Days 1 & 2 – The Journey Begins

Nyack, NY – Wilmington, DE

147 Miles

Like all good stories, this one starts with a wedding. My younger cousin Danny landed himself a beautiful girl named Amy who agreed to marry him in Wilmington, Delaware this weekend. My plan is to leave Nyack, NY and use the wedding as a starting point for my journey.

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But the Motorcycle Gods are fickle, and what’s more, they don’t reward stupidity. In an especially boneheaded move on my part, I almost blew up my bike before the trip even began.

As with any epic trip, the very last minute is always fraught with mild panics over bike preparations and what might have been forgotten. As I dashed back into the house to grab something, the phone rang and sucked me into a 45-minute conversation. I suddenly realized that I had accidently left my bike running in the hot sun. Now you and I might love 87 degree late Spring days, but air cooled boxer twin BMW motorcycles do not. I returned to find my bike smoking from the burning oil that was slowly dripping out of the left cylinder head. After the bike cooled, I inspected the engine and failed to discern any major leaks, but still pretty mad at myself for being so stupid. I promptly topped the bike off with fresh oil and, after crossing my fingers, I drove out the driveway and began my way south to Delaware.

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The ride down was a nice warm up for the bigger journey ahead. Due to time pressure, I just slabbed south on I-95. I’ve already seen much of New Jersey so I wasn’t worried about missing out on anything. It was a nice chance to get comfortable on the bike, make sure the all the luggage straps were holding and generally get myself acquainted with the whole operation. Despite New Jersey’s reputation of being America’s Mobil Station, the southern leg of the New Jersey Turnpike isn’t a bad stretch of scenery at sunset. I pulled into Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington around 9pm and was grateful for the luxuries and linens it offered.

The wedding was on Saturday and it was terrific to catch up family members that I don’t see often. You should also know that my family is one that likes to talk with a drink in its hand. And given the fact that the actual ceremony started at 2 p.m., we had a long day of “talking” ahead of us. By 1 a.m., I was all talked out and had to retire to the comfort / safety of my hotel room and get my game face on for some riding tomorrow. Can’t wait.

WHAT DID I LEARN / DISCOVER TODAY: Very simple. Don’t leave an air cooled bike running in the hot sun (or anywhere else for that matter).

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