Pagancade July 2006

Here is an OLD one…

MJ found Pagancade to be a fun time because it incorporated two of her
favorite sports: motorcycles and scuba.

For those who did not attend, the weather taunted us Friday and
Saturday. On Friday I knew it was going to rain but I rode in to a
meeting in lower Manhattan anyway because I figured that it would be
cool to meet MJ and ride out. Errrrrmmmm… it was cool, in the sense
that motorcycles give you the remarkable chance to experience heat
stroke and hypothermia all within 30 minutes. It was damn hot and humid,
and I was wearing business casual under my mesh jacket. That means
cotton chinos and an oxford shirt. They’re not waterproof. They’er
water-absorbant… They’re SUUUUUPER absorbant (as used in hospitals).

We did some lane-splitting to make good time out of The City, until we
came upon a cop and I wussed out and refused to lane split past The
Man. Before hitting the Holland Tunnel it rained on us hard for maybe
5-10 minutes, giving us about a 60% drenching. MJ made some comment that
we’d probably be dry by the time we got halfway to my house, and she was
right! Unfortunately, in the last 5 miles the skies opened up again and
gave us a total 110% drenching. How can it be that my sneakers are
porous enough to allow the water *in* but waterproof enough to prevent
the water from draining *out*?

Scrounger was already at my house. Inside. Hmmmm… Terry’s not there
and I’m sure I locked it that morning. How did he get in? Apparently
picking locks is part of Scrounging skillz. Keep an eye on that one. I
had to go pick up the kids from summer camp and day care since Terry was
running late. MJ and Scrounger hung out and mixed mojitos at my place.
When I got back, the contents of my fridge are spilled out in a
semicircle around Scrounger as he gorges himself on leftover stuffed
shells and Cluck-U chicken. The fool! Can anybody see a Scrounger
Stomach Incident on it’s way?

MJ, Scrounger, and I (along with the rest of my family) did dinner at
Arthur’s because Bota, Evil, and Steve were running way late. Ccarl was
out of the picture with a dead BPM Custom, which I’m sure we will be
hearing more about in the weeks to come 🙁

That night we rode through spitting rain to my buddy’s house in
Morristown for some Martinis (mmmmmm… goood!) and to park the bikes so
that the cops wouldn’t see us saddling up immediately after closing a
bar. We tried to convince my buddy’s yoga instructor to meet us for the
Saturday ride on his road king so that we could have “virtual Stork”
with us, and he agreed but later bagged when he saw the weather.

The Magotts ended up at The Dark Room in Morristown for drinks. This is
a dive bar in the basement of one of the commercial buildings in M’town.
Its the kind of place where you need to tie your shoelaces tight so that
you don’t end up leaving a sneaker stuck to the floor if you stand in
one spot for too long. It’s also cheap, which means that all the
Farleigh Dickinson and Drew Univ. students hang out there on Friday
nights. Drinks are cheap, and we took advantage of that. Scrounger had a
girl call him a pervert and nobody argued with her. We left at about 1
AM to go to the upscale V Bar at Valentino’s across the street.
Apparently upscale places close early because it was after last call.
Bummer… or lucky for us since Scrounger, Steve, and I were teetering
on the edge of danger.

The next morning I woke up with that “dodged a bullet” feeling where you
KNOW that if you had drank one more martini you would be nursing a
vicious hangover. It’s that feeling where you have just a teensy
headache and your stomach is queezy but not in danger of puking. Well,
maybe Scrounger didn’t dodge that bullet. It kind of winged him. OK,
maybe more like a flesh wound. A deep flesh wound. He looked like hell.
Pale and sweating profusely. He stumbled out of the bagel shop during
breakfast and sat on a milk crate nibbling his bagel. When time came to
leave he begged off and went back home to his house to pick up a dose of
his super duper stomach paralyzing medication. The plan was for him to
meet us 1/3 of our way on our route, at Port Jervis NY. This seemed like
a big problem on Scrounger’s part, and I had definite feelings that he
might bag out on us since he looked like death. However, it turned out
to be a ride-saver, the reasons for which I will relate to you now.

Up to that point it had been grey and humid but dry. Steve, Bota, MJ,
and I set out on our route. About an hour into the ride we got our first
drenching. 15 minutes of strong rain, followed by another 15 of pissing
rain. It was the kind of rain that you’d ride through if you had to, but
if you were planning a ride for pleasure you’d bag out. We pushed
through, dried off a little once it stopped, and pulled into a gas
station for soda and palaver. While their it poured again for about 10
minutes, but the skies started looking lighter so the consensus was to
push on.

