Part 2. Boston and MOMS motorcycles
During my recent trip to the States I was anxiously looking forward to our motorcycle trip to Laconia Bike Week, but I was happy to do a day trip to Boston to see a few of the sights and attractions. We visited Faneuil Hall and the Quincy Market area which is a busy down-town historic indoor market that is particularly well known for food, and a good friend of mine had said I needed to try a lobster roll from the vendor stalls in the market. I was recommended to go right to the back of the market and go to a particular stall, but when we got there it was lunchtime and the whole market, which is huge, was full with people queuing for food. It was hardly possible to move with tourists but also office workers, I am guessing, from the more formal clothes they wore, from companies located nearby. I contended myself with a lobster roll from Ned Devine’s Irish pub which is at the back entrance to the market, and never having had one before, I didn’t have any complaints. The area around the market hosts huge numbers of visitors and is well worth a visit, for souvenirs, food and clothes and is also well known for street theatre and performers. On the day we were there the number of performers was not what it usually is, but there was a guy there that attracted a big audience, mainly because his act started with chainsaw juggling which seemed to pique the interest of the students on school tours especially.
A city tour of the streets and the Charles River by Duck Boat, which are derived from World War 2 amphibious landing vehicles, is very popular, mainly because the “conDUCKtors” that drive and pilot these vehicles, or vessels, give a comic running commentary while they point out the interesting attractions in the city. Our guy was Canadian, known as Tim Burr (as in when somebody shouts: TIIMMBEER, when felling a tree), and his gag is that he fell into the Charles River and floated down from Canada to Boston where someone on a DUCK boat pulled him out of the water, and he has been working the DUCK boats ever since, to try earn the cab fare back to his Mom in Canada. As you can guess, the normal demographic for DUCK boats is Middle School students, but the tour was very good and you see a lot on the road trip around the city and even more when the tour takes to the water. It is a great additional perspective from which to see the city.
Matt’s Dad came over to visit when he heard that an Irish guy was over to stay for a while. “Bo” is a Korean War Vet, from a Irish / Italian background, married to an all Italian girl, both of whom have had long and interesting lives, and plenty more to do. “Bo” is well into his eighties but still drives, and when he visited Matt’s to meet me he came over in his Model A Ford. When he had been talking about buying it a few years ago, nobody took him seriously. He did. He bought it and came home in it and enjoys nothing more than taking it out for a jaunt. It is a beautiful example of a 1931 Ford Model A.
It was time to take a look at the bike I was taking up to Laconia. I was highly impressed when I got to MOMS, in Foxboro. This is a Polaris dealer through and through, and the the first thing that impresses you is that there is a lot going on here. The parking lot is full of motorcycles, cars and people. There is a lot to the side of the business, where there was an instructor, and some riders learning their craft on a variety of bikes. This is a busy place. As you walk into the shop you see new Indian motorcycles. A new Roadmaster with what I think is the most impressive paint job on the market was right next to the door. There were many other Indian models and its impossible not to be impressed with the paint, the leather and the detail on these bikes. A little further into the shop the Victory bikes are displayed, and over to one side, I notice Polaris Slingshots, and near the back was plenty of clothing, helmets and accessories. I discovered very soon that my bike was the last bike available. Whether they had held it for me or I was just lucky, was not clear and I didn’t question it. I had a bike. I had a bike during Laconia Bike Week, and that was not to be sniffed at. The bike was a full dress Electra Glide (FLHTK) from 2013 with a 103 cubic inch engine (1670cc), in an attractive black and silver livery. Weighing in at 857 lbs (398 kgs) which is massive compared to what I am used to. This model has abs, cruise control, a smart security system, an attractive two-tone paint scheme, the tour-pack and a luggage rack, and heated hand grips. An interesting feature of the security system is that you can keep the key in your jacket pocket and if you walk away from the bike the system activates remotely and the bike won’t start. When you walk back into range with the key in your pocket the security turns off and the bike will start. I was looking forward to getting out on the road and seeing how I and this big girl were going to get along.