Pursuit Horizon Blog 14 – We all fall eventually. Dunlop Tire Factory. Hershey Town, PA. NYC.21 Aug 2012, Posted by The Journey in
Amanda loses it in the rain. A Chocoholic finds the source. A shooting in NY. That’s how a Dunlop Tire is made, really?
I am way too excited for Z to see this place and the take the Hershey Chocolate Factory Tour. Being such a massive chocoholic (literally a 36 pack of king size bars per 2 weeks) I knew this was a stop we must make. This place has changed a bit since I was here last, it’s grown! But surely the tour is going to be just as magical as I remember… Or not. They have turned the factory tour ride into a singing cow extravaganza.
I can see where they were trying to go; keeping the young ones entertained, but common the volume on the cows could be turned down so I could at least hear the narration of the process, but Z seems to be enjoying himself, so okay I’ll let it go. When we leave the chocolate tour, Z decides we MUST take this crazy trolley ride through Hershey, PA. Half history, half singing show tunes bus ride; skeptical I was until the show began. The two actors were just infectious and we had a blast.
Knowing that we needed some shots of us riding afterwards we head out. So we find the train tracks leading out of the World’s LARGEST chocolate factory, and Z sets up the camera. While he is finding the perfect shot, I pull to the other side to be ready to go when he is. I pull into a parking spot and bam, out goes my knee and down I go with the bike. My right leg is trapped under the fairing, and all I can do is scream through the SENA headset that I need help. Something in my foot has popped and it hurts immediately. I slide out from under my bike as Zach comes running over, we get her back up and all I can do is cry in frustration and pain. The popping in my foot was two of my metatarsal joints popping out of place. Gross. It swelled a bit as did my calve muscle, but I had to suck it up and ride on. Even if that meant riding with my foot out to the side of the bike. About 2 hours later I managed to get them to re-stabilize and fall back in, but oh man did it hurt.
New York City, it’s gigantic. And I’m not so sure I like it.
We stay with one of Z’s friends in a row house next to a beautiful city park. His son Alessandro takes us out to have some good ole fashioned New York pizza at a place right down the block, and familiarizes us with the area a bit. We take a walk at night and decide places
we’d like to visit while we are here; and midsentence I can tell I have lost Zach. He has spotted a place called “The Chocolate Room”. So we go in and feed his chocolate addiction. The desserts were mouth-watering and the atmosphere very upscale but casual at the same time, a very well thought out little place. We decide after his fix that we must see Times Square for an iconic shot of us making it coast to coast, and the WTC memorial site.
We sleep a ridiculous amount of time. The wear on our bodies is starting to show. 50 days of riding, and I am dropping weight, and am tired 90% of the time. I can only imagine what the TAT will do to me. We finally motivate ourselves enough to go out and hop the subway to Times Square. We arrive in Rockefeller center and walk over to Times Square. We get all of our typical shots when all of the sudden a crowd of people running frantically towards us; followed by 15 cops running to where the commotion is further down the street. Knowing this will be great footage; we follow the cops until we hit a police barrier. Where we quickly learn a man with a machete has just run a few blocks waving it at police and tourists alike. The police then shot the man when he refused to surrender the weapon. And all this just a few blocks down from Times Square. Yup, you’re not winning me over New York.
Having enough excitement from that we headed to the WTC memorial site where a beautiful new building is being erected. I remember distinctly where I was and when I heard the news from that day, and I thought for sure I would have strong feelings when I got to the site. But the whole thing felt very “routine” per say; I know that sounds harsh but hear me out. I wanted to be reverent of all the people who perished there, I wanted a quiet moment to reflect; but the city kept going on behind me. The noise, the mass of people, the construction; it will be a beautiful, touching memorial and grounds when completed and I will visit then to pay my respects.
Motorcycle tires are expensive.
Yah I thought that too, until now. Holy crap, I will pay whatever Dunlop wants just for the shear piece of mind that comes with them. Dunlop has graciously granted us access to their plant which is the ONLY motorcycle tire produced in the USA. SWEET!
Z and I both agree these things must just be mass produced and injection molded, at least that’s how they look. But we were in for a huge surprise. Dunlop tires are hand pattern cut, constructed by hand, built one at a time, and take over 2 hours for each individual tire. They are then hand checked by a worker who specializes in up to 5 tire varieties, and passed onto a quality control machine that mounts, airs up and speed and load checks each tire. Once they have passed inspection they are loaded up and shipped out. They are not made like the doughnuts we all expect them to be, in fact with all the man hours, time, skill, and safety that go into those tires, I’m surprised they are as cheap as they are.
The guys there also gave me a new rear tire and informed me, that yes it is okay to plug a tire, however you should have the tire taken off the rim and the inside checked to make sure the penetrating object has not torn or scraped the sidewall of said tire. If that were to happen you could blow out a sidewall which may be catastrophic. Luckily for me, when we took the tire off, the nail had gone straight through and the tire held pressure and form extremely well. I was always told you cannot patch a motorcycle tire, but if done properly with a mushroom style plug that covers both the inside and puncture, it is a decent option. They did warn us not to go over 80mph if a tire is plugged. The people at Dunlop were a wealth of information and all of them actually rode and were quite proud of all their products. Thanks again guys for all you have done for us!!
FUN ZACH FACT: The average person in Asia eats 3.5oz of Chocolate a year. Average American 11lbs, European 24lbs. I eat 60lbs a year of Hershey with Almond Bars alone plus ALOT of additional Chocolate. That big 5lb bar I’m holding is equal to three weeks of Hershey Bars I consume. I am a Chocoholic!
Having made a definite shift to focusing my attention to getting footage for the film my blog once again is short. However you will be getting a few more images in this blog to make up for it. It should be noted that most of the images are screen shots from the footage we have been shooting.
And we all fall down – “Come here I need you!!” I hear in my SENA headset in a panicked tone. I had just started to set up a shot where we would ride over railroad tracks with the Hershey factory in the background. My bike has the keys in it with the lights on, the rear case is unlocked and half open, and I’m standing on the tracks holding the camera. I turn and look at Amanda and it takes a second to register that she is trapped under her bike. I run across the tracks, set the camera down, make sure it’s recording, and then help her lift up her bike. I know it sounds cold that I made sure it was recording but we have talked about this. The rule we both came up with is to always make sure the camera is recording unless it’s life threatening. I can tell Amanda is hurt but I’m not sure if it’s more physical or to her ego for falling over.
Amanda is a damn good rider and she has to be. Think about it she’s 5’2″ and just a hair over 100lbs. This means she’s always on her tiptoes teetering back and forth from one side to the other on her bike. This would be like my bike weighing 150lbs more and about 10″ taller. Most girls or guys would fall back on their small size as a crutch but not Amanda. She never lets me help her move her bike. She always does everything on her own. Sometimes this pisses me off and I think she doesn’t have to prove herself to me but then I also have more respect than she knows for her because of this.
So here we are with her after a crash and she is just sitting there stone faced and silent. She’s not talking much at all and I can tell she wants to be left alone. I’m trying to get something from her on film. Is she in pain? Is she hurt? Or is she just upset? Then I hear the train and remember my bike is across the tracks. Did I mention there is a trainyard, not just tracks. I run for the tracks but the train blogs my path. I then sit there for the next 10minutes watching the train move back and forth catching glimpses of my bike. I can’t take it anymore so I run across the tracks in front of the train when I get a chance. I later find out Amanda did hurt her leg and she was waiting for me to leave her alone to have a cry.
DUNLOP – Amanda’s blog sums up most of it and I will say I was truly impressed by what really goes into producing a tire. I still can’t believe it takes all that effort, attention to detail, and over two hours to produce one motorcycle tire. However it does and it’s comforting to know how much they value the safety of their customers. Dunlop has also been just awesome to us! Every time we have had a question or needed them along the way they were there. Even though we couldn’t film the specifics inside the factory the guys at Dunlop worked with us and we got some great footage for the film.
- Dunlop – The ONLY tire manufacture with a US based motorcycle plant.
- Dunlop – Every tire hand inspected, every tire computer inspected.
New York – Thanks for the room Rick 🙂 And New York City thank you for the excitement and iconic settings.
One thing we have found along the way is that you can tell the difference when you come across a good motorcycle dealership.
Triumph of Buffalo/ Bucks Motorsports let us use one of their service bays and we desperately were in need of this. Finally a chance to give our bikes a service and some love. It was also fun to watch the service guys there watch Amanda work on her own bike. The dealership was top notch and the guys in service were some of the nicest guys around. Thanks again!