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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Delmarva Bike Week 2012 - No, I'm Not Going......

(Pssst. Stop clicking on those arrows in that image. It's a screenshot and they don't work.)

I wasn't going to Delmarva Bike Week, 2012. I told several people that I wouldn't go back there, and I had some pretty good reasons. Too many cops, too many cages, and too many tourist families mixed in with the motorcycle crowd. I can just imagine all the stories they tell their friends when getting back home after spending an expensive week in a seaside hotel, otherwise filled with bikers.

I have, however, seen several of these wives/girlfriends stealing a long look the biker guys, so maybe they aren't really so upset. And the men ain't bashful about checking out our girlies, so maybe this works out OK. But in any case, they sure don't let the little teenage daughters out of their sight, even for a second. LOL

Where was I....Damn, just the thought of those teeny-boppers got me off track........ Kidding, of course.

Well, not really.

Anyway, after turning down a couple good offers to go, I began reading Facebook posts of some peeps who were going, or who were already there, and it looked like I was missing out on some fun! At the very last second, when I just couldn't take it anymore, I said "Fuck it!" and booked a room. I decided to roll out Saturday morning to catch the last couple days.

Delmarva Bike Week isn't really a week, by the way. It runs for only 5 days, wrapping up on a Saturday and Sunday, usually 2 weeks after Labor Day weekend.

I rode my 105th Anniversary Softail Custom down there. It's a great bike for a road trip, and fun to ride. I can play around a little on the Softail, unlike the Road King. I also only had the small Roll Bag tied down to the luggage rack. I decided that if it...whatever IT was....didn't fit in that bag, along with the spare peanut helmet, then I wasn't taking it. I don't like the looks of the detachable saddlebags on that bike, so I left 'em hanging on the garage wall.

The ride down was easily one of the best riding days ever. Mid-70's...just cool enough to wear a leather jacket. The bike ran well in the 70-degree temps, and there were blue skies and just a light breeze all 170 miles of the run.

The Eastern Shore of Maryland is mainly flat, but the road twists and turns through miles of farmland and wooded areas, and through several Eastern Shore towns, offering a nice mix of scenery and places to take a break now and then. And gas stations! Unlike my Sturgis ride, it was nice to see plenty of gas stations!

As I got closer, there was an increasing number of bikes on the road, all headed down Rt 50 toward (if you're from Baltimore) "the Ocean", and (if you're from the DC area), "the Beach"! I got in with a few groups along the way, and we bunched up, enjoying the ride together.

And unlike previous trips to Delmarva, police were conspicuously absent until I hit Berlin, MD, about 5 miles west of Ocean City. The last few times I went, the cops were thick from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge all the way to OC, but this time that wasn't the case. Hooray! In Berlin, they had radar set up, but there's a State Police station there, so you gotta expect that.

When I got to Ocean City, which is the focal point of the event, I was pleasantly surprised to find out my hotel, The Atlantic, was literally at Ground Zero, right next to the center of the action at Wicomico Street and the Boardwalk. I was far happier to find out my room was on the opposite side of the hotel from the stage, so I was even going to get a little sleep!

My friends were spread out from one end of Ocean City to the other....miles and miles....and there was simply no way I was going to hurry from place to place, checking off the boxes. Instead, I hit The Cork Bar, hung out with my daughter, Marianne, and Tammy, and began slowly making my way north from there, figuring at some point I'd run into a few friends.

After a stop for a lunch of steamed crabs.....Yummy!....I hit a couple hot spots, mostly checking out what the vendors offered.

Rob's Used Harley Parts had a great display of goods at the OC Convention Center, and in the pile of goodies was a 1957 Panhead frame, unmolested. Every tab and mount was still there, and no signs of a tweak or weld repair anywhere. But I just didn't have $5,000 on me. And they had an engine and title for a similar amount! Damn, I wanted....I still want...that rig.

There were vendors stretched out all up and down Coastal Highway, and if you wanted it, it was there someplace. If not right in OC, then it was probably at one of the satellite venues just over the Inlet bridge or in Salisbury. The Harley dealer in OC closed up, so that was a switch from earlier years. Nothing going on there this time.

Anyway, from the the Convention Center, I rode a few blocks up to Seacrets, a joint not unlike Jamaica, only it's in Ocean City. There's a band, a DJ, loads of bars, and even tables in the water to sit at. I guess they make it easier if you fall off your stool, except I guess the splash would attract a lot of attention...

And there was also the Swede, Cathy, Bob, Dave, Carolyn, Lisa, Sierra, Carrie, and......damn, I know I'm missing someone..... Anyway, it was great to run into this crew and a good time was had by all. After a few beverages, we split up, agreeing to hook up again later that night.

From there, I went back to the hotel, and got in touch with Charlie, Linda, Ashley and Caroline, and the fun started again. And later the Seacrets crew met up with us. And more fun began. And so on...You get the idea, right? Fun! And you ain't lived 'til you hang out with a cute 5'11" girl wearing stilettos......

I did make an honest effort to lure Leesa into the mix of people, but Leesa managed to resist even my strongest advances. I even offered to......Well, I ain't going into that.

And so it turned out to be a really great, albeit far too short weekend, and well worth the trip. Absolutely nothing planned, and I didn't see half the peeps I knew that were down there, but it's a no-hard-feelings-thing with my crew, and as long as everyone's having fun, that's all that counts. If we miss each other, there's always next time.

And there will be a next time for me. Now I can't wait for Delmarva Bike Week, 2013. Only 358 more days to go. And I'll be staying at the Atlantic Hotel. And partying at Seacrets. And somewhere eating steamed crabs. And.........

I'm posting one last photo, taken just as I was on my way outa town. I was lured into the trap, and almost before I knew it, this photo was front and center on Facebook. My only salvation was that the damn thing wasn't pink. Linda refers to this loathsome mechanical device as a Chick Magnet. I'm not so sure, and I think she has "curiosity" and "pity" confused with "interest".