Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Hey Pig!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 5, 2019 by Pat Regan

What a glorious day to break in the Chinese New Year. Year of the Pig! It was an unusually warm day in February. The Department of Education has recently made the Chinese New Year a holiday for schools in NYC, making this teacher happy. When I left for work last week it was 3 degrees outside. Really! 3 degrees! This day the sun greeted the lunar new year and the temperature broke 60.

I hopped on the bike and went to look for a place that I read about. It was once called Cliff Dale Manor. It now lies in ruins along the Palisades Cliffs. To get there I crossed the GWB and headed north on the Palisades Pkwy. I first pulled over at the Rockefeller Lookout. In the background on the upper right, you can see the northernmost tip of Manhattan as the Harlem River branches off from the Hudson.

As you look from this point you can see the skyscrapers of the city fade into the southern sky. Can you imagine: That’s what Sully was staring down when he landed the plane.

The cliffs here are serious. It’s a long way down. Large sheets of ice move along the currents of the Hudson River far below.

I moved on to the next lookout. It’s called Alpine Lookout. From what I read, I can walk north through the woods between the parkway and the cliffs and I will find the ruins of the old Cliff Dale Manor. I walked along a spongey, freshly thawed path following the footsteps of shoes, paws, and hooves. After a little less than a mile, I saw the gray walls of the old home in the background.

Here is how it used to look.

The mansion belonged to George A. Zabriskie. He made a name for himself in the flour business, working for Pillsbury flour mills. The fifteen-room manor house called Cliff Dale was built in 1911. Constructed of native stone on a 25-acre estate high atop the cliffs of the Palisades, this was just one of many mansions that used to line “Millionaire’s Row.” Today all that remains of those stately mansions are some foundations, with the exception of Cliff Dale. Here the two-story ruins of the foundation and some surrounding landscaping still exist.

The rest of this place was torn down in 1939. John D. Rockefeller Jr. bought many of the old mansions along the Palisades and gave them back to the state on condition that they demolished them and allow the area to return to its natural state.

Below is a look between the two existing levels.

These are the only interior stairs that remain.

The crumbling walls are covered with graffiti on each level.

The largest existing wall has 4 framed windows.

The same 4 windows from above can be seen in the lowest part of the house below.

At the bottom left in the photo above are the stairs I am sitting on in the photo below.

The old basement is filled with rubble making it an uncomfortable crawl space.

Above that crawl space is some of the original tiled floor.

You’d better watch your step as you walk around this level as there are ankle snapping craters all around. Some more obvious than others.

From the top level, you can see where a column once stood overlooking the Hudson River.

Other columns can be found scattered around the property.

I stuck my camera down one of those holes. You can see the room filled with graffiti through the window.

I’d like to return and explore some more. Like a dope, I didn’t bring any water. I thought about going down the ravine where there may be more to see, but I figured I’d better get back to the bike and continue the journey.

Through the ruins, up the curved steps to the spongey path and back to the bike.

After crossing the GWB back into the city I went North instead of my usual route back downtown. I rode to the northernmost tip of Manhattan that I pointed out previously along the Harlem River.

The big “C” represents Columbia University.

Through the archway of that bridge are the cliffs in NJ where I had parked in the first photo at Rockefeller Lookout.

This area of Manhattan is known as Inwood. Below is the Dyckman Farmhouse. The Dyckman family lived at this location before the Revolutionary War. They fled during the war and the British burned down their home. They returned after the war and built this house in the early 1780s. Unfortunately, the house was closed to the public today.

Behind the house is the replica of a Hessian hut as they would have built while assisting the British during the Revolutionary War. There was a Hessian soldier encampment of more than 60 huts like this on the Dyckman Farm during the British occupation.

Here is how it looked inside through the dark screened window.

I rode downtown on Riverside Drive where I passed Grant’s Tomb.

As I neared home the Winter’s sun had dropped, peeking through an architectural window made by an overhanging building. Pretty cool!

Happy New Year Piggies!

Happy New Year 2019

Posted in Uncategorized on January 1, 2019 by Pat Regan

I want to wish everyone a very happy, peaceful, and prosperous new year!

New Years Day in NYC brought some warm weather! Despite a cold I have been battling all week, I bundled up and went for a ride. I got a late start. It was a struggle to get out but glad I did once I hopped on the bike and headed toward a tunnel. I live on an island so any ride worth taking will involve a tunnel or a bridge.

I opted for the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. I was going to Floyd Bennett Field via Coney Island. I took the Belt Parkway around and under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. It was warm for January 1st but it was a bit cooler along the waters and the wind was kicking.

