On Friday June 7, Myself, Trudy, Barry "Boz" Bozworth, Joe "ClueCollector" McGraw and Ron "RonBu" Bouchard took a day trip up to Americade. We were to meet at the Snack Shack in Canaan at 7:30 AM.
Trudy and I left at 6:40 AM. We left a little early since it was raining. The forecast for here in Connecticut was rain until midday, but the further north and west you went the better the outlook was. We took our time and headed up Rt. 8 and then Rt. 44 over to Canaan. We got there about 7:20 and waited for the other.
Barry showed up and then Joe and Ron. We talked for a few and squeezed the water out of our gloves and saddled up and headed off. We headed up Rt. 7 and then Rt. 102 to Lee Massachusetts. At the last rest area before the New York border, we stopped. Here we waited to meet up with Rich "Orca" and his buddy.
They were coming from eastern Massachusetts. Rich told me they were leaving at 7:30 AM and they showed up at the rest area just before 9:00 AM. With over 95 miles to travel and in some heavy rain, they made very good time. But you tend to do that on a Valkyrie.
We chitchatted for a few minutes and the mounted and headed off for Lake George. I led the group and set a pace of around 80 MPH. After a some anxious moments trying to get off I-90 to I-787 we stopped for fuel. Orca and his buddy needed fuel at this point.
We wanted to make the VRCC Americade ride before the VRCC barbeque. The ride was scheduled to leave at 11:00 AM from the staging area that was the Mobil station in Lake George. We were running a little behind schedule at this point, so I picked up the pace.
While cruising along I-87 north at about 90 MPH, I spotted a New York State Police just returning to the highway after leaving a car on the side of the road. I tried to slow the Valkyrie down and did manage to get the speed down to about 75 MPH, but it was like it had a mind of its own. The State Police pulled up behind our group and stayed behind us. I told Trudy "Great, if he stays behind us, we will not make it to the staging area on time". I finally was able to move the group over from the left lane to the center lane and he went buy us. A little later up the road he turned off into the median strip and we proceeded back to cruising speed for the Valkyrie.
We made it to the Lake George exit at about 10:30 AM and got to the staging area. Fueling up was a trick with so many bikes at the gas station and in fact the station was out of premium fuel. Once we were fueled up, we listened to Ed "Burnt Rubba" give the rules of the ride and we lined up on the road to begin.
What a sight it was, so many Valkyries for this ride. Many more than last year. At one point on I-87, the Valkyries stretched out for a over a mile. Ed led a wonderful ride along the lake and then through the hills along a few more lakes before leading us back to the campground where the barbeque was held. Again many more people this year. The campground area was filled with Valkyries. The line for the food was quite long but worth the wait. We chowed down and gabbed. It was good to see many of our friends from around New England and to also meet some people that I've only chatted with over the internet, Claude and Bill Polack in particular.
Joe, Ron, myself, and Barry wanted to hit the Expo for a while and it was getting along in the day. The Expo closed at 7:00 and we wanted to get in and look around for a while. My prime motive was to get to see CuiserWorks and buy some new CruiserBoots for Trudy and I. I was tired of having wet feet when it rained and these are guaranteed waterproof. So we needed to mosey on and get back to the village and the Expo.
With the meal at the barbeque came raffle tickets, one per person. Since we were not sticking around, we wrote our names on the tickets and Randy "Rabbai" Govertsen held on to them in case one of us won. We took off and Ron "IronHorse" Blanchard came with us.
Back in the village, we were looking for a place to park. Since we did not know exactly where the Expo was, Joe took the lead and found us parking. As it turned out, this was a couple of miles from the Expo. Barry got separated from us and followed Ron Blanchard but he did not realize that Ron was heading back to his hotel. When Barry realized this, he headed on his own over to the Expo. Luck would have it that he found parking right next to the Expo and in fact there was a whole field of parking.
RonBu, myself, Trudy, and Joe walked over to the Expo and met up with Barry. We paid our admission and went in. I made a bee-line over to the vendor building and found CruiserWorks where Trudy and I tried on and bought some boots. We spent the next few hours wondering around looking at the stuff being sold, the people, and the bikes and had a good time.
