From left: Editor Richard Backus and son, Charlie, with Andrew Cathcart and his dad, Alan Cathcart, special guest at this year’s Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em Getaway, Aug. 10-12, 2018.
Alan Cathcart, unquestionably one of the — if not the — best-known motorcycle journalists in the world, will join us as our special guest for the 3rd Annual Motorcycle Classics Ride ‘Em, Don’t Hide ‘Em Getaway at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, Aug. 10-12, 2018.
A recipient of the Guild of Motoring Writers Journalist of the Year Award, Cathcart, a longtime motorcycle enthusiast who started out pursuing a career in law and then working in the travel industry, has been an influential voice in motorcycling since diving head first into the scene as a journalist and test rider in the 1980s.
An accomplished rider who’s raced against some of the best at circuits including Daytona and the Isle of Man, Cathcart started racing in 1974, aboard a Ducati 350 single. A winner of the Sound of Thunder World Series, he also raced for Yamaha, at the same time building his career as one of motorcycling’s foremost journalists. His abilities behind the handlebars and the typewriter have earned him an enviable reputation, with invitations to ride everything from modern factory race bikes to historic vintage machines. A moving force in the British vintage bike scene, Sir Alan, as he’s fondly called thanks to his British background and impeccable manners, continues to ride and test both new and vintage machines to this day, a job he’s not likely to give up soon.
A regular contributor to Motorcycle Classics, Cathcart also helps with judging at our vintage bike show at the annual Barber Vintage Festival, and we’re thrilled that he’s happily agreed to join us for this year’s Ride ‘Em, Don’t Hide ‘Em Getaway. We’ll kick things off on Friday evening with a welcome reception and dinner, then rest up for the Saturday ride. After a full breakfast on Saturday morning, we’ll head north to the historic city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a steel-industry town that at one time out-produced better-known industry leaders including Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Ohio. An 1889 flood devastated the city, but its steel industry rebounded.
Saturday’s ride will see us riding down amazing back roads from Seven Springs to Johnstown, entering from the West for a lunch stop at the famous Johnstown Incline, followed by a ride on the incline. Built in 1891 and billed as the world’s steepest vehicular inclined plane, the 897-foot-long incline has a 70.9 percent grade. A 400 horsepower electric motor pulls two cars, counter-weighted to balance out the load on the motor, one car going up while the other goes down. It’s an incredible piece of vintage technology and the views of Johnstown and the Conemaugh River valley are amazing.
After lunch we’ll head back to Seven Springs, taking a different but no less beautiful route, winding our way along the area’s two-lane blacktop roads. Back at Seven Springs, we’ll gather for a postride banquet dinner, with Cathcart joining editor Richard Backus for what’s certain to be an entertaining and informative discussion of Cathcart’s amazing career in the motorcycle industry as racer, test rider and journalist.
We’ll gather again for breakfast on Sunday morning, then head back out on the road for another beautiful ride through the surrounding Laurel Highlands. We hope to offer two routes on Sunday, a shorter one for folks who need to leave early and a longer one for those with a little more time to kill before heading home.
Need a bike? Ride sponsor RetroTours has a limited selection of classic 1970s motorcycles available for rent, including bikes from Ducati, Triumph, Norton, Yamaha, Honda, BMW and more. Check out the 25-strong stable on its website, but don’t wait too long, because rentals are available on a first come, first served basis. Want to pile on even more miles? RetroTours will lead a 600-mile round-trip tour to Seven Springs from its headquarters in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, through the seemingly forgotten backcountry of Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
We’ll also be joined by our good friends at Bonhams Auctions, Federal Motorcycle Transport, Pecard Motorcycle Leather Care and Spectro Performance Oils, passionate motorcycle enthusiasts and enthusiastic sponsors of our annual ride. Reserve your spot now on the Seven Springs website, where you’ll also find updates and interactive ride routes as we get them posted. See you there!