I exited at Coney Island. Surf Ave is chewed up and closed between Nathans and the Ford Amphitheater so I had to ride around to Stillwell by the subway station. This is where you find the amusement park. There were a lot of people around. It didn’t occur to me until I got home that they do the Polar Bear Club swim here on New Years Day.

As I stopped at a red light and looked around, an unexpected gust nearly knocked me over. I wasn’t expecting it and it seriously pushed the bike toward my right. You know, just enough to remind you of what’s to come as the coastal adventure continues.

Floyd Bennett Field is an old airport at the end of Flatbush Avenue. I like it here. Today it was more or less a destination. I hadn’t been out here with the new bike.

I have explored this place before along with nearby Dead Horse Bay. I was hoping to do some exploring today but I could feel the temperatures dropping and I was a good 45 minutes from home. So my “on foot” adventure for today was limited to sticking my head through a couple of broken windows.

Before I left the field, I had a look at the water. I was really tempted to cross that bridge and explore more by the ocean, but like I said I’ve been fighting a cold and it was time to head home.

I was just happy to have a day to hop on the bike in January! In the city, you see lots of ads and flyers of places that will winterize your bike. Drain it and let it sit with a trickle charge. I say no way! And days like today are the reason why.

There is always something to look forward to.

Speaking of looking forward. I was seeing how a Bonneville T120 would fit in a Ram Promaster 2500. I did all the measurements and then dreamed of the possibilities.

 

Thanksgiving Ride.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 25, 2018 by Pat Regan

Thanksgiving itself was well below freezing in NYC this year. But Sunday warmed up to above 50 degrees, so I took a little ride about town.

I headed over to Bushwick. There were some pieces I hadn’t seen before.

RIS Crew did this nice family portrait of the Simpsons. It was cool how it dripped onto the sidewalk giving me a parking platform.

Sipros Sipros is a favorite of mine. He has a cool Salvador Dali piece a few blocks from me.

Roll Up Brooklyn (386 Jefferson St.), is a cool garage if you need a place to keep your bike. $185 gives you 24/7 access and a place to work on your bike.

Inside bikes lined both walls. Here is a Triumph mingling with all kinds of other makes and models.

This chopper closed out the other side. Here is a short article about the place.

This mural sign and painting company wasn’t here the last time I passed. It is completely covered with a NYC aquatic attack theme.

Crossing the creek on Grand Street I hung to the right and headed west on Metropolitan Avenue. There I found this great Kenny Scharf painting.

See the red creature just behind my bike? His name is Scary Guy. This is the artist Kenny Scharf below. He recently signed my sculpture of Scary Guy.

He even turned the P in my name into a character. Thanks Kenny!

Before finishing out this post, let me take you back a few weeks. I was invited down to Electric Lady Studios.

I rode down to the studio and met my friend Steve. Steve used to be a sound tech there. We had some great times at the studio, but I hadn’t been there in a while.

Let’s take a step inside and have a look around at the studio Jimi Hendrix built.

Above is the view from within the sound booth. Below is Studio A. Rock n Roll royalty has recorded in this space.

Here is a close up of the mural on the back wall in the studio.

Other ethereal psychedelic paintings line the halls.

Many advances were made in the studio since the times I used to hang here, but fortunately, they kept the original design and artwork intact.

The bathrooms are covered in collage from old magazines.

Later in the evening was listening party for Ray Angry’s new album.

Here is Ray with a special guest. Yes, it’s Lauryn Hill.

Well, I expect that temperatures will be dropping as the winter approaches. The rides will come with less frequency for a while. But one never knows. There should be a good day here and there.

Until then, Happy Holidays!

Where Have You Been All My Life?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 14, 2018 by Pat Regan

I took a ride up north a bit on the first chilly weekend of the new season. In my eagerness to take a ride, I really didn’t consider many seasonal preparations. I mean, I put on an extra layer under my jacket. But, I left the ventilation zippers open. I didn’t even consider long johns, and by the time I got to the Palisades Parkway, my hands were getting cold.

I knew there was a button somewhere on my bars that would activate a gadget that I had never experienced before. The new T120 has more buttons, gadgets, and electronics than I am used to and I haven’t completely oriented myself yet.

Then I found it. It’s a discreet little button just to the right of the hand grip on the left handlebar. Heated grips!

This was my first time riding with heated grips! It’s amazing! No more stopping and hugging the engine to stay warm. My hands were toasty! Where have you been all my life?

When I first took a road trip with my brother back in 2009, he had heated grips. I didn’t think too much about it then, and I never really have since. I’ve just dealt with what I had and roughed it. But DAMN! These things are great! One of these days I may even charge my phone on the USB thing under the seat! More electronic adjustments. This time good ones.

