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MAY

2015

Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure Volume 21 No. 5

Riding the Middle of the Planet with Ecuador

Freedom Bike Rental

MODERN CLASSICS MACHINES OF THE 60S, ‘70S AND ‘80S

SHIRA’S ICE CREAM RUN A RETURN TO SUMMER FUN MONTHLY COLUMNS AND PRODUCT REVIEWS


W H A T ’ S

I N S I D E

MO NT HLY C O L U M NS

14 Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure

FREE WHEELIN’ ..................................................4 ON THE MARK ....................................................5 POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE.......................6

Publishers

Brian Rathjen • Shira Kamil

WHATCHATHINKIN’ ...........................................7

Contributors

Mark Byers, Bill Heald, Jack Broomall, Joseph Luppino

BACKLASH..........................................................8

Dr. Seymour O’Life

INDUSTRY INFOBITES.......................................9

12

MYSTERIOUS AMERICA..................................12

Editorial Office BACKROADS, POB 317 Branchville NJ 07826

BIG CITY GETAWAY .........................................14

phone

973.948.4176

GREAT ALL AMERICAN DINER RUN ..............17

fax

973.948.0823

WE’RE OUTTA HERE ........................................19

email

editor@backroadsusa.com

SHIRA’S ICE CREAM RUN ...............................44

online

www.backroadsusa.com

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE ............................46

Advertising

973-948-4176

UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR ...................50 MOTORCYCLE MARKETPLACE .......................52

FE AT U RE S RIDING THE MIDDLE OF THE EARTH .............22 5TH ANNUAL MODERN CLASSICS................40 BACKROADS SPRING BREAK UPDATE .........43

PR O DU C T R E V IE W S ALTRIDER HEMISPHERE TANKBAG ...............42 UCLEAR HBC200 BLUETOOTH.......................48

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BACKROADS (ISSN 1087-2088) is published monthly by BACKROADS™, Inc. 2015. All rights reserved. BACKROADS™ may not be reproduced in any manner without specific written consent from the publisher. BACKROADS™ welcomes and encourages submissions (text and photos) and suggestions. Include phone number with submissions. BACKROADS™ will only return material with enclosed sufficient postage. The written articles and opinions printed in BACKROADS™ are not necessarily those of the publisher and should not be considered an endorsement. The Rip & Rides® published are ridden on the sole responsibilty of the rider. BACKROADS™ is not responsible for the conditions of the public roadways traversed. Please respect the environment, read your owner’s manual and wear proper protective gear and helmet. Ride within your limits, not over them.


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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

FREE WHEELIN’ BRIAN RATHJeN We’re Not StayiNg Here Have you ever walked into a hotel, motel or B&B, took one look and said - I think not? I know we have. Some places we ending up staying regardless, due to timing, lack of any other options or just pure exhaustion. A few pop into mind and I’d like to share them with you. One summer evening, heading towards Canada, we ended up at a truck stop flea-tel and, down a few rooms, there was a chap who truly believed he was Greg Allman. It was a hot night and the room had only a small AC that blew a tepid breeze into the room that might have come from the set of a Tarantino film. Greg, and his friend John Barleycorn, were singing Whipping Post for hours. HoUrS. A whipping post would have been excellent right about then. On another journey we crossed the Jersey state line – almost home - but it was late and we were done; so we grabbed a roadside hotel. The first red flag should have been the small kids running around and the families that were outside some of the rooms; which they obviously lived in year-round. The second eye-opener was the wide bloodstain across the once beige, now rust, carpet. Filled with renewed energy Shira and I soldiered onward and homeward. Once on a trip in northern California we took a room at an inn above the little town of Calistoga, in Napa Valley. The detached, tropically themed room was nice enough, and when we went into the house to pay for it we were met by a nice enough lady, but were taken aback by her not-so-nice husband sitting in the living room in his boxers and stained tank top. Hand shoved down his underwear he was about as obnoxious as he could be to us, and his spouse. It was really a shame as the inn could have been nice but the

hubby ruined it for us, the other guests and his wife, as well. I hope she had a good lawyer. There are any number of reasons why we would pass on a certain room, hotel or town. But a recent survey published by Huno.com hotel survey has revealed some interesting insights into the most common dislikes many have when staying at a hotel. When asked to rank their major grievances, a staggering 41% of all respondents listed dirty or untidy rooms as the number one issue that would annoy them the most during their stay. Uncomfortable beds and poor service came in second and third, respectively. Females are more concerned with cleanliness than males - Females were more likely to list dirty rooms as their most important issue (48%) compared to males (29%). However, men were more likely to list inexperienced staff and hidden extras as major issues compared to women. Perhaps surprisingly, dated decor was not a major issue for many respondents, with most ranking this as the least annoying factor when staying at a hotel. A lack of in-room amenities followed as the second least annoying factor. The results highlight the need for hoteliers to focus on the basics such as clean rooms and friendly attentive service before addressing issues such as guest facilities or dated decor. We would like to add other red flags while on the road; difficult or poor locations, security (personal and property), hidden fees such as charging for WiFi and the lack of local in-house or local restaurants, which need to be available, clean and easy. So it seems there is a lot to think of when you are on the road and the day is coming to an end. This is why we have created the Backroads Moto-Inn Program, which will be expanding in a big way this upcoming season. So, what will draw you in or drive you away when it comes to spending a night on the road? Let us know your thoughts.


BACKROADS • MAY 2015

ON THE MARK MARK BYeRS MeN of fire aNd Steel There wasn’t always a shop. There wasn’t always a superstore dedicated to satiating our part and accessory desires. In some places, there still isn’t. There was a time when there was a fire, a forge, and a dream. A bellows blew coals to red life and a hammer tolled like a bell as cherry-colored raw iron threw sparks while it was hewn on an anvil, held firm in the tongs of a man who knew how to do such things. That was the beginning. Early motorcycles were just bicycles with added internal combustion. Wooden wheels were shod with steel bands, held together with a rivet installed by a man with a hammer. Shod is the proper term, because those iron horses were just one generation removed from mounts of flesh and bone. There was no mass production and therefore, no parts interchange – every one was lovingly hand-fitted by a craftsman who chose his files like a musician chose his instruments. Spares? When Glenn Curtiss raced, spares were hewn out of raw materials. They were cast or pounded to life in a forge by a blacksmith. Fenders and tanks were coldworked around a form into some of the most beautiful and graceful shapes imaginable. They were Art Deco and Steampunk before such things were fashionable. When something broke, it was mended, not ended. The man who mended it welded with heat and a hammer, not a torch. When Burt Munro made test runs of his Indian on the beaches of New Zealand and blew a hole in a piston, he didn’t ring Indian for a replacement. On the same beach where he’d blown the beast, he’d dig a hole and sandcast a replacement by pouring liquid metal into a mold. His alloys were dubious, made as they were from parts he’d scrounged, but they were strong enough to run on the beaches of New Zealand…and the salt of Bonneville. Strong enough to set a world record.

Page 5 When the Rockers needed a café bike to take to the Ace and strafe the ring road or to take to the beaches of Brighton, they worked the steel. Grinding stones and cutting wheels made showers of sparks and short work of long fenders. Hot gas cut undesirable appendages and made welds on clubman bars and modified frames until little remained of the original bike. A new creation was born, as individual as their children. When the flower children needed raked-out front ends and hardtail rears with monstrous sissy bars, out came the welders. The first choppers were Triumphs and BSAs and Hondas – anything that would take a miles-long fork and an ape-hanger bar. As the materials and the science changed, so did the skills. Tanks of oxygen and acetylene were replaced with the blue-white arcs of electricity, accompanied by tanks of nitrogen or argon. It didn’t matter: in the glow of the electric forges, motorcycles were mended and born. It was not, and is not, just old motorcycles that feel the fire and steel. In the jungles of Vietnam, a man in sandals still kneels in front of an anvil made from a salvaged train rail and hammers out parts for the broken machines of his neighbors. High in the Atacama, an artist of fire and steel still mends the broken frames of the tiny, utilitarian two-wheeled transports that keep them moving. Deep in the middle of India, hot parts fresh off the anvil are still quenched in muddy waters. Those parts go on machines that make their world go ‘round. We’ve lost a step. Lost, without a big, red rollaway full of shiny tools as we sit, waiting for UPS to arrive with parts from a factory thousands of miles away. If I had gumption, I’d fabricate something. If I had the balls and the skills to match, I’d sand-cast a new cylinder for my broken 250 and handhone it to fit the piston I made. Instead, I sit here, mechanically impotent, waiting for brown-truck Santa to come. Perhaps someday, we will return to the time before superstores peddled mass-produced marvels made on numerically-controlled mills, chemically etched and cut with water jets. Maybe we’ll be on a trip in some remote locale, have a footpeg break, and get to watch a true artisan fabricate and handContinued on Page 7


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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE BILL HeALD “i’M HappieSt. . . iN tHe Saddle” Bond. James Bond. The name of this column comes from a line from the film “A View to a Kill,” and is delivered by actor/dancer/cowbell aficionado extraordinaire Christopher Walken in the role of Max Zorin. I have been “Bonding” a lot lately because I’ve been going through and reading all the original Bond novels and it’s quite an interesting experience. The stories, and the character of James Bond, are actually far more complex and nuanced than the movies have ever really captured, even the Sean Connery classics and Daniel Craig’s popular modern interpretation. What is really interesting is how much things have changed since Ian Fleming wrote the books, and how much they haven’t. But that’s a subject for another day. The saddle of your motorcycle, sometimes called the “seat,” “butt-parker,” “pillion” (if found just aft of the butt-parker) or “throne.” To some the term “home” fits the bill, and is kind of a special place. Obviously it’s the command center of your machine, and the place where all the road memories get concentrated as it’s the largest interface between you and the mechanical contrivance beneath. It is a site for frequent customization, and on long trips can be your best friend, or, quite literally, a pain. Its contours are engineered in such a way that it doesn’t just directly influence the comfort of your backside on the road; it also helps determine the width of the bike in practical terms and therefore how easy the machine is to balance at stops. The saddle is a huge determiner of where your legs reside while in the riding position, and also can be instrumental in a bike’s handling. Think about it: The exact position of your body can be rigidly dictated by the seat in cases where it

conforms tightly to your body’s contours thus limiting the amount of moving around you can actually do. This is especially true of big touring bikes, which demand you stay pretty much in one spot as opposed to sport bikes which offer a flatter, less restrictive perch so you can move around on the bike to optimize cornering dynamics, for their lighter weight means your body’s position is much more influential and hanging off the bike is easier along with quicker changes in position. Because of the critical nature of a saddle that fits your needs, and the fact that the aftermarket is loaded with seats to further tailor the perch to the person and even add additional style, this is clearly a very important part of the machine. But there’s something else about this patch of leather, vinyl, or other material: I honestly think it has some kind of power. This has come to my attention in the past, but as been really highlighted with the really despicable winter we had that meant a lot of seat time the last few months was inside, out of the weather and pretty much motion-free. There’s something rather mystical about sitting on your motorcycle in a quiet space, and this is especially facilitated if you have a bike with a centerstand or race stand that makes the machine stay upright and stable. I don’t know why but I find just sitting on the bike ideal for thinking, reading, meditating, you name it. You can tell your bike things you would hesitate to pass on to creatures that don’t know you as well, too. If you’ve had your ride a long time, and you’ve done some seriously long days where you badly need to take a break for a short while you have probably figured out the proper physical articulation required to take a nap on your pride and joy. I had no idea it was possible on one sport tourer I was riding years ago, but I managed to make it work for a catnap with minimal aftershocks. It is a reasonable solution when there’s no nearby alternative, and the ground you’re parked on looks potentially problematic (and you know there are fire ants in the vicinity). It’s amazing what long trips on lonely roads can teach you, and the bonding Continued on Page 49

HONORING OUR HEROES Please join Woodstock Harley-Davidson® in the dedication of the Ulster County Veterans ‘Battle Cross Memorial’

SUNDAY, MAY 24

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May 8: Ladies Garage Party • 5-6:30pm May 16: WHD Anniversary Party Open House Join us all day for fun, food and specials

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BACKROADS • MAY 2015

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Come late summer we hope to host a ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ ride. For those who have been reading, you know that we do enjoy our baseball, and we are excited to have a new ball club in our backyard at Skyland StaSHIRA KAMIL dium. Seems there may be a little rivalry brewing with our friends to the east, and when the Rockland Boulders visit the Sussex Miners in September, we’ll it’S May - tHe MoNtH of yeS yoU May see who emerges victorious. When the summer winds start drifting out, it will be time for us to head It’s May, it's May, the lusty month of May on our Fall Fiesta to Virginia and West Virginia. This part of the country south That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray has always offered some great riding, and we will again offer you some old It’s here, it's here, that shocking time of year and new roads for your enjoyment. Or you can head out, devil may care, When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear finding your own favorites. It’s all good. Lerner & Loewe - Camelot But I get ahead of myself. Riding into May Yes, it has finally arrived, and we are ready to Whence this fragrance wafting through the air? has always been one of my favorite times of take it on full force. The peepers have come and What sweet feelings does its scent transmute? year. All the newness and rejuvenation that’s gone, the buds have husked their shells and the in the air, the smells of summer flowers, Whence this perfume floating everywhere? leaves and flowers are springing up all around newly-mown grass and freshly fertilized fields Don't you know it's that dear forbidden fruit us. The road is seductively luring you to parts wake up the senses and spur me on to ride known or new. Your motorcycle, which has from morning and into the night. After the waited patiently for your return, is raging to be drought of winter, that first long ride in the out in the open air, free to carry you to your bright, warm sunshine beckons me to keep heart’s content. The winter months of planning going. The wicked little thoughts push me to and ‘virtual’ riding are gone and it’s time to put continue on, taking that unknown road and those routes into motion. discovering what lay ahead. With this being the 20th anniversary of the So seize the day, take on May with its magazine you hold in your hands, we hope to wickedness and happily carouse. bring you some tasty choices and fun rides to fill It's May, the lusty month of May your summer days. It starts with our Spring Break later this month which That darling month when everyone throws self-control away will bring us to the always pleasant roads of the Berkshires and Adirondacks. It's time to do a wretched thing or two Of course we’ll have a selection of routes for your entertainment. And try to make each precious day, one you'll always rue Later in the summer we’ll have a return of the Backroads 200, a more rider-

WHATCHATHINKIN’

friendly version of our previous Backroads 250+. We’ll bring you on a tristate jaunt and, as Lerner & Loewe so artfully described, lead you blissfully astray, but not too. Also in the planning stages are a number of impromptu Mystery Runs, Ice Cream excursions and other food-related meanderings. I did say tasty.

oN tHe Mark

Continued from Page 5

weld a repair out of scraps he finds laying around his unkempt yard. Perhaps somewhere along the Road of Bones, a man of fire and steel will save our trip and in the offing, save our souls.

Our area is a mecca of some of the best riding roads in the U.S. Plan your next adventure with us as a pitstop. Let our staff and great landscape make your trip memorable.

In the heart of Southwest Virginia

FRONTLINE EUROSPORTS 1003 Electric Rd • Salem, VA 24153 855-444-BMW6 (2692) • www.frontlineeurosports.com


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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

BACKLASH

Letters to the Editor

Hey Backroads, Snow and ice have been falling from the sky since your return from South America. I read some of the articles in the current magazine more than once. If you cannot crank on the throttle, reading is the next best thing. Tom Demming

and can’t wait to see everybody and get back on the road again. Are there posted routes for the rally and will there be a group meeting place that Thursday. We will be departing from the Catskills. Paul & Connie from the Catskills.

