of the University of Texas and took in their small, but enlightening, visitor center before heading east, crossing Corpus Christi Bay on one of the ferries that run 24/7. We found an early lunch at a dockside restaurant and then rode past some very impressive homes all surrounded by live oaks, wind swept away from the Gulf and surrounding each home like Ent-like guardians.
Every so often we find a place that we both agree “We could live here” – this was one of those places. Crossing over another long bridge we swung into Goose Island State Park. Here we were told we would find the elusive whooping crane and other things as well. Well, we spent a good amount of time searching the park and its surroundings and we saw plenty of egrets, hawk, turtles, longhorn cattle, pelicans, herons, a dutiful kite that just floated before striking, and I even spotted a spoonbill – which is rare in itself. But, no whoopers. Sigh. We did find “The Big Tree” – a magnificent specimen of live oak that is reported to be nearly 3,000 years old. It was beautiful for sure, as were all the great oaks that were so plentiful on this island. We were about to give up and try another park some thirty miles further east when we simply asked a passing mailman if he knew of any whooping cranes in and about the immediate area. Well, as luck would have it he did; and he pointed our way into a field, boxed in by marshland and oaks.
BACKROADS • MAY 2013
We swung the Cross Country up a rough country lane lined with small woodsy beach homes and there, in field, near a close by feeder, were two stunning whooping cranes. As tall and stately as can be, they seemed to be enjoying the day and were oblivious to Shira, the Victory and me as we rolled up as close as we could -which still was plenty far away. We had brought our autographed edition “Flip DeRea” Nikon Monarch 5 binoculars along with us so we got to see these awesome birds right up and close. Stunning does not quite fit. How happy were we? Especially since I thought they were already dead and gone. Yep, in one morning I not only found out the whooping cranes were thankfully still alive but got to see them for myself as well. Shira was really pleased - as we all have goals and finding the whooping cranes was on her bucket list as we rode along the Texas Gulf Coast. Nice. Now, onto the supposedly elusive dodo. Heading back we rode through Port Aransas and back southwest towards Corpus Christi and the National Park on Padre Isle. As I have said this part of the barrier islands that protect Texas are some
of the most pristine on the planet and except for a small road that runs about a ¼ mile from the beach there is little out there but a small visitors center and hundreds of miles of the coast the way it has always been. We rode to the end and then along on the hard pack sand of the beach for a bit and then just parked for a spell and drank it all in. This part of our nation is quite special and if you are ever in this part of Texas you owe it to yourself to see Padre Isle. By now the sun was beginning to head down for the night and we spun back to Corpus Christi and found a waterside restaurant with a clear view of the bay and the upcoming sunset. Dinner sounded good, as did the guitar player, so we enjoyed this last night on the Gulf Coast before the dark 20mile ride back to Port Aransas.
Port Aransas to Castroville With such a great sunset the previous night it was hard to resist a welcoming sunrise the following day; so as the sky began to lighten in the east I was on the Cross Country and riding along the sand. Like it always has the sun did rise on a beautiful, if chilly day. We packed up the machine and said goodbye to the Texas Gulf Coast and headed north and west. Once out of the Corpus Christi area the terrain turned rough and tumble once again and we knew this day would be a haul along a
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
lot of straight and monotonous roads. Unlike most machines today the Corey Ness Cross Country has one of the most comfortable all-day saddles coming from a manufacturer. The heated saddle never was a problem and we loved the suede material as well. A nice touch on the Victory. A cold front had come in the previous night and with temperatures in the low 50s I closed up the lowers and turned up the warmth on the saddle. We made a game of the slightly boring trek and considered ourselves sailors on a vast ocean of scrub and rock. We made sure to stop at all the historical markers we spotted and pointed out each bird, long horn or dead feral pig on the side of the road. Yes, dead feral pig. There are up to 6 million “wild hogs” in the US and Canada and half of them are in Texas, where they do some $400 million in damages annually. They tear up recreational areas, occasionally even terrorizing tourists in state and national parks, and squeeze out other wildlife. Texas allows hunters to kill wild hogs year-round without limits or capture them alive to take to slaughterhouses to be processed and sold to restaurants as exotic meat. Imagine hitting one of these and not killing it. If you were down you just might be out. Our day got better when we stopped for breakfast at a small local taqueria that made a spectacular breakfast for us of eggs, chorizo and nopal cactus. Gassing up and moving on, the land began to mellow and hills began to appear. Along the sides of the road, what was once barren and dismal became green and verdant. In Pearsall we found the “World’s Largest Peanut” and the fact that this region is a major supplier of peanuts worldwide as they ship over 55 million pounds of peanuts each year! Shira had found us a room at the Landmark Inn, in the town
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BACKROADS • MAY 2013
of Castroville, not far from San Antonio. This town was created back in the mid 1800’s when a group of French and Germans from the Alsace region of Europe came and settled here. Many of the homes that are still occupied date to that area and the Landmark Inn, built in 1849 and lying on the banks of the Medina River, was once the first thing settlers saw as they forded the Medina and it is now a state historic site. With a number of buildings, including a mill, it is a great look at Texas’ past. We learned that the entire town is created around historic buildings, with many homes built nearly 160 years ago. I asked about the walking tour of the town and was told to take the bike. Okay, we could do that. But, what the man behind the desk meant were the bicycles that were leaning against the wall outside. Old-style peddlers that reminded me of Pee Wee Herman’s ride. We did a lap of the town in style.
Castroville to Fredericksburg Most places you go in Texas will offer something odd or different to see, but a good deal of the state does not make for all that much inspired riding. But, with one exception; the Texas Hill Country. We had skirted part of this earlier in the trip but now we were poised for further exploration. We said goodbye to the Landmark Inn and then rode north mimicking the Medina River. Almost immediately the road got tighter and a bit more interesting.
Our route brought us directly to the heart of the Hill Country as we created a long loop that would run us through Banderas, self-proclaimed cowboy capital of the world, and then onto the Hill Country Trail. Not too far along we found breakfast in a neat roadside joint called Mac & Ernie’s. Shira first heard about this place on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives (actually featured on Guy’s premier episode) and it came highly recommended, with good reason. If it were closer it would be a Great All American Diner Run. We did have an eye opening moment as we passed a large ranch. They must have been having coyote problems as they had, hanging along the fence posts, the carcasses of seven dead coyotes – perhaps a warning to the rest of the pack to stay away? As Joni Mitchell sang – “No regrets coyote.” Another curious animal encounter was Shira spotting what she said was a group of deer, but small, spotted like a fawn and one sporting a spectacular
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MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
rack of antlers. We found out later these were Axis. These deer-like animals originate in Nepal and northern India. They were introduced to Texas in the 1930s for hunting and have basically taken off on their own and are now as common as white tails. The Texas Hill Country region is a rider’s delight with a great combination of hills and roads that run along a few rivers - the Sabinal River with its many cyprus trees, the Rio Frio, the Nueces and the clear running Guadalupe. Like many riding regions’ around the nation here the roads have garnered names. Well, in this case, three routes have come together to form a troika of sorts – The Three Sisters – Routes 335, 336 & 337 wind their way through these hills, some parts reaching 2,500 feet and all three and a number of other nearby roads, especially the snake-like Route 16, are well worth seeking.
We’d be here for a few days and would be sure to do just that. The Hill Country does have plenty to offer us riders, but one thing it needs more of are fuel stations. We were aware of this and, like we had all trip and even with the large fuel tank, we made sure to fill up whenever we could even with half a tank still aboard. By late afternoon we were rolling through the town of Ingram and spotted a most unusual sight. Stonehenge. Created a few decades back this town has a 2/3-scale replica of the famed British prehistoric site. There were even a few Easter Island “Moai” giant heads to be had as well; a bit of Mysterious America in the middle of Texas. We had planned for a few nights up in the Fredericksburg region so we
vectored (that’s pilot talk) to the nearby airport and The Hanger Hotel, a refurbished airport hanger that is now one of the sharpest hotels in the region, if not one of the most unusual in the nation. It might have been nice to fly in but the Ness’ Cross Country looked pretty sharp parked near the runway just the same.
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Free Day in the Hill Country We left The Hanger Hotel the next morning under threatening skies and, with that in mind, we decided to visit the National Museum of the Pacific War. Why is a museum dedicated to the Pacific War of World War Two in the middle of Texas, you ask? Admiral Nimitz hailed from here and so now does this National Treasure.
BACKROADS • MAY 2013
And, it is a treasure. We have been to many war museums and must tell you that the National Museum of the Pacific War is, by far, one of the best we have ever seen. We hoped to spend a short time and quickly make our way through the exhibits but some three hours later we emerged and still felt we could spend another few hours here. It was a place that “made” you learn of, not only the war, and American involvement in it, but the many years leading up to this clash between Japan and the United States, in addition to bringing a human quality with stories and voice-overs that left us both chilled and numb. Both of our fathers were war vets and many of our friends fought in this war and in Europe as well. If you, or someone you know, served then you will find this museum a humbling place and one that must be seen while riding in this part of Texas. By this time it was early afternoon and after lunch, with clearing skies, we decided to head back to the Three Sisters; as there was one special place we needed to see - the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum & Ace Cafe. The museum sits just south of Lost Maples State Park and just north of the town of Vanderpool, right on Route 187. Wait… there was a town there? The museum is the personal collection of Allan Johncock, an expatriated
Aussie who has been here in the US for decades. The collection covers decades of motorcycles and machines from around the world, with a special eye on classic bikes from the ‘30s, ‘40s & ‘50s. Velocettes, BSAs, Indians, Nortons, a Brough Superior and Allan’s own racebike - a Matchless G50- on which he has taken 2nd at Mid-Ohio and 4th at Daytona. Behind the museum Allan has a full machine shop to help maintain and restore machines that are lucky enough to find a home at the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum. His better half, Debbie, runs the Ace Café here at the museum and we have heard her Aussie meat pies are a steady favorite for riders running the Three Sisters each weekend. This museum is yet another must see while riding the Hill Country. We had a choice to make at this point in the day, to either head back east to Fredericksburg with daylight to spare or to carry on west and ride the one “sister” we hadn’t touched as of yet – Route 335. West it was and it was well worth it as 335 was the sweetest of the sisters with serious elevation changes, magnificent vistas and even a few giraffes, we kid you not, alongside one ranch’s fence.
