Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Only the Best

Remember this jingle? “What would you do for a Klondike bar?” Our recent weekend riding spree had me chuckling inwardly as our very actions recalled this jingle to mind. We motorcyclist use any and all excuses to justify setting our responsibilities aside and taking to the road. It may be as simple as “the sun is out” to something more serious or necessary. Of course each person fills in their own definition of necessary. I found two very serious needs to ride this weekend; to the tune of 430 miles.

My good friend Dave and I have not had the pleasure of riding together this season. It’s been one thing or another that has kept us apart on nice days. With the fine weekend approaching, Andy asked me what manner of dangling carrot would entice Dave to drop his responsibilities and join us for a jaunt. The answer was simple. RIBS!

With that I picked up the phone and asked Dave to join us for ribs at Curtis’ on route 5 in Putney Vermont. Now Putney isn’t a terrible long way away, and in fact doable for a ½ day adventure. This includes riding to, eating ribs, lingering for some quality chat time and the ride back home. Curtis’ BBQ is a serious barbeque rib place famous for its tender fall-off-the-bone ribs with their own sweet or spicy sauce. Now in his 42nd season the old man knows his stuff and you can’t get better ribs around than here. Dave suggests we get there before the crowds. In fact there is already a good long line of bikes and cars when we arrive. By the time we leave, it’s hard to find parking.

I’m no sooner home taking care of chores when I notice a Sunday ride message posted by the Amherst Motorcycle Club. It seems there is a birthday theme playing out in the posts. To celebrate, Manny wants to enjoy “the best burgers around” which by the way, he claims you can find in St Johnsbury Vermont. Since Andy’s birthday is coming up too, I feel it’s done deal. The requirement has been met for the “something more serious” reason to ride.

Now riding with the Amherst group is a bit different than we’re used to. They are more laid back and loosely organized than the New England Riders. There are good points to each group, and what I like most about riding with the AMC is that they are local, they are spontaneous, and the pace is typically relaxed for the most part. St Johnsbury is a bit more of a ride than Curtis’ but the day is so fantastic, the birthday theme perfect, and toss in the opportunity to experience the “best burgers” around and who can stay home?

We take the long way to St Johnsbury, and in the process Andy and I ride sections of 12A and route 5 we’ve never done before. The views of the distant mountains, the ride along the Connecticut River all lend itself to nearly idyllic. Our destination is Anthony’s Diner, Railroad Street, St Johnsbury VT. The burgers were indeed good, and the atmosphere was no extra charge. Anthony’s is celebrating their 60th year. I guess the lesson here today is that if you want to sample the “best” something, check out an establishment that has weathered the test of time.

(Now who would have helped this guy but a decent biker dude.)

We meander for a bit along route 3 south for more relaxed riding. We stop for a break and I witness ears to cell phones. I’m not exactly sure what was said in those conversations with the women folk left home, but the next thing I know we are high tailing it back on route 93. Freedom is often fleeting it seems and illusionary as well. Andy and I part company with the rag tag group in New Boston and squint our eyes westward into the setting sun. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m feeling pretty good. Best ribs; check. Best burgers; check. New roads explored; check. And best of all, another check on the “been there; done that” list.

1 comment:

Richard said...

I saw that ride posted and wish I could have made it but with Adam leaving for UNH last Friday, I've got to work all the hours I can get. I'm jealous. Thanks for the blog, it helps with the yearning for the road.