|The Delaware River in the background|
|Canal next to the Delaware River|
I leave the house early so I can take a few pictures along the way before meeting my friends at 10am in the Kat Man Du parking lot in Trenton.
I park my bike near the commemorative plaque for Lieutenant John Fitch, an American inventor, clockmaker, and silversmith who, in 1787, built the first recorded steam-powered boat in the United States. As I took the picture, a double-decker NJ Transit train is seen crossing the bridge in the background.
The rest of the group arrives on time and I take a few pictures as they are rolling in. I wish someone would do the same for me but I'm always the photographer and so never end up on any pictures. Oh, the life of an amateur photographer, always behind the lens.
A Triumph ST, a Trophy and a BMW GS Adventure
We leave the Trenton area and head north along the river with my friend Wayne on the Triumph ST leading since he knows all the back roads in NJ. I am always amazed how he knows his way around and doesn't even carry a GPS. Our first stop is at the Lebanon Township Memorial Park where in the summer various concerts and fests are held. The park has a memorial to Richard Cudina who was working in his Cantor Fitzgerald office on the 105th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 when the buildings were destroyed. The plaques are mounted on steel pieces from the site.
The center piece of the park includes a monument made with two steel beams from the World Trade Center site. I will never forget that day. Occasionally I would pass under the towers on the way to work in the city but on that day I was working at a client site in NJ.
I walk around admiring the beautiful and highly chromed Harley Davidson's and chatting with other riders. I am still waiting for my Yamaha Tenere which for now will fill my desire for off-road adventure but at some time in my life I will get a big Harley to tour the country with my wife in total comfort behind me.
One motorcycle that I think was ahead of its time was the Rune. Honda introduced a limited edition model in 2003 named the Valkyrie Rune with a 1,832 cc (111.8 cu in) engine. It was a major departure from the original Valkyrie in styling and purpose. It was also very expensive.
The Pub was full of riders waiting for a table and we decide to have lunch somewhere else. We leave after a while and head towards Frenchtown, a little town with a population of about 1300 full of little picturesque restaurants. We head to the Cafe Greco for a hearty meal.
Afterwards I take a walk to the first bridge across the Delaware at Frenchtown, a six-span covered wooden bridge built in 1841 on the five piers that still stand today, and the community became a gateway to Pennsylvania.
I am always fascinated with how these little communities had their start and love to visit Wikipedia for a little research.
In 1757, three joint owners of a tract purchased from the West Jersey Land Society began laying out streets and building lots at Calvin's Ferry. The developing town was to be called "Alexandria" in honor of William Alexander, one of the three owners. In 1776, the three sold the settlement to Thomas Lowrey, a Flemington speculator.
In 1794, Lowrey sold the tract to Paul Henri Mallet-Prevost, a Swiss fugitive from the French Revolution. He and other early settlers were French speaking, leading some to begin calling the place "Frenchtown."
The town is full of art studios and galleries with a few stores selling French items. It's a very cute town to take the family for a Sunday stroll.
It was still early but my friend Wayne wanted to go home to see the MotoGP race on TV. The group heads home and my brother and I decide to ride out to the Van Sant Airport in Pennsylvania to watch the gliders. We cross the bridge and head south west to the airport. There were a few other riders at the airport but we didn't hang out for long as I too wanted to see the MotoGP race and still had about an hour to get home.
I get home a few minutes after 4pm and head straight for the family room to settle on the couch and watch the race but to my surprise Speed channel is not showing motorcycle racing. I quickly check ESPN just in case but still nothing. I call Wayne and find out he was wrong, the race was from 3 to 4 and not from 4 to 5 as he had said. Oh well, missed the race so a quick trip to the computer to find out that Casey Stoner of the Repsol Honda Team had won the first MotoGP of 2011. Jorge Lorenzo in the Yamaha Factory Racing team came second followed by two other Repsol Honda's with Ben Spies coming in 6th on the other Yamaha Factory Racing team bike. Missed the race but had a nice riding day with friends.