The Perfect Storm: Laconia 2006

By SCIENCE

Maggots at Laconia 2006: The Perfect Storm

I’m trying to think what could have made this week’s trip to Laconia a
more complete maggot biker trip. The total trip lasted almost exactly 48
hours for me. I left my house with Scrounger at around 6:30 PM on Sunday
night, and returned to my driveway at 6 PM on Tuesday. 47 and ½ hours.
About the only thing missing was the flashing of boobies, which I’m sure
we would have experienced if we’d stuck around another few hours.

It wasn’t so much that any one thing that happened on this trip was the
best ever. It was the sheer amount of cool stuff that happened in such a
short period of time. It was like concentrated motorcycle fun, freebased
and injected into the main moto vein.

The Riding

I must say that the riding was not the high point of this trip, largely
because of the short timeframe. To have any time at all up in NH, we
needed to A) leave in the dark which eliminates the use of good roads,
and B) really hump it on the highway coming home. So we mostly rode
highways up and back.

BOTA, Scrounger, MJ, and I met at a rest area near his house. I had
two near accidents on the way. One rear wheel lockup when traffic halted
suddenly due to an accident up ahead (chopper ahead of me was not so
lucky), one panic stop at walking speed in the rest area to avoid the
idiot who opened his car door directly in front of me. Matt was running
late and I hustled him onto the road promising we could get food at the
rest area. Tcha! If’n you consider Pringles and Beef Jerky “food!” Matt
discovered my exaggeration and we had a dinner of beef jerky, Pringles,
and Red Bull.

Scrounger also had a bathroom experience when the guy on line in front of him
turned out to be mentally handicapped. At the urinal he dropped trou all
the way to his ankles (u-trou included, so he’s bare-assed), and
proceeded to dance in a semicircle and hose down the walls while
mumbling and singing the way certain people with… “issues”  do.
“Mmmnanmmanarghmaaaahamannna nnnnhhhh mhmhmamm”

Saw many weirdos pulling in and out We ended up chatting with this
guy on a GSXR who we witnessed doing a U-turn by standing next to the
bike, putting down the kickstand, levering both wheels of the ground and
pivoting the bike on the kickstand (must have left quite a divot in the
pavement). Hundreds of K9 cop SUVs. Guy with a 300 pound girlfriend on the
back of his ZX-10. Minivan lost a wheel pulling off the highway. My God!
The shit that goes on in a Westchester rest area on Sunday night!

Eventually MJ is the last to arrive at almost 9 PM, and she demands to
guzzle a coffee so it’s after 9 and pitch dark when we leave.

…and it’s getting cold. And we’re dressed for summer, mostly.

By the time we’re nearing the Massachusetts border it feels like Moscow
in winter. I keep on flashing images of Gay Phil getting hypothermia on
the way to Americade. BOTA is the lead rider, and he mercifully pulls
off about 5 miles from the MA border. Just like Gay Phil, we all just
park on the shoulder at the end of the off ramp. Everyone is shaking
uncontrollably, but all we can think of is the need to find a bar to
warm up and get a beer. Of course it’s near midnight on a Sunday night
in East Buttfuck CT, near the border with MA, a state notorious for it’s
puritan ethics and blue laws. I’m thinking NFW we’re going to find a
bar, and I say as much but BOTA will not be deterred.

A cop stops to ask if we’re OK. Nice seeming guy, but we don’t have the
guts to ask him where we can find a bar. That’d be just ASKING to be
breathalyzed.

Instead, we go to the next exit to gas up. We’re at the gas station 2
minutes when something like 20 Suzukis show up, mostly Hayabusas (eat
your heart out, Steve Sober!). These aren’t just any Hayabusas. They’re
the most customized freakin’ sportbikes I’ve ever seen! Chrome
everywhere, extended swingers (chrome, of course). They are so amazing
we all take pictures (see the maggot picture section). The riders are
all Columbian or some other kind of Central-American. I’m ready for BOTAs
head to explode but he keeps it under control. They are freezing their
asses off as well, and shared biker misery deserves a temporary truce.

I ask the attendant about a local bar, and she gives directions to the
last exit in CT that seem pretty simple. BOTA takes off and he’s a
Man on a Mission for Beer. I think we blew by the bars, which were right
at the exit like the lady said but hiding inside a hotel complex. We
boom up Route 20 for 15-20 minutes before giving up and turning around.
The consensus is that we should find a “full service hotel” (Baynard’s
words, code for a Marriott, where he is a point whore). The logic is
that a “full service hotel” will have a bar. A bar that is open at 1 AM
on a Sunday in Massachusetts.

