THE APPLE STORE

Last Friday, I managed to rejigger my work schedule, skip the scooter/train/subway/CitiBike/walk that is my daily adventure-commute, and pay a much-anticipated visit to the Apple Store (via motorbike, naturally). I’ve had a hankering for some juicy new technology this fall, and wanted to check out some of the current crop of Apple offerings…especially the new color ones.

My GPS oddly pointed me towards an Apple Store in the Garden State, even thought there are plenty of Apple Stores here in the Nutmeg State:

20131014-082655.jpgSo I decided to navigate the old fashioned way: via Hippocampus. (An aside: to see what GPS-overdependence is doing to human navigational software, check out this piece from the Boston Globe).

Well, the little seahorse in my brain pointed me northeast on CT136 past the gorgeous Aspetuck Reservoir, and then steadily north on Black Rock Turnpike (CT58) up through Easton and Redding. It’s a beautiful, gently-winding climb, up from sea-level (or is it “Sound-level”?) into the low, Housatonic Valley precursors of the Litchfield Hills. Leaves have started turning in earnest, and occasionally I found myself riding through acorn hail, courtesy of a few high-dining squirrels.

Nearly every curve unfurls to reveal a cross-road begging for exploration. And one I couldn’t resist was John Read Road in Redding, a surprise spur that peels left off of Route 58 at a point where the state highway banks right.

Your natural forward momentum almost tugs you to break from 58 and head straight onto John Read, which can quickly yield joy or disaster thanks to the sudden downhill arc and abrupt absence of…pavement.

You can feel shockingly like Wile E. Coyote in hot pursuit, until that depressing moment when gravitational reality sets in, and you realize that what was just tractable ground is…surprise!

If you don’t known what’s coming before the ROAD NOT MAINTAINED IN WINTER sign, you’d better have Acme balance and a feathery touch, because you’ll be dirt-and-gravel surfing down hill at a pace that’ll be tough to stop without a power-slide or an abrupt encounter with a tree.

Fortunately, and thanks to prior experience, I avoided this. I’ve ridden JRR many times before when I’ve needed a taste of Long Way Round not too far from my driveway.

John Read acts as a sort “dirt bridge” between CT58 and CT53, with the Wile E. Coyote section on one end, and the idyllic Warrup’s Family Farm on the other (Photo Credit: Warrup’s Farm):

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Warrup’s (named, I presume, after the the Indian Chief Chicken Warrups who once presided over Redding until John Read came to town in 1714) is one of the prettiest and lowest-key hayride-and-pumpkin-patch destinations in Fairfield County. We’ve taken our kids here plenty of times for pre-Halloween gourd acquisition. But I mostly come for the road.

And as E.B. White’s Charlotte might say, “SOME ROAD.”

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Leave it to me to get swept up by the woodsy, meandering beauty and the guilty pleasure of throttling through gravel and leaves, spewing Read-roost at the stone walls. I screwed around long enough (and at one point, stupidly enough) to enjoy my first official get-off, laying the F8 down on a sloping, off-camber turn where (like Wile E.) I ran out of traction, momentum ran its course, and I wound up sliding sideways through the deciduous scree.

Here’s the postmortem, after I re-righted my bike (try that with an R1200GS) and crawled around on the ground for 20 minutes like a half-blind guy who’s lost his glasses, sifting through beech leaves for my iPhone, which went flying.

https://vimeo.com/77290707

Well, no harm no foul, other than some scrapes on the pannier and throttle-side barkbuster, and a sore shoulder that’s been keeping me company for a week. (Thank you, Rev’It armored gear; you get your first distinguished service commendation.) Naturally, I can’t tell Mrs. “I Hate Motorcycles More Than The Nazis” about it (or why I can’t turn onto my right side in bed) or I’ll be sleeping in the garage on a mattress patched together from gardening knee pads, soccer shin guards, and blue vinyl tarp.

And that’ll be even more uncomfortable.

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But I digress, and you came along on this ride for the Apple Store, so let’s get there already. I decided on riding to the one in Bethel, just off of Old Hawleyville Road. You didn’t know there was one here?

First, the iconic Apple sign…

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Parking was no problem—it was a Friday hooky day, after all, and the 5C has already been out for a couple of weeks.

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Strolled past security at the front door…

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And past these odd customers…

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And I’m here.

Check out this Apple 5C (or us it a prototype of the upcoming 6)? Regardless, I love it in red.

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Happy Apple shopper, in the Garden of Eating.

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I love this model, but like other Apple fans, I’d love them to make a slightly larger one. This one fits easily into the palm or your hand or pocket, but it doesn’t quite slake my Apple-thirst for something bigger, shinier, and meatier. Maybe they’ll introduce one with the 2014 crop? 

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I love coming to the Apple store just for the aesthetics. Like the reverential way Apple displays their products, contrasting the highest of technology agains the natural warmth of wood…

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Some rare product with blems and scratches. These’ll probably wind up on Gazelle or eBay.

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What’s the correct answer to this question?

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Frigging Delicious.

Would you like a receipt for your purchases, sir, or would you like us to email it to you?

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Thank you for shopping Apple! And please remember to ride safe. (And lose the long face…it’s Apple season, girl.)

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