Saturday, April 21, 2007

Day 1: To Pennsylvania to eat a giant burger

Sport-tourers don’t need a “real good” reason to get on their bike and ride, they just need “a” reason. And what’s a better reason than to go and meet up with a bunch of sport-tourers for lunch and try and eat some huge burgers at a place that is famous for making world’s biggest burgers. Who cares that the place is in Pennsylvania and is 600 miles away.

This was the second ST.N burger run for me. Last year we added on some extra miles by doing some extra roads, I wasn’t planning on doing that this year since this was “officially” my first long ride of the season.

The weather this weekend was looking very nice for Illinois and Pennsylvania and everywhere in between, with possible rain on Sunday in Chicagoland late at night which I was hoping to miss if I got in early enough.

Ready to ride to PA: Sandy, Rick and myself in my driveway

Out of all my friends, only Rick and Sandy were doing this ride. It was going to be real neat traveling with two other Ducati ST’s. The three of us have yet to tour together.

Rick and Sandy showed up in my driveway at 8AM and unfortunately I wasn’t ready. I haven’t had much time to get the bike ready for the trip, we decided we were going on a few days ago. I was still packing this morning and putting air in my tires. I haven’t toured on this bike since last fall so I was having problems finding some of the things I needed for the trip.

I lost some anifreeze over winter, needed to top off

By 9AM we were heading toward downtown Chicago and then we ended up getting stuck in some nasty traffic. Rush hour traffic on a Saturday morning? It was mostly do to construction I guess, I don’t go this way very often. Just a little past Indiana traffic got lighter and it was smooth sailing all the way to Pennsylvania for all three ducs. I’ve been riding my XT so much the last few months that the ST3 really felt like a Goldwing. I was very careful the first hour, getting reacquainted with my sport-touring bike and the way it handles on the road and slow maneuvers in the parking lot. It was last year, this same ride out to PA that I dropped the ST3 in a parking lot because of fatigue and lack of sleep, that was the only time that I’ve ever dropped any of my bikes in a parking lot.

Gas station stop, someone volunteered to take a picture of us

I was sore within the first 300 miles and in Ohio I asked Rick for an Aleve. I’ve never taken Aleve before, I must say I felt much better. I can usually do long miles on the bike with no effort, but riding long distances only becomes effortless after I do a few shorter “long” rides and I’m able to increase my tolerance for sitting in the saddle all day.

Lubricating the chains at 500 miles in to the ride

After spending all day on the interstate, with only one longer break to eat lunch, we arrived in Clearfield, PA at 7PM. We checked in to the Day’s Inn and grabbed some dinner at the Dutch Pantry, same place as last year.

Arriving at the Day's Inn Clearfield, PA

Dinner at the Dutch Pantry

I had the same exact thing last year, the seafood plate

This shoeless pie was shared by Sandy, Rick and I, very rich

Good food, cheap food and within walking distance. I didn’t even have enough energy to drink a beer afterwards with the group, so I went directly to bed to rest up for tomorrows return trip.

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