Sportstour in the Alleghenies

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by c1skout, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,437
    Location:
    Western PA
    I live and work in this section of PA. The Johnstown area. I think we're only known for our floods, and maybe for the steel mills that used to be pretty big. North and south are hilly for as far as I care to go. I have to travel an hour or more to the east or west to hit flat ground. All the roads around here are twisty with elevation change. It's a terrible place to drive big trucks, but pretty OK for motorcycles!

    I decided to start this thread to put up some pictures of the areas I ride. I don't often make it more than a few hours away from the house, but luckily due to the topography I live in, there's no need to.

    I went out today to run my Sportstour out of gas. I recently got the bike together and had an issue with the petcock settings, so I strapped on a spare jug of gas and went out to see how far a tank would get me. I headed up and over Babcock ridge on rt56 east in a thick fog with enough drizzle to soak through my boots. At the bottom of the hill I headed south on PA96 and stopped at Shawnee state park to unload some coffee.
    [​IMG]

    I continued on 96s and crossed over to Maryland near Ellerslie. PA96 turns into MD35 and I followed that to MD36, and on down to US40 near La Vale. I took a bad picture of the cool old iron RR bridge that's right at that junction. I actually didn't at first, but I backtracked a bit and stopped at a convenient spot to take the poor pic.
    [​IMG]

    Heading west through the sprawl of La Vale made me hungry, so when I got to Frostburg I stopped for a quick bite. I talked to a nice fellow on a Goldwing from Ohio here, he was traveling south and said he was about done for the day. Here's my healthy lunch!
    [​IMG]

    US40 is a nice historical road. A lot of it was first cut by the British when they were fighting the French over control of the western frontier at Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh). I think George Washington was a British Colonal then. They have some markers up that you can actually safely stop and read!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Shame the weather wasn't helping my photography. It was pretty grey out and there wasn't much for vistas. My next stop was the Casselman's bridge park.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The bridge was neat, but I really appreciated this right then!
    [​IMG]

    Back out on US40 there's more history signs.
    [​IMG]

    And I'm soon enough back in PA. Notice there's virtually no berm on the road, and a decent sized gully by the signs. This is why I usually just speed bye them.
    [​IMG]

    I took PA 523 towards Confluence, then 281 towards Somerset. I saw a sign for a covered bridge that I'd not noticed before so I went to investigate. Happily it was one I could still cross....so I did a back and forth with a quick stop for this photo-op. No I didn't do a smokey burnout on the wood floor, but it looked like all the local kids must.
    [​IMG]

    Made it all the way to Somerset before I ran out of gas, then up through Jennerstown on PA601 & PA985. I took this shot at the Mountain Playhouse.
    [​IMG]

    I swung back around to a gas station on US30 and bought a snack, stood outside and ate it.
    [​IMG]

    It started raining just as I was finishing the gob, so I took US30 over to US219 and slabbed it back home. Hopefully next time out I can get some more and better scenery shots. I took a shot of my drive tire when I got back in the barn. How's that look for a "sporting" pace?
    [​IMG]
    :fpalm
    #1
  2. Runswithscizzors

    Runswithscizzors Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Oddometer:
    167
    Thanks for chiming in, love the riding and history that you brought to the report. I'm in Pa as well, just a little further northeast of you. Keep posting and I'll let you know if I'm going to be in the area this summer. Nothing like a guided tour from a local!!

    Keep the pictures coming
    #2
  3. Gham

    Gham What's for lunch? Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,574
    Location:
    Auburn Hills,MI.
    Not used to seeing WindJammer fairings anymore,much less on a Sportster! Looks like a neat place to ride,my area is pretty flat and straight roads...really boring.
    So how many miles did your bike go before it ran out of gas?
    #3
  4. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,437
    Location:
    Western PA
    Thanks guys, I'm gonna try to keep a camera with me this year when I run around. How far northeast are you Runswithscizzor ? I've visited a good bit of the state, but mostly on more than 2 wheels.

