Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Winter Rides II

This post is a continuation of my Winter Rides post and covers mostly short rides I have done in the area.  I always take lots of pictures and just like I like to see my readers blogs and pictures, I hope you like to see mine too.
One of the places I like to take a ride late in the afternoon is the Manasquan Reservoir.  The reservoir is a beautiful park with a 5 mile bicycle and pedestrian path around the lake.  I have been there many times with my bicycle and usually do two times around the reservoir.  Most of the pictures were taken with my phone, the first with a panorama app I was testing on my Android, didn't do a good job and has since been removed.  The second and third were taken with an app that does HDR, thus the strong saturation in the colors.
Manasquan Reservoir




Last December my brother and I stopped by the lake to take pictures and then followed the winding road around the lake.  My brother does a lot of waiting for me.



These two pictures were taken in the Summer a while ago on a different trip to the park.



New Jersey has some weird attractions and to cover them we have the Weird NJ Magazine and web site, you can read more here Weird NJ.
An issue published a while ago had an article about the upside down car on the side of a major route near where I used to work.  I had passed it quite a few times but on this day I stopped to get a picture.  It serves as advertisement for Edison Generator shop, is any car on the road today still using a "generator"?


My last ride of the year was on December 31st.  I visited my mom earlier in the day and then rode home late afternoon on County Road 539 which cuts right through the McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst joint base.  Did I say NJ was weird? this base is the combination of United States Air Force McGuire Air Force Base, the United States Army Fort Dix and the United States Navy Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, which were merged on 1 October 2009.  The base comprises 42,000 acres, you can read more here and see the satellite picture here.
I stopped in front of the NJ National Guard gate briefly to take a single picture and quickly moved on, didn't want to be arrested. I had to be fast, look at the slide I did as I approached the gate.


Not really my slide but I did park the bike in the perfect spot.

I ended the year riding and started the new year with a ride.  On January 1st, I got up early and rode to Manchester to meet a group of riders that were going to ride in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.  I had heard about this ride on the ADV site from another owner of a  Super Ténéré.  These guys were planning a real off-road adventure as you can see by the knobbies on the bikes, since I don't have the proper tires, I couldn't go with them.




The tires on the blue Super Ténéré are the ones I will be mounting on my bike for the trip to Alaska.
We chatted for a while over a cup of coffee and then departed in different directions.  I headed south towards my brother's house on mostly empty roads making a stop to take a picture at the 3000 mile mark on the Super Ténéré.


It was a beautiful day, my bike indicating 54 degrees at 10:43am on January 1st.   With the Super Ténéré set on Traction Control "TCS 1", engine mode set on "Sport" and a full tank of gas, I hit the empty road and rode at a brisk pace really enjoying my solo morning ride.




I rode with my brother most of the day going briefly into Pennsylvania.  Later in the afternoon we split up, I made one final stop on the way home at a Wawa for a warm cup of coffee and a Blueberry Muffin.  Wawa stores are all over New Jersey and they have the best coffee in the state.


On January 29th, I rode the back roads of Ocean County passing near the Six Flags Great Adventure Park and visiting a few wineries.  I stopped near the park at a nearby lake to take a few pictures of one of the roller coasters.



I never knew NJ had so many wineries, there are dozens of small wineries spread across the state. It was another very enjoyable solo ride on a beautiful day.  There's something to be said about riding solo, you can go at your own pace, stop whenever you want, take time to enjoy the scenery and take as many pictures as you want without having someone screaming "let's go".



I will end my post with pictures of my 51st birthday cake made by my daughter.  She knows how her daddy loves motorcycles and dirt bikes, she baked a cake and decorated it with a dirt bike playing in the mud.   She picked the right dirt bike too, high ground clearance and two set of wheels mounted with knobby tires. She's a doll and a great pastry chef.




Saturday, February 18, 2012

Doldrums

Today, my friends and I took a ride to Easton, Pennsylvania. It wasn't a particularly long ride, we did about 200 miles, but the intention was just to get away and enjoy a day of riding.  The weather was relatively warm, I saw a high of 57 degrees on the bike.
My brother and I were joined by a few members of the RAT pack.  One Yamaha Super Tenere, one BMW GS A and four Triumphs.