Yeah, right. In the middle of nowhere, in Central MA. The nearest city
is Worcester. At some point on the Mass Pike I say screw this and take
the lead. I’m figuring we’re less than 40 minutes from Marlborough,
which has a couple of advantages as a place to stop. First, it’s where
MS Streets & Trips suggested as a stopping place for a 3 hour ride out
of the rest area in Westchester, and second I worked for a company in
that town and know there is an Embassy Suites. So I charge ahead hoping
the rest won’t be too pissed at me.

It turned out to be not too far, and after a false stop at the shithole
Newberry Suites set up as a decoy next door we got ourselves a room at
the Embassy Suites.

A Night at the Embassy

And the bar is… closed! Actually it doesn’t even technically exist. It’s
just a kiosk in the middle of the common area. No surprises there. It’s
1 AM. Luckily, when I emailed MJ and told her to bring Gentleman Jack
Bourbon she took me literally and did just that. We Love MJ day is
declared, and even the guys who don’t really like Bourbon split the
bottle evenly and we put Gentleman Jack to a quick and painless death.

There is no food except for the little convenience kitchen behind the
lobby, so we do a late dinner of peanuts, granola bars, potato chips,
and chocolate. By the time we’re done the table is covered in a muddy
mixture of melted ice and crushed peanut shells. The night cleaning dude
is glaring at us with menace in his eyes, just below the surface veneer
of the violent mentally handicapped. At around 2:30 AM the desk clerk
comes out to tell us that we have to go to bed because the bar is closed
now. What? WHAT? We briefly consider resistance (next days headline:
“Bikers trash Embassy Suites, suspected Pokes involvement”), but the
bottle is empty and we have no more booze so there’s no real point in
defiance. Plus she was polite and nice to us.

New Hampshire International Speedway

The next morning we partake of the free breakfast and get on our way
with directions on a back way into NH from the locals. Scenic but mostly
straight roads. We stop just north of Manchester NH at one of those
massive New Hampshire alcoholic rest areas. Since NH has no income tax
and gets a large part of it’s revenue from selling booze at low low
prices to out-of-staters, they put big liquor stores right on the major
highways the way other states put in information & rest areas. It’s kind
of freaky but very convenient and very cheap. We each buy a bottle of
some kind of super-premium liquore:

BOTA – Johnny Walker Black Label
Scrounger – Elijah Craig 18 year old Bourbon
SCIENCE– The Macallan 10 year old Fine Oak Aged Singel Malt Scotch Whiskey
MJ – more Elijah Craig 18 y.o. Bourbon

For future reference, we did not get enough. Next time… TWO bottles each.

At the checkout line:

Some lady: “I’m from California and I don’t know this area. Do they not
sell alcohol in supermarkets here?”

Me: “I’m from New Jersey so I can’t say anything about NH supermarkets,
but stock up bee-otch, because it’s cheap to get drunk here in the
Granite State!”

A call to Evil Bill get’s us locked in with terminal guidance to NH
International Speedway (aka Loudon). 30 minutes later and $20 poorer
(each!) we have infield passes and re-unite with Evil.

We spend about 3 hours watching the vintage races and watching the
spectators of the vintage races. This is where all the skinny, sinewy
looking biker chicks come, apparently. There are hardly any fat biker
chicks like there are all over Daytona. These are the serious ones who
ride their own vintage BMW boxers go. In 20 years MJ will be one of them.

The vintage races include all kinds of classes. They’re only 8 laps, so
we see two strokes, four strokes, and sidecars of all description on the
track. Our viewing position is excellent, on the infield at the fence 10
feet from the edge of the chicane and steep uphill. The highlight is
definitely the sidecar rigs. The sidecar race we saw must have been some
BMW class, because it was all BMW airheads that looked to be at least
Korean War era. Watching the monkeys crawl over the bikes was amazing!
The monkeys had sliders sewn into the shoulders and elbows of their
leathers, and they needed them! The coolest one was this one girl-monkey
in spiderman leathers who would hang her whole torso off the edge of the
sidecar, with her helmet skimming an inch off the pavement. For some
reason, most of the monkeys were girls. (FYI “monkey” is the term for
the passenger in a sidecar race. They have a job just as important as
the person at the controls. Without the monkey crawling all over the
bike and hanging off at every turn the sidecar would flip over)

At some point we meet Evil’s son AJ on his café-style Norton Commando
that he restored himself, along with his friend who I can’t recall his
name but we’ll just refer to him as “the guy on the Cro-Magnon chopper.”
The Cro-Magnon chopper is a real Old Skool Triumph chopper that AJ built
for him. It’s a chopper in the original sense. A hardtail with
everything nonessential stripped off of it. It’s raw and spare, with
twin Amal bell mouths sticking out behind the rider’s knees to suck in
unsuspecting sparrows. Who needs air cleaners? Those are for chumps with
prissy modern fuel-injected motors that can’t handle a little road grit.
It turns out that AJ is not going to race because there was a problem
with the Norton Manx he was going to ride, that problem being that the
bike wasn’t even there in NH. Shame. Would’ve loved to have seen that.

