Wildwood Weekend 2004
by Proud Spokes Mama
(Photos by Donna Warren)
Wildwood weekend was my first ride with the club since I became a member in February 2004. I wanted to ride down with the club so we left our house at 8:15am. But that didn't give us enough time to get to Freehold by 9:30 so my husband and I rode down to Wildwood alone.
The ride down was great. We took the back roads from Hampton to 1-95 to Rte 536 and traveled through the Pinelands. We didn't have time to eat breakfast before we left so we agreed that we would stop along the way. I was starving and I didn't know how to convey the message to my husband. (What is the hand signal for hungry, anyway?) We ended up in a dive. How bad can it be you might be thinking? Well..., I asked for eggs with peppers and potatoes and the peppers were marinated in vinegar – yuck.
As we entered the Pinelands I felt a familiar feeling that brought
back a memory of when I was here to ride my bicycle in an event called
“The Beast of the East”, which was a 75-mile ride. Since I
had ridden 75 miles before on hills and this area is flat, how much of
a beast could it be? The entire 75 miles was against the wind. I now know
why they call it the Beast of the East. You never stop peddling for the
entire 75 miles. I am so grateful for this hefty v-twin on my bike. Today,
pain is truly an option.
When we arrived at the hotel I saw a row of motorcycles and knew that some members of the club had already gotten there so I pulled into a parking space. The high curb made me very uncomfortable but I managed it.
Seeing the hotel was bittersweet after hearing how the club had come down here for the past 11 years and that this would be the last year here at the Windward. (editor's note: negotiations are underway with another hotel so the tradition can continue.)
We had just put our stuff in our room when Bill asked us if we were joining them for lunch. Since we'd just had breakfast and weren't hungry, we didn't join them. Instead, we grabbed some coffee at the local coffee shop and headed down to the beach.
We noticed a lot of kites being flown and we sat down on the stairs leading to the beach next to a cute older couple named Doris and Jim, who'd been coming down to Wildwood for over 20 years. They said this Kite festival was being held both Saturday and Sunday and it was worth checking out. They were so cute, she was outgoing and young spirited and he was easygoing and well informed. Later that night, as we were sitting on the balcony at the Windward and chatting, I told other club members about the kite festival. They said they had never seen this event. I felt that I was so lucky to be here for my first time and get to see this spectacular event.
I was so excited to be able to wear my spokes-women vest for the first time. I got it in May and hadn't worn it once….The reason I was so happy was because I found out about Spokes-Women because someone saw a rider wearing the vest and told me about it – now I can spread the word about Spokes-Women by wearing my vest.
On Saturday morning, the sky over the beach was filled with Kites. It was a beautiful, sunny day with low humidity…. I wondered, "Does it get any better?"
We discussed our plans for the day over breakfast. I wanted to go to Cape May to check out a bird sanctuary. Some other club members were also going to Cape May so we decided to all meet back at the hotel.
When we got back to the hotel, everyone was cleaning their bikes off and getting ready for the day. I went down to clean the bugs off my windshield but I had nothing to clean my bike with except a wet rag. I asked Marlene if I could use her spray, and she cheerfully said sure (she didn't bite). So, on this day, Marlene's Honda and my Harley shared bike cleaner. As we were cleaning the bikes, I noticed my MSF sticker on my helmet and said, “I bet I’m the only geek who has my MSF sticker on my helmet.”
Marlene said, "I have mine on my bike." Then others chimed in and said that they have their stickers on their helmet or bike too. I no longer felt like a geek. Folks then started sharing their bike maintenance tips, which I gather is one of the perks of being in a motorcycle club.
Later, Barbara, Marlene, Laura, Bill, Janet, my hubby and I rode down to Cape May lead by Bill. I was a little anxious since this is only my third season riding. Most of my riding is either done alone or with my husband. Riding in a group is different so I really need to focus on making sure I had two seconds between me and the bike in front me plus alerting the bikes behind me of any road dangers….I rode pretty good….I’m a Spokes-mama…..yeah.
Cape May is a charming town. I think our favorite houses were the ones with three colors. There was an Irish Festival going on near the center of town and there are lots of quaint shops. Marlene, Barbara, Bill, Janet and Laura went shopping in the shops.
