Chris Logsdon (The GodSpeed Co.) shares his thoughts and images of the Deus Ex Machina 2nd Annual NYC Sunday Mass Ride, and the 1st Annual ‘Split’n Lanes & Dodgin Gutters!’ Classic Motorcycle Show–
New York City. No better city in the world. When it comes to riding there’s so much to love about it and at the same time so much to hate. This past weekend L.A. based Deus Ex Machina held it’s 2nd annual Sunday Mass NYC ride. A ride I missed out on last year, ironically because I was in LA. A ride I sure as hell wasn’t going to miss this year.
Skipping the shower that morning, I grabbed the jacket, helmet, keys, sent a few texts, straddled the Triumph and pointed it towards Freeman’s Sporting Club in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Upon arrival, the sounds of two-strokes, four-stokes and annoyed overhead neighbors filled the small, now crowded, Rivington Street. After a few friendly hellos, we gathered together to discuss the day’s route around Manhattan and across Brooklyn which quickly turned in to a little bit of a mess as a marathon had the lower portion of the West Side Highway on lock down. It would be one of several diversions we’d encounter today.
A few adjustments and we were off. By we I mean what felt like a hundred eager riders lined up for an urban version of the Dakar Rally. They were all there: café racers, scramblers, bobbers, trackers, a hand full of crotch rockets, and 1 brave soul on a scooter (God bless him). With a drop of a hand and a twist of the throttle we maneuvered through the Bowery and up Park Avenue South where we snaked our way in and around Grand Central Terminal, twenty seconds that everyone seemed to enjoy.
Naturally we fought traffic, crazed cabbies, and crowds of tourists who took every opportunity to snap photos of our herd. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. It was the consistency as we wound our way past Central Park towards the West Side Highway. I imagine our Los Angeles friends becoming increasingly frustrated with ever red light. It’s a rarity to be able to drop it in to 3rd gear around here. Circling the round a bout above the hidden and popular Boat Basin bar on 79th, we opened up the bikes and finally get some air across the frustrated engines as we stormed the West Side Highway. Considering the now infamous motorcycle events that took place here last September, I was surprised to see how relaxed the NYPD was when we congregated at the first of many lights. The next hour, surprise, would be spent navigating the grid, all the way down through the Financial District and over the Brooklyn Bridge. No matter how many times you pass through, it’s impossible not to get lost in its iconic arches.
Running along the NYC skyline, I-278 continues along the bay and takes us to the first designated meet up area. We take a collective deep breath as we stare out on to designer Othmar H. Ammann’s Verrazano Bridge. It’s here we get a scenic glimpse of life outside of NYC and just how many riders got lost back in Manhattan. Stomachs begin to growl as we pose for a quick photo-opp and get back on the bikes.
Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Stop and go. So goes the ride back up 278 through crowded Williamsburg, over the Pulaski Bridge, in to and out of Long Island City finally re-entering Manhattan. It’s the first outing of the season for me as I’m feeling my wrists tire. We’ve covered close to 75 miles, city miles, as the herd winds it’s way back to Rivington Street to the smell of a Weber grill offering up the appropriate post-ride nutritious substance: hot dogs and hamburgers. It was very much appreciated.
A healthy dose of hugs, smiles, and stories are exchanged among old and new friends. Our coats are zipped up as I say my goodbyes and walk down the row of bikes to find mine sandwiched between two others. With one more stop on the list the day is not over.
Back over in Brooklyn, unbeknownst to many of this morning riders, is the first annual ‘Split’n Lanes & Dodgin Gutters!’ Classic Motorcycle Show. An eyebrow-raising collection of close to 50 hand-picked motorcycles ranging from the teens era through the early 70’s. The bikes were neatly arranged inside Williamsburg hotspot The Brooklyn Bowl. Among those showcased along the rows of bowling lanes was a 1926 Henderson Deluxe, a 1930 Scott Sport Squirrel, a personal favorite of mine – a 1950 Vincent Grey Flash Racer. Also included were Several BSA’s, Nortons, Harley-Davidsons, and a most impressive 1923 Ner-a-car which no one seemed to understand. In total 19 different motorcycles marques were on hand to represent. Equally as impressive was the show happening outside the venue as motorcycles now lined the popular Wythe Avenue.
Today’s events ushered us into summer of 2014. With more happenings on the horizon I’m eager to plow through work weeks to partake in weekend adventures. Ah, New York City, no better city in the world.