Operation Duck Fist 2

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RoaringTodd, May 22, 2018.

  1. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    It all started on a bright sunny day last year. A group of friends and I decided to ride up from Harrisburg, PA to Wellsboro, PA. I have made the ride myself before, but this time it was going to be a unique experience with friends on two wheels.

    We had such a blast last year on the back roads and dirt roads leading to the PA Grand Canyon. Our ride last year was called Operation El Chupacabra Enchilada. Don't ask me why. My total mileage was about 700 miles over 4 days. Not bad when you consider my ride -

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    2015 Genuine Scooters Roughhouse50 named "ThunderCat". 50ccs of Two Stroke Fury.

    Yes, you read that right. She's a 50cc scooter. The fact that my friends and I like to do stupid things is quite the understatement. We all have bigger, way more comfortable, and faster machines, but sometimes it's quite nice to just sit back and smell the two stroke smoke intermixed with the honeysuckle vines. You really do see more of the country puttering along on a 50cc. I really enjoyed myself last year, so when those same friends said, "Let's do this again in 2018" I was totally in.
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    #1
  2. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    But first, I had to fix up ThunderCat. In the fall of 2017 some hooligans broke into my garage and made off with two of my scooters, a 2004 Genuine Scooters Stella, the Roughhouse 50 and my son's BMX bike.

    They just kicked in the door of my detached garage, opened the bay doors, and just rode away in the middle of the night. Talk about feeling violated in a major way. A police report was made, insurance was called, and flyers posted around my neighborhood. I despaired of finding those scooters and was just waiting for the insurance claim to settle.

    A few days later I got a call from the local police department. Someone had reported seeing the Stella on her side behind a nearby Wal-Mart. I knew the Stella would fight back. Like a fine thoroughbred, she requires a special touch to operate. (Clutch and shifter all on the left handle) Sadly the Stella was pretty banged and dinged up. However she was rideable. The police were able to lift a fingerprint from the Stella and opened an investigation.

    A couple of weeks later, the police called again. They had the Roughhouse. ThunderCat was found in some woods not too far from the Wal-Mart. I knew it was someone local who knew where the scooters were, and wanted to have a joyride.

    Sadly the Roughouse was in worse shape than the Stella. Her ignition was all smashed up, the gas cap was jammed off, and there was body damage.

    I picked up the Roughhouse 50 from the police department and started the sad process of taking everything apart to access the ignition and replacing the gas tank and gas cap. Thundercat was also extremely dirty from being ridden hard in the woods.

    (Police were able to identify the punk who broke into the garage from the fingerprint he left on the Stella, and the security cameras at Walmart. He is serving time. However that is all the information I could get, as he was a juvenile.)

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    #2
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  3. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    I finished putting ThunderCat all together two nights before the Operation Duck Fist 2 ride. I do think she cleaned up pretty good.

    It took me most of the winter to collect the parts, wait out the cold weather, and find spare time to focus on the scooter. I had to replace two or three panels, clean out all the mud and oil (she was left on her side, and 2T oil got everywhere) replace the whole keyed system (ignition, gas cap, and underseat storage). While she was not 100% perfect, I was pretty pleased with the results.

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    I had some last minute purchases to make. The hooligans also stole my RAM set up so off to Revzilla I went. They had all different set ups I could experiment with to find the best set up for my phone. I planned to use Rever for my navigation and wanted a good mount. Last year I winged it by having the phone in the cubby holder and checking it every time I came to a stop. That got old fast.

    Rain was in the forecast as well, so I went to the raincoat store and purchased a bright yellow riding suit. Yellow for visibility, and because this ride was called Operation Duck Fist.

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    #3
  4. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    The day of the ride came up. Actually it was the day before the ride officially started. I had a long distance to cover before I could meet all my riding buddies at Scooter Church. I quivered with anticipation all day. You see, I had to report to work for a full shift before I could leave. This working for a living sucks. "Work to ride, Ride to live" or so they say.

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    ThunderCat did great last year, she did not even hiccup once. I expected the same from ThunderCat this year. Every time I passed someone trimming their yard with a weed wacker or using a chain saw, I just laughed to myself at the wonder of the 50cc engine that could propel a 230lb rider with gear up some gnarly grades 2,400 feet above sea level with a piston this big.

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    When the shift whistle rang, (I already had all my gear on, including my helmet) I clocked out, walked quickly to the parking spot, and said a quick prayer before jumping on ThunderCat. (I always pray for clarity of mind and clear sight, it helps center me and sets the tone for the ride).

    I had hoped to beat the rush hour traffic, but to no avail. I had to fight school buses, moms picking up their pre-schoolers, and distracted drivers before I finally hit the back roads.

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    Designation: My buddy Svend's house.
    #4
  5. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    It was a great ride when I finally reached the back roads. I routed throughout southern Lancaster County, PA which has some of the best riding roads, especially along the river. Farms, creeks, and gentle hills with trees unfurling their summer leaves made for a relaxing ride.

    I came to a "Road Closed... Bridge Out" sign somewhere in the middle of Amish country. I convinced myself that it did not apply to myself, so on I went, for about five miles until I came to the actual bridge.

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    Ya right. The bridge wasn't really "out". I could just drive around the barricades and be on my merry way. This was going to be the 1 in 100 times the bridge actually was passable on two wheels. What are the odds?!

    They had even thoughtfully left a plank for me to use.

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    I smiled to myself... this was going to be a good day... until the worker that was working on the bridge popped up from wherever he was working from and yelled at me to get the $%&#! turned around and out of there.

    I never saw the guy! I swear he must have been hiding in wait for me to come. What kind of sadistic deviant takes pleasure in denying a small 50cc scooter from crossing this bridge?

    I offered an apologetic wave, turned ThunderCat around, and went back the way I came. SO CLOSE. I really do need to start listening to those signs.

    Not all was to waste. Because of the detour I was able to find some pretty cool and unexpected dirt roads that went around a lake I never knew was there. I will have to go back there sometime and explore that area.

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    Onward to my buddy Svend's house.
    #5
  6. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    The ride to Svend's house took me through river country, and up the west side of the Susquehanna river. I tried to be creative with my routing and was rewarded with some real country lanes and unpaved roads. It was getting late, and I wanted to be at Svend's before dark.

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    I finally made it to Svend's house for the night. It took me about 6 hours from the time I left Philadelpia to the Harrisburg PA area.

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    Carl, another rider for the Operation Duck Fist 2, rode down from the Poconos as well. We caught up, traded jokes, and watched the Princess' Bride before gently tucking Svend in for the night. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.

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    #6
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  7. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    The next day dawned bright and early. Weather forecast called for cloudy day, cool riding, and no rain. We packed up our scooters and set off for breakfast and Scooter Church.

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    Scooter Church is Carlisle Cycle and Scooter, a converted church building. There we were to meet up with the other riders and once Bill had opened up shop, we would set off on our journey.

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    But first I asked Bill to take a look at my Roughhouse 50. A week prior to the trip I had the transmission swapped out to a NCY Super Transmission. I did not have time to fine tune the set up before I set out on this trip, and I immediately regretted it. While initial take off was improved, I hit a max speed of 40mph, and had no re-acceleration. Bill thought the stock rollers that came with the kit was too heavy, which did not give the engine enough RPM's to build up acceleration.

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    Bill only had limtied rollers on hand, so we put in 8.5 grams for the time being. It was slightly improved, but I still hit 40 MPH and acceleration was so - so. Lesson learned. Don't do major changes before a trip. I regretted this the whole trip.

    For some reason Bill kept telling me to stay behind the white line.

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    #7
  8. lostonwheels

    lostonwheels Adventurer

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    I approve of this whole situation!

    Also, as a resident of Mechanicsburg I'm sad I've never seen these roving gangs of scooter hooligans!:D
    #8
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  9. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    Check out Three Mile Island Scooter Shop, and Carlisle Cycle and Scooter on Army Heritage Road in Carlisle. Fine group of people.
    #9
  10. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    Once the shop was opened up and all the scooters squared up, we set off to meet the final member of our crew about an hour north at a "don't blink or you'll miss it" small town and gas station. The "No Public Restrooms" sign turned out to be #fakenews, Thank God. We bought a road lunch which consisted of peanuts and Gatorade.

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    Commemorative stickers were passed out and adhered to the scooters.

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    We rode north for several miles stopping every so often to admire the scenery and water the trees.

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  11. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    The best part of the day's ride is when the ride leader turned off the main road and led us up to a deserted road he had noticed on Google maps. It was the kind of riding we love to do. We had no idea where this road led to, the condition of the road, or even if it was passable. It was PERFECT. Well, except for all the broken bits and parts (but that's for later.)

    Our momentum was slowed by all the big rocks on the road and we had to stop to figure out how to get around a downed tree. One of the riders’s Vespa ET4 developed a vapor lock from a too full gas tank, and it took a while to get it going again.

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    One of our riders has a sidecar attached to his Stella. That took major skills to ride that rough road with a full load of luggage and extra fuel. He kept swerving to avoid rocks for both the Stella and sidecar. At times he had to do a leaning wheelie. I wish I had gotten better pictures but I had to keep both hands on the handlebars. The road was that rough.

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    Roughhouse 50 ruled the day.



    I don’t think anyone had been on this road in ages. This is also the place where the high strung Vespa choose to stop running for the third time.

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  12. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    Of course... after riding about 5 miles, we came to a bridge...

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    Yep. Bridge out was actually Bridge out. We had noticed a small sign before we turned off the main road but paid it no heed. We're glad we didn't. That road was the best part of the day.

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    Our scooters survived intact except for the other Roughhouse on the trip. It seems that the front shocks broke. He rode the rest of the trip with no front damping or rebound.

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    We turned around, rode back down the mountain and looked for a detour that wouldn't use the 70mph highway through that pass.
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    #12
  13. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    We had quite a few more miles to go. It was getting dark quicky. We rode to State College, where the group stopped at a local food market to purchase food for the weekend. Since my scooter was the only stock 50cc and I was severely retarded by the roller situation, I elected to just keep on going (also stopped at a McDonald's for a quick bite and fueled up the scooter quickly) while the others shopped and got dinner.

    It was dark, raining, and a constant uphill climb to our cabin at Black Moshannon State Park. This was one of the few moments on two wheels where I actually was fearful of crashing. I do not balance well in the dark, and the cold and wet rain did not help any. I sure was glad when I found the cabin we were staying in and started to unpack my things. Not long after I arrived, the group arrived as well, which surprised me because I thought I had a significant head start on them. It was my slow scooter that allowed the others to catch up. I'm glad I didn't stay with the pack otherwise we would all have been out for a long time.

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  14. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    The following day brought nothing but rain. It rained all day. We had a warm cozy cabin to sit in, the firewood was free, and Bill cooked up a great breakfast of bacon, eggs, and potatoes.

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    I even got to drink some Elephant Poop coffee. It had an.... interesting taste. Not something I would want to drink regularly.

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    We napped, swapped tall tales, did stupid stuff to each other, and just enjoyed each other's company. It was when cabin fever started to take, as evidenced by the look on Adam’s face

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    we decided to suit up and head out and find dinner.

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    #14
  15. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Been here awhile

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    After dinner at a local pizza parlor, the rain finally broke. We rode back to the cabin, and while some elected to work on their scooters (Yesterdays "bridge out road" took quite a toll on some of the scooters) I decided to go for a small hike around the Black Moshannon peat bog.

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    Commemorative Operation Duck Fist 2 sign.

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    I was rewarded with a beautiful view of the bog.

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    When I got back to the cabin, I went to bed early. I had a long ride the next day all the way from the park, which was one hour north of State College, to Philadelphia.
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  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Great report! I'd love to do something like this but it's real hard finding other riders with tiny bikes who actually ride them more than a hour or so from home.
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  17. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer Supporter

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    Looks like a great time! Enjoy and thanks for sharing!
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  18. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    Epic.
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  19. Fiftygrit

    Fiftygrit Long timer

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    Yup, first hand write up,
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  20. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    PA people! Enough said, glad you enjoyed your time in Lancaster County!
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