Tag Archives: boardwalk

Sunday Fun Day: Ice Cream down the Jersey Shore

Perfect weather today for a little trip down the Jersey Shore for some ice cream! Of course besides my friend Bill and I, everyone else in Northern New Jersey and Southern New York had the same idea… the traffic was atrocious. Everywhere, all the time. But we followed through with it and had a great time hanging out and sampling some delicious ice cream from Charlie’s Creamery in Seaside Park, New Jersey

Originally my plans for this weekend were to volunteer with Team Pocono for the Indycar race at the tricky triangle. Unfortunately for me they did not invite me back. So I had the weekend free to have other fun in the Miata.

We met up at Cheesequake Service Area on the Garden State Parkway. I expected some traffic along the way, and there was some… lots of volume of cars on the road heading south. But when it came time to cross the bridge in Perth Amboy it was just bumper to bumper, it took me half an hour to cover 95% of my trip, and another twenty minutes to go the last two miles to the service area.

Bill was already waiting…

My plan was to continue south on the Parkway until Seaside Heights, visit one creamery and then work our way back up Ocean Avenue to the second creamery in Asbury Park before heading home. But because of traffic that plan was scrapped. So instead of getting back on the GPS, we took the local route, 35 in South Amboy towards Hazlet and Atlantic Highlands.

First stop was at the Navesink Twin Lighthouse park where the skies were so clear you could really see Manhattan and Brooklyn in the distance… no haze or humidity at all.

Part of the big backup on Route 35 before hitting the Ocean was the fact that Sandy Hook had filled up to max capacity. Everyone was waiting in line just to find out the park was closed and then sat around weighing in their other beach options.

The traffic further down the shore wasn’t any better. With pedestrian crossings every few hundred feet, most of the way we were going less than 20mph.

Hey I spotted a Holden Commodore!

The famous Windmill hot dog place…

Lots of cool cars out and about today… the weirdest thing about this Ferrari was a strong smell of burning plastic. We only followed it for a few miles at relatively low speed, but the bad smell coming off this thing was scary!

Gas prices down the shore were all over the board. It varied almost 50 cents between stations for the same grade of fuel. For whatever reason this Mobil was only $2.77 for 93 premium. Surprising!

The further south we went the less the bad the traffic got. As soon as we cleared all the towns with Boardwalks along the way, the pedestrians were less and less of an issue. And the traffic sped up. Obviously! It was a good opportunity to scout beaches to take the family to in the future.

Tons of people at the beach!

And we finally arrived… 2pm ice cream breakfast! Got a parking spot right in front of the joint…. one NJ.com highly recommended as one of the best ice cream parlors down the Jersey Shore!

Luckily the ice cream was very tasty! But since we lost a ton of time driving down here we scrapped the idea of following Ocean Ave back up… instead opting to go directly back to the Parkway and fighting the traffic there. The road was busy but not as much as it would be a few hours later when all the beach goers packed up and headed home.

It was an awesome, nearly 200 mile and $30 in fuel trip, just to get a $5.25 ice cream…

Post Race Photo Gallery from the Red Bull GRC in Atlantic City

The Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City rounds 8 and 9 were everything they were cracked up to be and then some. It was my first time participating in a professional Rallycross event even though I have gotten a small taste of it at NJMP a few years ago with Rally America… but nothing could have really prepared me for what took place over the weekend. Not even Ken Block doing some Gymkhana at the opening round of V8 Supercars at Clipsal 500 in Australia, where I got to see him fling a similar Ford Focus WRC around a street course.

The sounds. The noise. The sights. The dust. The close racing. The banging and smashing of cars fighting for the same piece of tarmac. It was amazing. And I got to experience it from a very special spot where the asphalt turned into a sandy path around a 180 degree turn. It was fantastic and I’m a huge fan of GRC now.

But nobody really cares about my opinion of how cool marshaling is, people care about cars and racing, and celebrity drivers. So here’s some pix post-race. From parc ferme. The scrutineering. Post race inspection of the winning cars. Both of Supercars and Supercar Lites. It was amazing and I hope I get another chance to work this awesome event, wherever that may be!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Special thanks to Chris for driving down to use my guest passes and to spectate, and of course take some pix for me after the race. Always nice to have a photographer on hand!

The rest of my pix were selfies. I got to work Turn 2 with awesome views of the Atlantic City skyline across the intercoastal waterway. The water got pretty busy on Sunday with a ton of boats, paddle boarders and jet skiers stopping by to watch the racing. Saturday though we had stormy and wet weather. At one point we were pulled off station because of lightning in the area.

Next day it was a different story, very sunny and dry… which of course meant massive dust clouds.

I found myself using two bandanas, both to protect my face and neck from sunburn but also to shield myself from getting sandblasted. I was only feet away from flying cars, going sideways into a corner.

Some of the dust clouds made it in on the inside of my glasses.

My area of responsibility…

They fed us well, and of course there was plenty of Red Bull on offer.

First TRUMP nuked Atlantic City, and now he’s working on a bigger picture… SAD!

On the way back North, Chris and I hit a local seafood place for some dinner… it was awful! The $15 ceviche appetizer turned out to be a plate full of cooked shrimp with some tostitos salsa in the middle. Ugh! That was probably the only downer of the weekend.

