Monthly Archives: July 2013
At the moment, I have two scheduled. One is this weekend at Motoprimo for their Vintage Motorcycle Day, 11:00-1:00.
The next one is my own neck of the woods, Northeast Minneapolis. I’ll be developing writer’s cramp (physically, not mentally) at Diamonds Coffee Shoppe, 1618 Central Ave. N.E., at 6:30 p.m. Members of the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club will be there, too, with their bikes (it’s actually their monthly meeting). Diamonds is a great place to hang out. They have good coffee, and the pies are mighty tempting! The signing will take place August 12.
It’s a gorgeous summer day in Minnesota: 80 degrees, lots of sun, humidity well within the comfort range, and a nice breeze. Minnesotans recognize this kind of a day as a gift, one to be enjoyed and cherished, especially after a seemingly unending winter. It’s important to take advantage of this type of gift.
Motorcyclists understand that. As I pull up radishes that matured too quickly (no crunchy red roots to munch on!), I hear them traveling on 35W, about a mile from home. Cruisers, choppers, crotch rockets–they’re all out there, roaring down the freeway, soaking up the sun.
It’s a perfect day to take the motorcycle to work, as Ralph did. Or to explore a part of Minnesota you haven’t seen before. To visit Paul Bunyan in the Brainerd Lakes area, or pose for a photo next to Smokey the Bear in International Falls. It’s a great day to ride along a lake or river and let the breeze off the water cool you down.
When you play a musical instrument “by ear,” you hear the melody in your head and match it. In jazz, you take it a bit further and improvise on the melody. Many of our motorcycle trips have been improvised. We pick a route to explore, but stay prepared to explore the unexpected.
We’ve found restaurants this way. Some were great; others, as Ralph likes to say, “don’t make my socks roll up and down (like a cartoon character’s).”
Traveling by ear also means taking chances on places to stay. When you travel without reservations, you can’t always be too picky. Last summer we were in Grand Marais at the time of the Grand Rendezvous in Grand Portage. It was a beautiful August weekend, and hotels were booked solid from Two Harbors to the Canadian border. We found a room at a decrepit motel on the hill before Hwy. 61 descends into downtown Grand Marais. The front office looked as though it had recenlty been remodeled, but the rooms were adequate at best. The only other occupant at the time we checked in was a border patrol agent (so identified by his car).
Another time, along Hwy. 38, we came upon the Timberwolf Inn in Marcell. It’s truly one of the nicest places we’ve stayed. It was another picture-book Minnesota weekend, but they had room at the inn, which is comfortably decorated in northwoods-style. The attached restaurant offered up terrific food–a lot of local lake dwellers showed up for dinner–and the staff was very friendly. When we arose the following morning, these deer were exploring the back of the property. That’s an amenity you don’t find just anywhere! Which is why we chose the Timberwolf Inn qualified as the “best hotel” to highlight in Ride Minnesota!