The URAL Chapter II
Sooo Worcester, MA….have you ever visited? Well after our first stop there when we dropped off the Ural, we didn’t think it would be a bad place to stay the night before picking it up. I made Friday night reservations at a very reasonably priced hotel with gorgeous modern décor. It had great reviews, so I figured we’d have a relaxing night away from home, like a mini vacation. And we did….even drinking some mezcal (my FAV) at a small taco joint a few blocks away…and then the walk back to the hotel.
First, there was a man directly outside the hotel entrance yelling at us for cigarettes, a lighter, and a bunch of nasty comments so we decided to take the long way around to access the lobby. We grabbed some bottled water and waiting to pay at the front desk while another couple checked in. Just beyond the desk, there was a large man yelling at a manager. The manager was trying to keep him calm, assuring him that if he stayed calm and “kept their deal” by not causing a scene, he’d get him another room. This “deal” was quickly ignored. The man started yelling about blood and needles being all over the room. And the manager continued to try to silence him. When his drunken mouth started to yell louder and make further accusations about needles, and blood in his room, the manager went behind the desk to call the police.
That’s when Mr. Drinks-too-much decided to talk to us – asking us for a lighter, a cigarette, and then telling us about his horrible room, as if we hadn’t already heard. When we didn’t respond, he got louder, and once he realized the manager was calling the police, he started yelling about a dead body in the room. And that wasn’t quite the end….
When no one reacted to his nonsense, he picked up a bag of chips, and threw it at the front desk. It bounced off the clear plastic COVID shield (thank goodness that protection actually paid off) and hit the couple checking in. That’s when we dropped some cash on the desk and went to our room without further delay. We didn’t want to get caught up in that any further.
Getting up to our room posed another issue – there were a bunch of younger people in a rowdy group looking to get in the elevator with us. NOPE – not happening. Social distance mother f*@kers! Then while we were walking to our room, the hallways smelled of…..well, like a skunk. I’ll leave it at that. Lastly, the room next door to us was clearly where the party was being held. Luckily we were exhausted and the bed was super comfortable so we had no issues falling right to sleep.
The next morning, we woke up early and headed straight for our fav café, New Traditions. It wasn’t quite as crowded as it was a few weeks prior, so we were able to chat with the owner, talk bikes, and even score THREE of the delicious vegan pop tarts! It was another stellar experience. We even ordered some of the “Narwhal” coffee that they served which is Clay's favorite!
Next part by Clay:
After leaving the coffee shop we headed north to Alpha Cars to pick up the Ural. After THREE wrong turns despite modern nav, we made it just in time for a torrential down pour! It was raining like never before - BUCKETS! When we arrived at the impeccably clean and impressive facility, we were surprisingly greeted by no one. They were clearly open, but not a soul was to be found. After a few minutes of poking around and politely exclaiming “Hello!?” an elderly man came to meet us. Asking us what we were there for, we explained that we had dropped off a bike for service two weeks ago and had spoken with John in service about picking it up today. After a brief search, the man replied that he had no record of the bike and didn’t know what we were talking about. I mentioned that John and I had spoken and that the paperwork may be in the sidecar (see: passenger bucket). This rang a bell with him and he escorted us to the back of the shop. He pointed to our bike sitting out back on the covered concrete pad. Megan asked the gentleman if there were any white long sleeve Ural T shirts available for sale as she remembered seeing some when we dropped off the bike. We were both met with a vacant stare and little response. He then asked us if “there was anything else”. We responded foolishly with “I guess not”. And off he went, leaving us in the dark with no one to help or explain the service invoice or even just shoot the shit with. What a dud.
So, I got the trailer hooked up and backed it up so we could drive the bike on, hopefully using both cylinders. It only took a few minutes to get the bike on and strapped down, but it was raining so hard that we were both soaked through our rain coats. It was a regrettable transaction as I was looking forward to meeting my service advisor John and asking some tech questions about owning a Ural, but this was not to be. Off we went heading toward the ferry to get across the Sound and back to New York.
Watch our first video at the following link. Would love some comments and/or feedback!
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