|Easton Bears, from left: CT Blogger, Grumpy, Fonz, Pogy, QEd, Captain, Princess, Mac and unknown.|
By: Chris Loynd
Our next-to-last ride of the 2015/16 season enjoyed Goldilocks Polar Bear riding weather. A not too chilly morning eased into a not too warm afternoon. At some point in the day I employed the full range of thermostat for my gloves, but only half so for jacket, pants and booties. Sun shined. Traffic was light.
Our confident and experienced ride leader kept a silky, sapient and steadfast pace. Our irascible sweep suffered no tailgater gladly and cleared lanes with alacrity. We enjoyed a few moments of drama, including my rather close encounter as a car rabbiting out of the tolls brushed aside my claim of right-of-way, despite the fact I was well ahead and indicating. You can never win a car versus motorcycle battle so I begrudgingly gave way with an astute throttle roll-off maneuver. "You were so calm, I didn't know if you didn't see the car or just had nerves of steel," commented Captain, my second rider, when we parked in Easton.
Somehow I missed exit 14 to I-78 west. It happens just as the NJ Turnpike splits into the truck and car parallels. Guess I missed the sign. My GPS gladly routed me off at exit 13. It was an effective, hectic, fusillade of exit ramps in rapid succession. Several of our riders commented on my exit 13 route. Token2 was representative, "I've never gone that way before. Let's never do it again."
Our destination was just right too. A tiny bit over 150 miles and a little under two hours. A bit less expressway would have been nice. But expressway riding is best in winter when conditions are unpredictable and ice threatens.
Easton, Pa. is delightfully quaint. Word around our lunch table postulated the owner of Cheeburger Cheeburger is politically connected. Easton gave us the street for a whole block in front of the restaurant, Easton's best manning roadblocks just for us.
The owner, big Frank Aversa, is also a biker. He knows what motorcyclists desire: bikes-only parking, great food and a raucous atmosphere. When "Sweet Caroline" came on the sound system, Frank loudly led us all in the chorus. The room roared, "Sweet Car-o-line, da, da, daah, good times never seemed so good, da, da, dum."
Most of us took advantage of the all American fare: burgers with your choice of tasty toppings, fries, onion rings, milkshakes, sodas. One of our group, who will remain nameless, went off the rails when she ordered a salmon burger.
We talked about motorcycles and riding. Mac captured Princess' undivided attention (no small feat) with two magic words: Hoka Hey. She took Fonz's seat and they started planning the next ride right there and then. Fonz suggested maybe there could be an organized ride like Hoka Hey, but with no time limits. You'd just go around and enjoy the scenery. Fonz shared that riding sleep deprived is the equivalent of a 0.05 alcohol buzz.
One of our newest riders, Ed, was more ebullient than usual. I think he's getting the measure of our group. Due to a family obligation, this was also his last Polar Bear ride of the season. Maybe he wanted us to remember him fondly to ensure an invitation next year. Heck, he even bought coffee and hot chocolates at Chez GSP. Yet Ed never partakes.
Token2 named him QEd for Quiet Ed. Of course Token2 is educated enough to be making a pun. QED also is used to show you proved your point in an argument, quod erat demonstrandum. Urban Dictionary defines it as, "A mathematician's way of saying, 'I win.'" Its usage is more favored in British English. Hmmmm.
You can't see Ed in our group picture. He stoically assents to the weekly group photo at the top of every Polar Bear Motorcycles Blog ride post. He cleverly positions himself to be included but not seen. I didn't catch on until I caught up this blog after a period of neglect and thereby had occasion to view the group photos in an hour's time, as opposed to weekly.
He also fights off Princess' efforts to selfie with him. She does that to everybody. This week she selfied with another woman rider just because she had the same Harley heated jacket liner.
The photo's not mandatory, Ed. You're a good rider and fun companion and neither of those are required to ride with us anyway. Just look around at some of the characters in our group! We hope to see you next year.
First there is one ride more: far away Cape May. Right now the weather forecast is for rain. I never believe the long range forecast unless it is good. We'll ride whatever the weather. We'll be at the shore where a salmon burger is perhaps acceptable fare.
|Fonz signs up for next season . . .|
|. . . and earned his gold rocker.|
|Matching jackets selfie.|
|Figuring the bill.|
|Never one of those bill checker pens around when you need one.|
|QEd bought a round of coffees and hot chocolates and an espresso for our one classy rider.|