Saturday, May 7, 2016

Dodging Drops and Drivers

The day has arrived, execution of the big trip that has been in the planning process since before 8/10/15. Going to be an easy out of Massachusetts, heading out the Mass Pike, down I84 through Hartford and then down the Merritt Parkway making our way to the first stop.

Of course as soon as we hit the Mass Pike, it started to rain. We were geared up for the rain, but not a great way to start the trip. Actually the temps was in the 50's and even with 3 layers I was a bit chilled and my leather gloves were soaked. One nice thing about the Spyder is the heated grips that kept my hands warm.

First thrill of the day comes on the Merritt Parkway. We are buzzing down the passing lane, pouring rain with the rest of the pack in the traveling lane about 2 car lengths in front of us. I was in the passing lane for visibility versus speed. Noticed the brake lights coming on in the traveling lane except for the last guy. He is closing fast on the car in front of him. I see his nose dive, turn ever so slightly to the right, with me thinking this is not gonna be good for that car. That little dive to the right turns into multiple 360's crossing the traveling lane into the passing lane. I am hard on the brakes, with him settling down in my lane with the front of his car pointing at me. Even thou I am hard on the brakes, it appears we are going to run out space and I turn the Spyder to the right, without regard to what was on my right, just praying those other cars have seen what is going on and have slowed. Spyder makes it around the front of the guys car with about 2 feet to spare and turn it left to get out of the path of any cars to the right of me.

I have to say the Spyder handled the maneuver with precision, predictability and pizzazz. If we were on the FJR I am not sure the outcome would have been so great.

First stop Westchester County Courthouse in New York for the Americana Tour. There are 5 general categories per state, courthouses, murals, veteran memorials, racetracks and something cool or meaningful to the rider.

Next stop was in Tarrytown, passing Ichabod Crane bridge, tons of traffic and other pesky things. It looked good in MapSource, easy off, easy on. As we passed it Crystal says there is no where to park and take a picture, to which I say sure there is, right in front of the memorial on the sidewalk. She should know by now I will find a way.

The Captors' Monument commemorates and important event of the Revolutionary War, the capture of British Major John André, the head of British secret intelligence, a spy in the service of the British forces, and an adjutant-general in the British Army. He was captured by three militiamen from Tarrytown: John Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Wart. His capture, on September 23, 1780, helped thwart a plot to purchase the surrender of West Point from its commander, General Benedict Arnold. The surrender of West Point would have given the British control of the Hudson River Valley thus isolating New England from the colonies to the south.

The next stop served a multipurpose stop, Something Cool for the Americana Tour and a stamp for the National Park Tour.

The DeWint House, George Washington’s temporary Headquarters at Tappan on four separate occasions during the American Revolutionary War. Known as the De Wint House, after the family who owned it during Washington’s visits, it is the oldest surviving structure in Rockland County, New York, and an outstanding example of Colonial Dutch architecture in the Hudson Valley.

For Teamstrange border crossing stop for New York and New Jersey. TeamStrange has you record state border crossings with a twist. Your bike, a sign and your flag has to be in the picture. There are 2 flags one is red for Republicans, blue for Democrats. You have to select which way the state will go in the general election this November to get credit. New Jersey will go blue. I am showing blue for New York, but I do have one in red in case it looks like Trump with take NY, unlikely but possible.

Into Joisey for some stops and grabbed this mural in Paterson.

The Passaic County Courthouse

Vietnam Memorial in Woodland Park

On Facebook I have made several contacts with friends long lost, but not forgotten. One of those folks was Brooks Nicolson who I have not seen since high school. We meet up for at this place and caught up on old times. This is gonna be the Something Cool / Important to Me category for New Jersey, Americana Tour.

Last stop before getting to my sister Joan's house in Toms River, a Racetrack.

Days travel around 298 miles, not a lot of miles but we are on our way.

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