Tag Archive: ride


Yesterday, I wrote a short blog on a Patriot Guard mission that I was about to participate in.  I kept it short as it was pretty late and I needed to get some sleep for the ride.  I wanted to write more about it and try to convey the emotion and patriotism that happened during this ceremony.

I left home on the bike around 8:30am to meet a friend in Clifton Park, and then head up to meet a few others at another destination.  We got to the other destination and met with about 6 more bikers.  Most of these bikers were Vietnam veterans, and they proudly displayed it on their vests.  We left that spot and headed up the Northway to meet with a larger group of riders just before the exit for the funeral home.

At about 10:45, we all fired up the bikes and headed for the funeral home.  At this point, we had about 25-30 bikes.  We got off the Northway and made our way towards the funeral home.  About a half mile from the funeral home, you could see numerous emergency vehicles parked along the road with their lights going.  On either side of the driveway, there was a huge ladder truck with the ladders fully extended.  Hanging between the two buckets was an enormous American flag.  I got a little choked up at this point.

As we came in under the flag, there were already 60-70 bikes in the parking lot.  There were also about 10 local and State Police motorcycles lined up to lead the ride.  About 15 minutes after we got there, we got the call to mount up and everyone got on their bikes.  I was in the back at this point, so I couldn’t see the casket come out to the hearse.  As they brought it out, a bagpiper began to play.  Just as he began to play, it started raining.  It was a little eerie.

The police bikes left, followed by a few fire trucks and then the Patriot Guard riders.  It was raining pretty good at this point, but it didn’t matter.  It also didn’t matter to the hundreds of people lining the side of the road with flags in their hands.  Many of them held their hands over their hearts.  The amount of people standing there in honor of this fallen soldier blew me away.

The ride went through many small towns, and in each town, there were hundreds of people standing alongside the road.  I honestly thought it would be just in town near the funeral home, but it lasted the whole ride.  The ride to the cemetery was about 45 minutes to an hour.

At one point, in the town of Kingsbury, we came to a bend in the road and they had two ladder trucks set up and another huge flag hanging over the road that we all rode under.  It was another point that got me a little choked up.

When we got to the Saratoga National Cemetery, the Patriot Guard quickly dismounted our bikes and took our flags to stand a flag line for the service.  The turnout for this fallen soldier was incredible.  It was nice to see the huge turnout.  I am sure it meant a lot to his family.  Rest in Peace Spc. Osborn.

Here is a little more information about Spc. Osborn from News 10 and the Associated Press;

By NEWS10 Staff, the Associated Press

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. — A local soldier serving in Afghanistan died in combat Wednesday, adding to one of the deadliest months for U.S. forces during the Afghan war.

According to family members, U.S. Army specialist Benjamin Osborn was in the midst of a conflict with the Taliban when he was killed. Osborn, who was 27, had volunteered to be the gunner and was the only one killed in the conflict.

Osborn’s parents were informed of his death Wednesday morning.

Osborn was a 2002 graduate of Lake George High School. Recently, he had been living in Clarksville, Tennessee where he was stationed at Fort Campbell.

He was just deployed to Afghanistan two months ago, in April of this year. He had previously served 15 months in Iraq.

Osborn was also just recently married back in February.

The flag is now at half-staff at Fort William Henry in Lake George.

His family says he died a true hero.

June is shaping up to be one of the deadliest months for U.S. troops in the nearly 9-year-old Afghan war, as insurgents have stepped up attacks in response to a NATO push into Taliban strongholds in the south.

The deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan was October 2009, when 59 Americans died, including seven soldiers killed in a single clash near Kandahar and seven who died in a helicopter crash in the northwest not caused by hostile fire.

In the east, meanwhile, three Afghans working for a private security company were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Muqar district of Ghazni province, according to the deputy provincial police chief, Nawroz Ali Nawroz.

Nine Pakistani militiamen were apprehended before dawn Wednesday inside Afghan territory in Kunar province, provincial Police Chief Khalilullah Ziaye said.