Hi Brian, Just a quick note to say thanks for featuring (and using) our Stop & Go Pocket Tire Plugger. The write-up in your April issue should get some people’s attention on what they should always carry on their bike. I really appreciate your belief in my product! Thanks again. Bill • www.stopngo.com

Indeed Paul and Connie from the Catskills. You can find more information on two places to meet up on page 43.

It’s easy to do Bill when you have a superior product like Stop & Go

Mysterious Puzzler Hi guys, I’ll start off with O’Life’s blunder with Agloe. If Sunoco used General Drafting maps then why is it that the GD name appears on the Esso map? Second, when you made a guest appearance in Littleton, did you happen to notice Porfido’s Market? My paternal grandfather and his brother came over on the boat to Ellis Island. My grandfather Alfonso went to Dover, NJ and opened Porfido’s Market and his brother Frank went to Littleton, NH and opened Porfido’s Market. Go figure. Looking at the photos of Littleton, it’s no coincidence that the brothers were traveling in a parallel universe. Both stores were two-story brick front with living quarters above. I wonder if there is a Porfido’s Market in Agloe? Sam

Spring Break Questions Backroads, We hope you guys are well. Connie and I are booked for the Spring Break

PTSD… It’s Catchy Morning Brian, I was up early with coffee reading my April Backroads. You are spot on with Post Trip & Sojourn Disorder (PTSD). We have felt this same thing many times coming off multi-day excursion or even a great day ride. See you guys soon. Ride safe Wolfgang V.S.

Baseball? Dear Brian & Shira, Keep up the great magazine! It’s the best motorcycle magazine out there and it’s loaded with information and perspective while the others just print the “need for speed” sport bike junk. There seem to be far too many of these publications out there. A “Take Your Bike” suggestion is the Celtic Festival at Hunter Mountain in the Catskills this summer. The bagpipers are awesome to see. First time I have ever seen a baseball ad in a motorcycle magazine. Ahh, yes – you guys and the Mets! Let’s not have too many non-mc ads…okay? See you on the road. Chris Lawrence How about a Take Me Out To The Ball Game Ride, Chris? Let’s mix up a ride and a great day at the park!


BACKROADS • MAY 2015

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IN DU STRY INFOBITES

News from the Inside

“MILLION-MILE DAVE” SWISHER AWARDED 1.7 MILLION MILE AWARD Dave Swisher, the man for whom BMW North America’s Million Mile award is named, is closing in on his second million. At their BMW High Miler’s Dinner on Saturday 21 March, Morton’s BMW Owner Jeff Massey presented Dave with an engraved crystal plaque to mark 1.7 million miles in the saddle of BMW motorcycles. What’s even more amazing is that Dave, a retired farmer from Bowling Green, VA, didn’t start riding BMWs until he was 43 years old and he’s currently 85 and still racking up the miles. His wife Mary, who doesn’t accompany him, quipped with a smile, “He rides all those miles to stay away from my cooking!”

INTRODUCING THE STREET SKILLS RIDING ACADEMY Looking to build your riding skills? Want unique and personalized options? Jon DelVecchio is proud to announce his new riding school: the Street Skills Riding Academy. The school, based out of Rochester, offers NY state’s only available open enrollment onroad motorcycle training. Another exciting course is being held on July 20,

2015 at the New York Safety Track in Oneonta, NY, with a focus on street riding skills and cornering confidence. Only 25 spots are available. Additional instruction is offered on a wide range of topics, including individual goal-setting and tutoring services. Those interested can contact Jon via the school’s website to explain his curriculum in detail and answer questions. Registration is open now for 2015 courses at www.streetskills.net

WELL WISHES TO BARLEY AND PETER A few years back we had the good fortune to meet Barley and Peter Burke at a BMW MOA rally. Barley has traveled with Peter for many years and thousands of miles. We recently learned that Barley was diagnosed with lymphoma and want to pass along our good thoughts, prayers and virtual doggy treats wishing him an easy road on his treatments. As Peter said in a post, ‘He is my cherished gift, the most loyal of companions, and I shall love him till the end of days. And so we fight, together, as we’ve faced so many other challenges

WE SELL FUN

It’s elementary my dear Watson… Hey Brian, Tell Mr. Watson that if he thinks skiing is too expensive and cumbersome he’s doing it all wrong. If it weren’t for skiing, winter would make me insane and fat. Here is how he should be doing it: 1. Buy your ski gear used at a ski town’s annual community ski sale. That’s how the locals do it and you don’t need to be a local to buy there. Only silly rich people buy new gear at retail. 2. Don’t pay $100 for a lift ticket. Ski on special deal days, throwback days, or try night skiing where it’s offered. I can’t remember the last time I paid over $30 to ski all day or night. 3. Don’t drive 150 miles at oh-dark-thirty to ski. If you do, when you get there, you’ll be too tired to ski so why even bother? Get to town the day before. Stay offmountain at a mom & pop place or better yet befriend some locals and stay with them, for free. They’ll probably feed you too. 4. If you don’t like putting on ski boots in a crowded lodge full of strangers, don’t. Gear up at your car and walk to the slopes. Also helps to be EARLY. Be one of the first cars in the lot so it’s a very short walk to the slopes. 5. Did I say be EARLY. Be geared up and waiting at the lift before it opens. You’ll get the best, least crowded runs of the day. You’ll have torn up the mountain in every direction before some folks have even gotten out of their motels. Who is the smart one then? 6. Or screw lift-serviced down-hilling completely. Learn to telemark and ski in the woods for FREE. Skiing is the balls. It’s almost as good as motorcycling. And it gives you a friggin’ awesome way to enjoy winter. Oh yeah and if he thinks putting on riding gear is too much work and worry, then he shouldn’t wear it. Personally I enjoy the act of suiting up to ride no matter if it’s 20 degrees or 110. But I’m silly anyhow... Snow Bunny Jeff Adams

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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

over five years and fifty thousand miles of shared adventure.’ Barley and Peter, we look forward to seeing you again, on the road or at a rally, and sharing some ice cream and laughter.

WEEKEND ESCAPE AT ALTRIDER’S CONSERVE THE RIDE 2015 Central Pennsylvania – When was your last adventure? Join AltRider for 150+ miles on the rolling hills of Central Pennsylvania at Conserve the Ride 2015, June 12-14. Slip away for a weekend getaway to ride pristine trails, unknown to many east coast riders. This three-day event is an accessible adventure — bring your camping gear and AltRider has the weekend planned for you. Conserve the Ride is put on in conjunction with the Seven Mountains Conservation Corp (SMCC), a non-profit organization committed to keeping the off-road trails open for recreational activities. A portion of the proceeds from the three-day event will benefit SMCC’s efforts to preserve the forest trail activities. Register for the event at www.altrider.com/conservetheride. This 3-day adventure features riding, delicious catered meals, and camping with fellow ADV enthusiasts. To see what’s in store for the ride, check out the video from Conserve the Ride 2012. The $255 Registration includes: 150-200 miles of GPS-led rides for all skill levels 2 nights of camping at the gorgeous Woodward Caves Campground 5 meals including a special pig roast and craft local beers Nighttime entertainment including presentations from travel bloggers and an awards ceremony emceed by AltRider President, Jeremy LeBreton. Knobbies are preferred but not required

THE ROLLING DEAD For those of you who watch The Walking Dead you know that character Daryl Dixon finally got another motorcycle this past season. The bike looks like the rest of his world. Tough, distressed and a bit abused. We think a far better ride than his last chopperesque machine.

But what is this bike really? Well, the motorcycle was created by John Ryland and crew at Classified Moto in Richmond, Virginia and got its start as a 1992 Honda CB750 Nighthawk. The front end, wheel and brakes are lifted from a Yamaha YZFR6 and the fuel tank is a replica from a Yamaha XS650. Kenda Big Block tires add to the ruggedness of the motorcycle. Many people brought this machine to life and got Daryl back on the backroads of the zombie apocalypse and they all did an awesome job. You can see more of this machine and the other great bikes they create at www.classifiedmoto.com.

GLOBAL ADVENTURER EXPOSED NAKED Dr. Gregory Frazier will be at AMERICADE (Lake George, NY) June 4, and BOB’s BMW (Jessup, MD) June 13, as an invited presenter, speaking the “naked truths” about 102 years of adventure riding around the globe, exposing some myths and fallacies while addressing thin-skinned sensitive subjects like which is the best motorcycle to use for an adventure ride and what is a modern day adventure. Frazier’s multi-media presentation subject matter, Long Distance Riding Adventures – 100 Years, dispels some of the fantasies and questionable tales about the first motorcycle adventure riders while sharing numerous secrets of modern day adventure travel. Dr. Gregory W. Frazier has himself circled the world five times and is currently on an extended pit stop during a sixth attempt to “girdle the globe.” Author of 14 books, producer of 10 films on motorcycling and well-known Adventure Editor-at-Large and columnist, Frazier says of his own wild adventures, “I hate adventure that involves snakes or sharks, or stepping off a motorcycle at speed while riding au naturel.”

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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

Morton’s BMW Motorcycles Presents Dr. Seymour O’Life’s MY STERI OUS AM ERI CA Mr. ed’S elepHaNt MUSeUM & CaNdy eMporiUM 6019 CHAMBERSBURG RD, ORRTANNA, PA 17353 717-352-379 • WWW.MISTEREDS.COM In the past two decades we have found some odd things out there in this Mysterious America. Between my own ramblings around the country and the world and others, like the late, great Jeff Bahr, we have found some winners. This month’s stop comes from an unexpected source – Ms. Shira Kamil. Shira, although enjoying the odd and wacky on occasion, is not a big purveyor of the mysterious and is almost always dragged by me or her husband to something offbeat and different. Not so with Mr. Ed’s - this was a Kamil excursion from the start. She first stopped by Mr. Ed’s years back when Brian was heading to Prudhoe Bay and she was riding on her own, heading to the old Honda Hoot. Along her travels, just 12 miles west of Gettysburg, she found the “miniature elephant capital of the world.” Mr. Ed’s. Since I have spent some time in Africa with real elephants and seen their herds cohort and mingle like a big family I dare say a real elephant might be the last piece of the pachyderm puzzle Mr. Ed needs. Or, maybe not. They can be a bit high maintenance. But, as far as cute, interesting and incredibly numerous as collections go – Mr. Ed’s might just take the cake. This place was one of the many stops Shira had lined up on her State Park Ride at last year’s Fall Fiesta Rally, in Shippensburg, and Mr. Ed’s was surely a crowd pleaser. Mr. Ed Gotwalt got his start working for Giant stores back in the ‘70s but soon realized he wanted more, and in 1975 he opened Mister Ed’s: The Area’s Most Unusual General Store, about two miles from its current loca-

tion. Times changed and so did Mr. Ed’s. It just keeps getting better. When we last stopped by we got to spend a few minutes with Mr. Ed himself and found him to be quite the character. Ever the showman his eyes sparkled when we introduced ourselves. He looked at Shira and said, “I know you.” After her first visit, some years back, Shira had written a short article on Mr. Ed’s for Backroads. Motorcycle magazines are not where this place usually ends up – but, they liked it. He remembered the article in the “biker” magazine and, ever the promoter, immediately stated we should do another article on him - okay Mr. Ed, our pleasure. Strolling around the gardens and the grounds is an eye-opener, but the true magic of Mr. Ed’s is how much is actually inside. His collection of all things elephant is most impressive as is everything else you will find inside its doors.

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www.LIYamaha.com • 516-935-6969 Dress properly for your ride with a helmet, eye protection, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves and boots. Do not drink and ride. It is illegal and dangerous. Yamaha and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation encourage you to ride safely and respect the environment. For further information regarding the MSF course, please call 1-800-446-9227. ©2014 Yamaha Motor Corporation. U.S.A. All rights reserved. • YamahaMotorsports.com


BACKROADS • MAY 2015 We had brought a few friends along on this ride and watching them react, with almost childlike wonder and disbelief, was easily worth the price of admission – which is free. The story goes that Mister Ed and his wife Pat received their first elephant as a wedding gift and bought a few more on their honeymoon. Ed found more here and there, and soon friends and family began adding to his growing herd. It just got out of hand.

Page 13 Today it is phenomenal with over 12,000 elephants to be seen. As happy as Mr. Ed’s is now, there was a dark day when, back on July 2, 2010 fire engulfed the building, destroying nearly 2,000 elephants and much of the displays and magic. Through tremendous determination and hard work, within two weeks, a temporary store was set up in a 400-square-foot trailer in the parking lot and a “Save the Elephants” cleaning event was organized. More than 2,000 elephant were lost in the fire, but thousands of donations poured in from across the world. The new store opened on February 5, 2011. As you walk in to today’s shop, there are two facing elephants above the large fudge counter. They are created from pieces of the elephants that were destroyed in the 2010 fire. Mr. Ed knows how to make lemonade. Let the elephants trumpet! Over the years Mr. Ed’s has gotten many well-deserved accolades and was on USA Today’s list of 10 Best Places to Buy Souvenirs, along with other notable places as Wall Drug and South of the Border. In addition to the large amount of elephants you will also find circus souvenirs, political paraphernalia, toys and much more. If you have a sweet tooth then belly up to the candy aisle or take some of the various and delicious fudge home. They have a number of different flavors - Chocolate Peanut Butter, Red Velvet, Dark Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt and Blueberry Cheesecake just to mention a very few. We did this on our morning visit only to have it all go at a picnic lunch later that day. Ahh, life on the road. Mr. Ed’s is different, fun and a must see when in and around the Gettysburg region. O’Life out!


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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

Hanover Powersports Presents

BIG CITY GETAWAY Words: Brian Rathjen paterSoN, NeW JerSey CASTLES, JOKERS, HISTORY, GREAT FALLS AND DOGS ALL THE WAY! If you have ever ridden Interstate 80 west across New Jersey you have ridden past the city of Paterson. This city, once the cradle of industry, has taken on a less than stellar reputation in the last few decades but, the city, like all truly great places, is in the midst of a gentrification of sorts – especially its Historic and Great Falls district. High above the city, to the south and off Valley Road, is Garret Mountain and it is here you will find our first stop on this day’s Big City Getaway – Lambert Castle. The castle, the private home of Catholina Lambert, an English immigrant who made his fortune in the silk industry, was named for his wife Isabella and was known as “Belle Vista.” The castle was built in 1892 and the home was a showcase for Lambert’s extensive art and sculpture collection. In 1896 he added to the property with the building of a 70-foot observation tower and summerhouse. After his death in 1923 the castle was sold first to the city of Paterson and then to the county. Today it holds the Passaic Historical Society and is now part of the 575-acre Garret Mountain Reservation. We took a ride over in late winter and spent an hour taking the self-guided tour around the threestory structure. The building itself is magnificent and the view of Manhattan is worth the ride to the park all by itself. The two docents were full of knowledge and energy and happily told us the story of the Lambert family and the history of not only the castle - but Paterson itself. The castle is full of art, history and pieces of local Americana – bits of the silk industry’s past and labor unions rise.

