It is time to break away from the ever present budget preparation and look out the window and ponder at the New Year. Even though we are now 30 days into it, I am finding that the old paycheque is smaller. It is going to be another tough year. So, as I watch the birds feeding merrily on their catch of the day I got to thinking….
Every time our group rides, we find ourselves ending up at a pub or restaurant for a meal. Now I get to thinking (yes that can be dangerous)… it is one of the prime differences between old school and new school, or frugality and frivolity. New school throws down cash at the first inkling of an appetite; old school can’t waste time pulling over to satisfy a hunger pang when a home-cooked meal is only six hours away. When I was a boy, the notion of eating out meant that dad got a raise (and this was one of those things that just did not happen!) Normally we would have to go to the lake or head out to the woods with our .22’s and bring home dinner. This, my dad would say, toughened you up, built character, and made you appreciate the value of a dollar. At the time, I would have traded that all in for a simple sandwich, but now I see the stingy coot was right.
Even though we've become a nation of softies, you can still find economical compromise. For one, you can pack your saddlebag with a picnic. Include beverages, hearty sandwiches, maybe even a piece of fruit for once. Pick a spot along one of your favorite scenic roads, pull over at some piney place, and teach yourself to relax and enjoy the view.
Best of all, it's cheap. If you are not with the group, bring a date and you’ve got a damn romantic getaway package. Variations on the saddlebag picnic include the backpack breakfast and the Tour-Pak dinner (candlelight and iPod optional). If you munch your lunch by a secluded little swimming hole, clothes become optional too. I'm sure there's a little-known amendment to the Charter of Rights guaranteeing the biker's right to get naked somewhere. (Look it up and let us know.)
Ok, you want MEAT? I mean MEAT!!!! Here is a trick I learned from an old timer years ago while riding in the Kentucky foot hills. No, it wasn’t all about ‘shine or road kill, but then that would work too . Carefully wrap whatever raw meat you've got in two overlapping layers of heavy-duty foil, and clamp that to your exhaust pipe. The higher up the pipe you locate the meat (closer to the jugs) the more well-done the meat. Make sure that the foil does not have any holes or you might have a mess on the pipes. Don't use ground anything as this really makes a mess. Figuring out cook times takes a bit of trial and error, but soon you’ll get it and be enjoying many a hot mobile meal, which, legend has it, is where the term, "piping hot" comes from. I found that 100 miles at highway speeds will give you a medium steak.
I just hate it when my mind starts to wonder like this. Makes me wish I was on the road again and not in this office – staring at computer screens and listening to that black thing ringing all day. But this also reminds me of something else…. Not to get all religious on you or anything, but remember the bible telling us about how Christ turned water into wine? When I think about that, I realize there was a miracle that makes that look like child’s play. Two men (Harley and Davidson) turned liquid (gasoline) into music.
OK, back to work…..