Day Trips

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So Close to Spring

If you are a rider living in the North Eastern part of the States your feeling it! It’s almost time. A time when you know you can ride everyday without dropping your core body temperature to dangerous levels. Personally I have no electrical gear to heat myself up during the cold winter months. That didn’t always stop me. A few of those times, I should not have been riding. I froze. My hands were numb and I was far from home. It was so cold I did not even take pictures. I couldn’t feel the camera. It was dangerous to let myself be exposed to those below freezing temperatures. When you are that cold you are not thinking clearly and therefor perhaps you are not riding with the necessary focus. You can’t help but be distracted by the changes in your body. And it can take hours to feel even close to normal again once you make it home.
So the Spring weather brings welcome relief.
I went for a short ride this Sunday. I had to get out of the city. I did a nice loop around the Bear Mountain area. See the map below.

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I went North from NYC up the Palisades Pkwy to Route 59 toward Suffern. I then went North on 17 to 17A. 17A is a nice road for riding. It winds through the mountains and has some surprisingly tough turns. At least I didn’t expect to have to lean into it as hard as I did at one point. There are red stars on the map depicting the location of the following photos. The first is a small waterfall off of 17A.

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17A bring you to Warwick, NY. Warwick is a quaint old town where I photographed this church. It’s the kind of town where kids wave at you as you ride by. Very Norman Rockwell. Nice.

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I then yielded onto 94N. This is a smaller road where I came across this old mill.

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It’s a great old crooked building. I spoke to the people residing in the adjacent house across the creek. They said the foundation of the house is original, built in 1790 and the house was rebuild after a fire in the 1800’s. The mill itself is called the Randelville Mill. The National Register of Historic Places plaque on the door read: Remaining portion of the Randellville Mill. Saw-grist mill, Piano-Forte factory on Quaker Creek c. 1740-1900
I would have explored more but I could smell the rains coming. So I connected with Route 6 wrapped around Bear Mountain and headed back to the city. Good thing I did, the rain did come.

There have been some requests for more information about gear and routes. I hear ya people. You should see updates soon.

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A Change of Season

October 25, 2008

So the wonders of summer have officially parted.

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Time to adjust to a new season.

My adjustment came with a ride on Old Mine Road along the Delaware River. I posted something about this route on the first day of summer. I returned to see the colors of Autumn and to explore on foot a bit more.

I went looking for an old copper mine. I had slept in this copper mine many years ago while hiking the Appalaichian Trail. My friend Jack and I had been hiking for 3 days and were completely unprepared. We had just quit our jobs working in Richard Gere’s apartment. Our boss was giving us checks but kept telling us we couldn’t cash them until…. whenever. So we quit. We got in my old car, A 1971 AMC Matador which I had painted flat black with a paint brush, and headed North. One thing we were definitely not prepared for was rain. We had no tents. Just 2 city boys out in the wilderness with Ramen noodles and tequila for nourishment and a couple blankets and garbage bags for comfort. We knew it was going to rain and it was getting dark. We were not going to make it to the next shelter along the Appalachian Trail 6 miles ahead. We saw a sign which read ‘Copper Mine Trail’ 2 miles. We took it. There we found the aforementioned copper mine where we sought shelter from the passing storm.

The entrance has since been boarded up, but that did not stop me from exploring the cave a bit.

This is just inside the entrance where we spent the night.

And a view as one descends into the mine shaft. Very dark!

After investigating the mines I road north along Old Mine Road stopping at a couple scenic spots. This is part of an old village called Walpack.

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Riding Upstate

Had a good ride with my brother today. The weather is getting cool but the sun was bright. We shot up the West Side Highway and continued north up the Saw Mill Pkwy to Route 6. We pulled over at this old shack.

Then we took Route 301, a nice road that winds through lakes and hills. We then ended up going south on Route 20 to Oregon Rd. It was there in Van Cortlandtville that we discovered this old cemetery with a small church where George Washington worshiped during the Revolution.

There is sign next to the church which reads:

Old Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church dedicated year 1767.

Services in this building were attended by George Washington at times when he stayed nearby. This building was also used as an Army Hospital by French General Rochambeau before and after The Battle of Yorktown Virginia 1781-2

Click Here to see an old map of Van Cortlandtville. We are at the Hillside Cemetery.