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BACKROADS • MAY 2015 We think the Park, castle and the view are well worth exploring when riding in this part of New Jersey. In fact, we bet, a number of our own Jersey readers might never have visited the castle or the historic parts of the city. With that in mind we carried down into the city. Our first stop was to pay homage to a great Patersonian and comedian. At Cianci and Ellison streets, in a park bearing his name, you will find the lifesized statue of Lou Costello, of Abbott and Costello fame. He wasn’t very tall, but he does look fantastic with a baseball bat over his shoulder and his trademark baggy pants and hat. Hey Abbott? Who’s on first? We’re pretty sure it will always be Lou. Just a short drive from Mr. Costello you will find the single thing that caused Paterson to be the industrial giant it was. Here the Passaic River pours through a cataract in the rocks creating the Great Falls of Paterson. The native Lenni Lenape knew the falls as a prime camping and fishing site. They called it Totowa, which meant to sink or be forced down beneath the waters. Some 77 feet high and 260 feet wide the falls were recognized by Alexander Hamilton as an incredible source of power; with nearly two billon gallons of water pouring through the falls and into the gorge each day – it was power waiting to be tapped. Yes, I just said two billion.

Page 15 When Hamilton was the new nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury he selected the site of the nation’s first planned industrial city, which he called a “national manufactory.” He charged civil engineer Pierre Charles L’Enfant to lay out a system of small canals, called raceways to tap into the river and power the new mills that began to spring up in the new city. Massive brick mill buildings lined the canals that transformed the power of the falls into energy to drive machines. These mills manufactured many things during the long history of this industrial city. Paterson was soon dubbed Silk City, but other industries found a place here as well, and manufacturers like Rogers and Danforth Locomotive along with Colt Revolver soon called Paterson home. Yes, the gun that won the west was made in New Jersey. Down by Market Street there is a parking lot that you can lock and leave the bikes and stroll the area. You will find some superb views of the Great Falls right here. Paterson, in addition to being the first planned city in the United States, was also where the first powered submarine, the Holland, was built. Union Pacific #119, that carried the Golden Spike to the ceremony that brought the transcontinental railroad together at Promontory Summit in the Utah Territory, was built in Paterson as were both the General and the Texas, both used by the confederates. The General was once hijacked by Union soldiers – the chase being legend to both Civil War and train history buffs. This story will be handed over to O’Life for the telling. The engine that powered Lindbergh across the Atlantic, the Wright R-790 Whirlwind, was built here too. Other things happened in Paterson as well.


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In 1913, however, the mills stood silent for five months as workers joined in a bitter strike that brought the city national attention. The suburban house where leaders of the radical Industrial Workers of the World rallied thousands of workers on Sunday afternoons still stands - Lambert Castle. This fledgling union would change the face of America. Yes, Paterson now carries a bad rap and is a bit on the urban-side when it comes to a good motorcycle ride - but how can one ignore such deep American history? Right near the waterfalls, on McBride Avenue, there is one more bit of Paterson history that you must experience - Libby’s Lunch. Obviously New Jersey and Paterson in particular, is known for firsts and

MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

NJ legend claims that the Texas Wiener hot dog was created here in the state. Although some argue where its true pedigree lies we have been told by experts that Libby’s Lunch is the real deal. Not fancy and with a flavor all its own, Libby’s is a classic and they have been frying up their Texas Wieners since 1936. Just make sure you order yours topped with mustard, fresh chopped onion and Libby’s special “All the Way” sauce. After strolling around the Great Falls area a few extra-large All the Ways, some fries and a Diet Rite cola (we’re health conscious) did us just fine. We had one more stop. Right down the road from Libby’s, on Market Street, you will find the Paterson Museum. The museum, found in the handsome Thomas Rogers Building, goes deep into this town’s industrial past with displays of locomotives, Colt pistols as well as a display of equipment from the former silk-weaving factories that used to be a prominent part of Paterson’s economy. As second visit to the museum is in order, as you could spend a few hours here alone and it is another reason to make Paterson your next Big City Getaway. www.lambertcastle.org • patersongreatfalls.org • patersonmuseum.com

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BACKROADS • MAY 2015

Page 17

Rollin’ Fast Cycle Sports Presents

G REAT A LL AMERICA N DINE R RUN

tasty places to take your bike

foote’S port HeNry diNer 5 ST. PATRICK PLACE, PORT HENRY, NY 12974 • 518-546-7600 There’s none that are so blind… I’ll admit it. We missed this. For all the years we have been bouncing around the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain we must have ridden by the small street that leads to Saint Patrick’s Church in Port Henry a dozen times. Probably having our eyes peeled for Champ and not for something equally ancient, classy and fun – the old Miss Port Henry Diner – now called Foote’s. This diner has a bit of local history. It was built by the Ward & Dickinson Dining Car Company back in 1927. In fact it has a serial # of 168 -1927 and it is one of the last of its kind still in existence. They were originally used as mobile lunch cars for factory workers, but soon found their calling as stationary diners. Ward Dining Car #168 was originally sold to a man in Glens Falls, but this didn’t work out and what would become the Miss Port Henry was bought by a local couple and shipped, by train, to Lake Champlain. It was stopped in Ticonderoga, as it was too tall to fit through a rail tunnel. Ingenuity and sweat brought it the rest of the way to Port Henry. The Miss Port Henry Diner, then owned by the Tario family, opened for business on Labor Day 1933, right in the middle of the Great Depression. According to the current owner Donald Foote, these were the Early Days. The Middle Ages of the history of this diner fell during the mid-90’s, when the diner was rediscovered. By this time the building next door to it had become a restaurant and the new owners simply covered the old gal up with a façade, hiding its true nature and worth.

that I was in dire need of coffee and or dessert or some combination of both. We pulled to the side of the Foote’s Port Henry Diner only to see we were about 15 minutes past closing time. Still, there was a crowd of happy riders who had ridden south from the Canadian Empire, and the waitress opened the door and asked if we wanted food. We told her coffee would be nice and, like the guardian at Oz, she opened the door and invited us in. The Canadians had all sorts of food on their plates and it all looked good.

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In 1995 owners demolished the building and uncovered the old Miss Port Henry. They went about refurbishing Ward Dining Car #168 to her former glory with 28 table seats, a 24-foot marble counter and a new deck and awning with Miss Port Henry proudly painted in gold lettering. The ribbon cutting was December 14, 1996 and a 97year old Grace Tario was the guest of honor. Since then its Modern Era has seen a few different owners and names but the sign for the Miss Port Henry has always remained. Donald owns the place now and has plans for the future – much having to do with motorcycles and touring Lake Champlain. You have to love a place with this much history, especially when it is still going strong. Shira and I were up at the Edelweiss Gathering and were following along the day’s route through the Adirondacks and along part of Lake Champlain. As we rode through Port Henry I was on “Champ Lookout” when I glanced to my right and spotted a large number of motorcycles, the classic looking diner and

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Page 18

MAY 2015 • BACKROADS The place has all your basic Americana/Canadiana works – but with a few name changes. I know for a fact this place is very popular with the locals and more than once Champ himself has flopped up with his wet flippers to grab a sausage, onion and provolone cheese omelet (his favorite). The Bulwaggian, named after the local bay and home to the highest Champ sightings, is pancakes with choice of meat and home fries and The Viking is your basic meat and eggs.

Rip & Ride® • Foote’s Port Henry Diner 5 St. Patrick Place, Port Henry, NY 12974 • 518-546-7600

They also have a Meat Lovers, Spanish and Western or you can create your own. They have much of what you have come to expect from a classic diner and each day have different specials. We have found that specials are always… well, special. Cream of summer squash soup, hot turkey sandwich, Chile lime chicken with rice, cream of tomato soup and crispy chicken wrap can all be found depending on the day. Fridays are very special and very fishy. Fish platter, fish tacos or fish sandwich. Occasionally you will find quiche with mushroom, Swiss and bacon. All delicious. Foote’s Port Henry Diner is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 7am till early afternoon. We will give you a ride from Americade for this month’s stop on the Great All American Diner Run - just be on the lookout for ancient lake monsters as well as historic diners.

From Americade’s Tour Expo Million Dollar Beach Rd. Left at Rte. 9LLeft at Rte. 149 Left at Rte. 4 Bear right CR 18 Left at Rte. 22A Left at Main Street Right t Stage Road Right at Mt. Independence Road Left at Rte. 73 Left at Rte. 74 to ferry to New York Right at Rte. 9N Bear left at Vineyard Road Right at Creek Road Left at White Church Road Right at Edgemont Road Left at Rte. 9N Right at St. Patricks Place to diner

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BACKROADS • MAY 2015

Page 19

Bergen County Harley-Davidson Presents

WE’RE OUTTA HER E

a weekend destination keeping you on the backroads

tHe CorNell iNN 203 MAIN ST., LENOX, MA 01240 • 413-637-4800 • WWW.CORNELLBB.COM When you speak of Lenox, Massachusetts and this part of the Berkshires in some circles you usually get a glassy-eyed look followed by the words… “Ahhh, Tanglewood.” These folks, the ones with the James Taylor tee shirts on, sometimes preface statements with “I was listening to NPR and…” Indeed, this part of the mountains of western Mass are felt by some as sacred ground, the area occasionally comes off a bit supercilious and it is one of the few places left that we still get ‘the look’ these days. If you have to ask you will never understand. But, although some think this part of the Berkshire as sacrosanct, it still has much to offer today’s motorcycle rider with the roads up, to and in and around are phenomenal as are some of the quirky local sites and tiny towns. We rode up this way on one of the last string of great days of 2014, met by our riding friends the Fords, at our We’re Outta Here stop for this month – the comfortable and cool Cornell Inn. You will find a plethora of inns and hotels in and around the town of Lenox, but we settled on The Cornell Inn easily. Here, they could not be friendlier. The Cornell Inn is located on Main Street, heading north, just a minor stroll from the village of Lenox center with its good number of shops and restaurants to meander through and enjoy. Owned and operated by Tim and Nell McCaffrey, The Cornell offers 28 different rooms, lofts and suites – depending upon your needs. The Cornell is spread out through three different buildings – the Main House, the MacDonald House and the Carriage House. Originally built as a family home by the Cornell family c.1888 the inn’s Main House is an historic Victorian with 10 unique guest rooms. McCaffery’s Pub is located here, a private pub just

for houseguests. Just beyond the garden terrace and waterfall lies the MacDonald House. This was built in 1777 and was owned by Edward MacDonald, who served in the civil war, co-founded the Lenox National Bank, the Lenox Water Company and was also elected as a State Representative. It now houses 10 guestrooms, each uniquely decorated in the colonial style. The original wide plank floor boards, original hand hewn wood work, and functional fireplaces help bring the history of this 200 plus year old home to life. The Carriage House was built in 1889 and functioned as the Cornell family’s stable as well as a “speakeasy” during prohibition.


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Always a plus in our books! The building was converted in the 1950’s to house Tanglewood students and now offers 8 guest rooms. Decorated in a country style, the building features painted cupboards, vintage toys, and various other bits of traditional New England charm. Two of the units are lofts with kitchens, making them perfect for small riding groups looking for an extended longer stay. Our friends took an upstairs room and we had the pleasure of staying in the Caroline Room on the first floor with its four-poster queen bed and wood burning fireplace (a number of the rooms have their own real fireplaces). Both couples agreed the rooms were as comfortable as they come. After arriving and getting settled in we rolled into McCaffery’s and spent a few hours, the way good friends do, getting caught up with recent happenings, events and talking motorcycles and touring. Like minds. While my compadres checked out the various local brews I searched out the kitchen and discovered espresso chocolate cookies, which were washed down with a cup or two of fresh coffee. After my quick run to and from the Canadian border I talked with the chef who told me they were heavily, and I mean heavily, caffeinated.

MAY 2015 • BACKROADS Oh, boy they were good. Come evening we made our way to the town’s historic center and chose Alta Restaurant & Wine Bar for that night’s repast. They had an excellent menu, including braised Niman Ranch pork cheeks, which Shira, respecting tradition, immediately ordered. For those who wish to know, Niman Ranch animals are raised outdoors and allowed to root and roam as nature intended. Other entrees included Orechiette (home-made southern Italian) pasta, roasted free-range chicken statler (chicken chop) and, keeping with the overall progressiveness of the region, grilled organic tofu. (How could it not be organic and shall we all just kill ourselves now?) Seriously, the better choices of meats here were raised as nature intended and were even more seriously delicious - not the tofu. Not going there. We’re on board with everything else. Alta also served a nice flight of chosen wines, which the girls seemed to enjoy immensely. Making our way back to The Cornell House we sat around the very comfortable common room, making small talk with the other guests, exploring the best collection of odd and mysterious paperbacks I had ever seen, and then made it an early night with a small fire lit and the comfortable and romantic room calling. Morning found a most excellent breakfast waiting for us with fresh pancakes, eggs, sausage, yogurt and fresh fruit. The berry cobbler was worth the price of admission by itself. Rooms at The Cornell Inn run from $129 on up depending on accommodations and season. For this region, a most excellent cost of a night’s admission. We found the Inn to be well run, beautiful created and serving a righteous breakfast and it is most definitely worth a visit while riding in, up to or around the Berkshires of Massachusetts. With that in mind let us give you a rippin’ Rip & Ride, this one starting from the Bear Mountain Bridge in New York State. Enjoy! download link for gpS route: www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/itwybm


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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

M

y watch showed one minute to midnight as the United Airlines 737 began its descent from the north into the deep Andean valley. Clouds and fog shrouded what little I could see of the peaks, as the jet roughly touched the tarmac. Welcome to Quito, the capital of ecuador.

Arriving into any foreign city in the middle of the night is always odd. The cab trip into the city centro took about 20 minutes of riding up finely paved and curvy roads that laced up and over the peaks toward the city. Seeing we were Americano the driver put on Bill Halley’s Rock Around the Clock. I felt like an ex-pat version of the Fonz. A 1:30 am hotel snafu forced us back on the streets at 1:40 ¡Ay, caramba! but we found a hotel a few blocks away that had a room and, more importantly, a bed for the next couple of days. The sounds of an awakening (and building) city woke us around 7 and by mid-morning we had begun our stroll around Quito, the only world capital located so close to the equator and, at 9,350 feet, the highest in the world. In fact, the Republic of ecuador literally means “Republic of the equator.” It was also the first capital to become a UNeSCO World Heritage Site.

Riding the Middle of the Planet words and images: Brian Rathjen


BACKROADS • MAY 2015 We walked over to the offices of Freedom Bike Rentals, stopping along the way for a breakfast of eggs, veggies and chorizo before checking in with the shop. Court Rand and Sylvain Galléa have been running Ecuador Freedom Bike Rentals & Tours, out of Quito, for a number of years now and have an impressive fleet of modern and well-maintained bikes, offering both guided and self-guided motorcycle adventures. We set our plans for leaving the next day and picked up fellow traveler David Owen, from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Like us Dave, and the others that we’d meet the next day, had chosen to escape the hard days of February and head to the one place on the planet we’d know it would be nice and hopefully warmer – the Equator. With a free day ahead of us we cabbed to the Old City, where the modern city of Quito had been born in the early 1500s with the Spanish conquest. The Inca and others had lived here for thousands of years before. Our taxi dropped us off across from the San Francisco Church, a magnificent structure and the oldest church in a city that is full of them. They were holding mass when we strolled in and the old altar boy in me could not walk out in the middle of that, in such a magnificent church, so we stayed till the blessing. Hell, I received Communion without getting hit by lightning. See? I knew I had been forgiven. Strolling around you get the idea of how big Quito is (actually 30 miles long and just 2 miles wide - living in a long valley) so we decided to make it easy on ourselves and spent the day getting motored around

Page 23 the city on the top of a double-decker tour bus. Laugh if you must, but it really is one of the easiest ways to see the sites, especially if you only have one day. El Panecillo, with its giant aluminum statue of the Madonna of Quito, was very impressive, as were the volcanic peaks that surround the city and seem to always be in view. For lunch we found a local favorite off the Grande Plaza. Here you’ll find the Presidential Palace, complete with guards and a number of restaurants as well as dozens of tiny capitalists vying to polish your shoes, sell you coca leaves or some local trinkets. By evening we were done and after ‘Trip Advising’ a tiny local place for dinner and partaking a bit in Carnival that had just gotten under way, we made it an early night looking forward to the equatorial romp that would start in the morning.

