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Riding AltRider’s Conserve the Ride 2013

hello my name is

On Thursday afternoon, I watched Friday’s weather like a hawk. By all accounts it would be raining, the question was how much?

When Friday dawned and it came time to hit the road towards Pennsylvania for AltRider‘s Conserve the Ride 2013 adventure weekend, I was glad that we would be making the slog in Kenny’s truck. We were traveling out of the soggy clutches of tropical storm Andrea.

I cozily drifted in and out of sleep, lulled into dreamland by the steady whoosh of the windshield wipers. We were both thankful for the dry comfort of his Ridgeline while the bikes got a bath in the bed.

rain rain go away

When we pulled off of I-80 and headed towards the campground at Woodward Cave, the frog-choking rain that dogged us for 200 miles petered out to barely a sprinkle. The unicorn fairies must’ve been watching my back. They just knew I didn’t want to set up our tent in the rain. Thanks, unicorns!

Though the humidity hung around, the rain was just a memory. As the late afternoon settled in a trickle of motorcycles began to snake into the campground. I think. After I finished setting up the tent I may have accidentally taken a nap. When I woke up? Bikes were everywhere :)

home sweet home away from home
kenny at penns view overlook

After our initial check-in with the AltRider crew, the evenings festivities were kicked off with a delicious dinner and beer. As a public service, I made sure that I stopped drinking said beer before my verbal filter shut down.

If you’ve never had “the pleasure” of seeing me drink too much… let’s just say, I get way too silly for my own good. And anyone within 5 yards of me. And I *might* to curse like a sailor. And… and… and… 

Milling around talking with people, I really got a dose of travel envy. People were talking about motorcycle trips through the lower 48, the Continental Divide, Alaska, Canadian Provinces, Peru, New Zealand… *Stamps feet* I never get to go anywhere!

Of all of the nice folks we met, Kenny and I really connected with two fine gents from New Jersey – Bill and Art. After much chit-chat, dinner and drinks when it came time to get groups together to ride out the following day, the 4 of us clicked.

your host and hostess of this here blog

As Saturday morning tiptoed in with overcast skies, I was greeted by the usual dread and self-loathing about making people wait for me on the trail.

I suppose I should have warned Bill & Art that I’m on the pokey side. And scared of everything. But they were patient and funny and all around good guys who never complained.

Kenny took one for the Fuzzmop team and hung back with me for most of the day and we just met Bill and Art at the end of the optional sections.

Whattayagonna do? It’s not that I don’t know how to ride a motorcycle I’m just… timid and slow offroad.  One of these days everything will come together for me and I’ll just be normal. Until then, I’ll just continue to be the little engine that could.

Rockin’ Out

If you’ve never ridden there, let me tell ya ~ Pennsylvania is rocky. All day long you’re jiggled and shaken across the boney terrain. I found my hands had gotten quite tired from hanging on.

altrider conserve the ride

I only wish that the photos and video would do the surface justice. But, you know how it is – they always flatten out the terrain.

Adventure Riding at its Finest

The route set up by the fine folks at the Seven Mountains Conservation Corp (SMCC) for AltRider was a scenic 120 mile adventure ride with 7 optional legs from the main route.

dirt road bald eagle forest

The main route was mostly gravel and dirt roads throughout the Bald Eagle State Forest. It was beautiful and green and featured some wonderful vistas looking out over the rolling mountains.

altrider conserve the ride 2013

The optional sections of the route gave riders a little more of a challenge with ruts, rocks, mud and water.

into the slop

AltRider provided the group with a picnic lunch at Hairy Johns Picnic Area. Bill made sure to point out that we might not want to touch the toilet seat in such a place. Duly noted and agreed!  :D

lunch at hairy johns picnic area

There were about 85 riders on the ride. Other than when we pulled off at a turn or stopped at the end of an optional section, we didn’t really encounter many other bikes on the actual trails. All of the riding groups were well spaced out.

a quick stop for a drink

As the ride began to loop its way back toward the campground, some of the riders like my Kenny spent a little time monkeying around in a quarry-like area.

kenny in the gravel pit

After an absolutely great day of riding, the crew returned to camp for a pig roast, more beer and a presentation by Dakar racer Jimmy Lewis.

