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.

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.

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. 

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:
Before I go any further, let me point out that I made a rather conscience decision not to bring my camera along and take any pictures for this entire week.  Those you have seen thus far were taken on my phone and they are the extent of what I shot, so proceed with the knowledge that it’s all gonna be just words from here on out, holmes.  If you’re not the reading type, this may take some effort and result in a somewhat boring existence for the next however-many-minutes it takes your brain to process this.

Well, the ADK Buell Rally is really starting to take form, and it's shaping up to have a much better turn out than I was expecting.  Seems Dave has been pimping the event all over and we've got something like 15 people already slated to attend with a pile of others who are on the fence as of yet.  This is a good thing - We've been lacking a good Buell event in the Northeast with the exception of the Headless Horseman ride at the end of October, so something earlier the season will be welcomed.

I've updated the event page with some ride route ideas - most of them should be ok but a couple will need to be scouted as the effects of Hurricane Irene may have some sections of road a little more broken up than we'd like.  There is also a preliminary itinerary.  The whole weekend will be rather laid back, with rides going in all directions depending on who wants to go where, but we want to ensure we all know where and when to meet in the mornings and again for dinner.

Speaking of dinner, I'm working with Dave on coming up with places to eat each evening.  With a group as large as this is turning out to be, we'll need to be more organized than originally thought.

In other parts of the Buell World, I found a header for the S3 to run with my new Pro-Series Supertrapp muffler.  The prices on these have gotten a little out of hand for some reason, so when a fellow BadWeBber offered me one he had at a good price I decided to go ahead and get it.  I'm hoping to have the cylinders honed and measured in the next couple weeks and bike back together before we get too deep into March.  Wish me luck.
Angelo and I, along with our friends Joel, Ival and Chet used to do Americade every year.  I use that term loosely.  We did it roughly 3 years in a row from 2006-2008.  The first year was an absolute blast, but the fun factor dropped off each additional year due to persistent poor weather, the chore of riding among large groups of riders (droves of old dudes on big touring bikes in twisty bits are not fun) and generally just getting a little burnt out on the whole thing.
Joel and Angelo heading out on some Harley Demos at Americade 2008.
2008 was a record low.  The weather was the coldest, cloudiest and rainiest we ever had.  Aside from going to the vendors (big whoop) and going on the boat cruise (bad food, out in the cold and waaaay too long), there was nothing we did that we even had to pay for. We did the Harley demos which are open to the public and started an un-guided tour through VT, but Joel had an unfortunate get off and broke some bones.  With him in the hospital, it put a damper on the rest of the week (Thankfully Joel has healed up great and is riding again).  As a group, after this last year and deciding that there wasn't much any good, we began organizing private group rallies in places like Joel and Ival's cabin in Southeast Ohio, the Finger Lakes in NY and the Catskill mountains.  They've been fun, and the riding much better, but I think we're all starting to get a little sad sap about the "good ol' days" of Americade, mixing with lots of new people and taking advantage of some of the events Americade has to offer.  Joel has recently sent out an e-mail asking how we feel about it.  Originally I was mostly opposed, but after more thought, talking it over with Angelo and perusing the website, it seems this is an event we'd all like to give another shot at.  As long as the weather can hold out, I think we should make out just fine.

For those that don't know, Americade is largest touring rally going.  Now, we all know how I feel about "touring" bikes, and that is a drawback of this event, but luckily it's only when riding in groups.  Stay away from that and you're golden.

Probably the biggest draw for us is the demo rides.  Americade brings in a slew of manufacturers which offer demo rides on all kinds of bikes, not just touring barges.  I've taken demos on a V-Strom 1000, M109R (which I had totally sideways, talk about an overactive rear brake), Honda VFR800, BMW R1200S, Ninja ZX10R as well as others, I'm sure.  And when you're not riding, you're free to sit on whatever you'd like and generally BS about bikes and riding.

Angelo and I at a stop off during an un-guided tour in 2007.
Another nice thing about Americade is the un-guided and self-guided tours.  By choosing these, you're able to stay out of the big groups and the typical parade-pace of the ride and enjoy the roads and scenery on your own schedule.  The only part you need to plan for is that the un-guided tours include a lunch stop with door prizes and other "fluff", but the food is generally good and gives you a chance to mix with other riders and check out some bikes so they're worth doing.

The last big plus is the seminars - This year Lee Parks will be there and I look forward to hearing what he has to say.  Vendors, despite my snide comment above, are actually pretty good and with one of the locations being indoors offers a good place to be if the weather doesn't cooperate.

Sprinkle in some random door prizes, bike shows, good meals with good friends and I think we can make this a good event using what we've learned from past experience.  Another improvement over previous years is the inclusion of an "al la carte" package, which essentially includes everything in the full admission except the miserable boat cruise and knocks almost $30 off the price of admission.  It's like getting an un-guided tour for free.

If we do this, I'm sure it will happen in a similar manner to past years where Joel, Ival and Chet will get a room near the Lake George area while Angelo and I will ride up each morning the 40-50 miles.

Americade 2012 is June 5-9 and preregistation starts Feb 1.