Friday, August 31, 2012

Now that is Service

Friday we went out to eat with some friends of ours at the Miss Mendon Diner. Our waitress was new, but that really had nothing to do with it. Well sorta, the manager, owner or head person did keep coming over and watching to make sure her new waitress was handling things all right. That is what you are supposed to do.

Toni and I ordered the meatloaf. Mic ordered the roast beef and MeAsWe ordered the Meatballs and Pasta. Diner was brought and I was pleasantly surprised they had replaced their beans with peas with the meatloaf.

MeAsWe took a bit of her food and did not like the taste. She had me take a taster and I think what she did not like was the recipe for the sauce. Toni took a bite and she said "That's just nor right". We called the waitress over and she immediately addressed the issue. She took to the plate away. With that the head person (owner, manager) came over and apologized for the meal and asked what MeAsWe wanted to replace the meal. MeAsWe got a BLT as a replacement, after all this is a diner.

When the bill came the owner, manager presented the bill and again apologized for the meal. She said of course we didn't charge you for the meatball diner, we also didn't charge you for the BLT. Quite expectant and sure made for a good customer experience out of it. It is things and events like this that represent great customer service. Sure makes me want to go back to the Miss Mendon.

An Archived photo of mine, it did not snow in Aug

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The NER Paver at Madawaska Four Corners Park

Madawaska is one of the four corners for the SCMA Four Corner Tour.  The Post Office is of critical importance in this great tour and to honor those Long Distance riders, Joe LaChance was instrumental in building the Madawaska Four Corners Park.

The New England Riders is represented at the park thru donations made by our members. Our paver is  right in front of the fountain and on center.  If I recall correctly, our paver was laid down before the park officially opened, making it one of the initial pavers at the park.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Jumping Off

Hitting the road today for western part of Mass to grab the two Tour of Honor sites up in that corner. Been awhile since we have been up that way. Scott and Bonnie are coming along for the ride today to see what this chasin stuff is all about.

Going back to my roots for chasin stuff, I am  planning a stop at the Miss Florence Diner. After all these years I will finally have a meal there. What a great neon sign.

The meal was OK, but nothing EwwwAhhh about it. They do make there own hash, otherwise World Famous would have been the brand. Now out in the parking lot as we were prepping to leave, I almost took my first spill with the FJR. Somehow I got the steering head cocked into a full right turn and it seemed to catch on something as I tried to reverse my direction. I had the moment of perfect weightlessness, then the leg came out , the push off, the shoulder wrenched just abit, the dip and then things went upright. Apparently it did not look that bad, because the gang of three (MeAsWe, Scott, Bonnie) did not notice the acrobats I just went thru.

So the chase is on. The world of 112, 116, hippies, secretary of states, political left thoughts even some right ones, dire poorness, extreme wealth, sugarhouses, and fantastic fall covers, THE BERKSHIRES are about to unfold.

First grab of the day is Savoy for a USA town

From Savoy we make our way to the Miss Adams Diner. I have not eaten here yet, but I hear there is really nothing special about it either. Back in 1999, it would have been a different story. The owners then restored the inside of the diner, made it the local go to place and the food was supposedly great. Having poured their hearts and soul into the place the crushing weight of the bank notes forced them to sell. Since then it's been operated by a few different folks. It is a 1949 Worcester Lunch Car diner.

Not too far away from the Miss Adams is Mount Greylock. It has been at least 7 years since I rode to the top, but the road has been closed and closed for good reason, It was a piece of crap. Now it is smooth sailing all the way to the top. Mount Greylock is the tallest peak in Massachusetts and sports the Veterans War Memorial at the summit, which is our first Tour of Honor spot of the day. Even thou we are in the heart of the Bershires it is actually part of the Taconic Mountain range.

While we were up there, we got to watch these crazy folks jump off the side of the mountain. What I don't understand is you gotta make your first jump, and if you fall off the horse, I don't think there is any getting right back on.

This is the guy that jumps off in the following video

MeAsWe got a video of one of the guys taking off.

Right up the road is the Bennington War Memorial. This is another Tour of Honor place I need.


