Sunday, September 25, 2016

Buzz in the Valley #5

     I look forward to this ride and rally every year. It's a great time and I have made every one. A friend with a sidecar contacted me (as I have one too) about riding out together. " Do you realize how slow we will climb the long mountains? "... "Yes, I do" was his simple reply. I could detect the grin from 100 miles away. So, a simple plan was hatched. Oil was changed, tires were checked, and extra Spectro 2T oil was packed. It was going to be a long, slow WONDERFUL ride.
      We met up in Shades Gap outside of the famous Orbisonia (ask us sometime) at the only gas station in town. Fueled, a new gas can packed; we were ready to go. We took a slight detour on a little side road with a nice covered bridge to avoid the "Shadow of Death". Why take chances at the beginning of the ride?
                                                                    
    There is a cool church across the road, so we needed a picture of that as well with the bikes. As you can see, a SYM Symba decided to join us for the ride. Possibly the only time a Symba had to slow down and wait for a pair of Stellas.

    We decided to get back on the road and put a few miles on the bikes before needing fuel again. We hadn't gotten to the steep climbs yet, but we were aticipating the sidecar rigs to get horrible fuel milage climbing at WOT.
     
    We made sure to take a break here and there; sometimes just to stop and look at the scenery. The best part of this ride out is that we were not on any sort of schedule or in a hurry at all. Something the riders in this group enjoy quite a bit. We were looking forward to the rally, but half the fun is the ride there.
      We began the mountain climbs after filling up on the other side of Raystown lake. The sidecars did not disappoint as we both averaged about 40 MPG or less climbing the mountains. Keep in mind these are both two-stroke machines modified with big bore kits for the sidecars, but we were climbing at FULL THROTTLE the whole time. Speeds you ask? We aren't going to talk about that, but that kid on the bicycle could go.
                                       
    Upon reaching the top of the mountains, we decided to give the engines a rest at our usual secret paved windmill parking spot. If you ever get a chance to listen to those big windmills in the mist; make sure you take the time to stop. We were close to the rally and ready for some food so it was soon time to head out.
     We arrived at the sight to smiles and warm welcomes. They had waited for us to arrive to do a food run to the famous Coney Island in Johnstown, PA.
                                                                     

 If you want to try the local fare; the sundowner can't be beat. I had a young man hoppin' in place to ride in the sidecar. I think I almost had as much fun as he did seeing how much he enjoyed the ride.
                                                                               
    We were headed to ride the famous Incline Plane but the police had part of the city locked down and that was out for the night. So, following our host and keeping an eye out for pterodactyls (inside story) we headed back for a warm fire and some adult drinks.Cards against humanity waged on way into the night. It's a great way to learn how your friends minds work...It's always the quiet ones..There are no pictures from around the fire; you just had to be there.

      Saturday started with a warm breakfast of pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee by our hosts. I made sure to get my share of all the choices. The weather looked a bit iffy, so we all made sure our rain gear was packed...Well, those of us that brought rain gear :). I had another person ask to ride along in the sidecar this time.
                                          
    Let's just say Denny doesn't always get the pretty girls. The sidecar did it's job and I had a great passenger for the day.
     We did catch a spot of rain. We stopped,many riders donned their rain gear, and one even pulled up the full canopy on her sidecar rig to stay dry.
                                                                    

We road on through the rain and decided to stop early for lunch. A brilliant idea, as the rain passed over us during our meal and we had smooth sailing the rest of the day.
                                                                               

     We went by the Flight 93 memorial. A somber, but honourable field to visit. The new visitors center is a place to see  if you ever wanted the full story on what happened that day to flight 93. We spent our time, paid our respects, and headed back to rally central for an evening meal and a warm fire.
     What an evening our host had planned. FRESH corn shells from Punkys for homemade taco's. There were several people that had brought home made canned salsa, chipotle, peppers, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. I was in food heaven.
     The same two usual fire-bugs were at it again and got a warm fire started. We all settled in for a few drinks and....The Whiskey River Panhandlers decide to give us a show from the back deck. You had to be there, the warm fire, a talented group of musicians playing just for us while we sat enjoying our drinks. It REALLY doesn't get much better as far as I am concerned.
    
