Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pennsylvania Labour Day Long Weekend - 2011 - Video

Despite the fact we have encountered rain free, sun filled weekend jaunts to scenic Pennsylvania, this past trip, for some reason, will be the most memorable.

The Weekend highlights were:

Rest Stop - Clarion River
 At our staging area Saturday morning, a Timmy's in NOTL, Darek rode in from Waterdown to bid us a warm Bon Voyage...what a delightful surprise!
- in the past Mark Taylor has joined us for the mind numbing QEW ride to NOTL
- at each stop Donna constantly adjusted her luggage straps and Kim affectionately referred it to her "strap-on" throughout the weekend
-  our crossing at Peace Bridge Fort Erie, Saturday morning, was a piece of cake...only 3 cars in line...WOW!...we were expecting a huge delay
- the weekend temps were unseasonably hot/warm & extremely humid with the temps hovering 29c Sat 28c Sun and 19c Mon...awesome!
- I remember in the past having to endure an early Mon morning start ride of a chilly 10c...teeth chattering riders couldn't wait to warm up their core body temperature at the first breakfast pit stop - Burger King

- the weather Saturday eventually became so unbearably HOT Freddy had to pull an "Andy" and cool his tootsies in the shallow tepid waters of the Clarion River
- after the wedding party dispersed, at the Royal Inn, Donna pushed her HD bike closer to her room and executed an embarrassing simple tipover on the port side...yep, she didn't fully extend her side stand...Yikes!
- the snapped clutch lever was quickly "McGuyvered" with zip ties
- with a delayed dinner reservation, the Royal Inn ran out of Freddy's most prized entree...mouth watering prime rib.
- Freddy was not a happy camper...all day he was looking forward to ordering the prime rib special
- that evening, a surprise unsuspected birthday celebration put a huge smile on Donna's face
- the birthday cake complete with 2 candles was so tasty Dave R treated himself to have 2 pieces

SundaySunday morning breakfast at Joey's Bakery arrived riddled with uncertainty
- as we ate our bacon & eggs a heavy downpour of rain descended on Ridgway and decisions were cast upon we abort the ride and head home...if it's going to rain all day or continue?'s definitely not fun leaning a bike through twisties on wet pavement
- also, sketchy weather information culled from the locals hindered our decisions...arrrgh!
- so, while we protracted our decision making huddle the skies cleared, the sun poked through and eventually evaporated the moisture from the, we carried on
- we vacillated from a compelling weather decision to abort the ride, in Ridgway, to a questionable one to a definite continue at a Sheetz pit stop in was a great decision to carry on
- at Joey's Bakery Lynn actually had Freddy's cell phone in hand ready to cancel rooms @ the Comfort Inn Williamsport and abort the ride
- riding deep in Menno County we encountered many Amish traveling with their young inquisitive children peering out the open back window of horse drawn was definitely postcard cute !
- at a Lewistown Sheetz fuel stop Freddy decided to B-line to Williamsport along with Petra & Reed in tow
- the others wanted to experience undulating, much touted, roller coasterish rte880...but to our chagrin we found it under construction so we detoured to Loganton via a very twisty rte 447...what a nice surprise!
- Freddy was under the impression rte880 would extend our arrival time by an hour but to his surprise we arrived only 15 minutes behind him
- when we were approx 20 miles from our destination - Williamsport - a huge dark sinister cloud was quickly looming in our direction so, we twisted the wrist and hightailed it in a spirited fashion to outrun the rain
- within 10 minutes upon arriving the Comfort Inn Williamsport the skies opened up with a torrential down pour...whew!...but the bikes were already safely ensconced under the hotel canopy
- Tony and Joe staying at the Hampton across town hired one the three cabs available in town and joined us for an appetizing dinner at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant across the street
- well, it rained all night...seemed like possible remnants of hurricane Lee

MondayMonday morning we left Williamsport under cloudy skies with mild temps and wet roads
-  but heading back along rte 120 the skies opened up and drenched us with unrelenting rain
- gradually, as we entered the State of New York, the conditions improved
- in Ellicottville, an electronic temp sign of a local bank registered 63f
- once we reached the Peace Bridge border crossing, again, there was only a scant amount of cars lined up
- questions from the friendly border guard lady were basically to find out only if we had a good time and if the locals were friendly as opposed to smuggling questionable contraband...what a surprise!
- at our Timmys re-cap huddle, in Prudhomme Landing, we came to a conclusion...glad we carried on with the ride and as the locals would say, "If you don't like the weather...just wait 5 minutes!"
Till next time...
"Let the good times roll!"

Hey Al;  Thanks again for an awesome ride through the ever twisting and sweeping roads of Pennsylvania.  I can't really express to you in words how much I enjoy going on that ride except to say that I absolutely LOVED IT!!!  

I'm glad that you had a chance to show off the roads to those who had not yet seen them.  When I asked Ann Marie, Donna, and Matt what they thought of the ride, the reply was nothing but praise.  I give you all the credit my friend for your hard work, dedication, and most of all your patience.  You did a masterful job leading the group along the backroads of Pennsylvania and I thank you for that.  

You know as well as I do that when you have a group of that size, patience is the one constant we must have in order, otherwise, you just feel like cranking the right wrist and blasting out of that parking lot so fast that all the dilly dallers see is the smoke curling out of the Nomad's tail pipe. 

Now, when it comes to the dilly dallers,  I'm not mentioning any names because I'm sure we've all been guilty of that unfortunate character.  In saying that, I can honestly tell you that this group is the one I had the most fun with in all the rides I've been on down to Pennsylvania. 

Once again Al, thank you so much for a great weekend of scuffed tires and many miles of contorted asphalt.  I can't wait to do it all over again.   
Talk soon,  
Tony A
Good morning Al, just a short note to say "thank you". Thank you for your leadership and patience. Thank you for inviting me to come along. You just keep on outdoing yourself.

I also want to thank Lynn fo her work in co-ordinating the motel bookings, you are an insperation to all women riders. Many thanks to Fred and Kim for helping out. Fred thanks for introducing me to your friend Jack Daniel. Kim you get my vote as our designated photographer and the use of your hands tells me you are now ready to apply for Italian citizenship.

I also want to extend my gratidude to Petra and Reed for for assisting Al with the CB radio, smelling the fumes while sitting at the back of the bus its a dirty job but it was appreciated.
I really enjoyed every minute, every twist, curve, riding without a helmet, riding in hot and wet weather. I got to experience all conditions including  sniffs of the "Sinus Vapor" from the Menonites's horses.
Donna and AnneMarie, it was a pleasure having you riding with us, (at least I was not the only rookie on the trip) you are good sports.
Dave thanks for making a Beer run.

Tony and Joe, it was a pleasure meeting you both, everything people have been saying about you its true. (don't worry its all good) Angelo, sorry if you could not sleep the last not, I can assure you the snoring was coming from next door.

Thanks to all the veterans for making this trip a memorable one. It was, so far, the best trip of my riding carrier.

Looking forward in doing it again. You are a great bunch.

Ciao 4 now

Let me start by saying...
THANK YOU to Al & Lynn for asking me to join this outstanding group of individuals on this ride.
Pit Stop in Tionesta Pa
When Al first mentioned the ride, I didn't hesitate, in fact I think I jumped out of my skin.  Being the lone rider that I am, I don't venture too far from home. My longest trip up until this point was 4 hours to Tobermory, and there weren't many, if any twists and turns like I experienced this past weekend. Fred asked what was the highlight of the weekend?

This ride was like virgin territory for me, I have never ridden down, up and around as many beautiful curves like the ones we rode. You would have seen me smiling at every turn, I was in awe of the beauty around me, It made my heart light to be in the company of all of you.

As Fred said, there was great camaraderie within the group. Very much appreciate that a few of you had my back and kept a close watch on me (the newbie) as I rode. If this was an initiation, I hope I passed. Nothing would please me more then to be invited back on any or all of your trips in the future. What a great, great group of people. Oh and I cannot forget to thank Donna for being the best roomie a gal could have.
Anne Marie

 Ahh yes... PA. Reed and I took our  bikes off the trailer this past weekend with good memories of the weekend. Now just a shine and a buff cloth  on our  bikes, and we will be ready for our next ride. Thanks once again Al and Fred for leading a great ride on the weekend...always great camaraderie with this group.
Lynn, Thanks again to you, for booking the rooms. Anne Marie, was a pleasure to meet you and look forward to seeing you again.

Reed and Petra 
Hey gang,
 Another great PA weekend...With the exception of our return ride home today, we were able to ward off the rain demons including a deluge that began 15 minutes after we pulled into our hotel after a great day of riding..
Thanks to Al for his masterful accompaniment throughout the weekend and Lynn for booking great accomodations.
Fred and Kim
P.S..Never did get my Prime rib at the Royal...I guess a return visit is in order

Al & Lynn, Thank you.
This ride was not initially in my plans; Al, you called me and convinced me that even if the initial accommodation was all exhausted, St Marys was only 10 miles away. That’s when plan B kicked in and I rearranged my schedule and joined you and the rest of the wonderful people that came out this weekend. It was a great ride.

Fred & Kim, Thank You.
Fred you are always there with the GPS full of waypoints and ready to assist with route questions and radio assistance to ensure that the group rides as a pack. Kim, thank you for your “hotels alert”. I saw you talking like an Italian with your hands, you have my vote to be one.

To all, thank you for coming out. Thank you for the camaraderie and the sharing of the stories and jokes. It was great to see Petra and Reid after not being on a ride with them for a while. It was great to see Tony, Joe, Dave again. Anne-Marie, Donna and Mattia, congratulations on your inaugural PA ride; you’ve handled it like the pros that you are.

Al and Fred, within hours of shutting down the engines, you went to work again, You put together a great wmv compilation of a great ride, of a great week-end with a great group of people.

I feel priviledged to know all of you and ride with you.

Cheers and Let The Good Times Roll.


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