|11-13-2012, 08:04 AM||#1|
Joined: May 2011
Brooklyn to Baltimore (and back) on a Scrambler - stupidity and fun
Let's not kid ourselves... the Triumph Scrambler is no dirtbike (I don't care if you've seen youtube videos to the contrary). It's a 500 pound streetbike with afterthought knobbies. So, based on the fine weather report, I decided to ride to my 25th (damn, that makes me feel old) high school reunion in Baltimore (although I went to HS in Harford County). I planned a return route following part of the Trans NJ trail, but I had an old copy from 2008, and couldn't get it loaded in my gps- I printed some google maps to help.
Rode from Brooklyn to Baltimore on Saturday- mostly avoided the big highways (my bike is geared low- 2 down in the front and 2 up in the rear). The biggest road I took was 295, but mostly traveled 130 to 40 and then back roads through Harford and Baltimore County. That took about 6 hours (!) I haven't lived in MD in over 15 years and forgot there are some pretty fun roads down there. Went to my reunion (downtown Balt) and stayed in a hotel nearby... decided to take the scenic route out to Harford County to stop by and see my folks. Rode through Lock Raven Res. Park and found myself on some roads I hadn't seen in probably 20+ years... one of them being Notchcliff Rd. With a name like that, how can you not check it out? So, I'm rolling along, and see a fenced service road (yeah, I know), and decide to check it out. Here comes the stupid part...
The service road was a BGE road that led to a big generator (or something like that). There was a field of sorts off to the side calling my name. Now, I've only been off-road on this pig once, and that was pretty flat and sandy, but it was enough for me to know it's no dirtbike. Anyway, this "field" was off-camber, and I really had no business being back there (legality aside). Plus, I saw a bunch of deer about 20 feet away, and could hear lots of gunshots in the distance (although there were many No Hunting signs posted). This slanted route (I'm leaning to the left the whole time) comes to an abrupt end- a cliff, of sorts. So, I gotta figure out how to turn this beast around. Downhill (to the right looked pretty gnarly), and uphill (to the left) was pretty steep. I tried the uphill route, and this is what happened...
To make matters worse, there were all sorts of vines and sticker bushes which made it near impossible to move around (once I got out from under the damn thing). I'm not going to exaggerate... I'm a pretty small guy (5'8, 150 lbs, wet) and I could NOT move the bike. It took me an hour to spin it to face downhill, and somehow I managed to get it upright. I took the topcase off and my helmet and jacket (I was soaked in sweat), and managed to make it about 20 feet downhill before this happened...
This part of the hill was steeper (not obvious in the pic) and I tried for about 45 minutes, before I gave up. It was REAL slippery, and I could not get any footing. I sucked it up and called my parents for help. Yes, I know, stupid and pathetic. My girlfriend thought it was fitting that I was in town for a high school reunion and was still doing the same shenanigans I was when I was a kid. Well, my father and I got the thing upright, and keeping the ignition off, in first gear, and with both breaks applied, I made it to the bottom without falling again. I had to start it once to make it over a log, though. Funny thing is, my father was really impressed how I negotiated my way down the hill (to which I reminded him I wasn't going to win any awards for this). So, we went to their place, hung out for a bit, then I rode up to Vineland NJ and stayed in a hotel. Got there about 9:30 Sunday night.
I took a vacation day Monday to do this ride. Like I mentioned, I tried following parts of the Trans NJ trail, but I had to backtrack a bit due to deep puddles (I learned my lesson the previous day on riding a too-heavy-for-me-bike alone in the woods). So, I just started riding around. Heading north, mostly... starting at Walker's Forge Road. Here's the fun part. I'll just post some pics...
Got back to Brooklyn around 5pm... total mileage for the trip was about 550. What a great way to spend a vacation day!
That's all I got for now.
1989 NX650 (for sale)
JustRon screwed with this post 11-13-2012 at 08:10 AM
|11-13-2012, 02:28 PM||#2|
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Vested in Brooklyn
Good write-up. As you get older almost any bike is hard to get upright after a spill. Glad you got things taken care of.
I really like the look of the Scrambler. Funny, back in the day when they were first out I didn't think they looked all that great. Now 40+ year old styles, like 60 year old rock stars, seem to be better somehow.
My youngest daughter lives in Brooklyn. She weathered the storm without losing power. I thought she did well. Hope you did good as well.
Thanks again for the pictures and ride report.
|11-13-2012, 07:35 PM||#3|
Yep! That's me...
Joined: May 2005
Looks like you had a fun adventure
The Scrambler can be a whole lot of fun, once you realize its limits. Been there, done that, got the scratch to prove it ...
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