Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jesus I've been lazy!

Yeah, we'll go with that.  I got a few nice compliments recently about this blog.  As I look back on this past year's effort, I see that it's pretty damn thin.  I can partially blame that on work but the rest is on me.  If I want to be known for my creative mind, then I had better show a hint of "brain cleavage" to get your attention now, shouldn't I?

Aside from the drudgery of work, my riding has been limited this past year.  And I have no excuse for it, either. We had a great trip to Island Pond, VT with a day trip into Coaticook, Quebec.  Other than that, there were no other overnight rides and, I think that's the issue.  When all you're doing is buzzing back and forth over local roads you've ridden a million times before, you're not having new adventures and making new memories.  All local and no stays makes Jack a dull boy.

Pirate support vehicle
The Vermont trip had it's moments of mirth and I'll share the highlights.  We camped on Spectacle Pond for 2 nights, with the aforementioned day trip to O'Canada in-between.  What I love a-boot Canada is their attitude towards Americans.  Somebody once described Canada as your cool older cousin who lets you have beer.  The border crossing was friendly, fast and fun.  And no one's hand ever covered their weapon.  We hiked a gorge, found a fromagerie and local bakery and had a great lunch and resultant dinner.  Our lack of french only became an issue at the bakery, where I ate (and summarily purchased) some hot-from-the-oven butter cookies that were meant for another patron.  Oops!  Oh, and the scenery was stunning.

Returning through US Customs was no laughing matter.  We were split up and handled separately, to my wife's chagrin.  When asked for my passport, I approached the customs agent and she retreated.  Confused, I took another step forward and she retreated again, her hand now on her weapon.  What the fuck?  Was I supposed to throw you my passport, douche?  Fine.  I'll wait here while you approach me like a ninja to snatch this from my hand.  Fuck me.  Welcome to the United States of Fear.

Anyway, we had fun and I learned that sharing a room with other people has its disadvantages.  We rented a cabin for the stay, because one female rider not married to me won't tent camp.  So, at modest expense, we rented a 3 bed cinder block bunker in which to crash.  Now, I love this friend dearly but, someone should have made mention of the thrashing about that takes place at night, after a few adult beverages.  In her defense, I suppose that I could have disclosed my snoring, but I didn't...After that first largely sleepless night, all I could do was hug her and tell her how much I liked her.  The other option was anger.  We all laughed it off and decided that we were going to get so drunk that night so as to not have any trouble sleeping.  It worked.

I think the best part of the ride is the "after-party" that happens around the campfire, when you're well-stuffed with dinner, drink and a day full of behind-the-bars memories.  And that seems to be what's been missing most for me.  I need more long, multi-day rides to form the fun memories and experiences.

As a member of the AMA, I get their monthly magazine.  The current issue has a story about the Van Buren sisters who, at a young age and in the year 1916, made a cross-country motorcycle trip.  This is a fantastic story of two young, independent women who refused to believe the they couldn't accomplish their goals, just because of their gender.  Their story is here:  Van Buren Sisters.  I bet they had more than their share of adventure.

Riding cross-country is one of those goals that I want to have under my belt.  Living as I do on the East coast, I am fortunate to have the whole country between me and some family members in California.  A well-timed ride could take me from New Hampshire through Colorado and into the San Francisco area.

Another idea, which seems more easily attainable is to circumnavigate New England by riding the perimeter of all the states.   If done right, it looks to be under 2,000 miles and achievable as a long weekend.  This is not a final route, but it will but give you an idea:

View Larger Map

Another ride would be back to Nova Scotia, riding versus taking the ferry crossing.  I haven't done it before, but I know that it would be all the more gratifying to accomplish the trip this way.

So, all this just to say that, I plan to ride more in the coming year.  I plan to write more too.  Without the two-wheeled adventures, I don't have the fodder for this blog.  Also, I'll try to get back on track with a discussion about Sturgis, gear reviews and other things that I think other riders will find interesting.  I sort of got off track here after a bit.  Keep me honest and keep me focused.  I appreciate the feedback and will try to make this an interesting and informative place for you.

If you want a small treat, click on the headline to find the musical link to the title.

A low, slow wave and a Happy New Year,

Joe Rocket