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papasmurf

Sidecar odyssey memories, good & bad

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papasmurf

ONE OF OUR STORIES:

If memory serves me correctly, t'was in summer, 2011. Wife/ yours truly were northbound on I-91, in central VT in late afternoon. Elly had started riding 2-up with me [ leaving sidecar for tools, camping gear, luggage, food cooler, etc.] due to arthritis now bothering her knees, when sitting in the Friendship for long periods of time w/o being able to flex her legs. We were moving along well in outside lane, when some raindrops started hitting windshield. Quickly pulled into breakdown lane, put on our Froggs Toggs rain gear. Like Arnold said in many of his movies: BIG MISTAKE...we only donned TOPS!

Back on super slab, we'd gone maybe a mile, when the Grey Wall of a MONSOON hit us! Dropped to 35 mph, w/4-way flashers on. A semi in inside lane to our left, went by us very fast. The wave it produced reminded me of Hawaii Five-O, LOL, as it came over us about 5 feet above our heads! Took VERY NEXT EXIT! At ramp bottom, turned, parked under Interstate overpass, to put on our rain suit lowers; a joke at this point. We continued northward a very short distance, when friendly Pizza Parlor sign emerged out of the grey to our left. Inside the happy, very crowded establishment, we were able to warm up, eat a GREAT pizza and relax for awhile. Back on secondary VT road, we shortly saw sign for motel/convention center, exited, to get a warm room. Peeling our clothing off, we hung it everywhere it would fit. Hair dryer was shoved into each of four m/c boots in order [after draining the water from each]. Hot shower felt REALLY GOOD! Then, Ely peeked out of window, as she said it had actually started raining HARDER!

When morning dawned, it was as if the whole, sad scenario had never happened, After a good breakfast, with dry clothes on once more, we were back on the road again [like Willie Nelson says in his song, ROFL].  Lesson learned: Put BOTH halves of rain suit on when raindrops fall!              TTFN.  ..... papasmurf & wife in NH  :)

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papasmurf

Elly & yours truly started our 12 year, to-date, sidecar touring adventures in '02 riding season. Had purchased, driven  'new' 1995 GL1500SE [ with 17,680 miles on odometer ] home in May, '01. California Friendship III sidecar purchased shortly after...delivered from VA factory in early July...immediately started sidecar installation to Wing, THEN Murphy's Law struck! Injured right rotator cuff, going up a flight of stairs...snapped pair of tendons. Opted NOT to have surgery. Some folks at work had surgery on same injury...badly regretted their decision afterward. LONG recovery followed, which completely cancelled further work on rig install & riding for year [ arm in sling for some time, plus many painful physical therapy sessions ]. Got rig to son's garage for winter storage...had no place at the time to keep it out of weather.

Spring '02 gave me renewed energy to finish rig install, wiring, alignment. Could immediately tell I'd made VERY GOOD decision, as this puppy rode & handled BETTER than any of my other three rigs! We were both on a learning curve. Learned how rig handled, turned, stopped, backed up and it was responding to my driving idiosyncrasies. Elly & I sure became familiar with New Hampshire's back roads...we both preferred to mosey on them, as opposed to super slab travel [ unless absolutely necessary ]. Back road tree shade is a Wonderful Feeling in Summer heat!

Our fondest memories were how people seemed to respond to a sidecar. A group of adults were conversing when we pulled into restaurant parking lot. A small boy with adults spotted us, started bouncing up & down with excitement, waving his arms, while the adults totally ignored him & us. Another time, up north, we'd pulled into rest stop on I-93 south, parked in diagonal marked space. SUV pulled in to our right a few cars away. Woman exited SUV, came walking past us. She had a scowl on her like Ebenezer Scrooge's sister! BUT, as she passed our rig, she actually smiled for a few seconds when looking at it, then the scowl returned as she departed. Maybe we triggered a fond childhood memory...I'd like to think so.

Wife and I soon became Ambassadors of Riding with The Third Wheel! We, many times, had a group of folks, who'd gather in front of rig...ask many questions about it.  One question from a boy will always remain with us: " Did you take the ski and track off your snowmobile and put a wheel on it? " Had a hard time to keep from laughing at that one!  Then we learned about the Northeast Three-Wheelers Club of Ludlow, MA. It was right next to Springfield [ my old home town ] & a sister lived in Ludlow, so it was a no-brainer to meet up with those folks. Their Newsletter editor was stepping down, so I jumped in...did Newsletter for 6 years...a work of Love, as it gave me the opportunity to talk about sidecars to folks who KNEW where I was coming from!                                                                                                     enough said for now .....papa   :)

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mowerdoc

That is cool

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papasmurf

THANK YOU!

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Rebel Girl

So cool. I'm always trying to decide between trike and sidecar. Still haven't made up my mind. LOL

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