Saturday, September 18, 2010

Riding with Riepe and other things for which I need to atone

At Sundown, September 17th, Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement began. By tradition, Yom Kippur is marked by fasting, praying, and asking God’s forgiveness for the transgressions of youthful stupidity or the practiced bad habits of us older guys who, with years of practice, are more adept at transgression.

I don’t take kindly to fasting, which I only do before being knocked unconscious by physicians seeking to remove dysfunctional body parts. For years I’ve had doubts about the effectiveness of my prayers. I can’t even start to count the many times I’ve said, “God I want her” and instead found myself eating eggs over easy with grisly BMW riders!

Yesterday, as I was sitting on the can reading the local Community Driveway Toss, I saw an ad for breakfast at the Kinzer Fire Company, which is located on Route 30 a few miles West of Gap, PA. All You Can Eat for $7.00 sounded like the kind of thing I could get my teeth into even though my long-since transitioned Grandmother would have preferred I didn’t eat until sundown.

I scanned the ad into my iPhone and emailed it to a few of my primary riding buddies whose understanding of the word “fast” never relates to food, only to miles per hour. I knew they wouldn’t mind riding the Route 30 Bypass to Business 30 through the Lancaster County tourist area to Kinzer for an AYCE breakfast with Firemen. Doing something macho for a good cause is the coolest – especially when you can eat until you waddle.

Riepe posted the event to the Mac-Pac list as only he can, taking seven paragraphs of late-night cleverness to say “Breakfast at Kinzer Fire Co., tomorrow. Meet us at 9am at Starbucks on Route 30.”

At 8am this morning, Jack called me to say that he was “under the weather,” a phrase I’m told that is often used by women who are rejecting male advances. You hear a lie often enough, and you just start to repeat it! The truth is he woke up with “The Mother of All Headaches,” and medication and hot water bottles were not helping, so he was dropping out of the breakfast ride.

I could hear the voices of disappointment shouting in my head. “Riding without Riepe is like riding without a helmet.” “Who’s going to be there when that Minivan cuts you off?” “Screw Riepe; he hasn’t been fun since he stopped eating.” “Piss on Riepe.” “Hang the bastard.” “Tar and feather him.”  Those voices get louder when I don’t get my morning coffee, so I headed for the coffee maker.

As far as I knew Gerry Cavanaugh, who had his seasonal medical butt probe yesterday and was “itching” to put that abused butt on his GS saddle was the only other macho breakfast rider. I told Jack I would show up at Starbucks and wait with Gerry to see if any of the other usual suspects arrived. We waited until 9:15am. No other bikers came, but Gerry and I agreed that the Starbucks parking lot on a Saturday morning is a good place to check out the local MILFery. The lot was packed with a continuing stream of attractive young women stopping to pick up their triple snickering lattes and toss the old guys on bikes a bump, grind, and sexy smile. Great for the ego – glad I chose not to atone for what I was thinking.

Gerry and I took a left out of the Starbucks parking lot and shot straight down Route 30 until we connected with the Bypass just before the intersection at Quarry Road. It was 55 degrees when I pulled out of my garage, so I was wearing a golf wind shirt under my mesh jacket. As we pulled on to the Route 30 Bypass, I could feel cool air rushing through the jacket and my mesh gloves. It was a little chilly, but not uncomfortable. The forecast was for warmer weather, so I felt I was dressed appropriately.

I’ll bet it wasn’t a half-hour later that we blew by the Kinzer Fire Company, which is literally hidden in the shadows of the Patriot Manufactured Housing complex. I never saw it and rode right by it, but Eagle Scout Eyes Cavanaugh spotted it and directed us around the block and back to the Fire Company’s driveway. There were two motorcycles and one car in the lot, and no signs of life.

“Waddaya think?” asked Gerry.
“Waddaya think?” I responded.

We often have high-level intellectual discussions when taking a break from laying down rubber on Route 30. I think Gerry said that he knew a diner just down the road “a piece,” but he could have said he had a piece in the road when he was a minor. I was wearing my highly-rated Leight Max Foam earplugs and couldn’t really understand anything he was saying from behind his face shield.

“I’ll follow you,” I shouted, waving my arms like a Bahamian traffic cop. It’s not surprising that former MP Gerry understood every one of my hand movements.

A couple of minutes later we rode by what used to be a diner. The inside was dark. The parking lot was empty. The shrubs were overgrown. “This was a remnant of better times when free enterprise flourished in America before the big government guys took over the country,” I thought quietly in the solitude of my helmet.

We continued down Route 30 and passed some of the touristy stops. The heavy smell of frying bacon wafted across the road from the Miller Smorgasbord Restaurant. Their parking lot was jammed and people were lined up almost out the door, so we kept going.

“That diner used to be a nice place,” Gerry said when we pulled up to the next traffic light. “Before the big government guys took over the country,” I shouted as the light changed and his GS roared off in first gear.

Before long we came upon what looked like a typical 1940s diner, Jennie’s Diner, and we pulled into the parking lot which was packed with cars.

“Waddaya think?” asked Gerry.
“The smell of that bacon down the road made me hungry. Let’s give it a shot,” I responded, decisively.

We parked our bikes and went inside. The place was packed, which is always a good sign in dinerdom. We found a couple of stools at the end of the counter. Before we had even made a butt impression on the seats a guy wiped off the counter in front of us, handed us menus and clean silverware, and told us the waitress would be right with us. As we looked over the menu, a table next to us opened up, and we asked if we could move over there.

The waitress said, “Sure, nobody’s waiting, so that’s not a problem.”

In two seconds we were sitting a booth. With mugs of hot coffee in front of us scanning the many items on the menu. It was then that I noticed that the tip of my right middle finger was yellow as if no blood was circulating in it. The other fingers looked normal – pink with shriveled old skin covering them, but that one finger reminded me of the time I got frost bite while snowshoeing in upstate New York.

I looked around the diner to see if there was some place I could warm the finger. That’s when Gerry with a glint in his eye grabbed my hand and thrust it into the hot coffee. That seemed to do the trick, although it was less adventurous than what I had in mind. Circulation was restored to the scalded finger, and we didn’t have to fight our way out of the diner.

To demonstrate our individuality, we both ordered the same thing, Jennie’s special - two eggs, toast, a pancake and meat.

I ordered bacon, thinking if you’re not fasting to atone for your sins, you might as well make a statement; and Gerry, the Pennsylvania loyalist, ordered Scrapple. Even though nobody really knows what goes into Scrapple, and it often conjectured that Scrapple is closely related to colonoscopies, the Scrapple Gerry ordered looked very appetizing.

Riepe-ass-sized pancakes
My eggs came with toast and at least six pieces of crispy bacon that tasted as if it had just been cured and smoked. The last time bacon tasted that good to me it came from Harrington’s, in Vermont, and was cooked by someone who is now a fading memory from that portion of my inquisitive youth that I label, “well-spent.” It was outstanding bacon. It’s hard to screw up over-easy eggs, so they were fine. But the centerpiece of the meal was the pancakes. We each received only one, and it was as big as Riepe’s ass, more than an inch thick, cooked to perfection, globbed with a half stick of butter and served with a pitcher of syrup.

Neither one of us could finish the breakfast. For the value driven, the total cost with tip was less than $12 a person. The service was excellent, we never saw an empty coffee cup. The food was outstanding diner fare. Bottom line: I’d go back in a heart beat.

Waddling out to the parking lot, we were greeted by warmer temperatures. Time to “86” the golf wind shirt I thought, and Gerry ditched the jacket he wore under his stich.

There was a little more traffic on the way home. We took Route 340 and pretty much cruised behind Amish watchers through the Intercourse and Bird in Hand area and then headed to Route 82, where Gerry headed home, and I jumped on the bypass heading East.

It was a beautiful day to be riding. I’m delighted that Gerry was able to join me. We were both disappointed that Jack couldn’t be with us, but we thought of him often – each time we’d stick a fork into those Riepe-ass-sized pancakes.


  1. I can't believe Jack screwed you over like that! I wonder if he felt the fork going into those pancakes??
    Gary Christman

  2. Dear Mr. Bregstein:

    I knew it had to happen sooner or later... That you would figure out this blog business and strike back big time. I am fully aware that this blog of yours is nothing more than a thinly veiled point/counter-point to reinterpret the truth, such as it is laundered, in "Twisted Roads." Please consider any of the outstanding sums I owe you as "paid in full."

    Thank God I had the presence of mind to keep Clyde Jacobs in the wings as an alternate best friend and riding partner. It's true that he doesn't smoke cigars, but a guy who carries a keg of beer in his sidecase has a lot of good points. Besides, Clyde never took me to a whorehouse where you have to have exact change.

    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  3. This just goes to show Jack that karma is real. I believe you just took a chunk out of his a$$ with that photo of breakfast! :-)

  4. Life is a bitch, then you find a friend like tricky Dick!

    Bruce in the Mountains

  5. Dear Gary:
    I wouldn't have minded if Jack had said he had a date with a "hot pitootey" (his dated phrase, not mine) who was half his age and wore a size-two mini skirt, but A HEADACHE! Boy is that a worn-out excuse, especially around my house. Yes, he did feel the fork, and as his diet continues and he loses poundage and acreage he will feel many more fork plunges.

  6. This could get truly ugly. Best of luck with this endeavor.

  7. Dear Brother Riepe:
    I've been thinking about doing this blog for a while. After all, riding with you is always crammed full of material that might be of interest to anyone with a uneventful life. I started this piece just to let you know that Gerry and I had a magnificent time without you, and we didn't miss you until it became time to stick someone with the check. Then, just like a yeast ball, or your ass, the story grew in size and morphed into a blog. It was a good move; I've already had 10,000 hits and have lined up big-time sponsors. Watch for the linked videos from Obama Motors. About Clyde -- You'll never keep up with him; the last time I tried to catch him he was doing 120, and that beer he carries in his saddlebags tastes like Dutch piss. I got that straight from the Dutch Piss Drinkers Guild.

  8. Dear Mr. Bregstein,

    Finally, a venue to hear the other side of the story. Please keep pace with Riepe as I think once he has a fire under his ass, he can write four of five pieces in an afternoon.


  9. Dear Sidekick:
    Karma is mine sayeth BMWDick. It's always been fun dissecting Riepe to his face. Now it can be done with or without him being present. By the way, those pancakes are real. Jennies Diner does a great job with breakfast. It's on my Must Stop list even though it's diet dangerous.

  10. Dear Bruce:
    Life continues to be a bitch even when you have good friends like you and Jack. You guys just make it a lot easier to deal with the BS that floats in over the transom. Keep it up, and there may be a story about you in this space ;)

  11. Dear John:
    Thanks for your comment. You and I had some very nice riding days in Vermont. I will never forget the day we followed Chris up the mountain on a shale road that dead-ended in a mud pile. As I recall we ate well, too. I promise this blog will get no more ugly than actually Riding with Riepe

  12. Dear Brother Cantwell:
    I can think of no greater pleasure than lighting a fire under Jack's ass. Fueled by his Baby Seal blubber it would be guaranteed to burn for decades lighting the way for seekers of truth who may find that element wanting in his and my blogs.

  13. Dear Dick,
    Nice first post to your blog. And I couldn't agree more, those GW Bush Big Gov't guys really started us down a road of ruin...

    I look forward to reading more of your blog!

    Dave C

  14. BMWdick:

    I love the idea of rIEPE sized pancakes, sort of like voodoo dolls when you stick a fork in. Instead of a stack I should request just one thick one from now on and follow your tradition

    Wet Coast Scootin

  15. And now we will have, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story. No more will Riepe be able to spread his propaganda across the Interweb without the voice of reason to call him on his half truths and twisted words...

    Keep him honest and please send me the address of that diner. Who knows when I will make a 3000 road trip for breakfast (2250 miles just to get through Texas).

    Good read.


  16. Hey Dick:

    Yeah, you... With the "R" bike. Are we riding tomorrow?