The plans have been made!  May 17-19, 2013 will be the ADK Buell Rally for this year.  We had a great time last year and are looking forward to this go-around.  Nearly everything will be as it was last year, so don't expect any big departures from that.  I'm not even going to be changing the routes, at least not officially.

Rather than re-type a whole bunch of crap that I already typed, visit the rally page on this website to get all of the most current details on the event.

 
Come late December, I hadn't ridden since Thanksgiving night and the itch was pretty strong.  I was working from home and decided to suit up and head out on my lunch break for a quick rip around the hills near my home.  I recall a bank thermometer reading around 31 degrees, and it was noticeably colder up in the elevation, but my heated gloves and socks combined with layer upon layer for the rest of me made for a very comfortable ride.

Even further to my surprise, I took a ride just a few weeks ago with my new Tour Master mesh jacket.  Yes, you read correctly - mesh.  To be fair, it does come with a rain liner and a thermal liner, but even with those I wouldn't have expected it to be as warm as it was - I noticed no more cold than with my Joe Rocket one-peice suit.

My most recent ride was this past weekend.  I met up with a friend who I had done the MSF RCP course with.  Temperatures were warmish - mid-40s at best - but the rain overnight and melting snow made for some very wet roads and a very dirty bike and the end of the ride.  We probably did something around 50 miles through the hills, and while most of the roads were ones I was already familiar with there were a handful that were new to me and real gems at that.  I will be returning when the weather is warmer and drier.

I'm not terribly sure when my next ride will be.  Mother nature just dropped another few inches of snow today and temperatures are slated to plummet again by the weekend.  There is moto-hope in sight, though.  I will be meeting a bunch of fellow Buell (and former Buell) riders in New York City for the Motorcycle Show at Javits Center.  In addition to checking out some of the industry's newest offerings, we will likely also enjoy a late lunch at the Dinosaur in Harlem as well as discuss the details of this year's ADK Buell Rally.  I'm really looking forward to this year's event and hope we have at least as good of a turnout this time around.  It seemed to be a hit with those who were able to make it last year.
 
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Let me start off by saying that a Harley-based bike night is not at all my scene, but my good friend Dave does pin striping on the side and sets up a booth at JJ's Bike Night once a month and asked if I'd come down to hang out and take some photos, so photos I took and hanging I did.

JJ's in Watervliet holds a bike night once a month, weather permitting, the Tuesday evening after the Guptil's car cruise in (this is the easiest way to explain it - otherwise it would be "the first Tuesday after the first Monday of the month").  This month was not a weather permitting month.  The turnout, to my understanding, was a little light due to the fact that an impromptu rain date was scheduled for Wednesday night rather than the rained-out Tuesday and caused a number of bikes and a vendor or two (notably the food guy) to not be around.

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Nicely restored Indian
That said, it seemed to me that quite a few people showed up despite only a day's heads up.  Parking was very well organized (I was among the first to arrive) and by 6:00 or so the lot was most of the way full with a collection of hand-picked bikes parked under the tent for judging and trophies.  I don't recall all of the details on everything, but there was a very cherry Indian and a tastefully done Panhead that each belonged to owners, employees, good friends or some other relation to Buzzy, the man who owns the shop.

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Smitten with this Sporty
I was particularly smitten with an early 70's Sportster that rolled in with a bolt-on hardtail and a very minimialist and mechanical look.  Made me wish I hadn't ever sold my '64 XLCH.  Walking through the shop was also a treat with lots of old iron floating about, some crazy paint jobs and a properly shagged XR1200 that looked ridden like it should be. 

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Dave at work
Well before dark, bikes began to peel out quicker than they arrived and before we knew it the time to pack up had come, but not before Dave got to paint a helmet for an employee of the shop.

The only thing I didn't like?  The Triumph embarrassed me!  It had a hell of a time starting, very low idle and would stall out - took far too many tries.  I gassed up right before I got there, so I'm thinking I vapor-locked the tank with it being so full.  Will have to keep an eye on that.  It also has me wanting to build that X1 again - as nice as the bikes were, I think I'd have the most interesting ride there if I could manage to build what's in my head.

Here are some other photos I took of the event:
 
see my gallery for more photos
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Poughkeepsie Train Station
Driving 65 miles to the train station at 4:30am in a snow storm doesn't sound like a great idea, but it was necessary in order to get to New York City on a reasonable budget for the day.  Minus the fact that we're in the middle of drunk-driver prime time, I was navigating the slippery snow covered roads while dodging deer which would think nothing of getting all up in my grill in a rear-wheel drive sports car.  I've gathered that you've already assumed that just by reading this I made it safe and sound, and you'd be right.

I got to the train station with plenty of time to spare.  From here it was an uneventful ride to Grand Central Terminal as the sun rose over the Hudson Valley.  A 30-minute brisk walk in the snow through Manhattan over to Javits completed the commute to the show.

Now, as this post is rather lengthly, I've used my fancy-schmancy newbie blog-writing prowess to put this little "read more" link right here, so if you want to read on, click it and you'll be as happy as a clam.