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Old 04-11-2013, 05:14 PM   #16
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Glad you got out for a ride,,, Airheads love the cool air!
I've come across a few rolling roadblocks too,,, and as you say,,, sometimes they hold you back just enough to avoid a problem. When I come up on one and get a little antsy,,, I remember that and back off a little and enjoy the ride.
Oh BTW,,, up here in the northern part of the state,,, Potter County is God's Country!
The world is a book, those who don't travel, read but a single page

'81 R100RT, '04 ST 1300, '02 DR 650
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:38 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by scootac View Post
Oh BTW,,, up here in the northern part of the state,,, Potter County is God's Country!
Yeah, I hear ya. Most of PA, really. What a great place to ride a motorcycle.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:20 AM   #18
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April 16

With most of the week off work, I knew I was gonna do some riding. Time to clock some miles. I'd gotten out with a buddy yesterday for a sweet little jaunt of about 74 miles, but today it was time to really roll it on. With a minor threat of rain, I began the day slowly, drinking coffee (our last at the house) and having a small breakfast. It did sprinkle for a minute as I was gearing up, so I decided I'd ride the 93 R100RS instead of taking out the K1200. Not sure how it happened but the newer bikes are FAR less "weatherproof" than the older BMWs. Anyway, it was only a 20% chance of showers... with an 80% chance of fair weather, I took off. I admit, I kinda loaded the bus- took anything and everything I had by way of rain=proof riding gear- virtually guaranteeing a nice day out!

First order of business, head up to Linglestown PA from the house (in Lemoyne) to see my man Geoff at St Thomas Coffee Roasters, to replenish the stash of fresh roasted Organic coffee beans. Crossing the Mighty Susquehanna River, I thought "what the heck." and pulled off on City Island to get some shots of the bridges and stuff. There are 7 bridges total spanning the Great River in Harrisburg, from I-81 on the north end, down to I-83 on the south end.

Riding thru the city, I stopped again to get a couple more shots, deciding formally to take lots of pix today, for a full-on RR. Not much happening here... must'a been just prior to lunch.

Here's our State Capitol Building

It's actually really beautiful.

I cut thru the city and jumped on I-81 for a quickie hop up to Linglestown. The small burg is distinct for having not one, but TWO round-a-bouts.

These are pretty rare in South Central PA- but PENNDOT is doing studies and looking to add more & more of them in the future around PA.

Now, stopping at the Coffee roaster's...
Geoff is such a nice guy- Here he is, seeing a little old lady into her car!

And some shots from inside- the roaster, etc.

Yep. The Mother Lode!

Riding out of Linglestown, I headed down towards the river, thinking I'd head basically west today. Popped onto US 322 W and ran up to Dauphin.

I rode down to the river to get some shots. Here's Stony Creek, where it merges with the Susquehanna.

Here's one of our primary local Landmarks- a 25 foot tall, 4 ton mock-up of the Statue Of Liberty- Lady Liberty On The Susquehanna.

She sits atop an old bridge pier from way back- WITH permission from the pier's owners. I actually helped put her there. This shiny "new" statue replaced the original. This one went up in 1996 or so... it got there via helicopter. The old one fell over in a storm. It was made of a heavy base, a 16' 4X4, some expanding foam, and venetian blinds. This one is MUCH sturdier- solid plywood with a fiberglass outer shell. The original got out there when these crazy guys I know snuck her up in a sort of "technical assault" on the pier under the cover of darkness- about 0300 hours one morning back in the late 80s. She kinda became an instant hit, and the NBC, or CBS guy who replaced Charles Curralt did a piece on her one night a couple years ago on the National news!

Here's the old Gazebo/Bandstand in Dauphin's town center. Love the detail.

From here, I rode upriver, once again hopping on US 322 W to hurry up, getting off in Duncannon and crossing the Juniata to ride PA 849 up to Newport. Here's a couple shots from high on a hill top, along 849- a really great road. Looking basically West:

Here's some shots from Newport, of the4 old steel bridge over the Juniata River. The bridge has one of those old steel grates as the road surface. These are slowly being replaced throughout PA. This bridge is the longest I know of with this type of surface.

