The following is an edited write-up from the Royal RAT Pack website written by Ron Sands. If you have any pictures you would like to have posted, please send them to email@example.com
Friday Day 1 - Approximately 180 Miles. Friday's Route
After so many days of a heat wave, we finally got a cool blast from (Thanks Toz!). The weather was perfect! The ride up was perfect. We got there at 11:30 just before the Noon rode was to depart. This ride (2 bonus cards for Saturday's poker run) went westbound to the Cook Forest and Clarion River area. After a group photo shot along the Clarion, it was off to the Trail's End Pub for a late lunch and the 1st poker card draw.
After lunch, we tackled the famous Devil's Highway (Rt 666). 32 miles of sheer riding bliss through the heart of the Allegheny National Forest. "It don't get any better than this!"
In the evening, Greg kicked off the festivities in grand style. Fortunately, the Towne House had finished their new pub and we packed the place (in addition to a wedding (after rehearsal) party). The place was hopping with karaoke. Greg had provided quite a nice buffet for us to munch on as the libations flowed freely. No "Bermuda Crawl" this evening! Everyone stayed there and a few "closed" the place.
Saturday Day 2 - Approximately 310 miles. Saturday's Route
The continental breakfast got us all going (well, most of us - some rolled out just in time for the day's ride with squinting eyes ("Man, this sun is soooo bright today!")). Today is to be the long ride where we covered almost 300 miles. Our ride took us East on Rt 120 almost to Renovo. We then went North on Rt 144 (great road!) to Galeton and gas. Then on Rt 6 East to the Grand Canyon of PA. When we pulled into the Harrison Overlook, there is another group of Triumphs. "What's this?" I'm thinking. Here about 6 rides from the Windber pack were returning from a trip to Maine and they decided to find us. It was a treat to catch up with them.
After the Grand Canyon, off to the Blackwell Hotel for lunch. It was a nice place in an off-beat location but the service was slow. It took a long time to get out of there and we had many more miles to cover. The heat was increasing too. Finally, we're off. We ride down Rt 414 along the Pine Creek. We all stop at the iron bridge which crosses the creek. Greg got the only pictures as we never got off of the bikes. I bet it is a great shot and should be in Torque.
Then right on Rt 44 and left into the Hyner Vista overlook. What a site! Hang gliders use the sight to launch and fly (unfortunately, none today). There are beautiful views of the valley below.
Afterward, west on Rt 120 (Bucktail Trail), on to Rt 555 - maybe we'll see some Elk as the daylight diminishes. Someone reportedly did see an Elk.
Back to the Towne House, more festivities and the prizes for the Poker Run. It got late again and this night, the Bermuda Crawl did take place though this reporter called it quits at the Towne House.
Sunday Day 3 - Approximately 70 miles. Sunday's Route
Fewer people than yesterday for breakfast. Maybe it's because we're going for "brunch" at the Kinzua Lake. Mike Medvedkov gets everyone going and we had a fine 60 mile ride to the Docksiders Restaurant at the marina. On the way, we "ran into" a bicycle race that was taking the same scenic road as us through the park at the lake. Guess what! - We won!
We had a great meal at the restaurant and spent a lot of time reminiscing (I do not think that anyone wanted to leave!). We said our goodbyes and headed out. Mike Gruber and I headed East on Rt 6 and then South on Rt 44. This is a beautiful road on the eastern side of the Grand Canyon! Whatta ride!