Friday, August 19, 2011

BigTrip2011–Day 10– Gold at the End of the Slab

August 7, 2011 – I woke up to the sound of thunder. The plan was to leave early from John’s house and meet George at Bear Mountain in New York. Because of the rain storms, George had emailed me the night before and said his group had cancelled the ride. I was disappointed. I had heard it was a beautiful area to ride in. Looking back on it now, I should have just went by myself, but I wasn’t eager to get into my rain gear again.

I devised a new plan over breakfast. To head east to Rhode Island before heading to New Jersey for my overnight stop. The previous night’s storms were still going strong. John and I chatted the morning away while watching the weather radar closely.

At first the forecast said the rain would quit by 10am, then 11am, then noon, then 1pm, etc. By noon I became anxious and wanted to get going. I had 240 miles of grueling I-95 interstate waiting for me. I geared up and set off.

wet morning ride

It was raining pretty good about two minutes from John’s house. As I rode east on I-95, I caught glimpses of the west bound traffic. I would soon be joining them, so I was curious of the situation. A sense of dread came over me as I rode mile after mile, passing what looked like a stopped westbound I-95. RI was only 30 miles away, and I hoped the traffic would clear up by the time I turned around to head east.

rain into rhode island

The rain took a break just before I got to Rhode Island. Look at the wall of water from the oncoming lane. This part of I-95 was moving. I pulled off at the next exit to get gas, and then started to ride east. I made it about five miles before I was stuck in the backup I had observed from the eastbound side. It was very slow going. It rained pretty heavy for some time, but my rainsuit kept me dry.

Eventually I made it back to where I started and the traffic loosened up. Mercifully the speed increased, but so did the temperature. The rain had stopped, but the clouds looked dark. I thought for sure it was going to rain again. I rode another 30 miles before I couldn’t take it anymore. My rainsuit was breathing about as well as a squirrel under water. I pulled over, and  removed half of my rainsuit – tying the arms around my waist. The breeze felt great passing through my mesh coat while my legs cooked. Another 30 miles or so, and I stopped again to remove the whole suit. It was getting too humid. I asked my GPS again to route me around this mess by avoiding highways, but it kept me on I-95.

I crossed into New York state for the second time on the trip. The surface of I-95 got worse the closer I got to New York City.

crappy road in NY

Eventually I made it to NYC and got to experience their Sunday afternoon traffic as the interstate wound through the Bronx.

traffic sucks

The ride through New York City was spirited and probably my favorite part of the riding day. Nothing like a bunch of cars and trucks trying to run you down while you dodge surface hazards to wake you up.

At one of the toll stops in New Jersey I parked in the shade to relax and have a snack. I disturbed a large number of birds in doing so. While eating, I noticed what they were so excited about. There was a half hunk of chicken on the ground. The birds entertained me with their antics as they grew braver and braver trying to get the chicken just two feet from my front tire. When one would start to get close, two or more would start squawking causing the brave bird to fly away. This repeated for about 15 minutes before I was ready to go again. 


seagulls fighting over chicken

Just before I was close to George’s house I decided to get gas. I had forgotten that New Jersey doesn’t let you pump your own gas (there is an exception for motorcycles). The attendant was cross with me as I pushed my card into the machine and started filling up the SV.

I arrived at George’s place just in time for dinner. He came out to greet me and offered me some space in his nice cool basement. I dragged my bags down the stairs and changed into my swimsuit. He had been bragging about his pool on twitter, so I was eager to try it out.


George is @goldie05rides on twitter because he has a Gold ‘05 Kawasaki Concours. When I arrived, he had just finished changing the oil. The bike was in great shape.

BigTrip2011 - Day11 - NJ,DE,MD

His wife made a tasty dinner and we had some great conversation. George gave me many tips for the next day’s ride which I appreciated because I didn’t have much of a plan other than ride south along the coast. We went to sleep quite late.

Thanks again for your hospitality George!


About 250 miles

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  1. This is sounding like a great trip. You are covering a lot of ground and meeting up with quite a few people. I'm enjoying your ride reports, pictures and videos. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. So you rode so far trying not to get wet... only to get wet? :P ... i'll admit I kinda miss my parent's pool... which that one almost reminds me of...

  3. RichardM: It was a great trip. I loved that I was able to meet some many bloggers, vloggers, and twitter folks. More to come!

    William: an interesting way of putting it. the pool was very refreshing after riding in 90+ all day.

  4. Dear Chris:

    I would have rather eaten live wasps than taken I-95 through Connecticut, into New York City, and over the bridge. The road is hell at 5am, Easter Sunday morning. And it's much worse the rest of the time.

    George F. is one of the most intersting folks I've met in a long time. I'd love to ride around Bear Mountain with him. And the way these posts are playing out, it's lie you're still on the road. I just read the one before this, and realized you were back... Again.

    The Robin Williams CD is a scream.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  5. Dear Jack: Now, having ridden that awful excuse for a road, can understand why you'd prefer the wasps. George is a great guy. I'm glad I was able to meet him.

    How many times have you watched the dvd now? Did you do the extras too? The interview with him is goofy.

    I wish I was still on the road. Sitting in a cube all day is not fun.