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MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
By the time we reached Route 41 we needed to make some time and once again I was deeply impressed with the Freedom engine powering the Cross Country. Texas speed limits are far more reasonable than back east and the Cross Country literally purred at the 90+ we were cruising at as we rocketed eastward with a soundtrack by the Doobie Brothers. As the sun began to set it was the perfect Texas evening. We stayed in Fredericksburg for one more night, this time at a Bed and Brew. Located right on East Main Street the Fredericksburg Brewing Company not only has the best beer in the region it also has 11 rooms right upstairs. A sister hotel to the previous night’s airport abode, the Bed & Brew’s rooms were much more sultry and adult. Huge pillows lined the canopy bed and the décor was almost New Orleans in flavor. Very romantic. Add the brewery and restaurant right downstairs and what else could two riders ask for?
Fredericksburg to Marble Falls We had no real destination in mind this day; but we did know we wanted to stop by Luckenbach. Luckenbach is famous for its music and dance hall. It almost looks like a ghost town when you ride up to it, but once you walk into the Post Office and General Store you are made most welcome. In fact, here they like to say that “Everybody is somebody, in Luckenbach.” We took some coffee, which was free by the way, and got to talking with the fellers’ running the place. It seems that Luckenbach’s association with country music began in the summer of 1973, when Jerry Jeff Walker, backed by the Lost Gonzo Band, recorded a live album there called Viva Terlingua at Luckenbach Dancehall. That album became an outlaw country classic. Since then so many famous people have performed here and so many more have come to the
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BACKROADS • MAY 2013
tiny town in the middle of Texas just to play one song. Braggin’ rights that they had played in Luckenbach. I had spied the guitars on the wall when I first walked in. I asked, “Can anyone play?” The answer was “Sure - everybody is somebody – what ya got son?” I can now proudly say that I was the morning opening act in the Luckenbach General Store in Texas. Springsteen’s Red Headed Woman. Hey, we are from New Jersey! Shira had plotted a tight and twisty route that ran well off the main roads and spent many miles running along the ranch and county road that crisscrossed the Hill Country. These roads were a bit narrow and just a touch gravely and had their share of cattle, sheep and various livestock roaming freely around them; but they offered a look at the real Texas you will not find on the bigger roads. We headed up towards Enchanted Rock, a giant dome of granite that rises into the Texas skies. This place has many legends but the official Texas version relates a heroic episode in the life of Capt. John Coffee Hays. Cut off by Comanche raiders from his company of Texas Rangers on a surveying
trip in the fall of 1841, Hays took refuge on Enchanted Rock and singlehandedly held off a horde in a three-hour battle that ended when the frustrated natives fled, convinced even more firmly than before that Enchanted Rock was possessed by malevolent spirits. It also helped that Hays had, in addition to his rifle, two newly developed Colt 6-shooters. The Comanche Indians had never seen a pistol that could fire repeatedly. Since guns come into play so often in Texas history and that guns and rifles seem to be dominating the news these days as well we felt we needed to stop by the World’s Largest Cap Gun Museum which, by the way, was located just a ½ mile away from the gates to Enchanted Rock. Located in Trois Estate, a combination resort, B & B and wedding destination the guns are the pride and joy of Chuck Trois, who played R&B guitar for the Soul Survivors on “Expressway To Your Heart” in the late 1960s. Stop, would we make this up? We couldn’t! Seriously the museum is amazing and features over 5,000 toy cap guns and accompanying holsters, from the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers and other western gunslingers of fame. Texas is known for many things and barbeque is certainly on the top of the list. Up until then we had not partaken in the “Texas Rite of Passage”, for we were saving ourselves for what is considered by many as the best of Texas when it comes to fire, flavor and meat
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MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
– Cooper’s Old Time BBQ, in Llano. Once again Shira had chosen this place and no other barbeque would do. At Cooper’s you walk up to one of the many fire pits loaded with different meats cooking away and order what looks good. You then take your tray inside where the addition begins. Let me tell you – do not let your eyes rule your belly and choose wisely as they charge you by the pound here. When it was all said and done we sat down at our table with $6.75 of brisket, $5.22 of sausage, $13.69 of gigantic beef rib (yep, just one) and $17.49 of pork chop (yet again, just one). Some might say they have a better Lone Star barbeque, but this day and for right now Cooper’s Old Time BBQ in Llano, Texas is Backroads favorite.
We finished 98% of everything and continued on our ride following the tiniest paved Texas backroads we could find, eventually riding by and stopping in at Longhorn Caverns. If things hadn’t been going peachy enough this day the cave certainly added to it. The 52 steps, created craftily by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, lead to a stunning entrance to the cave, with rock and a natural bridge creating a stone canopy high above our heads. A great surprise and something we had not planned on this day. This day, time seemed to fly by and with the sun setting we found a room in the town of Marble Falls, along the lake’s shore and powered down for the evening. Clouds were gathering and we heard a Texas-sized storm was quickly approaching. I asked and was able to park the Victory under the hotel’s portico. We locked her up and settled in for the storm that missed us by 100 Texas miles.
Marble Falls to Austin We’d be returning the Cross Country later this day so we made the best of the tiny little roads that run around the nearly dry lakes that can be found north of Austin. It really is quite the sight to see so many docks lying in the dust and piers an easy ¼ mile away from whatever water was left. This part of the country is in a bit of trouble and we hope the drought ends soon and that we do not repeat the powerful heat that ruled last summer in the middle of our nation.
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We rode through the city and stopped for one last meal on the road at Lucy’s, another well known Texas tradition for fried chicken and then made one last stop at the Circuit of the Americas, the new mega-track just outside the city. We had been golden weather-wise, but that much needed rain that we had hoped for in Texas came to visit with just ten miles to go on this journey. Imagine that, over 1,700 miles of great weather and to get moist in the last ten. Go figure. We rode off I-35 and slipped the Victory into the bay at Kent Powersports, where we had left from a little more than a week before. We had done a great deal of the Lone Star State and still only touched a small bit of this large state. From the great cities of Austin and San Antonio to the rustic and natural shore of the Gulf of Mexico to the challenging and enthralling Hill Country we still had seen a lot. Thinking about the state I wondered who would ever want to “Mess with Texas?” The people of Texas are some of the nicest in the country and the big Victory proved itself to be a great two-up traveler well worth its name Cross Country. Serious machine for some serious fun! I will end this trip with a quote from a famed American frontiersman. “you may all go to hell and i will go to texas.” David Crockett
BACKROADS • MAY 2013
Riding Deep in the Heart of Texas Information KENT POWERSPORTS, AUSTIN • KENTPOWERSPORTS.COM
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BARNEY SMITH TOILET SEAT ART MUSEUM 239 ABISO AVE, SAN ANTONIO • 210-824-7791 WWW.ROADSIDEAMERICA.COM/STORY/6166 LAUGHING HORSE LODGE, 503 E AVE G, PORT ARANSAS 361-749-5513 • WWW.ALAUGHINGHORSELODGE.COM LANDMARK INN, 402 E. FLORENCE ST, CASTROVILLE 830-931-21333 • VISITLANDMARKINN.COM MAC & ERNIE’S, TARPLEY • WWW.MACANDERNIES.COM HANGAR HOTEL, 155 AIRPORT RD, FREDERICKSBURG 830-997-9990 • WWW.HANGARHOTEL.COM BED AND BREW, 245 EAST MAIN ST, FREDERICKSBURG 830-997-8026 • WWW.YOURBREWERY.COM NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE PACIFIC WAR 340 EAST MAIN ST, FREDERICKSBURG 830-997-8220 • WWW.NIMITZ-MUSEUM.ORG
COOPER’S OLD TIME PIT BAR-B-CUE 604 W. YOUNG ST, LLANO 325-247-5713 • WWW.COOPERSBBQ.COM LONGHORN CAVERNS, PARK RD, BURNETT 830-598-2283 • WWW.LONGHORNCAVERNS.COM
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Ice Cream R s ’ a r un S hi