Hanging out with friends, riding twisty roads and enjoying the sounds of a high revving engine is better than a psychiatrist chair.  It was a ride to get rid of the doldrums of winter.
I'm too tired to blog the trip now, I will leave it for another day, I will end this entry with this picture which I think captures the day's ride.
I stopped as I got near home to see the sun go down and was rewarded with a beautiful sunset.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Winter Rides

With winter upon us long trips have stopped but that doesn't mean I stop riding.  I have continued to ride, mostly short trips to local hangouts and usually when the temperature is above 40.
One of the places my friends and I like to ride to is New Hope, a quaint little town just over the Delaware river in Pennsylvania.  It's about one hour from my house using the highway but there are various ways to get there and we always end up using back roads.  In the summer the town is full of bikers, most of the time it's impossible to find a spot to park the bike.



On one of the trips in late November we ended up passing Lambertville and stopping for a drink at the River Horse Brewery. Lambertville is just opposite New Hope on the New Jersey side.  The local brewery has sample day from Friday to Sunday where you can buy 4 little samples, about half a glass, for $2.  The beer is really good and you can continue to have the $.50 glasses for as long as you want, not bad.  They also offer tours of the facility.
River Horse Brewery



One of the rides was to the Hillbilly Hall Tavern & Restaurant for a Polar Bear meeting. This was back in November and the weather was reasonably warm.  A large group showed up as you can see.  I would like to ride one of the three wheeler Piaggio's, I've been told it handles really well around turns because you have 2 wheels steering the bike. These photos were all taken with my phone.
Hillbilly Hall





In December we rode to another Polar Bear meeting at the Cabin, a local restaurant that looks like a mountain cabin.  It has a nice bar and is usually packed on weekends.  The Polar Bear group has a meetup at this place every year and it's less than 10 miles from my house. The weather was reasonably warm and as you can see a large group showed up.  One guy showed up with an old Triumph turned Cafe Racer that sounded really sweet.
The Cabin Restaurant






A week before Christmas on a nice afternoon I decided to get out of the house and clear my head by going for a ride around Jackson.  My town is known in New Jersey as the place of Six Flags Great Adventure and the famous Kingda Ka, a ride that shoots you straight up 45 stories high at 128 mph and then you turn around and drop vertically with a twist along the way.  I have never been on the ride but my daughter has and told me it's really scary.  I didn't take pictures of the park but instead stopped by a lake and waited for the sun to go down and was rewarded with a beautiful sunset.  These pictures were again taken with my phone, not the best quality but you get the picture.
Kingda Ka




A short ride can sometimes be the best thing for the mind, it allows you to forget about problems and for a while just enjoy the scenery and the sounds of the motorcycle.  I went back home much more relaxed and ready for another day and ride.  I had one more ride on the last day of the year but I will leave that to another post.



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chance Encounter

If you are not on Google+ you should be.  You can see my public posts here or you can click on the link on the right "Add to Circles"

I have been on Google+ for a long time and it's a great place to share interesting articles with your friends.  There's so much good info on the web but you cannot find it alone. Google+ allows you to share things you find with only the people that have the same interests.
I have put "Ride the Wild Wind" in my "Motorcycles" circle, they always have good and interesting articles.
You can follow them here.
I saw this video on their site made by Josh Manning and loved it.  I was like this guy, tired of the paper jam, tired of the pesky computer problems, tired of the BS from others complaining about computer problems.  I needed change.
This is the best movie I have seen in a while for why I/we love riding and should be seen by those considering it.


