Last weekend I took a three day ride with five friends up into the mountains of northern Pennsylvania.  We had two Genuine Rough Houses, two Kymco Cobra Cross’ and one pearly white 150cc Vespa. Total displacement so far was still under four hundred cc’s. We set out from Carlisle a little after ten a.m., and headed north on Rt 74. The weather was cool and cloudy, and looked like rain was approaching. It was. We caught it about an hour later, and stopped to grab fuel and slip on some weather appropriate attire. 


Fueled and geared up, we set off to meet up with our last rider, who was our rolling toolbox for the trip, on an orange Stella. Total displacement was 500cc’s, and six scooters being ridden. 

The little scooters were held wide open for hours in the pouring rain, up mountains at 20mph, and down mountains at with the speedometers well past the numbers. The rain was on and off all day, making pictures difficult to get, and it got worse as we got closer to Worlds End State Park. Still, it was a good ride with some interesting scenery and some spectacular lightning strikes very near by. 

We grabbed some snacks and headed to the rental cabin. Then headed back out to a closed gas station to get firewood with a sketchy cash transaction. Back at the cabin, with a fire burning, we settled in for a few drinks, and some hanging of gear to dry (everything was wet and cold). 




(Some early morning tomfoolery) 


Day two, everyone was up between 430 and 830 a.m. It’s the weekend, no reason to rush. Plus sleet. It was sleeting. Awesome way to start a long day of riding. Breakfast was skipped in favor of finding something better down the road (we didn’t), gear was re-packed, rain gear and cold weather gear was donned (layers dude, layers), fuel was topped off, and we were off and running. 


Wrapped up like a seven layer burrito, semi- lost, dealing with some minor water/fuel issues, we hammered along at a screaming 25mph average speed. Those are some steep hills, but the downhill side is a blast. There is something awesome about hitting the twisties on tiny tires in rough weather with a group of hard core riders. No hesitation, no distracting habits, just drop in the turn and go. It’s beautiful when a group rides like that. Everything just flows, and let’s you be in the moment. 

Lots of good scenery, and great roads, but not many pictures (unless you count the five times we stopped to dump water out of the RH50’s air boxes). 


Most of the day was a mix of snow, rain, wind, sleet and strange sunny moments that only happened when we stopped. Like every time we stopped. It was fun, and a good endurance test.


We finally made it to our food stop in Clearfield. It was 6lb burger time. We were covered with enough 2T film that they didn’t want us near other customers due to olfactory concerns, so they found us an out of the way table. 


The burger was quite enormous. It took a Hurculean effort from all of us to finish it. 
We then began the last leg of the day’s journey, an hour long jaunt to Black Moshannon State Park. Holy shrunken walnuts it was cold. Everyone was soaking wet, stuffed to the gills, and it was dark and near freezing temperatures. That was by far the most miserable part of the trip for me. The cabin was worth it, though. 


Once the fire was going, and everyone was warmed up, it was time for relaxing by the fire (and general adolescent stupidity). And then time for sleep. 

Morning brought sun and warming temperatures. We packed up and began the ride home after saying goodbye to the Stella. We found some good bicycle routing and headed towards State College. And began having minor breakdowns. One of the Kymcos had a 14 year old petcock that just wasn’t happy. 


Other than the occasional quick stops to get the Kymco running, it was a glorious day. A fitting conclusion to a perfect adventure. 


I can’t wait to go again next year. 

Here is a link to another rider’s blog about this ride: http://carlislecycleandscooter.blogspot.com/2016/05/operation-smokey-and-slothballs.html?m=1
Happy riding! 

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