Happy May, everyone. I hope you’ve all been out getting your daily dose of riding and ice cream. I’ve been busy trying to find some great spots for this year’s ice cream runs and we’re going to start out with a bang. While Nuts About Ice Cream may not be in the most scenic of spots, the flavors and quality of the Joshi family’s ice cream will have you thinking you are in heaven. They bought the shop in 1988, but since 1990 they have been supplying locals and ice cream aficionados from far and wide with fresh and creative creamy satisfaction. In their early days, being across the street from Liberty High School in Bethlehem, PA, they would serve up some simple lunch items for the kids during the day. Over the years, with changing policies in the school system, they stopped that and have been concentrating on their goal of bringing their customers the freshest and highest quality ice cream they can produce. Needless to say, they use
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
all-natural ingredients – as they say ‘no flavor bottles in this shop’ – and treat the folks who come in with respect and friendliness. The shop in large, so there is plenty of room for you and your group to sit and enjoy your cones, cups, sundaes or whatever floats your ice cream boat. They have whimsically covered their seats and stools with colorful material reminiscent of the Stingray banana seat bicycle days. The long lunch counter from the original store added to the nostalgic look of an ice cream shop from my youth. Enough about cosmetics – let’s get to the ice cream. Mr. Joshi took making his ice cream very seriously – enough so that he attended the short course at Penn State for ice cream making. For those not up on their ice cream history, Penn State’s Ice Cream Short Course is the oldest, best-known, and largest educational program dealing with the science and technology of ice cream. It also is believed to be the first continuing education course in the United States, starting back in 1892. Just about every major ice cream company in the world has a Penn State connection – Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Vermont fame to name just two – so Mr. Joshi was certainly in good company. While Mr. Joshi was off doing the learning, Mrs. Joshi was busy making up the recipes. Utilizing many of flavors from their native lands of Africa and India, she has brought us some terrific and exotic concoctions. Since their ice cream is small batch and ALWAYS as fresh as can be, not all of these flavors are always available and there may be some new ones added at
BACKROADS • MAY 2013
Page 45 any time. During my visit I was lucky enough to taste their Rose, Ginger and Kulfi. Kulfi, you ask? So did I. Here is the wording from Wikipedia: Kulfi has similarities to ice cream (as popularly understood) in appearance and taste, but is denser and
creamier. It comes in various flavors. The more traditional ones are cream, rose, mango, cardamom, saffron and pistachio. Unlike Western ice creams, kulfi is not whipped, resulting in a solid, dense frozen dessert similar to traditional custard based ice cream. Thus, it is sometimes considered a distinct category of frozen dairy-based dessert. This day’s offering was of the cardamom variety, having a caramel and nutty taste. The Ginger had a wonderful bite to it, with a subtle ginger taste. The most distinct of the three had to be the Rose; just being handed the cup brought forth the smell of a bouquet of roses. Spooning up a taste, I felt as if I were in a bed of roses in full bloom. It was like nothing I’d ever tasted before and I was loving every bite. Brian’s cup was filled to the brim with a combination of Strawberry Cheesecake and Coconut, both of which were packed with taste bud explosion. Some of their other temptations include saffron pistachio, mango, fig, coconut almond and
NUTS ABOUT ICE CREAM Rip & Ride® START: CHATTERBOX DRIVE-IN, RTES. 206/15, AUGUSTA, NJ SOUTH ON ROUTE 206 RIGHT @ PRICE RD LEFT @ CR 519 RIGHT @ HALSEY RD LEFT @ PARSON RD RIGHT @ JUNCTION RD RIGHT @ CR 622 LEFT @ RIDGE RD BEAR RIGHT @ DOVE ISLAND RD LEFT @ CR 619 LEFT @ CR 610 LEFT @ CR 519 LEFT @ STONEBRIDGE RD RIGHT @ STILLWATER RD RIGHT @ LINCOLN LAUREL RD RIGHT @ RTE. 94 SOUTH LEFT @ SILVER LAKE RD LEFT @ RIDGEWAY AVE RIGHT @ CR 519 STRAIGHT ONTO CR 609 LEFT @ SAREPTA RD RIGHT @ MUTTON HILL RD RIGHT @ SAREPTA RD RIGHT ONTO ROUTE 46 LEFT @ CR 620/WATER ST CROSS BELVIDERE FREE BRIDGE ONTO MARTINS CREEK BELVIDERE HWY STRAIGHT ONTO RTE. 611 LEFT ONTO RTE. 611 LEFT @ LEHIGH DRIVE LEFT OVER BRIDGE @ HILL RD RIGHT @ MAIN ST RIGHT @ ISLAND PARK BEAR LEFT @ LOWER SAUCON RD RIGHT @ APPLE BUTTER RD RIGHT @ SHIMERSVILLE RD LEFT OVER BRIDGE @ MAIN ST LEFT @ MONROE ST LEFT @ GREEN ST RIGHT @ E MARKET ST RIGHT @ PULASKI ST LEFT @ E FAIRVIEW ST RIGHT @ LINDEN ST NUTS ABOUT ICE CREAM ON RIGHT AT CORNER OF LINDEN/LAUREL STS.
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
Page 46 rum raisin (must show I.D. as it contains the real thing). Yes, you can get your chocolate and vanilla and I’ll bet it will be the best you’ve ever tasted. Nuts About Ice Cream is open to serve you every day – Monday thru Thursday 9am-9pm, Friday 9am-10pm, Saturday 11am-10pm and Sunday 3pm-9pm. Their summer hours may vary, so please check before riding out. They do scoop up a good-sized portion, but remember this is NOT Dairy Queen, so be prepared to pay a little more for your premium ice cream. They do accept credit cards for charges over $10. Here’s a tasty little 65-mile ride to get you to Bethlehem, starting at the Chatterbox Drive-In in Augusta, NJ. You can download the GPS route here: www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/nbfjat Have fun and don’t forget to eat ice cream every day.
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BACKROADS • MAY 2013
SOME BRIGHT PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS THE HOT MONTHS ARE COMING – SO IS OLYMPIA’S AIRGLIDE 4 When it comes to multi function mesh based riding gear, Olympia’s new for 2013 mens and womens Airglide 4 jackets offer maximum performance and all the premium features you’ve come to expect from this leading brand. Constructed in authentic Cordura® fabric with ballistic nylon mesh panels, these jacket offer maximum airflow with superior abrasion resistance. For added safety, they also offers 3M Scotchlite® piping at the chest, back and sleeves. Additional feature include removable CE approved Motion Flex armor at elbows and shoulders, cool mesh airflow lining, Custom Fit detailing at collar, cuffs, elbows and waist, an 8” connecting zipper to attach the jackets to Olympia pants and multiple storage pockets. Both the mens and womens versions are equipped with a sporty two stage, wind and waterproof, Thermolite® insulated liner jacket, to deliver the ultimate in multi season riding comfort. The ladies version has been designed with a women’s specific fit and offers a flattering hour-glass shape. Retail price - $289.99. Four colors are available. For complete details visit the Olympia website at www.olympiamotosports.
SURVIVOR ADVENTURE DRY BAGS New for 2013 Nelson Rigg introduces their 100% Waterproof Survivor Edition Adventure Dry Bags. All are made from a high quality 24oz rugged Tarpaulin PVC that’s specially coated for strength and to help prevent slipping and marking. These bags were designed to work with factory and aftermarket tail racks, seats, and saddlebag racks on most popular Adventure and Dual Sport bikes. All bags feature a “no hassle” LIFETIME warranty, electronically heat welded seams and an air tight roll closure system which ensures that no water enters the bag even in the harshest of downpours. Mounting the duffle bags is a breeze utilizing anodized heavy duty quick release cam buckles and strong nylon soft tie webbing and can be mounted across or along the seat or tail section. Hi-Visibility reflective accents are integrated into the bags compression straps that also easily adjust to the volume of the bags contents, keeping it snug and compact. Strong D-rings allow more mounting options and provide mounting points for additional items you may want to bring with you. The saddlebags have Rigg’s popular universal mounting system but also have the ability to individually mount to most OE and aftermarket saddlebag racks utilizing strong top and bottom compression straps. Extreme Adventure riders will have two sizes to choose from. A Medium Bag has an approximate capacity of 39 liters while the Large Bag has a mammoth 71 liter capacity. The Survivor Edition Dry Bags come in three exciting colors, Hi-Visibility Yellow, Orange and Black. Includes a Lifetime “No Hassle” warranty. Suggested Retail Prices range from $69.95 to $129.95. For more information contact your Nelson-Rigg dealer or visit their website at www.nelsonrigg.com
For over 30 years Circle Cycle has helped riders get and stay on the road Our variety of powersports products is second to none. Whether you’re riding offroad, backroads, or on the track, we’re here to get you where you need to go. In northern New Jersey there isn’t a friendlier or more knowledgeable staff than ours. We’re happy to help you find the parts you’ve been looking for.
Online Shopping Available Check our catalog pages - if you don’t see what you want, give us a call or stop in - we’re always ready to help!
Circle Cycle For the discriminating rider.
