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Ride Report - Clinton Rd. 6/5/06

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    Ride Report - Clinton Rd. 6/5/06

    A quick ride report for this past weekend.

    Saturday morning I met up with someone from another forum coming from Jersey. We met at the Exxon just past the Lincoln Tunnel at 7am, and rode on to meet a group of his friends at a nearby IHOP for a ride through some NJ twisties and on up rte 23 to Hawk's Nest on rte 97. Three guys on the same 2001 Kawi (Ozan, Jerry and Andy), a brand new rider on a brand new Ninja 650 (James, who got his license in May and had the cleanest looking blue Kawi I've ever seen), and a Suzi Katana that was only firing on two cylinders ridden by a guy whose name I can't remember but who has my father-in-law's moustache. Oddly enough, both the Suzi rider and Dad are Polish (as are Jerry and Andy. Made me feel right at home).

    Dad's doppelganger found that his Suzi was only firing on 3 cylinders, but came out with us anyway. Here's to him for taking a chance and joining the ride!

    James hada great looking integrated taillight installed, so his Ninja had both the badass inset front signals and nothing protruding from the back, either. I told him that bar-end mirrors and a pair of block-off plates would've been boss, but he wasn't into it. Oh well. He, uh... removed one of them later anyway.

    We took off around 8:30 and stopped somewhere ten minutes later so Jerry (who I kept calling Jimmy) could mount a digital camera to his tank. We shot off down the road and found some nice local curves. I wish I knew what town we were in, and what roads we took. Somewhere along that first stretch, we lost Jerry behind us. Ozan went back for him after we'd waited by the side of the road for a good 15 minutes, to find that his camera had come loose and was spinning around the bolt on his tank like a top. Must've made for interesting footage. I told him to tell people he was just doing really fast donuts.

    We stopped again by a reservior up ahead for Jerry to take the camera off, and hit Clinton road. 10 miles of sick, twisty tree-tunnels. Apparently, it's fodder for a ton of local urban legend, too.



    Andy led, followed by Ozan and James (who can ride like a bat out of hell, for a guy who's only been in the saddle for 4 months. Kept up with these guys no problem, in this tight little diamond formation. I saw nothing but his taillights the entire ride. He has no f*cking fear, that guy. I hope we get to hang again). I was behind James by a good 30 seconds or more, followed by Jerry and then the Suzuki guy.

    Gotta add to this later... we had two riders down that day. Nobody had a scratch, thank God.
    1988 "BlackHawk" project
    1989 "RallyHawk" is Chuck's now!
    1988 "The Gray" Tempest Gray Metallic stocker

    I can't tell you how peaceful it is. Shinya Kimura
    People who know ride Hawks. Riot

    #2
    So Andy, Ozan and James take off down this road way faster than I'm comfortable with, so I hang back a bit and go at my own pace, figuring that Jerry and the Suzi rider can pass me if they really want. There were curves in this road that you wouldn't believe - very tight. In hindsight, Andy even said that we should've gone through slow once first, then made a second pass at a faster pace.

    I did a little research on the road Monday morning on the internet, trying to trace the route we took to get there. Jerry had tried to show me the route on a map I'd had with me, but we had some of the route numbers wrong, I think. I found this instead, digging around the net - fun stuff:

    http://www.weirdnj.com/stories/_roads02.asp

    So right after what they're calling "Dead Man's Curve" (literally a 90-degree left turn) there's a righthand curve following a short straight. The three lead riders were still doing about 20mph after that sharp left and riding through a little gravel. Andy suddenly hit thick gravel in that righthand bend, straightened out and rode though it straight into the oncoming lane. Ozan, right behind him, tried to take the turn and stay in the lane; he lowsided on the gravel and slid across the road into the opposite shoulder. James saw Ozan go down, hit his front brakes and lowsided too. I was a good 30 seconds behind any of them, and Jerry and the Suzi guy were way behind me. When I got there, Andy was walking down the road, signaling for us to slow down. The others came along a minute later.

    Both bikes were rideable, and all of us had worn gear, so thankfully no serious damage to bike or rider was done. James was lucky to have those inset stock '06 Ninja front signals and a taillight kit, because there were no signal stalks to get damaged. No frame damage or anything else, just lots of rashed plastic and a mirror stalk that cracked off. He was wearing a textile Joe Rocket that had a couple quarter-size holes, and his helmet was scraped up, but no worse. I told him he was a lucky bastard because he was wearing street jeans with his race boots, and he'd taken all the armor out of the jacket because he didn't like how it looked - and the only scratch on him was a fingernail-sized bit of rash by his right knee. Ozan was wearing full perfed leathers and basically just stood up and brushed himself off. His Kawi had some damage though, with the glass in his right mirror shattered but the stalks intact, a bent brake lever and a lot of rashed and cracked plastic. By the next day, though, he'd glassed over the cracks and sanded it all down, and was nearly ready for paint!

    We debated a while whether to call the cops and report an accident, but in the interest of James collecting insurance on the Ninja, we called up and waited around for a cop to collect a report. He called out a road crew to clear the gravel (and there was a lot of it, blanketing that whole section of the road) and they'd arrived and started shoveling by the time we left.

    Ozan and James wanted to return home to their neck of Jersey right away to start glassing/sanding/ordering parts, so the group decided to continue on to rte 23 (five minutes further down) as planned, but to head south instead of north to Hawk's Nest. I continued up 23 on my own, passing two more moto accidents: I stopped for a sportbiker in shorts and a tank, with rash everywhere (even his ass), but he was walking around. He'd been riding in a large group going to Dorney Park. EMS was just arriving for him. Further up, a cruiser rider was being attended to by EMS, but it looked like he was worse off. He was on the ground.

    I hit Hawk's Nest, then returned to Clinton Road to run it again again alone in both directions. It's a tough road, especially since it's through the forest and you can't look very far ahead through the turns, they're so tight. Not my favorite road; I'd have to know it like the back of my hand to really enjoy it.

    Be safe out there.
    1988 "BlackHawk" project
    1989 "RallyHawk" is Chuck's now!
    1988 "The Gray" Tempest Gray Metallic stocker

    I can't tell you how peaceful it is. Shinya Kimura
    People who know ride Hawks. Riot

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