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First Day of Summer
I had originally planned to attend the Mermaid Festival at Coney Island today. My plan changed when my brother called me last night and got me thinking about taking a ride! We had talked about Lake George, but after getting a late start we decided the Delaware Water Gap was a better bet. It was the right decision. I started the journey with a trip to the Triumph dealer. My bike has been leaking oil and I am waiting for a new master cylinder which has been dripping brake fluid (not good). I was told the master cylinder had arrived and they agreed to replace the rocker head gasket to stop the oil leak. Good news! It’s been seeping out all around the gasket. They seemed to have changed thier policy from the last time I asked about the leak. There was another policy broken this morning which brought a smile to my face 🙂 but I digress. My brother and I missed the turn to get to Route 80 coming out of the Holland Tunnel so we took 78 West. Before the Pennsylvania border we went north on 519.

Click any photo to enlarge.

When we got to the gap area we were told by a guy taking rafters upstream that we would have to wait at a 5 minute light then we would take Old Mine Road along the river. It was beautiful.

Much of the road had a 15 MPH speed limit!

We took a hike and saw this millipede.

My brother and I were hungry. We decided we would go have dinner in Milford PA. As we were making a left turn to head into PA, we saw a bunch of people at some sort of event. We turned around to check it out. There was a gathering of locals having a party to kick in the summer. There was beer, food, and bands. We figured it was for the locals so we decided not to stay. Then, as we were crossing the bridge to leave, I saw the saxophone player in the band was my good friend Jack! Unbelievable! So we turned around and checked it out. It’s always good to see Jack and he and my brother hadn’t seen each other in many years. What an unexpected blast! A great way to wrap up a great ride!

Check out more of Jack and his music on the Music Page.

Here is a map of the journey.

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Back to Belmar! But first, Bear Mountain.

Seven Lakes Drive

I went back to Belmar after a trip to Bear Mountain. My brothers’ wife told us there was a biker rally up at Bear Mountain. My brother and I were psyched to check out some vendors and scope out the scene. We decided to take a scenic route up Seven Lakes Drive. It was so chill we were moving less than 30mph on a 40mph road. When we arrived at Bear Mountain there was no sign of a bike rally. We asked the parking attendent. She knew nothing. We asked the park management. Nothing! Then we called my brothers’ wife to confirm the event. We figured maybe it’s somewhere near Bear Mountain. She looked it up online for us. She made the confirmation, it was definitely at Bear Mountain. Bear Mountain California!!! Still, it was a nice ride. I’d like to go back and camp out there. After riding to the top of the mountain we rode South.

My bro had to get back to the city. I went to the beach.

The 22nd Annual NJ Seafood Festival

At the beach was the Seafood Festival!

Lobster for breakfast!

Paella for Dinner. Mixed by hand. Is there any other way?

Everyone brought their appetites.

Shrimp on the Barbie!

Read an article about the Seafood Festival

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Belmar

It’s been raining a lot lately. A LOT!!! All day Friday, rain. The weather report was calling for another weekend of rain. Well, Saturday morning I woke up to the sun beaming through a crack between my black curtains. Sun after rain makes the city my canvas. I hopped on the bike and went down to the South Street Seaport. I had been wanting to get some shots of the boat down there. The pier doesn’t keep water for long so I had to get there early.

After riding around the city and taking some pictures I decided to head to Belmar NJ where some friends rent a place for the summer. I wanted to over pack the bike to get a feel for touring in preparation for a cross country trip. The wind was kicking this day but the sun remained uninhibited all day.

Marc got me an excellent motorcycle knife. Pretty cool huh?

Sunday looked OK. It was sunny when we got up. I checked the weather channel and things looked good. It seemed as if the rains were going to hold off until late afternoon. WRONG!!! After stopping in Morganville for a bit we hit the road. Then came the rain. I wasn’t prepared for rain so I pulled aside and spent a few hours under the awning of a gas station on Route 9.

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Coney Island

The expected rains of Sunday never came, so I rode out to Coney Island.


The fate of Coney Island remains up in the air. But for now it remains as is.
Coney Island will continue with its annual Mermaid Parade which will be held June 21, and the Siren Festival, on July 19, which will feature live performances by M.I.A., Matt and Kim and more.

