Covering 2010 Gettysburg Bike Week

brown event t-shirt

Diana and I had ourselves a great adventure this past weekend. We went to Gettysburg Bike Week to cover the event for Fast Lane Biker Delmarva. I have met Larry Racey, the event chairman, previously at my place of employment so this assignment was a good first assignment for us with FLB. I contacted Larry and he told me to ask for him when we arrived.

Diana planned us a route and researched hotels. Neither are easy tasks, especially last minute on a budget. She located a room for less than $100 at the Super 8 in Thurmont, Maryland about 16 minutes south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

We wanted to be on the road Saturday morning at 7:00am but we woke up to rain. We kept checking the online radar for the next few hours hoping the rain would disappear. Unfortunately the rainstorm was a big green blob heading our way between us and our destination. We would have to go through it if we wanted to arrive in a timely manner. I suggested to Diana several times that we should take the car. That way when we broke through the storm to the good weather we would be dry, wearing summer attire and ready to cover the event. Diana felt we should ride through the rain. I asked “why?”. She said “Because we are motorcyclists. That’s what we do!”

So we put the raingear on and went riding in the rain for two hours. We were gassed up and on the road at 10:00am. Diana’s 3 hour ride route through the country from Delaware, through Maryland and into Gettysburg, PA was awesome. Too bad it was raining. My raingear didn’t cut the mustard this time around. My clothes got pretty wet. When we poked through the storm and arrived in sunny Gettysburg at about 1:00pm I changed into my Sunday jeans and t-shirt in a gas station rest room. Guess I would be wearing those for the next 48 hours.

parade of bikes

flags

We arrived at Gettysburg Bike Week and went to see Nora at the Volunteer and Press Tent as instructed. Nora wasn’t going to let us in because we didn’t have any press credentials but once I mentioned that I knew Larry all systems were go! Larry came and got us in his golf cart and gave us the nickel tour. He dropped us off at the game area where they were announcing the winners of the bike games. We watched the tattoo contests and burnout pit. This was a first rally for me and Diana so the burn out contest was pretty cool to watch for a first time even though there were only two contestants.

burnout

tattoo contest gettysburg 2010

Next we got lunch at the food pavilion. I liked how organized and compartmentalized the layout of the event was. The foodcourt was great. We met a nice couple from Bel Air, MD while we ate lunch. Next we took some pictures where the custom bike show had been. There were only two bikes left in the facility where the contest was held. We got to talk’n with the man who runs the bike show as he owned a 9/11 NYFD tribute bike. Then we talked to the event photographer who I previously worked with at the International Motorcycle Show in NYC.

Diana on 911 NYFD tribute bike

We walked over to the Rally For RAACE Big 6 Wheel where I got to talk to my friend Anthony DiGeorgio from Chesapeake HOG about the upcoming Rally for RAACE fund raiser in August that I usually particpate in. It’s such a good cause and a good event.

rally for raace

Next we checked out the vendor village. Again I liked the compartmentalized layout. Back to the foodcourt for dinner. It was about 6:30pm and there was some time to kill before the AC/DC tribute band would take the stage at 8:00pm. I went back to check on the bikes and unload the merchandise we bought. There was some cool stuff there so we couldn’t help ourselves. Then we headed back. The beer lines started getting long just before the band was going to start and we decided it best to stick with soda so we got some drinks. We set out to find a haybale to sit on but they were all taken. Next we tried the three sets of bleachers and were able to secure a place to watch the show. The people we sat with turned out to be very nice. We had a good time with them watching Back In Black from Springfield, Massachusetts. They rocked! At the end of the show there was a fireworks display! Then the band played one final song. This was a great day!

Ac DC tribute band

fireworks at Gettysburg

We took pictures of the bikes leaving the rally. Then we headed up to the Eisenhower Hotel and checked out the action in the lounge. It was crowded with fun loving bikers. We cleaned up a little in the restrooms and headed to the bikes. Did some minor repair work to a deflated tire. Hooked up my CB which was initially packed due to rain.

We headed South on Rt 15 to find our motel. I don’t like riding on the highway at night but the Super 8 was very conveniently located. Good job Superwoman! I liked being in contact with Diana by CB and it made finding the hotel easier since we could dialogue just like being in a car.

We checked into the motel and made some interesting friends out in the parking lot. There was a biker from Massachustts who had trailored his bike down. Very cool guy. Didn’t get his name. There was also a senior couple from Michigan who were vacationing by car and were visiting Fort Bragg on behalf of their son who was killed while on active duty in Afghanistan. He had a 12 pack of beer and leftover chicken and biscuits from Roy Rogers. He was our new best friend even though he wouldn’t give us bikers too much time to talk bikes before he would start in with a story about his son. It was very touching though to meet these people, bond over two or three beers. It was a very comfortable night out unlike recent nights where the humidity has been killer. The rain had cooled things off and we were in the mountains. I think we hung out in the parking lot til 1:30am before calling it a night.

We woke up Sunday to a scorching hot day. Humidity wasn’t bad. Met some bikers during breakfast and while prepping the bikes in the parking lot. I let Diana take her time getting ready since the previous day was such a full one. She was wiped. We hit the road at 11:00am to head back to Gettysburg for some sight seeing. First we went to Boyd’s Bear Country. Then we toured some of the battlefields. This would have been more fun if it wasn’t so hot!

Boyd’s Bear Country

Diana at Boyd’s

jay at Boyd’s

touring the battlefield 1

touring the battlefield 2

touring the battlefield 3

cannon

diana climbing rocks at devils den

diana on the rocks

Diana’s ride route home was awesome. She has been putting together some incredible rides lately and this one didn’t disappoint. The CB’s were working pretty good and we were able to chat and joke while riding home. I don’t think I will be able to go back to traveling without being able to communicate. I am looking forward to upgrading my radio for next year.

By time we got home I was wiped out. I parked the bikes on the sidewalk in front of the house, headed inside, stripped off shoes-socks-pants. Grabbed cold beer. Went to sleep on couch. Woke up several hours later to find Diana working on the three hundred or so pictures she took. I put my clothes back on and unpacked the bikes, the gear and put the bikes away.

Click here to see all the pictures we took.

I touched base with Walt from Fast Lane Biker about the article I will be writing. I touched base with our Head Road Captain about Diana’s tire that is losing air. Then I processed my mail orders and wrote this blog post. The weekend is over and I can’t believe it went by so fast. Well, that is life in the Fast Lane.

4 Responses to “Covering 2010 Gettysburg Bike Week”

  1. Tire has been replaced…picked up a finishing nail. Big thanks to Mick & Doug at Mike’s Famous who got me in and out in less than 2 hours after dropping in unannounced! 🙂

  2. H-D Hi-Vis rain gear…Only buy the stuff if you want to stay dry. I highly recommend it.

  3. Doorman,
    My H-D Hi-Viz rain gear kept me pretty dry…except for my ankles. And my boots didn’t help much either.
    ~
    One thing we have definitely discovered (particularly after riding through a monsoon to Mansfield PA with a group of 40 people the other year)…when it comes to rain gear, you get what you pay for!

  4. […] and led the majority of the way on several trips with my hubby.  Jay & I spent the weekend at Gettysburg Bike Week and took two four-day trips along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Each of those was an amazing experience […]

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