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Old 10-18-2013, 09:20 AM   #1
raz65man OP
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My first long distance adventure

In preparation for my trip across the US in a couple of years I decided I needed to get a few long distance rides under my belt. The objective was to see what works and what doesn't as far as gear & my own personal limits. It ended up being a little over 2500 miles and is my longest adventure thus far. A lot of what I did came from all of you as I read a lot of the ride reports and gear threads and took what I thought would work for me. In short the trip was awesome and I had nothing but minor hiccups that didn't even slow me down! Now on to the good stuff!
Day 1: Nothing like hitting the road at dawn on a beautiful morning!
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Day one- superslab from Lynchburg, VA to Allentown, PA
Day two- superslab from Allentown, PA to Exeter, RI( the first 150 miles tested my rain gear)
I headed up to Rhode Island to visit my daughter at URI and the guys at Twisted Throttle were nice enough to let me camp behind thier shop. Pulled into Twisted Throttle around lunch time and set up camp.
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This was my first chance to use the tent space map and there are not enough good things to say about it. If you don't at least try to use it then you are the one missing out. I guarantee you won't meet better people that are willing to bend over backwards to help.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:42 AM   #2
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After setting up camp I headed over to URI campus for a visit and to plan Saturdays adventure for the two of us. We planned a morning trip to Block Island via ferry but unfortunately mother nature decided to let it rain Saturday morning. Rain stopped around 9 am and we decided to just go exploring on the bike. I got a lot of great pictures![IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]
A late lunch at Mews Tavern and then we headed back out on the bike and road around until dark. I dropped her off at her dorm and I headed back to prepare for Sunday mornings departure.
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:32 AM   #3
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
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Day 4:
Woke up to rain Sunday morning and managed to use the covered patio to wipe everything down and packed back on the bike. Because of this I decided to super slab it to my next destination Port Jervis, NY. There I picked up route 6, the road that will take me all the way across PA. After crossing into PA the rain decided to stop though it still was overcast & gloomy.
Looking to warm up a bit and fill my growling stomach I stopped in Milford, PA to grab a bite to eat. From this point on I made it a point to support local establishments refusing to eat at any national chain fast food places.
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Finished up lunch and texted fellow ADV forum member mrxinpa to let him know I would be arriving around 3:30 or so. When I arrived, Jeff and his family treated me like a king, helping me relax and get rested up for the next day of riding.[IMG][/IMG]
Day 5:
Up at dawn and on the road a little after 7, the sky's were still overcast and threatening rain. I back tracked to Milford in order to pick up route 6 where I left off the day before. I hit a few light showers up through Scranton but then things dried out for awhile. I had planned on stopping in Scranton at the Steamtown National Historic Site but thanks to our worthless elected officials that was nixed. So I made a quick fuel stop and got back on route 6 hoping to make Towanda, PA before the nasty storm front came rolling through. Pulled in to fuel up just as the rain started to fall so I ate lunch and made my obligatory texts & phone calls to let my family know I was still alive. Antsy to get back on the road I only waited for the worst of the storms to pass before I was headed down the road. In less than 40 miles I was in the clear (literally) and the roads were completely dry by the time I ventured off route 6 again in the town of Galeton to head south, deep into the mountains of PA. Because of the rain I was expecting, I didn't get any pictures because I had my cameras packed away to keep them dry. Hindsight always being 20/20 I will now leave out my GoPro as it functions just as well as a cell phone camera.
With more daylight left than expected I changed my destination to Sinnemahoning State Park as I knew there was a hotel at the dam that would give me the opportunity to dry out some of my gear. You can take my man card from me if you want, but I hate putting on wet/damp/cold gear before the ride even starts. I made it there in time to catch the last 2 innings of the Pirates/Cards game while I enjoyed a couple/7 Captian & cokes and unwound from the days ride.[IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:20 PM   #5
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Visiting your daughter at college brought back wonderful memories. Thanks!
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:46 AM   #6
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Day 6:
Up bright & early I decided to explore some of my old stomping grounds that I enjoyed on my summer vacations. My parents had a hunting cabin just am few miles up the road and for a few weeks every summer I did nothing but explore these mountains on foot & two wheels(YZ-80). First stop was the dam and for some reason it is much smaller than I remember, then again, it has probably shrunk in the last 30 years since I was there.
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A lot of things had changed over the years but it was all still familiar. From the dam I headed up the lower park road along the river in search of our old cabin. Again my memory played tricks on me as I almost passed it. It seemed like a couple mile walk to the dam when I was a kid. I had to lock up my brakes at 3/4 of a mile as I made it out through the fog.

Staying on the park road I decided to stop at 40 Maples picnic area. Caught many a fish out of the river here and the memories of picnic lunches and fishing with my family flooded my head.

At the end of the lower park road just past the campground there was a newly constructed wildlife center which I decided to stop in and check it out. I was amazed at the interactive displays and the architecture of the building. What was planned as a quick stop to warm up and use the facilities turned into 1 1/2 hours as I found myself lost in conversation to the director of the facility.
Back in the saddle and headed north on some great back mountain roads to pick up route 6 just where I left off. Half way there I stopped to take a few pics just past Cherry Springs State park. You can actually rent an observatory for the night to gaze at the stars. It is ranked as one of the top places for star gazing on the east coast due to its remote location away from any cities that are lighted up at night. (not my picture of the domes)
Once back on rt 6 I was headed for Bradford, PA and the Zippo museum after a quick stop in Port Allegheny for gas & grub.


