This past Sunday was the final event (so far) for the Hudson Valley Biker Network(HVBN). Over the season the heads of the Network have developed a scenic route through the Catskill Mountains called the Cat's Tail. Many events throughout the spring and summer kept me from partaking of this ride. Yesterday I got the chance when the HVBN leaders put together an event for a charity open to everyone instead of the modest groups who done the Cat's Tail before.
Starting from the Speedway gas station in Saugerties a group of sixty hardy riders assembled and set forth to travel the route. Since the route promised to be hilly I opted to take the 750 Kawasaki which had proven itself so capable at Lake George in the Adirondacks. It has the ponies, brakes and handling to keep pace with newer and larger motorcycles that generally do these events. It didn't let me down.
From the Speedway station we traveled to the famous Blackthorn Resort in East Durham for a brunch as part of the entry fee to tank up for the Cat's Tail loop. The resort welcomed us with open arms and provided a hefty brunch composed of excellent foods. Conversation and laughter rang throughout the hall before Ray Zarcone filled us in on the Cat's Tail ride. It would be a twenty-four mile loop starting and ending at the resort. It was everything he promised.
I had learned a few things about the Kawasaki's likes and dislikes at Lake George and applied them during the ride. Basically the engine loves to use many revolutions per minute despite being thirty-eight years old. Using a technique called "Dancing on the gearshift lever" I kept it happy throughout the trip.
The route itself was everything promised with numerous twisting turns and several opportunities for scenic observation. At one point we crested a rise that afforded a panoramic view of miles of New York State before descending on yet another twisty road. The ride ended much too soon and we were back at the Blackthorn Resort in well under an hour. Everyone was smiling and pleased with the days route and some lingered at the Resort to extend the fun.
I hopped on the Kawasaki and headed home knowing I had a good hour plus of riding ahead of me. Just to add to the trip I ran through a light shower on Route 23 but it didn't detract from the good feelings about the day.