Keystone Summer Swarm: 7/14/13
Well another good ride was placed in the archives from this past Sunday. Our crew assembled at the Clinton Station Diner for some morning vittles to fuel the furnace for the day to come. We picked up another rider at the Pilot Station and proceeded to get some saddle time through Hunterdon County and warm up the rubber. Crossing the Delaware River at Riegelsville, we headed north on PA 611 to get to some fresh asphalt in Raubsville.
From there, it was all back roads to Hellertown where a short sprint on the Interstate delivered us into the small Hamlet of Vera Cruz. A couple of riders signaled for a pit stop near Harlem where we found an empty lot to water the flowers. Our mission was to get on Pa 863 and refuel just after Interstate 78. This is Pennsylvania farm country with nice rolling hills, good pavement, and a 15 mph ninety degree turn thrown in to keep your attention focused. We made good time over to Kempton where we took a break in the shade and refreshed our electrolytes.
Climbing up and over Hawk Mountain was our next adventure with a relatively empty road. A quick shot over to New Ringgold dropped us off at the base of Cold Run. This is one of the best stretches south of Interstate 80 as long as you don’t get behind some pokey who is admiring the landscape. We strafed Heisler’s Dairy without incident, shot the four way, and headed over Wildcat Mountain to Tucarora State Park. This is an exceptional piece of tarmac all the way to PA 54. I decided to let the crew have some fun and I fell back to sweep while they took the point on this leg.
Just north of the center of Mahonoy City, there is a nice stretch of roadway listed as PA 339 which will take you all the way up to Interstate 80. Again, the crew took my direction and led me up to Brandonville. We were very lucky to have escaped any real congestion so far until we came upon a Harley parade near Shumans. Oblivious to our presence, that group of five continued to meander all the way to Mainville with zero opportunity for us to pass the herd safely. I kept looking at the last rider who was two up with zero gear(PA has no helmet law) and his honey try to negotiate some of the turns on a custom rig with a 300 series rear tire. Scary! If I had the opportunity to stop beside this couple, I would have mentioned to this pilot that his scoot should be reserved for "Bike Night" or profiling on Main Street and then offered his passenger a safer ride back to civilization.
A short sprint on 80 set us down to PA 93 for a break and some fuel. Another hot shot on 81 allowed us to reverse course all the way back to New Ringgold completing the keyhole. The band was getting a bit weary from the heat and humidity, so we high tailed it over to “A Town” for some relief and sustenance. The “Tilted Kilt” provided everything we needed as no one was disappointed with the food or eye candy. Our waitress, Sabrina was extremely accommodating and attentive.
Upon departure, I overheard some chatter on the CB concerning a backup on Interstate 78 at Hellertown, so we exited just in time to catch some back roads over to the Garden State and run River Road (CR 627) to Milford and then up through the "boonies" to the Pilot Station where we started.
All tolled it was a great day in the saddle. I clocked out at 259 miles for the day.
Thanks to all for coming out on a sweltering day. And welcome to Eldon & Kunal. See you at the next outing.
"FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS EARLY APEX."