570 Broad Avenue Ridgefield NJ
CYCLE 201-945-2200 web: www.circlecycle.net
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
BACKROADS • MAY 2013
UPCOM IN G EVENTS CAL ENDAR
EVERY MONTH - WEATHER PERMITTING
Every Sunday • Eastern Suffolk ABATE Breakfast Run. Crossroads Diner - Calverton NY. 10:30am. Eat and Ride After • 631-369-2221
May-November • Saratoga Automotive Museum exhibition "BMW - The Ultimate Driving Machine". The exhibition, which will feature a retrospective of BMW cars and motorcycles, will run from May 6-November 3, 2013. The exhibition will also celebrate 90 years of BMW motorcycles. The Saratoga Automobile Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY • open 7 days a week after Memorial Day from 10am-5pm • www.saratogaautomuseum.org
Every Tuesday • The Ear - Spring St, NYC. Come meet some fellow riders and do some benchracing or whatever. 8pm-ish Third Tuesday • 7:30pm ABATE of the Garden State, North Jersey chapter. Black River Barn, 1178 Rt. 10 West, Randolph, NJ. 7:30pm. New members and all mc brands welcome. Help fight for rights as a motorcyclist in NJ! Alex Martinez 973-390-1918 Every Wednesday • Chelseas Restaurant/Pub, 1051 Rte. 22 East, Lebanon, NJ 6-9pm, weather permitting all summer • www.chelseasrestaurantpub.com Second Wednesday • Harley-Davidson of Long Branch Restore the Shore Dinner Rides. Meet at HDLB, 671 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ @ 6pm with full tank • leave @ 6:15pm • www.hdlongbranch.com • Ride-Restore-Rebuild Every Thursday • Bike Night at the Chatterbox Drive-In, Rtes. 15/206, Augusta, NJ. Tire kicking, good food and friends • www.chatterboxdrivein.com Every Saturday • Stop by the dealership at 9am for coffee and bagels. Ride departs at 10am. Return to the dealership for FREE food and music. Proper attire MUST be worn! No shorts or sneakers. • Bergen Harley-Davidson/BMW Motorcycle, 124 Essex St, Rochelle Park, NJ • 201-843-6930 • www.bergenbmwmotorcycles.com Last Saturday • Ride to Eat. Meet at Morton’s BMW Motorcycles, Fredericksburg, VA at 4pm. Scenic ride followed by dinner. www.mortonsbmw.com • 540-891-9844
APRIL 2013 27 • Locomotion Powersports Spring Open House • 9a-4p • Food, music, giveaways and promos • 138 Orange Ave, Suffern, NY • 845-357-1190 • www.locomotionpowersports.com 27 • Morton’s BMW Motorcycles, Fredericksburg, VA • 4:00 pm • Ride To Eat with the Morton's crew! Meet us at 4:00 pm for a nice ride through the countryside to an interesting restaurant each month. Details at www.mortonsbmw.com or 540-891-9844. 27 • Open House at Bob’s BMW • Motorcyclists of all types and stripes (that’s right, not just BMW riders) come from far and wide to help make the day memorable. Grab some delicious food served up by the Blue Knights. The Major Brand factory reps never miss a Bob’s Open House, so why should you? They’ll be here eager to fill you in on the latest great gear and accessories. And of course, you know you'll find SAVINGS — and SURPRISES too! More info: bobsbmw.com • 10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD 28 • Motorcyclepedia Museum Season Kick-Off and Swap Meet • 250 Lake St, Newburgh, NY • 845-569-9065 • www.motorcyclepediamuseum.org • Clean out your closets and saddlebags and sell your stuff. Space is limited, call for table details.
Rider Education Of New Jersey Inc.
Basic RiderCourse • $275 Basic RiderCourse 2 (old ERC) • $125 “New” 3 Wheel BRC & The Advanced RiderCourse
Over 20 Years Experience! Learn to Ride! Learn to Ride better! No Permit Needed! To Learn More or to Register Online Visit RENJ.com Call Today: 1-800-8WE-RiDE Motorcycle Safety Foundation & New Jersey State Approved MVC Written and Road Test Waived (certain restrictions apply)
2 • Can-Am Metuchen hosts the Spyder Demo Truck • Check out the 2013 Spyders, take one for a test ride and then take one home. Please check website for more information • www.CanAmMetuchen.com • 911 Middlesex Ave, Metuchen, NJ • 732-4912900 4 • Bergen County H-D/BMW International Female Ride Day Ride • Signin: 9-10am • Ride leave 10:30 sharp • Free BBQ and music at 12:30 • 12 Essex St, Rochelle Park, NJ • 201-843-6930 11 • Liberty Harley-Davidson 11th Annual Hot Rods & Harleys • 11am-6pm. Antique & Custom Cars & Motorcycles, vendors, family fun, food and live music. www.hrandh.com 9-12 • Buzzard Bottom 6 • Enjoy awesome raods and camaraderie at BB6, presented by Buzzard Brent and Poverty Riders Int’l. High country MC Camp, Ferguson, NC, just 20 miles off the Blue Ridge Pkwy. Comfortable gathering for riders of all types, not a constructed rally. HCMC camping rates apply and meals will be available. For more information visit: www.highcountrymotorcyclecamp.com 16-19 • BACKROADS Spring Break 2013. Cooperstown, NY. This rally will feature a complete issue of Backroads’ columns in one weekend - Great All-American Diner Run, Big City Getaway, and, of course, Mysterious America. Our home base will be the Lake Front Motel, sitting right on Lake Otsego and walking distance from downtown Cooperstown. www.backroadsusa.com/rallies.html 16-19 • Concours Owners Group Northeast Spring Fling. Bedford, PA. For details please contact Jason 814-535-8669 • www.tinyurl.com/COGSpringFling2013 17-19 • Mothers for Daughters Weekend. Join hundreds of riders for a weekend of riding and fun in beautiful scenic Vermont and help raise money for breast and ovarian cancer research. See website for full details: www.mothersfordaughters.com 17-19 • Morton's BMW Spring Fling Rally, Natural Bridge, VA. Meet up with hundreds of riders -- all brands welcome -- for a weekend of riding and relaxing. Dinners on Friday and Saturday evening, vendors, seminars, guided rides on- and off-pavement, door prizes, and much more. Details at www.mortonsbmw.com or 540-891-9844. 18 • Motorcyclepedia Museum MidAmerica Auction and Pet Adoptathon Outdoor Spring Festival • 9am-4pm. Live music, food, vendors. Animals in need of forever homes! Shelters/Rescues space FREE. Auciton preview May 17th 5-9pm • 250 Lake Stree, Newburgh, NY • 845-569-9065 • www.motorcyclepediamuseum.org
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
Page 50 18 • Twisted Throttle Open House • 570 Nooseneck Hill Rd/Rte. 3, Exeter, Rhode Island • 401-284-4200 • www.twistedthrottle.com 18 • Bob’s BMW Vintage and Classic Day • 9am-4pm • Show off your vintage and classic rides, kick tires, explore the Vintage BMW Museum at Bob’s the day before the British and European Bike Show in Clarksburg, MD. Arrive on Saturday before 11am for a Vintage and Classic Tech Session • 10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD • 301-497-8949 18 • Raritan Headwaters Assoc. 11th Annual Benefit Ride for the River. Poker Run through the Raritan River Watershed. Sponsored by Rollin’ Fast Cycle Sport. Prizes to top hands, refreshments. All makes of bikes welcome. Sign in/Endsite: 9-11am at Schooley’s Mountain Cty. Park, 91 E Springtown Rd, Long Valley, NJ. Music, Bike Show. $25 pre-reg incl. t-shirt/pin, picnic/pig roast. Day of event $25 no shirt/pin. $10 picnic only 11am-3pm • www.raritanheadwaters.org • 908-234-1852
30 • Nassau County Fireriders X-Mas in June to benefit the children of St. ChristophersOttilie. Sign in: 9am-12pm Applebee's, 938 S. Broadway/Rt 107, Hicksville, NY. Breakfast served - BBQ to follow. $10 and unwrapped toy per person donation. NO STUFFED ANIMALS. For more information visit www.fireridersnc.com
JUNE 2013 1 • Ride for the Pride Poker Run. $20/rider. Sign in: Knowlton Lions Club Pavillion, Delaware, NJ 9:30-11am. 80 mile scenic ride in PA and NJ. Endsite: Warren Cty. Fairgrounds, Harmony, NJ. Food and live music included ª 908-475-2500 2 • Ft. Lee Arte and Music Festival Ride-In Bike Show sponsored by Bergen County HD/BMW. Registration is FREE and starts at 11am. Municipal Parking Lot. Bikes in by 12:30 • Awards by 3:30. Enjoy food, music and more. 201-843-6930 ext. 133
19 • Rockaway Twp. PAL Motorcycle Run for the Kids. Sign in Peterson Field, Rockaway, Twp, NJ - 9am-10:15am • $25/rider; $10/pass. incl. ride, bbq lunch, live music and many raffle prizes. • Endsite: Craigmore Resort. 50 mile escorted ride thru scenic NJ • www.rtpal.org • 973-625-4000 ext. 1008
2 * Born to Be Wild MC Run to benefit Nyack Hospital Maternity Dept. Hudson Valley Harley Riders. Sign in/Endsite: 9-11am with coffee/donuts) Nyack Hospital, 160 Midland Ave, Nyack, NY • $20/rider; $15/pass incl. lunch, live music, 50/50 and door prizes. • 60 mile ride through Rockland County. www.events.org/wildtobebornatnyackhospital
19 • Ride to British and European Classic MC Day, Clarksburg, MD • Meet Bob’s BMW Restoration Tech Dave Grunberger at the Double T Diner, Catonsville, MD - ride leaves at 9am sharp • 301-497-8949 • firstname.lastname@example.org
1-8 • Americade • www.americade.com • World’s largest motorcycle touring rally. Join with thousands of motorcyclist for a week of riding, fun, seminars and commaraderie.
