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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Americade 2008 - Day 4

This year I'm publishing highlights of my activities at the 2008 Americade Motorcycle Rally, day by day in a blog. Americade is scheduled for June 2-7, this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Lake George, NY, my observations while there, the ride home, and getting back to normal.

The trip will now also include intermediate stop-offs at at our son's house in Boonton, NJ (three grandsons) and daughter's house in Middle Grove, NY (grandson and granddaughter). Our daughter made a move to the Saratoga Springs area last year after Americade. Since her house is now 25 miles south of Americade (and on the way), we now have a fringe benefit of making the trip.

Saturday began with a news report on the local TV station that a checkpoint had been established on I87 at the rest area near exit 18. This was a motorcycle checkpoint. Bikes were being pulled over for inspection of helmets, credentials, pipes, and safety equipment. If a cop had probable cause that you might be in violation, they pulled you over. Here's a link to the news story and a video.

The Americade Message Board was abuzz about this checkpoint. Check it out.

It may be that this was only a one-time thing to sound the alarm that motorcycle violators would not be tolerated this year. Some think the state of NY was just looking for more money. Others think that safety was the only concern since there have been too many motorcycle-related accidents at Americade in recent years. Some riders said they would bypass the checkpoint. Some found themselves with money to pay for riding with no motorcycle endorsement on their driver's license or for wearing a non-DOT approved helmet. It remains to be seen whether the checkpoint will be there when the main Americade traffic starts on Monday. I'll let you know.

The majority of my day was spent at a softball game where my granddaughter played and at a baseball game where my grandson played. We got through the softball game with only a few drops of rain. Such was not the case at the baseball game.

We rode into Saratoga Springs, parked on the street, and walked a couple of blocks to the game site. We carried our canvas chairs and umbrellas with us and parked ourselves high on a grassy area that rose above the right field fence. It was great for a few innings but then the rains came. Thunder was heard. I kept waiting for lightning which never came. When the rain got intense, they called the teams into the dugout and covered the field. We sat in the rain under big umbrellas and waited and waited. Finally the rain let up to a sprinkle and men ran onto the field with sand and dirt and brushed everything clean. It was just like in the major leagues. Then the teams rushed back on the field and resumed playing. Several hits were made and a couple of runs came in. Then the rain started again. It poured and everything was soaked including us. The field was covered and again we waited. We sat there like drowning rats for another 10 minutes of intense downpour. Then, mercifully, the game was called and we slinked over dripping water behind us and piled into the car.

We returned home to get into dry clothes. Jane, daughter, and granddaughter headed back to do shopping -- the rain had stopped. I headed for my laptop to do Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4 of my Americade 2008 Blog.

Not much left for today except dinner and relaxation. The trikes sit dry in the garage.

More to follow. Read the blog each day for further reports.

An evolving blog index to these Americade 2008 blog entries is also available.

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