Washington DC And Beyond
I'm not sure if I understand what freedom is anymore. When I was a baby, I suppose it was being able to pee anywhere, anytime. But needing someone to change your diaper for you isn't really freedom. So with all of these colossal corporations being bailed out during our economic crisis, I'm left re-evaluating the F-word. Does freedom mean that you can f%^$ up your business and expect Uncle Sam to bail you out and wipe your butt? Even my mom says I am a huge f%^$-up, and I'm fully potty trained. Hey Washington, I know some of you guys read this magazine, send me a few mil' to get me on my feet.
Of course, a million bucks isn't the ticket to freedom either--not that I would know, I've never had that much coin in hand. I was in need of a serious freedom fest. So instead of writing Sammy, I called Baggers and proposed an East Coast tour--cruising through the towns where our forefathers set up shop. In New Jersey, I picked up an '08 Victory Vision Street (sans top box) from John Costa at Rollin' Fast (rollinfast.com), loaded up, and headed straight toward the nation's capital city. Oh, but wait, I know nothing about the Eastern Seaboard. My buddy at MadMaps (madmaps.com) hooked me up with a route and, well, some maps and stuff. No dilly-dallying, I headed directly to the White House only to get held back by guards and concrete barriers.
The White House was surrounded by blockades. I found a way through them without being shot and stared at the home of our President while a mass of foreigners took poorly framed photos. I was surprised there weren't any English-speaking people. It seems that no one from the "Land of the Free" is interested in seeing the Chief's home. This is the place where it all happens. I had to find a way in and ask George W. what he thinks freedom is. I found an old doorbell on the fence with a plaque reading "Welcome to the White House." No answer. Guess they don't like Trick or Treaters.
I ran off to check out the giant penis of our nation. It oozed with tourists, too. The Washington Monument was created to commemorate a righteous dude that won the freedom of our country. It is the world's tallest stone structure and pierces the sky with its mightiness. No wonder it gets its own reflecting pool. I have the same effect in my own bathtub, of course. Like, George Washington, "I cannot tell a lie." Too much stress of city driving, too many barricades, too many people photographing an erection, clearly freedom cannot be found in D.C.
Lancets, snakeroot and crab claws, oh my! These are the remedies found at the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop (apva.org/hughmercerapothecary) in Old Town Fredericksburg. I stayed after the tour and begged them to put a leech on me. Leeches were used in the olden days to cure such ailments as headaches, hemorrhoids and women's hysteria. For a quick cure for what ails ya, buy some good medical grade leeches for 8 bucks a pop online (leeches.biz).
The guides were bikers and snuck me out back with a leech, but no matter how much I pleaded, they wouldn't let the slimy beastie suck my blood. I figured getting drained by a leech would make a cool story to bring home to mom. Regardless, all the blood drained out of me when I saw Dr. Mercer's ancient tooth-extracting key. Yeah, I'm a big sissy. Dr. Mercer wasn't, though. He served as a brigadier general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and died after wounds sustained during the Battle of Princeton. He's known as a war hero, Mary Washington's doctor, and also for making some sort of elixir to "cure a man with a bad wife."
Playing with leeches all day can make a biker hungry. Reaching Kilmarnock, I stopped for some supper at Smokin' Joes (smokinjoesbarbeque.com), met a crew of hippies, and shared my quest for freedom with them. They asked me where I slept, and like a true road warrior I said, "Wherever." The mother hen, Carol, invited me to her teepee, where, like a true wussy, I had an asthma attack due to the extreme mildew. There was a guy with dreads, a fat kid, and one of Carol's sons, who rocked out on the guitar. The fat kid beat a hippy drum forever; he wasn't very good. Carol is a kind soul who chooses to live off the grid. We all smoked the peace pipe in the teepee, and then I slept outside on the ground watching the stars. If it weren't for having to whip out my inhaler, instead of a much cooler leech, to cure my ailment, I'd say freedom was found.
