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Online kendenton

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First-Timers Trip to Americade (2007)
« on: November 17, 2013, 08:53:45 AM »
I'll be posting this in sections, so check back once in a while if you're interested.

This was my first experience at Americade, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it.  I planned to go up on Tuesday, and spend the week, coming back Saturday or Sunday.

Tuesday

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Packed and ready to go

Got up at 6:05, kickstand up at 6:30.  I wanted to hit the road before my 6 year-old son woke up, because it’s hard enough leaving him for a few days.  Once he’s awake and hugging me and asking me not to go it would be torture.  I did hear him saying “Daddy” in his sleep as I was getting ready to go.  I went in to check on him but he was sound asleep.

Had to do a little highway to get out of town.  Even at 6:45am there was traffic on Route 55. 

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After that, I-295 up to Trenton, and then off onto Route 29 up the east side of the Delaware River.

Some traffic around Trenton, 29 was pretty busy thru Lambertville.  Once I got past Stockton, I took 519 for pretty much the whole length (except for a brief detour on 521 when I missed a turn).  Stopped to call home and say good morning to everyone, happy that by 8am I had put quite a few miles behind me.

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519 just north of Stockton

519 put me onto 97 which I followed into Port Jervis.  For the most part, a terrific ride, especially north of 206.  At one point I came around a curve on 519 and there was a really big-ass bird sitting in the middle of my lane.  Buzzard?  Turkey vulture?  I don’t know for sure.  What I do know is that he didn’t move at all.  I swerved around him, and he stayed put.

My GPS (Garmin 2610) locked up about 10 miles south of Hope, got it working again at Tramontin H-D in hope, where I stopped for a bathroom break.

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Somewhere on the northern section of 519

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Passed thru High Point State Park

The rain started in Port Jervis, and I stopped at daycare center with a small covered porch to don the gear.  Nice woman came out after a few minutes and asked if I needed help.  Not sure if she was just being nice or concerned about some biker hanging out on their property.

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Getting ready for rain

Did hawk’s nest in the rain.  Not particularly fun.

Phenomenally nice ride up 94 to 206 thru Catskill Park and then onto 30.  Well, except for the deer prancing along the side of 94 at one point.  Got my attention!

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30 thru the park was awesome – lots of nice sweepers, great scenery, and if I saw 10 cars the whole length I’d be surprised. 

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Black flies swarmed the bike everytime I stopped in the Catskills


Rained on and off.  Followed 30 north all the way through Amsterdam near Adirondack Park.  Cut over on 29 to hook up with 9N. Really started coming down when I got near Saratoga. Thunder, lightning, etc.  Pulled over at some old abandonded restaurant and waited it out.

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Waiting out the thunderstorm

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On 30

Got to the Lake George area around 5pm, 10 ½ hours on the road, 400 miles with only one hour on the highway.

Passed my campground on the way in on 9N, passed Roaring Brook Ranch, got to the Holiday Inn at 5:20.  Check-in was a breeze, got the parking pass (PP) for the week as well.  $7 lets you park anywhere legal in town without worrying about meters.  Good deal.

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Registering at the Holiday Inn

Not as many bike as I expected at the Holiday Inn.  I backtracked to my campsite at Fourth Lake, which was a scenic 6 mile ride from the main action on 9. I setup camp, and was surprised to see that the only showers in the campground were 1.5 miles on the other side of the lake.  So that became an interesting ritual of packing new clothes, towel and toiletries and riding around the lake.

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My campsite at Fourth Lake

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Remembered to take the "from the tent" pic

I then went to RBR.   Caught the end of Bill Dutcher’s trip to Tierra del Fuego – sounded excellent.  Got a front row seat for Clement Salvadori’s presentation about a trip he did US border-to-border N-S on dirt roads.  Front row seat.  I’ve been reading and enjoying Clement’s articles for going on 20 years, and was very excited to hear him speak.  Turns out he was just OK, not terrific.  Lots of “um, and then we…”.  Listened to a little of Lee Parks – really fast talker, but I was getting pretty beat.

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Clement Salvadori

Walked around RBR a bit, then rode into Lake George Village to check out the bikes.  Now THAT’s a lot of bikes!  I parked across from Quizno’s, and some Long Island guys asked me about the multistrada.  Guy #1 just bought a Guzzi le mans.  Saw one other Ducati so far, a dark gray monster with nice pipes and a topcase.  Had Quizno’s for dinner.  Being up there by myself, I wasn’t really into eating at any of the cool restaurants/pubs at a table for one.