    Gham, I didn't think to post it here, but I made 142 miles till I had to go to reserve, then at 157 the reserve ran dry. I poured in my extra gallon and went and topped up. I put a build thread of my bike up in the "Some assembly required" forum, if you wanted to see more of that.
    #4
  5. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,437
    Location:
    Western PA
    I was out again today but on one of my other bikes :-).[​IMG]

    This is the Staple Bend tunnel on the old Allegheny Portage Railroad, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegheny_Portage_Railroad
    it's now a rails to trails. Just a short ride with a tunnel to go through. Made a nice morning for (most of) my family.
    [​IMG]

    To keep it bike oriented, my pedal-bike is a 20some year old chrome-moly steel Specialized commuter. No idea how many miles it's got on it, but I do know the power to weight ratio is miserable. I got a shot of this Diesel loco on our way back to the car.
    [​IMG]

    And some signage
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    A flower
    [​IMG]

    And a vista, my house would be on the back side of the second ridge to the right on this shot!
    [​IMG]

    That's it for now. If you don't like the bicycle stuff, just imagine that I was making motorcycle sounds while pedaling :D.
    #5
    Bors and The Virginian like this.
  6. Runswithscizzors

    Runswithscizzors Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Oddometer:
    167
    I over in the Reading area, so it's a bit of a ride to get to you. But, who knows...hopefully riding will be good this summer. I'll keep lurking on your posts, it's good stuff.
    #6
  7. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,437
    Location:
    Western PA
    I was at a castle near there for a wedding 2 summers ago......in my Jeep.
    #7
  8. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,620
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Great ride reports and photos. I have to admit, I've never been fond of Harleys, but I really like your setup. The classic fairing is perfect. I just added the Givi E22N panniers to my V-Strom last week - nice without sticking out 13 feet.

    I did a Rt 30 / Rt 40 loop last year on my Burgman 650 and saw many of the same spots you did. LINKY HERE TO MY RR.

    BTW - next time you're in LaVale, just around the corner from your photo with the old train trestle is a great diner - Klines Lovers' Leap Restaurant. I love their roast beef/gravy/mashed potatoes sammich!

    I'm planning to come through/near the Johnstown area this summer on my way up to the northern tip of Rt 220 (Sayre). I would like to do a photo/history ride of Rt 220 down to the southern tip at the NC/SC border. Then I will do tip to tip Rt 16 back into WV. You are welcome to join me at any point. (Warning: I'll be stopping alot to take photos and gather historical info)

    Keep up the ride reports! Looking forward to more.
    #8
    Folly1 likes this.
  9. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,437
    Location:
    Western PA
    Thanks pnoman, give me a shout when you know your travel dates, Depending how I'm working then we could maybe link up. I've most likely run all of 220 that is in PA, but never all at one time.
    #9
  10. allenstein

    allenstein n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    9
    I also enjoyed seeing the windjammer setup. Seen that on a lot of old goldwings but never a sportster.
    #10
  11. Go-4-It

    Go-4-It Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    178
    Location:
    Northern KY
    Hey thanks for the report, loved the pics and info about the area. I also really like the Sportie with the SS Vetter. I have a 78 GL 1000 Honda Wing. The 1st owner put a Vetter SS in white on it. I really like the coverage it provides. Your setup is slick, I would ride an HD that was equipped like that. Keep the info coming. I've not well familiar with PA and this is helpful.
    #11
  12. Yukon PER

    Yukon PER Blacksheep

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    597
    Location:
    Johnstown, PA
    c1skout,

    Nice Ride Report. I live a few miles from the Staplebend Tunnel. Here is a shot I took out at Shawnee last fall. Hope to see you out and about in the area some day.

