Tuesday, April 27, 2010

RED's Birthday Party

Brenda, aka "RED", was celebrating her birthday and she has made it a point to ride on her birthday in the company of friends for the past 3 years.  When she posted "RED's Birthday Surprise Party" on the Central Jersey Motorcycle Riders Group forum I immediately signed up to what I was sure to be a great ride and party.  I was not the only one, in quick succession more than 40 other friends signed up.  The interesting part was that she announced the party but not the location, she kept tormenting us with details about the location, the food "Steaks and Burgers are all cut right on the premises in our Butcher shop for supreme freshness", the live music and the fun.  All we knew was that it was in NY State and we "could relax on one of the adirondack chairs on the sandy beach overlooking a babbling brook".

Rhodes North Tavern
She finally announced the place a few days before the party, Rhodes North Tavern located in the heart of Sloatsburg NY, but it didn't matter where it was, we were ready to follow her and help RED celebrate her birthday in style.

The group planned on meeting at the Tom Sawyer Diner in Paramus and then ride together to the Rhodes North Tavern but being "bikers" at heart a few riders decided to meet at the Vauxhall rest Area on the Garden State Parkway in Union and ride together to the Tom Sawyer Diner.  Some of us, myself included, live far south and so my friend Roger came up with a plan, lets meet at 8am, go for a ride and join the group at the Tom Sawyer Diner.  Roger took us through central New Jersey on some very nice winding roads, through parks I had never been on and when we arrived at the diner over forty of our fellow bikers were already there including the birthday girl.

The Birthday girl :-) AKA "RED"
The group was too large to travel together so it was broken into three separate groups, each with a leader with a route on the GPS.  Roger, myself and two others decided we would go on our own and meet at the final destination.  Roger again lead the group through some amazing roads through Harriman State Park and eventually lead us to Bear Mountain State Park.

Park roads

Harriman State Park is the second largest state park in New York and is known for its 31 lakes.  We passed some of them on the way to Bear Mountain State Park which is located on the west side of the Hudson River in Orange and Rockland counties of New York.  The park is also home to the United States Military Academy at West Point. We took the scenic drive to the top of Bear Mountain, called Perkins Memorial Drive.  We arrived at the top of the mountain joining hundreds of fellow riders, parked our bikes and enjoyed the views of the surrounding parks and lakes on a beautiful and clear day.  These parks and mountains are well known to riders as they offer beautiful scenery with windings roads leading to some amazing views.

Top of Bear Mountain State Park
View of Queensboro Lake
From the top of the lookout tower
My "Goldie" in the background
We left the park and headed towards Rhodes North Tavern passing Peekskill Bay and again through Harriman State Park arriving at the final destination to join our fellow friends at a very busy and chaotic parking lot.  Somehow we managed to park the bikes in the middle of what seemed like hundreds of bikes.  Shiny American Harley Davidson's, BMW's, Japanese cruisers and sport bikes with a few Italian Ducatis sprinkled in between filled the parking lot.

We headed inside and proceeded to have a great lunch accompanied by our fellow Central Jersey Motorcycle Riders friends and celebrated RED's birthday with a huge birthday cake.  The food was great, the cake was delicious and the camaraderie was even better.

RED and fellow members of CJMRG
The adirondack chairs on the sandy beach