Fireworks are shown Friday nights at 9:30 p.m. during the season, which began March 16 and will end in the fall. Astroland will operate on weekends until June 13, when it will switch to daily operation and return to weekends on Sept. 8.

RIDE THE CYCLONE

The warning posted outside the Cyclone reads “DO NOT RIDE IF YOU ARE PREGNANT, WEAR A PACEMAKER OR SUFFER FROM OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS,” and they mean it. This 100-second, 9-hill legendary roller coaster has no upside-down corkscrew loops, but will make you lose your lunch, nevertheless. Winding its way over rickety wooden planks at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, the entire structure feels as if it could collapse at any moment. What’s even more terrifying after the initial 85 foot plunge, is the way this relic of a roller coaster violently jerks you about. Built in 1927, the Cyclone is now included in the National Register of Historic Places. 834 Surf Avenue and W. 10th Street.

The Parachute Jump
Built for the 1939 World’s Fair and dubbed the Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn, this designated national landmark has not been operational for years. In its day, the Parachute Jump hoisted riders to its summit, then dropped them into a free-fall before deploying a parachute. While some view the 262-foot tower as wrought-iron wreckage, others value the distinctive structure as a permanent fixture on the Brooklyn skyline.

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Road Trip!

I rode out to the Poconos yesterday to see Jack (highlighted on the music page). Then I spent today riding around the Poconos and New York State. Beautiful. Last night some guys at a bar in Milford, PA told me about a road which runs along the Delaware River. It is Route 97 in NY, just north of Port Jervis. They said BMW has used it for car commercials because it’s scenic and twisty. It was just that.

Scenic America looks so much better with my Bonneville.

Raymondskill Falls, Delaware Water Gap area, PA

Uh Oh! They’ve found the Patcave!

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A Castle, a Waterfall and an Abandoned Baseball Stadium

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Today the sun popped out, the temperature rose, and it was time to hit the road. I visited a couple spots in New Jersey I had marked on my map.

A Castle

Labert Castle was the home of a wealthy silk merchant outside of Patterson, NJ. He had this castle built in 1892 with the wealth he accumulated from the silk industry.

You can see the city from the castle.

Inside is an atrium with surrounding balconies. These walls were once covered with the works of Rembrandt, Pissaro, Monet, Courbet, Renoir, Van Gogh and more. Unfortunately for the former silk baron, the business went belly up during a prolonged strike forcing him to sell most of his collection.

On the way up the stairs is this incredible stained glass window.

A room upstairs is filled with folk art and historical objects from the Patterson area.

Patterson, NJ

A Waterfall

The Great Falls of the Passaic River.

An Abandoned Baseball Stadium

Hinchliffe Stadium. One of only a few remaining Negro National League stadiums in the country, it stands vacant and dilapidated.

The stadium is best known for its role in professional baseball as home to the New York Black Yankees of the Negro National League in the 1930s and 1940s. It has been closed since 1997 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Baseball: New York Black Yankees
New York Black Yankees Button

In September 1933, within their first Hinchliffe season, the New York Black Yankees played the Philadelphia Stars here in the Colored Championship of the Nation. They lost the championship, but not their momentum, opening the following season with an eight-game winning streak! The streak-ending ninth game with the Pittsburgh Crawfords came on July 28, 1934, a face-off that saw Hall-of-Famers Josh Gibson, Judy Johnson, James “Cool Papa” Bell, and Oscar Charleston all play in regular-season battle.

Rain disappointingly ended the game after 7 1/2 innings, but not before Crawfords’ star Gibson and Yankee Bob Clark had both hit powerful home runs, Gibson’s contributing to his League championship home-run record for that year.

On July 13, 1935, Elmer McDuffy pitched an 8-0 no-hitter at Hinchliffe Stadium against the House of David. According to the Paterson Evening News, it was “the first time such a feat had ever been turned in by by the Negro club in this territory.”

