Central NJ Group "Shakedown Ride"

Temperature felt around 25 when I left home for the 100-mile ride north to Johnny's. Fortunately I had the heated jacket liner and gloves, so the cold wasn't too bad. I followed my wife and son in the car up 55/42/295 for a while, as they were on their way someplace as well. I had neglected to fill the tank before leaving, so I had to peel off I-295 to hit a gas station.

On the road again, a completely uneventful ride on I-295 to 31. I was about 40 minutes ahead of schedule, so I stopped at a Dunkin' Donut in Flemington to warm up a bit. Got some tea, a couple donuts, and thawed the feet out for a while. What I didn't know was that the clock inside was 15 minutes slow. I thought I had about 40 minutes left to cover the 20-minute ride, but when I got outside and checked the GPS turned out I would arrive less than 5 minutes before kickstands-up. Crap!

Slow going until I-78 had me arriving just a few moments before 11. I shouldn't have worried - the group was in no hurry to get going, and at least 3 folks showed up after me. Saw lots of familiar faces (doc, tj, err, fjski!, stinkbomb, etc), and lots of new ones. I got a kick out of the fact that in a gathering of 16 bikes, the Ducati was the cheap one!

We split into 2 groups, with TJConc handing out route sheets (printed cheat-sheet style) to our group of 8. Doc's crew left first, and we hit the road about 10 minutes after them. TJ in front, while I took sweep.

The route plan:

- Brass Castle or whatever to...
- Cross Delaware River at Belvidere
- Martins Creek/Belvidere Rd. to end (7mi.)
- R @ light
- Through Martins Creek & Bangor (21mi.)
- 191N through Stroudsburg
- L @ light towards 447N
- R onto 447N
- R at light onto 390N in Canadensis (11mi.)
- 390N through Promised Land
- *Stop @ Exxon after 84?*
- R onto 507N/6W through Hawley (24mi.)
- 590 to Lackawaxen (15mi.)
- Cross Delaware to Hawk's Nest
- down into Port Jervis take 84W to Rt.6/Milford to Apple Valley

The roads were, for the most part, in great shape. A bit bumpy here and there, but very little gravel to be concerned with. Early on in the ride we passed an SUV carrying a 10-foot wide pipe through the middle, with a couple feet sticking out each side window. I wouldn't have been surprised if he had little helmet stickers on the end, one for each biker kill. Another interesting vehicle was the guy on his lawn, pulling a trailer with a small scooter of some sort. It didn't look too stable, but at least he was out there riding, man!

We didn't see a lot of other bikes until we got to Hawk's nest, even though the weather was fine. At one point we passed through a town setting up for a parade, lots of folks sitting on the sidewalk waving at us - coool.

And now, lots of pictures

David heading over the bridge at Belvidere

Err's in the front here, with Jetset and David behind

ERR and I coming into the gas station - thanks Doc!

Doc leading the first wave out of the Exxon station mid-ride

TJConc bringing in the second wave to the Exxon. He might be sleeping, I'm not sure. Behind him is thinkjerm, stinkbomb, David and Jetset.

Crappy crop of a much larger shot, but check out stinkbomb on that Goldwing in the curve. Nice!

Video of the ride

The Roebling Delaware Aqueduct Bridge

Coming into the Hawk's Nest

Video of the ride into Hawk's Nest


If I remember correctly, we were trying to decide who we'd eat first if lunch was much later....

This was my first 'real' attempt at motorcycle action photography. I brought along my Nikon D40 and an 18-200 zoom lens in hopes the opportunity would present itself. As a first attempt, I'm happy with the results. The focus is a bit off on some of them, and I had to crop a lot due to my position. I'm also not sure if the AF was keeping up with the bikes or not. I would like to do more of this on future rides, if that can be orchestrated. Next time I'll bring my big guns, the Nikon D200 and monster 70-200/2.8 lens.

Jetset - click here for full-res shot


Jetset coming back - click here for full-res shot

This guy was tearing it up

Thinkjerm and Jeets - click here for full-res shot

Jeets - click here for full-res shot

Jeets - click here for full-res shot

We continued on through Port Jervis, then onto I-84 for a bit to Milford, PA. Lunch was at the Apple Valley Inn, good time but cut short for me. There was still a good portion of riding planned, but I wanted to get home before dark and I was 180 miles away. Stinkbomb suggested we head down 209 to 33, to 22 and then I could pick up the Northeast Extension for a fast slab ride home. Somewhere along the way my GPS, which had been locking up on and off during the day, pretty much packed it up. Frozen screen. Nice.

My escort for 1/2 the ride home - thanks man!

209 through the Delaware Water Gap was fine, once we made one or two quick passes. Some traffic later on, but nothing too bad. We stopped for gas just before I split for 476, which turned out to be very fortuitous - the rest area I planned on using for gas and cash was closed!

An uneventful, if a bit windy, ride home had me arriving just past dark at 7:45. Absolutely beat.



GPS Tracklog for the group ride