Back at the campsite at 9:30, downloaded pics from the 2 cameras (one on-bike and one carried around), and wrote in the journal some.  Very tired.


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Re: First-Timers Trip to Americade (2007)
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 08:54:13 AM »
I knew I had to get to Roaring Brook early to sign up for BMW demos, so I set my cellphone alarm for 6:05am.  Got a bad night’s sleep (typical for first night camping), and I was up at 5:45am.

Once I get properly awake and organized, I rode out to RBR and parked at 6:40 or so.  It was pretty darn cold, maybe in the 50’s, very overcast with no sun.  It looked like rain for most of the day, but that never materialized.  Thinking it was going to be warm (June, after all), I only brought my perforated jacket and gloves (and leather pants).  I used my rain jacket to ward off the cold for the next couple of days.

I got in line at BMW at 6:50 (they open at 7, an hour earlier than everyone else).  Started a conversation with a guy named Guy from Staten Island for a while.  He started out on a Concours and traded up to a K1200RS a few years ago.  We talked about having to ride an hour or more to get to decent roads, and generally passed the time.

Before I got to the front of the line at 7:30, they announced that all K12GT's and F800's were taken for the day.  I scheduled a K1200R Sport for 2:30.  Went right over to Honda and booked VFR (diff line for Wings) for 9:30, then over to Triumph for Sprint at 12:30.

For a complete write-up on the demo rides, check this thread: http://www.sport-touring.net/forums/index.php/topic,10063.0.html

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One parking area at RBR

Roaring Brook was great, I’d like to maybe stay there next year instead of camping.  Walked around for a while, checking out lots of bikes.  I found one other Multistrada, a black 1000DS.

I was impressed by the organization present at RBR.  They had volunteers everywhere directing traffic, which was especially useful for getting demo rides out the door.  As soon as one was ready to pull out they’d radio “OK, Victory going out” and we’d get the path cleared all the way out to 9N, where there was an officer directing traffic.  He’d stop the traffic on 9N so the whole demo group could get out or in.  Very nice.

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My how you've grown over the years

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Lots of folks were checking out the new Victory Vision, which I have to say looks better in real life than in pictures.

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Props to this guy for riding a very tall demo bike

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This woman had no problem backing her sidecar rig with trailer up the sidewalk while the crowd watched

I was also impressed by the amount of pollen flying around!  Fortunately I’m not terribly allergic to it, but it made the bikes filthy in an hour.

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Pollen

I met a nice 900ss rider, walked around with him for a while.  He was local to the area, and was practically begging the Triumph rep to open a dealership in the Capital region.  He wanted to check out my Multi, so after grabbing some $3 hot dogs we headed to the parking lot.

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My new friend's 900SS

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On the BMW demo there were 3 sisters, Holly, Molly and Polly (or something like that).  Cute.

Around 4:30 I rode back to camp for long ride to showers with towel/clothes in my lap.  Took about 5 minutes of button-pushing to get some hot water out of the showerhead.  Feeling nice and refreshed, I headed back into Lake George for the boat ride I booked in advance.

While the 2-hour boat ride was nice, I would probably not do it again next year unless I was coming with a bunch of friends who wanted to do it.  The food was forgettable at best, and the ride would have been better at 1 hour rather than 2.  I struck up some conversations with groups of folks (3 guys riding an ACE, a T100 and one son on a Rebel, and 2 guys from someplace near me at home), which is impressive for me.  I’m quite the shy, non-talkative guy, but I was stuck there by myself and determined to not just sit and stare out the window.

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On the boat

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Pretty windy on the lake

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The Dunlop boat came from behind to kick our butt

The boat ride was sponsored by BMW, so there were a few BMW reps onboard.  Best line I heard all day was from a BMW owner from Northern NJ talking to the rep.

“I live right near the NJ/NY border in a beautiful part of the state.  You know where my nearest dealer is?”

“BMW of Manhattan”.

“Yup.  You might as well have put it on the moon”.

After the cruise I walked up and down Canada Street for a couple hours.  Amazing scene, tons and tons of bikes, lots of folks checking the bikes out and hanging out, a real nice vibe.  Nobody doing anything stupid on the street (that would come much later), and everyone just being real cool.  Got some ice cream, took tons of pictures.