19 • Ramapo MC Spring Poker Run • Sign in: Rhodes Tavern North, Route 17 N, Sloatsburg, NY 9-10am • This Poker Run is a very unique event, combining hand/eye coordination, marksmanship, intuition and just plain dumb luck, not to mention great roads. For more information contact Dick Roberts • 201-767-3594 19 • Bergen County H-D/BMW Freedom Ride XII • Sign In: Bergen Court House, Hackensack, NJ • Ride Leaves 11am SHARP • $25/rider • $15/passenger • To benefit FEAL GOOD FOUNDATION • Endsite: Overpeck Park, Ridgefield, NJ • For more information please call 201-843-6930 • www.bergenharleydavidson.com 19 • Father John J. Quinlan Memorial Bike Blessing • Sign in: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Andover, NJ • $20/pp includes all-you-can-eat brunch at the Lackawaxen House, Lackawaxen, PA. Escorted ride after procession past cemetary and Honor Guard to church for Bike Blessing • 908-343-7325 • email@example.com 25 • Morton’s BMW Motorcycles, Fredericksburg, VA • 4:00 pm • Ride To Eat with the Morton's crew! Meet us at 4:00 pm for a nice ride through the countryside to an interesting restaurant each month. Details at www.mortonsbmw.com or 540-891-9844. 26 • Vermont Thunder, Sharon, VT • www.VT-Thunder.org 30-31 • CLASS at Virginia International Raceway. Join Brian and Shira from Backroads Magazine for two days with Reg Pridmore and the crew from CLASS. Learn smoothness and cornering amongst friends. For more information visit www.CLASSrides.com 28-June 1 • Tennessee HOG Rally. Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, 1820 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Maryville, TN • www.tnstatehogrally.com • 615-255-3442
1-9 • Warrensburg Bike Rally • 8am-6pm • Located on Schroon River Rd at the Warrensburg Fairgrounds. Free Admission and plenty of free parking. Vendors of all sorts including food and indoor restrooms • www.warrensburgbikerally.com • 518-791-8728 8 • Bob’s BMW Special Women’s Day Tech Seminar • 11am-Noon • The female riding community grows more and more every year so, in suport to all of the lady riders out there, join Bob’s BMW for a special women’s Tech Seminar and more surprises • 8 • Off-Road Training @ Morton’s BMW Motorcycles, Fredericksburg, VA. $75 covers instruction by our team of four MSF-certified teachers, lunch and all the fluids you’ll need to stay hydrated. Info/Reg at www.tinyurl.com/mortons-offroad-2013 • 540-891-9844 8 • Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team NJ Tour 2013. Yogi Berra Stadium, One Hall Dr, Little Falls, NJ. Double-Header - game one 1:30pm vs. Comedy Central; game two 4pm vs. CBS Sports. Tickets $10 available at Bergen County HD/BMW, 124 Essex St, Rochelle Park, NJ • 201-843-6930 Meet and Greet at Bergen County HD/BMW 9:30-11am with WWAST. 13-17 • The Moving Wall Veitnam Veterans Memorial, Mt. Snow’s Howe Farm Field, Wilmington, VT • www.visitvermont.com • 802-464-8092 15 • BACKROADS 250+ • It’s a Jersey Thing. Have a great day riding 250+ miles ALL IN NEW JERSEY. Sign in: Chatterbox Drive-In, Augusta, NJ 8:30-9:30am • $10 charity donation. Printed and GPS routes available. Endsite: Sprinkle Shack, Sparta, NJ. For more information please call 973-948-4176. 8-16 • 90th Anniversay Laconia Bike Week • www.laconiamcweek.com • Join thousands of bikers for a week of music, parties and great events • RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org • 10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD • 301-497-8949 17 • Ride to Work Day • www.RideToWork.org
26th Annual GOOCH’S GARLIC RUN™ presented by Blue Knights® NJ IX
Wednesday, June 19 Rain date June 26
Destination Newark’s Ironbound District
Music Vendors Great Food
Motorcycle Event that Benefits Local Children’s Charities Start: Rockaway Townsquare Mall I-80 Exit 35/Mt. Hope Ave, Rockaway, NJ Sign in starts 4:30pm • Run leaves 6:30pm SHARP! Pre-Registration: $15/motorcycle by June 12 • $20 day of event
PRE-REGISTRATION STRONGLY RECOMMENDED For more information and pre-registration form visit:
June 2 • Mechanicsville, VA July 21 • Utica, NY August 4 • Pittsburgh, PA August 4 • Central Valley, NY August 18 • New England September 15 • Philadelphia September 22 • Balt/Wash. DC
BACKROADS • MAY 2013 19 • 26th Annual Gooch’s Garlic Run. Sign In: Rockaway Townsquare, Exit 35 Rte. 80, Rockaway, NJ 4:30pm. RIDE LEAVES 6:30PM SHARP. $15/pp pre-reg; $20 day of event. Ride to Newark Ironbound District • www.bnjix.org • 973-729-4072 20-23 • Thunder in the Valley Motorcycle Rally, Johnstown, PA • www.JohnstownThunder.com 20-22 • North American GTS Rally celebrating 20th Anniversary of the introduction of the Yamaha GTS 1000. The Inn at Snowshoe, Snowshoe, WV. For more information contact Jason Kaplitz, via email at Cog62@Kaplitz.com • 814-535-8669 • Rally Website 23 • 5th Annual Baer’s MS Poker Run to benefit Multiple Sclerosis. Two sign in starts: Baer’s Sports Center, 330 Grandview Ave, Honesdale, PA or Harmony Lodge #8, 519 Rte. 206, Andover Twnshp, NJ. $20/pp incl. pin or patch, poker hand, raffles, 50/50, live music by Big Boss Sausage, vendors and more. Endsite: Airport Park, Matamoras, PA • 570-253-2000 • 570-686-2917 • 570-228-1896 • www.WRVR.net 24 • Bob’s BMW Track Day at Summit Point • Learn how to be the better rider you always wanted to be in a safe environment. Jeremy Cook, Bob’s BMW S1000RR racer and champion, will be there to provide advice. Lunch, snacks, beverages, on-site techs available for mechanical convenience and more included. To sign up or for more information please contact: email@example.com • 301-497-8949 29 • Closing the Loop fundraising ride for fallen Marine CPL Ian Muller. On 3/11/11 Marine CPL Ian Muller was killed during combat operations in Helmand, Afghanistan. During the past 2 years, the Muller family has helped marines from their son’s unit make the trip to Vermont to visit the grave. Proceeds will help continue their efforts. Sign in/Endsite: Marty’s First Stop, 421 US Rte. 2, Danville, VT • 9-10am • KSU 10:15am • $25/bike. 30 • Nassau Cty FireRiders X-Mas in June to benefit the children of St. Christophers-Ottilie. Sign in: 9am-12pm Applebee’s, 938 S. Broadway, Hicksville, NY. $10 and unwrapped toy incl. breakfast and bbq to follow ride. • www.fireridersnc.com 30 • Rollin’ Fast Cycle Sports Opne House and Victory Demo Truck Event. Free demo rides, great specials and fun for all. 104 Main St, Lebanon, NJ • www.rollinfast.com
JULY 2013 9 • Women’s Track Day - New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, NJ • Sponsored by Tony’s Track Days. Join Shira from Backroads Magazine and a host of other women and learn to be smooth on your motorcycle while perfecting your cornering skills. For more information please visit www.TonysTrackDays.com 13-14 • 37th running of the Ramapo 500 - 500 mile weekend motorcycle tour. LIMITED TO FIRST 400 REGISTRANTS. Sign in: Veterans Memorial Assoc., 65 Lake Rd East, Congers, NY 7-9am, July 13 • Pre-registration NOW for $35/Day of event if available $48 CASH ONLY. Includes: 500 miles of gorgeous scenery and backroads, camping with river swimming, fantastic Saturday night dinner and entertainment, awards and prizes, Sunday breakfast, starter pin/finisher's patch. Garmin GPS route upload service will be available
Page 51 at sign-in for an additional fee. Campground located in Chaplin, CT - lodging available nearby • www.ramapomc.org • 845-300-1247 19-20 • Crossroads Motorcycle Rally 2013, Farre’s Field, Waterbury, VT • www.crossroadsmotorcyclerally.com
AUGUST 2013 23-25 • Kingdom Thunder Rally, Burke, VT • www.kingdomthunder.org 25 • 1st Annual Poker Run to benefit the Harmony Lodge Foundation • Sign in: Harmony Lodge #8, 519 Rte. 206, Andover, NJ 9am-12Noon • Endsite: Franklin Fireman’s Pavilion, 137 Buckwheat Rd, Franklin, NJ. $20/pp incl. food and drink, top 3 poker hand prizes, 50/50, raffles, vendors, live music by Morning Door and more • For more info visit www.harmony8nj.com 29-Sept. 1 • Killington Classic Motorcycle Rally, Killington, VT • Rides, demos, vendors, contests, parade, music, dinners, fireworks and SO MUCH MORE! Registration opens May 15 - DON’T BE SHUT OUT OF YOUR FIRST CHOICES. 518-798-7888 • www.killingtonclassic.com
SEPTEMBER 2013 8 • 7th Annual Rice-O-Rama Vintage & Custom Japanese Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet • Singletary Rod and Gun Club, 300 Sutton Ave, Oxford, MA • 10am-5pm rain or shine. Bikes that you just don’t see anywhere else, from 2-strokes to turbos, singles to sixes, scramblers and scooters. Trophies in over 20 vintage and custom classes. Huge Swap Meet with tons of hard to find parts • 508-344-4202 • www.rice-o-rama.com 18-21 • New York Motomarathon • Hosted by the Celtic Motorcycle Club • Bronx-Lake George-Ongunquit, ME. For more information and specific hotel and date information, visit www.motomarathon.com or call Caty Metzger at 303-621-5356 19-22 • BACKROADS 15th Annual Fall Fiesta. Host hotel: Genetti Hotel, Williamsport, PA. We’ll continue the baseball theme this year with a visit to the home of Little League Baseball. To book your room, please call 800-321-1388 and ask for the BACKROADS Group Booking. Rooms start at $115.95/night incl. breakfast and secure parking. 21 • Bob’s BMW Oktoberfest and Fall Open House • 9a-4p • Seasons change but there’s always fun at Bob’s BMW Oktoberfest and Open House. Food, vendors, product reps, door prizes and great one-day only specials • 10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD • 301-4978949 • www.bobsbmw.com
DECEMBER 2013 21 • Bob's BMW annual customer appreciated day! Get into the holiday spirit at Bob's while we say THANKS to our amazing customers for what we know is going to be another great year. Food, great company, door prizes and special holiday savings • 10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD • 301-497-8949 • www.bobsbmw.com
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
ALL THAT GOOD STUFF
Travel along the scenic backroads of the Delaware river. Meet the Markopoulos family and taste chef George’s Greek American cooking. Best bar menu, lunch or dinner. Fresh poppers, perogies, calamari, clams and crispy wings with 8 different sauces.