Putting in a full day on the bikes left me feeling so sleepy. Though I wanted to stay up to hang on to that sweet feeling of having a great time a little longer, the sandman was calling my name. I don’t think I even made it until 11pm.

Y’all Come Back Now, Ya Hear?

Yes, the riding was fantastic but it was the shared experience with Kenny and our new friends that stays with me. I hope AltRider comes back to PA next year, because I’d love to do it all over again. What an excellent time.

Girlie Motorcycle Purse – Adventure Edition

Save The Date: Void Rally 8

This afternoon I moseyed on over the Void Rally website and was greeted with the news that the die has been cast – The Void Rally 8 is scheduled for October 12-13.

Void Rally 8

This year’s rally pages are peppered with musical clues. Does it have meaning? Are the Rallymasters just having fun? Who knows? But it’s fun to speculate.

It was during the Void 7 that I first dipped my toe into the 24hour rally water. I came away having such a good experience that I would like to give it another shot again this year. Not because I hope to win, but because, well… just because.

Read:  Void Rally 7: Tales of a First Timer 

If you aren’t familiar with the 24 hour rally format, stop by their “How it Works” page for a good overview:

At the beginning of a rally every rider will get a list of Bonus Locations.   This list will include point values, bonus requirements, directions/address, what the rider is actually looking for (a statue, plaque, business, etc) and what time it is available…

…Your job is to construct a route that gets from the start location to the endpoint, within the allotted time while attaining as many points as possible.  A rider must also allow time for sleep, fuel, meals, traffic, twisty roads, etc.

According to the tentative schedule that has been posted, registration will open on June 20th. Hopefully the scheduling fairies will smile on me and allow me to follow through on this one!

Wonder Woman Adventure Rides Again

My awesome KTM-loving  friend Chip snapped a pic of me in my Wonder Woman t-shirt this past weekend at the 2-day Berkshire Big Adventure ride. Thanks, Chip!

wonder woman fuzzygalore style

I was tickled pink to find out that it would fit over my pressure suit. Between the already huge, distracting knockers, the plastic boob-guards and a back protector, I’ve got a lot going on in the rack department.

This particular shirt actually has a cape that velcros on to the shoulders. I thought maybe the cape would be a little too much for this ride. You know, because I didn’t want to look silly. ;)

Double Caboose Breakfast in Connecticut

For all my talk about planning and looking for things to visit while I’m stuck at my desk, it sure seems like I am able to stumble across a lot of great things just by simply riding around and keeping my eyes open.

Sunday was a bit on the chilly side. Of course that meant a perfect opportunity to torture Kenny by dragging him out to breakfast 150 miles away.

collins diner north canaan connecticut

The lovely Collin’s Diner in North Canaan, Connecticut is nestled between not 1 but 2, yes 2 cabooses (caboosii?).

I had no idea – it was just a lucky break.

yellow caboose north canaan

I’d call that a win, wouldn’t you? Delicious breakfast in the type of diner where the waitresses call you “hon” and 14 E2E static train points.

For whatever reason, the static train is one of my favorite categories in the Rally. I’m kind of surprised that I never really took note of just how many train cars are sitting idle before now.

red caboose north canaan

Along our route into Connecticut we passed many opportunities to collect points for the E2E Rally. But I just didn’t feel like stopping for them. I find it much more difficult to stop and monkey around on the side of the road when I’m traveling with someone.

Instead I filed some things away for ‘later’ when I have time to see them on my own. This of course goes against my resolution for the New Year. What can I say? I live on the edge. I’m a rule breaker.

Later today I may even run with scissors.