Winter motorcycle games: sidecar snowball joust and blindfolded beer grab

I think we’d been talking about it for years and Saturday seemed like as good a day as any to do it. We woke up in our tents after a night of rain and snow, but it wasn’t very cold. Thermos brought a trophy he scabbed together. It was made from old motorcycle parts and awards he’d found at the dump.

We drank coffee, munched bacon and dreamed up the first event in our sidecar motorcycle winter games. We all drive Russian-made sidecar rigs modeled after a late 1930’s BMW — except Chris. His bike is the Chinese take on the Russian copy of the German bike, making it a copy of a copy.

All our motorcycles have kickstarters. The first event was the “cold kickstart contest.” Thermos drew a line in the snow with his heel and counted down from five. After one, we foot-raced for our bikes, pulled out the chokes and started kicking.

Mine started on the first try, even after a night in the wet elements, making me the winner. I couldn’t help but celebrate with a few whoops and cheers.

It snowed overnight.

It snowed overnight.

Next, we devised the “sidecar snowball joust.” We each chose a monkey (that’s the passenger in the sidecar) and drove at each other, in the style of the knights of old, down a private road. Instead of lances, our monkeys hurled snowballs at one another. After many passes and rider/monkey combinations, Poacher Bob was deemed the winner of the event.

About then, Tim and Linda showed up on their rig. They were our New Hampshire hosts for the weekend. We were camped out on their property.

They led us on a lovely back roads ride to find some lunch. When we got back to camp in the afternoon, we dreamed up the final competition.

A blindfolded rider, led by voice commands from a monkey, would try and get close enough to a beer can for the monkey to snatch it off the ground. Since the beer was the pride of Rhode Island (the biggest can we had) we dubbed it the “‘Gansett grab.”

Hilarity ensued with several close calls and a few run-ins with a snow bank.

I did well in the event, with one of the faster runs but, in the end, Poacher Bob emerged the points leader for the day. He was declared overall winner and Thermos gave him the trophy.

The bonfire lit the woods with an orange glow.

The bonfire lit the woods with an orange glow.

After dark, we lit up three brush piles that Tim and Linda had stacked up in the woods. It was quite a spectacle. Bill and Johnny Sideburns fed the flames and the sparks flew high in the air.

I hope we’ll come up with some summer games when we all get together to ride and camp later this year. Until then, Poacher Bob will be the keeper of the trophy.

Poacher Bob was declared the winner.

Poacher Bob was declared the winner.

Troy R. Bennett

About Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.