My First Weekender

Diana’s Bike at Harriman State Park

Back when I joined First State HOG, I hadn’t even considered the possibility of taking a weekend getaway on a motorcycle.  And yet only a few months later, there I was hopping on the back of my hubby’s Low Rider® and heading off with a group of riders toward Mansfield and Pennsylvania’s Little Grand Canyon!  On that weekend I discovered that there was much more to motorcycling than local bike nights and afternoon rides around town.  Those beautiful mountains in which I had gone camping many times as a child were now seen with so much more of a breathtaking perspective.  I wasn’t driving through the hills and trees, I was a part of them.  We made great friends with members of the Endless Mountains HOG chapter, and for the first time realized the extent of the brother/sisterhood that binds us together.

Only a few short weeks later, we were off to ride through the clouds along Skyline Drive in Virginia.  And in the spring, it was back to visit our friends in Mansfield for what we all fondly refer to as the “Soggy Bottom” ride.  Travelling two-up on a Dyna®, I learned very quickly how to pack practically nothing and still have what I needed for a several-day trip.  I learned the importance of really good rain gear.  I learned not to carry a cell phone in my back pocket while riding.  And I learned just how much it sucks to ride passenger for long periods of time on a 4-by-5-inch leather-covered brick with no way to stretch out (or even move) your legs!

Motorcycle trips to Rhode Island, Connecticut, New River Gorge, and more broadened my horizons and played a large role in developing my passion for riding.  The addition of Kuryakyn Swingwing Footpegs and a Roho Airhawk seat cushion on the Low Rider® made the terror on my middle-aged body tolerable.  But I yearned to ride my own bike on an overnight adventure.

Just after returning home from five wonderful days in West Virginia, I traded in my 883 Hugger for a brand new Dyna® Super Glide®.  The new bike with its lower center of gravity, better stability, and more power was a delight to ride!  My confidence and skills grew quickly.  I rode on Interstates and even crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, but for several reasons the opportunity to take a trip didn’t arise practically all riding season…until…

On Labor Day weekend 2009, hubby and I headed off for the three-day weekend to visit an old college roommate in CT.  We had been planning this trip for several weeks – preriding portions of it and scoping out routes.  I can’t tell you how proud I was to load up my own bike that morning.  We headed out up I-95 through PA, then took River Road north along the Jersey side of the Delaware River.  Travelling mostly along CR-513 through New Jersey, the two of us then crossed into New York and onto one of the most gorgeous roads I have ever seen – Seven Lakes Drive through Harriman State Park and into Bear Mountain.  There is something romantic and almost magical about taking off on a couple of Harleys®, side-by-side with your most special someone and becoming a part of the lakes and trees while you cruise along that ribbon of pavement as it winds its way through the hills and valleys.

Motorcycles in Harriman

Harriman State Park

Across the Bear Mountain Bridge and into Clarence Fahnstock State Park we picked up Dennytown Road to US-301.  Our connecting road looked perfectly harmless on a map, but immediately after turning onto it, the pavement turned to loose gravel.  Then the road narrowed to barely a lane wide and became a severely cambered dirt road as we twisted past yellow caution signs reading “limited sight – 5 mph”.  An SUV came flying towards us from the other direction & nearly ran us off the road.  I was very glad to hit solid pavement again, and Dennytown Road did not disappoint!  The twisties and s-curves were well worth the horrific approach.  I’d have to describe nearly every turn in order to do justice to the amazing route that took us from Delaware to Connecticut and back.  Let’s suffice it to say that we couldn’t have planned it more perfectly… except for the dirt road.

Octoberfest

We arrived just in time to meet our friends for dinner at the local Oktoberfest celebration.  They knew we were riding, but were surprised to find that I had ridden my own bike.  I would be remiss if I didn’t offer kudos to our fabulous hostess…Margie could give Martha Stewart a run for her money!  It was much too short of a visit, but a very relaxing good time.  We were treated like royalty the whole time we were there.
On Monday morning Jay & I headed towards home, making sure to stop at Washington Crossing along the way. 

Geroge Washington Crossing Park 

By the end of the trip I was tired and a little bit sore, but extremely proud of my newest accomplishment.  Next summer we’re off to Niagara Falls for 6 days, and sure as shootin’ I will be riding my own bike!

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