Looking at the time after coming out of the Zippo museum I decided to make one more stop before heading to Chapman State park to camp for the night. Kinzua Bridge State Park was just 13 miles as the crow flies but a 27 mile route to get there. It was well worth the ride and makes you appreciate the forces of mother nature.
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:14 PM   #7
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Day 7:
Up at 5:30 am to 38 degrees and foggy conditions made for a miserable time breaking down camp, but I wanted to get an early start as I had only 127 miles to go to reach my goal. I pulled out around 8 and got back on route 6 after creeping through the fog for 5 miles or so. By the time I hit Warren, PA for fuel the fog was starting to burn off, so it was a nice ride to the Ohio state line. I hit the first available driveway to turn around and head back the 8 miles to Linesville, PA to my dad's house.
For the next 5 days I stayed in my home town and visited with friends & family which gave me a chance to get bruiser serviced and have the front tire replaced. I'm not sure what happened, but I experienced uneven tire wear which had one side of the tire down past the wear bars.

The tires are Pilot Road 3's so all but the center is a fairly soft compound. I think that added with very coarse pavement and a stiff crosswind ever since Monday's storm front moved threw, was more than that soft compound could handle. I can tell you it was not related to tire pressure as I was very religious about checking them each morning and only once was I down a pound in the front.
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:41 PM   #8
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Nice report! Thanks for sharing some of your memories with us. Looking forward to reading more from you.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:39 AM   #9
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Thanks for sharing your ride with us, nice pics
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:57 PM   #10
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Day 8:
During my visit one of my parents longtime friends passed away so I decided to delay my departure date so that I could attend the funeral. It actually worked out to my advantage as Sunday was cold, wet, and miserable. After the services on Monday morning I packed up the bike and was able to get on the road after lunch. With my late start all of my exploring around the Pittsburgh area was skipped so that I could make Morgantown, WV before nightfall. The weather still was not the greatest as I ran through some lingering showers and was happy to just make time so that I could spend the time exploring all day Tuesday.

Day 9:
The showers had finally passed through the night, but I waited until 8 am to start off and the roads were still pretty wet. And boy am I glad I did! By the time I got off the interstate those WV mountain roads were nice and dry with most of the leaves removed from the car traffic. I zigzagged my way south and experienced some roads that made me think I was in heaven. 119 had some spectacular views, US 50 between 119 & 92 was so much fun I wanted to turn around and run it again. 92 gave me time to relax for awhile before I cut back over to 119 in Philippi and followed that down to route 33 in Buckhannon. After gas & grub there I headed east and figured to have a nice relaxing ride the rest of the way to Seneca Rocks. Again I was surprized as 33 between Elkin & Seneca Rocks had ten miles of mountain road that gave "The Dragon" a run for it's money! By the time I arrived in Seneca Rocks I was grinning ear to ear!
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:16 PM   #11
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Nice report! Hope you enjoyed the Zippo/ Case Museum. I ride by it at least 4 times a day. The Kinzua Railroad Bridge was a blast to ride bikes and snowmobiles across when I was younger. Was a sad day 10 years ago when it went down
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:59 PM   #12
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Great photos. Thanks
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:29 PM   #13
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End of Day 9: Seneca Rocks
I pulled into Seneca rocks with a little daylight left and knowing that Seneca Shadows campground was closed (gov't shutdown) so I stopped at the local diner to ask about camping/lodging for the night. The waitress said that I had to go to the general store down the road a mile to pay for a camping spot or a room and she was not sure of the off season rates. Camping was dirt cheap, $6 a night) but it was nothing more than an open field with not much of a bath house. The general store was right across the road from the Park entrance and had rooms available upstairs for $60/night. Sold! This was the view from the porch/balcony, plus the room was just awesome.
The view:

The store and my accommodations:

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Old 10-28-2013, 04:15 PM   #14
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Day 10:
I got to sleep in as the deli didn't open for breakfast until 8 am, but I still had Bruiser packed and ready to go before I headed down for some grub. I was feeling a little bitter sweet as I knew by the end of the day I would be back home, but I also knew I had the whole day to explore and find a nice long route home. Once saddled up I headed out on 220 south to Spruce Knob, the highest point in WV. I knew halfway there it was going to be a repeat of the day before. The weather, roads, and views had me smiling again as I was twisting the throttle through the corners.
My morning view:

The road to Spruce Knob:

Spruce Knob & it's view:

After Spruce Knob I packed away the cameras and pointed Bruiser toward home..........the long way! I have to say that I had a blast carving the corners all the way home and didn't come across a bad road anywhere in WV or northern VA. I will wrap up this report in another post but I will end this post here by saying that the last two days of my trip were by far the best riding of the whole trip!
Raz
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:18 PM   #15
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Forgot the last and most important picture after arriving home safe & sound!
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