Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field - Home of the Chicago Cubs

Sunday, December 30, 2012

East Coast Trip 2012 - Day 5

    Gotta go back to the last part of day 4 for a minute. After leaving Larry's shop, I got back on the BQE like a big dummy. I thought maybe traffic would be a lil thinner, little did I know, traffic is 24 hours a day in downtown NYC, especially in the rain in the middle of the day. I was patient for a lil while, but got tired of soaking, so decided to split lanes for a few miles. That was fun as hell. Decided to get off and wait out the traffic at a lil cafe, or bar, or somethin. Stopped at a lil place called Alma in the hipster area of Brooklyn. Good beer, good food, good people. I quickly figured out that no one in NYC owns a car. I got to talkin to the bartender and some nice folks about what time they thought the BQE would start to flow again, or how I could even get back on it to head south. I might as well have been speaking Swahili because no one had a clue. I could see the damn BQE right down the street, but it's like a 4-story-tall bridge and I had no idea how to get on it. Figured it out after a while and headed towards New Jersey, in the dark, in the rain.
     Ok. Day 5, Thursday, 8-16-12. The night before, got into New Jersey State super late and found the cheapest hotel I could, 60 bucks. I'd been camping every night, but after the long day, rain, and traffic, just wanted a warm bed and shower. Slept in til 11am. This was the first day I didn't have a definite direction. I just had to be in Virginia by Friday afternoon and I was within a 10 hour ride.
    I've seen the Gulf of Mexico, saw the bay in New York, but haven't, officially, seen the ocean, or been in it. The weather was perfect when I left the hotel, sun shinin, warm, long sleeve riding weather. Decided to head toward the Jersey Shore! I was less than two hours away from the hotel.
    On a map, it looks like you would have a clear view of the water on each side of the coastal highway. Not the case. As I headed down 35 toward Seaside Heights, home of the NJ boardwalk, I noticed a number of things: the road quality sucked, the houses were super nice, EVERYONE was dressed like they were on the beach, everyone rode bicycles, and every cross street to my left had a small hill at the end with a stairway goin over. The ocean is on the other side, right? Fuckin right it is! and the prettiest beaches you would ever see in any photo. I had to back track to the lil board shop and buy some trunks. Took an hour long walk down the beach and got in the ocean. I would have salt in my hair and sand in my ass for the next day or two. haha!
    Now, during all this, I was in the Northern part of the shore called "Bay Head". The lady at the board shop said these homes cost 2 million-ish. I've seen rich folks before, but this is the largest collection of privileged people I will ever see. As I walked over the stairway to the beach, I noticed a home that had it's own private beach access. On the back patio, there was a mother and three young kids having lunch. They were being waited on by two asian women that were dressed like nannies. It's wild to see how well some have it and how bad others do. As I rode further south, toward Seaside Heights, the houses got shabbier, there was less vegetation, the beach stairs turned into a dug out trail... must be rough! haha! Eventually, it was an ocean side trailer park with no vegetation and packed sand for streets. I'm sure these trailers cost more than my house.
    Well, did the whole boardwalk thing. Glad I did because the recent hurricane destroyed everything I took a picture of. Ate some kick ass seafood at "The Crabs Claw", where the board shop lady suggested. From there, headed toward Delaware, where I planned on finding a place to camp. Twas a relaxing day.

 The view of Manhattan from ALMA. The Statue of Liberty is just to the left. (not pictured)
The beach stairway in Bay Head.

 180* view of Bay Head

 People actually wear this.
 This pier no longer exists.

Friday, December 14, 2012

East Coast Trip 2012 - Day 4 - Part 2

    The motorcycle gods had been smiling on me all day. I managed to stay dry until I got to the Hudson River bridge, just outside of NYC, then I did something to anger the gods. It frickin dumped on me for the rest of the day. I'm talkin epic down pour. Good thing I keep my wallet and cell phone in ziploc bags at all times, while on a trip, because I couldn't pull off to put my rain gear on. I couldn't pull off due to the stand still, ruthless, every man for himself traffic. I would battle this, with my head on a swivel, for the next 3 hours or so. Did I mention I did this all in the rain?
    On the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway), which cuts between Manhattan and Brooklyn, I found a place to pull off and check my location, time, and call Indian Larry's shop. The lady said they were about to close because business was slow due to the rain. She said they close soon anyways, but would stay open if I hurried. Traffic was standing still, so I split lanes for a few miles... every man for himself! There was no way I was gunna miss seeing Larry's shop. This is my Graceland! I can't put into words how stoked I was to be there. I got there in time and spent about 30 minutes in awe, til they closed. Enjoy........


