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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ricochetrider, Oct 21, 2012.
Where was this taken?
This pic was taken at the top of the ridge on PA rte 274 north of Blain PA.
Nice pics, makes me want to visit PA.
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 .
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!
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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</td> <td class="alt1" id="td_post_21342584" style="border-right: 1px solid #575757"> 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.
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?
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!
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.
Hey thanks for your comments!
Just a few notes on camping:
I've always camped either in PA's state parks, or in state forests on known turf- like along a creek near somebody's cabin, or someplace where I knew others had camped- so there was a fire ring at least.
In state parks, I've heard that
(unless it's incredibly crowded) it's easy to get away with a few beers- Keep the bottles/cans out of sight, and pour your beverage of choice into a coffee mug or any type of container in which it'll be impossible to identify from looking- unless you walk right up on it. If you're not drawing undue attention, it should be fine. It's easy to get a rough camping permit in state forests, but you gotta get to an office in working hours to sign up and pay the nominal fee. You could MAYBE do it online, now that it's the 21st Century?
Of course, you don't get any infrastructure at all- things like fire pits, grills, bathrooms... etc.
BUT, with a dual sport bike, you could get off a fire road, onto a two-track trail, and go far enough out of the public view, to do whatever you wanted, with no hassle other than
bears, snake bites, and ticks.
Pick a state forest nearby, download a map, and choose your spot- most dirt fire roads, bigger 2 track trails (some of which could be gated for legal seasonal usages), and foot trails should be pretty well marked on any DCNR map of the particular forest area.
One area with beautiful state park campgrounds I like is up near Wellsboro- at the PA "Grand Canyon". Colton Point, to the west, is the better of the two state park campgrounds out here. More rustic, with hike-in camp sites, no visitors center, and FAR fewer RVs, in my experience. Day hikes along the edge of the "canyon", more trails all around. Very quiet and mellow every time I was there. ALSO: Pine Creek outfitters is close by, if you wanted to book a day of canoeing Pine Creek, down thru the canyon. Pretty sweet if there's still plenty of water. I would advise against it during summer unless there's been a flood, hurricane, or plenty of rain.
The Endless Mountains region has a couple sweet parks, too.
Of course up that way, there are all kinds of private campgrounds- but none with such close proximity to the "canyon" - really just a deep, wooded gorge with Pine Creek running thru it.
Up around State College, in Penn's Valley (off PA route 45), there's Woodward Cave campgrounds... and plenty of state forest ground. The possibilities for rough camping in the woods are kind of endless, but unless you know someone with a cabin or lease, or know of a specific place to camp it's pretty much a needle/haystack deal.
That's why I've always utilized the awesome State Park system. Loads of campgrounds with plenty of infrastructure. AND it's cheap, with options out the yingyang, in all directions. Some even have cabins- rustic cabins or sometimes nicer ones with electricity, and some campgrounds have yurts.
Hope this is helpful.
Thank you - that's all good advice.
I think permit for Tate forest is only required if more than one night or more than 10 people. If anyone can confirm that it would be great.
Some of us are more comfortable than others off road. I think gravel and hard packed dirt would be fine, more than that likely out of the question. Primarily street bikes.
I'll keep looking around for places.
Recently, I had a good bit of work done on the Norton.
I bought this 1974 Norton 850 Commando several years ago. At the time, it had maybe 1000 miles on the rebuild. It was rebuilt by someone up in NY state, and the guy did a great job on the motor, but somehow there was lots he either missed, or didn't do. So, one thing has always led to another with the bike- IOW it has been a constant PIA. I had taken it down to North Carolina in May, to do a BritBike ride, and wound leaving it there for more work. Now, all the little things have been addressed, and there have also been some significant upgrades- new head steady, reed valves in the breather, some clutch and carb work, and perhaps one of the best, a modern H4 headlight kit. I took the bike out today to.... Well just cuz I could! Had a decent 90 miles or so, on some of my fave roads, and got back home before it got too hot out. Here's some pix of the ride. Well, OK- more of the BIKE than the ride...
sweet bike tho, no?
More pix of the Norton, on recent rides around South Central PA.
After the last post, I rode out for an evening with my buddy Deuce. He has a sweet old 72 Triumph Daytona.
Then yesterday, I was out again, and came across this SWEET vintage Porsche Speedster sitting outside a bar.
I was there on a "research project".
Speedo broke as I was noodling along! I guess I knew it was inevitable. A buddy has these COOL new speedo/tach instruments made to fit inside a vintage British case. Wireless, speedo has GPS drive, and functions galore- like Altimeter, avg speed, top speed, trip-o-meter, etc. something similar to THIS-
Only hopefully not as spendy! :eek1
That's an awesome bike Tom...it's just sexy. Is your current speedo a Smiths magnetic? I repaired the one on my BSA if you're interested in taking it apart.
I can tell you ain't from the middle of nowhere, I grew up in the sticks, everytime that hits me I just want to head home!
Funny how different smells effect different people.
I use to deliver out that way for the place I work, I could move out there in a heartbeat! You're lucky to live in an area with such riding, ain't a helluva lot of that left in NJ.
Ride on, enjoying the RR, thanks for taking the time.
I love that Norton, takes me back, my stepdad had one when I was like 8, I think an 850. I don't know, or recall enough to say what model. I know it was sexy though!
Dredging up this old thread... Spring has sprung and it's time to RIDE.
Here's my first "Pennsyltuckey Noodlin" RR for 2014. Enjoy.
After months of working, this week looks like I'll actually have some own time. All the bikes have been sitting outside all winter, and the K1200 in particular was all crusty and nasty -with all of last summer's bug splatter & road grunge, PLUS this Spring's salt & muck. SO, I dragged out the hose, and put the medium buff on the old dog, and then sat and admired it for a few minutes, before going inside to get dressed for a ride.
But instead of cranking up the Big Beastie, I uncovered the Rock-n-Roll Norton. I'd kicked it over for the first time recently, and boy that effin thing took a LONG time and a LOT of kickin before it finally fired up, in fact I was so tuckered out that I didn't even ride it that day, just took it around the block. The next day I did get out on it for a shot around the BIG block- maybe about 30-40 miles?
Today, I uncovered it, feeling my knee, which I'd torqued somehow over the weekend, me being a rambunctious whippersnapper and all, dontcha know... but thought, well heck with it. No Pain, No Gain. I GOTTA ride this bike.
The sun was all shining on the bike, the temps were warm, I'd left the petcock on, and lo & behold, who'd a thunk it but the Norton fired up FIRST KICK.
I'm tellin ya I've owned this bike for quite some time now- maybe 6 years? In all that time, it has always taken multiple kicks, sometimes far too many to count. Well Heaven was smiling down on me, and cast her glow in the form of warm sunshine. I guess it was just pure magic- soon enough, I was riding up along the good ol Susquehanny, with the wind whistling thru my helmet.
I covered lots of ground, and rode some roads I haven't been on in a while- a mix of PA highways, and small bimblin roads. I flip-flopped back and forth over the North Mountain a few times, and followed it along the valley on either side before finally breaking off out into the valley proper. I jumped the ridge another time, then had a stop for lunch at a little honky-tonk gas station/store that now has 93 octane gasoline, where they only ever had mid-grade before! Woo hoo.
Then it was off down the valley along PA Hiway 75, back up over the same ridge on 274, and I raced against the wind to get back home. My speedo is broke, but I'm guessing I rode a rock solid 100 miles- maybe a few more than that. Thru the whole ride the bike ran like it was happy to be out. I rode like I was happy to be out, and had a lovely time scootin around the local roads.
Here's some pix:
at Lamb's Gap
Laughlin's Mill, Newville PA
A decrepit old bridge over the Conodoguinet Creek- there's literally thousands of miles of creeks and rivers in PA, with lots of beat-up old bridges. Slowly, the state is rebuilding these old beaters, one by one. This one's ready any time.
Couldn't resist this pic. Guess this is some old Mennonite Church out in the sticks. Love the gate and old iron fence. There was a small sign on the fencve to the right of this gate- it said "Reserved for Organist". I couldn't tell if it was parking space, or a grave site the sign was referrin' to.
