Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania’

harley Davidson

Harley Davidson Vehicle Operations, York, PA Open House

Debbie and I decided to ride to the Open House at the Harley Davidson factory in York, PA on September 19th.  The factory, which is officially known as the “Harley Davidson Vehicle Operations, York, PA”, has an annual open house and allows the public a chance to see how HD Softails, Trikes, Touring and CVO are built.

We left the house a bit later then we wanted but hit the road mid-morning.  Taking US Route 15 North to Gettysburg (after stopping at Deb’s favorite, Chick-fil-a for breakfast).  The ride on 15 between Frederick, MD and Gettysburg is nice smooth, picturesque trip through Farm County.  But, you need to be alert on this road as there are many, many crossroads that require attention!

When we reached Gettysburg we turned on to US Route 30, also known as The Lincoln Highway, which is the third longest route in the US.  The exit for Route 30 is also the exit for Battlefield Harley Davidson.  I was surprised at the number of motorcycle related small businesses were along the road between Gettysburg and York.  While we did not stop, we were running a bit later then I wanted, I counted at least 5 bike related stores including Battlefield Leather and the Iron Horse Repair Garage.

The worse part of the ride occurred just outside the town of New Oxford. The major crossroad in the town is being repaved and had traffic backed up at least 5 miles.  The GPS showed no way around without a lot of back tracking and Deb would not allow me to skip traffic by riding on the shoulder.  Once we reached the city limits I was able to ride through the back streets and bypass the traffic and construction.  All in all the road worked added another 30 minutes to the ride.

We arrived at the factory a bit before noon. There were all makes and manor of bikes there, even for a Thursday afternoon.  After registration we were issued safety glasses and told to stay inside the yellow lines.

harley davidson

Debbie having lunch outside the factory!

During the walk through we witnessed the birth of a Harley (the VIN stamped onto the frame), fenders and tanks stamped from sheet metal, fairings and saddlebags attached, and bikes tested then loaded into trucks.

We talked with a few of the workers that were assigned to keep us on the path and out of the way of the robots moving the bikes and parts along the assembly line.  They all like working at the plant and enjoyed having us walk through and see what they do to make the bikes.

The walk though ends with you in the gift shop, of course.  There were many “Vehicle Operations” labeled items including the ubiquitous t-shirts.  Because this was an open house the factory had invited several local dealers to “setup shop” in the parking lot along with some food vendors and the “Globe of Death”!  In a different part of the factory campus there were demo rides of the new 2014 bikes as well as the HOG (Harley Owners Group) Pin Stop.

All in all we had a great day (with the exception of the town of New Oxford), so much so that we are considering going back for the “Steel Toe Tour”.

I recorded this at the Harley Davidson Vehicle Operations, York, PA Open House!

The Bridges of Pennsylvania,,, A motorcycle ride.

Foggy start to the day

This past weekend Debbie and I rode with the Northern Virginia Motorcycle Club (NOVA MC) to see and ride through a bunch of covered bridges in Pennsylvania.  This was an all-day ride; we left the house on a foggy Saturday morning at a few minutes after six AM to get to the rally point.  The club met up outside a Starbucks in Chantilly, VA before rolling out for the day.

Heading north on US Route 15 we crossed into Maryland at Point of Rocks passed through Frederick and quite soon entered Pennsylvania and the first stop. This bridge was literally just across the state line off of Route 15.  I am not sure where we stopped or the name of the bridge but the picture is below. From that point on we attempted to capture a picture of the name or historical marker.

After a bit we rolled out to see the other bridges.  About one o’clock we stopped for lunch at The Old Mountain Stone Inn in Bloomfield, PA.  The food was good, the company better but the show was the best (LOL).  About half way through our lunch a poker run arrived and they were having a lot of fun which made it a lot of fun for us to watch!!

The Bridges of Pennsylvania,,, A motorcycle ride.

Pennsylvania Amish country.

During lunch we also noticed that the incoming weather was getting much worse and decided to cut the ride a “bit” short.  We decided to visit the longest covered bridge (271 feet) in PA, the Academia Bridge.  From there we jumped on PA Route 75, which passed through the Pennsylvania Amish country.

Storm Chaser Powers ACTIVATE!

It was on Route 75 were we got the wettest!  While we had experienced sprinkles and light rain we got a downpour, and of course nowhere to really pull over.  We finally reached a gas station where Debbie and I did the group a big favor; we put on our rain suits, which normally guarantees the rain will stop.  We split off from the main group to head home shortly after that stop and we might have had ten rain drops from that point on!  I hope the others fared as well!

About Northern Virginia Motorcycle Club

NOVA MC is a “Meetup.com” group that “is for motorcycle enthusiasts who are interested in taking short jaunts, usually on weekends, around Virginia’s highways and byways.”  Debbie and I discovered them about a year ago and this was our second ride with the club.  I have to say that we have tried to ride more with them but life, schedules and other events have conspired to limit our experience with the club.  BUT, I can say that without hesitation, if your live in Northern Virginia and want to ride in a motorcycle agnostic environment and want to have a good time, check them out!

Gettysburg Bike Week

Welcome to Gettysburg Bike Rally

This past weekend Debbie and I attended the 2013 Gettysburg Bike Rally.  The rally is split into multiple venues, the All Stars Complex and Granite Hill Campground and the American Civil War Wax Museum. While not part of the official rally, Battlefield Harley Davidson also hosted a good number of vendors. We did not make all the venues passing on the Wax Museum, but maybe next year.

Gettysburg bike wiek

Debbie and Karma with Bubba Blackwell

On Saturday we met our friends Tim and Karma at the dealership and after checking out the store and vendors we then rode over to All Stars Complex to watch Bubba Blackwell, American Dare Devil.  We got there a little late but did get to watch him drift, wheelie and generally make several Harley Davidson bikes do whatever he wanted them to do.  I was impressed with this ability to bring an Ultra Classic bagger to a pipe dragging, all the way up wheelie!

But other than Bubba this venue was a bit….light on vendors and things to do.  We spent most of our time waiting to participate in the “Parade of Chrome” ride to the Granite Hill venue. I would have to guess that there were over 500 bikes lined up to ride in the parade through downtown Gettysburg.

It was apparent, as soon as we arrived, that the campground was the main base for the rally. The majority of the vendors were at the campground as well as the biker build off, bikini contest and the main stage for the headlining acts (War was the main band this year).

For diner we rode back into town looking for a nice place to eat, but it was clear that there was going to be a long wait no matter where we went.  We were referred to a local spot called “Sharpshooter Bar and Grill”.  When we arrived the outside was packed with bikers of all types, but indoors it was open and we got a seat as soon as we walked in.  The manager, Ed, was our waiter and he took great care of us.  The food was great, the service was great.  I would highly recommend Sharpshooter if you are in the Gettysburg area!

Apparently the heat and sun really took a toll on us.  Sunday morning no one moved until nearly 10AM. For breakfast we rode into town and ate at the Farnsworth House (a B&B that serves breakfast to the public). The House was there during the battle of Gettysburg and has over 100 bullet holes to prove it.

After our meal we decided to ride through part of the battlefield before heading home.  The easiest part of the battlefield for us to get to was the confederate line. We rode along the line stopping at several points to look at the monuments and history.  The view from where General Pickett started his march into the Union cannons was eerie, knowing that an entire Infantry division was destroyed.

After the riding the length of the Confederate line we said our good byes to Tim and Karma and we all headed home.  All in all it was a great weekend on the bikes and with friends.