Our first road trip through Pennsylvania. Having just moved from CA, I knew that finding worthy twisty roads was going to be a challenge.
We loaded up the bikes, each of us carrying 20L of Kriega Packs on our backseat. Because look at those backseats, they're tiny! Since we were preparing for hot weather, we both packed ultra light. (3 nights, 4 days in 20Liters; not normal for me. I usually need all 40L). On the Speed Triple, we have 2 US-10 Liter packs and on the SV I have one US-20. I offered to carry all of it but someone was being chivalrous. Honestly, I can't tell the difference between having just one or all 3 even fully loaded!
As far as myself, I wore my hybrids, Revit Galactic and Gear 2's, which were perfect for the 70s-80s that we were riding in. Looking back I should've worn my Schuberth C3ProW but decided to go with my Arai Vector-2 since it flows so much more direct air. I was expecting a really hot weekend of riding so I opted for the lighter option. It was my first time riding a considerable distance on my new to me ride, without a fairing and windscreen. We also spent a lot of time on more scenic roads and the winds were pretty miserable. I know the Schuberth would've been quieter and a bit more stable at speed; and since it was cooler than I expected less wind in my face!
For the man, we picked up a new mesh Dainese Air-3 jacket (Euro 54; 5'11", 210lbs) for him, which he says flows an incredible amount of air. Definitely too much for 70s-80s but perfect for the hottest riding conditions. A pair of Alpinestars GP Air gloves followed him home as well, a really nice pair of summer gloves with a nice balance of protection and ventilation.
Sidenote: this jacket is available all the way down to Euro 44 / US Women's 6. If you dont have a huge hip differential (more than 2-3 inches between the difference of your waist and hip measurements) then it's a great option for women too.
I also want to mention this cute little handlebar bag that the man wanted for his S3 instead of a tank bag. It had just enough space to keep basically what you see below; wallet, keys, small necessities. The GiantLoop Zigzag Handlebar Bag, $52.25 on Revzilla.com.
Friday July 4
I prepared a mighty route, mostly off the interstate/turnpike. Lots of local roads. We spent about 30 minutes on Interstate 76 before reaching 422.
The highlight of the route was 125 to Shamokin. It was definitely the longest stretch of a twisty road, maybe 10-15 miles? I figured out how to make a step by step map via google maps! It's 225 miles, about 6-7 hours from start to finish with quick breaks here and there.
Actually a really nice mix of sweepers and a few tight turns. I'd call it more of a beginner road, not really technical. This was one of the nice stretches of open space on 125, just beautiful. After we got to Shamokin, it was late so we decided on a more direct route from 61 West to 15 North and didn't get to explore the route I planned after that point. :(
I would say that most of the roads were very scenic, with some nice sections of twisties here and there. Being a California girl, my standards are high. Probably too high. But it was definitely one of the best roads I've ridden in PA so far. We also made a point to ride it again on the way back home.
However, one thing that did meet my expectations was the motel we stayed in. Motel price, but much much nicer than other motels I've stayed at. It's a family owned motel, very reasonably priced (less than $80/night), non smoking, and pet friendly! We were able to park right out front too
Since we rolled in rather late on 4th of July we ended up ordering from Little Caesar's Pizza, the only thing open in town. We planned a route for Saturday, pretty ambitious because our goal was to ride as many of the twisty roads we could find. A couple weeks before we left, MadMaps generously sent me a set of maps for Pennsylvania! Check out everything they have to offer on their website.
Saturday July 5
The day started with breakfast at the Texas Diner in nearby Lockhaven (tasty and cheap!). We decided to ride a few different parts of several different routes. We definitely found some fun stretches, lots of scenic routes that really showcased how beautiful the state of Pennsylvania is once you leave the big city.
Our goal that day was to check out the Pine Creek Gorge, aka Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Our route started out like this out of Williamsport:
220 North --> 44 North --> 144 North --> 6 East --> 362 East
Since Sue was leading us into the park entrance, I'm not entirely sure where we entered. We took the turnoff from 6 and then entered on the North end to Leonard Harrison State Park. There was even free motorcycle parking right in front.
Unfortunately my mind is a blur as to what our return route was back to Williamsport. All I know is that we rode about 400 miles that day and it was a lovely ride back. Since we rolled in around 7pm we decided to pick up sandwiches and enjoy a nice meal outside.
Sunday July 6
I don't want to mention breakfast because it was rather sad, not nearly as good as the Texas Diner, so go there! Sunday's route was a little different:
After we all got our photos in, we decided to head back. Unfortunately this is where we decided on an improvised route. All I can remember is that we got over to 219 South and stopped at 22 for a gas break. :-(
Monday July 7
The good news, I saved my ride route back home! I overlapped a few roads without knowing it.
I basically looked at google maps and picked the twistiest routes I could. Of course, we had to do 125 again. The best part was stumbling upon 2018 and the covered bridge! It was beautiful, just like in the movies. I've never ridden or driven through one before. We found it off 143 just south of Lenhartsville. It's on the left, less than 2 miles south. You need to look for it because if you don't, you'll pass it. We were so excited we forgot to take pics of the front. But here are some awesome pics of the back!
Looking at the map, the road behind the bridge looked really fun too.
We hit some traffic on the way back into Philadelphia so the entire day was a long one, leaving at 10am and getting home at 6:30pm. I'd say we were out riding every day from 9am to 6pm. Overall we rode ~1,100 miles and I enjoyed almost all of it, except for my horrible stock seat. We can't wait to send our seats to this guy in Florida: A Great Day to Ride. The riders on the Triumph Rat forums swear by him, and for the price I can't say no. Especially since we can do both of our seats for the cost of one Sargent or Corbin.
I also have to mention my wonderful friends, Sue and Gin of the Women's Motorcyclist Foundation. Between the two of them they have well over 1,000,000 miles (literally) under their belts from all the roads they've ridden over the years. They won't stop riding even though they technically "should" due to them being at the age of "retirement". Not likely, anytime soon. I've learned so much from these two, I'll never stop riding until I absolutely, positively have to. They're living proof that riding motorcycles keeps you young :)
To sum it all up, I have to rate the riding as scenic, and nothing like the technical riding we have in CA. I know that there were a LOT of roads we didn't explore, because they didn't appear to be fully paved. If we all had dual sport bikes, I know we would've been more adventurous to find out what all these little roads were like. I found a TON of twisty routes in my atlas but none of them were clearly paved. I don't mind exploring every now and then and may do that on my next ride because I don't care if I hit some sand or gravel. If it's too much I'll just uturn. But I feel like there were a lot of potentially amazing roads that just need a slightly different bike...
Next Trip: Either up north to NY mountains or south to VA. Stay tuned!