We were eight. Most all the usual suspects were there, including our hardest core of John Bears. No, they do not fancy prostitutes, and I am not making any disparaging potty references. It's just that somehow three-quarters of the Connecticut Polar Bears have the same first name and that name happens to be John.
New to our group was Bart. Now there's a great riding name. Actually, it's a better cowboy name. But it does just as well for a rider, especially a Harley rider, which Bart is. I guess Bart had a favorable impression (or he is just a wild optimist) because he signed up to try and earn the coveted Polar Bear Patch.
Captain K. was definitely rusty on his pack leadership skills. Usually a very disciplined rider, you can set your cruise control to John K.'s pace. If you're like me, and do not have cruise control, well you can just spin that throttle lock tight, sit back, and enjoy the ride. (See the previous post disclaimer about reading this blog.)
We did a lot of rubber banding. Riding sweep, as I was, the effect was multiplied. We spent some much time going slow in the fast lane Winnebagos with handicapped stickers were flying by us on the right. "Go around them Mother! Dang motorcycles."
Not yielding the passing lane incensed one cager so much, this nutcase passed a slower car in the right lane by using the shoulder. That was after trying several times to break our line.
We arrived in Cape May at just about the right time. We parked close to the VFW, waited less than half-an-hour, and checked in for our PB points.
I took advantage of the extra time it took Bart to sign up to purchase some new gear from Len from MLDS.
I splurged on the new, microwire, top-o'-the-line, Gerbing T-5 heated gloves. You will have to wait for my review in a future blog. The weather on the ride home never got cold enough to even turn them on.
Seven-year-old Harley-version Gerbing leather electric gloves were my previous hand warmers. They worked only so-so. And when it got really cold, I resorted to a set of down-filled hiking mittens with a chemical heat pack under my fingers. That combo kept my fingers warm in any weather, especially when snuggled deep inside my hippo hands.
All registered and recorded we took the weekly group photo.
Actually, we did not take it. Johnny B.'s camera decided to conk out just at that moment and we had to rely upon the kindness of strangers because my little camera has no tripod mount. Still we got it done and the Connecticut Bears are recorded for whatever time the perhaps transient Internet storage offers.
We stopped in at our favorite sport bar in Cape May for lunch. As was the case last year, we were their first customers of the day. Being eight in number, they seemed happy to have us.
We started up the road to Connecticut riding as before . . . too much as before. So at the first gas stop I offered a word to the wise to our ride leader. You don't gotta ask twice with the Captain. He quickly smoothed out his ride technique.
The crazies still beat around us a bit. Eight motorcycles in staggered formation makes for a pretty long line. Most cars are gracious and stay out of our group.
Things were pretty uneventful on the ride back until Grumpy started fiddling with his EZ Pass. As we were crossing to the exit lane on 287 to catch the Merritt Parkway home, I saw the white cube take one bounce and then slide, spinning for the shoulder, ahead of my bike.
Wasn't quick enough to catch it on the fly. But I checked my mirrors, pulled hard on both brakes and dove for the shoulder. I jogged back south 50 yards and there was Grumpy's EX Pass was intact resting safely on the shoulder.
He will have to wait until this week to see if it survived the fall.
Our next ride is another long one, Lewes, Delaware. I will sneak down the day before to have dinner with the folks in Wilmington, Del. It saves me getting up early. My Mom delights in making my favorite foods. And there is sure to be scrapple for breakfast. (Last year the scrapple was not served in Lewes.)
Hopefully we will get a bit more quality time with our Flight Leaders Rich and Dave in Lewes. We always enjoy visiting with them, but they dismissively waved us off in Cape May. Something to do with a new sign-in system to manage the always crowded first ride process.
Or maybe they just did not want to hear about the Captain's blood points so early in the season.
If you want to see this post with photos, visit my mirror Polar Bear Blog: http://www.influentialcom.com/polar_bear_blog.htm