On Saturday, around 8am my lady and I headed out from the Baltimore area of MD heading towards NYC. I had been hoping to make the trip but was worried the bike would not be ready. In the end it was ready and we rode.
The plan was to go up near the Holland Tunnel and see if we could spot a Shell station. We'd wait around for a bit if we were way early or just ride out to Long Island to visit Marc and Barb if we were way late.
Having been on a few rides with the Roadhouse, I was prepared for a group of riders to be there, 10 to 20 people, 5 to 10 bikes. When we got there, at 10:50am, there was already a row of bikes parked in the lot. Over the course of the next hour another 30 or so bikes arrived. I think the strangest thing was the look on the face of the gas station attendant as his station filled with bikes and fewer and fewer cages stopped in for gas.
Just about 12:00, we started out. We all went through the tolls and then regrouped on the other side. Then through the tunnel as one large solid volume of sound. Gunjinn did a wonderful job of getting this all together.
It turns out that while there was only the one post to the Roadhouse, there were many more to the Southern Cruisers Riding Club lists and web pages. It seems that just about everybody but me knew just how big this would really be. I was impressed at the number of riders that showed up and the way they handled things. We had riders blocking traffic at intersections, intercepting taxi's as they tried to dive our formation. Checking to make sure nobody got lost in the back woods of Manhattan.
To put it bluntly, it was impressive as hell. I am so glad I made it and it was nice meeting Mean Morning Joe and Suli. It was great to see Carol and Gunjinn again. (Though I will apologize to Carol here for tweaking her about riding a dirty bike. She of course instantly made it a clean bike again.)
As far as riding, it was stressful. Some of the most difficult riding I've ever done. Things like making very sharp turns (only 1/2 of a lane to turn in) and then coming to a full and complete stop on a steel plate. The new saddle is just a bit higher than the hold one and a bit wider then the old one. This means it is a bit of a reach to the ground for me.
My lady's pictures and a write up and some more can be found at: http://www.cyberpaladin.com/~cjohnson/CoH-NYC/