Spring Shakedown Swarm: 04/15/12
This outing was looking a little shaky with respect to the weather as the weekend approached. We had our fingers crossed that we would not be denied our first ride of the new season.
Seven members of the "breakfast club" met at the Clinton Station Diner just down the street for some early morning sustenance and Jersey Pork Roll(no fried bologna for us). After some social conversation, we headed up the road to assemble with the rest of the crew at the Pilot Station to fuel up. After meeting up with another rider, two squadrons were formed in order to make the assault on the northwest quadrant of the Garden State a little more organized. The "Shakedown Ride" is designed to get us all back in the groove with respect to refreshing our individual skills and group riding techniques.
Leaving at an appropriate interval, both groups wound there way across Hunterdon County over to Morris; and then up through Warren to Sussex. Routes are designed with a mixed flavor of touring and sport riding: through country lanes, high speed sweepers, and some technically challenging twisties. Our first rest stop was at Hope after 60 some miles of getting the bugs worked out. A couple of riders had left due to previous commitments, so we combined our forces down to one group.
The "Magnificent Seven" proceeded to carve some curves and shred some asphalt up in the far reaches of Jersey near the Delaware Water Gap as well as on the border of Stokes State Forest. We are seeing more and more cagers slowing down or pulling over to let our pack safely pass their slower moving vehicles. Those who were courteous were thanked by a simple wave. However, there were a couple of brain dead drivers who were easily dispatched with a judicious twist of the wrist.
Another fuel stop at Ross's Corner in Augusta, and we were on the last leg of our journey in search of some afternoon vittles. One errant fisherman with his aluminum craft in the bed of the pickup was resistant to our "spirited pace", but we arrived at Pub 517 in Green Township unscathed.
This restaurant has some tasty cuisine with respect to seafood and at very reasonable prices for what you get. Lobster, steamers, snow crab, wings, and yes, even a bowl of sausage pasta was devoured by the biker horde. A little coffee & dessert complimented the meal very nicely.
One more stop for fuel led us to Interstate 80 where two riders split off to go east as the rest took the scenic route home via "Shades of Death Road, Mountain Lake, and the hills of Harmony/Asbury. We even did a shortcut down one of Warren Counties famous landmark roads(see picture) I arrived home with just a shade under 200 miles on the clock for the day........tired, but satisfied.
Thanks to all who ventured forth, TJConc for taking the point, and welcome to my friend Marty.
ST-DocLizard1 and S.O.
"FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS EARLY APEX."