****** This is something I found in a dusty corner of my harddrive.  It is about a ride we took with friends in 2009*****

Friday morning my wife Debbie and I and our friends Tim and Karma pulled out of Ft. Belvoir headed for Atlantic City.   Atlantic City or Bust…well, I hope not to bust! We decided that we would stop at all the dealerships we could on the way there just to check them out as well as work on our ABC of Touring pin.

Our first stop was Old Glory in Laurel. We had been there before of course but the trip there was a bit different. Going up the George Washington Parkway, as always, was a nice ride. Running along the river with little traffic is always fun. But the fun ended when we crossed the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and headed up I-295! Man O’ Man was that road rough, I know that these are tough economic times but at some point the holes have to be filled. I ride a Heritage softail, Tim has a Road King and Karma a Sporty, and because of the road conditions Karma was really riding a horse trying to throw her at every opportunity. At one spot I thought she went six inches off the seat! All I have to say is thank God for softails!

Our stop at Old Glory was short. We looked at their merchandise for a bit made a couple of small purchases, got the ABC picture and rolled out. Next stop was HD of Maryland, again the ride was a bit rough. None of us had been to this particular store and all were happy with what we found. A well laid out store with free dealer dots! We grabbed our ABC photo and away we went.

About an hour later we rode through the harbor tunnel, now that was cool. The sound of the big twins (and the Sporty) reverberating in the tunnel was excellent. Of course there were a few extra twists of the throttles just to make sure everyone was awake! Just a bit later we pulled up to the HD/Buell Store of Baltimore. We all liked this dealership; if you have not been there you should make the trip. There shop is in two buildings one for the bikes and one for clothes. We grabbed our ABC photo and away we went.

We rode up I-95 a ways before pulling on to the back roads to get to Chesapeake HD. This was one of the spots that Google Maps was off on. This dealership moved recently and no one has updated Google. We pulled up to an intersection at which our map said turn left and go 4 miles. Lucky for us the big HD sign was visible from the intersection. According to the dealership crew that worked there they had moved during the summer. The new facility is designed to look like a big red barn and has plenty of neat stuff inside, like a 60’s hippy in a period phone booth and a 1940 something Harley trike. It was also at this dealership I realized that I had left my wife’s anniversary card at work so of course I bought a Harley card (one that had a real nice looking heart pin attached).

Tim asked about directions through the countryside that would get us back to highway Instead of backtracking to I-95. Those directions took us through some cool little towns and along the Susquehanna River. One of the towns that caught my attention was Port Deposit; this was an old time railroad town with a lot of the old time company houses still in use. In another town I glanced to the right and spotted a warehouse that had rows of sport boats stacked six high along the river! Soon we were back to I-95 but we decided to use Route 40 and travel the back roads to New Castle and Mike’s Famous HD. Along the way I spotted a 10 foot tall, 10 foot wide golden Buddha outside a Chinese restaurant and the world’s largest postcard store (self-proclaimed).

Mike’s Famous was very nice, likely the coolest dealership on the trip. Mike’s is very Art Deco on the outside and warehouse chic on the inside. I particularly like the windows into the shop area. They had a spot from which the customer could watch a bike undergoing work. One of the guys I spoke to said that they always put their best mechanic in that spot. I don’t know what happened but when we compared notes as we were leaving the girls said that the employees there were rude but Tim and I thought they were quite friendly. Maybe they liked the way Tim and I looked in our black leather chaps!

The next stop on the grand dealer tour was to be Salem County HD. But it was getting late so we said that unless it was easy to get to we would roll on to AC. As it turned out the dealership was only a mile out of the way, so off we went. Salem County was one of the smallest if not the smallest dealership I have visited. They did have some shop cats that were friendly and purred almost as loud as our engines! Since the day was getting long we only stayed for a few minutes before we rolled on.


At Atlantic City HD

We rolled into Atlantic City just after dark and spotted our hotel off in the distance. We were staying at Harrah’s and the front of the building is like a giant video screen! Giant stars, logos and other symbols moved across the building making it easy to find our way in the dark. It was at this point I remembered that the game Monopoly was based on AC and sure enough we were soon passing Baltic, Tennessee, Pacific, Atlantic Avenue’s and other game properties. But, we never did see Marvin’s Gardens.