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Typical scene on Canada Street during the week

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Lots of pretty lights

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Whenever I came back to my Multi on Canada Street there was always space around it...

I’m going to put up a website with all the “cool bike” photos, when it’s up it should be here: http://www.kendenton.org/ducati/2007-06-06%20americade%202007/Bikes

Back to the campsite around 10:30 to download pics.
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Online kendenton

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Re: First-Timers Trip to Americade (2007)
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 08:55:19 AM »
Thursday

Cold, cold, cold!

A few times during the night I woke up because I was cold, so that was not a good sign. I woke up to 40 degree temperatures and frost on the bike.  Again I donned my rain jacket to ward off the cold, with just a t-shirt and a perforated jacket underneath.

Today’s major activity was a “Premium Guided Mini-Tour” to Whiteface Mountain.  Reading the forums on www.tourexpo.com, the official Americade website, said this was the best tour to take.  Since this was my first trip to Americade, I wanted to get a little taste of everything.

I double-gassed (last night and today) for the Whiteface ride. The 620 multistrada has a unique issue that when filling the tank you develop an air pocket that prevents you from getting more than 3.5 gallons in.  A quick mile ride or so frees up the bubble and you can pour in another 1.7 gallons or so.  Very odd design!

I was in line by boat dock around 7:30.  I was quite surprised at the huge number of bikes there, and also how organized the Americade folks are.  They had 6 (I think) tours getting ready to depart in 3 waves each, and they had the whole thing running smoothly.  Of course they’ve had 24 years to practice.

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I got a donut and juice from the booth that was setup there, but I passed on the port-o-pots, which had attendants and a tip jar.

At the riders meeting they announced that because of construction on 9 we’d be doing the first 50 miles on I-87, the Northway.  Boooo.  I was in the second wave, and we headed out around 8:55am.

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Very boring 50 mile ride up the Northway, including a rest stop to get snacks and ‘take care of business’.  Once we got off I-87 the roads were very nice up to Whiteface Mountain, but of course we were not going very quickly in any way, shape or form.  I didn’t expect to, so no big deal for me.  Another rest stop, another chance to chat with the other riders.  For most of the ride I was sandwiched between 2 trikes.  There were a LOT of trikes at Americade, or Trike Week as they call it.  In our group of around 50 bikes there were 3 trikes.

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On the Northway

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Rest stop #1

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Rest stop #2

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Nice helmet

Once we got to the toll road up Whiteface (we rode right through, this being included in our fee for the tour), the signs indicated “rough road”.  We switched from staggered to single file (though it’s hard to stagger behind a trike), and the road did indeed get very bumpy.  Lots of frost heave moguls which had me standing on the pegs with knees bent.  Very funny to watch the trike in front of me slalom around them.  The first time he did it I thought he was gonna drop a wheel into the ditch on the shoulder, he was quite a violent swerver.

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The road up Whiteface

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Rough road

The top of Whiteface was very cool, both literally and figuratively.  There is a u-turn you do sort of in a tunnel, and the tour the day before couldn’t do it because of the ice that had formed on the road.  We didn’t have any ice, but it was still freezing cold.  After parking the bikes I took the  tunnel to elevator, and rode up to the summit.  I could have walked it (I do a lot of hiking in Colorado), but how often do you get to do a tunnel in a mountain and an elevator in rock?

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Highest elevation the Multi has been to (so far)

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Parked at the top of Whiteface mountain

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The tunnel to the elevator

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View from the top

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Lake Placid

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Who's that goofy-looking guy?

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Very goofy self-portrait

There was ice on top.  There were cool rocks to climb on, great views but very hazy.  Took the steps/rocks back down. While waiting to leave I talked to a couple from Indiana for a bit, and the trike couple that were in front of me.  Nice folks, but you could say that about pretty much everyone I met that week.

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Looking down at the road we came up on

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Posing

We then rode on to lunch in Lake Placid, at Nicola’s on Main.  Decent chicken, salad and rolls.  Very decent dessert selection.  I initially grabbed a table by myself, then I saw the guy at the next table had a hat on from Barb’s H-D which is about an hour from me at home.  I asked if I could join them, and it turned out they were from Deptford, NJ, only 20 miles from me. Cool!