Thursday, December 6, 2012

East Coast Trip 2012 - Day 4

    Wednesday, 8-15-12. Got away from the creeps and hookers. Ate breakfast and got some good travel advice from the waitresses and cafe owner. Headed toward Cooperstown, NY up a kick ass, winding road to see the Baseball HOF.
    Cooperstown is an awesome, clean, small, history filled town, or "village". I got lost looking for the HOF and didn't mind at all. Got to see some sweet ass old homes and buildings. The Baseball HOF itself put the Pro Football HOF to shame. I could have spent way more time looking at more old balls, but had downtown NYC on the back of my mind heavy. 
    Got outta town, village, and headed for New York, New York. Somewhere around Albany, at a gas stop, ran into a couple of fellas from Rhode Island. They were on their way home from Sturgis. I b.s.ed with them for a half an hour or so. They said it was roughly 5000 miles round trip. One guy was on a modern metric v-twin, my favorite (sarcasm) with a windshield. 5000 miles is a good pull for any bike, but the other was on a SOHC CB750 ridgid. Got to askin that dude some questions and he said, during the trip, he ditched the pod filters, which made the bike run better and got better mpg. He started out with a jockey shift with the clutch on the lever, but it broke. Just put a hand clutch back on and clamped some vice grips on the shifter shaft. Sure that wasn't good on the splines, but what do ya do? Said he just kicked them with his foot to shift. Made it all the way from Sturgis and back with minor problems.
    Checked the radar on my phone before takin off. Severe storms were in the area. No suprise. This couldn't kill my buzz though. I was headed to NYC and Indian Larry's shop. Right on!

 5000 mile, 70-somethin, CB750 from RI to Sturgis and back.
 Sweet little vice grip shifter.
 Baseball HOF in Cooperstown, NY

Buck O'Neil exhibit. They had a chance to do this while he was alive, but turned him down several times. Someone should be round-house-kicked to the head for that. After death, he gets this kick ass memorial.
 2 members of the first HOF class, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

East Coast Trip 2012 - Day 3

    Tuesday, 8-14-12. Up at sunrise and headed toward Canton, the Football HOF, and some breakfast. Located the HOF and found a little cafe nearby, Samantha's Sunny Corner. It ended up being the best breakfast I would pay for on the whole trip. Went on down to the Pro Football HOF next. Spent a few hours looking at old balls! hahaha! Na, but for real, it was pretty cool.
    From there, wanted to try to get as close to Cooperstown, NY as possible, which meant crossing the entire state of Pennsylvania and then some. Got most of the way through PA, then decided to get off the interstate and do some mountain road exploring, since it had been balls to the wall since I left KC. This slowed me down a bit, but sooo glad I did it.... 55mph most of the way, rolling mountain roads, smooth pavement, no traffic, high speed corners, cool little towns, neat old homes, and alot of BIG ASS old barns and silos. Apparently there are no cities off of the beaten path. Every place I rode into was labeled as a "village".
    As it got close to dark, I realized I wasn't gunna reach my destination and there was a severe storm runnin up on me. Pulled off at a rest stop somewhere west of Oneonta, NY to see if I could find a place to set up camp. One word.... sketchy! There wasn't any real civilization anywhere close, keep that in mind. There was some 18-wheelers parked in the front, so I went way to the back, off the road, where there was a parking lot and a restroom with vending machines. Long story short, I found a spot back in the woods, but couldn't sleep because of all the lot lizards and creeps that were in and out for the next couple of hours. If you ever catch me out and about, have me to tell you the story. All the activity finally died off when the storm blew in and it whooped some ass! Got up just before sunrise, met an interesting city worker / rest stop creep, packed up camp and got the F outta dodge. Next stop..... breakfast and Cooperstown.

 Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio

#58 Derrick Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs
 Kansas City's only superbowl win.

 Thought it was cool that this made it into the HOF. Would have been better if it were a Raiders jersey.