When I say “consensus” I mean that the experienced bikers had no problem
going on and had to convince (browbeat) the Newbie to keep going. The
plan was to ride the 30 minutes to High Point and contact Scrounger to
see where he was and make a decision. 5 minutes out the skies REALLY
opened up on us. It was the kind of rain that causes smart riders to
pull over under a bridge until it slows up. I was leading, and I’m not a
smart rider. In my head I was going “Fuck this. When we stop the magotts
are going to want to turn back, so there’s no fucking way I’m stopping
before I at least reach High Point.” At one point I saw a gas station
that I was pretty sure was the last one before High Point, maybe 10
minutes short. I considered stopping but that voice was in my head. A
few minutes later the rain got bad enough that even I was figuring I’d
made a mistake. The other magotts made no such mistake, because it was
around that point that I noticed they were no longer behind me. From
that point on I rode a little stupid, going fast because I couldn’t get
any wetter, and the wind helped to clear the water from my visor.

Mother Nature is a cruel bitch, and no sooner did I reach the parks
service building at High Point when the sun came out! Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck!
Bota had left me a VM, and I called him back. He filled me in on what I
had suspected. They were at that gas station 10-15 minutes back. Steve
was flapping, babbling something about “Plan B” and stopping at a motel
for the night and cracking open the bottle of Vox Vodka he had in his
saddlebags. I’ve got news for you, Steve: there was no way in Hell we
were going to get a motel. At the very worst, Plan B would involve
turning back to the Humble Pagan Abode. I do NOT get a motel 50 miles
from my own house no matter how much rain. Motel was Plan C, in case of
zombie outbreak or something similar.

While I waited for them to calm Steve down, I called Scrounger. He’d
taken his meds and was feeling much better. He was going to hit the road
right away and meet us at Port Jervis still. He also checked the doppler
for us, and it was looking clear to the West on the 600 mile radar. With
Scrounger on the road, we had no choice but to proceed. Scrounger’s weak
tummy became our whip to keep us riding when we might have turned around.

Lucky we did. The weather held into Hawley PA and the Wurst Haus. This
is the best part of the ride, through Hawk’s Nest and the Delawere River
ride. That route is my local equivalent of the Red Rocks Route in WV,
but in reverse. High Point and Hawk’s Nest are a lot like that twisty
road up the mountain on Rte. 50, and Rte. 97 along the Delawere is like
the fast sweepers along the Youghigany (sp?) where the actual red rocks
are. The weather held out, with enough sun to dry me out by the time we
reached the Wurst Haus to meet up with Scrounger.

Over a lunch of Deusche delicacies the magotts tried to sooth Steve
after his traumatic wet ride. I got the feeling that he was 3/4 of the
way to being cured of any desire to own a street bike. He *wanted* to
flap, but wasn’t going to risk the taunting.

After lunch we hit Baer Harley Davidson (one mile away) to ogle the ’07
rides and so that MJ could buy a new thong to replace the soaking wet
ones that were causing her to walk around like a toddler with a load in
the diaper. Unfortunately, Baer was fresh out of HD logo thongs and she
had to get a pair of men’s boxers (size XS). Complaints were lodged with
the owner, who said it was because his employees steal them to wear on
the outside of their clothes.

Finally we turned an rode home, uneventfully except for one spot where
it looked like the skies would open up again. This time we pulled over
and suited up in raingear (even Steve). Of course, since Mother Nature
has a sick sense of humor it turned out to be a false alarm.

Once back at the HPA I assessed the weather and pronounced it too crappy
to try to set up the LCD projector in the back yard. Instead we had our
chili in the house and watched The World’s Fastest Indian in my TV room.
This really pissed me off because I was figuring the outdoor movie with
firepit and tiki torches going would really “make” Pagancade. Oh well.
The movie is excellent. Very bikerly and yet accessible to non-bikers.
Rent it ASAP.

Afterwards we retired to the garage to drink and flap. By Sunday AM the
toll of dead soldiers included 2 bottles of Johnny Walker Black, 1
bottle of Bullet Bourbon, 2 bottles of Forty Creet Barrel Select
Canadian Whiskey, and significant damage to a big bottle of rum. Not bad
for 5 1/2 magotts. There may have been other forms of intoxicant
consumed, or there may not have been (thanks, Steve!). Scrounger was
very generous with the Ceee-gars as well.

So in a nutshell the weather was crap but we made the best of it. If
it’s true that you remember the rides that have some hardship longer
than the perfect rides, then this one should be remembered for a while.

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