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Coming into Lake Placid the ski jumps are right in front of you

After lunch the “official” tour was over, and we were free to get back to Lake George however we wished.  I couldn’t help but notice that the restaurant was literally right across the street from the Olympic Center, so I headed over there. Got to stand at center-ice on the 1980 Herb Brooks rink.  “Do you believe in miracles?!”  I’m by no means a big sports fan, especially hockey, but being able to walk around in that place was pretty damn cool.

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Headed back on 73, which was excellent.  Very scenic, nice sweepers, and basically empty. I decided to take 9 after that, figuring the talk about construction that morning was exaggerated for the ‘touring riders’.  9 was very nice until the construction, which only lasted 8 miles but sucked. I finally had to do a little northway to get back.

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73 was very pretty

I did the TourExpo, which is basically a big vendor setup in 2 locations.  I bought the tire patch kit I had been trying to find, but didn’t see anything else that jumped out and grabbed me.  They had a free shuttle bus that ran continuously between the 2 locations, which was great because parking was a pain there. Pretty nifty that they work on your bike at the vendor booths (seats, lighting, tires, pinstriples, etc).

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Back to the campground for a shower, where a GS rider started talking to me from the next shower stall.  Nice enough guy, I guess, but kinda odd to talk in the shower.

Back into town for the show (the ‘scene’ on Canada Street). I met a nice 900ss rider named Claudio from Boston on the lawn near HD - i saw his imitation Corse jacket and started talking to him.  It was his first time here as well, and he was also disappointed (as was I) that there were not many ducs around. He sort of expected to see a Ducati booth of some sort, I suggested we plant a big Italian flag on the lawn next to us and we could start our own Italian Bike Hospitality Center.

I ran into the 'might as well put it on the moon' guy outside Quizno's, and sat with him and his friends while I ate yet another Prime Rib and Peppercorn sub (no onions) on white.  He had a funny story about being there last year – he was sitting in the same spot, watching the thousands of bikes on Canada Street with a married couple at the next table.  After a while, the husband asks him “So what is this, all these bikes?”  He explained about it being Americade, the largest touring rally in the US, etc.  Turns out the couple booked a room at a hotel on Canada Street for their 10th anniversary, and had no idea that this was going to be happening as well.  Needless to say they weren’t exactly amused.

Back to the campground around 11pm.

Would I do an organized tour next year?  Probably.  It certainly wasn't the most exciting ride of the week, but the scenery was great.  I got to meet some nice folks, which was nice since I was up there by myself.
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Online kendenton

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Re: First-Timers Trip to Americade (2007)
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2013, 08:56:14 AM »
Friday

Hot, hot, hot!

Woke up at 6:05 sweltering in the tent.  Could this be the same place I was yesterday when it was 40 degrees outside?  Today was going to be a big demo ride day, so I quickly got ready and zoomed down to Roaring Brook by 6:30.

For details on all the demo rides that day, check this thread: http://www.sport-touring.net/forums/index.php/topic,10063.0.html

The whole day was blisteringly hot, and I was drinking water by the gallon.  The perforated leather jacket that froze me yesterday was cooking me today.  And don’t get me started on the leather pants….

After the last BMW demo, I headed back to the campground for a shower and then down to The Great Escape amusement park in Queensbury.  Americade was having a ‘Dinner Spectacular’ there that night, and the first 1000 (2000?) bikes in line get to ride inside and park next to the Comet roller coaster.

I am a HUGE roller coaster enthusiast, and this was an opportunity I was not going to miss.  I was probably among the first 100 people or so in line, and had to wait for nearly an hour in the sweltering heat.  It would have been great to have someone selling drinks in that line, but no such luck.

I met up with a guy in the line who had my first bike – a 1981 Honda CB750K.  He was kind enough to let me sit on his bike, which really took me back.  I bought my CB back in 91, and promptly crashed it the day before taking the MSF course.  Riding around the countryside, doing just fine, until a curve came up in the road.  I panicked and ran straight off the road, dropping the bike with some force onto the grass.  I was OK except for a very sore back, but the bike hit the ground so hard I cracked the frame.

After taking the course, and getting the frame welded back together, I came across that same curve a few weeks later.  Barely even noticed it.  Dumb-ass.


Finally 6:45 came and we started our ride through the back gate and into the park.  I have to be honest, I was just thrilled to be riding in an amusement park.  I got a spot right next to the Comet (a top-10 coaster for me), and quickly went in search of beverages.