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,437
    Location:
    Western PA
    Go 4 it, thanks!
    Yukon PER, I'm only a few miles away too..... as the crow flies. Takes me about 15 min. to get there from the house. I'll watch for you, we probably know a lot of the same roads.
    #13
  14. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,437
    Location:
    Western PA
    I was gonna mow the grass today, but looked out my window and saw this.
    [​IMG]

    Looks like a nice day for a ride instead. That grass'll still need mowed when I get to it.:-) I left home and headed down the valley towards the Franklin section of Johnstown. I strapped a camera around my neck with a lanyard, so I could do point-and-shoot on the fly.
    [​IMG]

    This is what's left of the Woodvale section of the steel mill. It's been getting torn down for a while now.
    [​IMG]

    I crossed the bridge into Conemaugh, then up the other side on rt271. I stopped part ways up and got this shot of what's left of the old Franklin mill.
    [​IMG]

    At the top of the hill I headed west for a minute or so, then made a right turn to head down into the next valley.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This road goes past the Hinkston run dam. I stopped at the breast for a picture at the old steel bridge.
    [​IMG]

    They don't allow vehicle traffic over the breast any more, oh well, at least they let you take a boat on the water now. This used to be a water supply dam for the steel mills and was owned by Bethlehem Steel.
    [​IMG]

    I traveled the dirt-gravel road the rest of the way past the dam, then turned back onto rt271. Stopped at a powerline for this shot looking northwest.
    [​IMG]

    I stayed on 271 to Mundys Corner, then a right, and another right onto Swigle Mt rd.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One problem with shooting on the fly.... I get lotsa shots like this
    [​IMG]

    I turned off this road and ran a couple smaller roads through some ridge and valley, basically just going north-east.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I was in the area, so I stopped and had a short visit at my sister's house. She gave me a couple dozen eggs and I was on my way, here's south on rt160 :D.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    160 runs from Ebensburgh south to the PA-MD line. It's all good bike road. I jumped off before Wilmore and took some more back roads.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    From whatever road I was on heading into Summerhill, here's an old stone train trestle, still in use by the way.
    [​IMG]

    I made the left at the stop sign, and got pics of some geese, and the next 3 trestles or tunnels.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    You can see the condition of this road. Towards the end of it there are 3 spots where the old cement under the asphalt and gravel has hove up and made speed bumps across the road. I knew they were there, but had forgotten until I saw the first one coming. When I saw it I hit the throttle to ease the impact and sailed over just like a dirt bike. Kinda. Remember those eggs my sister gave me? I didn't either till I got home. Anyways out we go onto rt53.
    [​IMG]

    Then onto some back roads again.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I stopped here and took shots in a couple directions.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Traveling again
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is the old South Fork dam breast from the Lake rd in the Johnstown flood memorial park. This was the point of origin of the flood of 1889.
    [​IMG]

    And the breast from the rt869 side
    [​IMG]

    Some of the road between those 2
    [​IMG]

    These tracks and the creek run through where the water used to be.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    While I was at the picnic area I had a snack.
    [​IMG]

    Stretched the legs a bit on the trail, and got a pic of this sign.
    [​IMG]

    Then the historical marker when I was on my way home.
    [​IMG]

    I only put on about 50 miles, and was never more than 10 miles from my house. Tire still doesn't look much like a "sporting" pace, but getting closer.
    [​IMG]

    Remember the 2 dozen eggs?
    [​IMG]

    When I took them out of the top box there were 5 cracked. I'll put some sausage with them for breakfast tomorrow :clap.
    #14
    Bors, bomose, B10Dave and 2 others like this.
  15. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,437
    Location:
    Western PA
    I rode around a bit the other evening. From home I headed east over the mountain on rt164, then headed north towards Altoona. I started back up towards home and saw this old stone viaduct running between the road and a water supply lake. This was the only good spot to get a pic, the viaduct looked more interesting farther down the road.
    [​IMG]

    Just a bit farther up the road I pulled into the parking lot for the Horseshoe curve. This is where the viaduct goes under the train tracks.
    [​IMG]

    The Horseshoe curve has been in use since 1854. Interesting tidbit... when those Nazi saboteurs were dropped of on Long Island during WW2 the Horseshoe curve was on their list of targets. The visitor center was closed when I got there, so I wandered the grounds for a few minutes then left.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here's the tunnel you drive through when leaving and heading towards Gallitzin
    [​IMG]