Down river:

Up river:

Everyone's spoofing on Harrisburg's Mayor, Linda Thompson- she recently made some remark about Perry County "scumbags" messing up her town... or some such. She has a real knack for opening her mouth wide enough to get both feet into. She ain't the sharpest blade in the drawer.

Rolling out of Newport, I wanted to ride Middle Ridge Road down towards Ickesburg. This is a fantastic road that runs the entire length of a high ridge. I guess it more less runs E-W, and it's maybe 10-12 miles long. Superb, with views off both sides. Looking North (ish)

I got over to Ickesburg, and headed north on PA 74- I'd just ridden it coming the other way, and some pix are to be seen above. I knew I was gonna head west on PA rte 75, I wanted to go out all the way to Fort Loudon, and ride up US 30 to the top of the mountain and have a beer. From where 74 hits 75, it's about 10 miles (+/-) west of Port Royal, on the Juniata, and a whopping 59 or so miles out to the end of the massive valley that 75 runs down thru. There's just nobody here, ever. In general, traffic is so light around Central PA that it really makes for pleasant riding!

This is deep Amish country. I passed several buggies. I always wave to them. The younger girls and kids will always wave, the young boys giving enthusiastic responses to seeing the bike, but the old folks always just glower. Oh well, I wave anyway! At one point today, I even saw an Amish guy plowing his field- he had a team of 6 massive mules pulling his plow! It really isn't polite to be all stopping to take pix of these folks. I used to keep my camera in my hand as I rode, but not so much any more. If a chance for a pic presents itself when I'm stopped, then OK. No such luck today tho. I eventually made my way all the way down to Fort Loudon. I saw a clock along the way saying it was 3:30, so getting on in the day. The sun was coming out tho! YAY!

I turned right onto US rte 30- The Lincoln Highway, and headed up the mountain to the Mountain House Bar... Wasn't nobody there except the bartender, and a couple guys having a beer after work. Man, on a summer Saturday or Sunday, this place is PACKED with bikes and bikers... Not so much today, tho.

I sat out on the deck with those couple guys, and enjoyed a Shiner Bock beer. They were mostly talkin about snakes (copperheads) and sharks. Kinda refreshing compared to your typical chit chat about deer huntin and trout fishin... They busted on outta there, and so did I.

Think they'll bless a BMW?

Heading back down the mountain, I decided to ride thru Chambersburg. Here's a shot off 30, looking more or less east:

My idea originally was to hotshot out across the Great Cumberland Valley on US 30, and break off on PA rte 233 towards home (ish). Coming into Chambersburg, however, I recalled several years back, when I'd had a micro brew from this town. Back then, the guy was brewing beer in his basement, or garage. At the edge of town, I hopped off the bike and did a quickie Google search- turning up the Roy-Pitz Brewery! Nothing for it, then, other than to pop by for an ale. It was superb! They've only just now opened up a "bar", and eventually will sell food, local wines, and everything. I had a red ale and a blonde.

Definitely must get back there some summer's afternoon. For anyone who's into it, get off I-81 south at US 30, and turn right at the bottom of the ramp, heading into Chambersburg. Look for Third St, and turn right. Go about a block, and Third will bear right at a stop sign. Go straight thru into a kind of alley, and look for the big brick building pretty much dead ahead. Third St parallels US 11.

By now, it was getting to be too late to be taking the really scenic route I'd envisioned... So I hopped on 81 Northbound for a ways, getting off the King St exit, at Shippensburg- to ride 174 down to Boiling Springs.

Stopped at Boiling Springs to get a couple pix...

Trout & ducks in the lake

The lake

one of the springs feeding the lake...

AND the world famous Boiling Springs Tavern (NO- I did NOT stop for another beer!)

