Road Name: Ccarl, Ccarl Spackler, GG
Current Ride: HD Fat boy, Zipper’s 107 Kit
Quote: A pool or a pond… The pond would be good for you.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure Domestic Tranquility, provide for the Common Defence, promote the General Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Motomaggots Skylands Ride – August 9, 2009
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If there was anything fair in this world, then new-ish Magott Mr.
Furious would get all the credit for planning and executing an excellent
ride through the improbably good roads of Northwestern NJ. But life is
not fair, and the true hero of this ride is Carl Spackler. Did Carl Spackler find an
awesome road? No. Did Carl Spackler rescue a downed Magott? Nope. Did Carl Spackler buy
lunch, dinner, and beer for all riders? Negative. What did he do to be a
Carl Spackler… just… showed… up.
You see, on Saturday afternoon the weatherman was predicting Sunday’s
conditions to be miserable. 60-80% chance of rain. Thunderstorms.
Monsoons. Mr. Furious was putting out the dismal test cancellations,
and nobody was arguing. At around dinnertime I was sitting at my laptop
in the kitchen, starting to type an agreement that the ride should be
off, when I hear the rumble of a highly worked Harley engine off on
the avenue. I think nothing of it beyond “there goes another dickhead
giving bikers a bad name.” Seconds later, the rumble gets LOUD and Mrs. SCIENCE
says “Honey, I believe you have a visitor.” Carl Spackler rolls into my driveway.
For a few moments I’m speechless. Amazed that Carl Spackler rode 4 hours to join
this ride, after he specifically said he would only do it if he could
ride with Plan B. Since Plan B had made no response about joining the
ride due to the fact that he was sequestered in his “paint booth,” my
assumption was that Carl Spackler was right out. Also, I’m in a panic because
Carl Spackler just rode 4 hours to a ride we are actively planning to cancel.
“Sorry, dude, you rode up here for nothing” was NOT a message I wanted to deliver.
Quickly, I direct Carl Spackler and Mrs SCIENCE to juggle vehicles and
make a space to get to the garage so that I can sneak off and call Mr.
Furious to tell him that Carl Spackler is here. The plan is that we will at the
very least meet up at the Chatterbox and decide there whether or not to
continue. Neither of us can bear to cancel now.
I am not joking or exaggerating the timing of these events. I was
literally typing the bagout message when Carl Spackler rolled into my driveway.
It was looking like a wet, wet ride for Sunday. Oh, well… might as
well have some fun tonight. After running some quick errands I took
Carl Spackler around the corner to our neighborhood Irish Pub .
We sat and flapped and had 4 beers each but the barmaid only
charged us for 2. $16 to drink for a few hours in town. That
would buy you ONE JWB in some Manhattan bars we go to on weeknights.
Since it was still relatively early when we walked home, Carl Spackler and I
continued yapping on my back porch (a.k.a. The Red Light District due to
having allowed a 4 year old to choose the color of the rope light
accents I put up last year). To taunt Plan B for not attending, we drank
GIN Martinis. Take that, slacker! We called it quits at a Jammer-approved 2 AM.
Morning dawned dull and cloudy with just enough hangover to let you know
you did some drinkin’ last night but not enough to be debilitating.
Weather report was still bad but I chose not to say anything about it.
The roads were wet from an overnight rain, but no precipitation
currently. I decided to wear Gore-Tex as an appeasement to the
motorcycle rain Gods, and I insisted that Carl Spackler borrow my rull
motorcycle rain suit.
Which jogs my memory to say something about the Carl Spackler Motorcycle
Touring Package. What can I say about Carl Spackler’s touring gear? How about
“it is nonexistent. ” Carl Spackler is the Anti-Scrounger. Hell, he makes Evil
Bill look like Paris-fookin’ -Hilton packing for a month on the RIviera.