Day One - Quito to Otavalo • Riding to the Center of the Earth We got to Ecuador Freedom Bike Rentals & Tours shop (they are now in their new and improved shop, a short hop away) around 9ish that morning and were soon joined by the rest of our group - Bridget and Burt from South Carolina (a couple with so many interesting riding destinations under their tires that The Lonely Planet should give them a medal), Larry, a Canadian who was down with his family but decided on a few weeks on the motorcycle solo, David whom we explored Quito with the previous day and, also along for this tour, was Bob - Court’s dad. The real ringleader was Salina, Freedom’s mascot and all-around Rin Tin Tin sort of dog and our constant canine companion, protector and occasional “find the hotel on the dark street after dark” type of doggy. We’d be riding a few Suzuki V-Stroms - two 650s and me on a 1000 - a Triumph 800 Tiger, Shira on a BMW G650GS and Court on a Suzuki DR650 – the truck was from Chevy and manned by Sylvain, Bob and Salina. Luggage and gear was swapped into smaller waterproof bags and bikes were set up for each rider.


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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

Communication was made easy as Ecuador Freedom would set up each rider with a system from UCLEAR, allowing for directions, local information and historic tidbits to be fed right to us. On an Ecuador Freedom adventure all your expenses - even fuel - are covered. So other than alcohol and free days, you really do not have to pull out your wallet. Ecuador uses USA dollars – so when we did buy something it

was very easy – and cheap. We were on the machines by mid-morning, fighting back the Quito traffic as we made our way north through the valley toward the geographic center of the planet – zero degrees latitude – the Equator. There are actually two markers for this and there is a bit of discussion on which is the exact spot. But, being that they are within a stone’s throw from each other and we touched them both, I think we did okay. We spent an hour or so at the park and museum learning about the history of finding the middle of the planet and how GPS technology has confirmed the exact spot. The woman at the museum talked to us about the local Amazon peoples, the Shuar and others whom we would visit, and their history. One truly intriguing artifact to view was an actual Tzantza – a shrunken head. Notso Happy was impressed. We spent some time at the equatorial line, learning about the Coriolis effect and Shira even balanced an egg on the head of a nail. Such talent. Lunch was found within sight of the monuments and then we played follow the leader up into the Andes. While the northeast United States would fight with record setting cold temperatures we played with the curves winding through the mountains of Ecuador. Which, this high up, was not nearly as warm as you would believe. Most of us would pack, and ride with, layers of gear. It would be a good thing to mention a Freedom Bike Rental tradition here. If, for some reason, somebody does something silly - or if gravity won a battle with one of the bikes - that rider will carry El Bebé – a small toy child strapped to their motorcycle - until the next incident. This was all done in fun and should never be taken personally – although Shira, nor I, wanted the little passenger for any part of this trip. The Baby basically moved between two of our riders who seemed in competition for the little tike. We stopped by one small Andean town across from the church that dominates all of them, taking a little break before the first real challenging road

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BACKROADS • MAY 2015 of the trip, a gnarly unpaved road that traversed up and over the next few peaks. The ride was certainly not impossible, but it would not be a fun ride for those who have terminal CFP syndrome or “cravement for pavement.” Know this road and others took a slight bit of fortitude and some hard gravel road skill. This rocky road ran for a number of rough miles, mostly up, and brought us high and into fog, or were they clouds? And, then it lightened up a bit into miles of just ancient stony cobblestone that had to be a century old. Rock, gravel and dusty roads are easier than old Ecuadorian cobblestones any day. Once again we rode high into the Andes eventually stopping, where the road more or less ended, at Mojanda Lakes. Flanked by the ancient volcanoes, Fuya-Fuya and Yanahurco, it is really a series of three high mountain lakes and a wonderful turn-around spot at some 12,250 feet in altitude. These Andes Highlands were long inhabited by the local Quichua tribe, the altitude limiting the numbers of outsiders who even knew these picturesque crater lakes existed. We had to backtrack down the peaks to the town of Otavalo and by dusk pulled into the stunning Hacienda Pibsqui. Ecuadorian history had been created here in the sprawling home. Considered South America’s Washington - Simón Bolívar - had of course slept here and a treaty with neighboring Colombia was signed here as well.

That night there was a cocktail party to greet the guests with servings of local teas and a liquor, much like anisette, served in a great room with a fireplace large enough for a Gold Wing and a traditional band playing both old and new style Andean tunes. Dinner was served in another wing of this fantastic estate. I made it a point to get up and out early to stroll the grounds before breakfast and our early departure.

Day Two - Otavalo to the Amazon Basin Breakfast was at 7 sharp and we quickly loaded up and got going; making a few stops locally before riding up the mountains once again. Being on the equator, the length of the day stays the same all year round – twelve hours sun, twelve hours dark – with sunrise and sunset holding pretty constant at 6:15 am and pm. Our first stop was at the nearby animal market. Here the locals from the entire valley region bring livestock – bought, sold or traded. Sure there were plenty of cow and pig, but also fowl of all types - chickens, roosters, ducks, turkeys. There was also plenty of guinea pig; known locally as Cuy (pronounced Kwee). You will find them all around Ecuador as, broiled on a spit, they are a staple dish in the mountains. There were also lots

Page 25 of puppies and kittens too but, no worries, they are loved pets here. Sometimes.

There are a lot of dogs roaming everywhere in Ecuador and like all dogs, they feel the need to herd motorcycles as they ride through their domain This can make for a slightly stressful ride through some towns and we did see one pup get clipped.


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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS People of Ecuador…. Spay and neuter is a good thing. We made another market stop, this one more traditional with clothing, jewelry and art. Back on the road we headed south, rolling back into the southern hemisphere – stopping for that digital moment at the “Zeroes.” Our ride would bring us south, along the Pan American Highway for the morning, and then east and over a number of high Andean passes – one topping out at 13,350 feet above sea level. The fuel-injected machines travelled this altitude easily, but I wondered about the DR and its carbureted engine. The roads were excellent and seemed to be an endless run of hard leanings lefts and rights. On our approach up the mountain we stopped and layered up and then crossed over the summit. This is also the Continental Divide in Ecuador with rain on one side flowing to

the Pacific and on the other side to the Amazon and, eventually, the Atlantic Ocean. Not far from the summit we stopped for lunch at the end of a two-track rock road that headed up towards the surrounding mountains. The restaurant, the fresh trout and the view could not be beat. Later on both Shira and I would agree that the location, landscape and flavorful fresh trout made this stop the finest lunch of many good ones on this journey. You could see for miles and the approaching storm as well. When we signed up for the Ecuador tour we knew we’d get some rain and the rest of our ride that day was in and out of the wet. Mostly in. But, it is us, and we’re used to it. Still the panorama was outstanding with waterfalls rolling off the peaks and falling for hundreds of feet to the small, but strong rivers that would become the mighty Amazon. We passed through small towns that had that unique third world Latin American feel to them. We rode down the eastern slope of the Andes and entered the Amazonian Basin. Stopping for fuel I killed the V-Strom’s engine and took off my helmet. The sound of the birds, after leaving the middle of the silent winter of the north, was outstanding. We went from high rocky and, almost barren peaks to lush green that would almost put Ireland to shame, in about 30 miles. The lower we rode the denser the vegetation became and soon it was a jungle out there, kids! The Suzuki’s temperature gauge read 40 Celsius (104°). We made a quick stop at Puerto Misahuallí to see the Restored to its glory years during the roaring 20’s, Capuchin monkeys that seem to own the river’s shoreline. A few of us became targets for their fancy but due the General Francis Marion Hotel is steeped in to our Monkey With A Gun street cred, we survived. history and elegance with all the modern amenities. Located just 1.8 miles from Route 16 - the Back of the Dragon. 260 curve, 32-mile, 3 mountain roller coaster of a ride. Incredible vistas, panoramic views and enough roads to ride for days!

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This town is the westernmost port for the Amazon River and you could, possibly, sail from here to the Atlantic. To give you a size of how big the Amazon becomes realize that 20% of the Earth’s fresh water entering the oceans comes from the Amazon and the fresh water and sediment discharge has been found hundreds of miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, the name Amazon. Just sayin. From there we crossed the river, on a bridge that moved far more than it should, and as night was creeping in we stashed the bikes, locked and secure, and got onto outboard-powered canoes that brought us upstream for a number of miles to Itamandi, an ecofriendly resort along the Arajuno river. Here it was Valentine’s Day and we got to spend the night in the Amazon with the sound of thousands of unseeables singing through the night. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner had nothing on us.


BACKROADS • MAY 2015

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Day Three - Arajuno River to RioBamba Sleep came easily that night with the soft sounds of light rain on the roof and the tittering of creatures along the river. We arose with the dawn, taking to a set of swings on our porch watching the early canoes bringing traveler and locals to different destinations and eco-wonders. From the porch we could watch worker ants busily building a clay nest and smallish wasps flitting in and out of a hidden lair just a few feet from us, inside the metal beams used to build this place. Everything here at Itamandi was brought in by the river. There are no roads. We had a later start this day and at breakfast Court went over the day’s options and we all voted for a canoe ride a bit further up river which, with the light patchy rain, made for an adventurous, almost mysterious mood. The image of the Tzantza, from earlier in the trip, played across my mind. We headed up a few miles and then reversed course and headed for a quick float downriver to retrieve the bikes.

By late morning we were back in the saddle and riding up and back out of the Amazon Basin and into what is called the Cloud Forest, aptly named for the intense mist. The light rain became a bit stronger and those that needed to donned wet riding gear. Heading higher in altitude the temps began to drop. It was a bit surprising to realize you are riding at the equator and it is just in the low-40s as you head deep into the Andes. We didn’t cross as high as the day before, as Court had routed us along some beautifully curved pass roads that rode in between the mountains that began to look like a jagged old saw reaching to the sky. Court and Sylvain like local restaurants – the little roadside places that so many ride by. Stopping by one such we were treated to a true Ecuadorian meal of pork, eggs, potatoes and beets. Bellies full and minds ready we carried on along the high crags. Passing through one tunnel we exited into breaking sun and we would be saying goodbye to the last real hard rain we would deal with on this journey. When planning a trip to this part of the globe don’t be a lemming. If you look to places like the Weather Channel for the Ecuadorian forecast they will always tell you it will rain – every day. Don’t believe them. These big-weather sources can sometimes be a bit blind to what is going on outside their windows and they paint the maps with wide swaths of green. Rain here usually last a short time and then the Andes soak in the sun again.

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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS True to form the high waterfalls began to flow along the road they call “Ruta de las Cascadas” and we stopped to take in the vista of Paillon del Diablo the Devil’s Cauldron, a massive and powerful fall that thunders down the cliff. If you wish you can park and take a short hike down to see the mountains and water showing off its splendor. Watching a condor pass overhead I had to wonder how that would feel? Well, a few of us were about to find out as we made a stop at a zip-line that would allow you to “fly” over the 200 foot chasm and straight towards the Agoyan Falls – head first.

Asked who would go first our intrepid redhead picked up the challenge and took the plunge like Super Girl over the edge. A few of us went and a few did not – no pressure, as it was ‘all good.’ And, those who went over the edge got to do it twice as you did have to come back. The trek back was worth it. Today was Sunday and like anyplace else on the planet the riders were out and we ran into a few, including some Peruvians on a big ride with full on GSs and KLRs, spare tires and big smiles. The mood in each town was infectious as this was Carnival, the Ecuadorian

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version of Mardi Gras and the big holiday in the country, where families and friends cut loose. Interestingly part of the celebration is to have friendly water fights. Riding through one town we became moving targets for passing cars with wide-eyed little kids armed to the teeth with homemade super soakers. I was slowed by traffic when I spied one little guy who was, maybe, 50 pounds wet – which he was – standing at the curb. He spied me too and I could see ‘that look’ as he took off running at me and hurling a water balloon that was bigger than his hand. Tom Seaver would have been proud as this little hombre’ nailed me but good. Glad to be part of his holiday! By this time the sun began to set and as it did we came into view of the Tungarahua Volcano – which means “Throat of Fire.” A perfect conical shaped volcano, it is massive at some 16,500 feet high, and it dominated our view for miles. The volcano erupts often and you never know when Mother Nature will turn on the fireworks. The road here, in long sections, was just paved (as in the paver was still there with work to do) and with little traffic it was good to stretch out the group and make sure the bikes had fourth and fifth gear. I have heard that the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 has sixth gear, but I would not have first hand knowledge of that on this twisty and mountainous trek. There was another even more impressive mountain to be seen as we rode up and around Chimborazo, which at 20,564 feet, is the highest mountain along the equator as well as the highest point, due to the fact that the Earth bulges at its middle, from the center of the Earth. It is also the point along the equatorial line that has snow 365 days a year. I don’t think I am riding to Everest, so this works for me. Ride to world’s biggest mountain…check! Banos was our planned overnight, but the Carnival had eaten up all the rooms and the crowds were going to make for a difficult entry and exit so Ecuador Freedom found a Plan B – which worked for us. We got in late, tired but happy as the sun slipped to the far side of the planet and we parked miles from Chimborazo, a monster we would sidle up to later in the ride.


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Day Four - Riobamaba to Alausi So I’m packing my bags for the Misty Mountains Where the spirits go now, Over the hills where the spirits fly, ooh. Led Zeppelin By moving the previous night’s final destination further south than we had originally planned we had a far shorter day’s than we were used to, so we started a little later and hoped for an easy, but pleasurable, ride south. One can hope. Not far south the high Andes began to give way to a more rolling, but still immense, series of mountains. We motored through the Chambo River Valley and the Tungurahua province, and through a number of villages all in the midst of Carnival. We moved slowly through some fairly easily, but one town was just cemented shut with people and semi-militant children (not really people, yet). The celebration, parade, water balloons and spray foam cans would not let us pass.

We bought a few cans of spray foam of our own, since all the youngsters are armed to the teeth with this stuff, and duct taped them to our mirrors. We needed to put up our own fight and some kids wouldn’t know what hit them. As we would pass by we would cut close, spray the kids and take off. Like a stealth fighter jet the enemy didn’t know they were going to get hit… until they did. They retaliated with water balloons, buckets and spray – it was all good fun. We needed a detour around this town and found it in miles of dust, dirt and silt that brought us up and over the steep hills along a road that were strangely quiet. After some miles I began to think too quiet. Thankfully some traffic began to come from the other direction (a good sign we were heading toward an actual road) and somewhere down the line we ran into the main route and continued on. Sure we got a bit off track, bombed by water and were coating in a fine dust – but, considering the last couple of years, I was having the best time I have had in a long time! Now the land leveled off with fresh copse of pine trees along both side; Ecuador’s successful attempt at stopping the encroaching Palmira desert, which was once the fastest growing desert in the world.

We were now at a steady ride at 11,000 plus feet and riding into the clouds brought visibility to minus zero. Yes, it seems there is such a thing. We rode along at a lessened pace using the fog line on the side to make sure we stayed on the road and did not go airborne. We had a momentary motorcycle glitch, which caused us to stop. Well two, at the same exact moment, and both were an easy quick fix thanks to the use of the UCP or Universal Clamping Tool and an adjustment to the DR which had a case of altitude sickness.


BACKROADS • MAY 2015

Page 31 While the fixes was being made both Shira and Bridget waved high-viz rain jackets to warn cars and trucks that were appearing out of the fog like some huge predatory megladon. Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” We found a small restaurant serving chicken and cuy on a spit, most stayed with the fowl but we went for the rodent. Crunchy and greasy (in a good way) it did not taste like chicken, but more duck and porky. Although some of you may cringe at the idea of eating your kid’s pet – here in the Andes cuy has been a staple for centuries and when in Ecuador…. The town itself was bustling with Carnival activities, so we left the bikes and went for a long and hilly stroll around the village. This weekend was turned up to 11 on the Ecuadorian party scale. Bands, parades, vendors selling all sorts of things. Huge cooked pigs hanging off hooks and being butchered. The train rolled through the town square igniting a firestorm of water balloons and spray foam. I haven’t seen anything like it since we were hydro-bombed by the U.S. Coast Guard at Mallory Square in Key West. Shira and Sylvain got into a one-on-one foam fight, with both sides taking serious and foamy damage. One inebriated faction dragged Shira into the center of a dance, as a bottle of

local liquor was passed around. Shira declined the shot but enjoyed the rumba. By mid-afternoon we rode out into the sun and down along some well paved and tight downhill twisties into Alausi, home to the famed train to the Devil’s Nose. We settled into La Quinta, a comfortable hotel overlooking the town and train and, after a shower and a bit of relaxing, it was time to go exploring. We strolled into the town’s center and spent some time watching the young men celebrate Carnival by baiting a good size bull.


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One part of me (the part that still thinks I control a 19 year old body) wanted to jump in the corral with the other cool kids. Shira, being the Debbie Downer, flatly said no. God help me. What happened to the Hellen Keller quote, huh? After watching them taunt the animal I began rooting for the bull and it wasn’t too long before some kid zigged, when he should have zagged, and down, well actually up, he went with El Toro giving him a literal ass kicking. By evening time we had found an Ecuadorian pizza place that easily equaled any New York pie. Who would have thunk it? From the porch that evening you could see the lights of the town and hear the festivities that carried through the gathering mist.

Day Five - Alausi to Cuenca This train is bound for glory, Don’t carry nothing but the righteous and the holy. This train is bound for glory, this train. Woody Guthrie This morning we left the bikes parked and walked over to the town’s rail station and bought our tickets for one of the most incredibly difficult rails on the planet. This train snakes up a mountain known as El Nariz del Diablo (The Devil’s Nose). This nearly vertical wall of rock was the greatest natural obstacle engineers encountered during construction of the Ecuador’s Southern Railway.

Looking back they may have made a mistake of going over instead of around the Devil’s Nose, and it has become a point of engineering pride. A team of engineers lead by Americans William Shunck and brothers Archer and John Harman, came up with an ingenious solution. The track loops in a series of tight switchbacks on the rocky mountain face of Cóndor Puñuna (Condor Mountain). The engineering challenges in building this section earned it the nickname ‘the most difficult railway in the world’. The condors left when the first dynamite went off. Smart birds. Explosion and construction accidents, of which there were many, gave the mountain the name Devil’s Nose.

The train ride offered the most wonderful views of the sharply cliffed valley, with the clouds wrapping around the high peaks adding to another worldly feel. We spent an hour at the station and museum at the bottom of the Devil’s Nose, and then took the trip in reverse back to Alausi. With only one road heading the way we needed to go we stuck with the Pan American Highway south, riding


BACKROADS • MAY 2015 up and over on good pavement and ever changing riding conditions. Riding into the clouds at 12,000 feet meant wet and a temperature in the low 40s. Breaking into blue sky and brilliant sunshine saw the readings rise up into the low 70s. In some towns, while stopped, it hit near 90. This would go back and forth through this entire day. They say you can experience all four season in Ecuador in one day – they are not kidding. It was almost difficult to find that sweet spot when it came to layering your riding gear. Ecuador Freedom had planned a side trip to Ingapirca, the most revered archeological site in the nation. Ingapirca is local Kichwa for Incan Wall and it is the largest Ican ruin in the republic of Ecuador. The Incas were not the first inhabitants of Ingapirca, as it had long been settled by the Cañari indigenous people, who called it Hatun Cañar. But, in the early 1400s, the Inca began a conquest from the south. As the Inca Empire expanded into southern Ecuador, the Inca Túpac Yupanqui encountered the Hatun Cañar tribe and had difficulties in conquering them. So it was easier to just marry the Cañari princess – another way to conquer a people. The Inca and Cañari decided to settle their differences and live together peacefully, and the astronomical observatories - the Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon - were built. The complex was remarkable and we spent a great deal of time at the Temple, which was built specifically to track the months of the year using the sun itself as a calendar. It seems the centuries have not changed humans much as the Inca and Cañari had numerous ritual celebrations on the complex and a local fer-

Page 33 mented drink called ‘chicha’ (like a corn beer) was used in these festivals. As sun and moon worshipers, they tried to be as close to their gods as possible and lots of alcohol has always seem to help this endeavour. Go to any Jimmy Buffett concert and tell me I’m wrong. As we had found out first hand the weather changes here can happen within minutes of each other - calm and sunny one minute and rainy, windy, and cold another minute. Since there are no large changes in the season here near the equator, this climate volatility is typical year round. The people felt strongly that this was the place where the gods had led them, regardless of the climate. It is a truly special place on the planet. From Ingapirca we rode to the city of Cuenca along some awesome switchback sweepers that ran along the valley. With the sun blinding us as it said ‘good day,’ we rode into town. Cuenca is big with the expatriate crowd and we were looking forward to the visit and our planned two-night stop in this colonial-style city in the peaks. We were told that this day the city would be packed with crowds and traffic - this being the last day of Carnival, the Fat Tuesday of Ecuador. But, we entered a ghost town and easily found the hotel. It seems that the last few days of heavy partying had caught up with most Ecuadorians and tomorrow Lent would begin and they could all get ashes and reestablish their virtue and faith. What goes on in Carnival stays in Carnival, I guess.

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Day Six - Free Day in Cuenca Down to the Banana Republics Down to the tropical sun Go the expatriated American Hopin’ to find some fun

Steve Goodman

Cuenca, it turns out, is a much more pleasant city than Quito. Where the capital seems more urban, the smaller Cuenca still seems to hold onto its heritage and influences in a smoother way. We simply liked it more and can see why Ex-Pats do too. We took a morning bus ride around the town, taking in the Square and Cathedral and a high point to the north of

Cuenca where there was a phenomenal view of the entire city. Making note of where some of the highlights were during the bus ride we took to the streets, stopping in the local motorcycle shop to see what they were selling, then spent a good hour wandering around the Centro Mercado. They had everything here and we wished we had a kitchen with us. Fresh fish and meats of all kinds – pig, cow and fowl. Rows of vegetables, fruits and cheeses of all kinds. Apparently Ecuador has a plethora of potatoes, and you could find any one of them right here. Each aisle had its own aroma and flavor. The smells were powerful and fresh. This is how humans should buy their food. Shop Rite is not. To steal from the Costa Ricans… here was Pura Vida – the Pure Life. At the market in Cuento a butchered animal gets used from nose to tail as it should be. The freshly cooked whole pig looked and smelled fantastic. We bought some fresh peaches, found some equally fresh fruit drinks and sat upstairs watching the Cuencans go about their business. We had passed an odd little art museum, Arte Extremo - Prohibido Contemporary, coming into town and we made a swing by that. It was full of anarchistic art with a strong sado-sexual flavor that made us vaguely tingly and

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excited; so we got out of there and considered going back to the Cathedral to repent and get marked this Ash Wednesday. The Sombrero Museum was fun, as was the rest of the stroll. Later that afternoon we cabbed it over to the volcanic hot springs at Novaqua for a good long mud and soak before heading for dinner and getting ready to vamanos the next morning. Finding the Jazz Café, which features live jazz courtesy of the Jazz Society of Ecuador, was a pleasant way to pass the evening and enjoy another surprisingly good amount of pizza.

Day Seven - Cuenca to Macas As promised we got an early start and were clear of the city by 8 in the morning, motoring north and east back towards the mountains and then back down in the Amazon region of Ecuador. We would stay mostly on the main road which was a good size two-lane highway

that routes itself up and through the eastern edges of the Andes. Deep valleys were filled with numerous lakes, themselves fed by long waterfalls that tumbled down the sides of the verdant green cliffs. The road was sublime, by far the smoothest and quickest pace we had so far on the Ecuadorian adventure. The Suzuki did indeed have a fourth and fifth gear. Some of the falls crashed alongside this road and begged for us to stop for a moment if just to take a breath and a look-see to take it all in. Just about then I saw the brake lights come on as one, as our group hastened to a halt to allow a monkey to scoot across the road. Pepe was impressed. It was truly a spectacular day. Dropping down from 12,000 feet to just 3,000 the temperature rocketed, going from a pleasant 60 degrees in Cuenca to a sweltering 104, as we rode into the deep jungle valley. It was brutally hot. This part of Ecuador is peopled by the Shuar and the Amazonian town of Sucua, the major home and center of the Shuar, which simply means “The People.” During the Incan conquest the Incas stayed away from the Shuar as they were and are know as fierce warriors. The Shuar didn’t just vanquish their enemies but would behead them and create Tzantzas - shrunken heads of their foes – like those we had seen days before at the Equator.

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Page 36 The Spanish came here in the 1500s looking for gold and did their best to subjugate the locals. This did not work well for the Europeans. As the Shuar became deeply angered and attacked a Spanish outpost, killing hundreds of settlers. It is written that the Spanish Governor himself was then put to death by having molten gold poured down his throat - their attempt at poetic justice. Ouch. Even just a few years back when Ecuador was at war with neighboring Peru the Shuar people befuddled the Peruvians and proved themselves the real master of this part of the river, jungle and mountains that surround it. The fierce facial tattoos of the old warriors are only seen these days on the elders, but these are a people to be respected. We stopped in their main town of Sucua and had a small crowd stop to look at the bikes. Young men gathered looking suspiciously at the modern machines parked along the road in the late afternoon sun. Instead of a fight we all had ice cream. Glad to see some things have changed for the better. Our hotel outside the town of Macas was top notch, if empty, for we were the only ones here and the pool was just a bit refreshing after the fantastic day’s ride. After cooling off in the pool a few hiked to a waterfall near the hotel. I left later to catch up with them, wondering what I might have gotten myself into as I was told to walk down the trail that led into the jungle. “Señor Brian…just down this trail – maybe ten minutes.” What trail? That hole in the jungle? My solo hike went up and down and through the rain forest on a single, and a bit muddy in spots, track. Dozens of yellow, red and blue/black butterflies flittered about me and leaf-cutter ants marched

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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS across the path by the thousands, carrying part of the forest with them. I knew I was not in Kansas anymore. The waterfall, one of a couple of thousand of the headwaters of the Amazon, was worth the effort.

Day Eight - Macas to Salinas de Guaranda If the previous day’s route was stunning, magnificent and memorable I would have to delve deep into the book of colorful adjectives to describe this day. For nearly 100 years Ecuador has talked about a roadway across this region, through the Andes to the Amazon. But in the past few years the dream has become a reality – not everyone is happy about this “progress” but we sure were this day as the romp over the Andes made the Tail of the Dragon look almost meek in comparison. Leaving Macas I passed a Shuar girl, barely a woman, holding a small boy. She had on traditional dress and her dark skin was set off even more by her jet-black hair. They were at a fence and carefully watched


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as the semi-rare adventure machines rolled by. I made eye contact with this young lass and waved. Her face lit up with a wide toothy smile and deep dimples – the little boy giggled – and they both waved back. I have, on occasion, considered an au pair, but once again Shira said no.

Chimborazo stands still another 10,000 plus above this height. I felt small. It was humbling. It was beautiful. It was one of those rare moments in your life when everything….everything, is okay. Vicuña, a smaller and faster relative of the Llama, ran wild here and picked up their pace as they became spooked by the bikes. We stopped for a digital moment and a group shot and then headed further west slowly sliding down in altitude and ever changing topography. Soon the trees returned and the roadway followed along steep and rolling hills layered with mist. Our final destination was the mountainside village of Salinas – named for the salt deposits and water that surround the town. It is also known for its textiles and chocolate, which we searched out almost immediately upon entering the town. Salinas is a challenging town to navigate with its steep and cobblestone streets, but we managed to find our hotel and then set off on foot to explore the village.

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ask about our tour Cycle program – the Ultimate in Coverage Still, it is the little things like this that make traveling on two wheels and places like Ecuador so satisfying. The road headed west and crossed Sangay National Park, with its verdant views best seen from the roadside towers. Once again waterfalls ruled the road as well as one volcano, Sangay, that was letting off a little steam as we passed by. Phenomenal. Above us, riding the thermals rising from the jungle valley far below, Condors circled in a long spiraling glide. We began to gather altitude once more and the forest slipped away as we entered a windswept paramo. The road snaked through this following the natural contours of the land and gaining and dropping altitude with every mile. We came up on Lagunas de Atillo and we were told that the Puruháe, the ancient natives of this region, would drown their criminals and enemies in the lake’s icy waters. Pour molten gold down one’s throat. Hold people under water until they stop kicking. Make your hat size ten times smaller. Pleasant people here back in the day. A dark bit of history for such a breathtaking region. We hooked up with the Pan American Highway, heading north this time and then bore west with the mighty Chimborazo towering over the landscape like a rocky god. We had passed this sleeping titan a few days back on this tour, but today we would ride right up to, far above the tree-line, and would summit the pass at 14,500 – the highest I think Shira and I have ever ridden.

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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

Day Nine - Salinas de Guaranda to Chugchilán The high town of Salinas was down right cold overnight, but the heavy wool blankets were warm to the task and we were up at dawn to a light breakfast and then we cabbed it Ecuador-style (piled into the bed of the truck) and drove over to the local cheese factory. Along the way we passed locals bringing the morning’s milk to the cooperative that makes the famed cheese for the entire town. Old men and women, children – some very young – all bringing what they had to the factory. Using the beast of burden du jour the locals came up and down the mountains, along dusty unpaved roadways with horse, mule and alpaca carrying the day’s milk. I dare say this life makes your morning commute seem easy. We had some samples and did a quick tour of the factory before shuttling back to the bikes and heading out for the day. We doubled back along the last part of the previous day and rose back up past the tree line with the behemoth Chimborazo once again dominating the sky. If there were a few dozen Vicuña the previous day there were hundreds this morning. They were everywhere raising their small heads with black eyes tracking us as we rode by, as if we were some sort of noisy threat that would go after them.

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Heading north under crystal blue skies we were stunned to see the volcano Tungurahua nearly 80 miles, as the condor flies, away. To clearly see Chimborazo to the right and Cotopaxi to the left, we were told, is a truly rare occurrence and Shira claimed it was “Special Day!” Most of the big paved highways in Ecuador are national roads of some sort but Court and Sylvain had some backroads up their sleeves and routed us along the Old Road to Guaranda. This was mostly roughly paved, except when it was a bombed out mess, but we had all gotten used to this and passed quickly and safely – stopping only to check out some hot spring pools we came across. From there back to the Pan American, the road followed the land and rode deep into some winding gorges that were carved out thousands of years ago. Simply stunning. Court told us over the UClears that the town we were riding through was famous for their ice cream shops. Ice Cream? Shira, should we stop? We’d be fools not to. We again headed east and higher crossing back into 13,000+ regions, along another páramo high in the mountains. We stopped by a local art shop in a whistle stop of Tigua finding something that would look nice back home.


BACKROADS • MAY 2015 Our next stop would be Laguna Quilotoa. This amazing lake was created by a collapsed volcano that left behind minerals that now give the deep craterlake a wonderful bluegreen color. We were told that the next stretch would be unpaved (really?), and would wind through some incredibly picturesque countryside along jagged cliffs. Along the way we made one more stop at a local school that makes some incredible furniture and then continued on our dusty and rocky way. The road was a blast. Did I mention that we all had become brilliant dirt-road riders? Yep, we ruled - all of us, more or less were properly geared and talented, riding the latest technology, up on the pegs, picking our lines carefully and feeling very Walter Mitty’ish/Jimmy Lewis. That is when we were authoritatively passed… by four guys on one Honda 175 beater. Say what!? I mean… umm, what just happened? Damn. It put things in perspective. Slightly disheartened by our ass-whoopin’ we carried on the last twenty miles of the ten mile ride, when we arrived at our destination for today, the small village of Chugchilán at a outstanding hotel; a favorite of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. There was a hot tub and pool and, after the last nine days of the road, it was a well-deserved cold cerveza and whiskey for the soak. That evening was our last for this group on the road, as tomorrow we would head back to Quito and start thinking of heading home and to that snowy wasteland they call New Jersey.

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Day Ten - Chugchilán to Quito Our last day heading back to the capital would be an easy one with a nice combination of dirt, cobblestone and pavement heading down the mountains along the prominent gorges and then to the main road back to Quito. We had the baby, once again, change drivers after a gravity storm in some deep silt (dramatic, but no injuries) and it was not that much further down the road that we were all stopped in out tracks by the same thing. We had rarely seen such an aberration along this trip, but there it was… bright, red and hanging in the sky. For a second I was stunned. A fireball? A UFO? The return of the Incan Gods? No. A stoplight. I remember these. Our last 10 days had been some of the most distinct and interesting excursions Shira and I had been on in a long time. The sheer diversity in this tiny South American nation, about the size of the state of Oregon, was incredible to ride through. From the world’s greatest mountain range - the Andes, to the high paramo and lakes, to the cloud forest and the headwaters of the world’s mightiest river – the Amazon. Combining the land with the wide ethnic range along the route also added to this fascinating trip. Examining the mix of Incan and older cultures up high, the Shuar and indigenous peoples of the jungle, the Spanish and European influences, and toss in the American and Canadian ex-pats in the larger cities, and you will find that this constellation that makes up today’s Ecuador can and will boggle your mind. And, we still had not ridden along its Pacific coast or explored the famous Galapagos Islands. I see a return trip in the near future. Ecuador Freedom Bike Rentals & Tours offers a wide variety of both guided and self-guided tour. Their fleet is modern, well maintained and Garmin GPS navigation is also available. We know Ecuador is not on everybody’s bucket list… But, it should be. Log onto their website at www.freedombikerental.com.


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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

EVENT RECAP

THE FIFTH ANNUAL MODERN CLASSICS SHOW

words: Jack Broomall • images: Joseph Luppino In our part of the world motorcyclists often disregard the first daffodil blooms or the hordes of returning Canada Geese as harbingers of spring. More typically they look for highways washed clear of salt as the genuine sign of riding season’s arrival. For the last five years another true portent of spring has emerged here in the Northeast, the annual Modern Classics Motorcycle Show at Martin Moto in Boyertown, PA. Staged each year in early March, The Modern Classics is an “all brands” invitational show featuring the iconic motorcycles of the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and early 1990s. Undeterred by a foot of snow one day prior to the show, some 1400 guests defied the seemingly endless winter to attend the 2015 show. In past years The Modern Classics consisted of a single day event on the first Saturday in March. In preparation, the Martin Moto staff would remove the usual inventory of bikes from the dealership’s expansive showroom floor and replace them with approximately 100 historic bikes gathered by the show’s selection committee from across the Northeast. From 9 am until 5 pm the 10,000 square foot showroom would literally become a “Museum for a Day.” This year the show schedule expanded to also include the Friday evening “Kick Start Party.” The unique Kick Start Party offered the opportunity to experience

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the motorcycles of The Modern Classics with a distinctly different vibe. The presence of a local deli and micro-brewery kept guests fed and watered as they strolled across the show floor to the sounds of classic rock from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. The 2015 show collection included 106 motorcycles. In addition to a wide variety of historically significant rides like a mint condition BSA A10 Scrambler, a Norton 650 Manxman, and designer Hans Muth’s masterpiece, a 1983 Suzuki Katana 1100, visitors also got a closeup look at Ducati’s exceedingly rare Supermono. Given that fewer than 70 were built it’s hard to label any Supermono as ordinary but this one was quite special. The bike on display sported a documented racing pedigree that included a second place finish in the singles class at the 1994 Isle of Man TT with New Zealander Robert Holden aboard. Each year the show showcases, in addition to the standard classics, a featured class that makes up approximately one half of the show population. This year guests relished a special selection of custom bikes. A healthy mix of café racers, choppers, bobbers, street trackers and more was scattered about the showroom floor. The work of both individual “garage” builders as well as professional shops was on display and each bike was in some significant way linked to the ‘60s through ‘80s era – either with period correct en-


BACKROADS • MAY 2015

gines or running gear. Sometimes both. Show bikes included a Honda CB750 based chopper originally built in the 1970s, while others, like an award winning Triton (Triumph engine in a Norton frame) were more recent builds utilizing period components. Also on display was a small collection of mini bikes. Honda Mini Trails, a rare Kawasaki Coyote, a Rupp Scrambler, and even a Benelli Buzzer delighted those whose introduction to motorized two-wheeled fun came aboard a mini bike.

Page 41 Beyond the bikes, motorcycle art plays an important role at the Modern Classics. At the 2015 event visitors were fortunate to watch as master artist Makoto Endo created one of his distinctive large-format paintings of a classic Indian Scout. Photography plays a part too. Martin Moto features an on-site photographic studio, designed specifically for motorcycles. An on-staff professional photographer captures images of each show bike and, following the event, a collector quality photo book is published documenting the show. Those books have become popular coffee table items among show fans and bike owners alike. While not a judged show, the Modern Classics features People’s Choice awards in both the “standard” class and the customs group. This year attendees selected the previously mentioned 1960 BSA A10 Scrambler presented by Bud and Kerry Kubena of Cokeburg, Pa. and, in the custom category, the 60s themed Triton crafted by Dave Williams of Kirkville, N.Y. Williams’ exquisite British Special also captured the prestigious Exhibitors Choice Award, as voted by the owners and exhibitors of the bikes on display. Artist Makoto Endo at work If you missed the 2015 Modern Classics then you may want to jot down the dates for next year’s event. They are Friday evening, March 4th, and Saturday March 5th 2016. Watch online at www.modernclassics bike show.com for more info People’s & Exhibitor’s Choice in the coming months. People’s Choice-Classics 1960 BSA A10 Scrambler

British Custom-Dave Williams


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PRODUCT REVIEW

MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

ALTRIDER HEMISPHERE TANK BAG

When we were planning our trip to Ecuador we were instructed to keep our clothing and various sundries safe is some sort of waterproof bags. Fortunately for us we have a number of these bags and, although it never rained for more than a day or two in South America, we knew our gear was safe and dry. The bottom line is these sort of water-proof bags really work well. Which leads us to something else we used quite a lot around the equator. The AltRider Hemisphere Tank Bag. Tough, useable and waterproof. After two weeks romping around the Andes and Amazon with this bag on a Suzuki V-Strom 1000, I became a believer and ordered one the day we got home. The bag is perfect for ADV machines and dual-sport bikes, as well as everything else. Not the biggest bag, it stills hold a good-sized 11-liters of gear, enough for day-trips or that long worldy-trek. The Hemisphere Tank Bag is constructed from 1050D Ballistic Fabric, using military grade stitching and all straps are full-strength nylon webbing. It is very durable. Reflective AltRider logos on either side of the bag provide increased vis-

ibility and safety in lowlight or nighttime riding conditions. The bag’s base easily straps onto the tank and the Hemisphere itself zips on and off in a snap for fueling or removal using a sturdy YKK zipper. As tough as the bag is on the outside it is inside where the real value lies. First off the small map holder is accessible via another tough zipper and is sheltered from the elements. You will also find a 100% waterproof liner that ‘velcros’ and rolls, then snaps shut to keep out the moisture. Inside the liner there are removable dividers to keep your stuff in its place. This liner can be left open for easy in & out, or shut tight – depending on conditions. There is also an exterior stash pocket that allows storage of quick-access items. It is a well thought out piece of riding gear. On the road we found AltRider’s Hemisphere Tank Bag to be one of the easiest, yet toughest bags around. It always came off and went on easily and nothing ever got wet, dirty or broken in the rain or repeated water bombing from street kids during Carnival in Ecuador or even the occasional ‘gravity storm’ that affected our group.

Between the half dozen of us we certainly road tested the Hemisphere Tank Bag in some of the toughest real world conditions. Back home the bag was a breeze to install and was a great compliment to the KLR 650. What is not to love of the perfect ADV Tank Bag? The Alt Rider Hemisphere Tank Bag is also available with electrical SAE sockets, so you can power cell phones, GPS or whatever safely from and in the bag itself. The fully waterproof connector is installed in the rigid wall of the tank bag, creating a permanent seal every bit as rugged as the tank bag itself. The connector plugs into the provided SAE lead, and distributes power on the inside via a standard 12-volt socket or an SAE lead to allow for multiple configurations. If you got it, this tank bag can power it. As with all AltRider gear the bag is built in the USA and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. The standard Hemisphere Tank Bag lists for $189.97, the powered version for $297.97. For more information or to order yours, log onto www.altrider.com.


BACKROADS • MAY 2015

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BACKROADS SPRING BREAK RALLY UPDATE For those attending our Spring Break Rally this May we’ve set up our routes on our website so you can download them ahead of time and load them on your GPS of choice. If you are still using M.A.P.S, you can download the printed versions (may vary a tad from the GPS routes) as well. For those looking to ride up with others, we’ll be meeting on Thursday, May 28 at 8am for breakfast at the Branchville Grill, in our hometown of Branchville, New Jersey on CR 519 at the 5-way intersection in the town. From there we’ll ride to the main meeting spot in the parking lot of the Bear Mountain Inn at 11 am for the ride up to the Berkshires and our first night on the road. The other rides listed include two to the Adirondacks and Lake Placid from the Berkshires - one via New York,

one thru Vermont. We will have five loops out of Lake Placid – Yup, 5! - including rides to North Hero Island in Lake Champlain, the top of the autoroad on Whiteface Mountain and Ausable Chasm, a visit to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, Shira will have lunch and ice cream, of course, and Brian might even go in search of the first waters of the Hudson. It’s almost a marathon. You’ll be able to download the printed routes and GPX files from our website at www.backroadsusa.com/rallies.html. There will also be one other south to the Bavarian Manor in the Catskills for that Sunday for those joining us in the extended version of Spring Break. Who says we don’t offer you options? Why pay somebody you don’t know just to go for a ride? We hope you are planning to join us and if not please plan to make some time for a Backroads event in the future. They are fun, informative, mile-eating, satisfying and free!

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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

tHe fraNkliN foUNtaiN 116 MARKET ST PHILADELPHIA, PA 19106 215-627-1899 WWW.FRANKLINFOUNTAIN.COM What do antiques, Benjamin Franklin and ice cream have in common? These are the base layers in the formation of the Franklin Fountain. As the sign reads under the portrait of Dr. Franklin: “The Franklin Fountain aims to serve an experience steeped in ideals, drizzled with drollery, and sprinkled with the forgotten flavors of the American past.” Having visited the establishment and tasted the Berley Brothers creation, I can attest that they have accomplished their goal. Back in the early 2000’s, Eric and Ryan Berley took a turn-of-the-century building that sits in the heart of Old City in Philadelphia and brought forth a gem of an authentic, old-fashioned ice cream parlor and soda fountain, complete with tin walls and ceilings and original porcelain mosaic floors. Walking up to No. 116 on Market Street, you will see the retro signage and outside seating, even in the still winterlike temperatures of early spring. And so it was when I paid a visit to this wonderful throwback. I could

see that, once the weather cooperated, the rope set up outside to filter ice cream lovers in was more than necessary. While there are tables for inside enjoyment, they are few in number so getting your frosty treat and meandering to the nearby Penn’s Landing is a good suggestion. But I get ahead of myself. Let’s talk dairy overload first. Stepping in to this beautifully renovated space, you’ll encounter the ‘HALT. Order Here’ sign. Give yourself some time, as the Franklin Fountain menu is 22 pages, and you’ll want to see every page before making your decision. Beginning with the sundaes and heading back to sodas, if you can’t find something that tickles your fancy here, there is something seriously wrong. Even those lactose-intolerant and vegan (what the heck are you doing in an ice cream shop) are considered. All their fine flavors, as well as their toppings, are made in-house from scratch recipes. Milk and cream are from grass-fed cows who happily live on a local 1920s family dairy, nuts are freshly roasted in South Philly, chocolate is from Wilbur’s of Lititz, PA and their rooftop apiary and herb garden supply the honey and spice ingredients. That said, you can have your basic vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, step it up a notch with mint chocolate chip (white peppermint, bittersweet chocolate, crème de menthe), rum raisan (Jamaican rum and organic jumbo raisans) or run wild with Whirly Berley (chocolate with nougat, salted caramel, cocoa nibs), Green Tea (light and savory, organic Chinese Matcha) or Teaberry Gum (exactly as you remember the gum). There are seasonal fla-

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BACKROADS • MAY 2015 vors, as well as specials, such as the Irish Ice Cream Sandwiches made with Irish Whiskey ice cream, cinnamon cookies and rolled in flaked coconut with a dash of cinnamon sugar. Holy Moly, what could be better? What could be better? More ice cream! And you’ll find that in just about anything you order. Not wanting to appear the glutton, I opted for a simple dish with two scoops of ice cream – Ginger and Coconut – with some spiced candied pecans on top. What I received looked to be a pint of ice cream in a very nice glass parfait dish (so much for watching the sugar intake). Both flavors were amazing, just the right creaminess and sweetness, with the Ginger having huge chunks of ginger root throughout and the Coconut packed with giant flakes of deliciousness. The spiced candied pecans would have been fine all by themselves, but sitting on top of this magnificent creation were like manna. Brian also had the two-scoop option, with Maple Walnut and his litmus test, Cookies and Cream – here offered as Hydrox Cookie, the original sandwich cookie. He was not disappointed. If you feel the need for bigger, try one of their many sundaes; from the basic Hot Fudge (two scoops of Philadelphia Vanilla Bean drowned in homemade hot fudge, topped with fresh whipped cream and a Bordeaux cherry) to the ridiculous Lightning Rod (a battery of dark chocolate brownie pieces charged with Coffee ice cream, amidst clouds of whipped cream, raining a shot of espresso and zapped by chocolate covered espresso beans, white chocolate shavings and conducted by a salty pretzel rod) and most things in between. Craving some fruit? How about a Banana Split. Dr. Dovey’s Classic 1904 will have you eating a scoop each of Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate served over a whole split banana, covered in crushed pineapple, strawberry topping and

Page 45 chocolate syrup, garnished with whipped cream, chopped almonds and three Bordeaux cherries. Seems a bit too decadant? You can downsize to the Banana Split for My Baby which is only Chocolate and Peanut Butter ice cream with slices of banana, hot fudge, peanut butter sauce, Spanish peanuts, whipped cream and a mere two cherries. If you are one of those folks who says, ‘Oh, I’ll just have something to drink’ you are in luck, as the Franklin Fountain will serve you up a milk shake from any of their flavors, ice cream sodas, an egg cream in either chocolate or vanilla or any number of hand-drawn sodas in flavors from Anise Mint to Watermelon, alphabetically. If you’re lucky enough to grab a seat, you can read the full history of Franklin Fountain and the connection to Benjamin Franklin in the back of their menu while enjoying whatever amazing concoction you’ve ordered. If you think you won’t be able to finish, they’ll be happy to serve it in an original ice cream carton (think Chinese take-out) for you to enjoy later. Not quite sure how that will travel via motorcycle, but if you get stuck in Philly traffic, at least you’ll have something to appease your road rage. You can visit the Franklin Fountain year round, anytime between 11am and midnight. Make sure you bring your greenbacks, as they don’t take that new-fangled plastic stuff for payment. And be sure to stop in to Shane’s Confectionery next door – it’s where this delicious ice cream is made – and pick up some homemade marshmallows, truffles or any number of culinary. That original sugar rush only lasts so long before you’ll be craving more. Enjoy your visit to Philadelphia and we’ll see you at the next stop on Shira’s Ice Cream Run.


