this can only end well…
Its been a long, cold, miserable winter here in the northeast, and with a few rare exceptions the bikes have been relegated to an occasional clearing of snow and short jaunts around town to make sure everything was still in running order. With a final push of onion snow and driving sleet yesterday, I’m finally allowing some optimism to creep in that spring has finally sprung.
Since I will be limiting my riding this summer to day trips and a long weekend here and there, its a perfect opportunity to explore the nearby roads and participate in the 9th Annual All Pennsylvania Ride (APAR9) put on by the BMW Dutch Country Riders. This year’s theme coincides perfectly with some of my favorite pastimes: Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests!
Starting April 1st and running until September 30th, the goal is to visit as many State Parks and Forests as possible. The organizers of the event worked with the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation to provide each registered rider with a jaunty bandanna & an official PA Parks and Forests Passport.
For each site visited, the rider must get the passport stamped and/or provide photographic evidence of their motorcycle at the scene of the crime. For folks who enjoy the freedom of motorcycle camping, this is a perfect challenge as most destinations have some beautiful spots to throw down a tent or bedroll. I’m looking forward to a few overnighters as I haven’t been moto camping since last year’s trip through West Virginia with MotoEd.
The state has been broken up into six zones, consisting of approximately 10 counties per zone. There are a number of different achievement levels to attain, but I am shooting for “Oberzoner” – visiting all of the sites within the zone surrounding our state capital. If time permits or I am traveling in other parts of the state for work on the bike, I might try to knock out a few others as well. Thus far, I’ve broken it down into 6 different rides that can be done in about 6-8 hours. It will be simple to combine a few of those rides into one weekend for an overnighter.
If the weather holds out, I’m hoping to knock out a few sites this Saturday, April 5th. The recent rain should have washed out the rest of the gravel and salt from the roads, and the bike is itching to get back out there. As long as those BMW riders don’t mind an old Wing dragging them down, this ought to be a great way to get out on the bike and see some new sights this summer.
In the Harrisburg area and want to ride along? Get in touch!