Before we leave, Evil gets us the contact information for the “Love
Shack,” the hotel that AJ’s friends are staying at. It’s only 15 minutes
from Weirs Beach, which is much closer than our backup Holiday Inn in
Concord. We call, and they have a 2-bedroom cabin available for us, so
we take it. That’s where Evil and his son will be after the races
anyway, so it seems like a good plan.

Weir’s Beach & Vicinity

Weir’s is the Laconia equivalent of Main Street Daytona. In other words,
the main clusterfuck where all the weirdo’s go to see and be seen. It’s
Monday, first day of bike week and we are amazingly lucky to find some
spots right on Weir’s, thus avoiding the $10 parking fees that
enterprising locals charge for you to use their driveway.

There are tents and vendors everywhere, and they’re still just setting
up! The usual complement of t-shirt, patch, do-rag, and fringe chap
crap, along with chopper builders, pinstripers, etc. Yes, we’ve seen it
all before but it’s still fun!

Two vendors in particular to note: One was Dixie Choppers. Not what you
think. This guy makes custom ZTR lawnmowers (like the kind you see
Hispanics riding doing lawnwork at office buildings). They are
advertised as the fastest mowers in the world, and I believe it. They
sell a JET engine powered one (picture on yahoogroups)!

The other was a vendor of concealed carry motorcycle wear. Jackets,
vests, and chaps designed with special pockets for handguns. Scrounger
is in heaven! He looks at this chest-wrap thing meant to be worn under a
t-shirt to hold a gun. The vendor tells him that it will securely hold a
Desert Eagle. Matt is skeptical, and the vendor immediately offers to
bet him $20 that Matt can do jumping jacks with a Desert Eagle strapped
on via this device. Where are we going to get a Desert Eagle to test
this out? Why right here (vendor whips out a case with a Desert Eagle
and 3 other variously sized handguns).

Meanwhile, I pick something up from the table and try it on. A set of
brass knuckles. I say “hey, check out the brass knuckles!” The vendor
pounces on me, a little bit pissed off sounding: “That’s a BELT BUCKLE.
Not brass knuckles. A belt buckle.” Oh, I get it. And this is a “water
pipe” for smoking tobacco. Sure, whatever keeps you out of jail.

For a while we ended up at an impromptu outdoor bar set up near the end
of the clusterfuck, sucking down beers and listening to the band warm
up. Ah, relaxation!

On Politeness

This whole concealed carry vendor is Scrounger’s cue to go all NRA on
us. He starts in with the “an armed society is a polite society” thing.
The next day on the ride home from NH we get to see this philosophy in
action. Somewhere North of Manchester but South of Concord we encounter
a F250 pulling a box trailer driving hard, probably with a case of
incipient road rage. He was pre-pissed, and he didn’t like how we were
only doing 80 in the fast lane. Some lane jockeying ensued, and I will
admit that while trying to maintain group cohesion I *rudely* cut the
guy off. Mea culpa.

Luckily, “an armed society is a polite society.” F250 guy politely took
out his pistol and pointed it at me to politely demonstrate that I had
been rude. I demonstrate that “an oblivious person is a happy person”
because I wasn’t looking and didn’t even see it. I bet my non-reaction
made him even more polite in a handgun-toting kind of way, so that he
would show me that “a perforated motorcyclist is an even MORE polite
motorcyclist,” but Matt intervened and motioned like crazy for me to get
the fuck off the road, where he explained to me that I had been getting
a lesson in politeness, NRA style. Yikes and double yikes!

On Hooters

It’s worth noting that one of the most awesome racks I’ve ever seen in
person was on this girl who was out promoting some kind of bare knuckle
fight thing. To give you an idea of how we were barely scratching the
surface of the Laconia experience, this bikini-top clad 21 year old with
massive tattoos and spectacular breasts was handing out flyers for an
event where (I think) you could go and enter into a no-holds-barred bare
knuckle unsanctioned UWF style one on one bar brawl, or just pay to
watch the guys beat each other to a pulp. Scrounger convinced her to let
him take a picture, and it should be posted shortly to yahoogroups.

