Tag Archive: speed


Picture of the day 4/11

A remote control sailboat in the pond at the Crossings in Colonie

As some of you may know, I am a huge car freak. I love high end sports cars. Ferrari is my favorite exotic car marque of all.  I even have the tattoo to prove it! Whenever there is a car show that may have high end sports cars in the area, I grab the camera and head off to get some pictures and see some works of art.

Two summers ago, the Saratoga Automobile Museum hosted the Fall Ferrari Festival on their grounds. The weather was not ideal for Ferraris, so i did not expect a great turnout. It was a gloomy, overcast day in the Saratoga area. The rain was threatening to dampen our spirits, and our souls. A few brave souls came out despite the showers and showed us their amazing automobiles. All in all, I would say there were about 10 Ferraris that made an appearance. Mostly F430s and 360s, but a few older cars came as well. A special treat was the Ferrari SuperAmerica. I hadn’t seen one of these in person, so I was quite happy.

Ferrari SuperAmerica

There was even a Ferrari Testarossa there.  In Italian, Testarossa means ‘Red Head’.  In Ferrari’s case, it refers to the red-painted cam covers on the engine.   As I wandered around the show, taking in all of the sights and got this shot with an F430 in the foreground and a Testarossa in the background.  Both of them are shown in front of the Saratoga Auto Museum.

It may have been raining that day, but in my mind it was beautiful out.  Any day that you get to spend in the presence of Ferraris is a great day in my book.  Here are a couple more I took that day.  Enjoy!

See ya soon!

FJR and FLHR

FJR and FLTR

Last night, our meetup group, No Destinations, meets for our last ‘winter’ meeting before we start riding again.  Every Wednesday night during the warmer months, we meet at The Mill on Round Lake around 6pm.  At 6:30, it’s kickstands up and we are off to a certain ‘undisclosed location’ to hang out and chat for a bit before returning to The Mill and having some food and good conversation.

The name ‘No Destination’ came about because most nights the location is kept secret as a surprise and we don’t find out until we get there.  Only a certain few that are leading and blocking know the route and location.  The phrase ‘where the hell are we going?’ came about because every Wednesday night, people would ask that question while waiting to leave.  “We’re going for a ride” is the most common reply.

This group of riders is a bunch of the most laid back, friendly people I have ever met.  We always have a good time, and everyone gets along very well.  It is a mix of all ages and motorcycle types.  There are sport bikes, Harleys, and even a BMW with a sidecar.  It is a great time.  I can’t wait for our rides to start up again.

See ya soon!

On Friday I finally got Rose to take her first ride of the season with me.  I had been a few times already this year, but she hadn’t.  I don’t really mind the cold when riding the bike, but she is much more of a warm-blooded creature.

I got the Yamaha out and we got our gear together.  We are big fans of being safe when on the bike.  There is a term in the motorcycle world called “ATGATT”, which means “All The Gear, All The Time”.  This means that whenever we go out on the bike, we will wear a jacket with armor, a full face helmet, gloves and over the ankle boots.  No exceptions.

Rose had asked that we went to the Ocean State Job Lot in Valatie, as she was looking for something in particular.  I put the tour trunk on the back of the bike so we would have extra room to carry any small things we might buy.

We got on the road and on 90 just past the Corporate Woods exit we saw a Toyota Camry with a very funny vanity plate on it.  When I spotted it, I pointed it out to Rose.  The lady driving the Camry saw me pointing to it and gave me the thumbs up.  Rose had the small point and shoot camera and grabbed this shot…

PEDLSTUK

As we passed her, I gave her a wave and a smile.  That lady has a great sense of humor.  It’s good to see that some people don’t just freak out and give up on a good company.

We continued out 90 to exit 11A towards Pittsfield.  In Schodack, we took Route 9 down towards Valatie.  When we pulled into the Ocean State Job Lot parking lot, I noticed that the outside air temperature was 72 degrees.  So, we grabbed a picture of that as well.

We had no plans for the day, so we continued down Route 9 through Hudson where we picked up Route 23 across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge.  After the bridge, we hung a left and went down to the town of Catskill for some lunch.  We had been to a great cafe down there called MOD previously, and were hoping to eat there but they closed at 3 and we got there around 3:30.  Bummer.  So, we found a little pizza joint and grabbed an Italian Mix and a slice to refuel.

It was getting late, so we decided to take the highway home to make the trip a little quicker, as coming home on 9W would have taken close to an hour and a half.  So, we shot down to Saugerties and hopped on 87 for the ride home.  I don’t like being on the highways with the bike, as it is very boring.  I would rather be on the back roads eating up the twisties and having a blast.  This time of year it gets cold quickly after dark, so for Rose’s sake, I took the quick route.

Speaking of twisties, Rose was taking pics while I was going thru some twisties and here’s what she got…

A left-hander

A left-hander

A right-hander leaned way over

A right-hander leaned way over

Please feel free to comment and subscribe.  Also, please watch out for motorcycles.  Look over your shoulder before changing lanes.  Remember the old adage “Look twice, save a life.”  Be safe out there!