I was riding north to Elmsford, NY to check out a bike show.

Prestige Custom Cycles is a bike shop in Elmsford. They were having an event today featuring some local motorcycle artists. I wanted to see what they had to offer.

The artist’s work was located in a building beyond the one you see in the photo above. The paintings, drawings, and photos hung on a fence that surrounded the perimeter walls. In the center of the space were some customized bikes.

I recognized one name, Jimmy Frizzell. That’s his work on the left and on the table. He and his brother are both artists of the motorcycle genre. George his brother, works in oil paint. Jimmy works more with line. I have one of George’s paintings (below).

Another artist at this event was Richard Fuggetta AKA Rockabilly Richie. He paints in a realistic pin-up style a la Mel Ramos.

I was considering purchasing this knucklehead painting.

I didn’t buy it. But I liked his work. It was more inspiring than anything else and made me want to go home and paint.

Ken Geiger AKA Mad Stork was displaying some of his photos and there were a few other artists.

One artist that wasn’t mentioned ahead of the event was Richie Pan. His wife Cindy was there displaying some of Ritchie’s artwork as well.

I saw a lot of Richie ‘PAN’ Panera’s work at the Buffalo Chip in Sturgis a few years ago, like this Knucklehead above. The steel frame is excellent! Richie was a tattoo artist by trade, but he also worked with a brush.

As I said before, the artwork surrounded some customized bikes lined up in the center of the room.

The Beast looked to be an old Harley from the late 20’s.

This Flathead with the Johnny Cash salute was a Prestige build.

This early 20’s Henderson closed it out.

It was a nice small event and a great reason to get out of the hectic city. Hopefully, the fall will bring some mild weekends for some adventures before it gets too cold.

I took Route 9A all the way back to the city. I zipped up those ventilation flaps and was loving those heated grips! When I got home a package had arrived. I got a fly screen for the bike. The selection for flyscreens is more limited for the T120 than the T100. I really liked the T100 screen that wrapped around the headlight. We’ll see how this looks on the new bike soon. The screen is much darker than the one you see on the box.

Given the artwork theme of this post, I will display a drawing I did and wish everyone a very Happy Halloween!

Indian Larry Block Party 2018

Posted in Uncategorized on September 15, 2018 by Pat Regan

Hey Brooklyn! It’s that time of year again. With the summer creeping to an end, the Indian Larry Block Party came out in force.

I parked my bike amongst the many lined streets of motorcycle-only parking.

It was much more lively this year than it’s been in a while.

I’ve got to say, there were more bikes and more clubs showing their colors than I have seen here in a long time, as well as plenty of cops. And everyone was cool. The cops seemed to revel in the event as they let guys do wheelies and burnouts up and down multiple streets in North Williamsburg.

This three-wheeled ride was cool. The trike is some type of hybrid. It both pedals and has an engine.

And he recognizes that riding on two wheels is even better.

This sweet Chevy came whipping around the corner for a quick shot!

I caught this beauty from the rear as well. Nice!

Helmet laws in NY are of course strictly enforced.

Timo was here again from the Great White North.

He makes excellent leather and travel gear for bikes. Mad Squirrel Leather. Check it out:

https://www.madsquirrelleather.com/

Last year Timo had his chopper alongside his stand. Since then, that bike nearly killed him. His kickstand dropped while he was on a twisty left curve. That sucker dug into the pavement and sent him and the bike flying end-over-end into a ditch.

Below is a photo (I took last year) of the Banana, the bike that threw him. You can see some of his work in the wickedly woven seat and the vertical duffle he calls a nutsack.

This shovel has a dedication to Richie Pan on the air filter.

I saw a sticker on a bike earlier in the day that said: “rust is a color”. This bike below is out to prove it.

This is Gloria Struck. She is in the AMA Hall of Fame and has been riding for over 75 years. At 93, she is still riding!

She signed a copy of her book for me today.

To Pat, Safe riding and live your dreams! Best wishes Gloria.

Thank you, Gloria.

Below is the photo that David Uhl used to do the painting that is on the cover of Gloria”s book.

Another artist, Makoto Endo was in attendance.

Here he paints in his unique style using chopsticks as his brush.

I bumped into my friend Cliff as well today. I first met Cliff at a pow-wow in Montana in 2009 while riding cross country.

Cliff is a strong-minded spiritual dude. Below is Cliff when I met him. While I was still rubbing my eyes from another late night, he had already run in a race and was entertaining some of the local kids by providing himself as target practice.

