Rain during Bike Week is an undesirable but unavoidable occurrence if the Weather Gods so decree and today we’re having “scattered thunderstorms”. The Weather Service defines this as rainfall over 30-50% of the forecast area. Bikers define it as a pain in the butt: there’s a heavy overcast and it could rain at any time. But as Vonnegut said, “So it goes”. I have the bike parked and covered and I’m holed up at the Holiday Inn Express.
I don’t mind having a day at the hotel really. I need to catch up on my Italian lessons and finish listening to the audio book “City of Falling Angels” (John Berendt’s story of the burning and rebuilding of La Fenice, the opera house in Venice) in preparation for my Italian trip. I’ll be leaving this Friday night for Venice and will be posting a blog of that trip here on this site, if you’re interested. Given that I’m going to depend on European Internet cafes rather than take a laptop, my postings are likely to be less regular.
Mindful of today’s forecast, I spent some time yesterday doing Bike Week stuff such as cleaning the bike up (it got very dirty during the rain two days ago near Daytona) and visiting the local Harley Davidson dealership. The latter is always a zoo, jammed with bikes parked and cruising and large crowds perusing the wares of vendors who set up their tents in back. I bought a “Spit Happens” bib for Mark & Tina’s 10-month old baby Alice, complete with Harley logo – don’t blame me, Mark sat her down on my bike yesterday and she reached for the handle bars and smiled.
I also visited the Broken Spoke and the Rat Hole, both well-known biker watering holes. They each had daytime activities such as jello-wrestling, wet tee-shirt contests, burn out contests, and “pig scambles” (I have no idea what this is but I doubt PETA would approve) – weird entertainment indeed. I wonder what these places are like at midnight (well past my bedtime).
The vendor fairs, of which there are several that cover acres, feature every motorcycle part and doodad you can think of. Clothes, boots, jewelry, hats, tuning services, cleaning services, tattoos, piercing, sunglasses were all on display, just to name a few. My favorites are the helmet stickers. These are the bumper stickers of the motorcycle world, are about 1” x 4”, and are hilarious. They’re often profane, vulgar, and wickedly funny. Samples include “Your Face or Mine”, “Zero to Bitch in 2.5 seconds”, and “You Were Good but Your Mom Was Better”. I really can’t see myself riding around with any of these (or those with the work F**K prominently featured) on my helmet but they are funny to read here.
I wrapped up by visiting the Dead Dog Saloon, my favorite spot, which is down in Murrell’s Inlet and overlooks the water. They also have great tee-shirts, which brings up an interesting dilemma. If you’re not careful, you can find yourself buying more tee-shirts than you have packing space for. I’ve limited myself to four on this entire trip (see photos).
I finished yesterday off sharing dinner at the Pawleys Island Tavern with all of my NYC UVA theatre friends and we had a great time. Pat and Peter Web have got to be two of the funniest people on earth. Baby Alice kept us entertained when the excellent band was not playing (that child is really great in public) and the South Carolina low country menu did not disappoint.
Tomorrow morning I’ll be packing up and making a short (1 hour) ride up the coast to Rob Zapple’s house in Wilmington, NC. Rob is another UVA theatre classmate and he and his wife Michele were my neighbors out in L.A. many years ago. Rob is a great ambassador for Wilmington and I’m looking forward to seeing the city. Hopefully, I can stay dry for that one hour ride!