This past Sunday, Kenny and I joined the guys over at SuspectsUnlimited.com for their forum’s first anniversary ride. Soth of SteadyOntheHumble put out an APB that this ride would be going down and encouraged members to come along. These days, I seem to have some issues with group riding. I’m not very good at it. I have become far too skittish, too controlling to surrender to the ebb and flow of the other souls around me. Though excited, I would be lying if I said that I approached this ride without reservations. As the list of names of people who would be participating grew, so did my nervousness.
As riders started to filter in to the morning’s meet point I finally had the chance to put some faces to the names on the forum. Everyone was welcoming and warm. It can be difficult to elbow your way into a group of people that already know each other. These guys transitioned Kenny and me in easily. Handshakes, coffee and stories exchanged we got underway heading to points northeast.
Managing a group of 14 bikes took a team effort. Soth at the helm, GLantern with a mid-pack lead and Cru Jones for the sweep allowed the riders to naturally segregate themselves into comfortable groupings. There was no issue of egos jockeying for position. What a relief! We’ve all been there. The ride leader says “ride at your own pace,” and it falls on deaf ears. There was none of that here. Once I came to understand that this wouldn’t be like some of the clusterf*cks I’ve been on before, I was able to settle down and just enjoy the day. And enjoy it I did.
The route that Soth put together was excellent. It took us over hill and dale of the Catskill Mountains. He led us through sweeping curves, tight uphill decreasing radius turns and scenic byways. Our wheels hummed under a beautiful canopy of the peak colors of autumn in New York. There was a little something for everyone. It was obvious that he put a lot of care into route planning to give us a safe, scenic and enjoyable day out. As I rode caboose on the Soth train I got to watch an articulated centipede crawl its way through the landscape. It was one person at a time falling in line and into a turn. I had the best seat in the house. Sometimes watching a line of bikes cut along the roadway is like poetry.
The backroad riding for the day came to a close at the Roscoe Diner. How some of the guys managed to ride home with bellies full of deep fried French toast is beyond me. Apparently it can be done without falling asleep on the bike though. Given the fading daylight we opted to depart for home via Route 17. From the vantage of mid-pack the group shuffled down the road like a deck of cards. One lane of the column moving left, the second column filtering in as you do when you bridge the cards. On it went, eating up the last 100 hundred miles before we split off to head our respective ways home. It was an excellent day out on the bike. I’m so glad to have tagged along.
A Big Thank You To Suspects Unlimited:
Tom, Cru Jones, Dizzle, Suspect74, Bones, soth, GLantern, He-Man, Mookie, ArcDeDucati, Univox, and RCPete. You put together a really enjoyable ride. Great roads, great riding and great company. The Riding Trifecta!
What Did I Learn:
- I need to relax and not be such a Nervous Nelly. Give people a chance, sheesh!
- Soth plans a great route.
- Each one of the guys I got a chance to speak with had something interesting or funny to say.
- I’d be happy to go on another Suspect ride. It was big fun.
- There will always be one weirdo in a gas station. If you can’t spot them, it is probably you.