Motorcycle Classics Blogs > Black Side Down

On the Road Again

It’s mid-March as I write this, but here in the Midwest, winter has suddenly — almost freakishly — left the building. This time of year, I’m usually huddled in my hovel wrenching on my bikes in anticipation of the end of winter. But if the current weather patterns hold, the riding season is starting more than a little early this year.

That’s got me shifting into high gear on various projects. I'm trying to make serious headway on our Project Honda CB350, and also helping my nephew Joe get his new-to-him 1974 Yamaha DT125 on the road — or gravel, as the case may be. My 1983 Laverda RGS doesn’t require much, thanks to the almost zero riding I’ve done since October when I tore my right Achilles tendon. My leg’s healing up nicely (I managed to get in a weekend of cross-country skiing in Colorado only four months after my injury — physical therapists are truly the unsung heroes of the medical community), and I’m excited to get back in the saddle again.

There are a few road trips I'd like to take this year, including a late April run down to Leakey, Texas, for the Lone Star Section's annual Vincent Owners Club ride. Yeah, I know, a Laverda’s not a Vincent, but friend of the magazine Mark Scott is offering a ride on his personal Rapide, making the thought of attending more than a little tantalizing.

Then there’s the annual run to Road America in Wisconsin for Rockerbox Motofest June 10-12, and at some point after that I’d like to make a solo trek west, with any luck pointing my Laverda toward the amazing roads and scenery around Bryce Canyon National Park, an area suddenly high on my list of must-visit places after Joe Berk set the hook in this issue’s installment of Destinations .

Those rides are still on my wish list, but one ride I’ll definitely take part in — and with some of you — is the Motorcycle Classics Ride ‘Em, Don’t Hide ‘Em Getaway Aug. 5-7 at Seven Springs Resort in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. We’ve wanted to put a ride together for years, but could never settle on a place or a recipe until sister publication Mother Earth News started holding an annual Mother Earth News Fair at the resort, which, we discovered, is in the middle of some of the finest riding territory in the country.

Remote in feel yet easily accessible from nearby Pittsburgh, Seven Springs Resort is surrounded by miles of twisty two-lanes, and it also happens to be close to several of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s most celebrated structures, most notably his incredible Fallingwater, with Bear Run Creek running through and under the structure.

With help from ride veteran Tom McKee (organizer of the annual All-Brands Motorcycle Event at nearby McKee’s Sky Ranch), we’ve laid out a mellow weekend of riding that includes a tour of Fallingwater and rides to surrounding points of interest. We’ll spend two nights at Seven Springs, with a Friday night reception, breakfast Saturday and Sunday, and a special dinner Saturday night featuring ride marshal and special guest Brian Slark from the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. Starting his motorcycle career as a test rider for AMC motorcycles (parent company of AJS and Matchless), Slark moved to the U.S. in the early Sixties and was instrumental in establishing the American motocross scene.

Sweetening the deal for a chosen few, we’ve convinced Joel Samick at Retro Tours to make a limited number of his impressive stable of 1970s classic twins available for rental on a first-come, first-served basis, with an event reservation. For more information, visit the event page on the Motorcycle Classics website.

Great roads, beautiful countryside and great motorcycle people. I don’t think it gets any better than that. See you in August.

Richard Backus