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I did the Ramapo 500 on the wing this weekend. I prepaid the $35 registration fee which covers a map (GPS download cost $5 more), a pin, camping for 1 night, Sat night dinner and Sun morning breakfast. Check in was fairly well organized and I was in and out under 10 min. The parking lot was filled with all makes of bikes and you could start anytime after you checked in. The map was very detailed and had MANY turns with in the 1st 30 miles. I don't use a GPS and had no desire to constantly read the directions, so I tagged onto a family riding an older wing with a sidecar. They were a very nice family and we got to meet each other at the 1st gas stop. The young boy had to be in heaven riding along in the sidecar - he had all the comforts of home (water, food, music, games). He did a pretty good job of navigation too. The directions appeared to be very complicated and the mileage for each turn seemed to be off - we missed turns numerous times, but quickly discovered the mistakes and made corrections within a few hundred feet.

I decided to hook up with another rider after a few hours of following the sidecar, wanted to ride a little more aggressive. The roads were rural enough that you could ride at your own pace- fast or slow, although there weren't many passing lanes - riders were instructed to move to the right to allow faster bikes by. Only once did a group of BMW riders really seem to be overly aggressive, but I didn't hear of any accidents. The guy I hooked up to tail was using a tank bag with the paper map, he did a good job, but we had to stop to change pages 2 times. He also got lost when we missed a turn. We travelled on numerous gravel roads, they were very dusty but had no wash out. I'm not a fan of the gravel roads, but what are you going to do when you follow a leader. I kept a good 30 yards back as to not eat to much dust. There wasn't a straight road on the whole trip, made for some good riding and some not so good riding for me ( gravel).

We passed many lakes, was riding along shorelines and then up over mountains. Temps were probably in the low 80's if I guessed and no humidity. Most of the roads were in fairly good shape. I arrived at the campground (Pine Lake) around 5 pm. They had a bar, dining cabin, swimming lake and 1 shower - that's not a miss print- 1 pay shower. Most of the riders who were camping set up in a large grass field which wasn't bad - wasn't rocky, dusty or muddy. There were all sorts of tents - back packing to family and also a few tents with garages for their bike. I heard many riders opted to stay at local hotels. Sat night dinner was very good, buffet style - chicken, beef, potatoes, green beans, salad, brownies and cold drinks - and you could eat all you wanted. After dinner, they had door prizes and a raffle. Tent city wasn't to rowdy, a few groups had a fire going and only 1 person was showing off his motorcycle sound system. Most were quiet by 11.

I was up around 4:30 and started packing. We did';t have any rain, but everything was wet from the morning dew. Breakfast was being served at 6, but I wanted to explore on my own and be on the road. Kickstand was up by 6 and I headed south on Rt 10 - I didn't stay on the ride route because I had enough gravel road and rain was in the forecast. II didn't see another vehicle south bound for about 2 1/2 hours on Rt 10. I did 60 mph the whole way, passed through a few small towns and dropped down to 45. Most of the route was in good shape, made perfect riding to me. I took Rt 10 all the way to Rt 97 and headed down to Port Jarvis and then onto Rt 6 West

Over all it was a good weekend ride - met a lot of nice guys to BS with, roads were decent. I won't say I found any must ride routes, but I'm definitely going back into the Catskills and Adorondacks to explore. The Ramapo 500 is a ride worth doing, It's a hard 250 miles on Day 1, so be prepared to be tired.
 

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Good report Tim. I rode with a group of 6 and three of us had GPS downloads. One didn't take at all and we had problems with the other two. Mine would bring up the route and then shortly switch to take me back to the start up. The outbound and inbound were listed seperate on the GPS so I don't know what happened except that both GPS units acted the same. We finally went our own way and had a good ride with no gravel until the way home. They needed several more people at the GPS table to help the idiots like me figure it out.:oops:
 

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I road with the Ramapo group a couple for times they have great rides but they take you on roads the the GPS can't find but you will have a Fantastic ride & time.
 
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