heard of it before, but never attended, not on my radar in time to make plans, bad weather, etc.
This year however it was different: I was heading to NYC anyway and forecast for 60º, so I decided to dive it a try, maybe... of course immediately couple guys decided to join and now I have a mission and deadlines and places to be, bikes to collect, schedules to keep...
Was planning to be in NYC at 4pm to pick up a friend from JFK, plenty of time as I'm 3 hours away, so I start by going opposite direction to have breakfast with Pattio at 9am, then collect my bike from storage.... but access if flooded because some dick disconnected bilge pump in the loading dock, then Tuono doesn't start, so I'm on to plan B having to finish reassembly of MultiPasta after fork seal swap, load the bike, drive 1/2 hour out of the way to get another bike, wait for the guy to arrive (his dad's house) then off to Newport (another 40 minutes out of the way) load another bike, hit the road to tomorrow's meeting spot at my friends brother in laws place in Larchmont NY where I will leave bikes so I don't have to worry about trailer and bike theft...
Arrive there before 5, unload, hit the road at 5, another hour to JFK, now 2 hours late I finally arrive, pick up, drive to Baltimore (yes, one in MD) arrive by 10pm, celebrate the ball drop at midnight, go to sleep, wake up at 4 am, drive back to Larchmont... other 2 guys are not even out of RI as they can't seem to find each other. Wait, have coffee with a bro-in-law who can't go because he has to work (Funeral Director) gear up, arrive to meeting spot in East Village before 10, Sidewalk Café where we meet up is CLOSED, WTF?
One of the guys arrives, he got tired of waiting and went alone (with girlfriend) picked up the bike and made it before the ride leaves at 11, other guy still driving to Larchmont.
Ride started very mellow, traffic lights, big group, lot's of fumes and confusion, by the time we got on FDR leaders are way up the road, I stick with my buddy who is 2 up with his girl and also only has one hand, so bit tricky with a prosthetic arm attached to a handlebar via "speedplay" bicycle pedal.
here's his IG https://www.instagram.com/handmadeprosthetics/?hl=enhttps://www.instagram.com/p/BnHcYsBgVYw/
After few miles we got separated and I start to pass cars, can almost smell the leaders but they are long gone
we hit 95 for a short blast, everyone for some reason is in the left lane, right lane for Rt.9 is wide open, so I blast it to the exit and almost catch up with lead pack as we hit West Side highway, they are just ahead, I taste blood, making increasingly more aggressive moves trying not to get ass-packed by others who are also getting aggressive. By the time we hit traffic lights (Chelsea Piers?) I'm with the leaders... It's mostly well-behaved and mostly grey haired crew, guy in a SuMo KTM seems to be leading, he is so tall that he makes his KTM look like a 50cc, at the light he flat foots it with knees bent at 90º angle...
We line up, light turns green and the race is on, I get a holeshot! Next light we line up next to a cop, KTM does the endo right next to the cruiser, cops seem to care less, also they are Port Authority... Speed Triple rips it away from the light and does a wheelie, cops still ignore him, we make our way past World Trade Center and Back to FDR, tunnel is wet and greasy, we exit just past Williamsburg Bridge and make our way back to the starting spot, as we pass several NYPD they smile but seem to care less about grey bearded hooligans, no doubt they know what's up, 100+ bikes on New Year's day are hard to miss.
As I'm waiting for Capt'n SpeedPlay who is lost I chat up the crew, seems most of them do track days and have those inflatable CO2 powered airbags, all are very nice guys. An hour goes by and crowd thins out as Capt'n SpeedPlay finds his way back, apparently many riders went wrong way and got lost, some went off to NJ, other up 9A or 87... all is good, everyone is happy, it's way past noon and locals make their way back to their families
Our last friend arrives, he just got here, an hour after the ride was over, we grab food, make our way down to Houston and across to West side, take a scenic tour of Tribeca/Wall st, across Brooklyn Bridge to the park below the promenade, back across the bridge to FDR, Througway, Henry Hudson, Sawmill, Cross county, Hutch and surface roads across new Rochelle to Larchmont, arrive as sun sets, load bikes, get pizza, have more coffee and start heading home...
Got back to RI around 10, still have to unload bikes before I can go home and fall asleep, been up since 4am, it's midnight, 850 miles driven since Monday morning, another 100 or so on the bike, lifetime of memories...
Slept till 10 next day, still fried, even now that I had 2 good nights sleep.
Sunrise from NJ TPK, 1.1.19 about 7amhttps://photos.app.goo.gl/Cqb99L2zPAesdEb1A
Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge parkhttps://photos.app.goo.gl/LdrNWoP4Th1c7ezX7
1940 Indian that was no slouch on this ridehttps://photos.app.goo.gl/jtKkyF7VagmenLeQ6