Meanwhile, I went to check out the yard sales wondering, "What does their junk look like?" I got three brand new bath towels that will match the ones I already have for $1 a piece. I scored! I also purchased a wallet to hold my license when I'm riding.
My husband and I left earlier than the others so we could check out the bird sanctuary. The bird sanctuary was lovely. It was formed by the Nature Conservancy in 1984 and is on 212 acres that was once a town that was destroyed by a hurricane. As we walked along the path through the sanctuary, we saw adult swans and baby swans and lots of different birds. My favorite was the blue heron. I really don't know all the different types of birds but I love it when they sing. Their singing brings me right into the moment where I feel so peaceful and it makes me happy.
The hotel was serving pizza for our lunch and had hired a DJ to entertain us. They were serving the pizza at 1:30. By the time we got there around 2pm, Hotel Windward had become Disco Windward. The club members sat around eating pizza while Marlene and Janet strutted their stuff on the poolside dance floor. They were soon joined by Barbara and Patty. Marlene invited me to dance. No way....this was my first date with the club and I was taking it slow and just checking out the scene (really, I'm just shy).
We spent the afternoon sitting around just chatting. It was really nice spending time getting to know some of the other members. You don’t get to know the members like this by just attending the monthly meetings.
I really enjoyed talking to Laura (who is six months pregnant) and being able to reminisce about when I was pregnant and what my expectations of motherhood were. I spent time talking with Barbara and hearing how full her life is with her grandchildren.
I listened to Bill tell funny stories and checked out Marlene’s really cute pink corset bag. I realized the club members are just really nice people. My husband was having a good time too. This is about the time that Donna told me that it was a club tradition that the newest member present gets to write the article for the website newsletter.
We all went out to dinner and Liz, Charlie, Joe and I walked to Duffy’s Restaurant. Again, just talking on the way was pleasant and gave me a chance to get to know Liz. We got there early. While we were waiting, I saw Janet riding Tamarah on her bike and I was shocked because I can't ride anyone yet. Janet is smaller than me. Liz responded confidently that Janet is a great rider. Wow, this club does have great women in it and I'm proud to be a Spokes-Woman.
The food at Duffy’s was exceptionally good and the view of the lake was beautiful. Bill timed it well, we got there at seven and by the time we were enjoying coffee we were able to view the beautiful sunset on the lake.
Roe and Corky were wearing the new Harley Shirts that they bought while waiting for Corky’s flat tire on her bike to be repaired.
Bill, Janet, Marlene and Barbara left after breakfast Sunday and we started bidding our good-byes. My husband and I went down to the Beach to see the kites. You have a much better view of the kites there. I felt like a kid in a candy store with all the bright colors and shapes soaring in the sky. I even started to hum a song by Raffi that I used to sing to my son “Let’s go Fly a Kite”. I watched the teams flying the kites running and laughing. I felt so much joy and love in my heart, grateful for this moment. I remember a quote that said something about our memories making us rich. I feel very rich.
My husband and I had other friends that were staying in Wildwood. We we able to spend time with them too so our weekend was very full of friendship, sharing meals and good conversations.
On Sunday night all of our bikes (Liz, Charlie, Tamara, Judy, Donna, mine and hubby’s) were all tucked into two parking spaces that had an overhang that we hoped would keep our bikes dry. We left early Monday morning to avoid the rain. As we got on the Garden State Parkway north, a rider pulled up in the left lane, I looked over and he flashed a great big smile. I could not see much else since his face was wiggling in the wind, but in that smile, I felt the camaraderie that goes with motorcycle riding.
We went home the same way we came taking the back roads. We had another pleasant surprise. As we passed some of the local towns, we passed people getting ready for their Memorial Day Parade, little girls with bonnets, men dressed up in police/fire/military uniforms and everyone bursting with pride. We stopped in a local store for breakfast where the Police Motorcycle Club of Allentown was getting ready for the parade. We shared some nice words with them. What a nice finish to a beautiful weekend and we didn't hit any traffic or rain!
I got an answer to my earlier question “Does it get any
better?” Well, it did get better. I had a terrific time and I'm
so glad we went. I just want to tell the Club Members who attended that
I had a great time and thank you for helping my husband and me feel so
welcome. I think one of the greatest benefits of attending club functions
is that you feel like you're more of a part of the club.
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