I enjoyed an amazing motorcycle ride today. It all started when I was reminiscing on a vista I had discovered when I was about 17 years old and hadn’t seen it since. I live in Harrisburg but really needed to start the trip from Newville, PA. I could have taken Route 641 from Mechanicsburg. But that road from Mechanicsburg to Newville is dreadfully slow. So I decided to simply take I81 south from Harrisburg to Route 233 into Newville.
From Newville I followed Route 641 south-west through Newburg and Roxbury. Once past Roxbury, 641 winds through the mountains with spectacular views! Finally I come to the intersection of 75 and 641. Going straight through this intersection take you to the top of another mountain. This is where I park and take a short hike up to a radio tower. The undergrowth was too thick to enjoy the view. But in the Fall you would have a beautiful view of Franklin County.
Continuing over the mountain to the north brings you to Route 35 in Shade Gap. Make a right and follow this north until you reach Route 850 which is on your right. Make a right onto 850 for a nice twisty ride into Perry County. Pass through Honey Grove and cross Route 75. You will pass along the edge of the Tuscarora State Forest and come to an intersection at Route 17.
Make a left onto Route 17 and follow through Ickesburg until you get to Millerstown. Make a right at the square in Millerstown onto South Market Street. From here you can follow South Market Street along the river to Newport where you can pick up 322 east. Or you can take 322 east to Harrisburg right outside of Millerstown.
These rural roads offer beautiful scenery and avoid big towns. The small towns you go through really showcase rural life here in Pennsylvania. The trip was roughly 160 miles in length and will take you through Duaphin, Cumberland, Franklin, Huntingdon, Juniata, and Perry counties. If anyone would be interested in going on this ride and want company, I’d be happy to go along.
I bought my BMW R1100S as a step up from the BMW F650GS. The bike offers much more power and smoothness for touring. The downside is that even though the bike is considered a “sport-touring” bike, it’s more “sport” than “touring”.
The BMW Finger Lakes Rally is just around the corner and this year I’ll be going 2-up with Erica riding pillion. This means packing the bike with gear for two people, three nights, and four days.
Here I have the R1100S loaded with the BMW tank bag with it’s middle extension zipped in, BMW system cases with touring lids, Corbin seat with back rest, and a U-bag thanks to my friend Norm from the BMW Dutch Country Riders.
My plan is to store gloves, DSLR, and other quick-to-reach accessories in the tank bag. Erica will have one case for her clothes, rain gear, and essentials, and I will have the other for my gear.
The U-bag will hold our tent, sleeping bags, pillows, and hopefully sleeping pads. This has not yet been tested and I think it’s going to be a tight fit with the sleeping pads but we will just have to wait and see.
Of course as soon as I pick up the new bike we gets days of rain. But Saturday turned out to be ok with being overcast but no real rain. I took that chance to get out for a ride and get some better photos of the new bike. The best place I could think of was the bridge overpass on Cameron street which offers great diffused light.
These were shot with the Nikon D70 and Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens.