gaz Ma our le T cyc tor Mo
2012 Volume 18 No. 9
Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure
Ridi ng o ut o f
Exploring Newfoundland and the Viking Village Recaps of the summerâ€™s rallies Americade and AMA Vintage Days Our monthly columns and events
Check out the 2012 Honda NC700X, and what do you see? An adventure-style bike? An urban assault commuter? A country road explorer? A two-up getaway machine? Or perhaps all of the above? Whatever your personal vision of the NC700X may be, color it fun because this is one bike that offers a perfect blend of style, handling and power for tackling whatever the day's agenda may hold. Credit its long-travel suspension, abundant torque and more, plus a six-speed gearbox or the choice of an automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) with a Combined Antilock Braking System. So whether you're new to the sport, a longtime rider or just getting back into the riding scene, the NC700X offers the comfort, ease of use and practicality of an everyday motorcycle that's also surprisingly affordable.
BERGEN SPORT CYCLES
Ride More, Stress Less
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30 US H’Way 46 East, Lodi, NJ 07644
BERGEN SPORT CYCLES
Ride More, Stress Less
BERGEN SPORT CYCLES
Ride More, Stress Less
30 US H’Way 46 East, Lodi, NJ 07644
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W H A T ’ S
I N S I D E FEAT URES
MON THLY COLUMN S FREE WHEELIN’.................................................................................4
NEWFOUNDLAND VIKING VILLAGE TO CAPE SPEAR .......30
RIDING THE AUTO (MOTORCYCLE) TRAIN .............................35
ON THE MARK ..................................................................................6
SHIRA’S SUMMERTIME ICE CREAM RIDE .............................38
POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE .................................................7 BACKLASH .........................................................................................9
EV ENT RECAPS
INDUSTRY INFOBITES ...................................................................11
AMA VINTAGE DAYS ROCKERS & MODS ...............................24
WE’RE OUTTA HERE......................................................................14
25TH RUNNING OF GOOCH’S GARLIC RUN..........................42
BIG CITY GETAWAY........................................................................16
30TH ANNIVERSARY OF AMERICADE ....................................53
GREAT ALL AMERICAN DINER RUN.........................................19 MYSTERIOUS AMERICA ...............................................................21 UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR ..............................................40
PRODUCT REVIEW S ADVENTUROUS MOTORCYCLIS’S GUIDE TO ALASKA.......43
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS ...............................................................44
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE .......................................................50
SOME CHILLIN’ IDEAS..................................................................52
Brian Rathjen • Shira Kamil ~ Publishers Contributors: Jeff Bahr, Glenn Baldwin, Mark Byers, Bill Heald, Peter Miller, Mike Mosca, Dr. Seymour O’Life
BACKROADS • POB 317, Branchville NJ 07826 Phone 973.948.4176 • Fax 973.948.0823 • email firstname.lastname@example.org • web www.backroadsusa.com Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure
For Advertising Sales Information: 973-948-4176
BACKROADS (ISSN 1087-2088) is published monthly by BACKROADS™, Inc. 2012. 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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SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
FREE WHEELIN’ BRIAN RATHJEN
Youze & Ya’all
ackroads is based in northwest New Jersey or, as we prefer, New “Joisey.” When New York television weather folk say north and west of the city they might as well say Backroads Central. Being from this region we are well aware that we have our own way of saying things in a slightly different way from our fellow Americans. Head north in your “kaa” towards “Bawston” and things change up there in a more “wicked” way. But, when you head south, things and ways of saying things change just as fast. Philadelphia doesn’t count as it is just a piece of western “Joisey”, and they know it and hate the world for it. Philly folk sound like Jersey folk and that’s just the way it is. Deal with it. Somewhere heading further south the comfortable “Youze”, as in “Youze Guys” - meaning all of you - becomes “Y’all”.
I couldn’t help but wonder why and where all these differences in our language began? Desperately looking for answers about these odd contractions I went to the ultimate source for truth these days – Wikipedia and they said… “Y’all” (pronounced as one syllable - yawl) is a contraction of the words “you” and “all”. It is used as a plural second-person pronoun. Commonly believed to have originated in the Southern United States, it is primarily associated with Southern American English, African-American vernacular english, and some dialects of the western United States. It is also found in the english-speaking islands of the West Indies. Origin: “Y’all” clearly arose as a contraction of you-all. “Y’all” fills in the gap of a separate second person plural pronoun in standard English (created when thou disappeared and you incorporated singular meaning), similar to the phrases you-uns, you lot, or you guys. Though the you-all contraction argument may make sense when considering current-day vernacular, it is prudent to consider the vernacular which existed at the time which “y’all” was likely invented. By the late 18th century, Scotch-Irish immigrants had settled in the southern United States. It is well established that Scots-Irish immigrants frequently used the term “ye aw”. Some evidence suggests that “y’all” could have evolved from “ye aw” due to the influence of African slaves who may have adapted the Scotch-Irish term.”
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Sure, blame the Scots. While “y’all” is actually a contraction of “you all,” it is most commonly used as a plural form of “you.” “All y’all”, “all of y’all”, or “alls y’all” clarifies that the entire group is meant, rather than an undefined subset thereof. For example;”Are y’all going ridin’?” The thrust of this question is whether riding is in the plans of the group. The asker is not focusing on whether the whole group, or just some of them, is going. “Are all y’all going riding?” Here, the person asking specifically wants to know whether the whole group is going. More technical that we thought. You’ze with me so far? Back up north and looking deeper at the differences in these two phrases I found that the “Urban Dictionary” claims that “youze” is mostly used in Italian-American communities and among the “Bridge & Tunnel Crowd” in the NYC/NJ area to denote a group of people. Yeah, so what’s their point? Still, we asked where do these sayings, which both mean, more or less, the same thing, change? Where on United States maps do we make this jump of phrase? We start off the day’s ride here in the north at a Jersey diner counter being asked if “youze” guys want more “cawfee” and by dinnertime the waitress is snapping gum and asking “What “ya’ll” want to eat?” (Continued on Page 8)
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
W H ATC H AT H I N K I N ’ SHIRA KAMIL
Separate but equal
t’s been a few months and I think the feathers have settled from Brian’s editorial regarding the AMA, or more specifically the AMA’s International Women and Motorcycling Conference. For a short time after that came out, I was forced to defend his opinion to, well, have an opinion. Folks would ask me how I let Brian write such things and, truth be told, last time I checked he did own half this magazine and with that ownership comes the right to say whatever he likes. That’s why it’s called an ‘editorial’. At this time also, this year’s International Women and Motorcycling Conference is in the books. No, I did not attend, and for several reasons. First off, we were heading back from the BMW MOA International Rally held, this year, in Sedalia, Missouri, to put a magazine together. Had the timing been different, perhaps I might have considered it. Secondly, with the temperatures pretty close to reading ‘surface of the sun’ on any thermometer, even if I had absolutely nothing better to do, there was no way on God’s green earth I would head further west for another rally. Did I mention it was hot? I’m sure you’ve all read of the terrible drought the middle of the country has been in for many months; well I’m here to tell you it’s absolutely no joke. The fields of corn, which are so abundantly green here in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are already being cut down in Missouri. The farmers have been forced to use their supply of winter feed to keep the livestock fed. The ground was downright crunchy to walk on. Okay, you get the picture. Finally, and I’ve probably said this once or twice before in these pages, I don’t actually get the whole concept. Why is it called a ‘Conference’ and not a ‘Rally’? To me, conference implies long, boring talks with flow charts and PowerPoint presentations; something akin to work. A rally, on the other hand, is a banding together of like-minded individuals, with vendors, riding and
Page 5 fun stuff. I made the mistake of calling it the ‘Women’s rally’ and almost got my head chewed off. Explain to me the difference and I’ll certainly never make that mistake again. I do have to agree with Brian about the AMA holding one, all-encompassing RALLY, for all their members – women, young adults, racers, riders, tourers, purple, white, brown, yellow, etc. This rally can be held every year, not just every few, in one central location for all to enjoy. Seminars, vendors, group rides, exhibitions and all that fun stuff will be present. During this annual gathering, the women who so badly need to have their own separate cominglings, can hold their seminars, rides and cabals, in secret locations. If the AMA thinks that this is an insurmountable task, which will tap their funds to extremes, perhaps they can ask for assistance from folks who seem to know how to get it done. One that comes to the top of my head are the folks who just put on the BMW MOA rally. This is also a membership organization, running off club dues and, I think, magazine revenue that put on one heck of a rally each year. Top-notch vendors, informative and entertaining seminars, demonstration and participation rides, on-site camping and much more are included and for the low admission price of just $40. This year they even had a GS ride just for women. I was scheduled to participate but, unfortunately, my bike was in desperate need of a new chain and sprockets and was laid up. Hopefully, someone who did attend will send along a review with great pictures so I can see what I missed (hint, hint). Ladies, answer me this and I promise I’ll stop asking – if you want to be a part of the motorcycle community, why do you want to separate yourselves? Women-only track days I can understand, but don’t say it’s because the guys bring too much testosterone to the track. I have been around some supercompetitive women riders who might have more testosterone than many men I know. If you think that riding with just women on a track is less intimidating, I can go along with that. But don’t forget that when you get off the track and back to real-world riding, you are going to encounter everyone – competitive, arrogant, accommodating and/or accepting. I guess it’s like a great, big girl’s night out. I enjoy those every once in a while for the girl-talk, umbrella drinks and dressing up. But when it comes to motorcycling, I’ll take a nice weekend ride with friends of all gender and the comradery at the end of the day.
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
ON THE MARK MARK BYERS
MY perfect MotorcYcle
pecifications: the military loves them. You can find a “spec” for anything from water to an aircraft carrier. For years, I’ve been figuring out whether airplanes satisfy those requirements; consequently, I put those skills to work on my vehicles (sometimes much to the chagrin of my wife). Were I to commission the industry to build a perfect motorcycle, here would be some of the specs. I’ll forgo lawyerproof language for brevity, but I reserve the right to be snarky. 1) A kick-starter. Include a compression release so I don’t have to risk a fractured tibia. Gear it so it works and I don’t look like the proverbial monkey humping a football starting the bike (refer to film of a vintage BSA rider). 2) No battery. I don’t want to carry a lot of weight I use for a tiny part of the bike’s riding time. The engine is perfectly capable of producing electricity when running. Fuel injected bikes can be started with a kick, ala Montesa. Say “capacitor.” 3) A massive service interval. I’ve suffered enough 6,000-mile boxer valve adjustments. At least they’re accessible: disassembling the bike to do shimunder-bucket valves is a huge pain. I’ll grant a once-a-year oil change and brake-pad/tire replacement on condition, but the rest of the stuff should just flat-out work. If my truck can go a hundred thousand with nothing but oil changes, tires, and brake pads, so should my bike. I’ll concede an occasional, re-usable air filter cleaning (think K&N: don’t make me buy another one). 4) It must use regular gas, including that with closet-farm-subsidy ingredients and other disgusting impurities, like a little water. I’ll concede a fuel filter if it’s easily accessible (not buried in the fuel tank) and also cleanable. 5) Speaking of buried in the tank, if you must use a fuel pump, it better be external and engine-driven if you’re going to use injection and totally absent if you go with carbs. 6) If injection is used, the mapping must be tunable with any computer (see also Montesa). I don’t care how green you have to be off the assembly line, I want my bike to run like a scalded ape. If used, carbs should be readily ac-
cessible for any kind of service, cleaning, or irresponsible rejetting. 7) The bike must include a tool kit that enables complete dis-and re-assembly of the machine and the kit must fit under the seat in a small, included pouch. 8) Fasteners must be standardized and captive so I don’t have to care with which assembly they belong, whether the short one or the long one goes in that hole, and where the &^%$# thing went when I dropped it in the gravel. 9) I never want to change another light bulb, ever. Use LEDs. While you’re at it, incorporate programmable flashing stoplight modes so I can stop buying them from the aftermarket. When I put on my brakes, I want that texting, tailgating bastard’s retinas seared. I want a wonderful headlight that responds to leaning. 10) A comfortable seat. Why does a cottage industry exist to try to fix the factory’s masterpieces of sadism? When was the last time you heard someone say he ripped the factory seats out of his nice automobile so he could be comfortable? Heat the seat. 11) Heated grips that border on barbecues when set to “high.” Place them at the end of fully-adjustable handlebars that will allow comfortable accommodation of more than the 50th percentile male. 12) Adjustable footpeg, hand lever, and shift and brake foot levers. No control shall break should the bike fall over, be dropped, or crash. In fact, cheap, frangible protection must be provided to prevent expensive bike damage to anything should those events occur. 13) Adjustable wind protection that allows riding at any speed of which the machine is capable without the requirement for hearing protection. It must be such that looking through a windscreen is not required. I don’t want turbulence on my helmet that feels like a middleweight repeatedly punching my head. I just realized I could go on well past your ability to stand it, so I’ll stop here. Most of these features are within our technology and represent things we need or are already available through the aftermarket. Some of them represent functionality available on a 70’s CB750 (kick, ability to run with no battery, compression release, simplicity, etc.). There seems to be a lot of unnecessary complexity relative to our available technology: give me the equivalent of a highly-reliable motorcycling AK-47 that I can drag through the mud, maintain indifferently, wipe off occasionally, fix rapidly, and just let me ride, ride, ride.
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
P O S TC A R D S FROM THE HEDGE BILL HEALD
le’Go MY loGo!
t is an odd number, 13, for some cultures find it unlucky; others exactly the opposite. But the 2013 model year is now upon us, and as with every new year I’m excited to see all the new bikes that the manufacturers will share with us in the next several weeks as their dealer meetings take place. But a new model year also means I get to take a look at what they’ve done to existing, established models, especially those (it so happens) I have earlier versions in my vast, 3.5 member stable of totally bitchin’ rides. I love this “revealing” time of year, yet I fear it as well. For as far as I can remember, the release of the new model year machines meant there was always the possibility that they would create a new version of my beloved ride and do something to it that would disturb me. Why does this matter? Well, it’s true I am typically not thinking about running out and buying the new version of what I own every year; in fact it’s more accurate to say this purchase interval is closer to a decade or more rather than a year based on my prior behavior. But there’s something about a manufacturer messing with “your” bike that rankles a bit. That, and I also think you like to be assured if aliens should come and abduct your pride-and-joy, you (and your insurance company, provided you have an Alien Abduction policy) can go to your local dealer and purchase a new one exactly like it. Crazy, I know. But these emotions are real, and run strong in the likes of me. Over time, one particular aspect of change has been especially interesting to me as it seems to happen with great regularity. It all started when I was considering buying a new Honda VFR back in the early 90s, and I noticed a very interesting change in tank logos over the model updates. When it comes to Honda, my favorite tank logo is easily the “wing” version that is simple, elegant and cool. My ’83 Magna had a very unique two-tone version of this
Page 7 logo, and every time I washed the bike I appreciated it. When it was time to get a new Honda, I wanted to get this logo because not only did I like it, I superstitiously thought it was good luck as the Magna had been a very reliable motorcycle and the first one I did long-distance touring on (weird to think about that now-it really wasn’t build for long-haul touring but you can make anything work if you want). So by the time I was ready to consider purchasing a VFR, it looked like the new ’93 model would suit admirably. It came in a sharp pearl white paint scheme, and low and behold unlike the previous red ‘90 and ‘91 models (and black ’92 edition) the tank logo was the flying wing emblem. I thought (and still think) that this is a better logo than the word HONDA in big letters on the side of the ‘90-’92 editions, but as fate would have it I encountered a new (leftover) ’91 model that was at a price I couldn’t refuse. It also had the red paint and gold wheels that to this day are quite striking (and ages well). Naturally, I did consider removing the logo I didn’t like and replacing it with the one I did, but for some reason I felt that I wanted to leave that aspect of the bike stock. Weird, I know, but I decided that it needed to be kept original in this regard. Over time I’ve obviously become accustomed to it, but I still think the winged version was superior. Good thing the rest of the bike is so superb even after all these years. Now on to my Triumph, and what has “happened.” I mention the current model year as no doubt more of the same is coming for ’13 in a few weeks. When the new 2012 Triumph Street Triple R was announced a while back, I noted a few tweaks including some more flashy, contemporary headlights (haven’t taken to them yet, as they have a mantis-like-aspect I don’t roll with) and the company has removed the absolutely stellar Triumph tank logo found on my bike and replaced it with something arguable modern, stylish and certainly interesting. Yet, it is inferior in my view. The machine is pretty much the same mechanically, but they have tweaked the appearance in a very subtle (Continued on Page 8)
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Page 8 free Wheelin’ (Continued from Page 4) I have asked a few different riders, that are known to bounce around the country, about this and it is generally considered that the Pennsylvania state line, also called the Mason-Dixon Line is where you will begin hearing “ya’all” on a more consistent basis. Near the Verrazano bridge “youze” is more frequently used. Heading west somewhere around the Mississippi River all flavor and texture leave the American language (really, do you think the British like us calling this stuff English? Fugedaboudit!). On the west coast everyone lives in a mishmash of it all. Here “youze” and “ya’alls” live, like oh my God, for sure, together in sunny California bliss – “dem bastids”. Well, there are a couple of phrases to think about and now that the Autumn riding season is upon us we hope to see “youze”, “ya’all” and everybody else on the road soon.
Now it’s our time to support them To volunteer or donate please call or visit:
poStcardS froM the hedGe
(Continued from Page 7) way that in fact makes a huge difference. That little logo on the tank is a very expressive part of the motorcycle, and I checked with my friends at HarleyDavidson who told me over the years they’ve had literally hundreds of different tank badges and logos which I think may even be an understatement, having seen so many different (and beautiful) ones going back to when I was a kid. This is a very important visual patch of motorcycle real estate, and Harley has been very creative with it. So, as with the all-new bikes we’re starting to see come out from behind the curtains it’s fun to see what changes will be made to the bikes we call our own, and whether or not we accept them or not. And as always, I’m keen to see all the mechanical upgrades but that little bit ‘o art on the tank will always get my special attention. I’m not wild about the new Street Triple R tank logo, but then again, maybe I need to give it some time. Or not. I think I definitely got the correct tank on my motorcycle, though, so these newfangled motorbikes can go their own way with my blessing.
(A Brief Note: I’m still working w/Dunlop Tires on discussing their latest production techniques, so the story I started last month will be concluded next month)
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
Letters to the Editor
What to do with dem kiddies
Notes from “The Bay”
Hey Shira, Great article on what to do with the kiddies… Beside SEVERELY cutting down on riding time, we’re living through the “what to do with the kiddies” right now. Jack and Nora, being 8 & 5 years old are too old not to be entertained yet too young to go to any kind of “away” camp. So what to do? I laughed when I read your recommendation about minor league ball, we had just gotten back from watching the “Jersey Jackals” at Yogi Berra Stadium that very night! What a (relatively) hidden pleasure; no crowds, no traffic, no going into debt, just right up close baseball! I mean right up close, to the point where you NEED a mitt to protect yourself. Just when you have enough of swimming in the local watering hole, your minor league teams are right out there, close to home, ready to play their hearts out for you. Again, great article and thanks to you and the big guy for a great outlet for us motorcyclist when we don’t get enough riding time. Michael G. Bellantone
Wow, Mr. Rathjen, the article was great! We are going to have it framed. Thank you so much for all your kind words and publicity. The summer has been good to us even in the grueling heat. No power losses from the storms or overconsumption. That’s a small miracle as usually we’re among the first to lose power. Anyway, we enjoyed having you and your friends stay with us. I have a gift to send both you and the Wernicks. It will be arriving next week. Come back again soon! Regards, Terry Nelson Innkeeper - The Inn at Osprey Point
Folks at Backroads, Your magazine represents my favorite passions – motorcycling, Mother Nature, food, travel, architecture and history! Your team energies and thoughts are much respected and appreciated. My bucket list has swollen to exuberant proportions with your fun-filled catalog of to-dos. ‘Living Life to the Fullest’ Joe Collins Jr.
Cha Cha in the Catskills Hey Backroads, I took some friends this weekend on the Cha Cha Hut via a Rip & Ride; awesome ride and awesome place! I think I could eat the smoked mac & cheese for a week and nothing else. Anyway I know that ride was written a while ago. They since moved about 13 miles and a few towns east. When we got there the gas station (where they were) said they moved to Margaretville and another person at the pump said the same. There was no cell service for any of us to get to the web site or call them. Eventually we found the place
CLASS Success Brian and Shira, I just wanted to drop you guys a note to let you know what you missed on this year’s CLASS Rides at VIR. Other then the sweltering heat, you missed a lot. Great sessions in the class room with Reg and his amazing group of instructors. Great advice on the track from Reg and his instructors. And most importantly, the sheer joy of running lap after lap on what is arguable one of the country’s best and most challenging tracks, Virginia International Raceway. This was my second year in a row of doing both days with Reg. I’ve been riding for almost 15 years, but last year was my first time on a track. What an exciting and scary experience. Reg and his crew of instructors gave me the confidence to push my skill way beyond where it was. I knew my bike, a 2010 Kawasaki Concours 14, had way more potential then I had skill to use. With all that I learned over two years on CLASS rides I can push my bike and myself so much further then I ever thought I could. What a great and enlightening experience. All the best! Brian Coghlan Hello Brian and Shira, You missed another great CLASS session at VIR this year put on by Reg, Gigi, and the rest of the fabulous instructors! Boy was it hot this year, but in typical fashion, the instruction and experience was second to none. Reg mentioned that you provide coverage about his school in your Backroads magazine. I wanted to thank you for that because Reg and the team have enabled so many of us to be much safer riders out on the streets, after having learned and practiced (and experienced our limits) on the track. Best regards, Mona S. Brown, PE 2005 Honda VFR 800 2012 Triumph Tiger 800XC
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SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Page 10 after getting web service in Arkville; but I know…it’s part of the ride finding the place. I just received the new Backroads and many new rides -awesome! I’ve always passed the new Stockton Market but never went in; great info. My wife and I love farmers markets and I take her to one usually on the back of my bike, check out this web site for all farmers markets in Jersey www.state.nj.us/jerseyfresh/searches/roadside.htmI’m glad to see Shira made it to Manning Farms. I love the smell of the cows, the ice cream and the corn fields…hot air balloons where overhead when I was there and could not have made it more perfect. See you on the road…. Gary Renna Gary, You are right, finding places is part of the adventure, but the Cha Cha Hut has listed their new address for months in every issue of Backroads. Unfortunately, we just learned that they may very well be closing their doors forever (hopefully not) and are organizing a ride there in September. See the next page for details. Hi Brian, I picked up the current issue yesterday and read your tale of woe with (the Concours and) the various BMWs, mostly problems encountered while attending Americade. I was wondering why you stay with the BMW brand after encountering these various issues/problems. If it were me, I think I would have taken a hard look by now at finding another brand and model that would do the job. Hopefully with fewer problems, or at least less expensive maintenance. I have owned several Hondas, Kawasakis, and Suzukis and put tens of thousands of miles on them without the kind of problems you guys have experienced. Thanks for another great issue. Dave Trabert • Richboro, PA Dave, That is the million dollar question. But remember the Kawasaki exploded first. We tend to over-use our toys. Still, we have a number of other machines from Japan and have had many over the years. They all have had problems.
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Remember last year… Be prepared.
Don’t all bikes from time to time? You have never blown a wheel bearing? Never had a chain wear out? Never had a flat? Never had anything go wrong on a bike? Never, nothing, zilch? Wow, send us numbers for the lottery! Bulltinky! I remember breaking clutch cables and all other sorts of things on my Ninja. So much for Japanese bikes being invulnerable to the Americade Curse. In fact only my KLR 650 has returned unscathed from Americade. I am waiting for Hummer to make a bike. Brian, Thanks for the plug in last month’s issue of Backroads! We have had a lot of Jersey-ites driving and flying up to rent bikes and take advantage of our GPS tours so I really think this area is of great interest to your readers. I think a Vermont feature is a great idea! Please let me know if I can do anything to help. Best, Eric Milano
Mail: BACKROADS PO Box 317 Branchville NJ 07826
Email: email@example.com Fax: (973) 948-0823
Got something to say? We’d love to hear it. Letters may be edited, never censored, to fit.
Looking for some great ride ideas? Backroads has a slew of GPS downloadable rides on our website: www.backroadsusa.com/gpsdownloads.html
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
INDUS TRY INFOBITES
News from the Inside
CHA CHA HUT CLOSES FOREVER ON OCTOBER 9TH Email from Frank and Cherie: ‘Sadly - after 2 plus years of operation & the most successful & profitable 7 months in our history, certain issues with our lease have forced us to decide this grand experiment has to end. Cha Cha Hut BBQ will be closing forever on October 9th. Cherie & Frank are available for new opportunities. Frank would love the chance to continue serving Q in the New Paltz/Woodstock area. All equipment & furniture (except the smokers) will be available for sale starting October 9th. The Cook House will be available for scrap lumber. We hope to have the chance to see many of our fans over the last couple of months. Yours in BBQ, - Frank & Cherie Davis’ To muster support and, hopefully, keep the Hut open here or in another location, we’re having a Backroads Save the Hut BBQ Run on Saturday, September 22. We’ll meet at the Chatterbox Drive-In, at the junction of Rtes. 15/206, Augusta, NJ at 9:15 and leave by 9:30, with a great ride for some even better ‘Q’. It’s some of the best ‘Q’ we’ve ever eaten and Frank and Cherie some of the nicest folk you’ll know. If you can’t make the ride, meet us at Cha Cha Hut BBQ, 43311 Route 28, Arkville, NY (corner of Route 28 & County Road 38) • www.chachahut.com
KILLINGTON CLASSIC RETURNS WITH HUNDREDS OF MILES OF BRAND NEW PAVEMENT Following the broad repaving efforts in early 2012 as a result of last year’s hurricane Irene, the 2012 Killington Classic’s routes are on brand new roads. While famed for Vermont’s quality of rides and scenery, never before has the riding terrain in central Vermont been as good. “Winding valley roads or twisty mountain passes, they’re all in better-than-ever condition,” said Suzie Dundas, Director, Economic Development and Tourism. “It’s fantastic, es-
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pecially for motorcyclists.” “Riders new to this area are going to be amazed,” said Christian Dutcher, the Classic’s Director. “The scenery is world famous, and now the roads are in near-perfect condition. It’s really rare to have such good riding, and you can’t help but have an ear-to-ear grin when you ride them.” Killington Classic rides include guided and catered tours of the “Green Serpent” (500 turns and 4 mountain gaps), covered bridges in VT and NH, Poker Runs and Scavenger Hunts, and a Monday charity ride. The Killington Classic also offers demo rides, a vendor village, thousands of dollars in prizes, music and fireworks. For more information about the 2012 Killington Classic, visit www.killingtonclassic.com, or facebook.com/killingtonclassic.
ADVANSTAR LAUNCHES NEW PROGRESSIVE IINTERNATIONAL MOTORCYCLE SHOW IN INDIANAPOLIS ALONGSIDE DEALER EXPO Advanstar Communications Inc. announced that two of the industry’s leading powersports events, the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows and Dealer Expo, will combine in 2013 to create the ultimate two-wheeled destination weekend in Indianapolis, the motorsports capital of the U.S. and a city that is conveniently located within a day’s drive for more than half of the U.S. population. A new stop for the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows, the largest and longest-running consumer powersports show series in the world, will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana on February 15-17, 2013, at the Lucas Oil Stadium, co-located with Dealer Expo, the world’s largest powersports trade show held at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Together, the two events will take over downtown Indianapolis over President’s Day weekend. The Indianapolis Motorcycle Show will be open to the public and will fill Lucas Oil Stadium with new models from bike manufacturers, offer the best aftermarket shopping deals around and present all of the inspiration and action that the International Motorcycle Shows tour brings to every city in the
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
country where they run. The 2013 Dealer Expo will cover 230,000 square feet of space with more than 700 exhibitors showcasing all the powersports industry has to offer and the hottest new parts, products and gear for the upcoming riding season. In the spirit of celebrating the business and passion that the industry was founded on, Dealer Expo attendees will be granted special access to the Indianapolis Motorcycle Show after normal Dealer Expo trade show hours, and motorcycle show consumers will have select access to Dealer Expo for the first time.
AVON MOTORCYCLE TYRES LAUNCHES FACEBOOK PAGE Avon Motorcycle Tyres North America is proud to announce the launch of a new company Facebook page featuring all the latest company, product, racing and event news with tons of photos, video, fan postings, industry news, bike builder updates and fun facts. The new Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/AvonMoto. “We’ve created our company Facebook page to be a great resource for employees, dealers, distributors and friends, as well as competitive bike builders, racing and event fans and the media,” said Sukoshi Fahey, Sales & Marketing Manager, Avon Tyres. “We want it to be a place that’s fun and informative. It’s a place where people can get all the breaking company, product and event news along with exciting photos and video. We hope everyone will ‘Like’ it!” Watch for up-to-the-minute news about several incredible new products, coverage of this season’s most action-packed events and more by visiting www.facebook.com/AvonMoto.
A VINTAGE RIDE It has been announced the “Wine Terroir Adventure”, motorcycle adventure with a BMW GS Adventure 1200 lead by the Chilean Cristián Muñoz, who is going to travel around 40,000 km from Santiago, Chile to New York. The goal of Wine Terroir Adventure is to discover the best wine producing regions in more than 18 countries, from which all the footage needed to produce a documentary about wines and adventure motorcycling will be filmed. This expedition considers a 25,000miles trip across 18 countries and Social Media will play an important role, with Twitter account @WTAdventure and Facebook “Wine Terroir Adventure”, from which the rider – Cristian Munoz – will show pictures, news and updates from the trip while he discovers unique wine appellations. Among the wineries to be visited are Gandolini, Ventolera, Von Siebenthal and Alta Alcurnia from Chile, Antigal and Tapiz from Argentina, Uvairenda from Bolivia and Geisse from Brazil; not to mention the best of California and the USA.
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
LAWMAKERS SAY CONTROVERSIAL ‘WILD LANDS’ POLICY BEING RESURRECTED Some powerful federal lawmakers say the U.S. Interior Department has unilaterally resurrected the controversial Wild Lands policy that Congress terminated last year, the American Motorcyclist Association reports. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar initially unveiled the Wild Lands policy on Dec. 22, 2010. Under the policy, lands designated as Wild Lands by the federal Bureau of Land Management would be managed as if they had received the restrictive Wilderness land-use designation from Congress. The policy circumvents any congressional input. When Congress designates an area as Wilderness one of the strictest forms of public land management - nearly all forms of non-pedestrian recreation become illegal. The Wild Lands policy announcement shocked the off-highway vehicle riding community because it was expected to have a far-reaching impact. The BLM manages about 245 million acres of public land nationwide, primarily in 12 western states. Federal lawmakers considered the policy a “land grab” and a blatant attempt to usurp congressional authority. Because of opposition from powerful federal lawmakers, governors, the AMA and other OHV enthusiasts, the Wild Lands policy hit a major snag on April 15, 2011. That’s when President Obama signed into law the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution - the funding measure that kept the federal government operating through Sept. 30, 2011 - which included language barring the Interior Department from using any funds to implement the Wild Lands land-use policy to manage land as if it had been designated as Wilderness. On Aug. 2, U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-
Utah) and U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) announced that Wild Lands has been revived. A news release from Bishop’s office states that BLM guidance manuals recently discovered by Bishop and Hatch show that the Interior Department “has resurrected the controversial Wild Lands policy killed by Congress in April 2011. Included in the manuals is language directly lifted from Secretarial Order 3310 and its supporting documents, known as the DOI’s Wild Lands memo, illustrating how BLM employees are to identify and manage lands with wilderness characteristics. “Congressman Rob Bishop and Senator Orrin Hatch, along with other senators and representatives from the West, today issued a letter to Secretary Ken Salazar outlining concerns and questions about the DOI’s efforts to re-establish Wild Lands through the new guidance manuals,” the news release said. “Even though these proposals have already been overwhelmingly rejected, the administration is attempting to administratively put these policies in place,” Hatch said. “This proposal will give Washington bureaucrats more control over the lands in Utah and across the West. It’s wrong, and the Interior Department needs to stop trying to keep the public off public lands.”
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SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
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friendS laKe inn 963 friendS laKe road , cheStertoWn, nY 12817 518-494-4751 • WWW.friendSlaKe.coM So you say you’re heading to Americade. You think you have your plans all set, at that same old hotel in Queensbury or Bolton’s Landing? Let us see if we can change your mind. We have a place not far from the big lake that is really special… Heck, even if we can’t entice you to stay here, you can still consider this a Great All American Diner Run, as lunch here is worth it all by itself. Ride along with us to the Friends Lake Inn, cause we’re outta here! Right off Route 28, as you ride into the Adirondack forests and mountains, you will find Friends Lake and the fabulous Friends Lake Inn. Here in the midst of the Adirondacks overlooking a small pristine lake, Friends Lake Inn offers luxury accommodations in a rustic country setting. This charming and intimate inn offers 17 guest rooms, many with Jacuzzis, lake views and fireplaces. The highly acclaimed restaurant tantalizes with innovative NewAmerican cuisine complemented by a superior wine collection, served in the rustic elegance and warmth of a 19th century dining room. The Friends Lake Inn has thirteen traditional guest rooms and four Adirondack lodge rooms individually decorated with your comfort in mind. The rooms range from the warmth of a classic country inn retreat to the rustic luxury of an ”Adirondack” setting. We thought they ran from wonderful to outstanding. Regardless of which room you choose, we think it is the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, and a perfect place to do some exploring of the surrounding roads. We spent some time here during the 30th anniversary of Americade this year and we can tell you this is a special place indeed. The restaurant has become nationally acclaimed and the Friends Lake Inn captures the ambiance of the 19th century while specializing in sophisticated 21st century cuisine and service. Their Chef’s imaginative
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BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012 New-American cuisine is exquisitely prepared and includes entree specials created daily and irresistible international desserts. Complement your selections with wine from their Grand Spectator award-winning collection. We spent some time in their wine shop and were more than impressed by the great selection and reasonable prices. Your stay at the inn would not be complete without a romantic meal in the simple yet elegant setting of the comfortable dining room at the Inn. Country ambiance in an Adirondack setting sets the mood as the sun dips low outside. The dining room’s original tin ceiling and burnished woodwork is set aglow by the wood burning fireplace. The meal, always of the freshest ingredients, is creatively composed and professionally served. They even have a sommelier available for advice on a wine selection, and the unhurried pace will allow you to relax and truly enjoy this fine Adirondack dining experience that is the restaurant at Friends Lake Inn. We did lunch at the inn during this year’s rally and everyone at our table was blown away by the food, making the Friends Lake inn a lunch destination all by itself. After a good night’s sleep at the inn, visitors enjoy a hearty breakfast featuring everything from locally smoked Oscar’s bacon (Oscar’s is a Backroads favorite!) and Strawberry Crepes Fitzgerald to Sweet Potato French Toast before heading down to Americade or deeper into the Adirondacks exploring the excellent riding the region offers. We’ll give you an excellent route to follow up to Friends Lake, New York so enjoy the ride, the lunch or your stay.
Rip & Ride® • FRIENDS LAKE INN 963 FRIENDS LAKE ROAD , CHESTERTOWN, NY 12817 518-494-4751 • WWW.FRIENDSLAKE.COM
FROM PORT JERVIS, NY AREA RTE. 97 THROUGH HAWKS NEST RIGHT AT RTE. 55 RIGHT IN LIBERTY ON RTE. 55 LEFT TOWARDS BIG INDIAN STAY ON CR 19 BIG INDIAN MOUNTAIN RIGHT ON RTE. 28 LEFT AT RTE. 42 LEFT AT RTE. 23A STRAIGHT AT RTE. 23 RIGHT AT RTE. 10 RIGHT AT RTE. 8 RIGHT AT RTE’S 8 / 30 LEFT AT RTE. 8 RIGHT AT RTE. 28 LEFT AT FRIENDS LAKE ROAD INN ON LEFT A FEW MILES DOWN
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
BIG CIT Y G ETAWAY in Search of pennSYlvania’S perfect pretzel By Jeff Bahr a half-baKed idea Recently, I had a hankering for a soft pretzel. This got me to thinking –always a dicey proposition. Which operation in my adopted home state of Pennsylvania (celebrated as America’s pretzel capital) offers up the finest pretzel? A perfunctory perusal produced a plethora of pretzel-sampling possibilities. I quickly learned that there are dozens of pretzel purveyors scattered across the commonwealth. Being short on dough (Yuk, Yuk) I narrowed things down to four pretzel palaces that in the past had pacified my primal pretzel urges. Each offers soft pretzels as their specialty, and each is located in eastern Pennsylvania. This makes the two-wheeled pursuit of same a perfectly pleasing proposition - or put another way using a preponderance of the letter “P” - perhaps the perfect pretzel plan. In the end only one doughy twister would win my coveted BASE prize (Bahr Award for Salty Excellence). Which might it be? Timpani… full diScloSure First, some background. If you look up the word “gourmet” in your Webster’s, you’ll have uncovered a combination of letters that fully escape this writer’s grasp. Truthfully, I wouldn’t know Wagyu beef from rat poison, and to be truthful I wear this lack of sophistication like a badge of honor. Truth be told, I survive on a diet that holds culinary palaces like Sonic and Arby’s in high regard. That said, I knows what I knows and what I knows best is pretzels. I also know ice cream but that bit of frigid expertise will be shared in an upcoming tour. In the meantime, chill. Science Do you remember the sleazy pretzel vendors that operated near New York’s Lincoln Tunnel a few short decades ago? In those blessedly unrestrained days, none of us knew from proper food permits or persnickety cleanliness, and believe you me it showed. Ptomaine poisoning was a very real possibility
daytrip ideas to get out of the daily grind when one devoured one of these grimy sidewalk twisters made by equally grimy men. So it goes without saying that their taste was simply out of this world! Prodigious particles of salt intermingling with hot dough (and road dirt) placed the consumption of these on a par with one’s first kiss, or perhaps even... You get the point. In my fun little test, I would seek out the same tantalizing elements, less the road crud. The winning soft pretzel would be straightforward, lacking pretention or phoniness of any sort, and would be comprised of the genre’s preferred ingredients of bread, salt and water. Posers, as the rock and rollers say, would not be tolerated. the candidateS This pretzel tour/comparo features three well-entrenched competitors and one cage-rattling upstart. They are: Callie’s Pretzels in Mountainhome; Sturgis Pretzels in Lititz; Dutch Country Pretzels in New Holland, and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels in Gap (and just about everywhere else in our godforsaken world). Simply enter each address in your GPS and get to it. From worst to first, here’s how our doughy competitors stack up. 4th place - auntie anne’S 5876 lincoln hiGhWaY (rt. 30), Gap, pa and 1,299 other locationS Are you surprised that this outfit came in dead last? Don’t be. Allow me to qualify my findings. If you’re the type that gloms onto new enterprise like a pilot fish to an Orca, Auntie Anne’s will suit you just fine. This vast national chain of some 1,300 stores has redefined the softpretzel business by shoe-horning one or more of its outlets into nearly every American mall. They’ve also screwed around with a time-honored formula. Before I rip into these new kids on the pretzel block, let me be clear: Chains exist because people like them, and in truth there is something to like about
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BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
an Auntie Anne’s twister. First off, there’s the grease. Then too, there’s the grease. Of course, there’s also the grease. Hey, did I mention that Auntie Anne’s pretzels are drenched in artery-clogging grease? Yes, Virginia, it’s true. And therein lies the chain’s slippery little secret. Auntie Anne’s pretzels are really a stick of butter with a bit of cooked dough attached. This twisted lump masquerades as a soft pretzel but comes about as close to the real McCoy as this hack to Hemingway. These “greaseballs” are also priced just south of Gucci. Bottom line? If you’re looking to develop arteriosclerosis and/or drain your kids’ college fund, chomp down on this bastardized version of the original soft pretzel. But if you’re looking for REAL soft pretzels, read on. The best are yet to come. 3rd place - callie’S pretzelS rt. 390 MountainhoMe, pa Unfortunately, I’m now forced to list our third-place winner as a hit or miss proposition. On some days, Callie’s does a decent job churning out reasonably good pretzels. On others, their twisters seem a bit wilted and rubbery. When I first sampled one of these pretzels over a decade ago, I was impressed. These days, Callie’s quality has slipped somewhat and their salt kernels are in woefully
short supply. The inflated price for each pretzel seems seriously out of whack considering such shortcomings. What Callie’s does have is a great location deep within the Pocono Mountains. They also feature a cool picture window where you can watch the pretzels being made. A sister store – Callie’s Candy Kitchen – is located just a stone’s throw up the road. It features gourmet chocolate candy and other sundries. Here’s a suggestion: Sample just one pretzel (so you’ll better appreciate those yet to come) then ride up to Callie’s sweeter operation for a decadent chocolate interlude. Your taste buds will thank you. 2nd place - JuliuS SturGiS pretzel baKerY 219 eaSt Main St. (route 772), lititz, pa If ambience is taken into consideration Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery could easily take all the marbles. Located in the impossibly quaint village of Lititz, this pretzelria is located in a town that’s a destination all by itself (Wilbur Chocolate is also located here, as well as the General Sutter Inn which was featured in a past Backroads issue). But there’s something else working in this bakery’s favor: History.
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SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Page 18 Julius Sturgis Pretzels ranks as America’s first commercial pretzel bakery. You heard right. Since the year that Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated, soft and hard pretzels have been produced at this pleasing little shop, and the twistertitsi have never stopped coming. A step through Sturgis’ doors seems much like a step back into colonial history – not too surprising since the house that contains the shop dates to 1784. The illusion of a bygone era continues when one places their pretzel order. At Sturgis, there are no formal showcases or counters, just a cheerful employee who jots down orders and whisks them off to the bakery out back (Sturgis also offers separate tours of their baking facility). This allows the visitor a few moments to drink in the atmosphere. When the attendant returns, he carries a plain brown bag that’s quite warm to the touch. The heady aroma of freshly baked pretzels leaves no doubt as to the sack’s contents. Sturgis Pretzels are the real deal. They’re soft, fresh, moist, and carry a suitably smoky flavor. But as good as they are, and they are quite good, indeed, they still lack that certain something that a pretzel lover can’t always identify, but will recognize when present. For this self-appointed expert, it all comes blessedly together at the next prize-winning stop.
rounded by some of the most fertile and awe-inspiring farmland that God saw fit to create. It also means that, at any given moment, a horse-drawn Amish buggy will trot past you, the “clop, clop” of its hoof beats lulling you into a tranquil state. If you happen to be noshing on
1St place - dutch countrY pretzelS 2758 diviSion hiGhWaY, neW holland, pa The antithesis to Julius Sturgis’ outfit Dutch Country Pretzels are baked inside a nondescript, utilitarian building reminiscent of a lowly Quonset hut. Nevertheless, the place is brimming with charm. The reason is only too obvious. Dutch Country Pretzels are located smack, dab in the middle of Dutch country - as in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. This means that the enterprise is sur-
a tasty soft pretzel when this occurs, it will be nothing short of Nirvana. Now, about Dutch Country’s pretzels: They are soft and airy, carry the requisite smoky flavor, contain just the right amount of salt, and somehow tickle this rider’s happy spot more completely than the rest. Like all of the others (save for cookie-cutter Auntie Anne’s), you can watch these pretzels as they’re being made. Unlike the others, the counter is almost always staffed by prim Mennonite lasses wearing plain clothing. Did this and the other visual enticements factor into my final determination? Perhaps. But something else plays a more practical role here. In addition to their great taste, Dutch Country Pretzels are by far the best bargain. You will leave the facility well stuffed and well heeled (provided you had bucks to begin with). This savings should be set aside for a future Backroads motorcycle tour. About that: I have a sudden craving for some really good ice cream… Stay tuned…
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BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
O’Toole’s Harley-Davidson Presents
G REAT ALL AMERICAN DINER RUN
tasty places to take your bike
SKipperS pier reStaurant 6158 druM point road, deale, MarYland 20751 410-867-7110 • WWW.SKipperSpier.coM • n 38°46.367’ W076°33.604 I love to start a piece for the Great All American Diner Run with the words…”I know a place…” Well, I know a place that combines all that is good about the Chesapeake Bay and offers it up on a plate for you. Take all that seafoody goodness, add in just a touch of Parrothead, toss in the aroma of Old Bay spice and shake with a bunch of great motorcycles and you end up with Skippers Pier Restaurant. This is one of those great dock places you will find most anywhere good people end up near the water. Here in the little town of Deale, Maryland you have just that. The new owners of Skippers Dave Rosage and Jessica Lecronier have themselves a winner here by the bay. Add into this mix chef James McCarthy and it gets even better. Now a lot of folks ask us here at Backroads… “How do you find these places?” Well, sometimes it is a bunch of hard research and common sense, other times it is as easy as getting hungry at the exact right time and asking our trusty Garmin Zumo what our options are. Well, at lunchtime on the
Chesapeake in the Deale, Maryland area we knew there had to be something good and when asked the Zumo came up with Skipper’s right off the bat. It sounded good to us and it was. You’ll find Skippers at the end of a windy road called Drum Point, right along a bit of water called Tracy’s Creek. The front of Skippers look okay enough, but it is what is out back by the water that really impresses. The large deck over the water is full of wooden tables and umbrellas. The dock leads out to their own little bit of Margaritaville – the dock bar. We were riding so we just took a quick walk around the tiki bar and then took a seat at one of the larger wooden tables that could hold us, and our gear. The waiter, Eric, was right there and gave us menus that had way too much to choose from. It is not that they offer too much, but we just couldn’t do it all in one shot. A return trip is in order. When you think The Bay you think crabs and all things crabby. Well if you have the time those Maryland Blue Crabs are at Skippers waiting for you in all their Old Bay goodness. This day I had a hankerin’ for a crab cake sandwich which Skip-
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SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
pers came through in a big way with fries that were perfectly done, as so many aren’t these days. But, for starters they offer up three different soups; a Maryland crab soup, the Chesapeake cream of crab and the chef’s soup of the day. The Maryland crab soup was most excellent. Other starters include fried oysters, a crab crusted clam and oyster plate, bacon wrapped crab and crawfish jalapenos (which were delicious) and something called a cheesy Maryland crab pretzel that looked to be a long soft pretzel topped with a creamy crab, cheddar dip, topped with crab seasoning. Skippers sandwiches and burgers also looked to satisfy with a catfish po’boy, the delicious crab cake I mentioned, a couple of decently appointed burgers like the Angus bacon burger served with melted cheddar and pepper jack, crisp bacon and fried pickle chips, lettuce and tomato. That is a mouthful, my friends! Back on the waterside of the menu we ordered the Waterman’s Steamer that came with shrimp, clams, mussels, snow crab clusters with baby red potatoes all soaking in a tasty lemon butter seafood broth. Next time we are there I am certainly ordering their other prize – The Harbor Steamer. This comes with Old Bay sausage chunks, shrimp, blue crab and corn on the cob simmered in a spicy seafood broth. As you would think, both of these are sold at market prices. Well worth it while dining at Skippers. No matter what you order here at Skippers we are pretty sure you and your riding friends are going to have a great time and we’ll add to that by giving you a fun ride to this little gastronomical getaway by The Bay.
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6158 DRUM POINT ROAD, DEALE, MARYLAND 20751 410-867-7110 • WWW.SKIPPERSPIER.COM • N 38°46.367’ W076°33.604
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BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
Morton’s BMW Motorcycles Presents Dr. Seymour O’Life’s M YST ER IOU S AM ER IC A SinG SinG priSon MuSeuM 95 broadWaY, oSSininG, nY • 914-941-3189 You have probably heard the term “Up the River.” You ever wonder where that came from? Well ride along with me, Doctor Seymour O’Life and I will take you to a place where we will learn just a bit about what life was and is like in one of the most famous prisons in the world – New York’s Sing Sing. This place was actually built by prisoners themselves and when completed it quickly became one of the scariest places in the nation. The rules were simple: “They are not to exchange a word with each other under any pretense whatever; not to communicate in writing. They must not sing, whistle, dance, run, jump, or do anything that has a tendency in the least degree to disturb the harmony...or regulations of the prison,” wrote Captain Elam Lynds of New York’s Auburn Prison in 1824. This man was put in charge of creating a new prison and he spent months of researching possible locations for the
prison, considering Staten Island, The Bronx, and Silver Mine Farm, an area in the town of Mount Pleasant, located on the banks of the Hudson River. He also visited New Hampshire, where a prison was successfully constructed by inmate labor, using stone that was available on-site. For this reason, by May, Lynds had finally decided on Mount Pleasant, located near a small village in Westchester County with the unlikely name of Sing Sing. This appellation was derived from the Native American words “Sinck Sinck” which translates to “stone upon stone”. The legislature appropriated $20,100 to purchase the 130-acre site, and the project received the official stamp of approval. Lynds hand-selected 100 inmates from his own private stock for transfer and had them transported by barge along the Erie Canal to freighters down the Hudson River. On their arrival on May 14, the site was “without a place to receive them or a wall to enclose them”; “temporary barracks, a cook house, carpenter and blacksmith’s shops” were rushed to completion.
Page 22 When it was opened in 1826, Sing Sing was considered a model prison, because it turned a profit for the state, and by October 1828 was finally completed. Lynds employed the Auburn system, which imposed absolute silence on the prisoners; the system was enforced by whipping and other brutal punishments. Over its history Sing Sing has had its moments of national history and many inmates under federal death sentences were executed in the electric chair, nicknamed “Sparky” at Sing Sing. On June 19, 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were electrocuted for espionage. There was a botched electrocution at Sing Sing in 1903: Fred Van Wormer was electrocuted and pronounced dead, but upon arrival to the autopsy room, Wormer began breathing once again. The executioner, who had gone home, was called back to re-electrocute Wormer; upon his return, Wormer had officially died. Nonetheless, Wormer’s corpse was set into the chair again and electrocuted with 1700 volts for thirty seconds. The electrocution of housewife Ruth Snyder at Sing Sing on the evening of January 12, 1928, for the March 1927 murder of her husband was made famous when news photographer Tom Howard, working for the New York Daily News,
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS smuggled a hidden camera into the death chamber and photographed her in the electric chair as the current was turned on. The photograph was a front-page sensation the following morning, and remains one of the most famous newspaper photographs of all time. The last prisoner to be executed in the electric chair was Eddie Lee Mays who was convicted of murder and executed on August 15, 1963. In 1972, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty was unconstitutional and the chair was no longer used. Altogether, 614 men and women were executed at Sing Sing. The electric chair was later moved to Greenhaven Prison in working condition but was never used again. Today Sing Sing houses more than 2,000 inmates, with about 1,000 people working there and 5,000 visitors per month. Our visit will be to the Caputo Community Center, located not far from the prison that has a small, but well done museum on the history and life in this infamous jail. Here you will see exhibits featuring various cells that were used through the years. A replica of “Sparky” sit there to be seen, and even if it is just a replica it sent chills through me to think of what a terrible fate that would have been. As we know prisons are a dangerous place and one of the more fascinating displays was of confiscated prison weapons – the terrible shivs or hand made knife. As I said the museum is small but incredibly interesting and well worth the visit while riding the backroads of this Mysterious America. O’Life out!
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Glenn Baldwin As we depart Bridgewater, NJ, under threatening skies and head for AMA’s Vintage Motorcycle Days in Lexington, Ohio, we’re not quite the motorcycle gang you see in the movies. On this Thursday in July our cast of Backroads riders and their bikes includes Peter Miller on a 2011 Harley Electra Glide with 28,000 miles already on the clock, John Petrocelli on an ’04 BMW R1150 RT, Marty Konrad on a ’93 Harley FXRP police model with over 184,000 miles, Greg McLaughlin on an ‘06Yamaha FJR, and Yours Truly on an ’05 BMW R1200 RT. We leave hot and sunny I-81 at Winchester, VA, for Rt. 50 west to overnight at Parkersburg, WV. Rt. 50 twists and meanders over several hills and mountains as hours pile up faster than miles, a normal Backroads phenomenon, since this is part of what we came for. We encounter a thunderstorm with 90 miles to go and pull into a shopping center to re-don rain gear. Local folks are curious and friendly, engaging us in conversation. “Hey,” says one guy, “Y’all wanna see yer ray-dar? I got hit rot cheer.” He whips
out a smart phone to share a current weather map that shows the end of the storm shortly to the west. Relieved, we chat awhile and thank him, only to encounter steady rain for 50 more miles. Must’ve looked at his smart phone upside down … A leaden morning sky offers fog and drizzle, as we cross the Ohio River and begin an all-backroads ride to our final destination, the Mid-Ohio Race Course in Lexington. First up is the fabled Triple Nickel, Ohio State Rt. 555. This seems a more challenging road than The Dragon, Rt. 129 in NC and TN. Whereas The Dragon offers 318 curves in only 11 miles, it’s all on somewhat level terrain through woods. (Okay, if you miss a turn, the trees or dropoffs’ll kill ‘ya, but otherwise …) 555 is full of surprises, with a crest hiding a sudden sharp turn here and there. Rolling hills and wooded valleys intersperse with small, rural neighborhoods. Oncoming traffic and a few pedestrians pop into view unexpectedly. We take it easy, since parts of the road are wet and the final miles provide lots of loose gravel from recent construction. Going slow and steady, Marty and I each feel our rear wheel slip out, but recover before a fall. Leaving 555, we traverse the southeastern Ohio countryside with Rt. 78 east, then Rt. 83 north to Millersburg. We’ve picked up the pace with clean roads and clearing skies, but thunderheads continue to lurk in the northwest. Luckily, there will be no rain for the rest of the trip. We stop to decide where to eat lunch, and the first and only group disagreement ensues. Another friendly local
has delighted Pete by handing him a page of Burger King coupons. John rolls his eyes and mutters under his breath something about eating in fast food chains as committing a Backroads sacrilege. Burger King it is, though. We make a left onto Rt. 39 west to Loudinville,
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
drop down a couple of miles on Rt. 3, then turn west on Rt. 97, skirting the Mohican Memorial State Forest. A swing up onto Rt. 13 north and we arrive at our Super 8 Motel (next door to an adult store) at I-71’s interchange village at Exit 169. After check-in, we check out what we’ve come for: the Event. AMA’s Vintage Motorcycle Days at the Mid-Ohio course is a massive ball of energy, movement, variety, commerce, and excitement: everyone from everywhere riding and selling everything motorcycle, all squeezed into a couple of square miles of racetracks and fairgrounds situated between small town neighborhoods and farmland. In the continuous stream of golf carts and two-wheeled vehicles on all roads and walkways, you’d better look completely around you before stepping off in any direction to avoid becoming road kill. The sound of hundreds of different engines at any one time creates a wonderful cacophony: the throb, rumble, growl, and roar of the larger-bore bikes, the blatt, crackle, chirp, and buzz of the lighter two-strokes, and the hum, whine, howl, and shriek of the racers. Music to your ears.
with sidecar and an ‘80’s Benelli Sei, with six massive cylinders across, or a British Irwin from who-knows-when. Saturday brings welcome sunshine for the races. The motocross is fun, but tame. Succeeding heats of dirt bikes ply a twisting course through a pasture with one small jump at the end. Could I handle it, though? Probably not! Road racing takes center stage in the afternoon. While Marty and Greg are elsewhere attending lectures and other events, Pete, John, and I join a group spread out on a hillside overlooking the track’s unbanked bottom loop, known as “the carousel.” From here you can see racers on all kinds of vintage bikes
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The Swap Meet covers several acres with tents, stalls, and alleyways that pull you into your past. There’s that first bike you ever rode, knew someone who did, or really wanted but never had … and all the parts to go with it. To examine all of the Swap Meet would take the entire weekend, yet we soon bump into Backroads buddies Mike Mosca, Pam Maddalone, and Ed Brzozowski and dine with them at Logan’s Roadhouse that evening. The Vintage Bike Show displays some makes and models most of us haven’t heard of, each in unbelievable pristine condition, such as a ’50’s Puch Velorex
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Page 26 charge at you down a straightaway, maneuver an infield S-curve, then loop around the carousel to the back stretch and blast away. There’s a large billboard at the top of the hill that shades us from the sun. As the afternoon wears on and the shaded area shrinks, strangers become friends quickly. We marvel at the grace, precision, and timing of the racers who lean their bikes to the max with right knee out around the carousel, then straighten up and scream away. It’s John who captures the racers so well with his camera. The best is the sidecar race, with each “sidecar” actually a platform attached to the bike. Here both rider and passenger—or “monkey,” usually a woman—must provide enough counterweight to keep the bike from flipping over in a turn, and especially when zooming around that bottom loop. Although the rider lunges off his seat to the side, it’s the monkey’s crucial timing and body placement that keeps the vehicle level. She either throws herself over the rear fender or leans straight out on the platform, parallel with the pavement, her head inches away from decapitation on the track. One particular passenger with the sidecar/platform on the left side of the bike leans way over the back wheel through the loop with her right boot, ballerina-like, high in sky. The race announcer says that most sidecar racing teams are man and wife or boyfriend-girlfriend.
Go ahead: imagine you and your significant other actually doing this, I dare you. Since this year’s theme is “Rockers and Mods,” John and I attend a fascinating Sunday
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morning lecture on the History of the Rockers—with a bit of Mod history thrown in— given by Roger Kerwin of Café Racer magazine. Seems that the British youth culture of the mid-50’s took to American rock ‘n roll and imitated Marlon Brando’s character, bike, and clothing style of The Wild One, a film banned in the UK until 1968! Black leather jackets, DA haircuts, helmets, and aviator goggles were the style. Triumphs, BSA’s, and Nortons were the rides, known as café racers (pronounced “caff”), because riders would race from café to café, or from one café to a roundabout and back. (Back in the day, I rode a BSA, then a Norton, wearing a black leather jacket … but all by my lonesome. These days, my around-town ride is a Vespa, my jacket is neon yellow, and I’m still all by my lonesome.) The Mods came in the 60’s, wore fancy clothes, were into The Who, and preferred Italian scooters, preferably Vespas, which wouldn’t spoil their wardrobes. They’d customize their scooters with rows of rearview mirrors and extra headlights, so that a typical Mod scooter resembled a peacock
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
Page 27 spreading its tail feathers. Both Mods and Rockers would get into scraps and scrapes, providing fodder for local newspapers, which hyped these into major brawls and riots for their readers. Interestingly enough, the
Mods later evolved into the Skinheads. When we check out of the Super 8 to head home, we learn that our room fee is triple that of a regular night’s stay because of the Event. Apparently all lodging in the area does this, so be forewarned for the future. And from my fellow members of our Backroads group: pete: Watching the road racing events brought back so many wonderful memories of when I raced my 350 Yamaha in the 70’s. I have to say that dinners were the best; lots of laughs and great conversations. As I broke bread with the group, looking around the table, it occurred to me that we looked more like the “Fathers of Apathy” than the “Sons of Anarchy.” John: I had anticipated a good ride with good friends. That’s what I got, in spite of a hot, high mileage (for me) first day followed by eternal, heavy duty rain. Misery seems lessened when shared, I guess. What I didn’t anticipate was how great the rally itself would be, making it that much more enjoyable. It was cool to see people carefully inspecting what to the untrained eye would seem like junk. This went on and on at the endless Swap Meet. Best were the races, the first I had seen “in the
flesh.” The sound of the screaming engines, the smell of the vaporized brake or clutch material, fuel, or whatever added a new dimension to the experience. Most amazing were the sidecar races. I can understand why they call the assistant the “monkey” when you see him or her go from climbing over the driver to hanging off the sidecar like a horizontal pendulum just about scraping the ground on an opposite turn. All in all, a great experience, worth repeating. Marty: I almost passed on this trip, but now realize that it would have been a big mistake. Glenn led a great ride to the show. I came away with the reinforced feeling that old bikes rule and are meant to be ridden and enjoyed, even today. They have character, personality, and idiosyncrasies that make them more of a companion than a machine. The only disheartening thing is that these antique bikes (mostly post World War II) are my contemporaries. Old bikers rule, too. Greg: When Rt. 50 dried and became four-lane in the middle of nowhere, Glenn and I … well, I’ll just say that there’s a little hell in all of us. Off Rt. 555 were some rusted oil derricks in side yards. An original work-at-home business. At the track I discovered that Pete and I had once had Norton Commando’s with the “isolastic” construction. Nice coincidence. Pete stays on for a later lecture. John, Marty, Greg, and I saddle up and pound some interstates to lunch in Youngstown, OH. The Jersey boys shake their heads and give me, the Long Islander, a pitiful look when I explain a need to split from the group and ride straight home on I-80 and through New York City to avoid Monday’s rush hour. It’s been a terrific four-day weekend of riding, discovery, comradery, and fun. P.S. To my knowledge, no one visited the adult store.
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SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
he smell of pine had changed to salt air hours ago. Along with some of the heaviest rain I have ever ridden through, you could taste the salt. With nowhere to pull over I checked my mirrors to make sure the GS and Road King were still behind me. My headset having shorted out, and at least 200 kilometers to go, my mind began to wonder if this is what the Vikings had to endure a thousand years ago when they first came to this land.
We had been on the road for four days and were almost to the northernmost tip of this peninsula, Newfoundland. We were on Rt. 430, the Viking trail, en-route to L’anse Aux Meadows and the Viking Village. Four days earlier three bikes and three couples had converged on Portland, Maine to catch our first ferry to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Mike and Nuri Wernick on an ’07 GS, Jack and Camille Kille on an ’06 Road King, and Pam Maddalone and myself on an ’02 Ultra.
Newfoundland Viking Village to Cape Spear Mike Mosca
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
Page 31 After docking in Yarmouth we had two days to get to Sydney to catch our next ferry to Newfoundland. We headed southeast toward Peggy’s Cove and Halifax where we spent the night. The next morning we passed thru Peggy’s Cove and headed north to the Cabot trail. The Cabot Trail is a must see if you are ever in this part of Canada. Hugging the coast of northern Nova Scotia it’s very scenic with many lookouts. Seafood is plentiful in
this area. If you want the best just ask the locals. We were told to go to Neals Harbour, the Chowder House. We had the best seafood chowder I have ever had hands down. For the next two weeks we tried hard to find better chowder, we could not. While at the Chowder House we received a call from Marine Atlantic, with news of our first delay. The ferry from Sydney to Port aux Basques would not
be leaving at midnight but at 3:30 AM. This would allow us more than enough time for lobster races courtesy of Nuri’s stop at the dollar store and a ride to Meat Cove. This was well worth the six-mile gravel ride even on a dresser. After finally boarding our ferry at 3:30 am and getting the bikes tied down, we all hit our berths for some well deserved sleep as it was a 6-8 hour ferry ride. Well about three hours into our ride it seems there was a fire in the boiler room. We were awoken by the intercom system telling us that we would be returning to Sydney. After off loading the bikes and about eighthours down time we reloaded to another ferry and at 1:30PM we were finally underway again to Newfoundland. With all this down time we were able to review maps and talk to Newfoundlanders, all of whom were more Beautiful roads of Nova Scotia, than happy to point out Piper at Peggy’s must see routes and places Cove, Nuri at Meat to visit. They also warned Cove, riding the us about not riding at night Cabot Trail (watch as the moose were very those moose)
plentiful. Everyone we met could not be more friendly, helpful and more than proud to tell us about their little slice of the world. Arriving at Port aux Basques, 14 hours late and at nightfall, the ladies were smart enough to have called ahead while on the ship for a room for the night as there was no way we were making it to Rocky Harbour as planned that night. After a good night’s sleep at Hotel-Port aux Basques, we got an early start the next morning so we could do the 400+ plus miles to the Viking Village, hopefully before nightfall. A few miles down the road we saw our first moose (although, dead on the side of the road) at that point I felt everyone’s warning about riding at night were well founded. We continued traveling north on Rt.1, Trans Canadian Highway, which is nothing like traveling on our interstates, very scenic with some nice sweepers and no traffic. A stop was made in Corner Brook for a bite to eat and a shopping opportunity for Nuri where she purchased our Viking swords which we carried for the rest of the trip. We then made a left on to Rt. 430, also known as the Viking Trail; our next stop was Gros Morne Visitor Center for a photo op and some information. From this point on (approx. 230 miles) we encountered rain till we got to our destination at the Viking Village Bed & Breakfast shortly after nightfall. When we awoke the sun was out and we were off to explore L’Anse aux Meadows the site were
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Leif Erickson and crews of Norse explorers had settled over a thousand years ago. We took a very informative tour about life in the settlement a 1000 years ago, and had the opportunity to try on some of the Viking gear and play with real swords, shields and helmets. After playing Viking we took a ride to explore more of the Cape then, while cruising near the bay, off in the distance there it was an iceberg! This to me was the defining moment of this trip. Here it is Aug. 1st. and I am looking at an iceberg after having left North Jersey only 4 days earlier…When we stopped for lunch our drinks were served with ice from the iceberg. That night back at the B&B we feasted on lobster and Moose Stew which our server, Dot, not only cooked for us but had hunted. The following day we headed south on Rt. 430, roughly 230 miles to Rocky Harbour, where we spotted some whales in the Bay and moose in Gros Moore National Park. We stayed the night at Rocky Harbour before heading across Newfoundland toward Gander for our next night’s stay. First a detour was made at Rt. 340 to Twillingate; a quick stop at the sign for Michael’s Harbour for the Mike’s to have a photo op. Twillingate which is also known as the iceberg capital of the world, it is the best spot to view icebergs between May and July. No bergs were to be seen by us in August but it was still a very picturesque old fishing village. Twillingate depends mostly on tourism since the moratorium on cod
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
fishing in the early 1990’s. After grabbing another seafood lunch we continued our scenic journey toward Gander. On the advice of some locals the next day would find us heading toward Cape Bonavista in search of puffins. A stop at a local info center informed us that a boat ride was not needed to see our feathery friends; they gave us directions to the little town of Elliston. Elliston is also very proud of their root cellars. (www.rootcellars.com). Arriving in Elliston it was just a short walk to the cliffs that overlooked the rugged coast line where we were able to see what seemed like thousands of Puffins. We stayed on the cliffs for over an hour watching and taking pictures as they flew from the cliffs to the bay and back. Once back on the bikes we were ready for the last leg of our trip to St. Johns. We had a small delay, seems Mike Wernick, in the rush to see the Puffins left his lights on killing his battery (I guess you can’t push start if there is fuel injection). It didn’t matter, within 10 minutes there were 3 people offering rides, jump starts, or anything we needed. They were very friendly and we were on our way in no time. Route 230 to the Trans Canadian Highway brought us into St. Johns, along with more Newfoundland rain. Stages of the ferry, tomfoolery at the visitor’s center and L’Anse aux Meadows, swordplay on the shore.
It did not take long to find our B&B for the night, The Everton House, not only beautiful but very accommodating, and they even drove us to get a couple bottles of wine for the evening. After freshening up we grabbed a cab into town for our last dinner in Newfoundland, when we asked the cab driver for a good place to eat, he promptly said “my place Che Bello”, (377 Duckworth St). Once there he would take no money for the fare and told us once we were finished he would take us back for free, (try that in NYC).Yes it was an excellent meal. St. John’s is one of the oldest cities in North America, established in the
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
early 1500’s. There is so much history here, and if I were to return to Newfoundland, I would start my trip from St. Johns’s especially if you plan to visit George St. which is believed to have the most pubs and bars per square foot of any street in North America and they stay open later then most others in the country-could spell trouble. Our final day before heading to Argentia to catch our ferry back to Nova Scotia , we went to Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America and a National Historic Site. In 1940 the American and Canadian Permanent Joint Board on Defense to protect St. John’s Harbour, installed heavy artillery at Cape Spear; gun emplacements, shelter barracks, and mess halls were con-
THERE’S STILL TIME TO JOIN US… Backroads Fall Fiesta • September 27 - 30, 2012 Join Team Backroads as we head back to the Amish country and the spectacular Lancaster Arts Hotel. We’ll combine some of the prettiest roads in Pennsylvania with one of the most progressive cities in the United States. Lancaster offers historic sites and attractions as well as varied restaurants. Tour the Harley-Davidson factory on Friday as it’s Open House Weekend in York and enjoy the Mayor’s Charity Ride Saturday, with a route especially created by Lancaster’s own mayor, Rick Gray.
structed by 1941. It was manned till 1945 but Fort Spear never saw any action. With our bikes secured in the hull of the ferry and a 15 hour trip back to Nova Scotia ahead of us we had some time to relax and reminisce about our trip to Newfoundland an when we might return someday.
Couple of Tips on traveling to Newfoundland • Gas up whenever possible especially on the northern peninsula, we had one bike that didn’t heed this warning. • Yes there are moose, be careful and do not ride at night. • Book your ferries way in advance; we booked in January for a June trip. • Give yourself enough time, at least a week, to see all this island has to offer.
Watch for more updates on our website and Facebook pages: www.backroadsusa.com • www.facebook.com/pages/Backroads-Motorcycle-Touring-Magazine
There may still be some rooms left at the Lancaster Arts Hotel. If not, there are other choices nearby. www.lancasterartshotel.com • 866-720-2787
FERRY INFORMATION www.marine-atlantic.ca TOURISM INFORMATION www.newfoundlandlabrador.com Motorcycle Journeys through Atlantic Canada www.WhitehorsePress.com
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK FOR LUNCH AND DINNER STARTING MAY 1ST
Hotel Port Aux Basques PO Box 400 Port aux Basques,NL 877-695-2171 • www.hotelpab.com Viking Village B&B PO Box 127, Hay Cove, L’Anse Aux Meadows,NL 877-858-2238 www.vikingvillage.ca
Serving Lunch and Dinner 12 Noon to 10 pm • Bar Open Later Member of
Take a ride on one of the Northeast’s Scenic Byways Route 97 - 20 miles north of Port Jervis. Dine with your fellow riders on the Delaware River.
PLACES TO STAY Fisherman’s Landing Inn 21-29 West Link RD. Rocky Harbour,NL 866-458-2711 fishermanslandinginn.com
The Everton House 23 Kings Bridge Rd. St. John’s, NL 855-754-7088 www.evertonhouse.com
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
To motorcyclists in the Northeast, winter means a lot less riding if not a cessation of riding all together. Foul weather, bone chilling cold and snow covered roads make riding all but impossible. Over the years I’ve learned to combat the no motorcycle riding blues by planning at least one winter motorcycle getaway. In the past I’ve traveled to warmer climates and rented a bike, but this year I tried something different, the Amtrak Auto Train. My plan was to head to Florida; but not during Bike Week, been there, done that and honestly, for me at least, once was enough. Southern Florida can almost always be relied upon to deliver favorable motorcycle weather, especially late March and early April. All I needed was a one or two day window of snow free roads to head south and into Virginia; there I could board the Auto Train to central Florida. Winter this year in New York was unlike any in recent memory. I’d planned this trip in late November anticipating the miserable weather I mentioned above. It wasn’t meant to be. February and March brought weather typical of late spring, temperatures in the 50’s, 60’s and even flirting with 70 degrees. None the less my plans were set and I was heading south. Ironically, as if the motorcycle gods were testing my mettle, the morning I left upstate New York it was 24 degrees. I knew I only had to endure those kinds of temperatures for 4 to 6 hours before I would enter more southerly climes and warmer afternoon temperatures. That thought and Gerbings heated gear made all the difference. An hour into my ride I met up with my riding partner for the trip on the NY State Thruway in Ramapo. At the service area we exchanged the kind of enthusiastic greetings one shares when they are about to embark on a great adventure together. We then warmed up with some coffee, spread out some maps and reviewed our course for adventure. We were on our way. I’ve ridden to Florida several By Pete Miller times in the past and if you’re limited in time because of work or some other annoying constraint, then you may be forced to stay on the interstate to make time. I-95 is less than interesting but is a necessary route in order to save time. There is an alternative, however, one I’ve heard about for years but never really considered: the Auto Train, or in our case, the Motorcycle Train operated by Amtrak. The
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Auto Train is apparently quite popular with the “snow birds” that flock to Florida for the winter months. It gives them an opportunity to travel to Florida with their automobiles, campers, suv’s or motorcycles and eliminate 900 miles of driving. I wasn’t sure what to expect but the novelty of taking a train in itself made it worth a try.
deal. It seemed like the more in advance one books, the better the price. The literature for the Auto Train emphasizes that if you’re taking a motorcycle you must arrive at the terminal in Lorton no later than 2 pm to allow time for loading. They say “no exceptions” and I wasn’t about to test their policy. We arrived earlier than that and after checking in at the ticket counter
The Auto Train’s northern terminal is in Lorton, Virginia about 18 miles south of Washington, DC. The station is only a few minutes from I-95. The train ride ends 900 miles later in Sanford, Florida near Orlando. Taking the train means you eliminate two days of riding, save one night’s hotel cost, fuel, and wear and tear on your motorcycle. I booked my fare about one month in advance of my departure. The fare included transportation for me, my motorcycle, dinner, continental breakfast and a free movie in the Lounge car where snacks were also available. My fare was coach. That meant that my relatively comfortable reclining seat was also my bed for the night. There are several sleeping car options but they were beyond my budget for the trip. It cost just under $300 for me and the motorcycle but had I opted for a sleeping car the cost would almost double. Interestingly, booking for the Auto Train is a lot like booking an airfare. Talking with other passengers, I discovered that fares, especially for sleeping accommodations, vary a great
we were directed to the motorcycle loading area. This area is directly in front of the terminal where automobile passengers give their cars to “valets” who take the cars away to be loaded. There was a large crowd of passengers milling about as we rode up to the motorcycle loading area. My riding partner Jim and I were the only two motorcycles on this trip and as we rode past the throngs of passengers we quickly became the center of attention, especially to the younger folks in the crowd. All eyes were on us as we rode our steel steeds up the short ramp like two cowboys bringing their wild horses into a corral. I loved it! When it came to the loading process it became obvious that this wasn’t “their first rodeo”. The loading staff was very helpful and the whole process was quick, easy and safe. We rode our bikes up a short ramp onto a flat loading platform. The platform was perfectly level with a trailer directly aligned with the motorcycles. With assistance from the staff the motorcycles were gently pushed forward and locked into the wheel chocks, then
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
secured with tie downs. That’s it. A few weeks earlier during Daytona bike week we were told they had loaded 59 motorcycles in one trip. Remember to take whatever personal items you may need for the overnight journey; you cannot access your motorcycle once it is loaded onto the Auto Train. We boarded the train a short time later, found our pre-assigned seats, set up our cooler, then explored a little. One of the more pleasant aspects of Auto Train travel is meeting other passengers. There were families, couples, senior travelers and snow birds all of whom were relaxed and ready to chat with other travelers. Just before we left the station, Roberto, the Auto Train crew chief, announced some Auto Train facts on the train’s PA system. On this particular trip there were to be 45 rail cars, 16 of which would carry passengers, 29 for vehicles. 401 passengers, 114 automobiles, 57 vans and 2 motorcycles. When passengers heard “2 motorcycles” there was a wave of “ooohh!” that elevated us to a sort of celebrity status. I loved it! Our train departed promptly at 4 pm. We settled in, opened our cooler and enjoyed snacks and a refreshing cold beer. Conversations with other passengers and scenic landscapes beyond the windows filled much of the early evening. After dinner I settled in to do some work on my computer, listened to some music and read. I passed on the complimentary movie being shown in the Lounge car. All in all a very relaxing experience. One shortcoming of the Auto Train is the lack of internet service. I was told that they tried it in
the past but the service at the time proved unreliable. Another issue, for me at least, was the sleeping accommodations. I just could not get comfortable on the reclining seat but then again I have more appliances implanted in me than you could find in a Maytag showroom. Other passengers didn’t seem as uncomfortable The train arrived in Sanford a little behind schedule, about 9:55 am. We said our goodbyes to our new friends, then gathered under a giant awning at the terminal. There we waited for our motorcycles to be delivered to the pickup area. Once again the motorcycles were brought out in front of the crowd almost as entertainment for the non-riding passengers. We strode up to our steel steeds once again, saddled up, waved goodbye to the crowd, and then rode off into the morning mist. Did I mention I loved it? for more information on the auto train check www.amtrak.com/autotrain While we’re heading into the best time of the year to ride here, it’s also a great time to start planning any winter getaway trips which may require advance bookings. Get out the maps and the bucket list and let’s go riding.
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
South Street creamery cafe 146 South Street,, Morristown, nJ 973-267-8887 • www.southstreetcreamery.com Summer is winding down but there is always room for more ice cream. As a matter of fact, with the change in season comes the seasonal change in ice cream flavors. I don’t know about you, but some of my favorite ice cream flavors are only found in the colder months, such as candy cane, egg nog and apple pie. Luckily, we’re not quite there yet and the great fresh summer fruits are still readily available for those awesome flavors of peach, blueberry and blackberry. This month I’ll bring you to a more suburban setting but the ice cream will make you think there’s a cow right out back. Since 1999, Peter Williams has been serving the local community with some mighty fine fare. Yes, we are here for ice cream, but just in case you happen to need some base food before dessert, the fresh offerings will keep you happy and healthy. From soup to salad, sandwiches, pizzettes and crepes, sweet or savory, there is more than enough to satisfy even a fussy palate. On my visit, it was too early to dive right into the ice cream pool, so I put down a layer of Caesar salad and homemade sweet potato soup. Both were very large portions (they do offer a half soup, salad or café sandwich combination for those with more sense than stomach). Brian opted for the Natural
Shira’s Summertime Ice Cream Ride
ALL MAKES ALL MODELS ALL MACHINES WELCOME
Enjoy an evening of tire-kicking, great food and eye candy at the area’s premier Bike Night. Limited Edition Special Tee awarded to winning bike.
It’s…Bike Night Every Thursday Night at the Chatterbox Drive-In
Ross’ Corners / 1 Route 15, Augusta, NJ • 973-300-2300
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
Turkey Wrap. He took half of it home; that should tell you how filling it was. To wash all this down, they have a great selection of hot or iced coffees and teas, spritzers, specialty drinks and sure, you can just have a glass of water is you prefer. With lunch complete, we were down to the business at hand – ice cream. Although the Creamery, as the locals call it, have over 150 flavors developed, there are 24 on hand each day to tickle your tastebuds. When I originally took a look on their website, I was amazed at some of the concoctions they managed to put together. How about a little Banilla Bash, Cinnamon Oreo or Coconut Cream Pie? There were two on offer that day that begged for description; Great Swamp (I’m pretty sure it had a vanilla ice cream base and who knows what else in there) and Jockey Hollow (this is vanilla ice cream, peanut butter swirl and chocolate covered pretzels). Since I had just eaten way more than I should have, I chose a child scoop of Brown Cow Peanut Butter Oreo and a small cup of Nutella Gelato. Peter, along with family and some lovely young folks working there, make their ice cream on premise daily from a secret recipe and all natural ingredients. Using pure vanilla, rich Dutch chocolate, real
fruit, fresh nuts and imported purees and flavors, they make small batches of super-premium ice cream and authentic gelato. While the nutella gelato was quite tasty, I could have eaten the Brown Cow Peanut Butter Oreo ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even though I ordered a child’s scoop, I was hard-pressed to finish both scoops – very rich and creamy and the perfect balance of sweet and smooth. The young lady who handed me my icy treat was jealous as she said ‘you got the first scoop of the day with all the good stuff on top’. Yup, all the good stuff, yum… Just to show what a wonderful family-style shop this is, there is a display of coffee mugs from a number of different colleges. These were given to the
138 Orange Ave (Rt. 202) Suffern, NY 10901
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
UPCOM IN G EVENTS CAL ENDAR E V E RY M O N T H - W E AT H E R P E R M I T T I N G Every Sunday • Eastern Suffolk ABATE Breakfast Run. Crossroads Diner - Calverton NY. 10:30am. Eat and Ride After • 631-369-2221 Every Sunday • Biker Breakfast at Tramontin Harley-Davidson, Exit 12 I-80, Hope, NJ (GPS: 485 Hope-Blairstown Rd, Rte. 521) 9-11am • www.tramontinhd.com First Sunday of the month • Layton Meet at the Layton Deli, corner of Dingmans/Bevans Rd, CR 560, Layton, NJ. Meet around 8am – breakfast available. Join others for a ride or head out on your own Every Tuesday • The Ear - Spring St, NYC. Come meet some fellow riders and do some benchracing or whatever. 8pm-ish Every Wednesday • Chelseas Restaurant/Pub, 1051 Rte. 22 East, Lebanon, NJ 6-9pm, weather permitting all summer • www.chelseasrestaurantpub.com Second Wednesday • Harley-Davidson of Long Branch Bike Night at McGillicuddy’s Tap House, 601 Main, Loch Arbour, NJ • 6-9pm. • www.hdlongbranch.com • Live music and prizes Every Thursday • Bike Night at the Chatterbox Drive-In, Rtes. 15/206, Augusta, NJ. Tire kicking, good food and friends • www.chatterboxdrivein.com Every Saturday • Stop by the dealership at 9am for coffee and bagels. Ride departs at 10am. Return to the dealership for FREE food and music. Proper attire MUST be worn! No shorts or sneakers. • Bergen Harley-Davidson/BMW Motorcycle, 124 Essex St, Rochelle Park, NJ • 201-843-6930 • www.bergenbmwmotorcycles.com
AUGUST 26-29 • BACKROADS SUMMER SQUEEZE Once again we will call the Gray Ghost in West Dover, VT home for three nights while riding the enticing Vermont, New Hampshire and Adirondack roads. Book today as rooms will go quickly. www.GrayGhostInn.com or call Carina at 800-745-3615.
What’s Happening Fairacre Farms. All Bikes Welcome! www.lostwheels.com •845-591-9374 16 • Dangerous Curvz Ride to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer. Start/End: Tramontin Harley-Davidson, Hope, NJ. Sign in: 9:30am • Ride: 11am. $20/rider; $15/passenger to benefit National Ovarian Cancer Coalition North Jersey Chapter. 60-mile group ride thru Warren/Sussex Ctys. All bikes welcome • www.dangerouscurvz.com 16 • Sussex County Fairgrounds Champion of the Grill Competition BBQ & Blues. Grilling competition, vendors, free Blues concert, Classic car and motorcycle show. FREE. Backroads magazine will be judging the motorcycle show. 973-579-1811 • www.sussexcountychamber.org 22 • Backroads’ Save the Cha Cha Hut BBQ Run. Before the Cha Cha Hut closed for good, let’s have a great ride and help to keep them going. Meet at the Chatterbox Drive-in, Rte. 15, Augusta, NJ at 9:15 - ride leaves at 9:30am. For more details or download GPS route, please email email@example.com 22 • O’Toole’s Harley-Davidson Open House. 4 Sullivan St, Wurtsboro, NY • 845-8882426 • www.otooleshd.com 22 • Woodstock Harley-Davidson Bikes, Dynos and BBQ. Live music, BBQ, Dyno Runs, new 2013 model forum, swap/sell and vendors • 949 Rte. 28, Kingston, NY • www.woodstockharley.com • 845-338-2800 23 • Hudson Valley Harley Riders Charity Ride to Benefit Gabrielle DiCarlo. Sign in: The Dog House, 17N Middletown Rd, Nanuet, NY 9-11am. $25/rider;$15/pass. Pre-reg. $30/rider; $15/pass. day of event. AMA Discount. Includes coffee, donuts, bagels and $10 coupon for the Dog House anytime. DJ, door prizes, 50/50 and raffle at endsite. • www.hudsonvalleyharleyriders.com 23 • 3rd Annual Ride 4 Avi to benefit the A-T Children’s Project. Sign in: Shunpie Road, Summit NJ 10-11AM • kickstands up 11:15AM. $20/rider; $10/pass. 60-mile state police escorted run through NJ’s scenic countryside, BBQ, live entertainment and raffles in honor of 10 year old Avi Akian. Come out to help fund the cure for ataxia telangiectiasia, a rare childhood illness • www.ride4avi.com
28• FW Speer Yamaha Foggy Mountain Reliability Run. This is a Timed Road Run (not a race of speed or police-escorted, follow the leader ride). You MUST be able to read a route sheet (English only), keep time and operate your motorcycle ALL at the same time. Sign up: 9:30am FW Speer Yamaha, 7 Main Ave, Passaic, NJ. For more information please call the shop at 973-778-6256
27-30 • Backroads Fall Fiesta 2012 • Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This time we’ll be staying downtown at the Lancaster Arts Hotel, right in the center of great dining and cultural doings, but easy access to the beautiful country roads in that area. • www.lancasterartshotel.com • 866-720-2787 - ask for the Backroads Fall Fiesta group.
30-Sept. 3 • Killington Classic run by the folks from Americade. Killington, VT. 5 Fantastic Days of Fun! For full details please visit www.KillingtonClassic.com
28-30 • 4th Annual Colors in the Catskills. All-marque motorcycle rally at Hunter Mountain during their Oktoberfest. For full details please see ad on page 56.
SEPTEMBER 6-9 • Montgomeryville Cycle Center Sale-A-Thon. Great discounts on everything. 2901 Bethlehem Pike, Hatfield, PA • 215-712-7433 • www.montgomeryvillecc.com 7 • Motorcyclepedia Motorcycle Museum hosting the start of the Transcontinental Cannonball Run, a re-creation of the famous run by Erwin ‘Cannonball’ Baker in 1913. 77 entrants from around the world will head out at 9am on a 4,000 mile trip across the US. All entries are pre-1930 original motorcycles of all marques. Bikes will set up for departure at 7:30am, depart at 9am. 250 Lake St, Newburgh, NY • 845-565-9065 • www.motorcyclepediamuseum.org 8 • Live Well Eat Well Charity Bike Run to benefit Touch Inc - local charity who provide nutritional health services for children and adults with chronic illnesses. Sign in: Touch Inc, 209 Rte 9W, Congers, NY • 9:30am-10:30am - ride leaves 11am. $35/bike. Endsite: Brian’s Backyard BBQ, 1665 Rte 211E, Middletown, NY. Prizes for most funds raised. For more info call Diana 845-343-8086 ext. 2
29 • 9am-4pm • Celebrate Oktoberfest at Bob’s BMW. This annual, family-fun event is a great way to spend the day. Ride to Bob’s early for fresh coffee and donuts and stay for an authentic German lunch! Kick tires with fellow enthusiasts and shop great specials. Details of the day are in the works. Check back for updates at bobsbmw.com
OCTOBER 6 • Liberty Harley-Davidson 15th Anniversary Kick-Off Bash. BBQ, live bands, vendors and more • 12 W Milton Ave, Rahway, NJ • 732-381-2400 • www.LibertyHD.com 12 • 24th Annual Harvey C Irons Make-A-Wish Ride hosted by Blue Knights NJIX. NEW START/END SITES: sign in: the Chatterbox Drive-in, Rte. 15 Augusta, NJ. • 9am. Escorted ride leaves 11am Sharp. $20/pp; under 12 free. End: Hamburg FD Pavilion, Rte. 23, Hamburg, NJ. Live entertainment, vendors, charity auction and unlimited food • 973729-4072 • firstname.lastname@example.org
9 • Second Annual 911 - 11th Anniversary Motorcycle Run to benefit local EMS charities. Sign in: Lake Isle Contry Club, 660 White Plains Rd, Eastchester, NY 7:30AM-11AM. $45/rider; $5 pass. Coffee/donuts at sign in; BBQ noon to 6pm. raffles sold, 50/50, live music, Elvis impersonator. Info: 914-224-9269
14 • the Seeing Eye® Charity Ride 2012 to benefit Seeing Eye Foundation. Sign in: Tramontin HD, Exit 12, Hope, NJ • 9-10am - ride leaves 10am. Endsite: Lewis Morris Park, Sugarloaf area A&B, Morristown, NJ. Live music, 50/50 and items for raffle. Seeing Eye dogs and puppies will greet riders at park. $20/rider; $25/pass. pre-reg • $25/rider; $20/pass day of event. includes breakfast at start and lunch at finish • www.seeingeye.org/motorcycle or 973-539-4425 ext. 1863
9 • BJ’s Ride for a Cure to benefit Sunshine Foundation. Sign in: Montgomeryville Cycle Center, Hatfield, PA. Sign in: 9am • Kickstands up 10am. Food provided by West Main Diner. Poker Run with food and friends. 2901 Behtlehem Pike, Hatfield, PA • 215-7127433 • www.montgomeryvillecc.com
21 • American Spirit MC 16th Annual Tombstone Tour to benefit the Hicksville Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Sign in: 9-10am, VFW, 320 South Broadway, Hicksville, NY. $20/rider; $10/pass. Food, music, prizes. • ww.americanspiritmcinc.com • 516644-1106
13 • Bergen County BMW Motorcycles/Harley-Davidson Free Drive-In Movie Night. 7pmish. Free popcorn and movie treats • 124 Essex St, Rochelle Park, NJ • 201-843-6930 • www.bergenharleydavidson.com • www.bergenbmwmotorcycles.com
25-28 • COG Fall Foliage Rally, Matamoras, PA. A convenient base will be chosen. Sample rides and group dinner on Saturday evening. Rally fee required. Contace Dave at 484553-1665 fo details or visit www.cog-online.org.
13-16 • 15th Catskill Mountain Thunder. Weekend filled with stunt shows, vendor expo, bike build off, bike show with cash prizes, pig roast, fireworks, free demo rides, live music throughout the weekend and so much more. For full details please visit the website: www.catskillmountainthunder.com or call 518-634-2541 • 348 Sunside Rd, East Durham, NY. 13-16 • Empire State Motomarathon. It’s about riding as many twisties as possible, over four full days. Routes are kept secret until the night before each event. Through a series of self-recorded checkpoints, riders verify completion at the end of each day’s ride. $50 registration. Sign in: Sept. 12 @ 8pm. Quality Inn, 849 Rte. 52, Fishkill, NY • 845-8979300. Get more info here: www.motomarathon.com
NOVEMBER 3 • 6-10pm • Bob's BMW 30th Year Anniversary Celebration. Tickets will be available months in advance. Expect a private, catered evening among fellow friends with lots of surprises, amazing giveaways, first heard announcements from Bob, plus an official tribute to Bob’s BMW! Visit www.BobsBMW for details. 24 • Cross Country Cycles Annual Open House. 911 Middlesex Ave, Metuchen, NJ • www.crosscountrycycle.com • 732-635-0094
15 • Harley-Davidson of Long Branch 40th Anniversary Open House. 9A-4P. Ride-In Bike Show; $5 entry to benefit RMH Cancer Camp, live music, giveaways, FREE LUNCH, demo rides, pinstriping by K&M signs, many in-store discounts. 671 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ • 732-229-8518 • www.HDLongBranch.com 16 • Lost Wheels MC 37th Annual Poker Run. Sign in/Endsite: Canopus Lake Beach @ Fahnestock State Park, 1498 Rte. 301, Carmel, NY 9-11:30am. $25/non-AMA; $23/AMA; $10/under 15. Lost Wheels Poker Run promises to be the best ‘End-Of-Summer’ run in the Hudson Valley. Every year a different route that never disappoints. Music, vendors, 50/50, door prizes, ride-in bike show, games and awards. NEW this year - food by Adams
Who do you think keeps Backroads’ computers running? 718 Main St, Boonton, NJ
973.335.0255 • www.PCPS.com
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012 Williams family from the young men and women who worked there and went on to graduate college. Nice touch. If your sweet tooth hasn’t been sated, why not try a little fudge. If you have been inspired by the Olympic athletes and vow to make the 2016 Brazil
Page 41 games, there’s some summery fresh fruit cups and Peter’s SloBaked Granola, also made fresh daily. No matter the leanings, there is something for everyone at the Creamery. Enjoy the ride and remember to always save room for dessert.
Rip & Ride® • SOUTH STREET CREAMERY CAFE 146 SOUTH STREET, MORRISTOWN, NJ • 973-267-8887 • WWW.SOUTHSTREETCREAMERY.COM
START AT THE DELAWARE WATER GAP GET ON OLD MINE ROAD RIGHT ONTO MILLBROOK ROAD LEFT ONTO BRIDGE ST LEFT ONTO ROUTE 94 RIGHT ONTO KERRS CORNER ROAD RIGHT ONTO LANNING ROAD LEFT ONTO CR 519 RIGHT ONTO SOUTH TOWN ROAD LEFT ONTO SHADES OF DEATH ROAD RIGHT ONTO LONG BRIDGE ROAD RIGHT ONTO ALPHANO ROAD/CR 613 LEFT ONTO RYAN ROAD LEFT ONTO PETERSBURG ROAD LEFT ONTO ROUTE 46 EAST RIGHT ONTO RESERVOIR ROAD LEFT ONTO MISSION ROAD
LEFT ONTO CHURCH ROAD RIGHT ONTO DRAKESTOWN ROAD LEFT ONTO RIVER ROAD LEFT ONTO BARTLEY ROAD RIGHT ONTO FLANDERS BARTLEY ROAD STRAIGHT ONTO IRONIA REGER ROAD LEFT ONTO PLEASANT HILL ROAD STRAIGHT ONTO CALAIS ROAD RIGHT ONTO SUSSEX TPKE RIGHT ONTO SPEEDWELL AVE BEAR RIGHT ONTO N PARK PLACE LEFT ONTO W PARK PLACE INTO SOUTH STREET SOUTH STREET CREAMERY ON LEFT SIDE OF ROAD YOU CAN DOWNLOAD A 60-MILE ONE-WAY ROUTE HERE: WWW.SENDSPACE.COM/PRO/DL/GQTU50 (WHEN DOWNLOADING FROM SENDSPACE ONLY CLICK ON THE BLUE BOX ‘CLICK HERE TO START DOWNLOAD FROM SENDSPACE’)
MOTORCYCLEMADNESS 8 State Hwy 94 • Lafayette, NJ • 973-579-6088 • 877-252-9828
New Jersey’s Largest Pre-Owned Bike Seller Over 100 Clean Street, Dirt and ATVs In Stock AT ALL TIMES
IKES OR ALL B F ID A P H TOP CAS HUGE selection of Parts and Accessories for cruisers and sportbikes 600 Helmets In Stock: Icon, Shoei, Suomy, HJC, Scorpion and more HUGE selection of apparel: Mens and Womens - Street and Dirt First Gear, Rocket, RIver Road, Fox, Thor, Alpinestar and much more Professionally Trained Mechanics • Gold Wing Experts
WE BEAT ANY INTERNET DEAL Located 1/4 mile north of 206/94 intersection and 1 mile north of Newton Tues: 9-6 • Wed: 9-5 • Thurs: 10-8 • Fri: 10-5 • Sat: 9-2
Closed: Sunday and Monday
The end of summer is almost here and autumn clean up is around the corner. Get the right tool for the job.
SUSSEXMOTORSPORTS 446 Route 23 • Sussex, NJ • Located across from the A&P Shopping Plaza
973-875-3640 • www.sussexmotorsportsnj.com
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
25TH RUNNING OF GOOCH’S GARLIC RUN 2012
Regardless of blistering heat and delays in starting the 2012 Gooch’s Garlic Run, the 25th running of this excellent ride, to the Ironbound section of Newark, New Jersey was a huge success. Hundreds of machines of all types rolled into the Rockaway Mall parking lot to sign up and drop some cash down to the Blue Knights IX, with all the money eventually going to local families with children in need. Although the conditions were a bit tough that didn’t stop Blue Knight Jeff Hunker from working his magic with the children and all around the large parking lot there were a number of vendors hawking products and wares and Hot Rods Barbeque, of Wharton, NJ had a whole pig there to help fill anyone’s belly that couldn’t wait for Portuguese food in Ironbound.
For over 30 years Circle Cycle has helped riders get and stay on the road
The guitarists had the crowd going and despite the heat there were smiles all around. Hey, it was Jersey in the summer and there were bikes…lots of bikes! As we said the ride would be a hot one and an accident near Newark slowed down the start time for an extra steamy 30 minutes or so. Still the police escorted ride to Ironbound went without major incident and, like last year, the party in this great old section of the city lasted for hours with great food, superb music and a good New Jersey time had by all. Once again the Blue Knights IX have shown why they have the biggest hearts and the coolest events – even if it was 98 degrees. We’ll see you next year!
RiSiNg WOLF gARAgE NYC EXCLUSIVE MOTORCYCLE PARKING FACILITY We p r o v i d e a f r i e n d l y, c l e a n a n d s e c u r e environment for the motorcycle enthusiast
Our variety of powersports products is second to none. Whether you’re riding offroad, backroads, or on the track, we’re here to get you where you need to go.
Service Area Personal Storage Air Compressor Battery Charging
In northern New Jersey there isn’t a friendlier or more knowledgeable staff than ours. We’re happy to help you find the parts you’ve been looking for.
Online Shopping Available Check our catalog pages - if you don’t see what you want, give us a call or stop in - we’re always ready to help!