Paterson’s favorite son, Hall-of-Famer Larry Doby, was to be picked up by the Cleveland Indians in 1947 and break the American League color barrier. But what hometown fan can resist imagining that for the five years he was an Eagle, maybe-just maybe-he faced off at least once against the Black Yankees at Hinchliffe? via

Baseball: The New York Cubans

The New York Cubans called Hinchliffe Stadium home in their second season in the Negro National League (1936). The team featured Cubans star Martin Dihigo (HOF 1977), a resourceful ballplayer who played all nine positions at various points in his career. Dihigo was a whirlwind. He began as a second baseman, but found his true talents on the pitching mound. Paterson rooters came out June 6, 1936, to marvel at his prowess as the Cubans faced their league rivals, the Newark Eagles, with two future Hall-of-Famers in the lineup: third baseman Ray Dandridge (HOF 1987) and shortstop Willie Wells (HOF 1997). The right-handed Dihigo struck out six Newark batters in the course of the game, and then proved he was a threat with the bat too by hitting a solo home run en route to a 12-5 victory for the Cubans! via

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UP THE RIVER

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I took a ride north along the Hudson River. Along the Hudson River is misleading as there are few spots on the way where you actually are along the river. I rode route 9 all the way up to Poughkeepsie, then crossed the Hudson and returned. I saw a few things on the way.

After leaving Manhattan route 9 brings you through Yonkers.

As you move along the only way to see the Hudson is to leave the highway and head down the side roads. Unfortunately when you get there much of it is blocked by the railroad.

There are a number of old towns along the way. It would take some ‘know how’ to get across the tracks to see some of the old buildings along the river.

In Tarrytown I visited the former home of Washington Irving. It’s called Sunnyside.

If this were Irving’s time, I’d be looking down uninterrupted rolling hills, cascading down to the river. Instead I am looking at 8 pair of train track, poles and wires.

I spotted this groundhog hiding out in a drain pipe.

I continued north. I stopped in Sleepy Hollow to have a look at Philipsburg Manor but I did not go in.

I continued north up route 9 to Ossining, NY. This is where you find Sing Sing. Sing Sing is a maximum security prison. As you see by the sign such terms as, ‘Up the River’, The Big House’, and ‘The Last Mile’ originated here.

The tower guard started yelling at me as I was taking this photo. No photos allowed.

From Sing Sing I rode up to Poughkeepsie where I crossed the Hudson and headed south. On the way I passed Gomez Mill.

Then I rode to Bear Mountain Before heading home.

On the way down the mountain I saw a 4 foot black snake about to cross the road. I chased him back into the woods so he didn’t become road kill.

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Montauk Bound

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Last weekend I went for a healthy ride. It had been a while. My initial thought was to ride to the mountains. I decided instead to head in the other direction, Long Island. Wherever I travel I like to visit a site from Roadside America if possible. On this journey it was the Big Duck in Flanders, NY.

Once I was on the road I was determined to make it all the way to the Montauk tip. It is a long ride. About 125 miles each way. The first big chunk of the ride is on a long 4 lane highway with an HOV lane. Before Long Island splits at the end I exited to the east and hit Route 24. That’s where you find the Big Duck. Then on to Route 27 where things get more scenic.

I had only visited Long Island twice before. As a teen I came out here with some friends. I got into a shouting match with the neighbor of the people we were visiting and I was asked to leave. I never went back until a few years ago when I visited the Hamptons with a girl I was seeing. She rode a Vespa, but she didn’t ride there. She had it shipped out there. There was another guy who had a share at the house for the summer. He rode a Ducati. I was shocked to hear that he had it shipped out there too. At the time I wasn’t riding. But it sure struck me as odd that you would have your bike shipped from NYC to Long Island. Now I think it’s just silly. My ride through the Hamptons was nice. It’s a slow ride, but the Fall foliage was looking good! Then it was on to the beach.

It was fun watching the little guy handling that stick like a big dog.

This guy stood and stared. He never did take the plunge.

And finally the northern tip. The lighthouse at Montauk.

The sun dropped along with the temperature. It was a long cold ride home, but you gotta squeeze in as much as you can this time of year. Soon the long ride will go on hold for a few months.

2 Responses to “Day Trips”

  1. Brian Sherman Says:

    The new ride looked awesome. I have three more months before I get back on the bike. Also like the updates on here with the Gear,etc.

    I assume the bike is still running fine? How many miles do you have on it now?

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