United States Pennsylvania Gettysburg
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My Adventure Story
The first annual BMW MOA Gettysburg Weekend Getaway. 100 people came together to swap stories and ride the area around Gettysburg. The first day was Friday the 13th.... but what could go wrong?
I woke up really early as I couldn't sleep. 4:30AM, I started checking my packing and walking the dog. Herman & I had planned to meet near the Holland tunnel entrance at 8AM, so I left home at 7:30AM. Herman had the unfortunate luck of Friday the 13th blockers, so he was a bit late arriving.
Herman & I left from NY around 8:30AM. We wound our way down thru NJ toward the Pine Barrens & then turned west toward Berlin NJ for a semi-homecoming for our Berlin Germany built bikes.
Shortly after Berlin, we stopped in Philly to visit Revzilla. I'd ordered from them in the past & appreciated their video reviews. The in-store experience mirrors the online experience. The staff was knowledgeable, friendly and eager to share their experiences.
After Revzilla, we headed a few blocks to Tony Luke's. I had been recommended the place from a BMW MOA forum by some locals. The place did not disappoint. Best cheesesteak I have ever had.
We left Philly and wound our way toward Lancaster & York. We passed by a few covered bridges along the way.
Unfortunately, the Zumo had us on roads that while not highways, were almost worse.... strip mall roads with stop lights every 6 feet it seemed. We had planned to stop for pictures at the Harley factory in York, but the stop lights had slowed our progress so much, we hoped for a highway. The gopro battery had long since died, so the pictures until we arrive at the hotel are missing. We finally arrived at the hotel at around 7PM. 11 hours on the road.
Warm greetings from the MOA and hotel staff made our arrival a pleasant one. Since we were late, we caught the tail end of the appetizers and ended up grabbing some pub food in the hotel bar.
We have a ride scheduled with a guide of the battlefield with meeting time of 8:30AM, so we head to our rooms around 11PM. I promptly pass out after trying to FaceTime with my wife. She calls me back later, which I hardly recalled.... that kind of tired.
Saturday, we awake tired and stiff. Definitely need to get a taller seat on my R1200R. Knees are too cramped on it for a 11 hour day. Head to breakfast around 7:30 in the hotel to leave time to eat and prep the bikes for our 8:30AM meeting for the battlefield ride.
Our guide is an obvious expert and enthusiast of the civil war. A fellow MOA member, he graciously offered to take about 25 of us around the area & tell us some of the history. He knew a ton about the history. I had trouble following which side was which as the experts all seem to know the regiment numbers and refer to those only.
After the tour, we grabbed lunch and then took a small ride to shake out the bikes, as the battlefield tour was very little riding. We headed to the center of town and then west on 30. We then turned north on 233 and continued to 944 where we turned east until it met with 15 south to get us back to the hotel. Loop was around 100 miles. 233 and 944 are great roads & I recommend them. Our bikes really enjoyed stretching their legs on them.
On the way back we decided to ignore the gps fuel warning as Herman's bike's computer still said we had a while to go. My fuel strip had failed, so my tank always reads as full. We were rushing to get back to the hotel for appetizers and gathering beginning at 6PM followed by dinner at 7PM. Our ETA on the gps was around 5:30, so we took a small sidetrip to East Berlin for a photo op. Should have been 15-20 minute diversion.
On the way back to 15 I felt a loss of power as I accelerated. "I have to get fuel soon" I told Herman. We passed a gas station of an off-brand on our way back to 15. "I don't want to stop there", Herman said.... As I got on the highway again, the power went out again momentarily as I accelerated. "Ah, happened again... gotta get fuel next exit", I told Herman over the intercom. About 1000 feet later the bike died, pulled off to the side. Wouldn't start. Out of gas. I reset my gps warning for out of gas at 180 miles (assuming spirited riding). It warns 30 miles earlier. The tank ran dry at 179 miles. 2.5 miles to the next gas station just off the next exit.
Herman heads up to grab some for me. He cleverly takes a 1 gallon water bottle and replaces it with gas (much to the chagrin of the attendents) and puts in in his top case, just crushing it enough to keep the pop-top of the water bottle in place. On his way back a few bikers stopped to check if I was OK. I told them I had gas on it's way, but thanked them for stopping.
Herman arrives with the gas. Add it to the tank, starts right up. Head the 2.5 miles to the station and fill the tank. Now, we've lost time as Herman had to head to station, fill his tank, fill water bottle, return past where I was to earlier exit, return to me, head to station so I can fill.... New ETA is now 6:40PM! We hop on the highway for the remaining 15 minutes left in our trip.
We arrive and change out of riding gear to head to dinner. Most every table is full, so we grab a couple seats at one end. Wonderful people at our table, great conversations and all but two people at our table won door prizes (including the grand prize)!
Next morning we decide to head back out on 30-233 again, but go past where we turned onto 944. The road gets even better past 944 as it pulls up into the mountains. We start navigating by general directions rather than by the gps. Every road seems better than the last. We end up on a semi-highway up by the Susquehana river leading us up to 80, which we take across PA back to NY, hoping to arrive before 7PM. Herman's got his gps guiding us & says ETA is around 6PM before we stop for a late lunch. Inside I program my gps for home & it says about an hour earlier than Herman's. Seems his is still on winter time... no way we could find to change it on the garmin.
So, a few hiccups along the way, but nothing the Friday the 13th could have caused. A great trip, even if it was too short. Spot reports about 620 miles, but our odometers said it was about 775 (guess the 10 minute interval misses lots of turns).