A good adventure starts with a good breakfast. On the way to the 1st Annual Touratech Rally East, my riding partner and I stopped at Diner22 on route 22 heading East. Started in 1946, it’s been family owned for the last 45 years. Everything is made from scratch and the owner, Eddie Wilt is a top shelf fellow. And motorcycles are very welcome, Ed rides himself.
On we went to the rally with full bellies. The event was held on private property off of 3 Couch Lane in , Pa. And, news to me, the area is rife with dual sport trails. The rally included camping, classes, GPS tracks, group rides, and entertaining guest speakers including record setting adventure rider Kate Johnston and champion rider Quinn Cody.
We enter the property and check in and get our event goodie bag. The road to the main camp site is a one way and was run very smoothly by volunteers on radios. Up to the main area we head over to the vendors area and set up camp with Mike Henninger of L.T. Wright Knives.
Thursday was basically set up and head to the Whipple Dam store for supplies. They had oil for the KLR, gas for the tank, and they even sell a Purple Lizard map of the area. So even if you tour the area on your dual sport when there’s no event, hit the store to get all the supplies you need. If your needs are more than they have, State College is only 15 miles away.
We then went back to the main camp for a presentation about traveling around the world with an Australian touring company via motorcycle. And maybe just one more beer. We had dinner, talked knives, trucks, motorcycles, and lots of other topics until everyone was just about falling asleep in their camp chairs.
Friday was an up early and get breakfast and coffee affair. We did our own thing in the LTWK camp. There’s always lots of bacon in their camp and we ate good. Even had plenty to share with our neighbor Matt the fly fishing guide from Philly. Pine Barrens Adventure Camp Riding School was offering a range of classes for motorcyclists. I spoke with someone who took the beginner/intermediate class and said it was fantastic.
Chris “Stumpy” Warden was who I rode up with. We both have 2nd generation Kawasaki KLR650 bikes that fit the new-to-adventure riding fun to a tee. There were a few different rides to pick from on Friday and since we’re both relatively new to adventure riding, we opted for the short easy loop. It was to be 65 miles in about 4 hours. The loop consisted of 2-lane blacktop and gravel roads. We had a lead rider, a sweep rider, and then all the others in between. Nathan was our ride leader and he and Eric from Touratech went over safety and group ride etiquette.
Off we go for a heck of a fun ride! We got to see a fair bit of the area, both small local villages and the cool air tunnels formed by tree lined gravel roads. With the natural fast/slow pace and just having to keep the headlight of the person behind you in sight, it was easy to either putt along or pour on the throttle for a minute or so. Nathan led a great ride and we had a few stops here and there for a break in the shade and to get some water.
We did 65 fun miles and headed back to the Touratech encampment. We returned around 2 and had time to get cleaned up a little and have a proper lunch. There were classes throughout the weekend as well as talks and presentations from the more well known and well traveled adventurers. Touratech also had a couple of ice cold kegs of beer for after ride refreshment. We mingled in the crowd, Chris and I drooling over the VERY well decked out bikes there. The BMW GS was very well represented as well as Yamaha Super Ténéré, KTM Adventure, and a few Suzuki DR’s.
Dinner at our camp was steaks and rice, with a bottle or two of wine. Hey, just because we’re out sweating it up on the back roads doesn’t mean we can’t have a great dinner! Tonight’s presentation was from Scott Brady about taking some Toyota Land Cruisers to the 7 continents. We could hear it from our camp and see some of the slide show. Since it was so dark there in the field, I was watching meteors streak across the sky as well. What a night.
Saturday morning was just about an eclipse of Friday with a good breakfast and then getting suited up for another ride in and around Huntingdon, Rothrock State Park, and the surrounding area. Today Dan was our group ride leader. Again, they did a great job with a safety talk and explanation of a group ride. Off we went on the same 65 mile loop only this time backwards to make it a little different. This was a much larger group of about 14 riders and I had a feeling it would be a slower ride with this many people. And it was. About 15 miles in, Stumpy and I decided to peel off and do our own ride at a little brisker pace. We had a good idea of where to go from the previous day’s ride and did most of that.
As we stopped for a water break in the shade of some trees, we heard the noise of a bike coming through the woods. Sure enough, here came a KTM out of a trail, looped around and back down into the woods. We walked over to investigate and sure enough, these are genuine dual sport motorcycle trails with signage posting such. And right behind us were maps on the board talking about the trails. Score! More riders came out of the trail and they told us what was down there. It sounded a bit too hairy for Stumpy and I to do this day but we’ll be back. At least we found them. I’m sure this is all on the Purple Lizard maps too. Purple Lizard Maps was there with their famous Rothrock trail map that shows the tons of trails and roads between State College and Huntingdon, Pa. We jumped on the highway for a few miles of 65 mph to blow the dust off and headed back to camp. Another great meal and we started to break camp.
Saturday late afternoon we were ready to ride back since the only thing really scheduled for Sunday was to head out. The ride back to Pittsburgh was uneventful and very nice. The KLR putted its way home like it was on auto pilot. I did stop for a photo with some giant Indians and at an antique shop. We don’t have a “world’s largest ball of twine” out here but these guys will do for a cool photo!
Until next time, Scooter here (your man on the inside) signing off.
- Overland Experts
- ADV moto magazine
- Purple Lizard maps
- Latitude Campers
- P3 Clothing Arts
- Mainline Overland
- Rothrock Outfitters