Monthly Parking Long & Short Term 24 Hour Access Video Surveillance
For the discriminating rider. By Appointment Only
570 Broad Ave, Ridgefield NJ
East Village NYC Ph: 212 475 5858 • Fx: 212 505 5205
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
THE ADVENTUROUS MOTORCYCLIST’S GUIDE TO ALASKA New Book From Veteran Motorcycle Adventurers Brings Out the Alaskan Explorer In You Whether you ride a motorcycle or just dream of the wind in your face on the open road, the colorful anecdotes and gorgeous images in The Adventurous Motorcyclist’s Guide to Alaska will ignite your passion to take a walk on the wild side and plan a road-going adventure to the great northern state. The Adventurous Motorcyclist’s Guide to Alaska puts 20 years of road knowledge together in a beautiful, information-rich travel guide designed for adventure motorcyclists but sure to please anyone who appreciates visiting the authentic portions of Alaska. Created by motorcycle journalist Lee Klancher with expert guidance from Alaska native and motorcycle tour guide Phil Freeman, the comprehensive guide covers all the highways and roads in Alaska, pointing out the best riding routes, back roads, picture-perfect highways and offbeat destinations in the state. Klancher and Freeman cover all the main roads in the state with a highway-lover’s eye, discussing the road conditions as well those fabulous curves and gorgeous views that appeal to travelers who cherish the journey as much as the destination. Tailor-made for motorcycle enthusiasts, The Adventurous Motorcyclist’s Guide to Alaska also includes: • Comprehensive guides for each major highway in Alaska, with recommended back roads and trails shown in big, gorgeous color images. • Colorful maps coded with key stops, gas stations, and side roads. • Recommended hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, and (for your evening enjoyment) dive bars and breweries. • Icons throughout make it quick and easy to find key destinations. • Suggested itineraries that range from five days to three weeks, and offer routes that favor dirt, street or using the Alaska Marine Highway System. • A guide to Marine Highway System. • How to transport your motorcycle to Alaska. • How to deal with the dangers of ice road truckers, slick bridge surfaces, and the dreaded Dalton Highway calcium chloride bike-eating goo. • Gear suggestions on emergency tools, proper attire, and communication devices. • Backcountry tips on dealing with bears, lightweight camp gear, and other crucial, sometimes life-saving advice from seasoned professionals. The destinations in the book are full of local character and authentic Alaskans that range from Naidine Johnson, a Denali Highway inn proprietor who is a children’s book author and former USO singer with a mountain named after her who will sing for you if you buy her enough shots to a public hot spring at the end of one of the worst dirt roads in America where fresh flowers and grapes hang above stone Japanese baths. The destinations reward the discerning traveler who wants to have a rich travel experience, as each recommendation has been carefully chosen by an experienced journalist who has ridden all of Alaska and a veteran tour guide who has spent most of his life exploring Alaskan highways. While the entire highway system is covered, the offthe-beaten path places that make Alaska so alluring are what distinguishes the book from other travel guides. Adventure motorcyclists crave back roads as far from civilization with unique destinations at the end, and this book delivers with everything from the colorful backcountry haven of McCarthy, where Alaskan Amber-fueled backpackers and escapees mingle at the Nugget, to a little-known trail on Kodiak Island that crosses rugged terrain to a salmon-fishing hot spot and a classic Alaskan resort. Getting to these places requires a rugged vehicle and time, and this guide book tells you where they are located and how to plan your perfect trip into the wilds of Alaska. While the book is designed with adventure riders in mind, motorcyclists, RV vacationers, or other persons who travels Alaska by road will find useful information in this guide. The book is also supported by online maps and guides, all available at alaskamotobook.com for $29.95 or anywhere books are sold.
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment by Liz Jansen There was a time when there were jobs that were considered for men only, like being a mechanic or for women only, like teaching. This was also true for activities such as motorcycling. Today, both men and women enjoy the passion of motorcycling. When I first got this book I thought well heck another bra burning, break the glass ceiling type of read. I couldn’t have been more off base. If you ride (or drive as I like to say) a motorcycle you already know about the many emotions, freedom feeling moments, fun and life altering experiences that come along with the decision to get your license and pursue what is hopefully a passion. Liz and the 49 female riders that she interviewed for this book share the moments in their life that have brought them to a better place by riding. The self-discovery that Liz reveals about the women in the book is truly inspirational. Liz has been able to capture the true feelings of these women. Fierce at times and vulnerable during others but the common path for all is that they moved beyond their current emotions or fears and made the decision to ride which has changed their life for the better. If you do not ride, read the book. It is inspiring and very well written. You may just be inspired enough to learn how to ride yourself. If you are a male rider, read the book. You can place any male name and story into this book and the outcome would be the same. Humans are funny that way. Race, gender, color etc don’t define who we are. We as people define who and what we will be. Available at LizJansen.com Wilhemina Von Smythe Smythe
Kruz Locker from AKS Engineering AKS Engineering, makers of the Side Kicker, the instantly adjustable side stand, is announcing the Kruz Locker, a new kind of throttle lock. The Kruz Locker, features an “Instant On & Off” design that requires less than a one quarter turn to activate. It’s “click on, click off” feature provides a positive feel and positioning, taking the guess work out of setting the proper drag. In the “off position” the throttle has full spring return. In the “on position” the drag is preset and will hold the throttle position regardless of vibrations, temperature, rain and expansion due to heated hand grips or the sun. However, even while it is on, you can easily turn the throttle by hand to adjust your speed. We installed a Kruz Locker on the GS while at the BMW MOA International rally and it took just minutes to do and made the long haul back to New Jersey that much more bearable. It is now available for 2006 and newer BMWs: R1200 GS & GSA, F650GS and F800GS. Visit aksengineering.com for more details and to see how it works.
RIDE LIKE A PRO NJ Jerry ‘Motorman’ Palladino’s Training Classes Being Held in New Jersey ‘NEVER
FEAR making a U-turn or dropping your 800lb. motorcycle again’
• Male-Female-Big-Small: It doesn’t matter
TEACHING MOTORCYCLISTS SINCE 1966
• You can learn the 3 simple techniques that motor cops have been using for years
Is Motorcycling For You?
• Our instructors - all active or retired motor officers - will show you how to use the motor cop riding techniques to better control and handle your motorcycle
Here’s a great way to find out… A two-hour, first-touch experience with a motorcycle and not designed to teach a person to ride. The INTRODUCTORY MOTORCYCLE EXPERIENCE will help a potential rider determine whether motorcycling is a good personal choice, as well as ensure a person is aware of the risks and requirements for being a good, safe and responsible rider.
Already Riding Your Own Bike? Here’s a great way to refresh your skills… For riders who already have basic skills. Similar to the BRC, the Basic RiderCourse 2 is done on your own motorcycle at higher speeds. Informal classroom component to discuss safety concepts based on past riding experiences and current knowledge. For a BRC2 minus the license waiver component (no classroom activities and no knowledge or skill test), there is a skills practice offering.
Check our website for available dates
www.RideLikeAProNJ.com Pre-registration is recommended as classes fill quickly. Gift certificates available • Course Fee is $150.00
THE MORE YOU KNOW THE BETTER IT GETS PH: 516-541-1119 • 718-847-2015 Email: Tramas847@aol.com Web: Tramas.com • Tramas2Ride.com
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS Touratech’s Locking Zumo Cradle and Sun Shade Protecting the most important accessory on your bike The world is a changin’! Who would have thought that just 10 years ago we would have things as great as Garmin Zumo GPS? They have almost become indispensable to today’s touring rider. But, as slick as Garmin is with adventure machines and doing a bit of off-road riding the stock bracket is less than desirable. Stories abound off Zumo’s bouncing down the road – never a good thing. Touratech has come up with yet another superb bracket mount that will insure that your GPS stays in good shape and, in addition, a neat little shade that easily snaps onto the 660 and 665 GPS and gives you a little break from the glare. The locking mechanism is incredibly tough and squarely locks the Zumo in and it will never go anywhere! The Touratech locking mount for the Zumo 660 and 665 is a secure and convenient way to mount the GPS unit to your motorcycle. No matter how many bumps, bangs and whoopdee-doos you do the GPS will be with you at the end of the ride, as it locks the GPS into the cradle itself. On top of that that the new sunshade is the best! For just $15 + tax American you can see exactly what is on your screen without pesky glare. Easily attaching with 3M tape this shade works perfectly to allow a clear view of the GPS in even the brightest direct light. The Locking Bracket sells for $170 from Touratech and the shade a paltry $16.95. When you consider the investment this is money well spent. Log onto www.touratech.com for more info.
X-Head for R1200 DOHC Machines MachineartMoto, designers of specialized products for BMW motorcycles, introduce X-Head DOHC cylinder guards for 2010 and 2011 BMW R1200 twin cam models. X-Head DOHC are designed to cover 80% of the face of the cylinder head to protect, not only the bottom initial impact area in a drop, but also the upper part of the cylinder head. Even in a driveway drop, the inertia of a fall will cause a bike to roll briefly onto the face of the cylinder before it settles down on its bottom edge. X-Heads cover more area than OEM and other aftermarket head guards. The X-Head DOHC design benefits from considerable materials research and the selection of a DuPont “SuperTough” nylon selected for its blend of high impact strength, temperature and UV stabilization. The injection molded shell is designed to give slightly in impact to prevent breakage. Between it and the cylinder head is a 7mm thick thermoplastic rubber liner that aids in dissipating impact force while preventing hard contact with the cylinder. Each side mounts via 3 stainless steel fasteners treated with Nyloc thread locking compound to assure a tight installation. “These cylinder guards are designed to look as well as they protect”, says Andrew Serbinski, President of Machineart. “Appearance and function are equally considered in our development work. X-Head DOHC look better integrated with the shape of the cylinders than anything else available.” We have them installed on the Backroads R1200GS and they look and perform as promised. Price: $189.00 from MachineArtMoto.com
Rider Education Of New Jersey Inc.
Basic RiderCourse • $275 Basic RiderCourse 2 (old ERC) • $125 “New” 3 Wheel BRC & The Advanced RiderCourse
Over 20 Years Experience! Learn to Ride! Learn to Ride Better! No Permit Needed! To Learn More or to Register Online Visit RENJ.com Call Today: 1-800-8WE-RIDE Motorcycle Safety Foundation & New Jersey State Approved MVC Written and Road Test Waived (certain restrictions apply)
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
ALL THAT GOOD STUFF
CROSSROADS BED AND BREAKFAST Come stay and ride with us. Our location, at the intersection of Routes 7 and 17 in Central Vermont, is just minutes away from four of Vermont’s famous gaps, with direct access to the Adirondacks
4571 Ethan Allen Pkwy Route 7 New Haven, VT
Are you ready for the most comfortable motorcycle saddle? A saddle that fits properly eliminates pressure points that reduce blood flow. It takes a solid understanding of human anatomy and extensive motorcycle experience to make a truly fine motorcycle saddle. Let Rick’s medical expertise as a critical care nurse and extensive riding experience combine to create a truly great saddle hand-made just for you. Prices start at $269.
L S P E C IA B IK E R RATES
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BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
ALL THAT GOOD STUFF
…your personal heaven on earth!
Located in Arden, only 15 minutes from Philippi, on the beautiful Tygart River in West Virginia, our bed & breakfast is the perfect place to call home while exploring the Mountain state.
CHA CHA HUT CLOSING THEIR DOORS LAST DAY FOR ‘Q’ • OCTOBER 9, 2012
Rates from $70 - $90 per night
www.AngelBandFarm.com Box 696 • North River Road • Philippi, WV 26416
Slow-smoked chicken, Dry Rub Spareribs, Pulled Pork or Beef Brisket and four of our sides.*
lley’s Hudson Va ne Riding Number O t Restauran e u q e b r a B W North 1076 Route 9 mery, NY Fort Montgo
(Feed 4 and two trips to the fridge after midnight) “There’s not a bird back in town that approaches Big W’s Slow Chicken” –New York Times March ‘07
oute 9W icturesque R Located on P D s Perkin rive minutes from State Park and Harriman Point historic West just south of
Celebrate the Holidays with some awesome barbeque!
845-446-0912 rmerbbq.com www.barnsto
–New York Times Aug. ‘03
“Finger Lickin’ Good” ✯✯✯✯
Best of 2008
–Poughkeepsie Journal July ‘08
–Hudson Valley Magazine
* This month, say “T-Bone said you’d hook me up” and get one free additional side
If you go home hungry it’s your own fault
The Charlesworth Hotel is New Jersey’s REAL backroads’ hideaway Ro
“Best pork ribs within 90 miles of NYC”
THE Place to go when you REALLY want to Disappear
ng Dini c i t n ma
1475 Rt. 22 in downtown Wingdale (that’s Six Minutes North Of Pawling And One Minute South Of The Spooky Old Psychiatric Hospital)
(845) 832-6200 • Open noon til 8pm, closed Mondays & Tuesdays
The Boat House Restaurant Join us for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner overlooking Swartswood Lake
Excellent Ride Destination
Tuesday ~ Sunday 11am-9pm Brunch 10am-2pm • Closed Mondays Our Deck is Open for the Season
Home of the BEST sunset on the Jersey Shore
1040 Cty Rd 521 • Swartswood, NJ 973-300-0016
New Jersey Avenue • Fortescue, NJ • 856-447-4928
Worth the ride from anywhere!
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.
Sharing your passion for good food since 1983 Member of
Barbeque Catering Flexible Affordable Ready When You Are
Tues. thru Sat. 11am-10pm Sunday: Breakfast 9am-Noon Lunch and Dinner served until 9pm
John, Christina, chef George and Eoanna welcome you and your friends.
The Riverton Hotel and Restaurant At Belvidere-Riverton Free Bridge, Riverton, PA
610-498-4241 • www.rivertonhotel.com
Join Us for 1st Friday Celebration 1st Friday of each month from 6 to 9pm Live Music • Dinner Specials 320 Front Street, Belvidere, NJ • 908-475-2274 • www.thisilldous.com
Open Daily for Breakfast and Beyond • 7am to 4pm • Sunday 7am to 1pm Try our Full Throttle Breakfast Special every Saturday + Sunday
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
ALL THAT GOOD STUFF
MOTORCYCLE TRAILERS DAYTONA, BIKETOBERFEST, STURGIS AND BEYOND
HONEST • DLY • AFF N E OR RI F DA • BL T S E FA
SALES 718-426-7039 • www.barntruckrental.com RENTALS 57-05 BROADWAY • WOODSIDE NY 11377 (OFF THE BQE & LIE)
GenMar HANDLEBAR RISERS
KAWASAKI • HONDA • YAMAHA • SUZUKI • TRIUMPH • MOTO GUZZI • ETC Raise your handlebars for a more comfortable ride and still retain stock look.
From $59.95 to $139.95
324 East 95th Street New York, NY 10128
Harley-Davidson European and Japanese
Order Toll Free (877) 471-1515 Info and Fax (505) 743-2243 • www.zianet.com/GenMar
Gen Mar Mfg. Inc. • 110 1st Street • HC1 Box 35 • Arrey, NM 87930
www.stopngo.com The Best Tire Repair. Know Before You Go! 800-747-0238
Sussex Hills Ltd. Now stocking a full line of heated gear Get ready for some cool riding.
Specializing in Motorcycle Repair, Parts & Supplies • Cycle Tires Mounted & Balanced • Batteries & Hard Parts • Dynojet 250 Dyno available for testing
973-875-2048 946 Rte. 23 South Sussex NJ 07461
Norman Gross Since 1976 Our Reputation Speaks for Itself
For All Your Harley-Davidson Needs
3 miles north of Sussex Borough
WASHINGTON CYCLE WORKS We cater to road racers and support all Track Day organizations Check us for Suspension Setups • One-piece Road Race suits in stock
If you didn’t like cool stuff, you wouldn’t be reading this magazine. Here’s something you’re going to love.
Washington Cycle Works
Junction of Rtes. 57/31 • Washington, NJ 07882
908-835-0043 Closed Sun-Mon • Open: Tues-Thurs 9:30AM-7PM • Fri 9:30AM-6PM • Sat 9AM-3PM
Screwdriver/Speed Wrench/ Palm Ratchet All In One Tool Variable Speeds Over 600RPM Low Profile, with an “Ergo” Grip and a Non-Slip Design Accepts All 3/8” and 1/4” Sockets and Extensions
BASIC SET: $19.95 • DELUXE SET: $29.95 • ACCESORY SET: $9.95
TORQ-IT PRODUCTS, INC. 1701 Manor Road • Havertown PA 19083 Tel: 1.888.876.9555 • Visit Our New Website: WWW.TORQ-IT.COM
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
ALL THAT GOOD STUFF
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!
Moto-Inn Approved Tell ‘em Backroads sent you!
Motorcyclist Owned & Operated
Large indoor heated pool and spa • Free deluxe hot breakfast buffet Microwaves and fridges in every room • Large rooms + suites available
Comfort Inn & Suites
to all 334 Caroline St (James Madison Hwy), Orange, VA 22960 Motorcyclists 540-672-3121 • www.comfortinn.com/hotel-orange-virginia-VA657
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
‘50s-Style Drive-In Restaurant Full and Varied Menu Room for the Whole Gang
BIKE NIGHT IS BACK AT
THE CHATTERBOX DRIVE-IN GREAT FOOD • GOOD TIMES • EXCELLENT RIDING Located at Ross’ Corners • 1 Route 15 • Augusta NJ • 973-300-2300
Get BACKROADS delivered to your home EVERY MONTH! Just fill out the simple form and mail it along with your check (gotta pay the Postman): BACKROADS • POB 317 • BRANCHVILLE NJ 07826 NAME ____________________________________________________ ADDRESS __________________________________________________
SUBSCRIPTION FORM First Class $40/Year • Comes in envelope
Don’t Miss an Issue! Mail your Subscription TODAY!