       A few hours later, and the rain decided to make its presence known again. Luckily, the tents were set up, the bed was made, and it was time to snuggle in for some much needed rest for the night (I love the sound of rain on a dry tent).
                                           
     In the morning we were greeted with a dry day and a warm breakfast. THANK YOU to our hosts for good warm food and drinks in the morning. I know it is work, but we truly appreciate it. This rally does feel like coming home and hanging out with friends.
     Finally, it was getting time to pack up and get ready for the ride home. There was one surprise left.  If anyone would like (and 6 people did); Brody had arranged for a tattoo session at Matthew's Party Tattoo for anyone that wanted a permanent rally patch. I didn't get one, but went along with the folks who did. Michael's work was top-notch and he took his time with each client and placed their ink just where they wanted. There was even one of the smallest detailed tattoos I had ever seen inked.
                                                                             





      As we headed home, the Stellas had one more trick up their sleeves and we suffered a breakdown on the way up one of the mountains. However, being prepared, we also had the part and the skill to fix it roadside. Expedient field repair. If you own a vintage bike or a 2T Stella. It IS something you should be good at.
                                                                     


    
                                                 
  Miles and smiles on the ride home. Time for one last picture before we had to part ways. The Symba was still putting up with our pace and I may have detected a smile from the rider.
                                                                       
                                       

   We had one last stop for gas as the rain finally caught up to us.
                                                                            




    He will never say it, but I feel the same. It's almost over....this time. We filled the tanks, said a quick "see ya soon" and headed off into the rain and the dark. Only another hour to home. Take it easy, watch for deer, and put them away when we get there. Another great ride and rally in the books. Thanks to everyone for a grand time.


   If you would like a view of the ride from another angle. Try A scooter in the wild

  For a fun video montage of the weekend, be sure to check out this masterpiece as well. Created by our very own Stiltz. His English prose was not to be missed, but you had to be there.
                                                                     


      
       

Sunday, August 14, 2016

How to keep cool when the heat is on

    With summers heat in full swing; we wanted to plan a fun ride with a special treat. We planned a 2 digit, small displacement and moped ride to retrieve some much needed ice cream from the Twirly Top.
      We had a first time passenger along, and she was ready to go...if looking perhaps a wee bit nervous about the driver. She loved her ride and will be back for more!

The sky had a few clouds, so we checked the weather and headed out to dodge the rain clouds.   

 Other than a tiny sprinkle when we first left; it was dry riding all the way out and back. Besides, who lets a little rain get in the way of fun?
   We had nine riders and eight bikes who braved the heat and the possible rain to join us for an enjoyable afternoon.


The heat was brutal at near triple digits, so what better day to ride for something cool.
                                    A rather appropriate fresh peach sunday for a TMISC rider.

 This was a short local ride, 12 miles out and the long-way back for 23 miles. It was planned as a moped friendly ride ( we do one a year), but sadly we had no peddles along. So, we took the long way back. Which meant someone ran out of fuel. A little carb drain hose, a two-stroke pre-mix bottle and some patience got us enough gas to get him to the next gas station.
                                                                             
    As someone along for the ride said, " It wouldn't be an adventure if something unexpected didn't happen". For those that didn't make this ride. Maybe we will see you on our next one September 25th.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

TMISC Meltdown 2016

    The Three Mile Island Scooter Club (TMISC) put on their 13th meltdown scooter event for 2016 on August 5-7. It was a good time as always. They had over 100 riders registered for the event.
                                                                       

Friday night was a meet and greet with pizza and subs being delivered by local shop Thatz'a Pizza, a fantastic local live band Finks Constant. You should really take the time to check out their FB page and go listen to these guys.