We headed out to New York to head down NY22. Always a nice traveling road. As we were heading for 22, I caught a BBQ sign out of the corner of my eye. We followed this huge F350 diesel truck into the parking lot. He stopped, we stopped. I was looking around for the BBQ sign and not really paying attention to what the truck was doing. All of a sudden I heard MeAsWe screaming and the truck was backing right into us. Thank god for his good ears, and MeAsWe strong voice and the angels that were following us.

After the drama, we are headed for Stephentown for the S.

Having grabbed this we headed back into Mass to Pittsfield for MadJack's BBQ. Well Google has it on Fenn St and they have themselves on North Street. Google is wrong and this ended up being a bust. So back out onto NY 22, but we stopped first right before NY. While they had their smoke break I took some pictures of wild things.

Looked much cooler in real life

The green things with all the spiny things looks like something
out of a SciFi movie. You know the ones that get under your skin.
Gotta click the photo and blow it up

Right up the road is the only BBQ joint of the day making the 184th joint we have captured for Smoke Chasing 2012.

One more USA town
Does it look Norman Rockwellish ??
We called it a day and jumped on the Mass Pike for home.


Friday, August 24, 2012

A Piece of Paper You Say

MeAsWe called me down to the car because some stuff came from the post office that she needed help with. She said the gift Sky had bought for his girlfriend was here. When I got there I saw her holding a manila envelope with clear packing tape over the sealing end.I immediately recognized the package and said whats that. MeAsWe in a coy voice said  "oh nothing"

I will say the IBA has gotten speedy compared to that past. The last mileage IBA ride I finished was in 2006. You could wait up to 4 to 5 months. Now the IBA is turning this stuff around in 4 weeks. Kudos to the folks that review these rides.

That envelope still brings a very wide grin to my face.

The Ride Report and the Ride Documentation SS1000 and BB1500

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunrise Serenade in Searsport

You will find this at N44 27.492 W68 52.958 or Sears Island Rd in Searsport ME about half way out on the causeway. It was MeAsWe birthday and I sang Happy Birthday at the top of my lungs. Of course there was no one around to hear me other than MeAsWe and she held her ears.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Flatlanders go Home

Today is probably the most intense day for grabbing stuff. We have something like 26 places and it is also the longest mileage day out of the 6. On the bright side the sun is out and it is a beautiful day for riding.

First stop is right at the hotel or should I say next door. MeAsWe walked to this spot

Not too far away in downtown Augusta is our first BBQ grab

In Lewiston we stopped by DJ's Texas BBQ. It wasn't really open but the owner was out there doing BBQ and we got to talking to him. He sort of started this as a hobby, being an engineer at Bath Iron Works. Building missile boats and grilling pork and beef has a direct correlation, Right ? He has become so successful in BBQ catering, he is booked well into 2013. He figured he needed something to do when he retired, which is right around the corner. Based on our jibber jabber, he has found a second career.


Crossing the Androscoggin River in Auburn, ME

Saw these two out of the corner of my eye and made a U turn to get em. I am guessing 56 Ford and a 49 Merc.

Couple shots of the roads from Denmark.

Grabbed this not so restored cars in Steep Falls, ME

Right around lunch time we landed at Buck Naked BBQ. Good timing and we headed in for some lunch. Lindsey was our waitress and she really knows how to treat her guests plus she has a really neat tattoo. Bubbly, enthusiastic, go getter, adventurous, maybe a future rider, and knows how to talk to folks

I wandered around the joint and snapped some pics while we waited for our food.

So with all this picture taking, I forgot the food pics. Lindsey had this guy come over to the table to show off his tats. He has 2 kids, ages 3 and 1. He has the 3 year old convinced he has eyes in the back of the head. It would of convinced me at that age.

Cool place somewhere around Buxton, ME

Stopped in Shapleigh, ME for a USA town. Thought this place was kinda of neat.

Grabbed the Maine NER Tag in South Berwick, ME. Well this wasn't the tag picture, this one is neater.
I love murals and was going to use this as the tag in NH, but decided on a different one so as not to send riders into a busy town.

This joint has a nifty saying, I got a chuckle out of it.
Made this the new tag for OSJ's New England Circle tag.
Grabbed a couple more BBQ joints and USA towns and hit the Interstate home. Hate this when it happens.
Not to let the sun going down get in the way of our USA tour.
 The Ride