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Welcome to the Jungle - The Art of Learning to Ride Skillfully A column dedicated to your riding survival
What’s in your wallet – or tank bag? What all riders need along for the ride… Sometime back Shira and I were riding some familiar roads along the Walpack Valley, in northwest New Jersey, on two Kawasaki KLR 650s. We were heading up near Tillman Ravine when I felt the clutch cable, which was feeling odd for the last half hour, snap. Fortunate for me I had another cable routed along with the old one and for me it was just a matter of swapping the two. Everything was going along peachy when I realized that I didn’t have my handy needle nose pliers. Hmmm, without the needle nose getting one part of the cable on would be slightly problematic. I tried to attach the cable in a few different ways with the tools I did have, but it was in vain this day, a warm summer afternoon that was getting hotter and sweatier by the minute. We were not far from home so I was about to send Shira off to get what I needed from my tool caddy when I heard what I thought to be two SUVs coming up the fairly gnarly trail off to my right. I was a little surprised when two BMW R1200GSs rode out, completely covered with mud and grime. I recognized one rider as Tom Clark, a local rider that we have seem numerous times in the region. We knew each other but, more importantly, I knew Tom’s GS that always seems ready for battle had a Leatherman Tool strapped to the frame. Tom was gracious enough to lend said Leatherman Tool to me and in minutes the KLR’s cable was attached using the needle nose pliers that are part of the multi-tool. Problem fixed we all said goodbye and were on our way. Since then I try my best to always have some adequate tools with me and know it is better to be over-prepared than to lack one essential tool Especially when things go wrong. With all this being said there are just a few things I feel are needed on each of my bikes, while putting around town or on a cross-country tour. Although there are many versions of some of these items these are the ones that work the best, are the most popular, or simply work for me.
The Wave Leatherman Multi-Tool The Leatherman Wave multi-tool is hands down the most popular multi-tool model in the world. It’s made famous by its outside-accessible blades that can be deployed with just one hand. It has been around for a quarter of a century but they redesigned it in 2004, giving the new Wave larger knives, stronger pliers, longer wire cutters, and all-locking blades. Perfect for any job, adventure, or everyday task, the Wave multi-tool is an international best-seller and a must on our rides. You can find this and other Leatherman Tools at hundreds of sporting outlets; usually for less than $100.
Your Toy Store at the Shore
YAMA-HOTLINE • 732-776-5514 1207 Route 35 South • Neptune, NJ • www.stumpys.com
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
This might seem like an odd thing for some, but when you need something small secured to your bike’s frame – maybe some wiring or a cable – then the humble Zip-Tie can be a lifesaver. You can get these at any hardware store or Home Depot/Lowes. Toss a few of various sizes along for the ride as you never know when you will need them.
LeD LeNSeR p5 Also on this list is your basic flashlight. Years ago we carried small Mag-Lites, but these days you can get a good, strong and reliable LED flashlight at any fuel station or auto supply shop. Years ago I learned to always have one with me when the lights went out in South America and my friend Mike Wernick lit up the darkness. “You had a flashlight,” I asked? “Of course I do, I’m a fire fighter,” he replied. Case closed. We recently found an Uber-LED light, brought to the United Sates from the same folks that make the Leatherman. The LED LENSER P5 is small, lightweight and saves energy, but at the same time produces an amazing 90+ lumens of light. Even more amazing, it
These inexpensive straps were designed for riders by riders. They come in a variety of sizes and are small enough to be stowed anywhere. We keep a few different sizes along with us when we ride and we have used them for a wide variety of things. From cinching down a torn rain cover to carrying 20 pounds of Stripe Bass back from the Bay. I even use one as a lanyard to keep my tank bag from falling off the bike while fueling. As we said the Rok Straps come in all sizes and colors. Log onto www.rokstraps.com to see what floats your boat and to find a dealer near you. These are just a few things that we think many riders should bring along with them, such as Duct tape and Velcro. There are many others and I am sure you might have your own list. Let us know, we’d love to have a follow up article on what you think you need on your bike when you head out on the road. Feel free to send them to email@example.com and put “What all riders need” in the subject line.
aIRPORT PUB & PaCKaGE Sussex NJ County Rd 639 • Next to the Airport Open 7 Days • 973-702-1215 We have New Jersey Lottery & Scratch Offs We accept cash, credit cards & ATM on premise
operates on only one AA battery. With each nanosecond, the built-in DC/DC converter is pumping energy through the high-performance LED. The P5 also features the Rapid Focus System for quick, one-handed focusing for close-up, or long-distance viewing. It is compact, tough and very bright. http://www.ledlenser.com/us list price: $55
Stop N Go Tire plug System This item came it extremely handy on one of our unliked but necessary highway trips. While speedily traveling along in the left lane of I-something, Shira radioed to me that her bike ‘felt funny’. Good reason, she had blown her rear tire. After safely getting to the shoulder, we accessed the situation. I knew that I had gotten a brand-new Pilot Puncture kit from Bill Merriman of Stop N Go for testing, but didn’t remember if I had packed it on this trip. While pondering, Shira pulled out the compact casing and asked if that was what I needed. Indeed it was and, with a miminum of effort, we had the tire plugged and we were back on our way. As a matter of fact, that tire went on to travel a few more thousand miles before being retired. Get yours for peace of mind and a mere $64.95 at www.stopngo.
WE’RE LOCATED IN SCENIC SUSSEx COUNTY A POPULAR NEIghBORhOOD PUB
FRIENDLY SERVICE • ICE COLD BEER AND ALWAYS SOMEThINg TO DO…
ENJOY THE RIDE Stop by and We’re Sure to Become One of Your Favorite Stops
Wednesday is Bike Night Free BBQ & Jukebox
Meet Old Friends & Make New Ones
TWO POOL TABLES • JUkE BOx • DARTS OUTDOOR SEATINg FACINg ThE AIRPORT “WATCh ThE SkY DIVERS”
PLUS … WE SERvE a SImPLE PUB mENU
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS
FREE BBQ EVERY SUNDAY You Cook ‘Em Burgers and Dogs
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
TWO PRODUCTS TO HELP YOU “CHILL OUT” WHEN THE HEAT IS ON Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad The Chilly Pad provides an innovative way to cool down while enduring outdoor heat and/or high levels of physical activity. Perfect for anyone engaged in sports or work, the Chilly Pad is made from a hyper-evaporative material that retains water while remaining dry to the touch. When wet, the towel begins to evaporate and cool, providing cool, soft comfort to the user. When it stops cooling (about 1-4 hours, depending on conditions), you simply re-wet the towel in hot or cold water and wring it out. Within minutes, it’s cool again. It’s also machine washable, and comes in its own storage container for years of reliable use. Handy size: 33” x 13”. You can find these at Walmart or on-line for around $10.
EnduraCool Instant Cooling Towel Created more for athletes (like we’re not?) we found these at a visit to our local Home Depot, where they came in a two-pak for under $20 - convenient for us or for any other couple. We had just returned from the Ozarks and the stifling mid-west and would surely have benefitted from these. Much like the Chilly Pad, from Frogg Toggs, you simply soak these towels in cold water and wrap them on your body under your gear. Mission’s Enduracool is made from a proprietary performance fabric that instantly cools when wet with water or sweat, wrung out and snapped in the air to activate the sustained cooling properties. Use during or after competition to provide sustained cooling on your neck, head or other hot zones. The 12.25” x 33” towel performance fabric absorbs and retains sweat and water, circulating the molecules while regulating the rate of evaporation to ensure an instant cooling effect against the skin for hours, without feeling wet. On the road these towels now keep us cool on extremely hot days for a few hours and a quick stop at any fuel station or 7-11 will allow you to water them down once again. As you can see by their descriptions both products are extremely similar and we recommend both on those rides during the Dog Days of Summer.
HUNTER’S LODGE “The Real Taste of America” Open 7 Days for Lunch & Dinner 64 Route 446 • Delaware, NJ
908-475-0060 • www.hunterslodge.net Kitchen Open 11am-10pm Bar Open Late Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 5-7pm Tues. Italian Night All You Can Eat Pasta $5.50
Specializing in Ducati, BMW, MV Agusta, Triumph and Aprilia Service • Repairs • Suspension upgrades and engine performance Give us a call or stop on by 41 Ballard Rd • Middletown, NY www.europeancycleservices.com 845-725-7707
Wednesday • Wing Night 50¢ Wings and $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon Cans Thursday • Ladies Night $2 House Drinks 4pm-close For The Ladies
BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012
Americade 2012 • 30th Anniversary
Page 53 many others) as it is close enough to town, but not close enough for the sound. We met up with our perennial riding buddies Mike and Nuri and after unloading and the obligatory toast to yet another Americade Week we headed around the lake to George’s for Flintstone-sized steaks.
Brian Rathjen I know in my personal history I didn’t even come close getting my act together ‘till I was in my 30’s. I think many of us can agree to this. But, after that we, in our own ways, put things together and got on with it. The same cannot be said for this yearly extravaganza called Americade. Nope, this kid was a prodigy early in life and, like famed cellist Yo Yo Ma, has only gotten better and more refined with the years. With the July Backroads at the printers, the cats fed and crops watered, Shira and I got a later than usual start north toward the Adirondack, skirting the Shawagunk mountains and valley and then “Big Roading” it past Albany and up the Northway to Lake George, the annual home base for the world’s largest motorcycle touring rally. We got in early enough to grab our registration packets and all-important wrist bands and then made our way through the all ready well-populated downtown and to Backroads Central North – The Suncastle Resort. We have been staying here for a few years now and it works for us (and
Later that evening we copped a spot along Canada Street and watched the crowds and bikes roll by. One guy, who rode from Wisconsin, had an ‘84 Honda CX-650 Turbo in pristine shape. Yep, my favorite bike so far. My plan was to get out early the next morn and take in a bit of Fred Rau’s morning Coffee Club; always a great way to start an Americade morning. Up at 5:30 I saw clear skies above as I hopped in for a shower which evi-
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Page 54 dently followed me out, as it was pouring just 5 minutes later. Sitting on the porch with a warm cup of Joe I thought about passing, as it looked like it would clear in a few hours. But, I don’t think there is any Wicked Witch blood in my family and rain wouldn’t melt me, so off I went on my semi-soggy way. As usual Fred’s Coffee Club was made up of a great mix of riders all with interesting stories and anecdotes. It reminds me of a kind of AA meeting for riders. A bunch of addicted folks sitting in a room early in the morning with coffee cups in they’re hands…
“Hi everyone my name’s Dave and I am rideaholic.” “Hi Dave.” I took a walk around the demo area down at Fort William Henry and just about every manufacturer was there or close by with the notable and conspicuous exceptions of Suzuki and Triumph. I have said it every year if you want to try a new machine of your dreams then Americade’s demos are always your best bet. The weather had cleared a bit by now but this day would see a number of small, but cold, squalls pass through the Lake George region.
For this first full day for us here at the ‘Cade we decided to scope out the two vendor areas and the Forum was first, an indoor venue with dozens and dozens of folks selling everything from high end riding gear like Olympia and Twisted Throttle to tour companies from South America and Canada. The open-air vendor area down at Million Dollar Beach along the southern edge of Lake George was doing a brisk business as well with all sorts of things being bought and installed. To take in all this will eat up most of your day and with perfect weather promised for the next day we spent most of this one browsing and doing a little shopping too. That evening we found a great seat at Giuseppe’s with a large pizza and watched the crowds as Americade’s population was swelling by the minute and the rally was now in full swing. We had tickets to see motorcycle rider and comedian Alonzo Boden that night and, like the previous year, he was beyond funny and took no prisoners. We sat in the second row and I did my best to make no eye contact with him at all as doing that cannot end well for the person in the audience, I tell ya.
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BACKROADS • SEPTEMBER 2012 The promised good weather was a repeat of the previous day, with a bit more sun time. We had a ride laid out and planned for this day and our plan was to avoid the thousands of other riders that had converged into the region. This might seem like a daunting task but in truth it was easy. We just went to the manually acquired positions systems which we have used for years and then, after getting a general idea of where we wanted to explore we routed it all on a RoadTrip, Garmin’s Mac route plotter and downloaded it all onto the Zumos. The plan was easy… stay away from any of the major roads and to the tiny backroads that feather across this area like veins on a broad leaf. 99 percent of the riders that head up here can be found in huge parade groups. Many groups “hogging” the road at well below the limit, which is well – just plain unacceptable to me these days. We never ran into any large groups all day. Running along these tiny and forgotten roads allow for a real appreciation of the true beauty of these mountains, forests and lakes that make up 1/3 of New York State – the famed Adirondack Park. For the first 70 miles or so we did a great job of dodging the thunderstorms, some of which were very exciting, but the odds soon ran against us and we got pounded by “biblical” showers and hail…. frogs, locust, cats AND dogs! It only lasted for a number of minutes and miles and then we were out of it and into blinding and warming sunlight. This scenario would continue for a number of times this day so we did our best to ignore the occasional moisture and enjoy the great route.
Page 55 We had planned for a barbeque the following day and passing the Adirondack Buffalo Company with their large herd of bison (American bison are really not “buffalo” regardless of what Bill Hickock would have you believe) and pulled into the lot and bought a number of frozen steaks and burgers for the next night. Our route eventually spun us west along a snakey piece of pavement called Blue Ridge Road that was a bit more than fun and then we began to head south and east back towards Americade. By this time in the week other friends began to roll in and that evening we rode up to a great old mill that we have been to a few times, that had been refurbished into a superb restaurant. We did that early enough to scoot over and catch Fred Rau’s seminar on the ‘Worst Motorcycle Ideas Ever.” As always Fred Rau had the crowd in his pocket and he did yet another great hour – his 22 year in a row. That night Canada Street was packed to the rafters and most restaurants had a waiting list. The weather promised to be a bit more stable the next day and I had a plan. Even with the questionable weather life was still good at Americade in its 30th year. Under direct orders from the good Doctor O’Life we went on what we began to call a Mysterious Americade.
SEPTEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
A small cadre of friends joined us for breakfast and then we heading east around the lake to Whitehall, New York – birthplace of America’s Navy. Here at the Skenesborough Museum lies the remaining hull and timbers of the first USS Ticonderoga. The Navy has had many fighting ships named Ticonderoga; but this was the first. Heck, even Star Fleet will have one. The remains lie along the Champlain Canal and a just a bit further up was the massive lock that controls sailing in this part of the canal. A quick bridge into Vermont and in no time we were rolling along the hills and dirt roads of the Green Mountain State. With only the lakes and some miles separating New York and Vermont it is amazing how different the riding is between states. We ferried over to another Ticonderoga – the fort and then followed some great little backroads north through New Russia and into Elizabethville and the local museum – found in the old high school. The Adirondack museum has some very interesting displays but none nearly as interesting as the skull and noose of Henry Debosnys, a murderer who killed a number of his wives and was the last man hung in this part of New York. Now if this wasn’t a Mysterious Americade then nothing is. Later that night Americade had its send off party at Great Escape, which was followed by another thunderstorm of said biblical proportions. What’s a little rain? Saturday saw the parade bring the region to a standstill and not partaking we headed west into the Adirondacks with friends and eventually stopped in nearby Warrensburg to see how the fair grounds was handling the vendors there and then around some familiar roads till we took a late lunch at the Friends Lake Inn, a really delightful place with some great rooms and serious food. Saturday night at Americade is always a zoo. Canada Street is packed and the traffic and crowds are just a bit overwhelming so we avoid downtown like the plague on this night – besides we had plenty of food, wine and friends up at the Suncastle and the last night of Americade was spent there. With year 30 in the books, and all having seemed to have a great time, we loaded the bikes and pointed them north…that’s right, north, onto another adventure. But that’s a story for another day.
Colors in the
Catskills 5 At Hunter Mountain
sponsored by MAX BMW FREE All-Brand Motorcycle Rally
Sept. 28-30, 2012 FREE all-brand gathering featuring off-road riding, sport riding and sport touring, along with the Hunter Mountain OktoberFest! Come join us to see the finest show Mother Nature can offer, enjoy the unspoiled roads the weekend before Columbus Day, and also enjoy the company of your fellow riders of all types. Visit motorcycle vendors, attend interesting seminars and an opportunity to participate in off-road schools led by Team MAX. Hunter Mountain's Annual Oktoberfest features fantastic live entertainment surrounded by the autumn beauty of the Catskills. The modern celebration of the harvest features a farmers market, plenty of vendors, free crafts, pumpkin painting for the kids, and much more. Free Admission! Entertainment includes the Alex Meixner Band, Radlpass Trio from Austria, Germania Almrausch Schuhplattler Verein, Die Lustigen Almdudler, Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers, Doug Marcus and Bill’s Toupee Band On-site lodging is available at the Kaatskill Mountain Club or Liftside Village Condominiums and camping is also on-site. Call 800-486-8376 for details. Lodging reservations at 518263-5580.
dging On-Site Lo d te n u o c able Dis ping Avail m a C e it and On-S
Published on Sep 3, 2012
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