**Today’s photos are courtesy of Rose**

I have mentioned in quite a few posts my love for cars.  Of all the cars out there, only a few make it to the very top of my list of favorite cars of all time.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there are tons of cars I would love to get behind the wheel of, but only a certain few really stand out as ones I really want to drive at some point in my life.

One of those cars is the Mercedes S Class.   The S Class is a huge car.  It has a elegant look about it that has always grabbed my attention.  While most guys are looking for the sporty two-door coupe, I am intrigued by the beauty of this work of art.  The lines are breathtaking and the interior fit for a king.  You just don’t get any more luxurious than with an S Class.

While we were out of town last week, we visited a few friends.  One of them works for a Bobby Rahal Mercedes in Wexford, PA.  We called and asked if we could stop by, and while there, if I could test drive a Mercedes, as I love the brand and have always dreamed of driving one.  He said he would see what he could do.

So, we showed up at the dealership and Bob showed us around, letting me check out all of the new models that we there and telling me about each one.  I know a ton about most cars, so I knew most of what he was telling me, but you could tell he loves what he does, and I didn’t want to spoil his fun.  It’s been quite a while since I had someone to talk to that shared the passion for a gorgeous car as I do.

We could have talked all day, but Bob had work to do.  After we chatted for a bit in his office, he said “if you could drive any Mercedes right now, which would you pick?”  Easy.  The S Class or the SL class.  He disappeared for a bit, but not before saying, “I can’t guarantee you a test drive, but I will try.”  “I really appreciate anything you can do, and will understand if you can’t”, I replied.

When he came back in I was afraid he was going to say he couldn’t let me drive one, but I was wrong.  He not only got me the car of my dreams, but he got me the mother of the S Class line up, the  Mercedes S63 AMG.

Mercedes S63 AMG

Mercedes S63 AMG

The S63 AMG has a 6.3 liter V8 producing 518 horsepower.  It does 0-60 in 4.6 seconds.  That is ridiculously fast for a 4,960 pound car.  It is also a very long car.  It is listed as 206.5 inches, which is just over 17 feet long.  You would never know it was that big, as driving it was like driving a much smaller car.  It was one of the best days of my life.  This car drove just as I had always dreamed it would.  There is now one better, however.  The Mercedes S65 AMG makes 604 horsepower and has a 6.0 liter V12 BiTurbo engine.

Thank you Bob, as you have just helped me check one thing off my bucket list.  I am forever grateful to you.

Now, if only I could hit the lottery.  Here are a few more shots I took…

I am hoping to start writing more about motorcycles in the near future.  I want to try and help raise awareness as much as possible about bikers and clear up some of the stereotypes out there.  For this blog, I wanted to let people know about the good things bikers do for the community.

Over the last few years, I have been a part in many fundraisers as a biker.  Most of the fundraisers are Poker Runs.  Poker Runs are when a large group of bikers get together and ride to raise money for someone in need.  It may be for a fallen biker, a child with a rare disease, or perhaps a biker’s child that has cancer.  A Poker Run is a ride where each biker pays a fee for the rider and a passenger should they have one.  They then go to three more stops before returning to the starting point.  At each stop, they get a card.  At the end of the ride, whoever has the best hand wins a prize.

Last year, a group I ride with every Wednesday night during the warmer months did a poker run for a member’s daughter.  She was diagnosed with cancer and the ride was to raise money to help with medical bills.  In the months leading up to the Poker Run, members of the group went to local businesses looking for donations to help raise money by entering those prizes in a silent raffle.  There was also a 50/50 raffle the day of the ride.  If you are unfamiliar with a 50/50 raffle, tickets are sold throughout the day.  At the drawing, 50% of the money from tickets sold, goes to the fundraiser, and the person with the winning raffle ticket gets the other 50%.

After the ride was over, we met back at our usual meeting place and had dinner and a band played for us.  People entered into a silent auction for the prizes that had been donated, hopeful they would be the winner.  At the end of the night, the money was tallied up.  The group had raised nearly $8,000 dollars for this young girl’s medical bills.  It is an amazing feeling to be part of that.

Riding in a group that large takes focus and cooperation.  Everyone should know the rules of riding in a group.  There are guidelines and hand signals that you must know to keep everyone safe.  The bikes behind the lead bike are blockers (if used).  The blockers stop traffic that could come from side streets and split the pack up, keeping everyone safe.  The riders behind the blockers and through the rest of the pack must ride in a staggered position.  If the riders do not stagger and ride side by side, it could be dangerous.  Should one of the bikes have to swerve to miss a pothole or dead animal in the road, there is a chance they could take out the rider next to them and then cause a chain reaction.  Because of this, the bikers are to ride one bike on the right, and one bike just behind on the left, then one just behind that one on the right and so on and so forth.

In the back of the pack, there are a few sweepers.  The job of the sweepers is to pull over with anyone in the pack should they have an engine problem.  The sweeper will then assist them in getting back on the road, or calling for help.  If all of these things are done correctly, the pack will be safe and no accidents will happen.  Here is a chart I found with the proper hand signals for riding in groups;

Group Riding Hand Signals

Group Riding Hand Signals

Imagine this, if you will.  You are in a pack of 100 motorcycles, riding to raise money for someone in need.  In front of you, you see bikes for a mile.  When you look in your mirror, the same thing.  It is a feeling I will never forget.

