NYS HOG Rally: Syracuse, NY

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We left at 8am Thursday from the Buccaneer Diner in it Astoria. Three couples and two singles. I found out that no one in our group of eight had ever been up Rt. 97 which runs from Port Jervis up the eastern side of the Delaware River to Hancock, NY where it terminates. Rt. 97 is called a “scenic biway.”

So from the diner over the RFK (used to be Tri-Boro) Bridge, bear right before the toll and follow signs to the Harlem River Dr. which takes you to the George Washington Bridge – upper roadway to the Palisades. I wanted to take the Palisades because there’s a lot of shade and it was a very hot day.

The Palisades ends in a rotary. You can take Rt. 6 east over the Bear Mountain Bridge, or west where it joins 17 (now Interstate 86) for a while before veering off 17 to Port Jervis. We stopped for gas in Port Jervis (a town at the intersection of three states: NY, PA and NJ) and then headed up the “scenic biway” 97 to Hancock. Lunch at a diner just off the terminus of 97 to the right. Classic diner.

You pick up 17W in Hancock. All interstate from this point on. In Binghampton you take 81N to Syracuse. I used the GPS to find the Holiday Inn which was the Rally site.

The rally was good. The weather was hot but it only rained at night. I went on two guided rides. The Friday ride went to Watkins Glen, a little town at the southern tip of Lake Seneca, home of “The Gorge” and a Formula One Race Track. We got to blast our bikes around the track a few times. Very cool taking the banked turns, gearing down into the hairpin and opening up on the straightaway. The Saturday ride went to a crafts festival in Penn Yan. There was a wooden boat company in this town once that took its name from this town.

You ride in staggered formation when you ride in groups leaving around 2 seconds of space between yourself and the rider in front of. In the lane you are either on the left near the line or the right near the shoulder. It’s important to maintain the formation for safety reasons. “What happens in front happens to you.” For the first half of the ride there was this guy behind me on the left (line side) who would rubberband every time we went into a curve or slowed down for a light or stop sign. In other words he would pull up right beside me or a little ahead of me in these situations. This is dangerous. I was going to speak to him at the gas stop, but he pulled into the position just ahead of me when we left the gas station. Fine. Rather be behind the asshole, anyway.

Well he did the same thing the riders who remained ahead of him. One of these guys said something to him at the Penn Yan Crafts Festival. I had a nice bit of fellowship with the two other guys who had to deal with this jerk. He was “advised” to take the second position behind the ride leader for the trip back.


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