East Coast Gypsy Run

Originally Published In The April 2015 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

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At the beginning of September falls a run like no other. It’s a challenging run that tests your limits. A run like no other that makes stories, new friends, and memories that last a life time. The Gypsy Run was created by Walter Gemeinhardt, owner of Kickstart Cycle Supply in New Jersey. This year’s run took place on September 12th and 13th. Walter has been at this now for eight long years and each year he throws in a new little twist to keep the run interesting and fun. This year’s twist—no maps! How can you have a run without a map you ask? By giving just certain check points and one ending location, this allowed for the groups to determine what roads they wanted to take to reach those points. If you miss the main group, this made for your own adventure and let you be in control of your own destiny. Not only did this allow you to meet up with people you may never thought you would ever ride with but discover new towns and places you would probably never stumble upon. “Not all who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien. The first day of the two day run was an absolute blast. Being able to reunite with so many East Coast friends I had met from last year’s run was so overwhelming and amazing. Hugs coming from everyone and catching up on how everyone’s life has changed since the last time I saw them. Seeing their latest mods, paint and creations on their bikes is always a real treat for me too. The sun was shining and the weather was perfect, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. After the main group took off from the starting point at Cool Beans coffee shop, Kat (my wife) and I decided to hang back and ride with the Philly and Brooklyn kids. Bikes of all different styles were with us, Ducati, FXR, to the brand new Harley 450 watercooled bike, and even little 250 Savages. It was a band of misfits for sure and just how I like it. I love choppers more than anything else in the world but it’s awesome to see people ride whatever they can afford or actually want to ride.

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Everyone’s bikes ran great and we had no real hiccups along the way to the campground. We shot straight there to get prime spots for our tents and some wanted the lean to type sheds that were facing the Delaware River. It was first come, first serve on those. Even with shooting straight to the campground, we managed to ride a good 6 hours or more. We stopped at a place on the way called the “Hawk’s Nest” which had an amazing overlook of the Delaware River and on a great curvy road. There were a lot of rock formations across the road you could climb on and see the view even better. Sometimes, the best therapy, next to riding, is to sit back and drink it all in. It really puts life into perspective on how small and insignificant you are to this massive world we live in. From that vantage point I felt like I could see trees and the skyline go on forever. It was truly breathtaking. Kat and I did a little exploring on our own later in the day after setting up camp. It’s nice to just ride next to her sometimes with no one else. I can put the camera down and just relax. Taking in the scenery and smiling at each other about dumb little things we see. We found a few amazing bridges and some old abandoned structures, that looked to be houses or businesses from the 1700’s. After the cold started setting in we returned back to camp and partied the night away, well knowing we had to be up early to ride with the main group in the morning.

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I have never ridden in so much rain in all my life until that second day of The Gypsy Run. The main group headed off around 10 am and we made it to the lunch spot around 1 pm and probably did around 45 miles. The short trip felt way longer than it actually was. The roads were phenomenal and I could only imagine what they would have been like to fly on them but with the rain pouring down and visibility near zero, all we could do was take it easy and follow red and yellow tail lights aimlessly around curves. A few times I thought I was going off the road, 90 degree hairpin turns at 35 and your brakes not wanting to slow down as you’re hydroplaning. Some of the scariest riding I have done. People fell out of the group like flies, too much water being sucked up in to people’s carbs and o t h e r s unable to see any longer. At the lunch spot, cold, soaking wet, hung-over, and tired Kat and I decided to make the trip back to camp and take a nap. We woke to a very damp campsite and to see everyone else had the exact same plan as us. The rest of the day consisted of drinking and storytelling about how everyone’s ride went in the massive rain. Clothes were hanging on tent lines and off bikes near the fires that were sort of burning. You could tell everyone was over being wet but no one complained, they were all ready to party one last night before having to make their final trek home.

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Awards were giving out and mini bike races lifted everyone’s spirits, the party was in full swing and it couldn’t have gone any better. Walter announced there is only going to be two more Gypsy Runs ever. As he stood in front of everyone during the award ceremony he called out, “10 years is a good life span to something and it will be time to move on and do something else”. If you have never been on the Gypsy Run you have two more years to experience it. If you miss out I will say you are missing one of the best runs you could possibly go on. New York has some of the prettiest riding this country has to offer and the people on the East Coast are all stand up, 100% genuine and real. There are no judgments, just good times to be had. It’s not about what you ride it’s how you ride it and that’s the love and comradery the Gypsy Run has. Thank you again Walter for giving me and the wife an excuse to come out to the East Coast and experience life through adventure and wandering. “If the Gypsy Run was easy, it would be your mom!” For more info on gypsy run visit www. gypsyrun.com or www.Kickstartcycle.com www.foreverthechoaslife.com IG: @ mikeyrevolt

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