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Author Topic: A Special Ride in NEPA on 6/12/19  (Read 789 times)

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Online ixxion

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A Special Ride in NEPA on 6/12/19
« on: June 13, 2019, 12:49:37 PM »
 *Hey all.........if you don't have time or can't tolerate all my drivel, skip to the video link at the end.



What a great day.   Jess wanted to take advantage of the beautiful day here in northeastern Pennsylvania and put on some miles while testing the fit (not function) of her new D30 armor.  So the CBR500R came out of the shed and got a quicky chain lube, I pulled the bags off the FJR, and away we went after a brief moment lamenting how dirty the bikes were from last weeks outing in the pouring rain.  A quick gas stop returned 42 mpg for the FJR courtesy of Sunday's backroad blast keeping up with an XX, and 68 mpg for the CBR500R after after last weeks sporting to brisk pace through the hills, although 30 of those miles were at 40mph in the rain followed by a cop, so that part probably took about a cup of gasoline.


And off we go.  It's a big country, but a few of you are from NEPA or have joined me at NeXXT and may very well have been to these places and on these roads, so I mention them.   We took off west from Ulster, passing near East Smithfield where we visited the gun and bow shop, and headed in a windy fashion as always south to Burlington and then west on Route 6 between Towanda and Troy.  Route 6 soon became one lane only with repaving (yay) but not yay today, so we took the first road south to 514 then 414 between Monroeton and Canton. 414 is closed due to a bridge reconstruction after last year's flooding, and all traffic is rerouted to the old 1.5 lane back road, which means 414 is open road if you know where the dirt paths that cross between the two roads are hidden.  We had no holdups on 414 until joining the procession of construction trucks, farm equipment, and frustrated through traffic on the back road.  That only lasted a couple miles, and as the traffic oozed back onto main Route 14, we took off up the hill out of Canton on the 154 shortcut to Grover and Wheelerville. A quick uphill through the twisty parts and down the hill, we turn left onto the longer stretch of Rt 154 that runs through the forest from Wheelerville to Shunk, Estella, and then Forksville at the bottom of the hill.  Once up the hill, we dance left and right with short up and down areas, climbing until we reach the top of the ridge where the landscape opens up to farmland and yes, wellpads.   We've passed a few construction trucks, and expect construction ahead, but manage to travel through the smooth, nicely radiused corner upon corner as we descend into the town of Shunk, if you can call six or eight buildings a town.  Sure enough, we come upon the construction at the intersection, where traffic lights control the one lane open as another bridge is replaced.  And as we travel through the intersection, focused on gravel and trucks and all kinds of nastiness in the road, I realize something.......


All the years and many times I've traveled this sweet road, I've noted this garage in the town of Shunk. It looks like an old business.  It's never been open, and I've never seen anyone there. Although it is worn and weathered, someone takes care of it.  Its not in disrepair, and it looks as though someone uses it at times.  The windows aren't cloudy with the dust of years, and if you were are sitting at the stop sign, which is now temporarily a stop light, you could see handlebars through the windows if the sun was just right. Many years ago, I was told that an old guy kept a bunch of motorcycles there.  Then, not so many years ago at my workplace, I encountered a person from that area, who told me more about the garage.  It belongs to a fellow who used to race motorcycles, and he keeps several of them at the garage.  Friendly guy, really nice old fellow named Eddie Fisher.  That's right, Fast Eddie Fisher. AMA Hall of Fame Eddie Fisher.  The person who made Triumph a name brand in America.  And today, the door to that garage is open.


Through the construction, trucks lining the road, we're committed to heading out of town, a steep curved uphill with dicey pavement well oiled by trucks laboring up the hill, and heavy braking coming down the steep grade. This is no place to turn around. I know of a loop back to town, its just a few miles of curves and pretty decent pavement for a track through the woods.  A couple minutes and we'll be back in town.  What I don't know is that after cresting a small rise, 200 feet is all the distance to a tee to turn back on Rt 154, and that's downhill.  The last 75 feet is covered in gravel, I have a 600 pound bike, and a CBR500R close on my tail.  I've been riding a long time.  Apparently I'm not getting smarter, but I must be getting luckier.  I was pretty out of shape for a short period of time, but didn't have to reset my underwear and Jess was able to haul things down without incident. We regrouped and plunged through the twisty section back to town, this time knowing what gravel was in what corners, and arrived back to the bottom of the hill in good time.  The door is still open, and we cross the road to park on the car length apron of the garage.


Wow.  Inside, Eddie is busy with a fellow and his family there looking at a car he has for sale.  He says hello and that he'll be right with us.  We try not to roam.  This is not a showroom, but a garage, workbenches piled with most interesting things, and a few rows of very interesting motorcycles. A beautiful blue and white Triumph Daytona is out of line and prominent.  Among the rows I spy an Indian with leading link suspension, several Triumphs, a few older Yamahas, a Honda TL, Silverwing, and a VTR250.  We talk with the woman already there while her husband strikes a deal with Eddie for the car he is selling.  She says she grew up in the area, and growing up was never aware of Eddie any more than that nice old guy who rides motorcycles. She says he's 94 years old.  He carries a cane as he travels around the garage, but doesn't seem to use it much.  A bright red Can-Am Spyder has license plate on it, as does the Daytona.


The deal completed, the family leaves, and Eddie chats with us.  He tells us about the bikes that are there, and asks if we know certain people in our area once he knows where we are from.  Affable and well humored, he tells us about his trips to Florida, how he had to set up his trailer to haul the Spyder, and how impressed he was with the Rotax engine even though it's the smaller two cylinder.  We talk about the bikes he has and some of the modifications he has made to his Daytona.  Eddie was dealing Yamahas before the factory imported them, so he was one of the first Yamaha dealers in the US.  He was also a dealer for Triumph and Honda.  He was very enthusiastic describing the VTR250 to Jess, telling her it can keep up with just about anything.


Eddie had things to do, we were uninvited guests, and thankful for his time, we took our leave in a timely fashion.  As we geared up, Eddie exited the garage, portable drill in hand and no cane to be seen.  He wished us well, thanked us for stopping, and strode off around the  building.  We headed south on 154 to Forksville.  An absolutely delicious lunch next to the covered bridge put us back into shape for the rest of the day.  Still on 154, we cleared Worlds End State Park and the Loyalsock State Forest, down old route 220 to Sonestown and back north up Sonestown Mountain, a great place to open the throttle a bit.  It's also a great place to see Pennsylvania State Police Vehicles as they wait in the grass along the roadway to feed.  Just sayin'.   Soon we turned on the back road up and around Laporte, and onwards to Eagles M´╗┐ere on Rt 42, then enjoyed the 6 miles twisty downhill back to Worlds End.  From there, north on 154, then east on 87 until the veering uphill turn to Molyneaux Rd passed under us. Focused on the road, there are tight turns and often gravel this early in the season, not to mention occasional hay, clods of dirt, and ummm, evidence of cows.  Still a fantastic road.  Detoured around New Albany, where after the last flood the library was found in the middle of Rt 220, and a steady purr north on 220 to arrive home after only 150 miles that seemed so much more.


Life is good.  Thanks for reading.  Below are some links and pictures. I don't have any pictures of Eddie's garage. We were uninvited guests, I felt no more entitled to take pictures there than I would if I were invited into your home.  Entitled or not, I did snap one of the sign over the door while we waited.  The video linked below shows the garage and Eddie pretty much the way we saw it, except his Spyder was in the garage.  What a great day.



Offline smoker

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Re: A Special Ride in NEPA on 6/12/19
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2019, 05:27:09 PM »
Looks like you had a great time, thanks for sharing. 154 is one of my favorites.
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Online leeo45

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Re: A Special Ride in NEPA on 6/12/19
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2019, 08:53:48 PM »
Great ride report and wonderful video.   Thanks for taking the time to post these.

Fast Eddie is an inspiration to those of us approaching geezer status.   :gerg:

"Ya might say, as long as I live, I hope I can ride."   

Online Andrew

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Re: A Special Ride in NEPA on 6/12/19
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2019, 10:19:49 PM »
 :clap: :clap: :clap:
Freedom without regulations that protect the general good is nothing less than anarchy by the rich.

"Riders might be worse than Kardashians for stupidity any more." Cornbe