Memorial Day Weekend, 1970
It's a rainy Friday morning. My well-used 1965 Triumph Bonneville is parked on a quiet side street in Narberth, Pennsylvania; I'm fiddling with the recalcitrant Lucas ignition system, trying to get the damn thing started. My buddies, both mounted on disgustingly reliable Honda Dreams, roll their eyes every time I heave on the kickstarter and get nothing but a backfire for my troubles. Eventually I dry the points, the bike lights up, and we head out of the Philadelphia suburbs toward the seaside resort of Wildwood, New Jersey, for what we all hope will be a weekend of utter debauchery. Outside of my $14.95 Pep Boys helmet, I own no dedicated riding gear and my denim jacket does little to ward off the rain, so I'm soaked to the skin and near frozen before we clear the city limits. When we stop for a hot cup of coffee, I discover the Boy Scout knapsack I've lashed to the sissy bar has come adrift. The rear tire has worn a large gash in its side, so now my spare clothes aren't just soaking wet, they're filthy, with a mix of road grime and chain spray as well.