They're doing some construction at the Connecticut/New York border -- I did not see the "Welcome to New York" sign, perhaps it was taken down? In any case, I was helmet-less until I saw the "Welcome to The Bronx" sign! Eeps! I slapped my helmet on, just in time for the traffic to stop and a gentle rain to fall upon me. (Hey, it wouldn't be an ECMC Biker Picnic Weekend without SOME rain!) I drove through Queens and into Manhattan for the first time on Sabazios (my motorcycle's name) since I got it one year ago, arriving at The Dugout at roughly 17:00. I was promptly greeted by some of the members of ECMC. It was still raining (lightly) -- several members of the MetroBears were also there! Fridays are their barnights at The Dugout! It was suggested that I bring my motorcycle into the bar (as a prop), considering it was the ECMC Bike Blessing (the blessings were to take place outside the bar.) With the help of some friends, I managed to get Sabazios through the door and into the corner where there normally was a pool table (see the photo on the left, or the link at the bottom of this page for a closer view!)
Several hours and drinks later, Skip and his new partner, Craig showed up! Craig is a D.J. in New York and was immediately spinning "biker tunes" which really made the night! Mark W. of ECMC began the bike blessings, about six bikes were christened that night, including Jeff Arnold's new bike that wasn't christened before Jeff passed away last October. A friend from Australia drove it to the blessing and picnic.
Following the blessing, Craig, Skip and I drove up to W 50th St to Skip's home. Skip was letting me crash at his place Friday night and would be back in the morning to get me for the bike ride to Valinor Farm. After chilling out for a while, I got dressed and ready to head out. Skip and Craig were going to spend the night at Criag's in Brooklyn -- I was on my way to the N.Y. Eagle. I stayed out for about three hours, chatted with a few folks and proceeded to get quite drunk! I poured myself into a cab and went back to Skip's and crashed.
Saturday was the bike trip! Skip and Craig came by to wake me up and we got ready -- we met the other guys on Christopher Street and left about 10:30 in three groups; through the Holland Tunnel, and across New Jersey into Pennsylvania! We arrived with over 25 bikes at Valinor Farm. This was to be the LAST event at Valinor Farm, as the county was forcing them to sell it (a long story.) Photos of the campground are in the link at the bottom of this entry. It was a sweet and sour thing to know that this would be the last event there -- so many other groups have come to know Valinor as their second home, and a great place to hold their runs. After arriving, I got naked and relaxed in the hot tub! ECMC served hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch, and by 16:00, it was time to leave... *SIGH*
A group was going over to Mel & Jose's -- but I was on my way to Princeton Junction, NJ to meet up with a friend that I was originally going to meet in December 2004 before my circumcision -- he was Dr. Cornell's fourth adult circumcision patient (several years ago!) -- I was going to see Dr. David's work BEFORE my clip by meeting him -- but, alas, he chickened out and we never met. I pulled into his driveway about 17:30, ahead of schedule and we had a nice two-hour social! He was a charming fellow and even after all this time had passed, was still quite tightly circumcised! As with all of Dr. David's work, it looked just awesome! As the sun was setting, it was time for me to head back to the city and meet up with my buddy Joe H. (see the photo on the left of my mates Joe H. of Brooklyn, NY and Ed B. of London, England) several detours later, I arrived at Joe's home about 23:00 (an hour late!) As Joe was working the next day, and frankly, I was spent, we simply stayed in the night and crashed.
Sunday I made the trip home in 33C(90F) weather in full leather... Phew! Hot and sticky! The trip home was uneventful, except for on the Mass Pike (I-90) where an 18-wheeler truck, in the right lane from me, blew a tyre off it's rim, sending the black-rubber band of death right at me!! I handled the situation very well and didn't panic! No problem. I was quite impressed that I wasn't even shaken up by the situation! Later that night, Dave and I took a bike ride around the south shore area, after a home-made dinner. Back to work this week, and heading up to Vermont for the N.E.M.O. party this weekend! Johnny, my ex-lover, will be there for the first time! I'm looking forward to seeing him on "my" turf!
See select photos from my trip!