First Ride 2020

We have warmth!

A warm spell came upon the Northeastern parts of the US so I got a New Year’s ride in. This ride is similar to one I took back in November. A nice ride north paralleling the Hudson. I rode the Palisades Parkway up to Bear Mountain Park hoping to go all the way to Perkins Tower at the top, but that road was closed for the Winter.

Unlike my last ride, I stayed on the west side of the Hudson and traveled north up to the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge before crossing back over.

As I was going through Beacon again I figured I would check out Ron English’s Popmart again. That three-eyed guy was flat on the ground last time I was here. Good to see him upright. It looks like he’s riding my bike.

I was pleased to see that there were some new things in the shop. There were a number of Artist Proof prints and a few limited editions that weren’t there a couple months ago.

The display above had at least one new addition. That little piggy on the left wasn’t there in November.

I am guessing we will see this fella in an upcoming painting. There are plastic dinosaurs running down his spine and it’s painted with a pink and green pseudo camouflage pattern.

This sign is actually a detailed painting however the details are obscured. You can sort of make out some body parts.

This clever display was also new.

For years I have been making papier-mache masks with my students. I use a cellulose paste as a binder. It is a powder that I mix with water in a blender. After it settles it’s a slimy mess and I have always told my students it is elephant snot. It’s been a running joke for many years. And now I can show them my source. Ron English has a number of these outrageous retro-looking grocery signs about the shop. Elephant Snot $12.99 a bucket.

On the side of a building in a nearby park in Beacon, a large Ron English banner of a camouflaged deer hangs.

This is the old Matteawan Station. It once served the Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut Railroad. It now houses apartments and commercial properties. The building was built in 1869 with a third floor added soon thereafter. The last train rode the line in 1993.

It may have been a nice day to ride, but you can still find piles of snow that had been plowed and there was plenty of ice on the side of cliffs as I rode around.

Something I really wanted to see on my last journey was Bannerman’s Castle. The problem was that I didn’t know where to stop and it was getting dark. So this time I pulled into some private driveways, no good. I pulled into the parking lot of a catering place overlooking the Hudson, but it was a bit too far north. Eventually, I just pulled over to the side of the road and walked back up the highway. Bannerman’s Castle is on an island in the Hudson River.

Francis Bannerman VI bought the island in November 1900. He owned a military surplus business. He had this castle build to house his arsenal. The castle, clearly visible from the shore of the river, served as a giant advertisement for his business. On the side of the castle is written, “Bannerman’s Island Arsenal”.

There are numerous structures on the island including what looks like the foundation of an old bridge, maybe a ferry landing. If you would like to have a better look at it from the mainland there is a place to pull over just south of this spot I chose. The road goes back down to sea level and you can walk north along the railroad tracks for a better view. I didn’t have the time on this day. They also offer tours to the island. Click Here!

Although this weekend brought warm weather, we can expect more cold in the coming months. So if you can’t get out and ride but you’re still itching for motorcycle experiences, I have a recommendation. Dale Walksler from Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC has an online TV channel. He shares over 400 videos in the archive and discusses the process as goes through his vintage rebuilds. They also produce a new show each week and get these beautiful pieces of motorcycle history running and riding again.

For a one time price of $7.95 you become a member for life and have complete access.

I visited Wheels Through Time back in 2012. I met Dale and his son Matt. Very nice, friendly people.

I look forward to returning.


One Response to “First Ride 2020”

  1. Pat Barnes Says:

    Glad you got in a ride. When I was riding dirt bikes in the early 70’s the stuff we would put in our tires to help with thorns/flats we referred to as “Elephant Snot”! Lot of guys riding for Neal Peart this weekend. Reading his book “Ghost Rider” helped keep me from doing myself in when I lost my wife.

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