Catskills, New York: A Man Out of Time
A short ride turns into a big adventure and poses a big question, “Can a Royal Enfield take you back in time?”
The midday sun pokes through the canopy of leaves and warms my face. I hear a distant voice.
I’m in a deep slumber, swimming in a dreamy unconscious sea.
“Hey, wake up.”
The voice pulls me toward the surface.
That voice again. “It’s time to wake up.”
I recognize it. It’s Royal Enfield, my trusty bike.
I surface. The light is blinding.
“It’s about time,” Royal Enfield says.
I shield my eyes until they adjust. I am lying beneath a tree beside my motorcycle.
“How ... how long have I been asleep?”
“What?! What year is it?”
“How the ... ?” my voice tapers off, confused.
In the summer of 1965, I rode my new Royal Enfield to Harriman State Park, where I took a nap under an old apple tree. The nap lasted 50 years, and I woke up in 2015! I cannot explain what happened, but I must get back. I’m supposed to get married next week!
Motorcycle & Gear
2014 Royal Enfield Continental GT
Helmet: Shoei RF-1200 Terminus
Jacket: Belstaff S Icon Blouson
Pants: Spidi Furious Kevlar Jeans
Boots: Dainese Cooper
Gloves: Firstgear Route 36
“What’s the nearest town?”
“Newburgh is just north of here.”
“But New York City is south.”
“I know, but I need to get back to New York in 1965, not 2015. I can’t go back until I’ve figured out what’s happened.”
We ride through the park. It hasn’t changed in 50 years, the road weaving its way alongside glass smooth lakes, trees providing shade on even the hottest days. Things start to look different when we leave the park and notice that cars aren’t slick chrome torpedoes anymore. But they aren’t flying like the magazines said they would.
“Why are people looking at us funny?” asks Royal Enfield.
“They’re looking at you.”
A man yells from his car, “Dude! You belong in the Motorcyclepedia Museum!”
“That’s it!” I exclaim, “Our first sign! We must find this museum!”
We roam the streets of Newburgh until we find the Motorcyclepedia Museum. I speak to the woman at the desk.
“You won’t believe what happened. I fell asleep in Harriman State Park.”
“Yeah, that happens a lot. It’s a beautiful park.”
“Yes it is, but I fell asleep in 1965.”
“That does explain your outfit. I thought you were a hipster.”
“I gotta get back to 1965. I’m looking for clues on how I might return to my time.”
“We have plenty of motorcycles and other paraphernalia from that era. Have a look around.”
The place is filled with all sorts of bikes from the 20th century (an entire room of Indians!), including many bikes chronicling the decades that I had missed! Alas, there is nothing here.
I stand outside and stare at the Wall of Death.
“Do you think we could ride the Wall of Death so fast that we open up a time vortex to the past?” I ask Royal Enfield.