If you're ever in Boiling Springs, pop into the tavern and tell the bartender Micheal, I said hello. Have a crabcake sandwich. a cup of The Bisque, and a Stoudt's on draft. The place has been there forever, and it has kind of grown up along with all of us, I suppose... It's come a mighty long way from an old honky tonk with a dirt parking lot to the place it is today. Anyway, that's pretty much it for today's ride... I rode just darn near 200 miles. Hope y'all enjoy the RR and pix! Look for more RRs here from my exploits in Central PA!
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:42 AM   #19
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Nice pics and write up Tom! I was up in Hanover, PA last week. I always love going there as Pennsylvania is beautiful. Last week I still had the beautiful view, but the manure smell was horrendous driving through the country. Oh, and I hit three roundabouts in Maryland just before hitting the Pennsylvania border. Maybe MDOT has infiltrated PennDOT...
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:01 AM   #20
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Maryland has some great riding too. Sometimes I ride down thru Michaux State Forest towards the Cacoctin Mtn/Frederick area. One of those roads takes you right past Camp David. Sweet riding. Also, in the fall, there's a vintage meet down near frederick. I've been to that, and will likely attend some other time.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:51 AM   #21
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Where was this taken?

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Old 04-22-2013, 11:02 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by spice174gs View Post
Where was this taken?

This pic was taken at the top of the ridge on PA rte 274 north of Blain PA.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:01 AM   #23
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Nice pics, makes me want to visit PA.
If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got. ... A desert rat explores the south.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:13 AM   #24
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Wonderful RR! Thanks for taking us along. The pictures of Harrisburg remind me of my travels between Washington, DC and Pocono raceway back in the mid-1980's. I used to race a Yamaha RZ350 back then and raced (occasionally) at Pocono and Harrisburg was the half-way point. I usually passed through in the evening and Harrisburg looked beautiful as one approached at night.

Anyway, thanks for the great photos...I need to get back up that way again some time .

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Old 04-29-2013, 12:23 PM   #25
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Glad you guys enjoyed it. Pennsylvania is a great place to ride motorcycles of any type. SO many great roads, trails, fire roads, etc.- and just nobody here.

I got my 74 Norton dialed in, so look for some pix of me riding it around...
4 out of 5 bikes are now officially on the road!
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:26 PM   #26
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Took the ol '88 K100 out today, and just kinda noodled around for a bit.

I actually tried to sell this bike last year- and only had a couple lowball offers, SO I decided to just keep it. What a bike!

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Old 05-07-2013, 07:15 AM   #27
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Had my Norton up to NYC for some work recently.... Seems the lay shaft bearing was a bit dodgy... but when they got into it, they found the bearing had been replaced, but the bushes and other things were knackered. Here, the shaft had just been wobbling about in there, and everything was all tore up!

My buddy Hugh did the job- his shop in New York- Sixth Street Specials is as historic and cool as the bikes he owns, rides, races (flat track), and works on...
Hugh is a long time NYC motorcyclist- even used to hang out with Indian Larry and that bunch. He has some stories about riding about the city that are really fascinating. One GREAT guy! There are usually one or two interesting characters hanging about the place... and eye candy of various sorts...

Since then, I've been pooping about on the Norton- doing shorty rides about the local area, but today I had some time, and thought I'd venture further from home.

I decided to ride south(ish) and crossed the valley, riding as I often do, along the Yellow Breeches creek.

Along the way, I stopped to take a pic of a sign I've always liked:

Can you really take a bunch of fucking clowns seriously?

Still trout season out here, and folks are out fishin'...

Took the above shot off a railroad bridge. The track cuts out across the Great Cumberland Valley, rolling through pure farm country.

Before I got up into the mountain, I realised I hadn't eaten much all day, so I stopped for a bite...

I pretty much had the road to myself- not much traffic out on this leg of the ride, which was nice- I could pick my speed. I picked fast. Stopped at Laurel Lake and sure enough, there was a guy fishing... did I mention it's Trout Season?

It's really beautiful around here right now- all the leaves are popping, and anything that might be in bloom, is. Dogwoods, redbud, forsythia, buttercups, wildflowers of various types... amazing.

The bike still isn't running perfectly- it's a bit choppy- after I got home, I cleaned the fuel filter, and the air filter, and emptied the float bowl... took it around the block a couple times- still choppy. Better, but not perfect.
Just the same, it was nice to be out. I have 4 of 5 bikes legal and running right now. And I've pretty much been riding them all, so look for more pix n stuff from my local exploits.


