Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Operation Smokey and the Slothballs (Pennsylvania edition)

      Where to start? Do we discuss the snow? The ride? The sleet in 30 MPH wind? Or perhaps the cabins? Well, like any good story worth telling. If you don't know where to start; start at the beginning.
     There are several motorcyclists who own small 49cc scooters as pit bikes. Many scooterists have one they use around town for errands. They are cheap to own and maintain, and get phenomenal fuel mileage. When was the last time you took one on a 500 mile trip into the mountains with your friends?

   The bikes were varied, but four of the six were 50cc machines (the other two guys don't own running 50cc machines at the moment). We set out from Carlisle Cycle and Scooter on a Saturday morning and headed into the mountains. Five strong with 390cc's of raw power between the group clawing our way....wait...CRAWLING our way into the Pennsylvania mountains.
      Our first destination, Worlds End State Park offered a warm cabin, hot showers, and a place to sit down and relax, but first, we had to get there. It wasn't long till we ran into some pretty good rain near Beaver Springs,PA. So, a quick stop for lunch at Rayauda's Restaurant to try to skip the rain was a good plan.
 We picked up rider #6 and proceeded to set out on wet roads with full stomachs and cheerful hope of no more rain.

After a lot of riding, some wet, some dry we reached our first cabin for the night. I cannot express the importance enough of GOOD GEAR and the right attitude for a ride like this. The temperatures were in the low 40's and half of the ride had been wet. Yet, everyone arrived with a smile and ready to warm up over a fire and some food.

Having jumped through a warm shower, had some dinner and a good nights sleep in a warm toasty cabin. It was time to set out the next morning for our next destination.
            Our destination for the 2nd day was only about 200 miles away, but remember. The miles go by slower with an average speed of 28 M.P.H. Sure, we hit 50 MPH on the downhills, but climbing some of these mountains is an 18 MPH experience. Its all in having the right mind-set. We all own bigger, faster, machines. The 49cc machines were what we chose to ride.

We experienced our worst weather conditions on day 2. The group rode through rain. We hit snow twice and sleet at least 3 times. Good gear, calm heads, and lots of laughter kept us going with a smile.

 Sleet sideways can be fun when the fool behind you keeps honking his toy bicycle horn to keep it from filling with water. Unless along for the ride, you cannot imagine the smiles that squeaky little horn brought in the worst conditions.

                                           ^^^^ THAT is the kind of attitude that makes a ride like this fun. Both of these pics were taken while filling up in the rain. How do you keep such a good attitude? We had a destination in mind for day #2. Denny's Beer Barrel Pub offers giant burgers for those brave enough to try. We had pre ordered a 6 pounder and were on a mission to do it in.

    Not only was this thing a monster (those are full sized pickle spears on top), but it had a good flavor and there was certainly plenty to go around. It took an effort amongst friends, but...

From Denny's we headed the 26 miles to our 2nd cabin in Black Moshannon State Park  for the night. Due to a few issues with heavy rain and sleet we arrived just after dark.

The temperatures were dropping quickly and we were glad to be in a nice cabin with the fire going.
Carl did a great job getting the fire going while the rest of us "gathered" wood. We even had a superhero watching over things while we brought our gear in off of the bikes.
 A warm night with clothes hanging everywhere getting dry. A beverage and good company. The stories were varied and most were even probably  true. After a good nights sleep it was time for the ride home. We said goodbye to one rider (who was hanging at the cabin for a bit) and headed down the road.
Overall, the bikes did amazingly well. We had a few problems with water, but we were riding in conditions most folks would not have ventured outside in. The bikes did their jobs, the cold weather and wet weather gear did its job VERY well. I can't say enough for finding a good shop with the proper gear for this type of riding.
We saw a few other bikes on our ride. It was great seeing the ones that just didn't get it, and the big waves from the ones who did. 500-600 miles of roads on bikes designed to be ridden around town on errands. The weather at times was just atrocious, but we were still all smiles.
Was there an enormous amount of shenanigans that didn't get mentioned here? YOU BET. This is an invitation only ride, but we do several others throughout the year that we invite everyone along. Keep an eye on our events page for upcoming rides and come along with us and be part of the story.

For another view of this ride, have a look here @ A Scooter in the Wild

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Middle of Nowhere Scooter Rally

    One of the early scooter rallies for the year is put on by the Middle of Nowhere scooter club. The event is lovingly known as Whiskey Dick.
        The ride up this year was going to be a bit wet, as rain had been in the forecast. We rode one scooter from home in the morning in rain and 39 degrees; not the best start to a weekend. The shop was opened as we waited for a morning delivery of two new bikes. Once the Sym Fiddle III was safely tucked into the shop it was time to hit the road. It was still raining, but the temperature had warmed to a balmy 51 degrees. The ride up was stretched over several hours as we had an additional 130 miles to go, but of course, there was time for snacks.
 We managed to miss the rain for about 100 miles, but the last 30 or so it found us with a vengeance. However, we knew the pool in the hotel would be warm and inviting. A quick meal with 50 of our close friends ( the clams were great) at Pub 447 and we were headed back to the hotel for some pool time.

    Saturday morning greeted us with some warmer weather and dry patches of pavement for the rides out with the club. The is a long ride as well as a "vintage" ride of shorter distance for the older bikes and folks who may have been just a little bleary-eyed from the night before. We all ended back at Barley Creek Brewing company for a nice meal and a ride back for afternoon shenanigans.We even had our own parking area.


     Once back at the Quality Inn it was time for some parking lot games and shenanigans.No one was really sure what was going on here, but it sure was fun.

    The Mario theme was awesome and I am sure we will be seeing some of this layout again. For some video and more pics of the field events, try the discussion section Here. The field events over it was time for dinner and good music from The Hub City Stompers. The raffle was held at 10:00 PM with many good prizes handed out. We even took home a few trophies this year. The handmade trophies are THE BEST and Cody's first one already has a special spot in his room.

     This is our fourth time at this rally put on by the MON crew, and it won't be our last. If a "hotel rally" doesn't seem to be your thing I advise you to try it once. We have been pleasantly surprised.  It is a good time with good people.
     As all good times, Sunday came along and it was time to head home. The weather was not being too pleasant with steady rain and 40 degree temps. There were many folks who had trailered bikes to the event (nothing wrong with that), but we came to ride. The ride home had its long moments, but still a good time on two wheels. There were breaks for hot coffee, pie and even burgers. It was nice knowing people were thinking about us on the wet ride home as several folks asked us to let them know we arrived safe. That warms our hearts more than you know.
     We WILL see you again next year. Take some time and check out this scooter rally. Next year, give it a try. Hopefully, we will remember to take better pictures next year.