    At the top of the hill I followed the signs to the Gallitzin tunnels. I hadn't been here before. Reading the placard it seems the Nazi didn't make it here either!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There's a small park with benches to sit on and watch the trains.
    [​IMG]

    I had parked across the bridge at this nice looking bar, it wasn't open so I don't know if it's out of business or I just hit an off day.
    [​IMG]

    I accidentally got this neat flag shot!
    [​IMG]

    I wiggled my way out of Gallitzin trying to find rt53. It seems they're doing water line work in town and a bunch of the roads are torn up. Onto 53 I headed towards home through Cresson and Portage, then made a detour out to a local lake to have a snack.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then back home. Just a nice easy loop. Burned up a couple hours going 70 miles or so.
    #15
  16. Runswithscizzors

    Runswithscizzors Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Oddometer:
    167
    image.jpeg Glad to see you out and about! Didn't get your way yet, but did take a ride up toward central pa on Thursday. Found an old iron bridge on a dead end road....I love finding stuff like this when I'm out riding.
    #16
    The Virginian likes this.
  17. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,437
    Location:
    Western PA
    Cool, kinda looks like the road dead-ends on the other side of the bridge!
    #17
  18. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,331
    Location:
    Northcentral PA
    Great RR for PA!!!
    I like folks that know how to have a good ride within 100 miles of home!!!
    And don't mind taking time to stop and take photos and have snacks. :-)
    And take this the right way, but with that fairing and bags... your bike doesn't even look like a Harley!
    I'm up near Lock Haven so do a lot of the same type of riding... not many miles but a lot of fun.
    Runzwithscissors--Where is the iron bridge with dead-end?

    Keep the RR coming!
    #18
  19. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,437
    Location:
    Western PA
    I went for a little ride this morning, but I left the Sportstour in the barn and broke out my adventure bike :D.[​IMG]

    Somewhere south of 12 RWHP and a clapped out factory suspension with almost 19,000 miles on it! You gotta be pointing straight ahead when you twist the grip on this baby, 'cause that big single sure blurs the scenery :-). Anyways.... I thought I'd head out to the bird counting platform in the Gallitzin state forest to blow the cobwebs off the Enfield.
    [​IMG]

    These roads are all gravel over red-dog and easily passible on any kind of bike, just need to be mindful of the potholes.

    This little guy was in a shadow and I almost hit him, so I circled back and got a pic.
    [​IMG]

    Our local mountain ridges have been getting inundated with these over the last 10 years or so.... I won't go into the politics of them here, I'll just say they are impressive machines and leave it at that.
    [​IMG]

    I noticed this small bud on a pine tree. Never saw one like it before!
    [​IMG]

    Here's the overlook. This was put in for the volunteers who make the annual migratory bird counts, this ridge is right on a heavily traveled part of the eastern flyway so it works well for the counters. I believe when you volunteer you are assigned a time slot then you go to the overlook at your assigned time and log whatever birds fly bye. I'd like to check into helping out with this when I retire.
    [​IMG]

    Here's my snack at the overlook. Judging by the carvings on the overlook this is a popular spot for young lovers. :crash
    [​IMG]

    Flowers
    [​IMG]

    I picked up a bit of trash that was left there then suited up to head home. I made a detour onto a bit of double-track (sorry, no pics) but turned around when it started to look swampy. A few miles later I started down another piece of road that I hadn't been on before.
    [​IMG]

    A small swamp
    [​IMG]

    This road looked to go for a bit..... I'll investigate more some other day.
    [​IMG]

    I turned around there and started heading home. I stopped in Dunlo at the old school building to pay my respects.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This small coal town paid a heavy price for my freedom! Thank you ladies and gentlemen for your service.

    I only hit one more dirt road on the way home. This one had some stretches of fresh gravel that made my bike feel like I had 2 flat tires.
    [​IMG]

    Through a couple gullies and up a couple hills I was back home.

    Happy Memorial day!
    #19
    bomose and B10Dave like this.
  20. Runswithscizzors

    Runswithscizzors Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Oddometer:
    167
    That overlook was outstanding......
    #20