Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Sightseeing takes a toll...

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Dereham, Norfolk, today...
    Posts
    11,918

    Sightseeing takes a toll...

    3rd October



    I have another crap night’s sleep – partially self-induced. I couldn’t be arsed getting kitted up and going to find somewhere to eat last night, so I ordered a pizza. The local pizza place said they were doing a special on ‘stuffed pizza’ – with ricotta spinach etc – sounds good – I order it. When it arrives, I find that the special offer is on a 16” stuffed pizza – this thing’s the size of one of the wheels on the bike – imagine 2 pizzas on top of one another, stuffed with 3 types of cheese and spinach. I manage to eat a third of it, over the course of 2½ hours and leave the rest in the bin – even then it’s gone 1600 the following day before I’m remotely interested in eating again…

    The other reason my sleep was less than perfect is that a large group of worshippers from an evangelical church in Virginia were staying in the hotel – one of the leaders, I’m guessing, in the room next door to mine. After a stream of people arriving (between 2230 and 2330) the noise started – lots of ‘Halleluiahs!’ and so forth. By 0030, I considered going next door and offering to come to church with them tomorrow, if only they’ll be quiet. By 0100, I was seriously considering converting to Islam. By 0130, they’re all Halleluiahed out and make their noisy departure.

    I’m up at 0800 and I’m greeted by a beautiful day, a great improvement on the murky last few days I’ve had. I decide that some sight-seeing is in order, so, after re-fuelling, I head up the 95 towards New York…



    A thin overcast has developed, but it’s still a bright and pleasant morning for a ride. I cross the Susquehanna River and the temperature starts to drop slightly – I switch on my heated grips.

    I’m soon through Delaware and into New Jersey, after crossing the



    Delaware Memorial Bridge, a trip that costs me $6 – the first of many tolls I’ll pay today…



    I join the much Simon & Garfunkled New Jersey Turnpike (toll). Another few miles, and I’m approaching Newark, New Jersey. The New Jersey licence plate bears the motto ‘The Garden State’…



    …well the gardener responsible for the Newark area has been slacking. The theme from ‘The Sopranos’ keeps running through my head. Pretty soon, Bettie takes me off the Turnpike and towards Liberty State Park.



    …where I’m hoping to get a good view of the Statue of Liberty, but, unfortunately, the place is geared up for people arriving in cars, then walking, or taking the ferry to see the statue – which is on Ellis Island. I’m not being lazy – I just have no way of securing the tank bag etc on the bike – and my antennae tell me that this is not a place to rely on the kindness of strangers. The locals are doing a spot of angling, and the whole area’s quiet and peaceful…



    …so I take a couple of pics and set course for Manhattan…



    The traffic jams start almost straight away, as Bettie navigates me through Jersey City …



    …to the Holland Tunnel (toll) under the Hudson…



    …which is completely lined with white ceramic tiles – not its only similarity to a public urinal, I must say…

    However, I m soon out of the far end and riding through Manhattan. Taking pictures is a bit hit & miss, as New York cabbies are just as patient and polite as all the films would have you believe. I became adept at stopping at a red light, taking the camera out, snapping a pic and riding off again before any of these chaps went all Travis Bickle* on me…



    Bettie’s shortcomings as a city navigation system start to become apparent. Despite having a remote antenna, these urban canyons…



    …successfully block the view of satellites. Bettie than throws a wobbly and, in the absence of even the remotest mental picture of Manhattan’s street plan, I’m left making it up. This works very well in the canyons of Utah, less so in Manhattan, as I find out whilst inadvertently entering the Brooklyn Tunnel … Still, I was behind this chap at the toll (for the first time – cheaper for bikes - $1.75 – how ironic that I don’t actually need to be here and will pay it again within 5 minutes, going the other way ) – I’d love to know what his sticker translates to – it looks promising…



    $3.50 later, I’m back in Manhattan, looking for the Chrysler Building, probably the most spectacular single piece of Art Deco architecture in the world. Unfortunately, there’s a temporary one way system in place, making it almost impossible to approach – so here’s the best view I got…



    …it’s the silver coloured spire, by the way. Someone was skywriting – you may be able to see the smoke behind the tower – but they’d chosen the wrong day – by the time the last letter was done, the first few had dispersed in the wind.

    The whole place is eerily familiar, from a thousand TV shows and films – I’m continually turning a corner and seeing a familiar landmark…



    …like City Hall or…



    …Times Square or…



    …the Reuters Building.

    Quite suddenly, as I’m picking my way through the maze of roads (Bettie’s long since departed the fix and I’m navigating by trying to remember the words to ‘New York, New York’, from ‘On the Town’ (let’s see – the Bronx is up, and the Battery’s down…)), I come across a huge open space…



    The railway station between me and Ground Zero is populated by a few quiet visitors. A nearby partially completed building is fittingly, draped entirely in black cloth…



    I think back to where I was when madness visited this place just 3 years ago.

    True to the spirit of making a buck, which built the World Trade Centre, though, there are a few stalls set up selling Ground Zero hats & T shirts. If it was a site in the UK, it’d cause an outcry – but America was built on free trade and, if nothing else, it shows that New Yorkers aren’t going to allow anything to get in the way of making a few bucks off tourists…

    Enough.

    I set course for Newark Airport, from where I’ll be departing from on Tuesday morning. I’ve a reservation at the Country Inn & Suites there for tomorrow night – I turn up and it’s an easy matter to get an additional night. I unpack and start thinking about leaving on Tuesday – I haven’t a thing to wear…





    *Robert DeNiro’s character in Taxi Driver – please try and keep up…

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Dereham, Norfolk, today...
    Posts
    11,918
    After a day's last minute preparation and packing, I'm just about ready for tomorrow's flight back to Blighty. At about 2100 this evening, Rob (ADVRider fixit), turned up at the hotel with his superbly equipped pick up truck...



    ...which he promptly loaded the Adv onto the back of, using a very swept up electrically powered ramp...



    ...picking up the bike to take it back to his place for the next week.

    Either that, or I've just been 'had' by an extremely elaborate scam, and I'll never see my bike again...

    Thanks Rob - top chap!

    I'll post again in a week or so - thanks for all the PMs...



    Mike

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Anyone attending a Ride Out or Event organised through the UKGSer Forums does so at their own risk.
UKGSer.com or anyone organising an event posted here will not be held responsible in any way for damage or personal injury sustained while attending any such events.

Members attending any such event do so at their own risk.

The text, images, graphics, sound files, animation files, video files, and their arrangement on this Website are all subject to copyright and other intellectual property protection. These objects may not be copied for commercial use or distribution, nor may these objects be modified or reposted to other sites without prior written permission.

Disclaimer: Use or depiction of the BMW logo or trademark throughout this web site is for illustrative and editorial purposes only, and to the benefit of the trademark owner, with no intention of infringement of the trademark.

The UKGSer Forums may include adult content for which it cannot be held responsible. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the UKGSER network privacy policy



UKGSer is....

"A vent, a source of info, a source of bullshit, a source of humour and in the coming months, possibly a source of sanity." Big Lad March 2020

"I have always known this community is full good people even if most of you cover it up with piss n vinegar" Chad 2018

"Its about being a grown up hooligan - and if that means a dark visor, remus open pipe and a bit of speeding out of town then all well and good" Kaister 2005