My wife Sissy put it best when someone asked where we were going on vacation this past weekend. “I’m getting some motorcycle therapy,” she told them.
We left town Thursday night headed for Ocean City, Md. to take part in Delmarva Bike Week. Unlike city officials in Myrtle Beach, the local government and the businesses they serve in the Ocean City area were more than happy to take my tourism money – and I was OK spending it with them.
This was our second trip to the Delmarva Rally, which derives its name from the Delmarva Peninsula that is made up of land belonging to Delaware (Del), Maryland (Mar), and Virginia (Va). Like last year we rode our faithful 2001 Harley-Davidson Road King there and back and met up with our friends Dawn Grey and Don Jose Grey who live in Surfside Beach now, but originally hail from Maryland. We shared a condo located on the bay side of Ocean City; walking distance to the beach and a short ride to our two favorite hangouts there: a couple of waterfront restaurant/bars called Fish Tails and De Lazy Lizard. A little further up the road is our breakfast place, the General’s Kitchen where Sissy, who is originally from Wisconsin, had her first taste of scrapple.
Last year the weather was pretty bad. We were forced inside more than once by rain. There were even sightings of waterspouts – full blown tornadoes out over the Atlantic Ocean. This year however the weather could not have been nicer on the ride down and during our time there. We got a little chilly on the way there and back, but that was my fault for not bringing our leather jackets. One of my favorite sayings is, “It’s better to have it than to need it” (whatever “it” may be at the time.) I am also a notorious over-packer; and, the Greys had even offered to bring anything we couldn’t fit on the bike with us in their truck, so I can’t use limited space as an excuse.
Once we got there though, it was another great time. As in the past we enjoyed the chance to hang out with the Greys and their relatives, mostly on Dawn’s side and most of whom still live in Maryland. They’re a friendly group of couples and singles; some younger, some older – all out to just have some fun and ride their motorcycles. In fact on Saturday there was a friends and family ride organized by one of Dawn’s sisters that drew close to 30 bikes, including ours. The plan was to meet at De Lazy Lizard, ride to another of our favorite Delmarva Bike Week stops a little further inland, the Oasis, on to the Harley-Davidson Dealership in Seacrest, Del., with a couple more stops on the way back. The invitation said all were free to join or exit the ride at any of the stops so we only felt marginally lame when we bailed out at the very first stop. Like I said, we enjoy the Oasis. There was live music, good food on the grill, a few vendors, plenty of high quality people-watching, a mechanical bull, and biker games galore. When someone commented that they came to Ocean City to ride their motorcycles (and not to just hang out), Sissy and I agreed with each other that we’d just ridden 500 miles to get there so we were fine hanging out while they racked up their miles.
Word got around that the police were set up on the main drag with radar guns so everyone took it easy and we decided to work our way back towards the beach. (Note to Myrtle Beach city officials: Enforce the laws and people will obey them. Things only get so-called “unmanageable” if you let them.) We finished our trip with an all-you-can-eat blue crab feast – a Maryland tradition and must-do on any trip to Ocean City.
On the ride back to Surfside Beach we stopped at a light to turn into an Applebee’s to get some lunch and watch part of the Carolina Panthers game and who pulls up to the same light at the same time but Dawn and Don Jose Grey who left separately after we did. They joined us for lunch.
We finally got wet leaving the restaurant, but fortunately we both had rain gear and a good attitude. It only got bad for a few minutes at a time and Sissy and I would just laugh and take turns saying, “This is awesome!” sarcastically. A little rain wasn’t going to put a damper on a great time and we really do prefer riding the motorcycle to driving; and, we enjoy our time “in the wind.” Regardless of what real life pressures may be happening we are always able to relax on our motorcycle and leave them behind – at least for a little while. Fortunately, we don’t have any serious worries to leave behind, but there was no stress on this trip. Not even the little kind. We were glad to be on the bike; with friends; and on vacation. Next year, we’re talking about a trip to Sturgis, S.D. for the Black Hills Rally.