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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

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

Fog Ain’t it foggy outside, all the planes have been grounded - America According to the all-knowing Wikipedia… “Fog is a collection of liquid water or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth’s surface. Fog can be considered a type of low-lying cloud and is heavily influenced by nearby bodies of water, topography, wind conditions, and even human activities. In turn, fog has affected many human activities, such as shipping and transport, warfare, and culture.” We know there are a few evil weather conditions that can affect motorcycle travels in the most horrid of ways, and possibly none as frustrating as a dense fog. Whether you live and ride along the shore, up in the mountains or along the valleys – eventually the weather gods will conspire to blanket you with a shroud of grey. We know that many times we will awake to fog, especially along certain geographical locals and have a good idea that, not too far down the road, the fog will have burned off and left a brilliant day. But, that is not always the case.

Fog can be one of the most difficult and dangerous riding situations that you can encounter. A thick fog can literally blind you and, add into this rain and darkness, you have a thick stew of bad endings. Many times, especially on tour, the locals are a good source of knowledge. Ask about the fog and where it usually lies. If fog has taken the entire region for miles than wait it out. Sometime there is “no plane on Sunday.” However that is more the exception than the rule. Here at Backroads Central the heavy mist and fog can sit around the hill and property for hours when a few miles down the road all is clear. If this is the case where you are then you might want to proceed – slowly. This goes for running into fog when already riding. Slow it down. When things get soupy it is time to reduce your speed. You need to have that extra few seconds of reaction time for braking and maneuvering. You should also avoid abrupt inputs to the brake or steering and use engine braking as much as you can. Smoothness is key here. Don’t follow too closely if you are in a group or if there is traffic. We are big believers in “space cushioning” and you’ll need that extra bit of space in case something unexpected happens. In fact – the unexpected will happen, so be ready for it! These days many riders have embraced hi-viz riding gear and auxiliary lighting. Both can be key in helping to navigate foggy roadways. You want


BACKROADS • MAY 2015 to be as conspicuous as possible and the added light, if not too bright where it will reflect back at you, can obviously help as well. If you have hazard four-way flashes now would be the time to turn them on as you really want to stand out. It would bite to ride the foggy road marvelously only to be mowed down by an oncoming driver who wasn’t. Ever notice that narrow white line along the side of the road? If you haven’t, then do. This is the “Fog Line” and it gives you a visual reference to where the road ends and problems begin. Without good forward visibility we are also open to “Spatial Disorientation.” This is a condition that often affect pilots, but can come into play when we motorcycle riders can no longer grasp where the horizon is. This takes down more riders than you would think and can be a serious issue. If the fog is so bad that you really cannot grasp where you are - up, down, forward and backward - like an asphalt-bound Bermuda Triangle – then do your best to get safely off the road and wait it out. Also, be aware of “critters” as things can run out in front of you or into you quickly; thus the idea of keeping a far slower pace. Fog, fog, fog—COW! Many helmets these days use Fog City shield inserts to help keep your hel-

Page 47 met from getting foggy itself, whether it is in actual foggy conditions or just cold crappy weather. They are an excellent idea and they work, as do some of the anti-fogging chemicals that can be applied directly to your shield. Riding out of the fog, while the ultimate goal, can have its own issues as the sometimes dramatic change from dark and stormy to clear and brilliant can wreak havoc with your eyes. Pupils that were wide open can be suddenly overwhelmed and blinded by the flash of a quickly clearing sky. Be prepared for this. Some helmets these days, like Nolan and Schuberth, have a sun-visor built into the helmet and that can quickly be lowered to avoid the nuclear bomb-like flash of bright sunlight. This should be apparent when riding groupings of mountains and valleys, such as we found during the Backroads Fall Fiesta this past September. The Appalachians west of Shippensburg have some great switch-backed mountain roads, all of which were clear up high, but as you headed down into the valley it was like riding into an ocean of mist. Running back out of the clouds up the next peak would be blinding – but if you were a wary rider you would be prepared for the ocular onslaught. Like every ride, the journey gets both better and safer with the more knowledge, skill and practice you acquire. Foggy days should be no different.


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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

PRODUCT REVIEW

UCLEAR HBC200 FORCE BLUETOOTH COMMUNICATION Reviewed by Brian Rathjen

Route 739 • Dingmans Ferry, PA • 570.828.1920

There is a large variety and many ways to go with today’s bike-to-bike communication and, to be honest, we hadn’t had a chance to use UClear up until now, but that changed in a recent tour through Ecuador. To help herd our group together all the machines on this tour, and the support vehicle, were set-up with UClear HBC200s Force communicators, provided by Ecuador Freedom. To do this we had to install the HBC200 headsets comfortably inside and attach the weatherproof rechargeable control units to side of the helmet. This took just about 10 minutes from opening the box till ready to go. For both our helmets. Very easy. Unlike every other communication system available these days the UClear HBC200 works with a “boomless” microphone which eliminates some of the wiring and intricacy when using a boom or placed microphone and this system is far easier to use - regardless if you wear a full-face, openface or flip-up helmet. Where is the microphone, you ask? The microphones in all of the UClear intercoms are built into the speakers. How’s that? The system is based on the ABF “Adaptive Beam Forming,” technology used by UClear for the military communications systems, which they also manufacture. These units also work in tandem with each other. They call it “Multi-Hop Technology” and it allows multiple HBC200 intercoms to communicate in full duplex at up to 2-kilometer range, with each paired HBC200 acting as a “relay station” to the next, and so forth down the line. This allows for riders to really spread out and not need to be in ‘line-of-sight’ for clear operation. This is another technology that UClear has adapted from the military, reflecting the company’s background in manufacturing helmet and intercom systems for military use. The HBC200 is voice-activated, allows hands-free operation and claims to be water and temperature resistant so that you can ride in any weather.

Like most “water-resistant” electrics we found that you don’t want it to get soaked or submerged. Mine cut out in the rain, Shira’s stayed operational no matter what. I chalked this up to mine being a far older unit with more miles and abuse on it - compared to Shira’s brand-spankin’ new unit we brought down to Ecuador with us. You can connect up to 10 riders and can also Bluetooth music, cell phone or GPS. Allowing for so many riders to communicate makes the HBC200 Force perfect for groups that ride together frequently. During our ride through the Andes peaks and deep valleys, a very tough terrain for any mobile communication system, we found all the bikes and the truck to be able to stay in touch with each other 80% of the time. Yes, there were occasional dropoffs, but, all in all, we were impressed. The rechargeable battery powers up in just a couple of hours and we found they lasted all but the longest days (easily 8 to 10 hours). The volume was very good, if occasionally garbled at much higher speeds (wind noise), even with custom ear plugs in. But we also found if too many riders began talking at the same time it got confusing – as in when my top case detached in a small Amazon village and skidded down the street. “Blah, blah… Brian’s, blah, blah…. top case!” I was the last to know. If everyone speaks at the same time I might as well be riding with Charlie Brown’s teacher. When used methodically, and politely, it worked brilliantly. We liked this system and recommend it; especially for regular riding groups looking to stay in touch with each other during the ride. It may not be perfect, but it gets close. The system comes with two units and lists around $399 and is available through dealers. For more information visit www.uclear-digital.com.

GET BACKROADS DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME OR OFFICE SUBSCRIBE ONLINE: www.backroadsusa.com


BACKROADS • MAY 2015

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poStCardS froM tHe Hedge

MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION

Continued from Page 6 that takes place between you and your steed can last through many other relationships. You know, I think I can trace the power of the saddle back to a very specific event that took place back when I was in college, and I was living with two of my buddies who were as keen on riding as I was so our garage resembled a very small motorcycle shop. My housemate Alex had received a very serious phone call from home, and while I didn’t hear the conversation I could tell by the look on his face that something very serious was happening. I was concerned but took no immediate action, but after a while I noticed that Alex had disappeared. I hadn’t heard any vehicles leave, so I decided to check the garage and there he was, sitting on his Nighthawk S and clearly emotionally drained. I jumped on my Magna that was parked next to it, and from our trusted perches we chatted about the phone call, which involved a serious medical crisis with his father. From the comfort of his favorite seat he was able to calm himself down, analyze the situation and put himself at ease, and the crisis was managed. He felt better, and I can’t help but think that the ability to think and talk it out was boosted by retreating to a space that meant something positive; the place where in many ways he is happiest. And so it has come to pass that, years later, the saddle of my (now different) motorcycle is a still a powerful device that makes the world a better place. This is true even if I’m just sitting on it, parked, with a few feet of snow outside. Imagine how good it feels to be actually sitting on it when it’s moving again. I think the word is “bliss.”

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MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

U P C O M I N G E VE NT S CALEND AR EVERY MONTH - WEATHER PERMITTING Every Tuesday • The Ear - Spring St, NYC. Come meet some fellow riders and do some benchracing or whatever. 8pm-ish 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, 124 Essex St, Rochelle Park, NJ • 201-843-6930 • www.bergenharleydavidson.com

MAY 1-3 • Rollin’ Fast Victory Demo Event • 104 Main St, Lebanon, NJ • 908-236-9000 • www.RollinFast.com

What’s Happening habilition Hospital. A designated route along some of the Hudson Valley’s most interesting roads, with stops for poker/dice/scrabble or other games, with a chance to win prizes, while supporting a worthy cause. ramapomc.org • RMC@ramapomc.org 17 • Bergen Harley-Davidson Freedom Run + Festival 13. Overpeck Park, Ridgefield Park, NJ • Sign in: 8:30-9:30 am • 10am KSU • $25/$15:rider/pass. Benefits the 200 Club of Bergen County. See ad on page 29 for full details 22-24 • CT River Valley BMW Riders Charter Oak Rally. Sign in: Camp NAHACO, 305 Crystal Pond Rd, Woodstock Valley, CT. $40/pp adv • $50pp/gate. New location, several lean-tos and cabins (first come) Entry incl. bottomless coffee, Friday chili dinner, Sat. dinner, Sat/Sun. continental style breakfast and more • 860-9659160/860-262-0247 • rally@crvbmw.org 24 • Dawn Patrol MC Memorial Day Classic, 24 Old York Rd, Bridgewater, NJ

2 • Bergen Harley-Davidson Demo Days. Free Demo rides, food and music. 10am4pm. 124 Essex St, Rochelle Park, NJ • 201-843-6930 • BergenHarleyDavidson.com

24 • Woodstock H-D Honoring Our Heroes dedicaiton of Battle Cross Memorial. 949 Rte. 28, Kingston, NY. KSU 12:15PM • Dedication 1-2pm

8 • Woodstock H-D Ladies Garage Party. 949 Rte. 28, Kingston, NY • 855 WHD-RIDE • WoodstockHarley.com

28-31 • Backroads Spring Break 2015. Three (or four) day road trip heading north (or south if you live in Canada). 1st night: Yankee Inn, Lenox, MA • nights 2 + 3: Golden Arrow Resort, Lake Placid, NY • night 4: Bavarian Manor, Purling, NY. Full info: www.backroadsusa.com/rallies.html. As always, gathering is free, just pay your own way and have a great time. Questions? editor@backroadsusa.com • 973948-4176

8-10 • Rollin Fast Indian Motorcycle of Lebanon Demo Days • 104 Main St, Lebanon, NJ • 908-236-9000 • RollinFast.com 15-17 • Morton’s BMW 5th Annual Spring Fling Rally, Natural Bridge, VA. Centered at the Natural Bridge Hotel, enjoy great riding, informative seminars and presentations, good food, a catered Saturday dinner buffet, an optional Friday evening Brats & Brews dinner and more. Registration is $60 after May 1. More information @ www.mortonsbmw.com • 540-891-9844 16 • Liberty H- Demo Day • 11am-4pm • 12 W. Milton Ave, Rahway, NJ • 732-3812400 • LibertyHarley.com 16 • Woodstock H-D Anniversary Party Open House • 949 Rte. 28, Kingston, NY • 855 WHD-RIDE • WoodstockHarley.com 16 • Cycle Motion Open House 9am-4pm • 1269 Dolstown Rd • Middletown NY 10940 • 845-343-2552 • CycleMotionInc.com 16-17 • New Sweden BMW Riders’ New Sweden 450. The premise is simple. 450 miles of amazing roads, a night of camping, a hearty dinner and breakfast; LImited to 200 riders. Finishing patches available. Sign in: Cycle Gear, 2070 Rte. 70 East, Cherry Hill, NJ 8:30-10am • Endsite: Pic-a-Lilli Inn, 866 Rte. 206, Shamong, NJ. $50 pre-reg • $60 day of event. For more info please visit www.nsbmwr.com 17 • Ramapo MC Spring Fun Run. Sign in/Endsite: Rhodes North Tavern, 40 Orange Tpke (Rte. 17) Sloatsburg, NY • 9am to mid-afternoon. Benefits Helen Hayes Re-

30 • Cross Country Powersports Open House + WowBoyz Stunt Show • 911 Middlesex Ave, Metuchen, NJ • 732-906-9292 • CrossCountryPowersports.com 31 • Born to be Wild benefit ride for Nyack Hospital Maternity Dept. Sign in: 8:3010:30am • PreReg: $20-Rider/$15-Pass • After 5/16: $25. Incl. breakfast refreshments, picnic lunch, live music, prizes and more. 60-mile ride through Rockland Cty • 845353-3333 • NyackHospital.org

JUNE

1-6 • Americade, world's largest multi-brand motorcycle touring rally, attracting over 100,000 annually. Come for the day or for the week to the "Best Riding Event in the U.S." with the most factory demos, a massive motorcycle expo, lots of incredible motorcycle events and more amazing rides than any other event in the country. Events include guided and unguided rides, poker runs, scavenger hunt, trade show, bike shows, vendors, entertainment, and more • 518-798-7888 • www.americade.com 6 • 5th Annual Carney Vetrano Benefit to benefit Ronald McDonald Camp for Kids with Cancer sponsored by H-D Long Branch & Jersey Shore HOG 13-21 • Laconia Motorcycle Week – the original riding rally. All of the attractions


BACKROADS • MAY 2015

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U P C O M I N G E VE NT S CA LEND AR

What’s Happening

that you can imagine, attracting the best custom bike builders and their creations. Events and attractions are going on everywhere, but the place to be at night is Weirs Beach • 603-366-2000 • www.laconiamcweek.com

18 • Bob's BMW Motorcycles Healthy Riding Seminar: Discuss potential health related issues motorcyclists might encounter such as hypothermia and how to trat/prevent.10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD • 301-497-8949 • www.bobsbmw.com

12 • Cross Country Powersports Can-Am Spyder Demo Event • 911 Middlesex Ave, metuchen, NJ • 732-491-2900 • CrossCountryPowersports.com

13 • Morton’s BMW Off-Road Training Day. Sign up on website: MortonsBMW.com

18-19 • Ramapo MC 39th Annual running of the Ramapo 500™. Sign in/Endsite: Rhodes North Tavern, 40 Orange Tpke (Rte. 17) Sloatsburg, NY • 7AM • $35 adv. reg/$50/day of event. 500+ miles of gorgeous scenery and backroads, free camping, pool, Saturday night dinner, awards and prizes, Sunday breakfast, starter pins and finishers patch. Garmin GPS upload for additional fee • ramapomc.org • RMC@ramapomc.org

15-16 • CLASS returns to Virginia International Raceway Monday and Tuesday for a two-day class around one of the nicest facilities in the US. Sign up by March and receive $100 off the weekend fee. For more information please visit www.classrides.com or call 805-933-9936.

