I just came back from my first weekend motorcycle trip, and thought I'd post a report. Nothing spectacular, so apologies in advance.
Left Glassboro, NJ by cage (VW Corrado SLC, for those who care) to meet up with my bike (82 CB750K), which had been resting comfortably in Bridgewater, NJ, after the insertion of a new rotor (electrical). Met up with my two companions for the trip, Greg on a 1991 EX500, and Harv, on a 1992 Nighthawk 750 (gee Harv, they haven't really changed that bike much in 10 years, have they?). Got to ride through industrial North Jersey (yuk), through Steel Gap (that's what Harv told me it was, the reason was not immediately apparant), and onto I-80 toward the George Washington Bridge. After watching Greg's EX narrowly avoid morphing into an odd Kawa-Nissan mutation, we arrived at the first decent road of the trip, NY 9W along the Hudson. I should point out that I have only ridden about 500 miles so far, mostly in Southern NJ, where road designers were equipped with only a ruler. Roads that have turns and hills were quite new and exciting for all of us.
9W is a great alternate route to the Thruway, as it winds its way next to the Hudson River for most of the way up New York State. As luck would have it, there was a little construction going on, including grooving the road for some new layer of 'stuff'. Riding on grooves was not a pleasant experience, what with the bike weaving this way and that, but maybe I'll calm down with more miles under my belt. After that stretch, nothing but great riding up to Bear Mountain State Park, our destination. Most of the roads around BMSP are very twisty and hilly, posted at between 15-30 mph, with one v-e-r-y nice 15 mph hairpin through the woods. In 30 minutes, I had leaned more than in 500 miles of South Jersey. This was going to be a 'crash' course in turning skills.
Got ourselves settled in the Bear Mountain Inn (expensive, but very nice) and went out to feed and explore. Ate in Highland Falls (any Billy Joel fans out there?), and did a quick tour of West Point (kinda nice to be saluted whilst on a bike), and headed back to the inn.
An all twisty-riding day. Up and down Bear Mountain and environs, very beautiful roads, in excellent condition. Went further up 9W into a quaint small town called Cornwall to grab a bite. On the way back down, stumbled onto Route 218, which ran through the woods with posted 25-35 mph turns for a while, then opened up onto the side of a mountain with 20 mph posted turns. Looked like something from magazine ads, or from the West Coast. On your right, mountain rock wall. On your left, small stone wall and maybe 500 foot sheer drop. In front of you, 20 mph downhill twisties. We spent quite a bit of time just going back up and down this road.
Went further west, on something called Seven Lakes Road, met two bikers, one of which was touring from Jersey on his FZR1000! His friend was on a much more touring-oriented Interceptor :-). Finally headed back to Bear Mountain to do a little hiking.
Got up at 5:00 to watch the sunrise over the Hudson Valley. Saw lots of deer on the way up the summit, and the roads were fairly slippery, not a good combination. After viewing nature's spectacle, had a pretty chilly ride down 9W into West Haverstraw (or thereabouts) for some Dunkin' Donuts coffee.
Did some more general riding on and around BMSP, and took one more ride up and down Route 218 before heading for home. Had a most unpleasant headwind on the NJ Turnpike for 2 hours to end the trip.
- 4->1 Kerker on my bike WAY too loud. At highway speed, it's all I hear. Found a yard that has stock ones for $200 (4->4). If they're in good shape, that's my next purchase.
- Jockey-type underwear is cutting my butt something fierce. Guess I'll try boxers.
- Don't stay at the Overlook Inn at BMSP. Very motel-like with 4 star prices.
- Duffel bag from Eddie Bauer did very well bungeed to the back of the seat. Suppose I'll get some saddlebags for the next trip, though.
- Watching Harv undo his bungee to remove his seat to lock his helmet (Nighthawk 750) every time was humorous.
Well, thanks for listening. If anyone has ridden the same area, I'd like to hear from you. Or if you know some great rides a day's ride from NJ, I'd like to hear from you too.