Discovering Southwest Pennsylvania on two wheels at the first Ride 'Em, Don't Hide 'Em Getaway with 80-plus readers and friends.
The Cheat River in Southwest Pennsylvania as viewed from Coopers Rock.
August 5-7 witnessed our first-ever Motorcycle Classics Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em Getaway, headquartered at Seven Springs Resort, the largest and oldest ski resort in Pennsylvania. Skiing? In Pennsylvania? Absolutely, and when the snow’s not flying Southwest Pennsylvania is spectacular riding country. The roads that cut through the surrounding Laurel Highlands are a motorcyclist’s dream, ribbons of blacktop running across an ever-changing mix of rich farmland, dense forests, dark hollows, and high ridges with breathtaking vistas.
Eighty-three readers joined us for our two-day event, the itinerary including a tour of Fallingwater, the home designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and built over Bear Run Creek, just 20 miles from Seven Springs.
Rain greeted us Saturday morning, the high hills locked in a thick fog. But that didn’t dampen our spirits, and our group suited up for the short ride to Fallingwater. Lady luck was with us, because the fog and rain moved out just as our Fallingwater tour ended, and with the roads drying up we made good time as we headed south through Ohiopyle, the area thick with river rafters lining up to run the rapids of the Yough River. Our route then turned west, twisting through the back country before dropping us down into the broad Monongahela River valley before heading south toward Morgantown and lunch.
With our stomachs full we headed east to the midpoint of our ride, Coopers Rock, a huge outcropping overlooking the Cheat River. At Coopers we worked in a group photo, then headed east toward Bruceton Mills for a gas stop. At Bruceton the 1971 Rickman Interceptor I was riding lost its ignition, but friend of the magazine Tim O’Mahoney came to the rescue, offering up his 1976 Suzuki T500 Titan. Tim quickly pinpointed a faulty ignition switch, and with the Rickman sorted he caught the pack for the final leg back to Seven Springs.
At dinner that night, special guest Brian Slark regaled us with stories of his early days at AJS/Matchless in the late ’50s and early ’60s, conjuring up vivid memories of the incredible cast of characters who populated the factory floor in those magical times. By Sunday morning much of the group was heading home, but about 35 of us went out for one last glorious ride.