On the one hand, not a bad call to arms: somewhere between a work-stoppage and a group mental health day.
But for me, Mass Hooky simply meant a day away from the office, children, the wife, email, cars, trains, deadlines, and the home state of Connecticut.
And a trip up into what Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices calls “Larger Massachusetts.” It’s a good mellow soundtrack for this RR.
Here’s the run:
And the steed:
Rear-view; does this make my bike’s ass look fat?
Not much in the way of photo-wizardry on this hooky ride; I borrowed my son’s GoPro and used a spare adhesive mount to stick it to the top of my helmet.
Not too much adverse effect on air-dynamics (but then I’m on an F8 with a pair of giant aluminum air-brakes). But not much in the way of photo-variety, either.
As a friend from work said about my pics, “A lot of pictures of roads.”
I assured him that to riders like me (and you, my friend), these were the equivalent of New England adventure motoporn.
But this one kinda looks like, well, a road:
But they get better as I get Norther. The roads, and the pics:
The neat thing was seeing how, in mid-October, the trees down south were all still relatively green, but considerably more colorful as I wound my way up north on Route 8.
Welcome to Mass. Hooky, Mass.
Once you poke across the border, Route 8 follows the Colebrook River Lake, and then the Colebrook river up through Otis. Delicious riding.
I color-coordinated my ATGATT riding kit with the graphite-grey tarmac (and F8) and optic-yellow road lines. Be the road, dude.
Made it as far as Pittsfield, Mass, and October Mountain State Forest, which allowed for some (very mild) gravel road riding through the woods. One retiree couple, looking like the perfect pharmaceutical ad couple out for an autumn stroll, practically leapt off the trail headfirst when they heard me inching (literally, inching) behind them at under 5 mph, gingerly trying to pass (the gravel road was at least 15 feet wide). I became the proud recipient of a shaking fist and a look of anger at my perceived trespass, even though this was (and is) a very public road. In the woods. Marked with signs for cars.
It was a classic “motorcycle hatred moment.” Which was kinda sad, because I’m so (and try so not to be) the classic “motorcycle hateable guy.” No loud-pipes-save-lives. No leather. No iron crosses. No hooliganism. No baddass facial hair or badass anything. Just a polite New England Dad out for a hooky day, looking maybe a little too like a Long Way Around wannabe asshat, burbling through a state park and admiring the foliage above and the crunch of crushed stoned under tire.
Oh well. Hope I didn’t spark an arrhythmia. Let’s get lunch!
So I headed south…
Down through the Southern Berkshires…
Down past the Colebrook River again…
And back into Connecticut. Where I exited at a few towns (Winsted, Torrington) before settling on Thomaston, CT for some provisions. Thomaston was the early 19th century home of Seth Thomas, clockmaker and industrial revolutionary extraordinaire, who managed to reduce the cost of manufacturing a shelf clock from $25 to $5, and paved the way for two-century’s worth of cost-slashing and technological march that’s yielded its logical conclusion in the iPhone and the Casio G Shock watch. Neither of which is made in Thomaston, CT.
Anyhoo, this looked promisingly obscure. And patriotic in a last-ditch kinda way. If we can’t make clocks, dammit, we can take pride in our locally-fried foods!
So I parked and settled in. The fries were indeed delicious. But alas deliciousness does not come free. Cheap, but not free.
Here’s the view from my chunky, just-roasted turkey-and-gravy-sandwich with cranberry sauce on grilled Italian bread. It was frigging awesome. And the people at Patti’s were as nice as could be. I looked up some “reviews” on Yelp the next day (people actually reviewed it) and I have to say they were spot on.
Then back on the bike, and southwards to home.
No drama, home to mama.
You’ve got a hooky day in your future, dude. Do it.