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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday on a Motorcycle Trike

I'm thankful that I have at least one day a week during the New Jersey winter when I can take a ride on my motorcycle. Of course, my motorcycle is now a motorcycle trike and that ride is to one of the destinations on the Polar Bear Grand Tour.

I look forward to these rides since I take all the pictures and videos to update the Web site each week. I created that Web site myself back in 1996 when the Internet was new. This is my twelfth year of updating the site and I've taken, processed, and published over 6000 pictures of Polar Bear activities. In recent years I've begun publishing short videos each week as well.

The ride last Sunday was to the Exchange, a restaurant in Rockaway, NJ. Now it just so happens that my son lives less than five miles from there in Boonton. Jane and I thought that it might be nice to add an overnight visit to our son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren to precede the Polar Bear sign-in. So we rode up on Saturday afternoon.

It was a 75 mile ride to our son's house. He lives in a wooded, secluded area north of Route 80. We pulled up to the front door, blew the weak Gold Wing horns and out popped three male grandkids all under the age of 10. Of course, we were dressed in our finest black apparel with heated vests and gloves and Nolan flip-up full-face helmets. The helmet colors matched the color of the trikes. We pretty much looked like a cross between Darth Vader and the Frankenstein monster to Jordan, Jayson, and Ian but our voices gave us away as they shouted in unison, "Hi Grandma and Poppy. Can we go for a ride?"

"Later," I said. We had promised them that we would take each of them for a short ride up and down their extensive driveway sometime before we left. But right now, we were too tired for that.

Our other son also came up with his wife and our granddaughter, Andi Jaye, 2. We were also going to kinda celebrate a milestone birthday of mine. Andi would not be getting a motorcycle ride.

We pulled the trikes over into their 3-car garage and left them for the night.

We had a great visit with the family and a good night's sleep.

The next day we planned to ride to the Polar Bear destination at Rockaway starting out at 10:45 a.m. We got all the gear on and I backed my trike out of the garage to try to program my GPS with the destination. Now, it was only five miles away over a simple course but I wanted to try to setup the route anyway. First off, I couldn't get a satellite signal in the isolated area surrounded by trees. Then when I tried to enter the address of the Exchange, it accepted the town and the street number, but it balked on the street name and proceeded to freeze up. I tried it again and got the same result. I rebooted the GPS and got the same result. Even the map would just sit there and jiggle back and forth. All the usual GPS controls also stopped working. After five minutes of this, Jane was on my case so I just forgot about the GPS and rode over to the destination with no problem getting there.

When I arrived, the GPS was still not working. One of my buddies suggested I pull out the internal card and reinsert it. That did nothing. It still wouldn't work.

We signed-in and I took my usual pictures and videos. After about an hour, we decided to call it a day and got back on the trikes and headed back to our son's house. I almost missed a turn going back because the way going was different from the way coming back. Don't you hate that?

By the time we got back to our son's house, the GPS had mysteriously started working again. (And it worked flawlessly all the way home too.) I felt like my trike had just spent a few hours in the Boonton Triangle. Strange things seem to happen in those woods.

As we pulled up to our son's house we expected to find the three grandsons all lined up for the motorcycle rides, but no one was there. I went into the house still with full gear on and yelled for the kids. They were not ready to go at all. So we sat there waiting for all to be ready and for them to find their helmets.

The 10-year-old was ready first and took a seat behind his grandma for an extended trip down the third-of-a-mile driveway and back.

The six-year-old wanted to ride with me on my red trike. I had to make sure he was firmly seated and holding onto the side handles next to the pillion seat. I cautioned him before every turn what I was going to do and to "hang on tight." He did. Near the end of the loop, I blew the horn twice and then dropped him at the front door.

Then I took the four-year-old on my trike. He's a tiny guy with a wide smile. I took him on the same route and blew the horn twice as I had for his bro. Kids like to be treated equally.

After that, we had lunch and then departed for home about 3 p.m. The trip was speedy and uneventful. We listened to the Super Bowl pre-game show on the trike's radio as we each rode home. As usual, Jane and I communicated with each other over the CB.

We pulled into our garage about 4:30 p.m., unloaded the trikes, phoned the kids that we had arrived safely and awaited the Super Bowl XLII game between the NY Giants and the New England Patriots. We all know how that came out. It was the perfect end to a perfect riding day.

Take a look at the pictures and videos taken on the Polar Bear run to Rockaway, NJ on Super Bowl XLII Sunday.

Motorcycle pictures courtesy of Steven M. Kern.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Walter, great to see you are still writing on the web. I used to catch up with the about site while you were in charge, then "went offliine for a while, came back and everything had changed! Anyway I am doing a site of my own now, www.motorcycleparts-accessories-andmore.com, I am looking for some people to contribute, if you want to post some pictures or reviews, I would be happy for you to do so, and I will include a link back to your site along with full credit. Anyway, best of luck mate, and keep riding.

P.S. nce to see you bringing up your grandkids the right way!

Best rEgards, Mike