I want to make the public more aware that all bikers aren’t bad guys.  Sure, there are some that are.  But a good portion of the bikers that participate in these events are Vietnam Veterans who risked their lives fighting for our freedom.  They deserve a huge thank you for all they do for the community.  If you see a Vet, please thank them for the freedoms we have today…

**Image Courtesy of Group Riding Hand Signals

My Harley

My Harley

Yesterday, this large bright thing appeared in the sky.  What was it you ask?  Well, it was the sun.  I sort of forgot what it looked like.  It’s been so gloomy for so long that I almost didn’t remember that warmth and the happiness that comes with it.  It’s like a natural high.

I was milling around the house for a bit and then I decided to go fire up the bikes to make sure the batteries had lasted through the winter.  I keep them on Battery Tenders that keep them on a trickle charge, but sometimes they still fail.  I moved everything out of the way and rolled them out of the garage and fired each one up.  They both started with no problem.  I let them run for a little bit to make sure everything seemed OK.  I was about to put them away, when I decided to take the Harley out for a spin.

I grabbed my helmet, gloves and jacket and off I went.  What a rush.  It’s like a little dose of therapy.  The sounds of the engine and the freedom of riding with no windows or doors is amazing.  There isn’t much that tops that feeling.  I only took a short ride, as there is still way too much salt and gravel on the roads, so riding isn’t all that safe.  Soon enough, it will be spring and much more riding will be done.  Until then…

Growing up, we had some pretty cool video game systems.  I can remember the Atari pretty well, among a few others.  Sure, I may be dating myself with this statement, but my favorite game console, then and now is the Nintendo.  Yes, I said now.  I have loved playing Super Mario Bros since it came out back in 1985.  It is still as much fun today as it was back then.  I even was asked to bring it to a friend’s house Superbowl Sunday.  We played it before and after the game.  Personally, I would have been happier playing the Nintendo than watching the Superbowl.

Nintendo

Nintendo

Over the last twenty plus years, I have played on many of the different consoles.  I am not a huge gamer, but I do enjoy racing games.  I can remember when Gran Turismo came out for the Playstation.  A bunch of us got together and played day and night.  It was so addicting.  Then Gran Turismo 2 came out and it started all over again.

A few years later, I got an Xbox.  They don’t have Gran Turismo for that platform, but they do have Project Gotham Racing.  I have played all three PGRs and loved everyone.  There also was Need For Speed.  I don’t know how many of those came out, but there’s been a ton, and I have played a bunch of them.  My most recent was Need For Speed: Shift.

Now, I have the Nintendo (of course) and an Xbox 360.  I really like the Xbox 360 for it’s graphics and Xbox Live capabilities.  I can play games on it, and watch Netflix Streaming with it.  It’s a great system.  I have both Guitar Hero and Rock Band for it and really enjoy playing them as well.

The reason I am writing this tonight is to ask everyone’s opinion on gaming.  Here’s a few questions for you…

  • Do you play video games?  If yes, how often?
  • What type of games do you like?
  • What console do you like to play on?
  • Do you think the Guitar Hero/Rock Band type games are encouraging kids to learn to play instruments, or just video games?

If nothing else, they make for some great pictures…

Drums

Drums

Guitar

Guitar

Playin' around with the camera

Playin' around with the camera

I was never a big Mustang fan until the movie Gone in 60 Seconds came out.  I instantly fell in love with “Eleanor“, the ’67 Mustang GT500.  Wow, how had I never realized this beautiful machine? I am sure that movie added quite a few fans to the Mustang tribe.

Last August, Metro Ford had a Shelby Show at their dealership in Schenectady.  I wasn’t doing anything that day, so I grabbed the camera and went down.  I love a good car show, and this one was definitely a good one.  There were Mustangs from many, many years there.  Along with the Mustangs, there were a bunch of other classic cars and even some trucks.  I would venture to guess that their were a few hundred cars there that day!

I had a blast that day.  It was ridiculously hot, but there was still a great turnout.  As I walked through the rows and rows of cars I saw some amazing machines of years past.  I also saw some great newer models, including a Ford GT.  I got down on the ground and took this shot…

Ford GT

Ford GT

That was my favorite shot from the show.  I also found a beautiful ’56 Chevy BelAir..

Bel Air

Bel Air

A gorgeous Shelby Cobra…

Shelby Cobra

Shelby Cobra

A meticulous T-Bird…

Thunderbird

Thunderbird

And of course some Mustangs…

64-66 Mustangs

64-66 Mustangs

Colorful Mustangs

Colorful Mustangs

If you’re on Twitter, make sure you follow Metro Ford.

Picture of the day 2/7/10

This picture was taken a few miles from downtown Albany overlooking the city.  I was shooting the skyline, and after it got dark I saw the traffic heading into and out of the city and thought it would make for a good shot.

*Edit* A reader asked where took this shot from, so I grabbed a map and marked it with downtown Albany and a flag where I shoot from.  Image courtesy of Google Maps.

Route 4, North Greenbush

Route 4, North Greenbush