It started to get late and we were trying to decide where to get something to eat and when to head back. Unfortunately we had a long walk back to the Valks. Since Barry did not know where we parked we conned RonBu with a free ride back to the bikes. He would ride with Barry and show him where we parked. This was quite a sight, seeing RonBu riding "bitch" on Barry's Valk. We got quite a chuckle out of this and RonBu related that now he understood how his wife felt riding on the back.
While walking back to the bikes we ran into Ron and Cindy. They said that they were going to get something to eat. We decided to join them, so we walked to the bikes and dropped off our stuff and head back to catch up with them. Joe suggested we eat at this restaurant that we passed on the way to the bikes, primarily because it had a deck with quite a few tables that were not full. I can't remember the name, however. Ron and Cindy were going to eat somewhere else but agreed to go where Joe suggested. We had a little wait for a table but finally were seated. The meals looked appetizing and I had no problem with mine, a Caesar salad, but others claimed the food had no taste. The company make up for this lack however, and we all had a good time.
It was now getting close to 8:30 to 9:00 PM. We still had a three hour ride ahead of us home so we started walking back to the bikes. It's quite a sight at night to see Canada Street with all of the bikes cruising up and down. Noise, lights, people, fantastic bikes, and even girls like the one that Ron pointed out that had on a G-String and chaps. Now there was a sight! Sometime I would like to spend a few days at Americade just to be able to party and see the whole scene. Maybe next year.
We said our goodbyes and headed for home, stopping for fuel once again at the ride staging area. I took the lead for the ride home and we started cruising. Signs indicated that I-787 was having a problem of some sort, probably an accident so I followed I-87 down to I-90 and back that way. This actually seemed like an easier route than the way up but it was probably about 10 miles longer. I asked Barry if he was going to follow us home or head down I-87 or maybe the Taconic Parkway, both of which probably would have been quicker for him to get to his house in Wilton. But he said that he would follow us and then take Rt. 7 down the same way that he came up in the morning.
We hit the Massachusetts border and stopped for fuel once again at the Lee rest stop. I figured that on our ride down to Connecticut there might not be too many open gas station at this hour, it being after midnight. Once fueled up we got off the next exit and headed back down to Connecticut. Usually I miss the turn and end up on Rt. 8, but I did not want to do this again. It was pretty cool and with the river along Rt. 8, I was sure that fog would be developing. So I made sure that I took Rt. 102 which would lead us back to Rt. 7. We hit Rt. 7 as planned and followed it down back to Connecticut. Even on this road there was some places that were quite foggy and hard to see.
We stopped at a closed gas station at the Rt. 7 and Rt. 44 intersection. Joe and Ron were going to head East on Rt. 44 and Barry and I were going to continue South on Rt. 7. We said our goodbyes and Barry and I and Trudy headed on down the road. At the Rt. 63 intersection we split off from Barry. I was a little worried with him riding alone and it now being quite late. Also Rt. 7 follows the Housatonic river and again probably fog would become and issue. I hoped he would take it slow and careful.
We split off and went our separate ways. Now we were riding alone down Rt. 63. This area is quite sparsely populated, twisty, and woodsy. Pretty good conditions for animals such as deer to appear so I was trying to stay very alert and on the look out. Also, we ran into some spots with pretty dense fog. A couple of times I spotted a reflector in the woods and thought it was the eyes of a deer and pretty well scared me. We did see a woodchuck try to cross the road right in front of the Valk. Why do these animals always wait until you come along and try to cross in front of you? There was no traffic in front or behind for miles but it decided that now was the time.
We finally got home about 12:50 AM. Trudy was done. Exhausted. She could barely make it up the stairs from the garage to the house. I was not far from feeling the same. This was quite along day, not really in miles, but in the hours spent. It was well worth it. Good riding and great friends and a lot of Valkyries!
Randy stopped on Sunday. Remember the raffle tickets for the barbeque. Wouldn't you know it, Trudy won a $25 gift certificate to the VRCC store. Now I need to find something in there that she can spend it on. Do you think that she will like something in a chrome color?