Tag: Altrider

Riding AltRider’s Conserve the Ride 2013

Riding AltRider’s Conserve the Ride 2013

hello my name isOn 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 overlookAfter 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!  😀

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.

The AltRider Giant Loop Adventure Ride – Pennsylvania Style

The AltRider Giant Loop Adventure Ride – Pennsylvania Style

AltRider Booth at BMWMOAWhat better way to spend a Wednesday than behind the bars of your motorcycle? On the eve of the BMWMOA event in Bloomsburg, Pa. – AltRider hosted it’s 2nd Annual Giant Loop Adventure Ride through the wilds of the Seven Mountains area. Ben, Kenny and I hauled ourselves out to Pennsylvania to check it out.

Tapping the local knowledge of the Seven Mountains Conservation Corp., riders were treated to a great 75 mile mix of gravel and unmaintained roads as well as 4 optional trails that were lots of fun. The area is quite rocky and the options made good use of that terrain.

The optional sections were so fun in fact, that I really didn’t stop to take any pictures while we were on them. I only stopped to take a quick drink now and then or to welcome bees into the mesh of my pressure suit and be stung.

I strongly advise against trying the latter. It does nothing for your riding.

DRZ near a bridge on a gravel road

The temperature soared well into the 90s. It was stifling if you dared to stop. But, even the oppressive heat couldn’t put a damper on everyone’s spirits. The vibe going around was friendly, upbeat and enthusiastic.

GL and his DRZ - AltRider Giant Loop Adventure Ride PA

Though anyone was welcome to join, because the ride kicked off from the 2011 BMW Rally it was a sea of big GSs. Kenny, Ben and I were like a squad of interlopers on our “little” DRZs. I came away with much admiration for how some of the riders were able to handle those giant bikes so adeptly.

GS Central on Altrider Adventure Ride

While climbing a rocky section of one of the optional routes behind a guy on a GSA12 with big, blocky, aluminum panniers I couldn’t help but think – “Jeez that thing is HUGE. There is no way I would attempt that!”

But, he just kept chugging along, climbing up the rocks – making it look easier than I ever could have imagined. And he wasn’t the only one. There were many guys just like him. I guess it just further solidifies what I’ve suspected all along. I’m a wimp. ::shrugs::

Kenny in the woods - gravel road

The gang from SMCC flipped burgers and dogs, and gave us all of the water and Gatorade we could handle at the halfway mark. It was great to get a chance to meet and talk with some really nice people from all over. I even got to put a couple of my Twitter buddy’s names to faces like; @RideAdv and @GiantLoopMoto!

Its nice to see companies get out and rub elbows with the people who buy their products. I was happy to discover that the people behind the products really are enthusiasts of the sport. They’re real people, real riders and they “get it”.

Bens sleepy bike catching Zzzs
...and STAY down!!

When you come home feeling good about the ride and manage to make a few friends along the way – I believe that’s what you’d call a great ride. That’s just what we had.

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