The Anchorage

A.K.A. the “Love Shack,” is indeed on the lake just 15 minutes south of
Weir’s. It’s a little hard to find since it’s not lit up at this hour,
and we have to pull over and ring them once to be sure we didn’t miss
it. We rode to it after a nice dinner in a steak house on the lake just
outside of Weir’s. By the time we finished dinner it was pushing 10 PM
and pitch dark.

When we get in, Scrounger goes ballistic because it’s not up to his
Marriott point-whore standards. The words “shithole” and “Norman Bates”
are spoken. Ungrateful bastard! YOU find a better place at this hour
sight unseen. Plus we’re here because Evil Bill and his friends are
here. Plus it’s actually not bad. It’s just an old cottage resort of the
1960’s style. The cottages are old and creaky and uneven, but they’re
clean and quaint too.

After unpacking we set out for cottage #4, where Evil’s friends are.
Evil and AJ are long gone, and I think these guys are a little surprised
and puzzled at the motley strangers who just show up and barge in on
them as they’re preparing to go to bed. The only guy there who might
even vaguely remember us is the Cro Magnon bike guy, who only met us for
like 5 minutes 9 hours ago. Meanwhile we’re just pulling up chairs at
their picnic table, slamming down glasses of Bourbon and making
ourselves at home like some weird Saturday Night Live sketch. It was
like “Hi, we’re Bill King’s friends and we’re here to invade your
private space for the next 4 to 6 hours.”

Cro Magnon guy was nice and quickly warmed up to us. He shared his
herbal relaxant supply with us right off the bat, which is a sure sign
of hospitality in any situation. The other guy, whom I can’t even recall
his name so I’ll call him Cranky Moustache Dude seemed less happy. I
think he wanted to go to bed, and he tried to give us the hint a couple
of times but we completely ignored him, like he was speaking a foreign
language. Sort of like this:

Moustache guy: “Yep, it is indeed getting late. Isn’t Joe Blow asleep
already?”
Maggot: “I think you’re correct. I do need to freshen the ice in my
Bourbon.”
Moustache guy: (gives resigned look)

Scrounger kept on buddying up to moustache guy. Matt wanted to chat him
up about his (moustache guy’s) Honda VFR. This was sort of good, since
moustache guy was apparently a super psycho VFR fan, but he wouldn’t
tolerate anything short of “The VFR is the best bike in the history of
the universe and all other parallel universes.”

The funny thing is that by 3 AM there was a gradual but complete
turnaround in moustache guy. He ended up totally off his bean, which is
surprising because I only saw him drink 3 beers and not partake of the
herbal relaxant. By the end he’s tossing flaming javelins all around the
cottage common area (which is as big as a football field) and holding
said flaming javelin as a torch to inpect everybody’s bare toes. When we
finally turned in for the night, HE was the one trying to keep the party
going!

MJ demonstrated her ability to do cartwheels. Real, honest to god,
full-layout cartwheels. Three times. This demonstration made me jealous
of her amazing athletic ability, until the next day on the ride home
when she was hobbling around groaning like a 90-year-old ready for their
second round of hip replacement. Yeah, you can cartwheel, but you PAID
for it dearly J The things we’re willing to do when drunk.

Speaking of toes… This next part is one of those things that could only
be truly experienced in person. I’m going to try my best to relate it to
you. This little show alone would have made the entire Laconia trip
worth it:

After maybe an hour or two of Scrounger torturing Cro Magnon guy and
Moustache guy with poop and fart jokes, Cro Magnon goes to bed but a new
guy wakes up and stumbles out. He is the owner of the Porsche Boxster
parked next to their cabin, and he is the QUINTISSENTIAL Porsche guy.
He’s a wiry guy with the same haricut as me J of an age somewhere
between us and Evil Bill. There is the faintest whiff of arrogant
blowhard about him, but then again everybody in Westchester County NY
has that. He can’t be too bad because he rides a Ducati 900ss-sp (the
same as my red Ducati from a few years back). He comes out while Rich
and MJ had gone back to our cottage to pick up a second bottle of The
Prophet Elijah (Craig). When they return, this guy homes in on MJ like a
bloodhound. He is all over her, chatting her up and asking her opinions
on stock market conditions because she “works on Wall St.”

We know this guy’s name, because he gave MJ his card. Not a business
card, mind you, since it just has his name and contact info. This is is
pickup chicks card J He is [REDACTED]. We’ll call him “Smooooth
Operator,” or maybe just “Mr. Smooooth” for short.