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Riding into the park

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I have a bunch of videos which I'll link later, but here's a quick (22meg) one of riding next to the Comet: http://www.kendenton.org/ducati/2007-06-06%20americade%202007/4.Friday/DSCF3875.AVI

The Great Escape crew put on a nice spread, with salad, ziti, and a bunch of other food.  I drank 4 cups of water before filling up my plate, and got a seat in the huge pavilion.  I ate quickly and headed back to the Comet to get some rides in.

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The food at Great Escape

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A nearly empty train goes by

They were running both trains, and there was NOBODY in the line.  I went right for the front seat, and the incoming train had one guy in the front, and one kid in the back seat.  I joined the guy in the front seat, and away we went.

It turns out my seatmate was also a coaster enthusiast.  His name was Dave, and he was retired from the Air Force.   He was a long-distance motorcycle riding enthusiast with many SS1K’s and BBG’s under his belt. We did almost 30 circuits of the coaster, moving around from seat to seat as people arrived in line.  We never had to leave the train.  Truly a great evening for this coaster enthusiast.

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Giving away doorprizes

I went back to the pavilions to see if I would win any door prizes.  The grand prize was a $7k Bushtec trailer of your choise, to match your ‘Wing or Harley.  I was almost afraid to win this one in front of all these people.

“Congratulations!  What do you ride?”

“A Ducati”

“Oh.  What are you going to do with the trailer?”

“Can you say eBay?”

Alas, I did not win anything.  They gave out the awards for oldest rider, longest distance, etc, and then it was time for the fireworks.  I walked back to the bike, and got some nice photos of the fireworks exploding over the Comet and my Multi.  Very cool.

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Rode out of the park in the dark as the fireworks finale was lighting up the sky – a most excellent way to exit.  Headed into town for the ‘show’, and then back to the camp.

My cell phone was almost out of battery, and I needed to use it as my alarm clock.  I brought the wall charger with me on this trip, and an ac inverter.  Once back to my campsite I plugged everything in and wrote notes on the laptop for about 30 minutes.  Figuring this was enough juice to make it through the night I unplugged everything and went to sleep.

Chirp.

Chirp.

Hmmph, wassat?

Chirp.

Oh crap, the phone’s LOW BATTERY chirp.  It’s 2am.  If the phone dies, I’ll surely oversleep tomorrow and miss my last planned Americade event – the parade.  So 2am, there I am in my boxers plugging the freaking phone into the bike and then laying in the tent trying to stay awake while it charges for a while.  If I fall asleep now I’ll probably wake up late, and with a dead battery on the bike.  Eventually I unplug and go to sleep.
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Re: First-Timers Trip to Americade (2007)
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2013, 08:57:07 AM »
Saturday

I got to sleep in a little today as I didn’t need to be at the line-up for the Parade until around 9.  For once the weather seemed just about perfect, neither too hot or too cold.

I rode down to Beach Road and there were lots of volunteers directing folks to the line-up.  It was at this time that I had my only bad experience of the week.  I was right behind a Harley with some very loud pipes (no surprise there) and we were directed into the parking area, where there were 3 queues of bikes lining up.  The Harley pulls to the end of the middle queue, but hasn’t stopped yet.  I spot an ST1300 at the end of the rightmost queue, so I swerve to the right to head that way.  Harley guys decides he wants to go to the right queue as well, so with no checking he swerves right as well just as I’m next to him.  No biggie, I swing wider right and apply some throttle to go around him.  We get to the end of the queue and I pull off the helmet to go offer an apology.  I figure it was 50/50 at fault – he should have checked, but I didn’t need to pass him.

Unfortunately it looks like I passed the meanest, badass-est looking biker I’ve seen all week.  Maybe 40 years old, maybe 50.  Tons of tattoos, vest full of scary-looking patches.  His passenger (wife?) is even meaner looking that he was.

“Sorry about that, I thought you were stopping.”

“Asshole, sorry doesn’t cut it.  Big hurry to go nowhere, aren’t you?”

“Like I said, I’m sorry.”

“I don’t give a shit about your sorry.”

At this point I’m not really sure what’s going to happen next.  It was very surreal – I mean I’m lining up in a parade with yellow balloons on my bike, Bubbles the clown next to me, and this closest-thing-to-a-1%er-at-Americade looks like he wants to stomp me.  As does his old lady.

I turn around and ignore it, and start taking off my jacket and gloves.  I can hear his passenger yelling at me now.  Fortunately for me some of his buddies show up at this point, and he starts talking to them.  I walk away to the front of the line of bikes to get some distance.