After a long day in the saddle everyone was glad we were at the destination. Even though the saying goes “It is the journey not the destination” at some point you just want to get there. After we checked in it was time for dinner! We had a nice meal at the casino and then went out on the floor to try our luck. Of course if anyone really had luck the casinos would not look so nice! We all tried our hands at the penny slots, boy those thing can be confusing! You can bet one line (similar to the old time machines) or three, five or nine lines with multiple combinations. Turns out if you are going to win anything you have to bet the max on each spin with the max possible lines, on the machine I was playing I had to bet 9 cents per spin ( if I had won big it would have been $200). Of to bed and some rest, after $20 or so went to Mr. Harrah’s college scholarship fund.

The next morning we were having breakfast when we spotted several other guests being escorted by hostesses carrying blue lights. I asked our waitress what was up with the blue light specials; turns out those are VIP guests who get to go to the front of the line for anything in the casino/hotel. Turns out that to be qualified to be a blue light VIP you have to have lost over $100,000 dollars at the games. This is one VIP club of which I don’t want to become a member.

After breakfast we climbed on the bikes and road out to Atlantic County HD. This dealership has a level for bikes and two levels for clothes, and a separate level for a small museum (has a 1911 and 1917 Harley among about 20 old bikes) and a small ice cream pallor. Outside they have a 1900’s era locomotive painted up with B&B railroad markings as well as their store logo. Leaving the dealership it was looking like rain and shortly thereafter we got a little damp. We have been in so many rain storms this summer I am thinking of getting a “Storm Chaser” sicker for my helmet.

Around noon we went to the Hard Rock Café for lunch, turns out the café is inside of Trump’s Taj Mahal casino. Passing through the casino floor we spotted a section of slots with a Harley strapped on top. The bike was the grand prize for that set of machines. We all decided that we would play a few turns on those machines before we left.

The Hard Rock Café is on the Atlantic City Board walk and after lunch we decided to take a walk down the boardwalk. On one side of the boardwalk you have the beach and on the other you have miles of cheesy tourist traps. We walked about a half mile when Tim realized that the AC Harley shop was only a few blocks east of where we located. Now we had tried to stop at this shop earlier but after circling the block a dozen times looking for parking we drove on to the Hard Rock, so based on the lack of parking we decided to walk the “few” blocks. A “few” blocks later we were there. AC HD is not a dealership, just a clothing shop. I picked up a shirt for my brother-in-law and we were soon heading off the “few” blocks back to the boardwalk.

When we got back to the casino we all decided to play the “Harley Slots”. The grand prize was a 2008 Softail Custom with about an inch of dust covering it. Ten dollars later the bike was still strapped to the top of the slot machines and we were each a bit lighter in the wallet.

For dinner Tim had found a nice deal at a very high end steakhouse. For one hundred dollars we received a coupon for two hundred dollars worth of dinner. The steakhouse was located at the Bally’s casino several miles down the road, so we decided to take a cab. It was the cab ride that was the scarcest part of the trip; we were flying down the streets, and nearly hit two other cars! Everyone was ready to get out when we arrived at the casino. The dinner was great but not nearly as great as the conversations and friends!

Back at Harrah’s Tim and I decided to try our hand at blackjack while the girls played the slots. We each picked up fifty dollars in chips and found a seat next to each other at a table. Tim lasted 3 or 4 hands and I lasted about twelve….other $100 for the Harrah School for Wayward Girls and Boys! Debbie and Karma did not do any better and we all decided to call it a night. The next morning we were headed home.

The route home was a ride down the Jersey Turnpike to the Cape May ferry. We wanted to stop at the Wildwood, NJ dealership but between thick, thick fog and bad road signage we were forced to go straight to the ferry. The boat ride from New Jersey to Delaware was very neat! We were three of about ten bikes that loaded first. The ride, shore to shore, lasted about an hour of which the first twenty minutes was a bit rocky, but not enough to get anyone seasick. Our intention was to ride to the Rehoboth dealership after the ferry docked but we could not find it and decided to move on after spending an hour looking around.

The rest of the way home was uneventful and we made it back in time to watch some football. It was a fun weekend, a fun ride and a great time.



Boarding the Cape May Ferry

  1. […] Beach, SC then through the mountains of Tennessee. At other times we have rode the motorcycle to Atlantic City and the Pro Football Hall of […]

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