I had intended to blog directly from Laconia Bike Week back in mid-June but life through a curve at me. I did make it to Laconia, but only after I became a statistic of the "new normal" economy. After a lifetime career at Harvard University, I found myself unemployed and facing the new reality at "mid-life." This made my already-planned getaway to Laconia all the more important. It was time to clear my head of the emotion and fill it with the sights & sounds of bike week.
This year, the Victory truck, Pure Victory Polishes, and Lloydz dyno gathered together at the same location in Gilford, NH to create their own "Victory Village" (my term) and turned into a one-stop shop for those interested in Victorys. It also eased the logistics of demo rides for Victory. In years past, the Victory truck was located in the congested section of bike week making for stop&go demo rides. While still close to the action, this year's location afforded easy access and better exposure to passing bikers.
Laconia Bike Week, for those unschooled in New England tradition, is precariously situated on the 3rd week of June which is the hinge-point between the coolness of spring and the hot weather of summer. This unsettled period typically means it's either cold, hot, or most likely, stormy. "Rainconia," as it is typically referred to, lived up to its name this year. The week started with rain, then hot sun midweek, and then retreated to 4 days for soaking rain, thunder & lightning. On the rainy days, I would hang out at Victory Village under the awnings of the Victory Truck and also under the constant light-hearted barrage of Dan Week, Victory's truck driver and resident cynic, and his continuing mantra, "For Christ's sake, get a Job! Buy my truck so I can go home and you can drive around the damn country!" We'd all laugh and go back to busting his chops for wearing his signature shorts and white socks despite the cold, wet day. Dan seemed oblivious to the weather reminding us that he's from Minnesota and this IS summer.
Larry Meservey and his son Larry Jr. (owners of Pure Victory Polishes) also spent a good portion of their time talking to me about life, their careers, and my new "opportunity." Even Lloyd would offer his insight as a small business owner to the ongoing, "What's next for Jeff" discussion. The Victory Village career counseling session was in full swing.
I have to give a big shout-out to Larry, Larry Jr., and their hardworking assistant, Dautboy (that's how it's pronounced). I had gotten caught in the rain (go figure) on Tuesday and my bike looked filthy so I asked Larry what would be the best VPP product for me to use, given the lack of a hose and tap water - remember we were in a parking lot. He said he'd be glad to give me a pail of this "Wash & Ride" formula which would not need rinsing. I was ready to do it all myself when I heard the order, "Dautboy, do a full detail on his bike!" I watched as they spent the better part of a couple hours cleaning & polishing every part of the bike. In the end, I had a NEW BIKE!!! It looked better than the day I bought it. Seriously! If you every have a chance to buy their products, don't hesitate. Each of their cleaners, polishes, soaps, and waxes are made specifically for Victory finishes. Victory even sends them samples of new finishes & paints on bike sheetmetal for them to tailor their products to. Great stuff. OK, end of my impromptu commercial.