Watching Mr. Smooooth put his ladykilling moves on MJ was a wonder to
behold. And by “a wonder,” I mean it made me, Bota, and Scrounger
cringe. Are horny men like this all the time? Yikes!

Some of Mr. Smooooth’s lines:

Scrounger tells inevitable poop joke. MJ snickers. Mr. Smooth: “Oh, MJ,
you have such a lovely laugh.” WHAT?!?!?!?! The three male maggots
stopped dead like we had the wind knocked out of us. Have you HEARD MJ
laugh? I point this out because apparently MJ knows that she has a laugh
that is more of cross between a snort and the sound of a truck’s
compression brake. It’s a solid Brooklyn laugh to be proud of. No girlie
giggle or polite titter for MJ. It’s a heaty guffaw and she knows it.
With this one line, Mr. Smooooth didn’t just put his foot in his mouth,
he kicked himself in the teeth. Over and over again.

From now on, everyone must remember to remind MJ that she has a lovely
laugh.

At some point, and I don’t know how this happened because it was getting
fukin’ cold, MJ must have taken her boots off because Mr. Smooooth got a
look at her feet and uttered another priceless one: “MJ, you have
beautiful feet.” This is not only heinously untrue (again, no offense MJ
– later on she showed her feet to the rest of us, and they are feet
beaten up by years of snowboard boots & scuba flippers. Honestly,
they’re a total mess!), it also demonstrated a possible frightening foot
fetish on the part of Mr. Smooooth.

So, if you should ever see MJ’s feet, think of Mr. Smooooth.

As far as the barefoot thing goes, I’m not sure if this tied in to
Moustache guy too. We had moved to the campfire area because Scrounger
had gotten it into his head that we needed a campfire, after midnight.
Cro Magnon and Moustache scoffed, saying there was no way he could start
a decent fire, but the rest of us knew that when a Redneck wants a
campfire, there is gonna be a goddamned campfire even if it means
punching a Leatherman through the gas tank on Mr. Smooooth’s Boxster to
get a quart of accelerant. By the time we moved over to the fire
Moustache Guy was losing his mind and had sharpened a 4-foot tomato
plant stake in the coals. He was lighting it on fire and throwing it
like a javelin, then lighting it up again to use as a torch to inspect
everyone’s bare feet. I don’t know if this is what started the bare feet
thing. Probably not. MJ probably took off her boots because motorcycle
boots suck for walking and hurt like hell after 18 hours. I think
Moustache Guy was doing his foot inspection to mock his friend, Mr.
Smooooth.

Oh, and that fire. Where did the wood come from? Only Scrounger and Bota
know for sure, but there was at least one creosote-soaked railroad tie,
and some lumber (possibly pressure treated). In other words, it was a
witches-brew of toxic wood providing mutagenic smoke for us to breath.
It was a damn good campfire. Lucky we had no marshmallows, or we’d be in
the toxic care ward of Laconia regional medical center for sure.

Also, there were toys all over the place. Rollerblades. Kid’s bicycles.
Ride on toys for toddlers. Lots of toys, no children. Like there was
some kind of ghost-kid children of the corn thing going on. Baynard
“found” a mountain bike and proceeded to ride it all over the field and
down the hills (the field was like a big bowl, with the cabins on the
rim and a steep slope down to the campfire area). Between the mountain
bike and Moustache Guy’s javelin, the fact that nobody was injured is
remarkable.

There was more stuff that night, but that’s what I can remember at this
point.

The Road Home

Other than the pistol lesson in politeness, uneventful. As stated
before, MJ paid the price for cartwheels and moaned a bit. Scrounger
demonstrated that we should just go for the Saddlesore 1000 and not try
to stretch it to 1500 because he did some moaning himself, with a mere
550 mile day.

Things we learned

  • SCIENCE sounds like Darth Vader when he sleeps
  • MJ can do cartwheels when she’s drunk
  • Rich will now drink Johnny Walker Black, not just white wine
  • I have a new religious guru, The Prophet Elijah Craig
  • Scrounger is never fukin’ satisfied with the beer at dinner. Special
    sauce, anyone?
  • MJ has a lovely laugh and beautiful feet
  • You too can own a Cro Magnon chopper, send $7,000 to Evil Bill’s son
  • You can be thrown out of a bar that doesn’t actually exist
  • BOTA is still glued to his blackberry, even while “between jobs”
  • Raingear will double as a windbreaker in a pinch on a cold New England night
  • A 750 ml bottle of any type of whisky, when split 4 ways, provides the
    perfect drunk