Last Resort Posted September 30, 2007 Share Posted September 30, 2007 Even the cow manure smelled terrific. While not as overtly pleasing as the equally stimulating scents of burning wood, ripening grapes or freshly-cut hay fields, the aroma of pasture patties still had a way of enhancing an afternoon ride around Litchfield County on the first day of fall last Sunday. The day's bright sunshine that tempted one bikini-clad sun worshipper into incongruously catching rays aboard an anchored speedboat on Bantam Lake and had kids wading in the water on the beach at Lake Waramaug even as the leaves were beginning to change color also put countless riders out on the road. A hint of autumnal crispness added to the ambiance. "The motor likes it as much as we like it. It's good for both — machine and man," said David Perugini of Naugatuck, moments after riding through the wood-planked covered bridge in West Cornwall. He'd ridden up Route 7 with his daughter, Jamie, on his brother-in-law's 2001 Harley-Davidson Sportster. "Just living where we live is tops," said Perugini, and finding anyone to dispute his assessment of the area as a rider's playground would have been impossible. "If it got any better, I'd swear the deck was stacked," said Michael P. Kahn Jr. of Dalton, Mass., having just pulled alongside the green in Litchfield on his 2002 Indian Chief after spotting the parked 2001 Indian Spirit of Allan Trifiro of Wethersfield. Seeing an Indian out on a cruise is uncommon. Seeing two together is downright rare. "Indians are completely an identity thing," said Kahn, who has put 50,000 miles on his five-year-old bike, including a trip to the Florida Keys. Trifiro, who wore an Indian-branded denim jacket and who collects Indian memorabilia, concurred. "Ever since I was a kid I was enamored with the Indian motorcycle name," he said. As Kahn and Trifiro chatted about the latest attempt to revive the Indian brand by a company in North Carolina, dozens of bikes cruised past the green, and the volume provided visual and audible proof that fall is by far the best season for riding. Unlike the spring, there's no fear of black ice or sand left behind by winter snow-removal crews. Unlike the summer, there's no concern about overheating – either your engine or your body. Fall on two wheels is meant for mimicking the Chuck Berry song "No Particular Place to Go." The destination doesn't matter: "Anywhere, U.S.A." as Kahn phrased it. Just roll on the throttle and go. And, if you take the time to talk with those you meet along the way, you're bound to make new friends. That's what happened on this ride. When it came time to part ways in Litchfield, Kahn elected to join RIDE-CT in a meandering, leisurely tour that went to Morris, Bethlehem, Hotchkissville, Washington, Washington Depot and back to Morris for a halftime burger at Popey's, followed by a second leg to Bantam, New Preston and around Lake Waramaug, Warren, Cornwall Bridge and West Cornwall. Along the way, at nearly every stop sign, Kahn marveled at the scenery. Indeed, fall riding somehow inflates the senses and dampens the speed, causing you to notice things that might otherwise be overlooked in haste. Kahn and I both wondered about the cause behind two spots in Lake Waramaug where the water bubbled up from beneath the surface and we both noticed the pumpkins placed atop the sill above the front door of Walter Malone's house on Route 7 in Cornwall Bridge. It was shortly after Kahn took his leave at the covered bridge to head back to Massachusetts that Perugini rode up with his daughter. "The scenery, the changing leaves," replied Jamie when asked what she enjoys about fall riding. If last weekend was perfect weather-wise, this weekend and next should be even better for fall foliage. Backtracking solo to Cornwall Bridge and then heading to Goshen and back to Litchfield, I stopped once again next to the green. It was late afternoon. Within seconds two motorcycles pulled in the same parking space that Kahn and Trifiro had occupied a few hours before. Toby Brown of Avon was aboard a 1998 Moto Guzzi California and Carol Leddy of Windsor Locks was riding a 1998 Sportster. Brown has been riding for 35 years, while Leddy took up the recreation in May. "I'm addicted to it," said Leddy. "I always wanted a Harley and a friend was selling this one. Had to have it. Took the (Basic Rider) Course and started riding." Brown's bike bears a license plate that reads "GITY-UP," and it's a philosophy that he adheres to when riding. "It's an attitude – giddyup," he said. Before they remounted, Leddy noted the magnificence of the first day of autumn. "The end to a perfect weekend," she said. And fall's just beginning. Bring on the cow chips. Event planner It's a little bit out of the area, but the 2nd annual Shoreline Charity Ride is planned for Sunday, benefiting St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Margaritas Restaurant, 377 East Main Street in Branford is the start-finish point for the 11 a.m. ride that will run through North Branford, Guilford and Madison. Cost is $20 for a rider and $30 for rider with passenger. All participants will receive a St. Jude lapel pin. RIDE-CT is a regular feature on motorcycling. Harwinton-based journalist Bud Wilkinson, who rides a 2003 Harley-Davidson V-Rod. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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