For the challenge I had picked the George Washington Bridge as a background.
A few facts about the bridge: Wikipedia
The bridge was opened in 1931, it has an upper level with four lanes in each direction and a lower level with three lanes in each direction, for a total of 14 lanes of travel.
As of 2007, the George Washington Bridge has the greatest vehicular capacity of any bridge in the world, carrying approximately 106 million vehicles per year, making it the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge.
The two of us left the house at 10am and were soon on the NJ Turnpike, part of Interstate 95, the main northeast corridor running from the south of NJ and crossing into NY through the bridge. The highway is well maintained but the traffic makes the road horrible, it's mostly surrounded by industrial complexes and refinery's on the central part and runs right next to the main runway of the Newark International Airport.
We leave the Turnpike in Fort Lee and start the descent on Henry Hudson Drive towards the park near the bridge. We stop to take a few pictures and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
We were about to leave when another rider stops to chat. We meet Dan on his beautiful BMW K1200LT with an M3 badge in the back. As he told us, it rides like an M3. The back of the bike has a beautifully designed trunk that complements the looks of the bike and is very functional offering a lot of storage at the expense of the pillion seat. He's originally from Argentina and has done a few adventure rides in his country. He also owns a Kawasaki Concours so he's an automatic good guy.
We take a few more pictures and then invite Dan to come along with us to Bear Mountain which he promptly agrees. We would travel north along the Palisades Parkway, a very scenic road along the Hudson River.
|My trusty Concours|
|Wayne on his Triumph ST|
We leave the park and continue down the road to go take the picture under the bridge for the ABCD challenge. I'm walking around taking pictures when I see the police officer waving his arms while talking to Dan. Only later did I find out you are not allowed to take pictures under bridges or monuments because of terrorism fears. Apparently Dan convinced him I was not a bad guy.
We know the bridge is big but it's only when you stand at the base of the bridge that you realize how truly humungous it is. The amount of steel that went into the construction of the bridge must have been enormous, in fact construction was delayed twice due to material shortages. It's a magnificent sight standing next to this marvel.
With the picture taken we start heading north along the Palisades Parkway towards Bear Mountain State Park, the road winding along the Hudson River for a few miles and then moving inland towards the park. We take the opportunity to open up a little and make good time arriving at the top of the mountain around 12:30.
There's always lots of bikers on any Sunday and this one wasn't any different. We walked around admiring the other bikes and chatting with the owners. As fellow blogger Brady explains it, "we exchanged the small compliments that allow for conversation". Brady has a way with words, I love his views on motorcycling and life and if you haven't read his blog you are missing a great blog.
Bradys' blog: Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life
|I love this bike|
|Beautiful color on a Triumph Speed Triple|
It was time to head towards Rhodes Tavern and meet the birthday girl, the meetup having been set for 2PM. We leave the mountain and 30 minutes later arrive just on time for the beginning of the festivities. We manage to slot our bikes in between all the others already there.
|Beautiful Harley Davidson|
|Beautiful artwork - even the belt is painted|
The trip home was uneventful, just a quick dash down route 287 and the Garden State Parkway for me with Wayne having a slightly longer trip down the NJ Turnpike. These two major highways crisscross the state.