When we moved to Maryland in 1991, we knew nobody there. Not a soul. Jim was into motorcycling then (see how our vehicles have increased in size?) One fall day we went up to Jessup, Maryland to Bob’s BMW for a chili cookout. It seemed logical that we might meet some like-minded souls there. And so we did.
Jim Ford was not working there selling motorcycles yet, but he was a serious iron-butt kinda guy who loved to ride. He and Wilkerson hit it off and became riding buddies almost immediately. One day we ended up on a couples ride and had a lovely warm lunch at the Olney Ale House with Jim and Annie. Our friendship just grew from there. About four years in, we hated to break the news to them that we were moving out of state; they had become such good friends. It is always good to catch up with them and we have visited back and forth several times since our move to (and from) Kansas.
Annie is a long-time court reporter on Capitol Hill so she is a very busy girl. She used to work Congress and all the hearings there but now she works exclusively for the World Bank. Jim is the force behind the successful Riders Workshop, a mountain riding course designed to improve your motorcycling skills in the mountains. He knows all the “invisible roads” in the Virginia/West Virginia/Pennsylvania and North Carolina area and he has built a following of clients throughout the country. I am pleased to say that when he was developing The Rider’s Workshop I worked with him on his promotional material and website. See his site here.
The only reason we swung down to DC from Philly was 1) to visit Jim and Annie and Charlie and Diane and 2) we were nearby. Since we lived there, we had seen all the historic stuff and just wanted to relax, recharge and eat and drink. And, oh yeah, we did. We didn’t even drive by our old house.
On Wednesday Jim came out to Garden Gate and picked us up for a home-cooked dinner at their house. Whatever it is that Jim is interested in, he does it well and thoroughly and dinner was no exception. We started with chips and guac on the patio of their lovely landscape in Kensington. With cocktails. They have a beautiful back (and front) yard that has matured and grown beautifully since we left in 1995. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pics of the yard due to the aforementioned eating and drinking. And Zen, the Weimaraner was worthy of lots of attention too. He is a lot different from Scout, the Weimaraner they had when we lived there. Zen lives up to his name while Scout was, well, all over the place.
Jim also showed us his “current” bikes, two BMWs and his newest love, a Ducati.
Dinner was a treat, eggplant parmigiano that was cooked to perfection with a broccoli and veggie side. So delicious! And for dessert? Homemade peach ice cream! We continue to eat like kings! The evening went by so fast it was dizzying. Jim took us back to the bus afterwards; we were very thankful for the ride.
It was so nice to see Annie and Jim; we have a really special place in our hearts for them. And our stomachs.
Next stop: Damascus, Virginia to ride the entirety of The Virginia Creeper Trail.