The Preride “Return To Mansfield” – Penn Leather: A Motorcycle Oasis of Leather

Me in my Harley Davidson Jet II helmet at Skyline Drive

Last Saturday Diana and I did a preride of the 1st leg for our upcoming trip to Mansfield, Pennsylvania. It was only Diana’s second day out on her motorcycle this season and her first on the streets. We hit a wide variety of roads from Amish country farm roads to Interstate Highways. Diana isn’t into the expressway scene but she handled it like a champ.

I couldn’t sleep that night. That wasn’t what I had in mind for our trip. Getting from point A to Point B via the most direct route is not what my club is into. We like scenery. The route hit too close to Lancaster and Harrisburg. I got up early Sunday morning and mapped out a new route that was all scenic byways and country roads. I left my house at 9:30am to preride the new route. Diana stayed home as 200 miles on Saturday was a good start to her season, no need to push it. Her chiropractor wouldn’t be happy with me if I dragged her along.

This new ride was the bomb! Sweeping back roads with more twists and turns than you could wish for. Beautiful Pennsylvania farm land for miles and miles. I was in the zone except for being just a bit chilly. I seem to be cold blooded these days. It was supposed to hit 70 degree’s so I dressed a little lighter than I wish I did. I could have used just one more layer. I was missing my thermal long underwear and thinking it was time for a new leather jacket. This one wasn’t keeping out the chill and the broken zippers on the pockets were letting the wind in.

I was coming up this one road in Palmyra, PA called Lingle Ave. At the intersection of West Main Street I came to an intersection. I thought the chill seeping through my old beat up jacket was making me delirious because I saw a biker mirage! There on the corner in this 1 horse town was a motorcycle oasis. There was a little shop with no sign in what must have once been a gas station. There were motorcycle chaps, vests and jackets hanging up in the parking, on the walls and in the window.  Couldn’t tell if this was a store, a flea market or what. So I pulled in for a bathroom break and found the coolest little leather shop. The owner must be a leathersmith but he was out of town. There was a nice young highschool kid manning the shop. The shop was awesome and I knew I was going to buy something. I checked out the boots, but all they had were those stink’n boots I already wrote a post about. I tried on leather overpants because I don’t understand the crotchless chaps. Now I do. They just feel too bulky, like snowmobile pants. They had nice vests but I still can’t seem to get myself to spend money on one of these. Found some Unik leather jackets that were originally being sold for over $300 marked down to $169. I bought one. It is heavy duty and is vented for warm weather. Has a built in neck warmer for colder weather. I like my Unik chaps, so now I have a matching set. By the way, the place is called Penn Leather. The phone number is (717) 838-6162

I hit the road and got up to my destination by 2:00. Then decide to turn around and head home. I took an Interstate and thought I was traveling South East. I was haul’n ass! Dumb me realized way into this part of my adventure that I had been traveling South West! I was about 2 hours off course. After studying a map at a rest stop I got off at the next exit. I pointed my bike on any route that said South or East. The roads I was hitting were like ribbons of roller coaster track. There was a Gold Wing, a pick up and me going up and down like little boats bobbing in the waves. It was sureal. I wish all my blogging riding buddies could have been there. I was glad there was still alot of daylight left. Finally I hit Route 30 east which would take me to York and then to Lancaster. I passed the Harley Davidson factory in York. It seemed like it took forever to get to Lancaster. I stopped at the Super Wawa in Lancaster for a bathroom and gas up break. I called Diana and let here know I would be home in an hour or so. From there I took Rt 896 through Amish country and back into downtown Newark, Delaware in the center of the University of Delaware campus. Got home at 6:30pm and my angel of a wife had dinner ready. What’s better than that after riding 250 miles over 9 hours with just a 1 hour jacket shopping break?!

What an adventure! Sorry it took me most of the week to get around to writing this.

8 Responses to “The Preride “Return To Mansfield” – Penn Leather: A Motorcycle Oasis of Leather”

  1. You done Rundoft!

    Now that’s cool – I’d have loved to have been wingman for that ride. Just one thing – all that talk about being cold and buying a new jacket – and not a word about if the new duds made the ride home more comfy! You don’t have a leather vest? What do you have your First State rockers on, a Tee shirt??? You’ve got me confused now brother!

    What’s better than dinner at the end of a nine hour ride? The desert!

  2. I still felt a little chilly with the new jacket on. But the leather is way thick and I think it’s a great jacket. I am a bad HOG! I don’t have a leather vest and I don’t have a patch or a First State Rocker. No colors! I guess I have been bucking the system: no colors, no biker boots, I ride in the rain and I let my bike get dirty.

  3. Joker-FYI:
    Shrimp scampi for dinner, then we went out for Bruster’s Ice Cream!

  4. I have fond memories of the road roller coaster ride. Awsome. I know exactly what you were talking about and I WAS there with you. Finding places like that when you are out is like finding pirate booty. Just think, you get to do it all over again with the brothers and sisters!

  5. I had so much fun on this pre-ride (even with the parts that weren’t up to par for Jay)! Now I am trying to figure out a way that I could ride my bike for just the first day of our trip next weekend!

    The roads on Saturday will go through mountain switchbacks and we’ll be dodging Elk. Sunday is a very ambitious course and a really long day. I am not ready for that kind of riding. Not to mention I’d likely be too exhausted after the first day to ride again. This is a perfect opportunity to relax on the back of Jay’s bike and enjoy the ride.

    Still, I am dying to get out ther on my own. And after our pre-ride, I know I could handle the first part. Maybe next year I’ll take my own bike. 🙂

  6. Great post. Man I want to ride that roller coaster. Joker cracked me up as always. Jay don’t worry I ride in the rain and Doll Baby rarely gets a bath. I figure I’d rather rider her than rub on her. Oh! Princess Di is and angel. You are one lucky man. I need to find me a gal like her.


  7. I hope you do my friend. It took me a long time to find her, so be patient.

  8. The third time is the charm! 😉

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