Monday, June 28, 2010

Fellowship and Ice Cream

Once a month, on a Sunday afternoon, a different member of the Romans 8 Riders chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association hosts a fellowship and potluck dinner at their home. These fellowships, which are in addition to our monthly business meeting, are an opportunity to get to know our brothers and sisters in Christ a little better; to discuss the latest modifications to our bikes; to encourage and support one another; and to enjoy the company of a great group of folks.

The monthly fellowships are a godsend during the winter months, when we are unable to ride, and provide a social event to look forward to. Of course, during the warmer months, the fellowships provide yet another opportunity to ride. This past Sunday was no exception. Anna and I ran into some of my fellow Romans 8 Riders at Christian Hill Community Church in West Warwick, R.I. They said some of them were meeting back at the church for a group ride, after the fellowship.

Romans 8 members Charlie and Brenda Nault graciously hosted our most recent fellowship this past Sunday, despite having been in a harrowing car accident only about a week before. They were driving on Interstate 195 in Massachusetts when their car was rear-ended by another vehicle, driven by a suspected drunk driver who police estimated to be traveling in excess of 100 mph, Brenda said. The impact lifted the Nault's vehicle off the ground before it landed on the front bumper, but miraculously, the Naults survived with only bruises and soreness for Brenda and a concussion and headaches for Charlie.

I took Anna on my motorcycle to the fellowship. Before arriving at the Naults' house, we stopped at an Italian bakery for a box of pizza strips, which Anna held, waitress-style, as she rode on the back of my bike. We pulled up next to some other motorcyclists at a stop light and I couldn't resist saying, "Pizza delivery!" to which they responded with a laugh.

Charlie cooked burgers and hot dogs on the grill while some of us lounged outdoors, while others preferred the air conditioned indoors. Pastor Joe made himself at home on the backyard hammock, while our Romans 8 president, Spike, talked to Manny about cams, a Power Commander and dyno tuning for Manny's Road King, which is out of commission currently. The long stretch of warm, sunny weather we've been enjoying lately has been torturing Manny.

"You watch - you'll know my bike is done when we get rain," joked Manny, who drove his car to the fellowship.

Manny and Spike wanted to see my bike with the new pipes and air cleaner, and I got favorable reviews from both of them.

There was also talk about the CMA's New England Rally which is scheduled for three days next month at a campground in Massachusetts. Roland Caron has offered to let me and Bob Levesque to stay in his travel trailer. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to stay all weekend, or just one day. God will work it out.

After the fellowship, Anna and I joined Romans 8 riders Andy Beaulieu and his wife, Kathy; Keith McGee; Tom Calci and his wife, Paula; and Bob Levesque, at the parking lot of Christian Hill. There was also a woman named Sandy, who rode an orange Road Glide, the only Harley besides mine. Andy led the group, and early in the ride, on Route 117 in Coventry, I saw a small black P.O.W. flag fall off Tom's bike onto the road. Keith went back to retrieve the flag while the group stopped and waited for him. Somehow, the flag's staff came unscrewed from its holder (I'm going to buy Tom a tube of Loctite for his birthday).

Andy took us out of Rhode Island and into Connecticut, where we rode on Route 49 through Sterling and Voluntown, Conn., a scenic road I have taken Anna riding on twice previously. We then rode on Routes 138 and 165, and a few smaller, winding roads. It was ideal riding weather, warm with hazy sunshine.

As we often do on rides, we stopped for ice cream, this time, at Buttonwood Farm Ice Cream on Route 165 in Griswold, Conn. I've driven and ridden by there many times, but had never stopped. Their ice cream is homemade, and, at $4 for a single scoop cone, kind of pricey, but very good. I ordered peach, Anna ordered Almond Joy. Bob Levesque won macho points for leaning on a garbage can covered with sticky ice cream residue, which grossed out some of the women and Tom, who didn't even want to touch the flapper door to the top of the can.

"They're just the right height for leaning on," Bob said.

One of the things I like most about June is that it stays light out relatively late. It was still dusk when we got back to the Coventry/West Warwick area around 8 p.m. But by the time I headed back to South County to garage my bike for the night, it was dark and foggy. Although the fog and fine drizzle forced me to remove my goggles and then eyeglasses in order to see, the coolness sure did feel good against my skin as I chugged home at 25 mph.

(The second and fourth photos were taken by Anna McCormick.)

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