|CT Bears braved weather (in a car) traveling to Montgomeryville Cycle Center.|
From left: Captain, CT Blogger, Grumpy and Pogy.
By: Chris Loynd
Photos by: Grumpy
As the week progressed the forecast worsened. Saturday afternoon we decided not to ride. A wintry mix was forecast to change to all snow, then rain, then back to snow with accumulations ranging from one to six inches. Timing looked dicey as well. For us Montgomeryville is a three hour destination one way. Even with an early 8:00 a.m. departure, there was no way we could get there and back and be sure to beat the sleet, ice or snow. Rain is bad enough. But motorcycles are pretty dicey in snow and near impossible in sleet and ice.
Captain and Pogy felt they should support our host Montgomeryville Cycle Center and the Grand Tour by driving despite the forecast. By Polar Bear rules, we get just one point for driving, and can use that option only thrice for any points at all. As you can see in the previous blog posts, Captain, Pogy and Grumpy have already burned one of their car rides with last week's very rain drive to Hillbilly Hall.
Captain offered to navigate his all-wheel drive Subaru to Hatfield and back again. Grumpy and I invited ourselves too.
On the ride down, we were wondering if we should have been on our motorcycles. We saw only a drizzle or two as we neared Montgomeryville Cycle. Ninety-nine percent of the trip over was on dry roads.
Captain's piloting skills were holding up pretty well, but his navigation was stymied by a faulty Subaru computer. He'd had it to the dealership weeks before. But the fix didn't take. Grumpy was riding shotgun and with his cell phone backed up the Captain. Pogy and I did our best not to be backseat drivers. Pogy did on occasion remind Captain to watch the road and not the faulty GPS.
We were a bit baffled by Captain's decision to take the parkways to the George Washington Bridge, but he was driving his car so we kept our mouths shut until well after we were too far along to change Captain's mind. We made it to I-287 okay. Then there was a debate and subsequent vote about how soon to turn off and head west to Pennsylvania. I-78 won out, over the Captain's choice, and Grumpy guided us toward a Delaware River crossing.
After crossing the Delaware, Captain refused to turn right, despite being a stalwart conservative Republican. He finally relented to the third request, but we missed the scenic covered bridge. Nevertheless, the scenery of this slice of Pennsylvania is delightful: rolling meadows, fieldstone houses, simple country farms and opulent three-car-garage mansions.
Still in all, we made good time, arriving at our destination about 10 minutes before 11. The wonderful folks at Montgomery Cycle already had a hearty and free lunch set out for us. They offered a very tasty beef chili, fried potatoes, fresh fruit, pastries and coffee. The chili was spicy and sweet all at once. It was perfect for motorcycle riders, er, um, polar bear car riders, and especially appropriate for such a cold, gray day.
As we were eating the rain outside became steadier. Other bears were arriving by car. When we exited a little before noon there were just three intrepid motorcycles in the parking lot.
Grumpy guided Captain back toward Connecticut, now ignoring the Subaru's intermittent GPS in favor of his own memory and cell phone. We were still debating if maybe we could have ridden our bikes. But before we reached the Delaware River, Grumpy noted the ice building up on the car's outside mirrors.
Entering New Jersey the weather took a quick and severe turn for the worse. On I-287 we were down to 40 mph carefully picking our way through a couple inches of slush and then snow in an ice storm with moderate to heavy traffic. Yeah, we would have never made this on motorcycles. We hope that those who decided to ride had shorter – and more southern – routes home.
For all our teasing, Captain held the Subaru between the lines, negotiated some slippery lane changes and only cut off one irate driver. That happened toward the end of our ride in the never-friendly, ever-heavy, Connecticut I-95 traffic. He had plenty of room to merge by the way. Connecticut breeds irate drivers like it garners taxes – in ever increasing orders of magnitude.
Despite the weather we had a great time together. We discussed the world's problems, without solving any. We enjoyed some locker room humor and funny stories, some of them actually not heard before by us.
Here's hoping we get a few more decent weather weekends. We need the points to earn those coveted Polar Bear rockers.
|Captain piloting, Grumpy capturing the moments, the GPS computer stuck somewhere in New Jersey.|
|Ice build up just beginning on our drive home.|
|Montgomeryville Cycle Center also had a canned food drive.|