Friday, August 24, 2012

When the music's over...

So much has happened since I last wrote, that this post feels like one of those annoying annual holiday letters, written and sent en masse, by the long lost relatives you hardly know.  "Johnny lost a tooth and has chlamydia!"  Seriously, who gives a crap?  But, I'll try to make this somewhat interesting or, at the very least,  profane.

My last post centered on the test results of the Interphone bike-to-bike communication system.  I have to say that I really liked its capabilities, but was perhaps a bit overwhelmed by the complexity and  underwhelmed by its range and battery power. Well, I just got my hands on a Sena communication system and, as soon as I can get these added to our lids and get out for a ride, I'll start my testing.  I'll post a full review here, in the near future.

My summer has been given over to kick-starting my brain.  I took a 12-week course on Project Management, and plan to take the test (eventually) so I can be a Certified Project Management Professional, or PMP.  Yes, I've been making pimp jokes for some time now.  My PMP hand, etc.  You get the idea. The  other challenge has been Mrs. Rocket's work.  She's in Defense, working for a large contractor here and is engaged in a sufficiently important and onerous project. So, her time has not been her own either and there has been little riding to write about.

Last month though, I was treated to a special day of riding with some new friends.  I have followed Bryan on Twitter for years (@Faceyman) and on his blog ( Each and every time I even remotely mention Canada or a desire to ride to a destination therein, he implores to come visit.  Well, he beat me to it.  Last month, he and fellow moto-enthusiast best bud Luc (both living in Fredericton, NB, Canada) made an epic ride through ALL of the New England states.  He pinged me in advance for ride ideas and routes and I was rewarded with a day in the White Mountains riding with two of the nicest riders you'd ever want to meet. As riders, we found that we three all had a lot in common.  Luc and I ride the same bike (well, Luc has 3 bikes), the Honda VTX 1300 and Bryan was on his cruiser, as well.  Both enjoy sport bikes, as I have in the past, and they alternate their scooters, depending on the type of ride they're in the mood for.

Anyway, after a long day of riding, I hated to see them go.  They continued on their adventure, which you can read at Bryan's blog, and found great roads and interesting people along the way.  It was a great vacation for the two of them, nothing planned but a general idea of which direction to head next.  I envied them and the time off but I surely will relish that first ride together, most likely not the last that we'll share.  More on that later.

I took a long solo ride through Vermont and Massachusetts and, running late allowed my TomTom Rider GPS unit to take me via the "shortest route". Yeah, you may have guessed that it deposited me onto unpaved roads, and it did.  What I wasn't prepared for was 20 miles of that!  The conditions were good so I just plugged along, too stubborn to try a faster route.  Men are like that, you know.  I wouldn't ask directions if I were lost in Transylvania, hence the GPS unit.  The following weekend, the missus and I took a similar route, stopping along the way to look at some old cars I found the prior weekend.

I have a fondness for 60's and 70's era cars and, for the past few years been fixated on a late 60's Ford Galaxie 500 convertible.  But, so far, the funds and the perfect car have eluded me. The building with the dusty early 60's Galaxie was chock-a-block with old T-birds and other goodies.  I'll go look again.

With our son splitting his time between Boston and home, we didn't have any plans for vacation this summer.  We made plans to see family members in Maine and planned a short stay on Campobello Island, off the coast of Maine.  I quickly conspired to make a slight side-trip, to Fredericton, seeing how it was "practically" on our way...We had a GREAT night out with our new friends and got to meet the wives who support/tolerate their riding habits.  Neither of them rode and, there was an awkward moment when I verbally stubbed my toe by asking.  The humorous response and evil eye was directed back at both men, "Well, if they ASKED us..." Oops!  Sorry guys!  In any event, it sounded like the ladies knew how to have fun on their own.  We had an enjoyable visit in their city, sharing our time and a great meal.  I know we'll be back.

Our final destination in Canada was Campobello Island.  Bryan suggested a great route, which circumvented extra miles and border crossings.  We finally landed on the island, a quiet and beautiful destination with few amenities (like WiFi).  I was forced to relax, read and rest.

The only disappointment in the whole trip is that we didn't ride the bikes.  We covered over 1,000 miles and the weather was perfect.  With such a short week planned, I was concerned that any poor weather would severely impact our ability to make all of our destinations.

As you can see, it was beautiful there and I have plans to return.  On the bike.

Okay, I've caught you up some.  I'm off like a herd of turtles.  More stuff to do.  It's Friday and the "boy" announced he's dropping in on us this weekend.  Off to prepare for that, stocking up on pizzas and other stuff he likes.

I'll get out and ride this weekend and, with any luck, be using my new headsets.  And that means that the missus has to listen to my subliminal messages in her ears the whole way...

Summer is winding down.  Make the remaining weekends count.  Get out and ride your tuchas off.  That means "ass", in case you don't know Yiddish slang.  Have fun and report to me on Twitter.  I'm there as @JoeRocket.  See you out there!

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket