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L-R: Loosie, Cuz, Jim, Monk, Jen, Sarge, Rae, Dog, CK, TequilaJohn, Muthuh.

May 4-7, 2006

Most everybody at the table above, taken at breakfast in New Bern - the birthplace of Pepsi Cola and home to the finest Yachts in the world, Hattaras Boat Works - is planning to go on the August Sturgis Ride. There's still a few others, too - Yank/Nancy and Qwaz - who didn't make it to the Outer Banks. This was kind of a pre-Sturgis ride for us all, Road Captained by Dog and Rae, who live in New Bern. Hope ya enjoy the story.

(Copyright Note: Several photos below were taken by various members of this ride, and copyright is not claimed by Muthuh's Rides in its entirety.)

Wanna see a short clip of the bikes on this trip? I took this clip with my digital camera, so it's not all that great, but a great shot of Hattaras Lighthouse in the background. Click the thumbnail image, and hope to hell you have a video viewer configured...

I'm just getting this camera figured out, so I will be adding more video clips for the Wyoming ride later this summer.

I'm gonna give you a rather distressing visual - kinda to show you a day in the life of yours truly. I had one of those "moments" today - firmly fixed in my mind now, but the events leading up to it were just... well... ordinary. And there's the rub. What is ordinary in life should be scrutinized and determined if they should be shared with others from time to time, and this is one of them.

It is just before 10am on a Wednesday morning. As a man of leisure and master of my own destiny - read: I work from home - I was figuring on getting dressed early today. Hey - some days I NEVER get out of my bathrobe. Gone are the days when I would look up at 4:30 and see my wife drive into the driveway and rush upstairs to change so she wouldn't know my secret. But I had some errands to run today - not urgent, but had to get done by 4:30 - if you catch my drift - and knowing there was no food in the fridge for lunch, I may as well do 'em early.

OK, so I was sitting on the crapper, naked. My COHIBA coffee cup in hand sipping on the morning brew - my wife makes it at 6am and by 10am it is usually cool, but I'm too lazy to nuke it for 30 seconds - I'm drinking it cold. I'm reading, with my elbows on my knees, a newly delivered copy of Thunder Press Magazine. I am one of the fortunate to get one delivered a day or two before it hits the dealerships. I'm reading columns written by people I know, which makes them far more enjoyable. The shower is running in the background, trying to heat the water to an acceptable warmth - the last hot shower was hours ago and it takes a few minutes to get upstairs. And all of a sudden - as I read about various people bitchin about trailering, new leathers, annoying riding companions, the new breed of 'biker' and the blight of mega-rallies to cater to all the above - I take in the scene from the perspective of a fly on the wall, and started to giggle.

Ya gotta admit - the scene IS something to laugh about - a grown man, a little overgrown by some standards, naked on the crapper with coffee in one hand, magazine in the other, steam boiling around the room from the forgotten shower, giggling as if there's no tomorrow - this only served to perpetuate the tickle. And then - as if a hot poker was stuck in my side, I stopped, sat up a little straighter (no, constipation was NOT the issue) and realized I had forgotten to finish publishing the Outer Banks ride story... so here I sit - this time in the office chair, unshowered and gettin' ready to write up the story now that I have everyone's ride pictures in hand. Yes, I turned off the hot water, gonna be a late lunch today - hope ya enjoy it.

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This year's Outer Banks ride was a postponement of last years ride that got cancelled due to one of the many hurricanes that came up the Outer Banks last year. BullDog and Rae live out that way and re-organized abother trip this year, and it turned out most of the same riders who will be going out to Sturgis in August were able to go to this trip as well, except for Qwaz and our Northern friends. As we were coming from all over the central east coast, we had agreed to all meet in New Bern in eastern NC. Coming the furthest was TequilaJohn and his bride CK. (Pic #03) TJ gets his nickname honestly ( I can attest to that ) and, as the story goes, his wife and her girlfriend were equally imbibing along with him one night and she accused her girlfriend of being "D-R-U-N-C-K" ... "CK" stuck from that moment on. They rode to Durham mid afternoon, and along with Dave and Jen and I, headed east to Garner to pick up Jim, and further to Goldsboro to meet with Sarge. At the end of the day on Thursday, all we rendezvous'd at the motel in New Bern and ...

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... well, TJ set out to make sure his riding handle stuck. Notice in Pic #05 & 06 his double-fisted technique... talented ain't he? Not long after we got there, Dog and Rae, Cuz and Loosie (had we mentioned how Loosie got to be called that yet?... Oh, I'm sure we will sometime before the August ride...) pulled up in a pickup truck. Cuz and Loosie rode directly from SC to New Bern and was staying over at Dogs place for the night - Rae agreed to be DD for the night. Rae is the newly blonde-highlighted, hot-pantsed lady in my right arm.

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First thing we all did - after the cocktail hour in the motel parking lot - was to go tour the Hattaras Yacht manufacturing plant in New Bern where our host works. This is the only place in the world that a Hattaras Yacht is produced and it is an amazing place. Not only did the Security Guard nearly confiscate our cameras (perhaps the site of 11 bikers in leathers prompted him to simply ask to leave them all in our bikes), but minutes into our tour he kicked out a couple of us due to open-toed shoes. I was one of the fortunate ones, and, though I have no pics to show, I'm here to tell ya the experience of seeing a 110' yacht in various stages of ground-up manufacture is stunning. We ended up on a completed one in a mooring slip and dreamed of sailing off into the sunset, with a Harley on the rear deck and a margarita in hand.

Cuz and Dog rode redneck style in the back of the truck bed while some of the others rode in the cab with Rae...4 of us rode the bike behind them giggling and pointing at them. Cuz had the camera for Pic#10, and I rode up beside them at a light to get the camera back, and shot #11 before he had a chance to hide. Dog took us to the "Famous" restaurant and enjoyed a good sit-down mean, shooting the shit with the owner, Tony (Pic #12).

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After dinner we dropped the bikes at the motel and all piled into the truck - my turn to play redneck in the back - for a short ride to some local watering hole, swore we were all members and took over a table in the back, way too close to a local one-man band on stage. I'm not too damned sure I understood a damned thing anyone said all night, except for one patron who was taking up a donation to keep the singer on stage a little longer. After I think I pissed her off accusing her of being shill for the singer, I suggested he go ahead and quit for the night so we could hear each other. I don't think we're welcome back. I think in Pic #15 I'm showing Rae a picture of her husband in the back of the truck on main street. Pic #16 is a salute to Sarge - our new riding buddy recently back from patrolling the streets of Mosul, Iraq. (I now have a Mosul Harley Shirt to prove it.) He's not to sure he can make it in August to Sturgis because of an impending promotion to Staff Sgt in the MP's at Fort Bragg - I told him at dinner, I'll say it again - appreciate your being over there for us, Sarge - allowing us old fucks to ride in freedom over here. Hope ya find a way to make the trip.

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We were told to be ready by 8am in the parking lot of the motel. I peer out the window at 7am and see some of us already out there sipping coffee and packing bikes. I felt no such compulsion, and returned to Fox n' Friends for my morning update. But come 8am, here comes Dog n' Rae, Cuz n' Loosie, and followed soon after by the rest of us, riding to downtown New Bern for breakfast on main street (or whatever the hell the main street is called there.) Its some kind of bakery/restaurant and all the waitresses are in Amish dresses. Kinda sexy really, and with a little imagination you can imagine an abbreviated version of it on any french maid. OK, perhaps a LOT of imagination, but I got the time. I made one fatal mistake by asking the waitress to snap our pics BEFORE we started eating and I seem to have captured the group pissed that we're not eating yet, but they get happier as the ride progresses. Pic #18 shows our Ride Captain trying to remember where our bikes were parked. and #20 is a quick snapshot of the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola, a block away from breakfast.

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Our ride out to the Cedar Island Ferry Terminal was uneventful - we were short on time and didn't stop in Beaufort or Morehead City on the way, and found long stretches of straight roads as we neared the ferry where I could pull into the opposing traffic and take action shots - I thought at one point Dog (Pic #22) was worried I was taking over the ride as Captain when he kept waving me back frantically, until I realized a pickup truck was headed straight at me on the narrow roads...

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Cuzzin' Sam, Pic #28, is stylin' with his new home-built trailer. Now none of us have to worry about hauling all our extra shit on the ride to Sturgis.

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Pic #29 - and several others throughout the ride - show an unusual sight - me not at the head of the bikes... was kinda fun to sit back and not have to figure out the routes and the butt breaks and the gas stops. #30 - 32 show the queue at the Cedar Island Ferry. CK is already making friends with the couple in the truck/camper next to us trying to get a cold beer for the crossing.

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On the good ship Carteret, the bikes are left on the deck while we wander the boat - no lounge, no bar, no dancing girls, but the 2-1/2 hour crossing went by fairly quick. The skys were overcast and temps cool...perfect.

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We were joined by another group of mostly metric bikes. One kind young lady (pic #37) elected to wake up this morning and dress the part for our entertainment. I've been riding for a few years now, and never seen anyone in chaps and a frilly cheerleader skirt like this, but never once complained about it. The ship's Captain (pic #39) was overheard asking the other bikers who owned this Blue/Silver Ultra, pointing at my bike. I wandered on the edges of the conversation trying to avoid being keel-hauled for some infraction - afterall we WERE at sea and he WAS the captain. If he wasn't gonna marry me to the cheerleader, I figured this couldn't be good. Turns out he had the same bike, year and color and was asking about the trailer. I smiled, produced a business card and asked if he would marry me and the girl anyway. No deal.

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As we approached Ocracoke Island (Pic #41), our destination for the day, Cuz called me over to his trailer. Said he had something to show me. Now, I was hoping he was gonna explain just how much room he would give me on the big ride in his trailer, but he produced, instead, a blanket-wrapped, newspaper-clad "Turkey Box" as a gift to me. Cuz, I knew, was a master carpenter and made these lil boxes in his shop out back of his house, but this was a real treat for me - inscribed on the box to me from him, with thanks for the rides we've been on over the years. I wish to hell the pic was in focus, but I brought it home, added a little spanish cedar lining to the inside, and it now is home for about a hundred cigars of various pedigrees... and will always have a special place on the desk... I've added a pic of me and him and Loosie to the picture inset and some day I'll try to get a pic and insert it here into this journal. Thats me in #43 poking him in the gut along with some of the other guys.

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#46 is our illustrious Road Captain and his equally charming bride, Rae. I may have to rearrange our Sturgis accommodations to make sure we split rooms together often. You understand, doncha? Dog IS a funny guy!

#47 is the couple from the camper - turns out after being hounded at the pier for a cold beer, when they saw CK walk by on the ship, she held up a sign in her truck windows saying "BAR IS OPEN!" - ya didn't have to interpret that one long, and she scored a couple brews. #48 is... well, you figure out what that pic is.

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Not a mile from the Ferry terminal on Ocracoke is the Blackbeards Lodge where we were staying the night. We got there mid afternoon with plenty of time to go mess around on the island. Out their side door (pic # 50) is where we set up shop for the night's party.

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Actually I got messed up when I ordered these pics...#65-68 really come next - go look at that first.

So, after dinner and shopping, we dragge the chairs out from the pool deck and set up the picnic tables and grill for the nights festivities... something about a day ride followed by a campfire that makes these things worthwhile for me. Pic #55 is a technique given me by CK (wife of the two-fisted tequilla drinker) which she promised would result in better mood management - beer in one hand and a margarita in the other...although I was told I would HAVE to add another splash of Jose' to mine.. I obliged.Pic #56 shows Sarge in the background mixing up one of his signature concoctions, which I wisely refrained from drinking...

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TJ, as it turns out, hits a point in his mood management where anything you say results in strained facial muscles. I am honor-bound by the code of the road not to divulge what was so funny...it's in the rules. Then, just to letcha know what lazy fucks I ride with, Cuz reaches in his motel room window to fetch his camera instead of walking up the steps... gotta love these guys.

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As the night wore on, and darkened, we set the grill on fire - I won't travel anywhere without a couple firelogs from now on. Pic #62 is evidentiary proof of adultry if Rae ever wants to file for divorce... and #62 & 63 are the Brats and sausages on the grill - turned out to be better than dinner. Gonna have to remember this on the Sturgis trip, eh?

I took this shot of my sandals in front of the fire in contrast to the last Christmas e-card I sent out. My boots in front of a similar fire. I figured with my last riding season in full swing, I needed to contrast the biker lifestyle with my approaching convertable-ride lifestyle...hoping I can still show up around y'alls campfire, though.

This one may take a little explaining - TJ had told us about once when he lost his camera for a while, turned out one of his riding buddies found it and took some nasty crotch shots (from inside their pants) and left them on his camera - this was back in the film days, so everyone at Wal-Mart had a laugh AND he had to pay for the processing. Well, he left the camera on the picnic table as he and CK went in for the night and Jim found it... I must say it was a bit uncomfortable to have a guy hover over you taking a pic of yer crotch but it served as a good gag... took him a few days to find the shots though...

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These four pics are out of order, and were part of our afternoon exploring of the Island. Of course Howard's Pub was our first discovery. We all met here for dinner and drinks. Funny story about #66 - I had the camera on a ledge on the outside dining porch and made everyone smile and quit chewing their food four times while I set up the shot - I kept hitting the OFF button instead of the shutter release and needed to set up the shot again 3 times... After the pub we stopped at the grocery store for snacks and baratwurst and keilbasi for tonight campfire grillout. One of the local fishermen brought along his girlfriend for the lonely evening of night fishing, (Pic #67).

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Early the next morning I went out in search of coffee and to sightsee the island a bit. I've blown through Ocracoke before, always in a hurry to get to the Ferry Terminal. Its a nice quiet lil town.

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After breakfast, we all rode up to the Hatteras Island Ferry Terminal (Pics # 73-76) for the 30 minute crossing to Hatteras. There were no cheerleaders on this ferry I'm afraid.

OK boys and girls... Rule #23 on our Sturgis ride - if we all pose for a picture someplace, the tourist we ask to snap the pic only has to use ONE camera! Between the 5th camera and the last camera, I had time to walk over to use the restroom!

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Pic # 77 is...uhhhh.... errrrr... hmmmmm, I dunno. Then on to the famed Hatteras Lighthouse - this is the one they moved several hundred yards a few years ago because it was too close to the ocean.

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I was able to see some perspectives on this ride, being in the back, that I rarely see... this one (Pic # 81) going over Oregon Inlet Bridge into the Nags Head area with the bikes in front of me instead of behind...

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Pics #85 - 88 are from a little pullout out on the Outer Banks someplace - was time for a butt break, and Cap'n Dog took advantage of it. I'm not all that thrilled that Pic #86 is of me, cigar at the lips, but with a bottle of Orange Juice left over from breakfast instead of a Budweiser, but it reflected the mood at the time.

We moved on to Bodie Island Light where a certain member of our party who will remain nameless (remember the code!) tried to pick up three chicks in a convertible, only to find that they were NOT the women he thought they were (we had met some earlier in the trip driving the same kinda car), and laughed as he beat a quick retreat. Let's just say they weren't hardly registering on the beer meter when he got up close.

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Then we have the infamous Colonial Inn in Nags Head... it wasn't all that stressful of a ride, and it wasn't all that hot out, so we weren't really beat, but the 45 minute check-in fiasco will remain as one of the trips low points...what a bunch of pinheads. It's all our fault, of course, when we found out they had four open beachfront rooms with full patio and adirondack chairs out front, right at the sand dunes. We were unbelievably inconsiderate in asking for a change and resulted in an unbelievable cluster-fuck at the front desk trying to figure it out. In the end all turned out well, and we hung around the porch after dinner drinkin' smokin' lyin' and cussin'. There was no firepit, so I bought a metal pail and some firelogs and set it on the dunes for the right atmosphere (not pictured for some damned reson).

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All in all, this will go down as one of the better trips - you and I both know that some rides suck, some are so-so and some are remembered for being the reason why we all ride in the first place. This fits in the latter group. Hated that some of the guys on our upcoming Sturgis trip couldn't make it - they were the furthest away (NY and TN), but most of us got a short glimpse into what that trip will be like and we liked what we saw. I'll even take some opportunities to assign a temporary Road Captain on legs of the ride so I can enjoy the view from behind. In the meantime, I'm headed back up to finish my shower and warm up the coffee.

Till next time - 'nuff said...

- Muthuh


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