The Pakistanis said they fled into Afghanistan to escape attacks by the Pakistani Taliban against four of their checkpoints, Ziaye said. The nine remained in custody Wednesday pending an investigation, he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Yesterday, we met a friend at Starbucks to see his new puppy.  Before you get too excited, we were outside on the patio on what was a beautiful, 70ish degree day.  The puppy was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and it was adorable.  But, that’s another blog for another day.

Anyway, we are sitting there talking to our friend for a few hours and motorcycles keep passing by.  After a while, two Harleys pull in and the owners walk over.  The husband sits down and the wife goes in to grab some drinks.  He notices the dog and strikes up a conversation.  He mentions they have a Maltese and they spoil it rotten.  We tell them about our 4.6 pound Chi-a-poo (chihuahua poodle mix) and how ridiculously spoiled she is.

Our 4.6 pound killer attack dog, Isabella

Rose and I are really great at making new friends.  It seems almost everywhere we go, we make a new friend, and a lot of times we meet people that ride like us.  They each had their own motorcycle and, as most bikers do, they loved telling us about their bikes.  So, what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?  Absolutely nothing.

What I am getting at is if I met this couple anywhere else without the motorcycle boots and gear, I probably wouldn’t have know they were bikers.  And that is the case for a lot of people that ride.  If you had seen Rose or I in our street clothes, you probably wouldn’t have known we ride either.  Fact is, a lot of bikers out there are doctors, lawyers, and business professionals.  If you saw them in their field, you might not have any idea that they ride motorcycles

Sure, you will always have some bad eggs, but a lot of bikers are the most caring, giving people you will ever meet.  Turns out the couple we met know some of our friends from a town or two over.  They welcomed us to swing by their house and go for a ride with them sometime.  It reminds me how small the world really is, and how there really are some great people out there.  If you can’t smile after meeting someone like that, then there is something wrong with you.  What a great day to be alive.

So, smile, be happy and make a new friend today.  See ya soon!

Honest Scrap

Honest Scrap

My friend, Cassie, tagged me in a post the other day and I figured it would be a fun way to start off the week.  I have to post 10 facts about myself that you don’t know  and tag 6 other bloggers.  This is a great idea.  I would love to do it!

1.) Most people see me dressed up or wearing a shirt with sleeves long enough to cover some pretty big tattoos.  I have 5 tattoos, but one of them has been covered up with a new tattoo,  so technically 4.  The one on my left arm has a globe, eagle and anchor to symbolize the Navy and Marines.  It also has the initials of my father and grandfather in it as they both served in the Navy or Marines and have both passed away.

My tattoos

My tattoos

2.) A lot of people that don’t know me well don’t know that I love motorcycles.  I get on the bike and just ride for the day to clear my head.  It is the best therapy out there.

Our bikes

Our bikes

3.) I love a lot of different music.  Lately it has been leaning a little more towards rock, but for a large portion of my life I have been listening to r&b and hip hop.  I am especially partial to 90s hip hop.

4.) I created the Capital Region Photography Meetup group here in Albany to help others grow their passion for photography.

5.) Winter time is really rough for me.  I can’t ride the motorcycles, and I lose my desire to take pictures.  From late fall after the leaves fall until early spring when things start to bloom again, I get into a slump and don’t shoot much.

6.) I don’t drink alcohol very often.  Because of the migraines I get, I barely ever drink.  It’s not that I don’t like drinking, I just get headaches so frequently that I don’t want to give myself one intentionally.

7.) I am a LOST junkie.  I have seen every episode in Seasons 1-5 a minimum of 3 times.  Very sad to see it end this year.

8.) I am a huge Ferrari fan.  Actually, most high end sports cars.  I fell in love with them in the late 90s when I started visiting Lime Rock in Lakeville, CT.  I have been obsessed with them ever since.

Ferraris at Lime Rock

Ferraris at Lime Rock

9.) I am a water rat.  Growing up, I spent my summers in the pool from morning til night.  I can spend hours in the pool.

10.) I have spent the last four years with the most amazing woman.  She treats me like a king, and she loves riding motorcycles as well.  I am very lucky to have her in my life.

