Sanzari "Under the Bridge Party"
by Mickey Reutty
August 18, 2007

I had been wanting to go on this run for several years, but either weather or life got in the way.

I made plans to meet my son Dave (he rode my Virago--that's him with the moustache in the pictures), and my friend Tom (that's him with the Bridge in the background) to meet at my house. We were to meet Michele M. and Susan M. at the parking lot.

The men were on time and as they came into the house, they told me how cold the riding was. There was no sun and it was only 8:30 a.m. I figured I'd better put the chaps on, so it took a little longer to get going.

I had trouble almost immediately shifting with the heel and toe shifter. Many of you know this Harley is new to me, so I figured maybe it's the chaps getting in the way. They are a little long. My son Dave had adjusted the shifter so that with minimal effort, I could shift easily. He had also installed a "soft clutch" so that I wouldn't develop a callous on the inside of my left thumb.

When we got to the stadium lot, I told him I was having to stomp on the heel shifter to get it to go in to gear.
Dave took it around the parking lot and said he had no problem. I said, well, maybe the chaps are getting in the way and left it at that.

I called Michele who said they weren't going to make it. I felt bad because I miss her and Susan; since we were newbies together we have a lot in common. We walked around, I went to the port-a-john (3 or 4 times) and thoughtfully remembered to put the seat up when I was done.

We looked at the Sopranos Harley, donated by Rochelle Park H-D and signed by all of the Sopranos pezzonovante's (big shots), facilitated by Vincent Curatola (Jackie Sack) who pulled the winning number (not mine). The tickets were $100 a pop and I went half-sies with my chiropractor.

As you can see from the photos, this was a beautiful bike, built by someone with a sense of humor. On one hard saddle bag top was a picture of the Badda-Bing and on the other was Satriale's Pork store. The shift and brake calipers were in the form of brass knuckles and the oil cover was the bullet chamber of a six-shooter. As my friend Tom said, this isn't the kind of bike that you ride-this is the kind you put on e-bay and get $150K for.

This is a fully police-escourted run started in the Meadowlands Stadium parking lot, ran through Northern New Jersey and Rockland County and wound up at Ross's Dock, truly under the George Washington Bridge. I am not good at guess-timating how many bikes are on a run, but I'd have to say MANY to this one.

I think just the name Sanzari brought many bikers out to this run: The Sanzari's are known in Bergen County for their construction of the Hackensack Medical Center and the founding of the Sanzari Children's Hospital, which benefits from this run. They really are a very public spirited-family and I read in the Bergen Record that son Joe has at least 25 Harleys in his garage. So this run was a match made in H-D heaven. Woo Hoo!

There were two accidents on the ride; I wish when that happens they'd let us know everyone is ok. I still had a hard time shifting-something was wrong no matter what they told me--

We ate (they ran out of food, so I didn't get any baked ziti or chili), drank and after hearing Sweet Home Alabama played by the excellent cover band "Southern Shift," it was time to go. My son had visitation with my beautiful granddaughters and Tom was going to put in some overtime at his place of business in Midland Park.

We walked around to look at the bikes--we saw that Viet Nam vet's bike in the picture-the one with the dragon and hand-tooled seat and kit, one that had a side-car made just for the couple's bull dog, a trike straight out of the 1930's, two Bourget's (spelling?) and a beautiful Indian, fully restored.

The road down to the dock was reminiscent of the Dragon's Tail--hairpin turns sometimes off camber-but the ride up to Rt. 505 was equally challenging. I was still having trouble shifting, but was moving along until we came to the end in Fort Lee. I was going up hill and my bike got stuck in neutral. Now Alex had told me that this bike would not go into neutral unless it was stopped so this was perplexing. I didn't have much time to muse over this as the road was two narrow lanes, I had cars crawling up my slow moving ass and finally gave it up and stopped. Fortunately my son saw I was in trouble and swung his bike around cross-wise in back of me, so the cars wouldn't cream me. Tom had to continue, but when he saw we were no longer behind him, he turned around.

We pushed the Harley to the side of the road on up onto a side walk. Dave did what he could, but the bike was still stuck in neutral. I called Mowtow, spoke to a woman who was brain dead, and was told an hour. Dave had to leave, but Tom stayed, always the gentleman. Bike after bike drove past us and didn't stop, but in all fairness, we didn't flag them down either. Tom and I had a lovely visit and the tow truck was there before the hour. It began to rain and we took off for home, beating the tow truck by only a few minutes.

Dave worked on the bike later that afternoon and couldn't get the plates to separate. Chah-ching! Now I've got to hope that Harley can fix this before the weekend, so I can go to the Adirondacks with my peeps.

Pray for me...I need this vacation baaaaaad!


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