Scrounger needs two saddlebags, a tankbag, a tailpack, and a goddam’
TRAILER to go for an ice cream. Carl Spackler rides from Maryland for an
overnight carrying nothing but the clothes on his back. Just boots,
jeans, a flannel shirt, a cutoff denim jacket, and (maybe) a wallet. As
is well known of Carl Spackler, he does not even carry a cell phone!
This, Magott friends, is what we call “flying without a net.”
This is not the first time that I’ve sent Carl Spackler home with my rain gear.
At SCIENCE-cade 2 years ago the ride home had crap weather and I lent him
my rain suit, which he subsequently bought from me rather than mailing
By 11 AM we are ready to roll. The plan is to meet the rest of the
Magotts at The Chatterbox on Route 15. I have to take one last peek at
the hour-by-hour weather. Hmmmm… chance of rain now holding at 20-30%.
That’s within my comfort zone for a day ride. Let’s check the doppler…
Whoa! There is only one big blob of precip that’s passing South of the
ride zone, and pretty much nothing else out to Indiana! The Moto Rain
Gods are smiling upon us!
The Chatterbox is one of those new burger joints that patterns itself
after a 1950’s car hop. It’s really well done, with a big circular
parking lot where cars (and bikes) can park face-in to the restaurant
with a huge cantilevered awning so the waitresses (on rollerskates, I
would imagine) can serve customers in the shade and without getting
rained on. When Carl Spackler and I arrive, Konrad Urban and his brandy-new
Triumph Bonneville Scrambler are already there. Within minutes JTC
(a non-Maggott friend of Mr. Furious’ wife) shows up on his Gold
Wing. He shows up along with about 20 Gold Wing trikes, half with
trailers. Lucky BOTA is not there, or he would have gone ballistic. Not
a single one of the trike-riders deploys a wheelchair. However, I do
note that as far as I could see every single one of them weighed more
than 350 pounds. Gold Wing trike riders are PLANETARY in size. This
bodes well for the quality of the food at The Chatterbox.
In short order Evil Bill, Mr. Furious, and No Nickname show up. This makes us 7
riders on the following bikes:
Konrad Urban AKA “The U-Turn” – Triumph Bonneville Scrambler
SCIENCE – Ducati 996
Carl Spackler – Harley Fat Boy Custom
JTC – Honda Gold Wing
Evil Bill – Triumph Speed Triple
Mr. Furious – Triumph Speed Triple
No Nickname – Buell Ulysses
So once again John Bloor would be proud of the Maggotts. It’s like we’re
some kind of Triumph group. “Join the maggotts; it’s OK if you don’t ride
Over lunch (paid for by Mr. Furious. Thanks!) we bring up some plans for
changing the hotel stops on Evilcade this year. Evil Bill goes all Rain
Man on us (“Change! Change! CHANGE!!! changechangechange. ..”) but I
think the idea of stopping in Front Royal VA for the first night is a
great idea. Food at the Chatterbox is classic Americana. Burger and
Chili Dogs and… fried clam strips? Attempting to match Carl Spackler’s act of
heroism, two of the Magotts order and eat eat the fried clams. This is
truly taunting the Moto Food Poisoning Gods, especially since Scrounger
is not on the ride with his “Popeil’s Pocket Stomach Pump” kit. I opt to
have the Chili Dog since the ride will end at the famous Hot Dog
Johnny’s restaurant and I want to compare quality.
As we set out on the ride the weather holds: Grey, overcast, wisps of
fog but no rain. It will stay that way for the entire ride. I’ll GLADLY
take that over rain any day. The route and the roads were excellent. Mr.
Furious REALLY knows his Sussex County roads. Twisty, rolling roads
with smooth pavement and no traffic. I know roads like this in NJ, but
it amazes even me that you can come across ones that you never knew
about after all these years.
We start by looping around and through Stokes State Forest. I think
there would have been beautiful panoramic views if we could see anything
other than clouds. We stopped for a view on the top of Sunrise Mountain,
where there was nothing to see. There *was* a story told in the asphalt
though. In a trail leading to a parking spot: Receipt from Bottle King
for Coors Light; mostly empty ziplock baggie containing remnants of some
sort of herbacious material; small square wrapper labeled “Ramses”; not
one but TWO used (yech!) contents of said Ramses wrapper. Whoo-hoo!