Dozenroses13

Dozenroses13

Now, I have to tag six bloggers…

1.) Rose – Dozenroses13’s Blog

2.) Kat Cee- Katmasutra

3.) Trey Ratcliff – Stuck In Customs

4.) Chessie – 365 Degrees, Photos from each day

5.) Pam Lee – Pam is Trying

6.) Scott Bourne – Photofocus

Here in the Northeast, the weather can be pretty brutal during Winter.  Even more so if you have a motorcycle, or two in my case.  It’s awful.  I love the area, and wouldn’t move, so I just have to suck it up, but I don’t have to be happy about it.

As I was going through ideas I had written down for possible blog topics, I found one that made me smile.  It was about a great ride I took this past summer through the Catskill Mountains.  One of the reasons for thinking about the ride (other than five months of cold weather) came from a few announcements today on Twitter.  One of them was from Harley-Davidson© announcing their new $36k bagger.  Yes, I said $36k for a Harley.  Have they lost their mind?  They are nice and all, but not my thing.  I could pick up two bikes for that amount of money.  Secondly, a friend on Twitter ( @MotorcycleFans ) posts and re-tweets some great motorcycle info everyday.  A lot of the tweets are news in the motorcycle industry.  There were some great tweets about some new Victory motorcycles as well.  I’ve come to know @MotorcycleFans as Chessie.  Chessie has a great blog called 365 Degrees, photos from each day.  Check it out.

So, this past summer, I felt like going for a ride.  Rose didn’t want to go, so I headed out on my own on the FJR.  We have a GPS unit for this bike, but I don’t use it a lot.  I learned my way around Albany a few years ago by filling up the tank and picking a road to see where it brought me.  No matter where I went, I would always find my way out.  I would also learn fun roads to everywhere, rather than taking the main roads. I get around very well now after being here for only a few years.

That day, I wasn’t sure where I was going, but remembered a fun ride that our good friend Dusty had taken us on a few weeks earlier.  Dusty’s friend was in the middle on her bike and is a little timid, so I wanted to ride this one particular road again, but this time at a much faster pace.  It was amazing.  County route 308 on Delmar if you are from the Albany area.  Lots of twists and turns, great for laying it right over.

I got on that road and it was pure bliss.  These are the times where you remember why you love riding so much.  All your cares and worries seem to disappear.  It is so therapeutic.  After a few more roads, I ended up in Athens, NY.  I stopped for a drink and a snack, then I debated what to do.  I could turn around and head back, or I could keep going and keep taking roads to see where I would end up.  I went with the latter.

Next thing you know, I am on Route 23 in Catskill and and a huge smile comes across my face.  I know exactly where to go.  Up into the mountains.  The ride up there is a motorcyclist’s dream.  25 mile per hour corners, 15 mile per hour hairpins, double lane uphill passes, sweeping corners…what a ride!  If you ever get the chance, get on the bike and ride this road.

This road continues through the Catskills and by Windham mountain.  The ride after Windham is pure countryside.  Beautiful vistas, mountains soaring into the sky and views for miles.  Somewhere on route 30, I stopped and took a break to grab some pictures.  As I pulled into the overlook parking lot, I saw a great site.  An older gentleman and his wife on their Harley that had stopped for the same view I had.  As soon as I got off the bike, I noticed the gentleman’s haircut.  I pegged him immediately as a former Marine.  Dead on.  I struck up a conversation with him and his wife, and they were great people.  They asked me about GPS units, and I pulled mine out of the trunk and showed them how it worked.  While I was there, I grabbed the next few shots.  The panorama was taken by standing on the guard rail.

Panorama 2
The trunk held the camera bag and GPS

The trunk held the camera bag and GPS

Catskill Creek

Catskill Creek

After the overlook, I kept on going up 30 until I hit Route 20 and back into Albany I went.  What a great day.  It was about 150 miles round trip.  Here’s a map from the Harley-Davidson Ride Planner© that I used for the trip, in case you want to try out this ride.  Or let me know.  I’d love to go again.

Trip Map

Trip Map

Do you ride?  Been on a bike?  Love them?  Hate them?  Let me know.  Please feel free to subscribe to my blog.  Oh, and if you’re on Twitter, follow me @TCRPMG …See ya real soon!