Monday, May 21, 2012

We're hardcore at Knoebels, boys and girls!

So's title? Comes from this:

Saturday was the Third Annual ST.N "Ride to the Rides" to Knoebels in Elysburg, PA. Chris did the first Ride to the Rides back in 2010; I drove over in my car. It was that event that really sparked my interest in riding on a motorcycle with Chris, particularly when I met Leisa and Andrea who'd ridden over with Jerry and Shane respectively. Last year, I rode with Chris (yay!). Actually, we headed over "that way" Friday evening and stayed with Jerry and Leisa to be closer to the starting point for the motorcycle-ride portion of the day the next morning. (The ride has started in Gap, PA and Downingtown, PA; both locations are approximately three hours away from our house.)

This year, Chris had to teach Friday night and all-day Sunday, so riding over the night before was out of the question. And, honestly, getting up at 5 AM to make it over to the starting point in Gap, PA wasn't very appealing, so we decided to do our own "ride to the rides" to get to Elysburg and timed it to arrive around the same time as the larger group. I took a stab at putting a route together and e-mailed it to Chris. He turned it into a "track" and loaded it into our GPS. We left the house around 9:20 AM, bound for Knoebels...the long way!

We started out by heading north on PA 550 to and through Bellefonte to the intersection with PA 64. We took PA 64 to PA 445 toward Madisonburg. PA 445 is one of my favorite "local" roads because of the twisties and elevation changes. 

A barn with horses along PA 64.

Plowing the fields along PA 64.

Another barn!

Seven miles to Madisonburg = seven miles of fun ahead!

10 MPH switchbacks are always fun!

Arriving in Madisonburg, PA at the intersection with PA 192.
We continued along PA 192 toward Lewisburg, PA and passed R.B. Winter State Park along the way. North of Red Bank, PA, we took SR 1004 to worm our way just a bit north to cross the Susquehanna at Milton State Park. East of Milton, we picked up PA 45 to continue east toward the park. We picked up PA 642 to PA 54 to Danville where we crossed the river again.

PA 192 - one of the few stretches WITHOUT fresh macadam.

Passing by R. B. Winter State Park.

One of the few turns on PA 192.

We passed quite a few barns on our route to the park!

Yup, another barn!

Crossing the river at Milton State Park.

Stuck in a tunnel in Milton. Naturally, Chris twisted the throttle while inside!

Crossing a branch of the Susquehanna in Danville, PA.
We continued on PA 54 to Elysburg, where we found out that "community yard sale day" in Elysburg means EVERYONE is out and about scouring the yard sales! Traffic moved slowly through town as folks milled about scoping out each others' wares. We managed to get to the Sheetz at the intersection of PA 54 and PA 487 where we gassed the bike up and took a stretch break. At 11:45 AM, we suited back up and traveled the last three miles to the park along PA 487.

Almost there!!!

Turn right for the park!

Yay! We made it!
We rolled right up to the rockstar motorcycle parking next to the bumper boats and proceeded to change out of our motorcycle gear (we had shorts and t-shirts on underneath) and into sneakers and baseball caps. When we were done changing, it was 12 noon. We knew the group would be arriving soon, so we hung out in the motorcycle parking lot for about 10 minutes waiting for them.

Chris stops de-gearing to give me the official ST.N greeting.

Stripped down to t-shirts, shorts, sneakers, and ball caps.

This little gem - a Buddy - was parked in the m/c lot.
Before long, the group arrived with Jerry in the lead followed by David, Shane & Andrea, Robert, Eddie, Bernie, Jeff, Peter, Dave, and Ken. Ten bikes...not too shabby! We exchanged hugs and handshakes with everyone and then they proceeded to likewise strip down to more suitable park attire (it was sunny and in the low 80s). 

Hail, hail, the gang's all here!
Once everyone was in their park-going clothes, we made our way over to Cesari's Pizza for our traditional Knoebels lunch. Chris and I sat with Jeff, Dave, Peter, and Ken and talked about next year's Region 6 Spring Meet (that I've been planning the past two weeks); roads, routes, and accommodations in Ontario; and the beauty and majesty (snerk!) of eastern Colorado and all of Kansas. During lunch, we were joined by Jerry's wife Leisa, his son Jeremy, Jeremy's daughter Audrey, as well as our friend Chris H. and his daughter Sarah.

Following lunch, we headed to The Phoenix! The Phoenix is currently listed as the #2 wooden coaster on Amusement Today's list of top wooden roller coasters. Everyone found a ride buddy and we hopped in line. We got split up because we couldn't get folks to go ahead of us so we could all be on the same train. In the end, that wasn't a big deal.

Fortunately, we did not need to maneuver across any catwalks.

That waving hand? Belongs to Jerry!

Have fun, Dave (yellow) and Ken (green w/shades)!

Our view from the second row.

Shane & Andrea heading out in the front row with Sarah & David waiting for the next train.

There goes David & Sarah in the front row!

The Phoenix is has the typical rolling hills you'd expect out of a coaster. 
After the Phoenix, we walked over to the Flyers. As a general rule, I eschew rides that go around in circles. I prefer my Cesari's pizza stay put and to be able to walk in a straight line for the remainder of the day. So I was on Flyer photo duty trying to capture as many in our gang as possible as they passed by. On our way to the Flyers, we passed the International Food Court where I spotted an appropriate sign for our group of ST.N friends, which continues to be dominated by Kawasaki Concours 14s...or, Flying Pigs.

Pigs will fly on their way to Knoebels!

The gang waits in line for the Flyers.  

Shane and Andrea head to their Flyer.

Chris and Peter are ready to find their Flyers.

Sarah leads her ride-buddy David to a Flyer.

Jerry, Eddie, and Ken go in search of empty Flyers.

Chris is ready for action!

David and Sarah being themselves...goofy!

Peter is all-business!

There goes Jerry, with Ken in the Flyer behind him.

Andrea and Shane are ready to fly high!
After the Flyers, we walked over to The Twister, which is the rougher roller coaster at Knoebels. In addition to hills, it has a lot of side-to-side action. 

My handsome hubby waiting in line for The Twister.

Robert and Peter heading out on The Twister.

David and Sarah are next to head out.

Dave and Ken got the front row; we snagged the row behind them.

Here we go!

Dave's like, "Are you still taking pictures back there?!?"

And we're off!

Shane and Andrea were two trains behind us, so we waited to take pictures of them as they went by. I set my camera on high-speed burst for rapid fire picture-taking. Here comes their train.

Shane and Andrea are in the front row.

The Twister twisted us up!
Following The Twister, we walked over toward the bumper cars, stopping for drinks and ice creams along the way. I passed on the bumper cars in order to take pictures. Here's where I missed our friend Matt who didn't make the trip this year. Last year, he laughed nearly the entire time the guys were on the bumper cars and it was hilarious! Between him laughing on the bumper cars and our friend Professor Ed laughing on the Flyers last year...well, they were both missed this year!

On our way to the bumper cars we passed these flood markers.

Shane has his game face on!

Most of the gang in the back corner.

Sarah is too cute! And silly!

Andrea is out for a Sunday drive.

Chris is ready to put a hurtin' on someone!

David appears to be eyeing up Robert for a collision.

Peter realizes Shane is close by!

David takes his bumper cars experience very seriously!

Eddie looks over his shoulder to realize Jerry is creeping up from behind!
After the bumper cars, we decided to head back over to The Phoenix for one last roller coaster ride before suiting up and heading home.We managed to get on the same train as Shane and Andrea. 

Shane and Andrea

Chris and me

Shane SAID he'd ride the entire ride facing backwards, but he didn't.

Instead, I had a nice view of his hat most of the ride!

Dave and Ken are in the last row on this train.

Everyone is making their way back to the bikes.

I stopped for a quick photo op with Kozmo.
We got back to the bikes and another round of hugs and handshakes was doled out before folks started gearing up and heading out. 

Our gaggle of bikes.

Jerry heads out, followed by Shane & Andrea and David, with Robert waiting.

Bernie waits to pull out.

Ken is the last bike in the group to depart.
We headed out about three minutes after the group and began to follow the return route I'd mapped out. We were on US 11/15 through Shamokin Dam and saw a few familiar sites. We stopped north of Beaver Springs at Walker Lake for a stretch break because my foot was really starting to hurt. (My new pegs and peg extenders are done; we should be getting them sometime this week. SQUEEEEEE!!!) 

Yeah. Another barn.

Crossing the Susquehanna at Sunbury.

This one is for my brother Bill. :)

And this one, too. Mmm, Amato's Italian sub...yum!

Wow! A barn!

Stopping at Walker Lake for a stretch break.

I sat down in the grass to enjoy the scenery and give my foot a break.

A few kayakers out for a late afternoon paddle.
From Walker Lake, we took PA 235 up to PA 45. PA 235 was an absolute hoot! Great switchbacks, a few nice S-curves, and an elevation change...what fun! We picked PA 45 up west of Mifflinburg and followed it all the way back to I-99 in State College. At that point, I asked Chris to hop on I-99 to get us home. My foot was bothering me too much for me to be able to enjoy a ride down Marengo Road if we'd continued on PA 45. Plus, it was getting close to 7 PM and Oscar had been home alone since just after 9. We needed to get home to our pooch!

This picture doesn't do this road justice. It had rolling hills like a roller coaster.

While we were riding along I-99, we spotted a hot air balloon.
We rolled into the garage with exactly 215 miles on the bike for the day. We got to spend a gorgeous day at Knoebels with many of our friends, as well as quality time together riding to/from the park. Saturday was "full of win."


  1. Great pictures and write up Beth! Sarah is just too cool for her age. I can't wait to do it again next year.


  2. Sorry I missed this. Looks like great fun and I love Knobels anyway. I HAVE to make this one next year. You guys were all aces to hang with in WVA and I look fwd to the next R6 locals event.