Sunday, April 28, 2013

Revisiting old haunts/April 2013

Winters are long in New Hampshire, no one who lives here would disagree. Most make the best of it, by keeping active with winter activities, like skiing, snowmobiling or ice fishing. For motorcyclists, winter is the dreaded season, interrupted only by the occasional motorcycle show.

If you're a native resident, you probably don't mind the natural selection of insects that are common to this area. When I first moved here, the locals referred to "black fly season".  Being from Connecticut, we have your average pests but I had not heard of these before.  Let me state right here that Black Fly Season signals the start of riding season, in New Hampshire.

From Wikipedia: 
A black fly (sometimes called a buffalo gnat, turkey gnat, or white socks) is any member of the family Simuliidae of the Culicomorpha infraorder. Most black flies gain nourishment by feeding on the blood of mammals, including humans, although the males feed mainly on nectar. They are usually small, black or gray, with short legs, and antennae. They are a common nuisance for humans, and many US states have programs to suppress the black fly population. They spread several diseases, including river blindness in Africa (Simulium damnosum and S. neavei) and the Americas (S. callidum and S. metallicum in Central America, S. ochraceum in Central and South America).

These suckers make an attempt to fly into your eyeballs, nostrils and ears, as well as alighting in your hair, biting and swarming.  Doing a "preflight check" of your bike becomes a cardio exercise if again, you're not "from around heah".

Three of us set out for New London, NH for lunch at Peter Christian's Tavern.  It's on the outskirts of the Lake Sunapee region and has been there since the 1970's.  My wife astride her trusty Honda VT750, Jerry aboard his Ultra and me on Ol' Blue.  We found the back roads to New London largely empty.  Lots of bikes were out but they all seemed to be headed in the opposite direction.  We traveled about 55 miles, or so. 

Our waitress Kate was diminutive in stature but a giant when it came to good service.  The decor was dark and woody and it looks like it's not seen any improvements since it was built.  My wife worked in the area at a summer camp, while in high school and she says it looks virtually the same.

The food was good, the service was fine and after a hot cup of coffee, we opted for the high speed highway route home.  All told, we probably ran about 120 miles or so, a good warm-up ride for the season.

The bugs only last a couple of weeks and then they're gone for another whole year.  Hotter and drier weather on the way and it looks like I can ride to work all week long.

Stay safe this season.  Watch out for the distracted drivers.  Today's was a gal fishing a cigarette out of the pack while moving along at about 45 mph.  I got her attention and made her back off.  Watch out for the idiots.

Another season is officially here.  I'll see you on the street and I'll probably throw you

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket