By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
"Motorcycyle Camping Made Easy" by Bob Woofter (Whitehorse Press, $19.95)
JOHNSTON -- It was in a hospital bed that Bob Woofter realized he belonged on a bike.
"I woke up on my 50th birthday in 1995 in St. E's and I was told I needed a triple bypass," said Woofter, a white-haired, white-bearded man with a professorial air.
"I decided if I was ever going to have a motorcycle, it is now or never," he said.
Six years, four motorcycles and tens of thousands of miles later, Woofter is riding high.
Last month, Whitehorse Press of North Conway, N.H., published his first book, "Motorcycle Camping Made Easy." On the basis of the book, assignments from other motorcycle magazines have been rolling in, he said.
"I just couldn't find anything in print on the sport," said Woofter, a tool and die maker at Delphi Packard Electric Systems for the past 37 years and a former Vindicator correspondent. "There was a need."
A lifelong camper, Woofter said he was flummoxed the first time he tried to load gear for an overnight stay on his bike. After some years of experimenting and consulting with others, he figured it out. Recent adventures include trips to Sturgis and Bike Week in Daytona, as well as rallies for BMWs, his current ride.
Woofter's book, available at Borders, Barnes & amp; Noble and Internet booksellers, covers just about everything except how to fix the bike when it breaks.
Chapters describe how to pack a bike, pick a camp stove, buy a tent and tie a knot. He also reviews the various packs, bags and cases to take it all with you when you are pulling out of the driveway.
"A motorcycle is the funnest way to get from one point to another," Woofter said. "Camping you meet friends, socialize and experience nature in a way you can't hope to experience it from a hotel room."
Woofter said riding a motorcycle had never been his dream, and he had never discussed it with his wife. The hospital bed resolution, however, gave her little room to object, he said.
"It was by far the best spontaneous decision I ever made," he said.