Bike Night is BACK! Starting in May
Tues. thru Sat. 11am-10pm Sunday: Breakfast 9am-Noon Lunch and Dinner served until 9pm
John, Christina, chef George and Eoanna welcome you and your friends.
The Riverton Hotel and Restaurant
At Belvidere-Riverton Free Bridge, Riverton, PA
‘50s-Style Drive-In Restaurant Full and Varied Menu Room for the Whole Gang Spring is here and that means it’s time to ride to
THE CHATTERBOX DRIVE-IN GREAT FOOD • GOOD TIMES • EXCELLENT RIDING Located at Ross’ Corners • 1 Route 15 • Augusta NJ • 973-300-2300
Worth the ride from anywhere!
Sharing your passion for good food since 1983
Barbeque Catering Flexible Affordable Ready When You Are
610-498-4241 • www.rivertonhotel.com
The Runway Cafe at the Blairstown Airport
36 Lambert Road • Blairstown, NJ
GREAT Food Roads Destination
Join Us for 1st Friday Celebration 1st Friday of each month from 6 to 9pm Live Music • Dinner Specials 320 Front Street, Belvidere, NJ • 908-475-2274 • www.thisilldous.com
Open Daily for Breakfast and Beyond • 7am to 4pm • Sunday 7am to 1pm Try our Full Throttle Breakfast Special every Saturday + Sunday
SERVING BREAKFAST & LUNCH • TUES.-SUN. 7AM~3PM
lley’s Hudson Va ne Riding Number O t Restauran e u q e b r a B W North 1076 Route 9 mery, NY Fort Montgo
oute 9W icturesque R Located on P D s Perkin rive minutes from State Park and Harriman Point historic West just south of
845-446-0912 rmerbbq.com www.barnsto
OPEN FOR DINNER • THURSDAY - SATURDAY 5~9PM Daily specialty items including burgers, homemade soup & pastries Route 739 ~ just south of Milford Rd ~ Dingmans Ferry, PA
570.828.1920 • www.forkliftcafe.com
Celebrate the Holidays with some awesome barbeque!
If you go home hungry it’s your own fault
MAY IS MOTORCYCLE AWARENESS MONTH. It’s a great time to practice your skills. Be prepared for whatever the road throws at you.
The Boat House Restaurant Join us for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner overlooking Swartswood Lake
Excellent Ride Destination Tuesday ~ Sunday 11am-9pm Brunch 10am-2pm • Closed Mondays Call for Seasonal Hours 1040 Cty Rd 521 • Swartswood, NJ 973-300-0016
BACKROADS • MAY 2013
ALL THAT GOOD STUFF
Harley-Davidson Service Technician (Rochelle Park, NJ) We're established, award winning, busy and looking for experienced Harley-Davidson Technicians to join our team! We're Bergen County Harley-Davidson in Rochelle Park, NJ. Are you dedicated? Hard-working? Motivated? Looking to make good money? Contact us today! Work for the Best! Fax resume to 201.655.7141 or email at address provided.
Competitive Salary • Benefits • Profit sharing • Bonus (on goals met) Must have: Valid drivers license with motorcycle endorsement Your own tools • Attention to detail
MOTORCYCLE TRAILERS DAYTONA, BIKETOBERFEST, STURGIS AND BEYOND
SALES 718-426-7039 • www.barntruckrental.com RENTALS 57-05 BROADWAY • WOODSIDE NY 11377 (OFF THE BQE & LIE)
Come Ride the Dragon Deals Gap
318 Curves in 11 Miles
If you didn’t like cool stuff, you wouldn’t be reading this magazine. Here’s something you’re going to love.
TORQ-IT Screwdriver/Speed Wrench/ Palm Ratchet All In One Tool Variable Speeds Over 600RPM Low Profile, with an “Ergo” Grip and a Non-Slip Design Accepts All 3/8” and 1/4” Sockets and Extensions
www.dealsgap.com 800.889.5550 17548 Tapoco Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771
Sussex Hills Ltd. Now stocking a full line of heated gear Make your riding season last all year.
946 Rte. 23 South Sussex NJ 07461
TORQ-IT PRODUCTS, INC. 1701 Manor Road • Havertown PA 19083
3 miles north of Sussex Borough
Brands you Know and Trust From Long Island’s Premiere Motorcycle Outfitters…
15 East Deer Park Rd, Dix Hills, NY
631-262-0600 • www.ReadyRiders.com
Specializing in Motorcycle Repair, Parts & Supplies • Cycle Tires Mounted & Balanced • Batteries & Hard Parts • Dynojet 250 Dyno available for testing
BASIC SET: $19.95 • DELUXE SET: $29.95 • ACCESORY SET: $9.95 Tel: 1.888.876.9555 • Visit Our New Website: WWW.TORQ-IT.COM
Deals Gap Store Motel Bar and Grill
Norman Gross Since 1976 Our Reputation Speaks for Itself
For All Your Harley-Davidson Needs
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
Page 54 inDustry infobites
(Continued from Page 13)
Lautenberg said; “While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term, and I’m going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the US Senate”. “This is not the end of anything, but rather the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey.” Politicians are much like the end of March in the Midwest, as the old saying goes, “it can go out like a lamb or out like a lion”. Many politicians spend there final days helping staff find new jobs, raising money to pay down any campaign debt they may have or simply just walk away. Others use there time to fight any last political fights or take on controversial issues that may have otherwise cost them tremendous political capital. “While motorcycle helmet laws are not on his laundry list we would be naive to not remain vigilant with Lautenberg to insure that the freedoms of the American motorcyclists are kept in place,” said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.
DUCATI ACHIEVES EXPECTATIONS WIT IMPRESSIVE 2012 YEAR-END FIGURES +21% growth in US market, now confirmed as Ducati’s primary-focus With Ducati experiencing continuous growth in terms of market share and production and sales volumes, 2012 has now been confirmed as a record year in the long history of the famous Italian manufacturer. These outstanding results further underline the security of the company which is, also thanks to the Audi Group acquisition, better structured and organized than ever before and ready to confidently face future challenges. “Ducati closed 2012 with revenues of 606 million euro, an increase of 16% compared with 2011 and a total of 44,102 motorcycles delivered to customers,” declared Gabriele Del
Torchio, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding. “Our growth rate has been especially impressive in the US, currently our primary-focus market, with sales up by 21% compared to 2011, confirming an absolutely positive trend for this country, where Ducati sales have increased consistently for the past 30 months. We are also achieving major results and important goals throughout the Far East, thanks to a marketing policy which specifically targets new and emerging markets and has returned growth in terms market share and profits. “With new stakeholders in the company, Ducati has never been so solid, and these positive figures confirm the value and commitment of all the company staff and of our brand, increasingly popular, appreciated and renowned all over the world. The 2013 product range, including the new Multistrada, Hypermotard, Hyperstrada and 1199 Panigale R models, is the expression of technological excellence and the emotional impact of our products, ever-important in the current, highly competitive economic climate, perfectly complements our unmistakable, all-Italian style. Ducati is today, and will continue to be, a product-oriented company, with development and innovation as the milestones of our growth strategy.”
ZERO MOTORCYCLES NAMES PIETER DE WAAL AS NEWEST MEMBER FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND STRATEGIC CONSULTANT Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, today announced an addition to its Board of Directors, naming Pieter de Waal as its newest member. De Waal comes to Zero with more than 30 years of business, engineering and sales experience in both the automotive and motorcycle industries. This includes stints with Nissan, Delta (GM) and Mercedes Benz and, more recently, at BMW Motorrad as North American Vice President. In addition to his Board position, he will also consult Zero on future strategies, including powertrain initiatives. As the newest member on the Board of Directors, de Waal brings to Zero a passion for motorcycles, an impressive track record and an international perspective, having served as
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BACKROADS • MAY 2013 head of BMW’s motorcycle operations in South Africa, the United Kingdom and later in Munich as head of sales and marketing worldwide. “I am excited to be part of Zero Motorcycles,” said de Waal. “I believe that electric vehicles will play an important role in our future and Zero has the resources, drive and pioneering spirit to help make that future an exciting reality.” De Waal’s selection as board member builds to the strength of the team at Zero Motorcycles. Zero Motorcycles has consciously sought to team senior executives with motorcycle industry experience along with leaders from other high tech fields to create the ideal blend of background and experience for success in this dynamic new and emerging consumer market.