I hope you enjoy it, leave a comment if you ever felt like him.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fort Mott

Wow, I can't believe it's already February and I have had nothing worth posting since December.  It's been a slow start to 2012, I have been busy trying to get my life in financial order to be able to enjoy the rest of the year riding.
It's not like I have parked the Tenere and put her into hibernation, I have been riding, but only locally and mostly short rides just to keep the gas circulating and prevent the injection system from clogging.  The bike has passed the 3500 mile mark and is fast approaching the 4000 mile service, a simple oil change.  The engine seems to be getting looser and a little more anxious to hit the red marker on the tachometer. It's been a lot of fun as the miles pile up, I'm able to extract a little more fun out of it.
Last week my brother asked if I wanted to go visit Fort Mott, I looked up the weather and  Saturday was expected to be in the low 50's, Sunday was going to be in the low 40's with the possibility of some rain.  He suggested Saturday and so it was, I would meet him at his house and then continue south to Fort Mott situated on the edge of the Delaware River.
Wiki: Fort Mott

Construction of the fort started in 1872 but stopped in 1876 with just two of the gun emplacements and two magazines in the mortar battery completed.

It was 35 degrees when I left the house, I still haven't installed the heated grips or plugs for my heated vest, it was a long and cold ride to my brother's place.  We leave his place and continue south towards the Delaware Memorial Bridge veering off towards the town of Pennsville. We passed the sleepy town and then turned into Fort Mott Road that leads you straight to Fort Mott State Park.  It was almost lunch time when we arrived, the temperature had lazily climbed to 50 degrees.
There isn't a lot to see, the Fort was never completed and the guns were removed a long time ago.





We walk along the top of the fortifications and step inside one of the observation rooms.  You can see the Delaware River in front of you and Pea Patch Island in the middle of the river with Delaware on the other side.  Three forts were part of the defenses, Fort Mott in New Jersey, Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island and Fort DuPont in Delaware City, Delaware.  There's a ferry that runs in season to Pea Patch Island but the service is closed at this time.
There's a couple of towers, the one below served as the spotting and fire coordination control room but was closed to the public.


We walk along the back where the guns would have been setup stepping into the ammunition rooms but I was a little disappointed the guns had been removed a long time ago.  I love to examine old weapons.





The tower below is in bad shape, rust has taken it's toll. It also served as a spotting and fire control tower.


 We then visited the Guard House but it was closed too, that's what happens when you visit parks in the middle of winter, most park services are closed.  We moved behind another building where we saw a few  gun barrels that were taken from a ship, they are not from the gun batteries of the fort.



We also saw a towed gun that had been brought to the park by the rangers, not sure where it came from or the size but it's probably a 5" gun.  It's in bad shape, being so close to the river and in the rain is not helping.


This gun is probably WWII, it had electric elevation and fire control.  I loved the little gears and gearboxes, some more rusted than others.





We leave the park and travel less than 1/2 a mile to Finn's Point National Cemetery.  Not much to see, a few graves and 2 monuments, pretty sad place, there's a few thousand souls buried here.
Wiki: Finn's Point
Originally purchased by the federal government to build a battery to protect the port of Philadelphia, the land became a cemetery by 1863 for Confederate prisoners of war who died while in captivity at Fort Delaware. One hundred and thirty five Union soldiers who died while serving as guards at the prison camp are also buried here. The death toll among prisoners of war and the guards was high, especially in the latter part of 1863 and throughout 1864. By July 1863, there were 12,595 prisoners on the island at nearby Fort Delaware which was only about 75 acres (30 ha) in size. Disease was rampant and nearly 2,700 prisoners died from malnutrition or neglect. Confederate prisoner interred at the cemetery totaled 2,436 and all are in general unmarked graves.




We leave the cemetery just as we feel a few rain drops, it was time for lunch, we ride back to Pennsville and find the Greystone Cafe.  Nice little place and only one other couple eating.  I had a nice Panini and a warm cup of coffee, my bother had a salad.


We leave Pennsville and start heading north towards my mom's place.  We had told her we would stop there on the way back.  Rain is now falling continuously.
NEVER TRUST THE WEATHERMAN.
The ride back was a little over 2 hours, we took the long route through local roads pass the town of Hammonton catching rain for the first hour and a half, we even managed to find a muddy dirt road the GPS didn't know about it.  It was a cold and miserable ride back, my right boot has started letting water in and by the time I arrived at my mom's house my sock was soaked.
It was still a worthy trip, it's always a good ride when you get to ride with your brother.



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