It was a bright and crisp August morning. I asked the woman at the hotel check out where the closest Harley Davidson dealership would be? She said it would be in Woodstock, NY. So off I went. It was really nice to get off the Interstate and onto some nicely tree lined highways. I really don’t like riding the Interstate Highways. Too much traffic, too fast for a motorcycle amongst this type of traffic, too noisy, too dirty, just too, too, too.
The secondary highway was beautiful to ride with a wide road and new pavement with trees towering just beyond the ditches. This area must have been a logger’s haven at one time as the trees are big and beautiful. Couldn’t help wondering what it looked like when Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Carlos Santana were in the area for the for the 3 Days of Peace, 4 Love & Music. Probably much the same, thankfully.
It was before 9:00 a.m. when I arrived at Woodstock HD. They were closed so it was a good time to grab some breakfast. One of my traveling interests is to try and eat at local diners whenever possible. It truly gives you an idea of the area and what’s going on when chatting with the people working in the restaurants. It’s like going to the barber’s a couple times a day.
I must say that restaurateurs, their staff and patrons are far less leery of motorcyclists today than they were 25 years ago. I’m naturally inquisitive so I’ve always got plenty of questions regarding the area. Such as local industries, history of the area, economic state in their opinion, local interests and anything else that might be of interest including random questions that may be roused by the pictures on the wall to the T-shirts people are wearing. 3-4 cups of coffee usually limbers my mind and loosens my jaw a little. I call it the caffeine/synapse effect. I’m fully aware now.
The Harley shop is open. A beautiful shop it is too. I must say I love the HD branding as well as their service. They always give priority to traveling Harley owners. My old Fatboy has been an excellent motorcycle, but as they say, “if it rolls, it’ll give you problems one day”, well something like that.
Since I’m in there, in addition to getting the speedometer looked at, I’ll get the engine, transmission and primary oils changed also. The speedometer came out and the technician showed it to me. When he handed it to me and was chatting away as I flipped it over. My eye caught something right away and the tech’s words muted and garbled. Silently I’m thinking, Nippon, Japan! Nippon freakin’ Japan? Are you kidding me??
I interrupted the tech immediately and asked, “is this speedometer is made in Japan?” He said, “yeah”. Me, “really?” I couldn’t help but ask, “what other components are foreign made?” He said, “the braking system, suspension, ……..”. My mind went blank, then, slapping me like the g-force in a quarter mile top fuel racer, it went into hyper drive in disbelief. How could that be? Why? This made me very sad and upset. It made me angry as my impression of Harley Davidson was All American. Like the Heisman Trophy or Mount Rushmore. I was dumbfounded. I was angry. This Isn’t Right, Not at All!