I had almost an hour to kill before the parade started, so I walked around Canada Street for a while.  Not like I wanted to hang around my bike with that guy around.  I also didn’t like the idea of this guy staring at my back during the whole parade either – gonna have to fix that.

Saw lots of crazy bikes in the line, including a wild home-made trike with a huge wooden platform for the second row seat. 

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And you were worried about scraping your floorboards?

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Cool

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The Red Knights were leading the parade this year, so there were a couple dozen red Harley’s all together.

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Lining up

Once we got underway I managed to do some judicious merging at the first turn to get in a different line than Mr. Happy.  Good.

The parade itself, while pretty goofy, was also very neat to be in.  Hundreds (thousands?) of spectators lined the streets to watch us go by.  We rode to the North end of Canada Street, then did a U-turn (which the Victory next to me almost didn’t make) and doubled back on ourselves.  This way you could see the parade as well as be in it.

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After the main route down 9, the procession started up the toll road to Prospect Mountain for the BMW BBQ party, living logo, and the end of Americade.

One thing I definitely noticed during the parade – the Multistrada is not geared for 5mph stop-and-go.  The slowest you can go with the engine happy is about 9-10mph.  Lots of folks swap the 15-tooth front sprocket for a 14-tooth one, and I can see why.

At the top (well, a big parking lot near the top) of Prospect Mountain we’re all directed where to park the bikes to participate in the “living logo”.  If you’ve ever seen an ad for Americade you’ve seen the Living Logo, where hundreds of bikes and rides spell out something, like RIDE, or Americade, or something.  It took about 20 minutes for the staff to get everyone arranged for the photo, while the photographer atop the ladder truck radioed instructions.  Did it, checked it off the list.  Don’t need to do it again.

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The remnants of the living logo

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The Americade Video girls

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BMW was sponsoring a big BBQ there, and there was live music as we ate.  I was sticking around for the BMW ABS demos.  They soap/water/straw up a large area in the parking lot, and then have a staffer take the outrigger bike with no ABS through it and grab the brakes.  Fun, fun, fun.  Good thing they have haybales at the end for him to crash into.

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The outrigger bike

Then they do the same thing with a bunch of ABS-equipped bikes, with much less dramatic results.  They even took a volunteer from the crowd (which turned out to be Bubbles the clown – don’t ask) and had her passenger on the back of a GS for the last ABS run.  I’ve got to say, ABS is definitely worthwhile

Click this link for a 10MB quicktime movie of a run on the outrigger: http://www.kendenton.org/ducati/2007-06-06%20americade%202007/5.Saturday/P1010001.MOV

And here for a 6MB avi movie of the ABS-equipped GS with Bubbles the pillion: http://www.kendenton.org/ducati/2007-06-06%20americade%202007/5.Saturday/DSCF3964-GS%20with%20Bubbles.AVI

Rode back to the campsite after the demos and final door prize drawings, and packed a tankbag for a ride through the Adirondacks.  Americade provided a free area map with 8 or 10 self-guided tours layed out, and I modified one to include a bit of Vermont.

Took 9N south to 4 around Great Sacandaga Lake, some other roads, then 30 north to Indian Lake.  Route 28 East to Wevertown, then 8 north to Hague. 

For the most part 30 and 28 were sweeper city, very pretty county to ride through with no real twisties to speak of.  The road around Sacandaga lake was a lot tighter, but I was stuck behind a slow-moving Harley for most of it.  Route 8 had a lot of tight turns and terrific pavement, but it went through a lot of small towns with reduced speeds.  Probably did my most aggressive cornering on parts of 8.  I noticed somewhere along the ride today that I was feeling much more confident on the corners.  Not going much faster necessarily, but just feeling more relaxed.  Felt good.

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I wish I had more pictures from this ride, but I got too much into the groove of riding to want to stop to take photos.  Bad habit.

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Elephant rock - duh

A quick jaunt up 9N took me to Ticonderoga, where I caught the 8 minute ferry across Lake Champlain to Vermont.  The ferry service here will be 250 years old next year.

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The ferry

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On the ferry

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Got a picture of the state sign, and took 73 to 22A to 4 to 149 and then back to Lake George.  The “Welcome to NY” sign was strategically placed to get you killed, so I missed out on that one.  This section of western Vermont reminded me a lot of Lancaster County, PA.  Rolling farmland, crappy pavement.