19 • Blue Knights PA XXVI Fallen Officer Poker Run to benefit the families of Cpl. Bryon Dickson and Tpr. Alex Douglass. Sign up: Combined Energy Wvc, 1483 Rte. 739, Dingmans Ferry, PA. $20/pp incl. scenic ride, prizes, vendors, live music, food and more at Airport Park, 7th & Ave S, Matamoras, PA • 914-850-2986

17 • 28th Annual Gooch’s Garlic Run presented by Blue Knights NJ IX to benefit local children’s charities. Sign-in: Rockaway TownSquare, Rt 80/Mt Hope Ave, Rockaway, NJ (exit 35 East/ 35A West) 4:30pm • KSU 6:30PM SHARP. Police escorted ride to Newark Ironbound District. PreReg: $15/motorcylce • after 6/13: $20/motorcycle • Full details www.bknjix.org • www.facebook.com/Goochs

23-25 • 43rd BMW MOA International Rally, MetraPark, Billings, Montana • www.bmwmoa.org

13 • Motorcycle Mall Can-Am Spyder Demo Event • 655 WashingtonAve, Belleville, NJ • 973-751-4545 • MotorcycleMall.com

20 • Bob's BMW Motorcycles Seminar: Tips for Properly Strapping Down a Motorcycle.11am. 10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD • 301-497-8949 • www.bobsbmw.com 25-28 • Johnstown Thunder in the Valley, Johnstown, PA • 800-237-8590 • www.visitjohnstownpa.com/thunderinthevalley 28 • 7th Annual Baer’s MS Poker RUn to benefit Multiple Sclerosis. Sign up: 9amNoon Baer’s Sports Center, 330 Grandview Ave, Honesdale, PA or Harmony Lodge No. 8 F&AM, 519 Rte. 206, Andover, NJ.$20/pp incl. pins or patches, scenic ride, live music, food and prizes • www.WRVR.net • 570-253-2000

JULY 10-11 • Law Enforcement Skills Competition. 7/10: Practice and Eliminations 8am4pm @ Willowbrook Mall, Wayne, NJ • 7/11: Finals and awards 8am - 2pm. For full details visit www.sonj.org/special-olympics-events/law-enforcement/ for mail-in registration form or contact: Tommy Johnson, tjohn710@yahoo.com • 7/11: Motorcycle Run • Sign in: 8 - 9 am at Bergen County Harley-Davidson, 124 Essex Street, Rochelle Park • KSU: 9:15am. 50 mile escorted ride to Willowbrook Mall for lunch and t-shirt pick-up. Skills Competition will be in-progress. $25/Rider (must be 18 or over), $15/Passenger. Includes event shirt and lunch. 17-19 • Centinnary College’s WNTI presents WNTIStage. Music, food and craft vendors under the big tent and Lions Club Pavilion, 89 US 46, Columbia, NJ • www.WNTStage.org • 908-979-4355

AUGUST 7-8 • 38th Annual Daniel Boone Rally sponsered by the Carolinas BMW Motorcycle Owners Assoc. Great Riding Roads, Hospitality and Comaraderie in cool North Carolina Mountain air. All riders and brands welcome - room for everyone at the KOA campgrounds in Boone, NC. $45 rally fee includes two-nights camping, pin to first 200 attendees, door prizes, Sat. evening BBQ, donuts & coffee sunday morning, 24 hour coffee, tea, hot chocolate, iced tea & lemonade. Also People's Choice Award,self-guided route sheets and GPS downloads (on and off-road), fee wi-fi and so much more. Full details www.carolinasbmwmoa.org or email rally@bmwmoa.org 16 • BACKROADS 200. NJ/NY/PA 200+ mile ride. Details page 52 16 • Brit Jam 2015 9am-4:30pm • Haddam Neck Fairgrounds, Rte. 151, East Hampton, CT. Entry: $10. British Iron Association of CT. Connecticut’s finest classic motorcycle show and swap meet • www.CTBritIron.org 20-23 • America’s 9/11 Ride remembering the 14th Anniversary honoring the first responders. Police escorted ride from Shanksville, PA to the Pentagon to the World Trade Center. Pre-reg closed 8/10/15. More info: www.americas911ride.org 19-22 • Trio Tour 2015 sponsored by the Westchester Beemers NY. Sport-touring ‘scavenger hunt’ event. Three consecutive daily rides begin/end Lincoln, NH-based location. Daily rides average 8.5 hours and cover 350 miles. Five/Six checkpoints per day, plus daily wild card bonuse opportunities. Rider packets include bonus locations sent electronically 7 days ahead of the Rider Briefing on Day One. LIMITED TO 33 RIDERS. $65/solo • $95/two-up. For full details and registration visit www.triotour.org • FB: tinyurl.com/triotourFB • email: jmajsak@verizon.net • 914328-7909

SEPTEMBER 17-21 • Backroads Fall Foliage 2015. 4-night road trip to Virginia/West Virginia riding heaven. 1st night: George Washington Hotel, Winchester, VA • nights 2 + 3: Isaac Jackson Hotel, Elkins, WV • 4th night: Shippen Place Hotel, Shippensburg, PA. We’ll visit some old and new stops, and bring you on some great twisties. Full info: www.backroadsusa.com/rallies.html. As always, gathering is free, just pay your own way and have a great time. Questions? editor@backroadsusa.com • 973-9484176

1269 DOLSONTOWN RD • MIDDLETOWN NY 10940 845-343-2552 • WWW.CYCLEMOTIONINC.COM

19 • Bob's BMW Motorcycles Oktoberfest & Open House 9A-4P.10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD • 301-497-8949 • www.bobsbmw.com

OCTOBER 11 • Ramapo Motorcycle Club Fall Foliage Tour. Sign in/Endsite: Rhodes North Tavern, 40 Orange Tpke (Rte. 17) Sloatsburg, NY 9am-mid-afternoon. Benefits Valerie Fund for Childhood Cancer Research. A guided or self-guided tour featuring the best autumn pallet Mother Nature can provide along some of the Hudson Valley’s most interesting roads. For more info: ramapomc.org • RMC@ramapomc.org Watch calendar and website for new events and upcoming 2015 Backroads Rally announcements. Follow us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute information: www.facebook.com/pages/Backroads-Motorcycle-Touring-Magazine

Saturday, May 16th Raffles • Refreshments • FREE NYS Inspections In-Stock Sale on Apparel and Merchandise

9 am to

4 pm

www.beemerboneyard.com USED OILHEAD & K-BIKE PARTS Hundreds of used parts at 50% off new cost or less Order online 24/7 ~ M/C, Visa, Discover or PayPal 100% money-back guarantee ~ parts ship in 24 hours

N EW MAINTENANCE PART ~ BELOW RETAIL No Backorders ~ We Stock What We Sell We now carry German Liqui-Moly Engine & Gear Oil for BMWs 973-775-3495 • M-F 12pm~5pm • inquires@beemerboneyard.com


Page 52

MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

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MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION Get BACKROADS delivered to your home

EVERY MONTH! Just fill out the simple form and mail it along with payment to:

Backroads, PO Box 317, Branchville, NJ 07826 First Class Postage $40/12 issues • Delivered in a sealed, protective envelope

We accept checks via mail and credit cards on our website thru PayPal www.backroadsusa.com/subscription.html NAME ________________________________________________________

Join us for a 200-mile tri-state self-guided romp through New Jersey, New York + Pennsylvania START: Yetter’s Diner • 89 US 206, Augusta, NJ SIGN-IN: 9 -10:30am END: Chatterbox Drive-In • Rtes. 94/206, Augusta, NJ Optional: $10/bike donation to Backroads’ Little Free Libraries

ADDRESS ______________________________________________________ CITY/STATE/ZIP __________________________________________________

Don’t Miss An Issue! Mail Your Subscription in TODAY! If you have moved, please use this form to inform us of your change of address o New Subscription

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BACKROADS • MAY 2015

Page 53

MOTORCYCLE MARKETPLACE

ALL THAT GOOD STUFF Fire Pit • Free WiFi Cooked-to-order Breakfast Heated Pool • BYOB

We welcome everyone from a lone rider to a full chapter

344 Route 100, West Dover, VT www.BigBearsLodge.com 802-464-5591

ye olde landmark tavern 5 Spacious Rooms starting at $95.00 Tavern and Dining Room Menu Serving Hours: Mon-Sat: 5-9pm Sunday: 2:30-8pm Seasonal April ~ December Member of

Featured in ‘We’re Outta Here’ Sept. 2011 In the heart of great riding • Between Syracuse and Utica

Cooperstown • Finger Lakes • State Forests

route 20, Bouckville, Ny • 315-893-1810 • www.yeoldelandmark.com

Touring North Central Virginia? Then ride on over to the NEW Comfort Inn & Suites in Orange

The newest motorcycle-friendly hotel closest to Skyline Drive… just 30 miles away! %

15 Discount to all Motorcyclists

Moto-Inn Approved Tell ‘em Backroads sent you!

Motorcyclist Owned & Operated Large indoor heated pool and spa • Free deluxe hot breakfast buffet Microwaves + fridges in every room • Large rooms + suites available

Comfort Inn & Suites 334 Caroline St (James Madison Hwy), Orange, VA 22960 540-672-3121 • www.comfortinn.com/hotel-orange-virginia-VA657


Page 54

MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

MOTORCYCLE MARKETPLACE Riverside Cafe & Lodge, nestled on the Beaverskill River in Roscoe, NY CIA-trained chef • Motel rooms and cabins • Free wi-fi Excellent base location to explore the lower Catskills

ALL THAT GOOD STUFF

The Riverton

Tues. thru Sat. 11am-10pm Sunday: Breakfast 9am-Noon Lunch and Dinner served until 9pm

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.

John, Christina, chef George and Eoanna welcome you and your friends.

Riverside Cafe & Lodge • 16624 Cty Hwy 17 • Roscoe, NY • 607-498-5305 www.riversidecafeandlodge.com • GPS: 41°58’09”N • 75°01’32.6”W

The Riverton Hotel and Restaurant

Member of

At Belvidere-Riverton Free Bridge, Riverton, PA

610-498-4241 • www.rivertonhotel.com

‘50s-Style Drive-In Restaurant Full and Varied Menu Room for the Whole Gang

THURSDAY BIKE NIGHT IS BACK • join us at

THE CHATTERBOX DRIVE-IN GREAT FOOD • GOOD TIMES • EXCELLENT RIDING Located at Ross’ Corners • 1 Route 15 • Augusta NJ • 973-300-2300

www.chatterboxdrivein.com Worth the ride from anywhere!

Sharing your passion for good food since 1983 Member of

NOW AVAILABLE Barbeque Catering Flexible • Affordable Ready When You Are 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

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Excellent Ride Destination Celebrate the Season with some awesome barbeque!

If you go home hungry it’s your own fault

Tues-Sun 11A-9P Brunch 10A-2P Closed Monday Call for Seasonal Hours

1040 Cty Rd 521 • Swartswood NJ 973-300-0016


BACKROADS • MAY 2015

Page 55

MOTORCYCLE MARKETPLACE

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Page 56

MAY 2015 • BACKROADS

MOTORCYCLE MARKETPLACE

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Pinstriping by Kerry Buckley Internationally Acclaimed Custom Artist By Appointment • 732-448-9668 2015 Rally Schedule: May 1-2 • Jonestown, PA: Lebanon Valley Cycles May 3 • Mays Landing, NJ: GWRRA Bike Show May 9 • Long Branch, NJ: H-D Long Branch May 16 • Lakewood, NJ: H-D of Ocean May 24 • Bradley Gardens, NJ: Dawn Patrol Run

Find us on Facebook - Kerry Buckley Visit our website - kandmsigns.com See us in Monmouth Junction, NJ

Come Ride the Dragon Deals Gap 318 Curves in 11 Miles

www.dealsgap.com 800.889.5550 17548 Tapoco Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771

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Sussex Hills Ltd. Stocking a full line of heated gear Make your riding season last all year.

Specializing in Motorcycle Repair, Parts & Supplies • Cycle Tires Mounted & Balanced • Batteries & Hard Parts • Dynojet 250 Dyno available for testing

973-875-2048 Norman Gross 946 Rte. 23 South For All Your Harley-Davidson Needs Since 1976 Sussex NJ 07461 Our Reputation Speaks for Itself 3 miles north of Sussex Borough

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Dress properly for your ride with a helmet, eye protection, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves and boots. Do not drink and ride. It is illegal and dangerous. Yamaha and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation encourage you to ride safely and respect the environment. For further information regarding the MSF course, please call 1-800-446-9227. ©2014 Yamaha Motor Corporation. U.S.A. All rights reserved. • YamahaMotorsports.com

210 Route 10 West • East Hanover, NJ • 973-428-1735

• www.Powersports.Honda.com

Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri: 9am-6pm • Thur: 9am-8pm • Sat: 9am-5pm • SUNDAY: CLOSED - GONE RIDING

May 2015  

Take another trip around the globe with Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental to the Middle of the Planet Shira's Ice Cream Run brings more tasty trea...

May 2015  

Take another trip around the globe with Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental to the Middle of the Planet Shira's Ice Cream Run brings more tasty trea...