Mid-Atlantic Women’s Motorcycle Rally

Gettysburg, PA

Marlene Smith

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On Thursday morning, the Spokes-Women set off on yet another journey out to Gettysburg, PA, to not only enjoy the company of like-minded individuals (i.e.; women motorcyclists), but to also contribute our annual donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Alex had already made our room reservations months in advance, and everyone paired up according to whether a hot tub was preferred, or the room had to be cold enough to hang meat. I ended up with a room by myself, as my roommate had an unfortunate accident and couldn't be there – we missed you Lauri! Everyone made up for me being alone by enjoying the refreshments in my room, but more about that later…

Alex led the Central/Southern Jersey Spokes-Women group via the PA Turnpike and then through some very pretty backroads, on our way to meet up with the Northern Jersey group. We were running late, plus we hit a ton of traffic (Why? We don’t know!). So, Alex just zipped into the restaurant, the Conestoga, she remembered from last year’s trip. Lo and behold, as we enter the parking lot we see some VERY familiar bikes. Turns out that the Northern Jersey group rode quite a few miles out of their way looking for the right restaurant (let’s just say they got to do a tour of Lancaster three times!), giving the Southern group enough time to catch up! After a nice leisurely lunch, Laura led the entire group through the beautiful Amish country all the way into Gettysburg.

After check-in, bathing suit shopping, snack and liquid pick-up, we were back at the hotel. Many thanks to Shorty who was our angel! She had her four-wheeled vehicle and was also making a refreshment run, and volunteered to take our liquids back to the hotel for us. Much appreciated! We chilled them in my fridge, ordered pizza, registered for MAWMR, and just relaxed and ate, truly enjoying one another’s company and just laughing a lot about nothing! Some of the gang had a nice dinner in town and a more riding to boot!

Friday morning was breakfast at the hotel, and some of the folks really needed that morning coffee jolt! Perhaps they simply stayed up too late the night before? Maybe it was just too much hot tub? Quite a few of us enjoyed the vendor area for the day, buying toys for the bikes and ourselves, meeting other interesting people, and just having a fun and relaxing day.

Lunch that day was on the hotel grounds, as Linda and I entered our bikes into the MAWMR Bike Show. We couldn’t ride while the show was in progress. Congratulations to Linda for her Honda GoldWing placing 2nd in the Antique division, and my Sabre winning the Honda division (yeah, we all know it was the cheesy seat that did it, but so what!). A big thanks to Gloria for helping make the bikes sparkle.

After lunch, Laura led a few of us on the winding way to get some ice cream at some place with a bird in the front (I have taken to calling it the Duseldorf). We shouted, “Turn left Laura”, but somehow straight was the way she wanted to go. After a brief, but memorable stop at the chicken factory(oh God, I can still smell that awful stench), we made our way and found some delicious ice cream. After we got back to the hotel, we prepared for the short dinner ride with the rest of the MAWMR crew. During the ride, Gloria’s trusty steed developed a problem. After some cooling off, Gloria was able to limp her scooter about halfway back. Once we figured out where Gloria was, and a few more trips back and forth, we secured the scooter and were ready for our own dinner run.

We went into town and had a boisterous dinner, as usual. The couple next to us seemed to be on a first date – we all wonder if they will go on another after having to endure their dinner with the likes of us. At least we’ll get to see baby pictures next year from our then-pregnant waitress! After we all shared desserts, we got to ride back to the hotel in the rain, and go pick-up Gloria’s bike. A little wet, but nothing that would stop us from continuing to have fun.

The next day, we made a trip to try and find Sach’s covered bridge (for my AMA Grand Tour) and then onto Boyd’s Bears. Well, we couldn’t exactly find the bridge, though the ride through Gettysburg was great, so that was idea was abandoned and we went right to the Bear Factory. We were given an hour time limit to shop, and used that and more. What unexpected fun!

While the rest of the gang stayed and shopped, a few of us went off to find the 8-sided barn (another structure needed for the AMA Grand Tour). On the way, we came upon Sach’s covered bridge! We never found the barn, but the bridge was great. After some riding through town, and some choice feedback from a tourist, we got to hone our riding skills by crossing a rickety grated bridge and take a downhill hairpin corkscrew road, all in the name of avoiding traffic. Oh, this all was while Gloria and I rode two-up! And......Laura’s battle with a bus was an experience to watch......I think Laura won.

While some of the folks experienced the Gettysburg tour by bus later on, a few of us stayed behind to have fun diagnosing Gloria’s bike problem, reading schematics, and then retiring poolside exhausted from too much thinking. Dinner was great that night because it had cooled off so it was nice and comfortable to be outside. Food was super and Linda and I collected our plaques from our bike show wins. The best part of the trip was making our donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. With all of the donations, from clubs, vendors, even the hotel, more than $17,000 was raised that weekend alone.

Sunday morning was breakfast, check-out, and then on the road for the ride back. This time the group stayed together and we all took the “northern” route home. A few of us stopped for lunch right after we arrived in New Jersey while the rest of the group continued on. Gloria’s bike ran like a champ in the cool weather and the whole trip was just great. Very little traffic and some pretty nice scenery…can’t wait til next year!

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