In addition to being Pres & Founder of REDRUM Motorcycle Club and former Golden Gloves champ, Cliff is the Cultural Director at Redhawk Native American Arts Council.  He organizes numerous pow-wows and gatherings in the tri-state area. Join Cliff for a Re-thinking about Columbus Day on Randall’s Island, October 7th and 8th.

The history of Columbus our students are taught in the United States is a glorified, hugely edited, fluffy depiction of what took place in 1492 and the years thereafter. The story we are commonly taught comes from a biography of Columbus written by Washington Irving. Washington Irving, the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The story of a headless horseman, a pumpkinhead. A fairy tale. At the time Irving’s story about Columbus fit a narrative that this country wanted to promote. It was adapted and became the story told in most American History books thereafter. The truth of Columbus’s story is a horrific and tragic tale that left blood and carnage everywhere he and his men set foot.

History is the truth. The truth matters. Re-think. Re-Learn.

A ’69 327 SS Camaro. Sometimes 4 wheels are nice too.

A hardtail frame and no springs on that seat. Better hope for a smooth ride.

This dude was enjoying a chill moment on his vintage Triumph.

Engine envy!

The rocking sounds of Judas Priestess.

The Stinky Pinky is a classic 70’s Triumph chopper.

Richie Pan’s bike had some Angels looking over it.

It was a nice day for the block party. With news of hurricane Florence to the south occupying most weather reports, today was a fine day in Brooklyn with just enough cloud to sun ratio to make for a festive gathering.

This bike below was obviously a head turner. I think it’s an Indian Larry build.

After Larry’s Block Party I stopped at the Triumph dealer for a minute, then headed back across the bridge to Manhattan. Good day!

 

 

Brooklyn Invitational 2018

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2018 by Pat Regan

This past weekend it was off to Brooklyn!

Saturday was the 10th Annual Brooklyn Invitational Custom Motorcycle Show.

As cool as the bikes are inside, the street is a treasure trove of awesome machines.

Custom builds always line 15th Street during this event.

Every once in a while you hear the sound of other vintage rides going by.

This bobbed out Triumph was especially nice.

Another hardcore hardtail Triumph.

Inside Root Studios is the actual show.

The bikes were spread out across two rooms this year, giving more space to check out the motorcycles.

Outside it was getting dark.

It looked as though Ellis Gallagher had recently gotten busy with a chalk outline.

Took the ferry back and called it a night. Good show!

Electronics

Posted in Uncategorized on June 24, 2018 by Pat Regan

This new T120 is heavy on the electronics. The learning curve or general acceptance that the bike is programmed to place things at according levels is an adjustment that I have to make. The throttle and RPMs have been an issue for me. Initially, the bike seemed to be idling a bit too low. She konked out a few times while idling still, like at a red light. With the new bike, this is not an adjustment you can make on the fly. So after 500 plus miles, I took her in for her first pricy pampering. I gave the new Triumph Brooklyn a try for my first servicing. I bought the bike elsewhere.

I wrote about this place a few times before. I also mentioned the cool lifting floor. It’s the black platform that those bikes are on to the left in the photo above. Below is a shot of the floor lifting that I had posted before.

Now that it’s service time, I got to see it from below.

This baby is in the store as you enter.

I dropped my Bonnie off on Wednesday and picked her up on Friday. I asked for the idle to be adjusted along with the clock and whatever they do for that first maintenance. The electronics even let you know when it’s time for maintenance. I little wrench icon pops up on the display above the odometer. I was getting ready to head back home. The clock still wasn’t adjusted. I had asked if they could set it. I figured it was one of those electronic things that had to be hooked up to a computer program. Then the dude showed me that the clock is something Triumph still allows the rider to adjust manually. A few pushes of the buttons. Duh.

The bike was acting weird on the ride home. It wasn’t konking out at a red light, but the RPMs were erratic. When I engaged the clutch it would rev up to 2500 RPMs. So as I was downshifting to slow down, the bike was trying to speed up. Electronics! It was freaky. And if I gave a little twist of the throttle while the clutch was engaged it would continue to soar up after I let go. Not cool. I called the guys in Brooklyn. They said to bring it right back, but I already crossed the bridge just before Friday rush hour. There was no way I was turning back into that mess. I’ll go the next day.

The next day I hopped on the bike ready for an unnerving trip into Brooklyn. I was prepared for an up and down RPM roller coaster of a ride, but no. Everything was fine. It was humming at 1000RPMs while sitting at a light. And If I gave a little twist of the throttle, the revving would decrease with my touch as it should. I guess a restart fixed the glitch. Time will tell. So I rode around a bit downtown. I stopped by this fairly new piece by Matt Gondek.

I think I am going to adjust quickly to the new bike and all the electronic stuff, but sometimes I still miss my the old Bonnie.