Sittin' On Top O' The World- PA 641
The Boom Boom Burger
While I was eating, I had a phone call from a guy who was telling me my truck was finished- I'd had it in to have the sagging headliner replaced. Dude closed up shop at 1700, SO I hopped on the bike and boogied back home so as not to keep him- the kind old gent said he'd hang on for me for a few minutes, and I assured him I'd hurry... which I had to go home to get my checkbook- I'd asked him if I could give him my CC info over the phone, then he could just lock my keys into the truck for me... he was like "But they charge me for that!" So I said, OK, hang on. I'll do my best, and bring you a check, if that's OK.
When I got there, he was there waiting inside the shop, but unlocked the door for me as I walked up! I think it was 5:02, or something like that!
I MAY have *slightly* exceeded the speed limits on the way home...
But I'll deny everything in a court of law.
Another Norton ride out... Boring as fuck-all I know!
Anyway, someone on *another* forum (ahem!) asked "where do you live?" and guys are posting pix of their bikes in cool spots near their homes. I thought I'd join the fun. Admittdly, PA ain't QUITE as cool as Australia's southern coast, or Pacific Hiway route 1 in Northern Cali but HEY... whatchgwannado.
Ride whatcha got.
Where do I live?
I live here:
Description: This our living room
Description: This the view up the Susquehanna River, across the street from our house.
Description: We are near Harrisburg- directly across the river from the city. There are 7- no, 6&1/2 bridges that cross the river. This the remaining half of the Walnut Street Bridge. The other half got demolished by ice. This is on the Harrisburg side of City Island.
Description: Harrisburg is in the Great Cumberland Valley- farmland USA. There are big farms, little farms, chicken farms, pig farms, Amish farms, and lots of organic farms.
Description: The valley has mountains on either side. This is the South Mountain- Laurel Lake @ Pine Grove Furnace State Park.
Description: There are wonderful deciduous forests all along the East Coast. In Northern PA, the Southern Forest and Northern Forest come together to create an exotic mix of hardwoods not found anywhere else on earth. Just beautiful.
Description: View from atop the South Mountain
Description: Great little double arch bridge over Big Spring Creek. Pennsylvania is home to some truly World Class trout streams. This is a freshwater spring so huge it forms its own stream. Big Spring runs several miles before spilling into the Conodoguinet Creek,
Description: Had to get this shot. Could be Palm Springs...?
Maybe Vegas... ? Somewhere exotic? Nope. Lil ol Newville PA's town square.
Nice photos from around the area. Always enjoying seeing pictures from around here.
Hey thanks man! Here's a few shots from around the Lisburn area along the Yellow Breeches.
Take it to the bridge! A more iconic line would be hard to find. Those immortal words by James Brown define funk.
Taking inspiration from this I indeed "took it to the bridge".
"It" being my Norton, & "the bridge" being actually a couple different real live bridges over the Yellow Breeches Creek which runs all thru our lovely area before finally spilling into the Mighty Susquehanna River at New Cumberland. Would James Brown be proud? Who cares!
Theses bridges accurately represent America's crumbling infrastructure. One day they'll all be gone. Until then they remain potent reminders of days gone by; each one is a work of aged beauty in its own right.
Description: Cool stone arch bridge at an old mill
Description: Riding along slowly, enjoying the summer air and greenery along this tiny lane.
Description: A really great iron bridge. Ornate and seemingly delicate, yet still Strong after all these years.
Description: A bit of B&W action
Description: Photo, arty, obligatory
Description: Plaque with the Story Of The Bridge
Description: More country lanes
Description: Fresh cut hay in the big round bales so common around here.
Description: One more of the Sheepford Road iron bridge
Last bridge of the day. Also along the Yellow Breeches. This is all located just a few short miles from my house. All pix taken with my iPhone 5s, edited in FotoLr, and posted via File Manager. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelein said, "Where's that confounded bridge?"
I got your bridge RIGHT HERE.
Description: Here's a great old crumbling bridge. There's so little traffic around here, it's not a problem at all to park, get off, and take the shot! Whee.
Description: Graceful double arches sweeping like the open wings of a Great Blue Heron.
Description: Mo B&W
Description: Descriptive Plaque
Description: Panorama coming off the Bridge Of Grace
Description: Newish wooden rail fence along another sweet little lane.
Description: The famous Yellow Breeches is a world class trout stream. A few dams can be found along its length but it's not the workhorse the Conodoguinet is.
Description: Tranquility. Study in Green.
Description: A view upstream.
Description: Down by the old mill stream. Ought a be a song there somewhere right?