But I have nothing but praise for the Red Bull GRC event, and again I’d love to work another one of their races somewhere in the future!

Red Bull GRC Driver’s Parade on the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk

The coolest part of the whole Red Bull GRC Atlantic City weekend for me, was the driver’s parade along the Boardwalk.

Why was it so cool?

In my opinion any time the series takes it’s presence, the cars, the drivers, the ambiance out in the public and brings the show to the ordinary people… that I think is the best thing they can do to promote the sport. And I commend the Red Bull GRC folks for organizing their driver’s parade right in the heart of AC, the place where everybody goes… the Boardwalk!

Naturally, I took a million pix…

Team Red Bull Honda getting ready to leave the paddock on Bader Field for the driver’s parade on the Boardwalk.

I rushed out and found a nice parking spot a block from the Kennedy Plaza where the teams were to have an autograph session.

The Boardwalk to me brings a lot of memories. My family and I used to go to Atlantic City a lot. Especially in the summer time… back when my father had a mild gambling problem, and we all joined him to go out on the boardwalk for a slice of pizza, and some go-cart racing on the Steel pier. I got my first speeding ticket just outside of AC where the Parkway meets the Atlantic City Expressway. Good times… Although the current state of the city, and it’s major attraction is a bit sad. This place used to be packed, super crowded… and now, even the seagulls left (they used to swoop down and terrorize unsuspecting tourists, with food in their hands). But it is what it is. And I’m glad the Red Bull GRC is breathing a little life into this city. It’s worth pointing out that according to a local cop working security detail for this event, all casinos remain open except those that used to display TRUMP on their buildings. Go figure…

And then the crowds swooped in…

If the background looks familiar, you may have seen it on TV not that many moons ago… it was the venue for the Miss America pageant…

I love the fact that teams allowed spectators, especially kids, to climb in their cars and get a closer look. Get the fans involved!

There’s that 600+hp turbo east of an engine…

At most Motorsport events I focus so much on the venue and the racing I forget to check out the surrounding area. The main attraction of Atlantic City in the summer time of course is it’s beach… and while I didn’t get a chance to go for a swim, it was nice to at least walk by the water at sunset.

and take some selfies…

During the autograph session the first 100 patrons received weekend guest passes for the race along with other prizes from teams and the series. That was really neat! (and probably propped up the numbers in attendance for the weekend)

And as the sun set, it was time to get back to the paddock.

Fin

Registered for Red Bull Global RallyCross at Bader Field Atlantic City, New Jersey in August

I just registered for an event I sort of knew about but put on a backburner for so long I realized that I don’t know anything about it. And so after significant research about both the series and the venue, I decided I must take part in it as a marshal.

The series: Red Bull Global RallyCross or GRC

The venue: Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey

This event will take place in early August on the same weekend as the NASCAR Xfinity Series Race at Mid-Ohio… so suffice to say I will not be driving all day to Ohio when I can go to South Jersey in just under three hours (or more since everyone will be heading down the Jersey Shore during the summer…)

What is it? I suspect it is a lot like Rally America event I participated in years ago at NJMP (which is also in South Jersey about half an hour away from Atlantic City). The cars will race part on asphalt and part on dirt. What’s different is that at GRC there will be more cars, I understand up to 10 cars at once. And there will be massive jumps involved. And having worked a number of races with the Robbie Gordon Stadium Super Trucks… it’s a no brainer that anything involving cars and high jumps brings the fucking crowds and makes them go wild. Mix in a little Red Bull and everyone acts like they got wings! … or so I speculate. Here’s an official promo video, which seems to put a ton of emphasis on the crashes:

I’ve been to Atlantic City a million times. Back in high school my dad had a gambling problem and I’d drive him there once a week it seems to feed the addiction. He’d lose money and I’d hang out on the Boardwalk. When the rest of the family would come down we’d go to the piers for Go Karts and everyone would have a jovial time. When I got a bit older I started going down to Atlantic City for conventions at one of the many Casino’s. It has been years since I’ve gone back and I am fully aware that the city has gone through major financial woes. But it is still a city on the ocean, with a beach, Boardwalk, and attractions for people to come from all over the area during the summer months. There’s a direct rail link with Philadelphia and so this GRC event will probably be packed.

(as an aside, Bader Field is an old decommissioned Atlantic City Municipal Airport with both air and seaport capabilities, that more recently hosted a minor league baseball team, a bunch of concerts and plays as home to South Jersey SCCA rallycross venue in the summer months according to Wikipedia hmmm!)

From the races I’ve seen posted about on Facebook the events are as popular as MotoGP or many Formula Drift events. Red Bull is involved so it’s hip as hell… And with personalities like Tanner Foust involved and Scott Speed, there’s the celebrity factor too. I am especially interested in seeing the Ford Fiesta ST looking things err… Supercars compete with all the VeeDubb equivalents and Subi’s.

I’ll share a spotter guide once it becomes available. It seems the series is completely on top of things doing great marketing for their events down to the important things (like the spotter guides for the fans)… which I applaud them for! Great job…

I also understand there are still spots open for marshals in case anyone else in the area is interested. The event is paid apparently and a hotel room is provided. (or so I hope)

Looking forward to it!