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My camera took a beating today

A car driver came up to me in NY while waiting for the ferry and said “Some kind of bike thing going on?”  I told him a bit about Americade, and suggested he come down to Lake George tonight if he really wanted to see a lot of bikes.

Ditched the tankbag in the tent, and back into town for the last night of the show.

The atmosphere was a lot different tonight than it had been previously.  Easily triple the amount of people on the streets and on the sidewalks, and tons of sportbikes.  The sidewalks were jammed to capacity, and lots of people obviously under the influence (not that I’m condemning, just pointing out).  I got a parking spot much farther South than before, and got some Quizno’s (again) for dinner.

It’s amazing the difference between Saturday night here and the previous nights.  Before, it was Americades and locals strolling down the street, having an ice cream and pausing at interesting bikes to check them out or chat up the owner.  Traffic was no big deal, just more bikes than cars.  Very casual, laid back, and respectful. 

Tonight was insane.  The street was filled with sportbikes doing burnouts (until the cops caught them), Harley guys with insanely loud pipes blasting up and down, and hopped-up pickups and import tuner cars.  The crowds were cheering for every biker to rev it up, do burnouts, etc.  The balconies of every bar/restaurant were overflowing, cops were everywhere (hadn’t seen hardly any prior), and the atmosphere was just…rougher.

Again, not condemning, just reporting.  I’m sure it’s nothing like what you might find at Daytona or Sturgis, but it was just so different than what it was like the whole week before.  I stayed till around 10, and then headed back to the tent to get some sleep before the big ride home tomorrow.
IBA #37902

Online kendenton

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Re: First-Timers Trip to Americade (2007)
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2013, 08:58:27 AM »
Sunday

Up at 6am, packed up and on the road by 7.  Fortunately there was no rain the night before so the tent was dry.  It was, however, still covered in pollen - yuck.

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Pre-packing

A fellow STN'r, FJRski, was going to meet me for a ride on my way back home.  We did some cell phone tag over the past couple of days and decided on Port Jervis around noon.

Not an interesting first half of the ride home, the plan was to take I-87 for about 120 miles to Kingston, then hook over to 209 for the run down to Port Jervis.  The weather was very overcast and gloomy looking, and I was certain rain would make an appearance today.

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Old Rolls on I-87

Made a brief stop in Albany to visit my old college, SUNY@Albany.  I've always loved this place, and took a couple of photos with the bike.  The campus was designed by renowned architect Edward Durrel Stone..

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The #1 drinking hole as an undergrad.  Best fries in the Capital region.

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My old dorm - nice high room in the tower overlooking the mountains.

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The main entrance to the podium.

Once I got on 209, I stopped to don the raingear, for once before the rain actually started.  It started raining lightly about 30 minutes out of Port Jervis.

I had never been on 209 before, and it turned out much better than I hoped.  It wasn't a destination road, by any means, but it wasn't an endless stretch of retail, car dealers and stoplights either.  Sunday morning probably helped with the lack of traffic.

Made it to Hawk's Nest about an hour early.  Just like my ride up on Tuesday, I did Hawk's Nest in the rain.  I was only there a few minutes before FJRski showed up, running early as well.  He enjoyed a quick stogie, and we beat feet south to get in some riding before the rain started up again.

I didn't have the GPS logging, so I can't say exactly where we went, but it was a very scenic twisty ride down to Augusta, NJ.  We were keeping our eyes out for a place for lunch, and FJRski pointed at the Chatterbox, a roundish-shaped restaurant at the corner of 15 and 206.  I nodded that it would be fine.  As we waited at the light, a classic car club pulled into the lot.  Good sign.  We pulled in, and there was a line-up of 10 or so bikes in the back - another good sign!

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Like being at Americade all over again - easy to find my bike

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The interior of The Chatterbox

Lunch was excellent, they do a good burger and fries here.  We oggled the cars a bit afterward, and then continued on south toward Johnny's Truck Stop where we would go our own ways.  More twisty backroads, no rain, and a nice relaxed pace made for a great little ride to cap off the week at Americade.  We chatted a bit at Johnny's, and I headed home via 33 and I-295.  Home by 5pm to a very warm welcome.

Well, that's it I suppose.  I still want to post a 'final thoughts' section, and I have a bunch of videos and route sheets that I want to share as well.  Stay tuned to this section for a link to that site when I finish it.

Thanks all!

IBA #37902