My dealer had helpfully topped off the tank before I picked Nica up. I'm still amazed at how fast a replacement fuel pump was procured and installed (rather sad how we've been conditioned to anticipate the very worst in situations like this), but there she was, firing up nicely as I pointed her home Tuesday afternoon. The following day, I saddled up with my tech kit and rolled from the driveway in near-perfect weather.
First observation on the road: Overall, people are driving a bit slower than I remember. I'm largely chalking that up to fuel prices, even though that doesn't seem to explain (most) Prius and Tesla drivers also seeming to ease up on the throttle; Your typical Prius pilot, at least in these parts, normally seems to adopt a muted version of GTA drive-it-like-you-stole-it attitude…I half-expect seeing a bumper sticker on one proclaiming "I WANTED a Supra, But…"
Second observation on the road: Yes, I'm starting to notice the HPE's midrange torque more than before, now that I'm finally getting some sustained higher-speed seat time. Since I had to deal with several construction-related bottlenecks heading up to NYC, I took note of roll-on performance from 40-45mph, and, yeah, there's that bit more kick running up to 60-65, and even from 50-70, though a tad less-pronounced. I kept my general cruising speed around 65-70 on the Garden State Parkway; interestingly, the New Jersey Turnpike is generally slower than the GSP, and this day was no different, with speeds frequently dipping into the low-to-mid 50s.
Google Maps wanted to take me farther North to the George Washington Bridge, then South to my destination. I really wasn't interested in this, and insisted on taking my chances with extra traffic through the Lincoln Tunnel. It was a bit of a slog, but I'm betting the extra hit wasn't more than ten minutes, tops. I also wanted to limit my exposure to the Henry Hudson Parkway/West Side Highway, which I've known my entire life, and has seriously seen better years, based on my last trip along its Northern half near the GWB. My tech gig for the day was in the heart of my old neighborhood on the Upper West side, and while way too much of the place has changed radically, enough has remained intact to elicit the occasional warm-fuzzy.
One of the biggest warm-fuzzies was after wrapping up the gig a bit after 7 PM, when I packed up the bike and rode South to West 96th Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive, and pulled into a Mobil station I've known since I was all of five years old. (That's 1961 to you.) I chatted with the attendants while filling up telling them (again) about my Dad pulling in for a fill-up, at a time when the attendants still cleaned the windshield and checked the oil…and gave me a lollipop (and if I asked for one, a map). Then, hopping back on, I make a right turn and roll onto the Henry Hudson, swing around the underpass and head South, stopping briefly for a few quick snaps of the bike along Riverside Park. Then back though the Lincoln Tunnel, then the slightly-precarious run along 495 before hitting the Turnpike for some sixteen miles, then turning off for the Parkway, dialing in some Steely Dan for the remainder of the trip, the evening air just slightly cool.
It really is great to be back on the road.
Pegasus of my Past: It's been around almost long enough to be landmarked.
The Other Side of the Hudson: At last, for Nica.
The Route: a little under 70 miles, each way.
The Cost Of Premium: Yeah, I can deal.
Last edited by amateriat on Mon, 20 Jun 2022 02:41:35 +0000; edited 4 times