Saturday, August 8, 2009

Da Valley and Beyond

For all the years that I've played with various pieces of map software and used mapping services online, it wasn't until last week that I found a very good graphic showing "da valley" about which I write here when I'm writing about my travels and not just whatever's flowing through my head. It's from Google maps, using the terrain view. Here it is! The Wyoming Valley.

(Click on the image to go to its view on Google Maps.)

That diagonal depression running from southwest to northeast is my turf - where I ride 99.99% of the time when I'm off on the scooter. It's a pleasant place. It's home.

I dream at times about getting a Harley someday and taking off on long trips on the interstates, but I don't know if I'll ever have the nerve. Not to get a big bike, but to ride it where maniacs in tractor trailers and old men with their waistbands drawn up to their ribs ride on your tail at 80 miles per hour. I watch the guys on their big cruisers running fast without helmets when I'm traveling and wonder how they manage to enjoy the ride at all. I think I'd grind my teeth to mere nubs if I had to maintain the requisite hyper vigilance that would be needed to ride the highways over a long distance. But, we'll see someday, God willing.

I'll be off again later today for one of my weekend jaunts to western Pennsylvania, through Steve's sticks, on my way to here...

Maybe I'll update from there. Maybe not. It'll depend on what I find myself doing and whether it'll be post worthy. If you don't hear from me, assume that I'm having a great time and hoping that you are too whether you're riding your bike or just the sofa.

Oh, yeah... Twitter's still experiencing problems since their denial of service attack a few days ago. I can't update "What I'm Doing Now" with my phone yet, but they say they're working on it.


Anonymous said...

Love the "Beer is Good" sign. One of life's great truths simply stated.

Doug K. said...

Long trips are not about the Interstates, believe me. Grab those maps and see what secondary roads you can string together for a major ride!

I spoke with a older fellow on a KLR650 a few months ago. He and his brother had just returned from a ride from Phoenix to Canada and back with almost none of the trip via Interstate. Sometimes the I-ways are unavoidable but with a little planning they can be avoided most of the time, especially back east where the road system is older and more extensive.


kz1000st said...

I think your fear of Interstates is misplaced. Most motorcycle accidents happen at intersections and driveways. When I ride on an Interstate I just leave plenty of room to everybody and if I have to pass, give everyody wide berth. Otherwise I stay in the right side of the right lane and ride my pace, watching my mirrors. Then if some dope does decide to pass me in my lane I'm nearly off the road to start with. I've driven I-81, I think a 250 Piaggio should be more than capable of traveling there. I'm sure my wife's Honda Rebel would be fine there, also a 250cc bike.

Anonymous said...

+1 on Doug K.'s comment. The backroads is where it's at. You don't know how lucky you are to NOT have to hit the interstate. I live in an area where I have to ride at like 75 miles just to get to where I have some real elbow room. I'll trade you any day of the week! What's that they say about grass being greener? ;o)

I've spent little time exploring PA but hope to do a bit of it, though I prefer to avoid the interstate like the plague. I love reading your blog to get a glimpse of da Valley. Hopefully i'll make the time to pass through and see with my own eyes one day soon~

bobskoot said...


We have an urban mess here. All the good roads are 1 hour away. sometimes you just have to use a faster road, but divided highways are safer. No intersections, No driveways to worry about. We are surrounded by water, rivers and tunnels and most small displacement scoots are afraid to venture out into the country because of this. Be thankful you live where you live, we are envious

bobskoot: wet coast scootin