Hello everybody! I'm back!! What, did know I was gone? Well, My trip from
Frederick Maryland to Albany, NY (and back, of course) was quite an
interesting misadventure. Let's just say that next time, I'm taking my cage!!
Here's a log of the trip...

Depart Frederick, MD at 9AM Friday. The bike's all gassed up, so first
anticipated stop is up Route 15 at Harrisburg, PA.

Stop 1: Pine Grove, PA off of I-81. Harrisburg was too short and I am feeling
great, so I pressed on to this little town. So far, so good except it's a bit
chilly and I'm being blasted by a stiff wind. Should warm up as the day goes
on, right?

Stop 2: West Hazelton, PA off of I-81. Well, it's lunch time. On the road for
about 3 hours, and I'm cold and hungry. A stop to Taco Hell does the trick.
It's feeling a little wamer, but the wind seems to be picking up a little and
I'm starting to see clouds. I've seen a few other bikers so far, so I guess
I'm not the only crazy one. Next stop, Binghamton.

Stop 3. Shoulder of I-81. Okay, maybe not Binghamton. In fact, I barely made
it 30 miles from West Hazelton before I had to stop on the side of the road to
warm up my hands. I put on a different pair of gloves (not riding gloves)
which feel a little warmer. I saw what looked like a frozen pond on the side
of the road, but I don't believe it. It's really pretty up here.

Stop 4. Scott, PA off I-81. A quick stop for gas and to put on my rain pants
to try to block so more of the bone chilling wind. These gloves seem to be
working a bit better, though my fingers are still going numb within 30 miles
or so. My toes are also starting to go numb.

Stop 5. NY Welcome Center off I-81 South of Binghamton. Brrrrrrr!! Whew, that
was cold!! A little Hot Chocolate inside the Welcome Center is just what the
doctor ordered!! I also put on an extra pair of socks. I just checked the
Weather Forcast on a little computer here. It was at or below freezing in most
of PA along I-81!!!! No wonder I was so cold. Well, the temps for Albany and
points in between are between 40 and 50, so it should get better. Not only
that, but a topographical map indicates less mountainous riding once I get to

Stop 6. Somewhere off I-88 between Binghamton and Oneonta. It's been drizzling
for a couple miles now. Yuck. I hope it's just a localised storm. The weather
forcasters said nothing about this! I'm stopped to gas up and warm up a
little. While I'm about it, I'm going to change from the tinted to the clear
visor. It's getting dark and I see no signs of the Sun. Should only be 100
miles or so to Albany. I can't wait to get there!!

Stops 7. A little service station just off of I-88 about 20 miles from Albany
(according to a roadsign). Well, I have seen it all. After I left the last
stop, the drizzle switched to sleet. I actually saw trucks salting the road!!
Traffic has gotten very sparse. The sleet did end for awhile, but that's when
I saw the worst... Snow. The mountain tops are capped in snow. I've been
riding with my feet and hands numb for over 40 miles. I actually feared for my
life seeing the snow, shivering, and with no vehicles in sight. I don't think
it was wise to take this route (especially not alone) and won't be going this
way home. After I'm totally thawed out I'm going to complete the run to

Stop 8. Albany! I'm here!! Whew!!! [Actually, at the time of this writing, I
was getting ready for bed] After greeting Kate and her father [ugh] I sat
down, thawed out and had a cold glass of milk and told her of my misadventure
so far. She's impressed. This is gonna be a good weekend after all...

Saturday morning/afternoon was spent touring Albany and Troy with Kate on my
bike. She loved it, but she wants a Sporter 883. Oh well, at least it's a
bike. We went to a Albany RiverRats Hockey game and enjoyed the rest of the
evening back at her place <ahem>.

Sunday, 9AM departure time once again. Yuck. I gassed up and headed down US
Route 9.

Stop 1. Somewhere down Route 9. Well, this backpack is getting old, and I need
the cold weather gear on again. I'm going to try riding with the backpack
strapped to the extra helmet. [this proved to be a total pain with many short
stops to put it back on top fo the helmet. Eventually I just put it back on my

Stop 2. Somewhere in NY. Nothing notable, just a gas stop... I think I'm going
to try to find I-95; Route 9 is taking too long!

Stop 3. US Route 130 in New Jeresy. Aaaaagh!! I hate NYC!!! I got lost and
wound my way all over the place. I ended up on I-278 West and had to pay over
$5 in tolls in just TWO stops!!!! I found I-95, but shortly after I got into
NJ the traffic began to crawl. I seem to remember that Rt 130 connects to
I-295. I hope I can find my way there! Just gotta gas up.. oh, and it's
getting warmer, so back to "normal" gear.

Stop 4. Somewhere off of I-295. Gas Stop. Well, I found 295, but not after
getting really lost again. Yuck. I wasted lots of gas and lots of precious
daylight because I forgot that Rt 130 leads right into 295. Sheesh. Well, I
should be able to find my way from here.

Stop 5. Somewhere off of I-95 just north of Baltimore. Gas Stop. Well, after
winding my way down I-295 I took US Route 322 (Toll) West to I-95. From here,
it's just a straight shot home.

Stop 6 (ride summary). Home. Well, it feels good to be home. Quite an
interesting weekend, if I do say so myself. I had fun overall, even though I
DID get very worried when I saw snow on my way up and very angry when I got
lost in NYC and New Jersey. Not to mention the heavy traffic. I also think
that I will not attempt a trip that far North again this time of year unless
I'm in my cage or have a GoldWing with the heated grips and seat!! Maybe if I
got some saddlebags and a windshield and some electric heated gear I'd think
otherwise. The bike handled great all weekend (even when riding two-up in
Albany, though Kate is kinda light) and I averaged between 50 and 55 mpg.
Maybe with a bit of planning ahead, I'll do the Saddlesore 1,000 during Spring
Break. :) I'm definitely going to be headed SOUTH!! ;p Well, til next time....

Robert VanSlyke
83 Shadow 750 "Black Wolf"


Yes, it's true, I went ahead and took I-81 and I-88 anyway despite the advice
against it. But I AM glad that I didn't go thru NYC on my way up. I shoulda
taken 81 and 88 home, but I decided I-95 should be calmer on Sunday (HA!!).
Though it was very cold, I enjoyed the trip thru the PA and NY mountains. Very
scenic. Should I visit up that way again (she may come here for Christmas :)
then it will either be during warmer weather or in my cage. No doubt about
that. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to call either Marc, Ron or Allen but
with the cold, I was focused on just getting there. And Sunday, after seeing
just how slow Rt 9 was, I wanted to just get on the highway and slab it home
to make up the time. As it is, I left Albany around 9AM and got home at almost
8PM!! Yuck. I hate tolls and rubberneckers (at least 3 accidents and lots of
congestion). And to top it all off, NYC is one of the most confusing cities
I've ever been in. I guess the planners of the DC metro area got something
right afterall. ;p Anyway, I'm starting to plan a Saddlesore 1,000(1,000
mile/24 hour) trip to somewhere tentatively scheduled for Spring Break (March
or April). Any ideas? So far I'm thinking south to Florida. :)

Robert VanSlyke
83 Shadow 750 "Black Wolf"