For me, this event started with a secret, but in hindsight, not much of a secret. Ya see, friends of mine had made the run to Morgantown, West Virginia, early to catch the opening day of MountainFest and to score a prime campsite. And of course, they hammered on those of us still stranded in corporate America, letting us know how much fun they were having. Something about stripper poles being erected next to their campsite, as I recall, along with having "swinger" neighbors running around the campsite naked.
That stripper pole thing wouldn't leave my mind, so job be damned, I bailed on work a day early, secretly planning to arrive unannounced to surprise peeps. (OK, so that's not much of a secret, but no one knew, and it was all I could do on short notice.)
So Thursday morning I was up early, packed, & caffeined-up by 10, rolling out without telling a soul. I ran the minivan-slalom around the Capitol Beltway, surviving that stretch of motorcycle Hell. From there I headed up I270, onto I70 west to Hancock, MD, where I stopped for lunch, gas, and to stretch my legs. I prefer small diners whenever I'm on the road, and Little Sandy's Restaurant in Hancock filled the bill to a "T". Debbie fed me, treated me like a King, and charged me just about half of what the same meal would have cost around DC. No orange shorts, but hey, I can overlook that for an decent meal early in the day.
No matter how you figure it, the odds on us being in the same station at that precise moment in time are beyond calculation, but the word was out: Cowboy was on the way, and it was no longer going to be a surprise.
But one bike stood out among all the rest. It was a Buell work-in-process chopper with the seat from Hell. The bike was out of New Jersey, but the guy admitted to trailering it in before riding it around town. His ass had to hurt. Even more than mine! Hey, maybe I could have sold him some corn starch! Check out the "seat".
At Mylan Park, the official venue, there were bike shows, bikes, vendors, girls, more girls, stunt acts, and some serious musical entertainment, including Grand Funk Railroad, Montgomery Gentry, and Ted Nugent!
And now I'll repeat something John said, which is right on the money. This event serves double-duty, and is also something of a carnival/party for townspeople, including kids. John says he's pretty sure the promoter never actually knew about a Ted Nugent show before booking him, LOL. Ted, thankfully, didn't tone it down a bit, and was as outrageous as ever. It was hilarious to see the expressions on faces when he went onto one of his rants starting with "Hey, you crazy motherfuckers out there! Welcome to the Ted Nugent show!"
Here's some pix of the weekend, and for even more pix, check out the link on the right hand side of the blog labeled MountainFest 2011 Pix. You'll need a Snapfish account to view all of 'em, but it's free so suck it up and register. There's a smaller album on my Facebook page.
On the ride home, just after I went through a mountain pass, my ears popped and at about 80MPH, I did a big yawn to un-pop 'em. Ooops. My helmet snap popped and away it went. I finally got the bike stopped, looking back up the mountain to see the helmet lying right on the lines dividing the lanes, with cars and trucks swerving to miss it. Musta been a 1/4 mile away, and I ran back up to try to get it.
That damn thing was out there, right in the middle of I68, and I needed it to get home, but to my left, the roadway was totally blind, right at the crest of the hill. If someone came over the hill, I'd have been like a squirrel in a Geico commercial. I waited until I couldn't hear anything coming (I can't hear anyway...what a fucking joke THAT is!) and darted out, grabbed the helmet, and literally dove for the shoulder. That musta been hilarious to watch. Fortunately, no one was.
I was very relieved to find out the helmet snap hadn't broken, and aside from some road rash, it was in good shape. I walked on back down, strapped it on, and reminded myself NOT to yawn real wide any more. Not sure what the Hell I'd have done if the helmet got crushed, and it's a small miracle no one hit it.
Got home safely, however, and unwrapped myself from the bike. That night, and even more the next morning, I became certain I'd never ride the Joker that far again. Fuck that. I felt like I'd been on a Wave Runner all day in choppy water, but at least I didn't have those Saddle Sores. Corn starch rules! Thanks, John!
PS As I ended this post, I realized that I never did see the stripper pole......Dammit.