Afterward, it was time for a late night movie showing (complete with hot popcorn) by Carlisle Cycle and Scooter.

Saturday morning brought a warm shower and on-site breakfast provided by Bountiful Feast.

After a good breakfast, it was ride time. This year, it was very clear what time which rides left. GOOD JOB on the signs!

The long ride had a great time with many smiles!

There was food at the lunch stop, good times and a beautiful day for a ride. Then it was back to Fred's campground for the field games.
                                      The flaming wall of death is always a fearsome sight.

Many riders took the field games, there was a slow race, the gymkhana, a "drag" race


  The banana bite event; you should have been there!



If you noticed, in the background at the field games. We have an ice cream truck. Thank you to Miller Brothers ice cream for helping to keep us cool.


Time for a nice BBQ pork dinner with all the fixings, courtesy of Fred's campground. There were some great bikes in the field to check out as well as some glammed out campsites.

When was the last time you saw three Stella side car rigs together on one ride?



And after dinner, it was raffle time. The D-list crowd on the hill was raking in the prizes.

There were flags on bikes, and a flag flying at the campsite all weekend. It was a nice sight to see.


Even Suzy and Rafa from Cheeky Seats were in attendance with some of their wonderful creations

Saturday night went late into the night with a slip-n-slide set-up around midnight. 

Sunday morning was met with a ride to the AACA museum in Hershey, Pa.. The admission to the museum was covered with your registration to the Meltdown.

Overall, a great weekend. The were good friends, new friends, and lots of laughs. If a rally like this sounds good to you; be sure to watch our calendar of events for the next one. See you there!!!


A special THANK YOU to Kevin Jiannotti and Denny Magdule for some of the pics!












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Monday, July 25, 2016

Big Trouble in little Baltimore.

When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?"

"Yessir, the check is in the mail."

                                                                          
     That is how it all started. An idea, and then a decision to pull together a Baltimore rally. It was a good decision.
    Friday night's meet and great was held at Waverly Brewing Company which offered some great beers (I had an old bay) ,and some fantastic scooter only parking under 83. 
                                                                           
                                                                  
   There were good tunes, fun games, and some great hugs from friends I haven't seen in a while.
                                                               


       Friday night everyone headed home to cool off and get prep'd for some Balmor hospitality the next day. The city has so much to show and share, and our hosts knew the way around.There was a city short ride for those who wanted to stay local, Hon.
                                                                            

And for those wanting a cooler venue, and some more distance; there was a long ride into the county.
                                                 


    Once the rides were done, it was time for food, a live band, and some rally games. The location for Saturday night's meet was pretty cool.We met up at Housewerks, a vintage gas pump house from the 1800's that now specializes in antique and vintage artifact sales.
                                                                   


      There was just a spot of rain (15 minutes), but that always brings everyone together under shelter. There was a Chinese buffet with all you could eat. The cold beer and cold water were much appreciated by all. They were both kept cold all night !!!
                                                                               


       Once the rain cleared off it was time for music with The GTVs from Philly. They played some good music in that heat! 
                                                                             
   It was also time to squeeze in some rally games with a slow ride in the dark.

                                                          
 If I had seen the trophies first, I may not have bowed out of the slow race :). I thought the trophies were awesome!
   There were a few  TMISC riders in attendance, but the showing was a bit slim for a rally so close to home. We will do better next year.
                                                                          
     The big thrill of the evening was an appearance by Lo Pan himself.
video 
There were raffle prizes, a few good laughs and a cool evening for the ride back.
                                                                             
    We headed home Saturday night the long way. Who knew it took 78 miles to get to Westminster from Baltimore? The roads were great, the air was cool, and a few good riders enjoyed the backroads all the way home. Like Jack Burton always says, "It's all in the reflexes".
     A GREAT rally, many hugs, good food, good rides and a fantastic time.If the heat gets turned down 10 degrees next year it would be great, but everyone enjoyed the weekend. Thanks Bmore for a great rally.

A special thank you to Kevin Jiannotti for some additional pics!