Somebody had a two-fer! Unfortunately the Maggotts do not rise to the
challenge. In the old days of the Maggotts, when we were young and bold,
there is a 100% chance that one of those used condoms would have ended
up stashed in Biff’s or Stork’s bike luggage.
Next stop is High Point State Park. We get there via a 20-minute blast
down a perfectly paved, perfectly graded ONE WAY road through Stokes.
It’s like the Nurburgring in NJ! An amazing (if narrow) road through a
canopy of trees. Even the faint threads of fog add to the atmosphere,
giving us the feeling that we are the only people for a hundred miles.
Fog acts as a sound damper, which makes it really cool to crack the
silence with the sound of a well-tuned carbon fiber exhaust (did I call
Carl Spackler a dick for his loud pipes before? “Always forbidden, sometimes
required” in my book). At High Point we stop and turn around because
unanimous vote required that we NOT pay any money to ride to a lookout
and see clouds. $5 per motorcycle to enter High Point. No thanks. We’ll
go there in the fall when it’s free.
Next stop is the Laton (Laten?) Inn, after the only bad stretch of road
on the whole ride. By “bad” I mean the kind of road you do NOT want to
ride a Ducati 996 on. It was like someone had a half-assed plan to
repair broken pavement and they just made it worse. The result is
relentless potholes and speed bumps. The kind that run right through the
overly harsh Ducati suspension and straight to your nuts. On the 996,
you always end up sitting tight to the tank. The sharp, hard steel tank.
This is probably good for locking in on the bike in turn #3 at Laguna,
but it puts a good portion of your body weight on your gonads. Now
imagine hitting the tank with a sledgehammer. Ouch.
The Laton (Laten?) is one of those local old-man’s bars. Sorta like the
Black Bear on Route 50 in Deep Creek (but nicer, ’cause it’s in NJ
:-). Perfect spot for a stop to rest and have one beer. Was I the only
one who wondered if having a beer while riding with a POLICE OFFICER is
maybe not such a good idea? I do not thing that J T C partook of
The final stop was Hot Dog Johnnies on Route 46 in Buttzville. We
made it there around 4 PM after a very nice stretch of road along the
Delaware River. Hot Dog Johnnies IS what The Chatterbox emulates. It’s
an old-skool road food stand. There is no indoor seating. The stand
itself is miniscule, with 5 or 6 employees working elbow-to elbow
inside. They serve one thing: Hot Dogs. You can get them with mustard,
ketchup, pickles, relish, or onions. No cheese, no chili, no kraut,
nothing. Oh, and they are cooked in peanut oil which I *think* means
they are deep fried! And they are GOOD. Pure America. Eat two and you
will vote Republican for the next week. This kind of place seems to
attract car and bike people. There are two (maybe 3!) street rods parked
there when we arrive. Carl Spackler and I examine the 1934 roadster with the
partially exposed big block (engine looks to be very early big block
too). These are not fancy-painted show rods. Nor are they rat-rods. They
are well kept but plain, and look like their owner takes them out on a
regular basis. There are some 1960’s muscle cars and a whole bunch of
other bikes too.
After 40 minutes or so it comes time to leave. The Maggotts head off in
different directions. We send Carl Spackler down Rte. 31 to I-78 West so he can
get back to Maryland through Allentown, Harrisburg, York, and Baltimore
via I-83. Evil Bill will take I-287 to the Garden State Parkway to get
to the Jersey Shore. I go home on I-80, and the rest take local roads
since they’re closer to home.
Thanks to Mr. Furious for planning and execution, Konrad Urban for riding
sweep, and Carl Spackler for rescuing us from bagging out!
Declaration of Independence:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Benelli 12 guage; 3 and-a-half inch chamber