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Old 05-13-2013, 01:45 PM   #28
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Sunday 5/12/13

I had some time today and wanted to stretch out a bit- so I hopped on the good ol R100RS for a short spin. Only got one shot with my phone, so thought I'd share it:

As I said, a quickie 70+ miles. Then I went home and hopped on the K1200 for another trip around another block, taking pix the whole way.
Many of my rides begin by heading upriver, along the Mighty Susquehanna. Tho there are So many creeks around here (I read somewhere once that PA has over 5K miles of canoe-able rivers & creeks), the big River is THE primary "water feature". I find it fascinating, enchanting, etc. I never tire of the Susquehanna. It's amazing.

Living here in the central transportation hub of the American East Coast has its ups & downs. Fer example some guy flipped his tanker truck on a major overpass Thursday AM- shutting down I-81, dumping fuel into a nearby lake/wetlands, and burning the bridge to a crisp and causing a MAJOR re-routing of area traffic- creating jams and gridlock for many miles around, still affecting us days later. In fact, the bridge is being torn down and rebuilt. It was heavily damaged in the fire, so demolition and reconstruction began right away. This issue is gonna be ongoing for months. Ugh. About the only GOOD thing was the driver wasn't badly hurt- apparently he got out with only minor injuries. So terrible, but not tragic.

BUT on the "up" side of things are the Trains! As it turns out, there's an overlook on a bridge above the local train yard. Who doesn't love trains? Folks come from far & wide to video trains around here. Train songs have been written and sung by a great many artists. Trains are embedded in our culture and awareness, and of course that melancholy sound of the train whistle blowin' strikes a chord within just darn near everyone.

Continuing on upriver, I stopped to get some shots of the river, and the famous Rockville Bridge.

Here's a Black Crowned Night Heron sitting on a rock.

Here you can see the bridge stretching across the river.

Moving on, I stopped to get a pic or two of the Marysville "Subway"- a tunnel under US routes 11/15, and the railroad tracks.

Riding west out PA rte 850, I enjoyed the big sweepers but chose to head over to see another bridge- a much smaller wooden, covered bridge. Like an old friend, the Dellville Bridge is always there. It's no longer used as the primary crossing across Sherman's Creek, but they've preserved it for all to enjoy. The shiny new bridge crosses just beside the cool old covered bridge. I turned off 850 and rode up over the ridge.

The bridge is like so many others in the local area- with long arches made of huge timbers.

Now that the bridge is out of actual road use, it seems kids have taken to hanging out there, and what kid can resist the urge to express themselves with spray paint or chalk?

By now I'd worked up a thirst, and was hungry anyway- so off to Duncannon and the Doyle Hotel. Here, they always have some local beers on tap, and a decent selection of bottled microbrews as well. The place is owned by some folks who have a tradition of catering to thru hikers on the nearby Appalachain Trail- so often in summer, there are interesting characters from all over the world hanging out here. The owners are a bit... um... eccentric. The funky ambiance reflects their freaky nature. The food is always good, and they have home cooked specials, as well as your typical bar food- chicken wings and whatnot. I ordered a Troegs Perpetual IPA right away, as I pondered the choices for a bite.

I enjoyed my beer, ate some soup and had some wings, and hopped back on the bike for the ride downriver on US 11/15. I'm not exactly all work & no play... today, I chose to play FIRST. Eventually, I HAD to get the grass mowed, so that's what I did as the day wound down... I'll spare y'all pix of THAT!

Thanx for ridin' along!
Keep the shiny side up now, y'hear?

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Old 06-11-2013, 09:30 AM   #29
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Had some time off today, and hadn't done much riding since returning from our trip South, so...
Fired up the K100 and headed North- for a change. I really wanted to get up to Milheim, PA- to have a beer and lunch at the Elk Creek Cafe. HOWEVER, they are closed on Tuesdays. Tho I did ride up PA 325 (one of my favorite local roads), I didn't go as far up as Penn's Valley, turning left onto US 522, a stretch of it I hadn't ridden before.

First, I buffed up the K a bit, scrubbing off the the grunge from riding in foul weather on our trip to Western NC and back... She ain't a real beauty queen, but does clean up OK- she's like an older former super model- The faster she goes by, the younger she looks!

Anyway, I rode straight up river along 11/15, turning of at Liverpool onto PA 17.