Architect Robert Mills designed the Washington Monument to mimic a ray of sunlight because Washington's leadership was viewed as a guiding light. But people said the design looked more like a giant phallus and were annoyed that it was void of decoration. Understandably, I'd like my penis to be more ornate, too. It is basically an Egyptian obelisk--a tall, narrow, four-sided monument ending in a pyramid (the monument, not my penis). Funds for the monument came from public donations, and when the coinage ran out and the Civil War intervened, it sat as an incomplete stump for more than a decade (the monument, not my penis.) When construction resumed, the builders used a new stone, which accounts for its dual colors. (Again, the monument, not my penis). Some people also believe the memorial is directly connected and designed for the Freemasons, of which President Washington was a known member.
The United States was formed once she had 13 colonies. The dollar bill has 13 leaves on the branches, 13 bars and stripes, 13 arrows, 13 letters in `E Pluribus Unum,' 13 stars in the green crest above the 13 stones, or layers, in the pyramid, and 13 letters in `Annuit Coeptis.' Coincidentally, 13 is the age when I lost my virginity, if solo sex counts. The total cost of the Washington Monument was reported to be $1,300,000 and its capstone weighs exactly 3,300 pounds. The Monument has eight windows, and together they total 39 square feet in size. The number 39 is very sacred because it is formed by multiplying 3 and 13. Do you see a pattern here?
There is much to see on the first leg of the journey. This guide is not meant to hold your hand throughout your journey. Find new stuff. Go explore.
National Museum of Health and Medicine: (nmhm.washingtondc.museum), holds a nice chunk of Abraham Lincoln's skull.
DC Rollergirls: With Liberty and Justice to Brawl (dcrollergirls.com).
* Rienzi the stuffed horse at the Smithsonian.
* You can donate your old bongs to the DEA Museum (deamuseum.org), but I wouldn't recommend it.
Alfonso: Moms never get enough credit. While visiting the birthplace of Washington's Mom, call your mommy and tell her you love her.
Fredericksburg: The arm of Stonewall Jackson minus the rest of his body lays under a lone tombstone.
Old Fredericksburg: Mind your P's and Q's (pints and quarts) while hanging out with the Rising Sun Tavern and they just might teach you the etymology of other phrases such as "drink like a fish" and "bottoms up."
* It is highly suggested that you spend the time to wander through Old Fredericksburg and see other curiosities such as the Masonic Cemetery, Slave Auction Block, and more.
A bit off the beaten track is the World's Largest Rubber Band Ball (recordball.com) in the front window of Sloans & Kenyon Auctioneers and Appraisers in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
* If you want to play with an "atomic cannon," make sure you have all your safety gear on plus a reflective vest to gain entry into the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum (ordmusfound.org) located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, in Aberdeen, Maryland.
Don't follow any schedule. Be free. Throw out your watch. Duct tape over the clock on your cell phone. What time is it? It's time for freedom.
You can throttle jockey this trip in a few days and miss the entire point of a road tour.
Plenty of time to do the ride, but not enough time for an epic experience.
I did the ride in seven days. Since I ran into some nasty weather and other roadtrip pitfalls, I wished for a few more days. The best way for a true adventure, and to get into some trouble, is to have some extra time to spend in certain towns.
It's easy and fun to get lost on the back roads of the eastern states. One could easily spend months exploring the national byways, historic highways, and backcountry twisties.
Don't Lose Your Freedom
Check your gear before you go. Different states have different laws.
Helmets required. Eye protection required unless equipped with windscreen. Radar detectors are prohibited to use or possess.
Helmets required. Eye protection required unless equipped with windscreen. Riding side-by-side in same lane is considered reckless driving.
Helmets required. If a cop thinks your pipes are too loud, he can bust your ass.
Reflective helmets required for riders under 21. Eye protection required under age 21 unless equipped with windscreen.
Helmets required. Eye protection required unless equipped with windscreen.