NEW AMA MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME EXHIBIT FEATURES MOTORCYCLE ART
More than two dozen artists are celebrating the spirit, excitement and adventure of motorcycling through fine art in a new exhibit at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, titled “2 Wheels + Motor, A Fine Art Exhibition.” The exhibit, which began in late March, includes art created by mixedmedia specialists, photographers, sculptors, painters, illustrators, jewelers and potters. They’re showcasing some of their finest pieces in what promises to be one of the most heart-stirring and captivating exhibits of motorcyclingrelated art in the nation. “Writer Thomas Merton said, ‘Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time,’” said Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which oversees the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. “Well, the same is true with motorcycling. So the combination of motorcycling, unique images and stunning artworks into a one-of-a-kind motorcycling art exhibit is certain to inspire everyone who sees it. “We are very fortunate to have so many talented artists taking part in this new exhibit,” Heininger added. “Several of the artworks have been created specifically for this exhibit, so there will be many fresh interpretations of motorcycling in various art forms. I’m very excited about this new addition to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”
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Page 55 The main hall of the facility showcases the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, highlighting the people who have made significant contributions to all aspects of American motorcycling. Also on display is the popular exhibit “DirtTrack! All-American Motorcycle Racing” that celebrates the storied history of men and machines battling on the dirt oval. For more information, call the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame at (614) 856-2222 or go to www.motorcyclemuseum.org.
MUSTANG DAY We all love horsepower, who doesn’t? And, when it was time to buy a day to day ride for himself, our man Jeff Kurtzman went for a marigold yellow 302 Mustang. Along with it came a track day in Utah. Our man Jeff did us proud – trophy and everything. Way to go Jeff!
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
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2013 Update For those who would like to have an STG ride (Smaller Tactical Groups) on Thursday, May 16th for our Spring Break Rally we will be meeting at 9:30 am at the Yetter’s Diner on Route 15 in Augusta, New Jersey (just north of the Chatterbox). The route is 200 miles. We’ll be having breakfast and plan on leaving no later than 10am. If you need a GPS route (Garmin) please email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to a fantastic rally and don’t miss Shira’s special pyrotechnic display. We’ll need 35 or so volunteers for this. We sometimes call this “Yep Brian, those are definitely UFOs!” Or, as Shira has been sometimes heard to say… “Cr#!p, the Air Force is here?!”
BACKROADS • MAY 2013 free Wheelin’
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called Big Red Eye recounted in legends since the days of the Lenape. I make a move we all call this road through Walpack Big Red Eye. The Jersey legend will appreciate it. In western Pennsylvania there is a fun road that needs no new name. County Road 666, which starts in the Allegheny River in East Hickory meanders through the mountains and is worth every mile. Great ride with a Satanic name. Nuff’ said. Back to my thought… we are currently working on spending some time next year down Virginia-way, much like our previous outings and rallies down south. So make a little time available. Come next summer. I think we have a number of great miles to explore and discover. Let’s see how many named roads we can bag! To get your “The Wild Side” brochure log onto visitwytheville.com and we will see you along the craftily named backroads. postCarDs from the heDGe
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the sun shining and the temperature in a more sane range, that he was enjoying every aspect of being on the bike and was shifting with greater dexterity than when the bike was last parked? The more I think about it, this whole episode may have just been a strange way of expressing some joy at the return of proper transportation and a celebration of more clement weather, ultimately expressed through my left foot. But hey, the bikes really are shifting smoother, so does it even matter? I only hope it stays this way, as I’ve never been a big fan of notchy transmissions and I often get paired with them whether it’s my bike or someone else’s. That said, I will definitely be a difficult person to convert to the new breed of automatic transmissions regardless of any notchiness in the manual units. I mean, these newfangled “clutchless” units probably feel the same all the time and the operator’s Spring Awakening Smoothness Syndrome (SASS) will have no effect at all. Sad, really.
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tention to her. Selling her makes so much sense, especially with the threat of furloughs in my future, BUT… The more I wrote, the more I wavered. The more I thought, the more I rationalized. The more I told you, the more nostalgic I became. An argument raged inside me. My mind said, “Let go!” but my heart said, “Hold on.” For I’m just a Skyline Pigeon, And fly away again. Dreaming of the open, Fly away! Skyline Pigeon fly, Waiting for the day Towards the dreams When she can spread her wings, You’ve left so very far behind. Her historic tags cost half of those for her sisters. Her insurance is a pittance. She takes but a little space and a little electricity and requires but a little care. And she makes me feel special. When I ride her, I never fail to feel like I should be Steve McQueen, sliding around corners on dirt roads, desperately seeking the Swiss border, clad in jackboots and goggles, MP-40 slung over my shoulder, as I elude pursuers on my own Great Escape. To hell with logic: you can’t get that feeling from a spreadsheet. Satisfied souls have no bottom line. I’m going to keep The Frau and I’m going to keep a promise too: as often as possible, I’m going to open out her cage towards the sun. WhatChathinKin’
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Follow along with the adventure via our blog site welovemotogeo.com. Of course most of us won’t take on such extended travels. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see amazing things and travel to places that are ‘off the grid’ for so many others. When you do set out for parts unknown, will you see them as a tourist or a traveler? Will you throw caution to the wind, point the bike in a direction and see where you end up at the end of the day, or be methodical and plot out your destination and all you will see along the way? Whichever is more comfortable for you, just go out and do it. Don’t be a Scarlett O’Hara and say ‘I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.’ Honestly, you’ll go crazy if you DON’T do it today. Globetrotter or Daytripper, it makes no difference. Just get on the bike and go, you’ll know where you are when you get there.
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MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
Backroads’ Mystery Ride i When the weekly forecast calls for the weather to somewhat catch up with the seasons in late March we go on high alert. Most riders do. Bikes that may have sat idle during the repeated snow and ice storms of February and early March are rolled out and given the once over. Tire pressure is checked and adjusted if need be, shields are polished and gear that has gathered dust is put on with the hopes that it all still fits. We all know things tend to shrink during the winter months. With a decent Saturday rolling in at the end of March we thought it might be nice to bring back something we have just done on an occasional basis over the past few years; a Mystery Ride. As before this would be spur of the moment and we basically put a message up on the Backroads’ Facebook page to invite whomever would like to ride that weekend. When I did this I was instantly asked by Shira where we were going. Hmmm, that was a mystery to me as well, but here at Backroads central we are the master of Plans A & B and would come up with something fun, twisty and delicious. Well, it turned out that the first restaurant we had chosen in Roscoe, New York was still closed for the winter, but – and this is where the mastery of Plan B
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comes into play – Shira found a very promising eatery about 6 miles west of Roscoe on Old Route 17, right on the Beaverkill. We spoke with Tammy Eliezer who, along with her husband Daniel, own the Riverside Café & Lodge; we were looking to assure ourselves that the Riverside would indeed be open that Saturday for lunch. Plan B seemed to be taking shape nicely and only got better when we learned that Tammy was a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park. When we have done these in the past we have had a couple of riders or twenty. This day we had eight machines meeting at the Chatterbox Drive-In, in Augusta, New Jersey around 9ish in the morning. We like to steal from ourselves whenever we can so we borrowed part of a route I had put together for this year’s Spring Break Rally heading to Cooperstown and we altered it a bit to include a couple of lost covered bridges, that Shira was putting into an upcoming article. The day, though promised to be far nicer than what we had been recently experiencing, never really got springtime warm, but the high 40’s along with our Gerbing’s electric wear allowed for plenty of toasty miles that day. Our ride brought us over the Delaware at the Dingmans Ferry Bridge, the only privately owned bridge in the nation, and then along the ridges and lakes only to cross the Delaware once again at Barryville and then scooted north towards the Catskill Mountains. One thing I have found with searching out new places for things like this is that every now adn again we will come across a road we just never happen to ride, such as Old Route 17 from Roscoe to Hancock. Running along the Beaverkill the road rose and fell
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BACKROADS • MAY 2013
running alongside, underneath and above the more modern Route 17 we are all familiar with. Our man Jeff Bahr even stumbled across an old time Mile Marker from the original Route 17’s past. The Riverside Café’, laying right above the banks of the river, was just opening and even though I think we took Tammy by surprise she quickly recovered and soon her easy going, but delectable lunch menu was happening. Wait, great location, superior roads and chef that has Culinary Institute cred? We have a Great All American Diner Run here for sure. We’ll save all the details on the lunch for that chapter of the GAADR, but suffice to say everybody was more than full and happy. Hey, we had a bunch of friends hanging out at a place as cool as the Riverside with the bikes cooling off outside and it wasn’t April yet. We’ll take it. Who wouldn’t? Our group split up a bit from there as riders had things to do, but some
continued on following my lead. Fools. We wanted to bag another “lost” covered bridge and Shira had put together a GPX route that didn’t jibe with my GPS, so I Luke Skywalker’d it and turned off the Nav Computer and followed my gut. My gut seems to have an unquenchable thirst for dirt, dust and clay. Sorry about that guys. But, as with all questionable and dirty rides, once we were home the entire ride was brilliant, as we all were as riders too. We did find the elusive bridge and then banged around some more civilized pavement heading south and east. By evening time we rolled back into Sussex county, New Jersey and then home. We hope those who came on the Mystery Ride had a good time and we think as the months go by we will do a few more of these when the opportunity arises. We’d love to have you join us on these impromptu journeys. If you’d like updated on these rides and others we come up with, drop us an email at email@example.com. You can befriend us on Facebook and get upcoming ride information right there. See ya on the road!
MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS MOTOLIGHTS LED REPLACEMENT BULBS MotoLights now offers two different LED bulbs - a standard output and a new ultra bright output model. The standard LED is 100 lumens with a 10 degree beam spread, while the ultra bright output is a bright 240 lumens with a 10 degree beam spread. A Motolight LED bulb creates the triangle of light that’s so important. We have fund that cheaper LEDs, that you can find at some big box stores are nothing but flood lights and will not create the visibility you need on the road. Easily Motolight LEDs fit your standard housings with no modifications needed. It took us all of ten minutes to install these on our previous standard units and the light was far brighter and, best of all, draws much less power. These replacement bulbs should last many times longer as well. Better all around. MotoLights LED Replacement Bulbs list for $109.95 and come with a 3-year warranty. Log onto www.motolight.com for more information or to get yours.
EARTHX BATTERY • THE FUTURE OF POWER The key words for this article are - Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery Cell Technology. Like the Six Million Dollar Man, the new EarthX Batteries, made in the USA, are lighter, faster and stronger. Faster and stronger are good. Lighter is great. Did I really need a big vat of lead and acid right under my ass? I don’t think so. Hey, no comments. The EarthX Battery folks are another of enlightened companies that are moving portable power into the future (Boeing not withstanding). What we especially like is that EarthX has a wide range of batteries that will be bound to fit many different machines. We have used batteries similar to these before, and though they worked excellently, we had a hard time with installation. All these types of batteries are far smaller than conventional and EarthX has extra padding to make the battery fit well, tight and comfortable. There are also connector adapters, for as we all know, many batteries have different connections. The last time I used a similar battery I had to create my own connections. Not this day as installation took about 30 minutes - 20 of that being pulling the incredibly tight BMW stock unit out. The Earthx, with its neat little pads fit perfectly. Looking at the two batteries the differences were obvious….Hey, did that say POISON!? Of course it did. All the old-world batteries are poisonous. Look at the picture. If we can go lighter and better and…uhhhh greener, so be it! The bottom line is these new generation of batteries are on the cutting edge and even a little bit of weight can make a difference in the way your machine handles.
BACKROADS • MAY 2013
Page 61 We also like that the ETX Lithium Batteries can last up to 6 + years in useful life and require no maintenance. Why ride around with a heavy piece of history when you can have the future of batteries. Why are the OEMS not providing these batteries with every bike? Log onto www.earthxmotorsports.com.
CHAIN MAINTENANCE • LET’S KEEP IT CLEAN KIDS…. One of the easiest ways to keep your chain in good working order is to keep it as clean as possible. Every particle of dirt that gets in your drive train has the potential to ruin a lot of rather expensive things, so it’s important to practice regular maintenance. But cleaning grimy chains is a tedious process. Grease is often the biggest obstacle, and the old soap and water standby usually doesn’t do much but smear dirty grease around your bike. It usually takes a toothbrush, some degreaser, and lots of patience to get the bike clean, but products like Motorex’s Chain Clean Degreaser may mean an end to all this. Motorex ECO Chain Clean Degreaser is a highly effective cleaner for all drive chains. New low VOC formula is better for you and the environment and effectively removes caked-on residue. It is an excellent basis for optimum chain maintenance. It has been tested with X-rings, O-rings, Zrings and regular use will considerably increases the working life of the chain and sprockets. We bought ours at a local shop, Motorcycle Madness, but you can order it from www.whitehorsegear.com for less than $15. Last season we had chain failure on a tour out west. Luckily we were able to limp to the BMW National Rally where we replaced Shira’s chain and sprockets. The chain was a smart looking DID Gold Chain and, lubed regularly, it has performed perfectly and offered a neat looking flash of bullion on the rather bland looking machine. But, after our first Backroads Mystery Ride of the year, with a possible bad call on dragging friends along unpaved, dirty, muddy roads in late March, Shira’s bike came home totally sloppy and the chain was covered with a slick coating of grime. We couldn’t help but feel we needed to clean this immediately. With the chain still hot we went at it with a tough terry cloth and plenty Motorex’s Chain Clean and we have to say that in just 5 minutes this chain was in great shape. Okay, maybe I should have worn gloves, as it did take longer to clean my hands than it did to make the chain … golden. After the chain was clean we took the bikes for another quick 5 mile ride to get it up to temperature and gave it a good lubing with a high quality chain lube. Making sure to get the inside of the rollers as consistently as possible. In just 15 minutes the bike was still cruddy, but the chain was clean, tight and ready for the next ride. Keep an eye on your chain, doing this will allow you to have a far extended chain life on all your chain driven machines.
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MAY 2013 • BACKROADS
Welcome to the Jungle - The Art of Learning to Ride Skillfully A column dedicated to your riding survival
Riding Rural Agostino Racanati Riding rural- We mentally embrace rural riding as long spans of farmland, where line of sight is none less than as far as eyesight can see. The dilapidated barn in the distance of vast spans of rolling knolls bordered with miles of endless white timber fencing. While this is certainly rural riding, what you’ll more than likely experience in rural riding is far from endless visibility and yields unlimited potential for disaster. The reality of rural riding, in most areas, harbors very real dangers. Let’s replace the above scenario to focus on “the other side” of rural riding. Mostly, what you will be a part of when you get bored with the straight passages of grassland. Limited visibility hills and fast dips: Visibility is none further than what’s before you. Don’t be foolish to think there is nothing after the quick upwards swoop. This is not a happy, controlled amusement ride. Control your speed and pretend ‘there is’ a need for a full controlled stop at the top of the hill, when visibility clears up. Wildlife: This is a very real danger as most roads provide passage through the home of nature’s creatures. Deer are impossible to predict at ANY time of day or night. Of the close calls I have had include things like slow moving bears, birds (yes, birds), wild turkeys and the eventual giant turtle crossing the road that needs attention. Anything can happen with little or no notice. Riding on auto-pilot isn’t even to be considered. Relax but don’t let your guard down. Gravel dust: We city folk are used to seeing the salt spreader in the winter months. Salt that melts as quickly as it’s applied. In many rural communities, they use crushed gravel for traction. Crushed gravel and motorcycle tires are not very good friends. The gravel eventually makes its way to the side of the road, usually by late spring. Be prepared for the occasional collected pack of powdered gravel dust at a place where you need extreme traction. Best advice, take it easy around those twisties. You never know what’s around the bend. Fear the locals: This is a real danger. Locals have been traveling those swoops and sweeps for years and know them like the back of their hand, sometimes allowing complacency to overpower proper judgment. High speed is most always involved. With that ignorant mindset, you’re in real danger. But not from them, you’re a danger to yourself. Some tips that helped me survive this madness: If being tailgated, NEVER speed up and never look in the mirror. Resume your speed and focus forwards! What’s going on in front of you is a greater danger. What’s behind you is mostly ONLY an ignorant disrespectful aggravation. Again, focus forwards. At the next available pull off, wave the person around to pass you. If you speed up, I almost promise you they will speed up. Suck it up, let them pass and get home safe. Pay attention: You’re going to have to miss things of great beauty from time to time as they are sometimes only seen peripherally out of the corner of your eye. Catching a hidden cascade of water or something of immense beauty needs to happen just as quick as you would check for traffic on the highway while changing lanes. If you want to embrace the beauty, just make a simple U- turn, side stand the bike and spend the day if you choose. The difference in seeing something for a nano-second VS a few seconds while riding is LIFE and death. Slow down, turn around, stop and ENJOY it! A motorbike traveling in the proper direction will mostly travel only forwards. Things before me are my most preventable dangers. There is a much greater chance of your hitting something than anything hitting you. See ya on the road, shiny side up!
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BACKROADS • MAY 2013
Visit one of the most beautiful islands on earth. Haunting landscapes, rugged coastlines, extraordinary roads and renowned Irish hospitality. Self-guided tours leave the exploring to you while taking care of all the travel details.
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Ride New Zealand February 2014 13 Nights • 2000 miles of Fantastic Riding Auckland to Christchurch (North & South Islands) Large selection of motorcycles to choose from Guided Tour with support van There’s Plenty of Time to get your ducks in a row and join us for a trip of a lifetime.
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For more details and bookings please contact: Fred Rau • 951-672-0239 • Fred@FredRau.com Visit Te Waipounamu Website for information
BACKROADS 2013 UPCOMING EVENTS Backroads is happy to announce the location of
our 15th Fall Fiesta ~
September 19-22, 2013 We will be staying at the historic Genetti Hotel in downtown Williamsport, home of Little League Baseball and gateway to the Allegheny mountains. There are miles and miles of great roads, paved and dirt, to explore during our visit and Williamsport offers a variety of activities for after the bikes are parked. Conveniently, the Genetti is across the street from the Bullfrog Brewery, as well as next door to the Community Arts Center.
To book your room (which you should do RIGHT NOW), please call 800-321-1388 and ask for the BACKROADS GROUP BOOKING. Rooms start at $11595/night (plus tax) which includes a great breakfast every day and secured off-street parking.
raindate: Saturday, June 22
JOIN US ON THE ONE AND ONLY BACKROADS 250+ A motorcycle road tour exploring the best and sometimes hidden backroads of New Jersey. This entire event will be run within the state boundaries of Jersey with plenty of sights, stops, points of interest along the way and some surprises as well. Lodging available in the area • GPS route available - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Start: Chatterbox Drive-In, Rtes. 15/206, Augusta, NJ • Sign-in: 8:30am-9:30am End: Sprinkle Shack, 640 Rte 15, Sparta, NJ
Published on May 27, 2013