Couple miles up the road is PA 325, where I turned right and headed out into the countryside. Didn't stop at all until I got to this church, where I got off to stretch a little.

It was a really great day!

Anyone who knows PA, knows there's lots of farming going on here. It not only makes for some wonderful views, I enjoy seeing all the equipment, the farms dotting the valleys, and the old barns. Here is a really nice vista looking more or less West- just off PA 35 & 325:

It amazes me what folks are willing to leave laying about. Here's a guy who not only has a bunch of junk- he has it all lined up so folks can SEE it all! With the big car shows being nearby -at Carlisle & Hershey- I bet people are stopping to try to buy some of these all the time. Since these have been here for years, pretty sure he ain't sellin'- just showing off, maybe? Who knows, but it makes for nice pictures.

Got his old junk house sitting here empty, too... Looks like the rhododendron bloom is about done here...

The light was fantastic, and the flowers looked great against the old wood... Sadly, I only had my phone along- please excuse the crappy iPhone pix!

Stopped a little farther up the road to take a minute in the woods...

This little trickle was drying up... There was a native trout trapped in one of the small pools there.

Out on 522, I was back to riding [West] down one of the impossibly long valleys in PA's Ridge & Valley region... at least that's what I call it. Further north, the mountains are more solid, further south, it's the Great Cumberland Valley (extension of the Shenandoah?) but in the middle part of Pennsylvania, there are a series of long ridges separated by awesome valleys that run for miles. And miles. E-W, you're up & down the valleys, N-S, it's over a ridge, cross a valley, back over another ridge, into another valley.... etc.

I rode 522 for quite a way, until I crossed US 322- where I found myself riding on a major section of the road- Looking out south, I saw the mountain, and knew the Juniata River was down there, too. Since I could see farms along the base of the ridge from my high vantage, I figured I could get down there and follow the ridge. I had no idea where I was going however, so eventually wound up back out on 522- but after it had choked back down to a two-lane. Meanwhile, I had a sweet little meander out in the boondocks.

I gassed up at one point along the way, and asked a local old timer if there was a hard road crossing the ridge nearby. Nope- I had to go all the way down 522 to Shade Gap, to get around the ridge, before I could cut back East & South towards home. Since I was on open two lane highway, I wasn't sweating it too much, and rolled along quickly in traffic, finally turning left to cross the Juinata.

Hopped back on the bike and went about a mile or so- and came up under this great railroad bridge over the river.

Finally, I made a left onto PA 641, heading back towards home- more or less. 641 intersects with PA 75, a couple ridges down- after also intersection PA 35- the next valley road South, which I couldn't get onto off of 522. There are lots of Amish folks who live in the big valley along PA 75. I sat at the store at 641 & 75, having a drink & a snack, watching the Amish World roll by. These particular Amish are fairly affluent- not like the top-o-the-heap Amish down around Lancaster County, but more so than the [so-called?] Nebraskan Amish up in Center County.

In the foreground of the photo below, you can see what Amish "motors" leak... I have bikes that leak oil, the horses leak.. well, YOU know.

All the local stores and whatnot here in Amish Country have hitching posts and parking lots, catering to all the customers...

A couple boys were commandeering this rig, toting a gas stove along. The Amish Culture does not use electricity, but they do use Propane for lighting and cooking purposes.

Riding back towards home after this stop, I went my typical route- PA 75 down to 274, over the ridge and down to 850, and rode along 850 back to the Susquehanna, then downriver to the house.

All in all, I'd had about a 200 mile ride. Thanks for riding along!

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Old 06-11-2013, 11:12 AM   #30
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I've really been enjoying your RR. I live in Philadelphia and went to school up in state college so I am pretty familiar with your stomping ground.

I have a quick question though that hopefully you will be able to answer for me. Myself and a couple of friends are considering playing hooky on friday and riding out for an overnight camping trip. We are looking in every direction from philadelphia - but after reading your thread I am now leaning west.

Can you recommend any good quiet (ideally scenic) campgrounds in that area? Perhaps even slightly east of Harrisburg? State parks are not interesting because (while we are all adults) there will be some beers consumed around the campfire.

Any recommendations would be appreciated. On a final note - you have some beautiful bikes.
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