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Old May 30th, 2017, 06:47 AM   #1
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From: Philadelphia USA
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I Ride: 2013 Hyperstrada
Pennsylvania Coal Country ADV Ride

It begins here at my campsite
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Rosemount+Camping+Resort/

Original planned route was:
Leave campground going left on Valley Road (paved) and then left on Kettle Road (unpaved) to Catawissa Rd. (paved). Straight through Tuscarora to the powerline road (unpaved) on the ridge of the next hill. Then ride powerlines 4 miles Northeast to Tamaqua. Then take mining roads (unpaved) back to Tuscarora and onto 209 South (paved). then go right on Valley St. and right again onto Moss Glen Road (both paved). From Moss Glen hang a left onto Firetower Road (unpaved) travelling West through Locust Lake State Forest to Burma Road (paved). From Burma I was to head East again on the un-named dirt road leading to Silver Creek Reservoir. Then South on Silver Creek Road (unpaved) to Tucker Hill Rd. (unpaved) to New Philadelphia Rd. (unpaved). Ride around coal mining pits and piles until bored (unlikely).
Continue through Kaska down the paved part of New Philadelphia Rd. to Middleport. Then go South on Washington St. (paved) to Mountain Rd. (paved). Then turn right onto Tumbling Run Rd. towards Pottsville and Ride the fireroads through the woods alongside Tumbling Run Creek until Mt. Carbon. Then visit America's oldest beer brewery in Pottsville - Yeungling Brothers.
Then to return via Tumbling Run Road -> Valley Road to the campground exploring any interesting diversions along the way.


Things don't go as planned - ever.
Bad stormy weather has left considerable damage all through this region lately. Downed trees blocked many access points to unpaved roadways and fireroads. In other places roads had been washed out by flooding and chained off. Other places such as mining roads had been gated closed by property owners afraid of liability due to storm damaged roads.

I couldn't get all the way to Tamaqua on the power lines. they became a washed-out rutted nightmare with bike swallowing puddles filled with large jagged rocks you cannot see below the water. Very ugly. Had to turn back after 2 miles.
Mining roads around Tamaqua gated shut. Couldn't ride them unless I bypassed the gates but I wasn't going to be that guy.
Firetower Road was chained closed.
Silver Creek Road (unpaved), Tucker Hill Rd. (unpaved) and New Philadelphia Rd were open still but partially flooded in places though still passable with careful riding. Coal pits and piles never got boring. Such good traction in that ore-sand. Sort of a mix of gravel and coarse sand it lends itself to berm building with spectacular results. What awesome berms! And jumps too! Weee, flying Duck!
New Philadelphia Road is the hub of a fairly large network of other dirt roads and trails so I explored as much of them as I could. At one point I found myself blocked by fallen trees on a tight trail with a steep up-slope on one side and a sheer drop into a mine subsidence on the other side. The trail was as wide as the bike is long so turning around was very tricky and more than a little scary with the thought that falling down the 30 feet or so to the bottom of the subsidence might see me swallowed into the depths of the mine underground like Boba Fett falling into the mighty Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi. I must have stalled the engine about 6 or 7 times in fear of overdoing it while inching around.
I believe it was here:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/40%C2%B044'20.1%22N+76%C2%B007'41.2%22W/@40.738929,-76.1286672,224m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d40.73892 9!4d-76.12812

Tumbling Run fireroads once again blocked by fallen trees. Bad weather turned me back from visiting Pottsville and the brewery on Saturday and Sunday. I finally went Monday but naturally it was closed for the holiday.
I also made an unplanned trip to Mahanoy City on the paved public roads as well as thoroughly explored many of the twisty backroads all between Tamaqua and Pottsville.

Thankfully I found a motorcycle shop (Bowers) open with needed supplies I forgot to pack. The people in it were great guys and super cool to talk to. They provided alot of help in finding good riding spots.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bowers+Motorcycle+Supplies

People out walking or riding bicycles in the area were also hugely helpful with directions and really, really friendly. At times it was hard to drive away from the engaging conversations with them all.

Ducati seems to be a rare sight in the area. One poor fella got so turned around watching me ride by he forgot there was a curb in front of his path and he nearly fell on his face from the resulting missed step. The Hs drew alot of positive attention in the campground too. I think I was the hero of most of the youngsters camped around me who stopped to admire the bike and ask me endless questions about it.

Having learned much more about the area and now knowing people there i can get good tactical information from I plan on making this same trip again in August. With some local knowledge to guide me I can plan better than I did this time and avoid alot of disappointment and pitfalls.

also a word of warning - Mining areas can be very dangerous places to ride. Stopping and talking to other folks I met riding their quads and dirtbikes around was key in steering me away from potential danger and injury.
Everybody I met was friendly and glad to offer helpful advice that I was grateful to get. But be careful if you ride this area yourself. Think how badly things might have ended for me on that blocked trail...

The paved roads in this area are a real treat if you like twisties and hairpin mountain riding. Absolutely fun!

Last edited by philthymike; May 30th, 2017 at 06:52 AM.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 07:15 AM   #2
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Tricky Hill Climb

For some reason my pictures make this look rather tame. Follow that trail all the way up the hill from the point on the map - it's really a hairy climb in real life. I lost one of the stabilizers for my windscreen along the way and had to walk back down the hill to find the pieces. Luckily I managed to locate them and fix it. Glad I packed tools with me!
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Pennsylvania Coal Country ADV Ride-kimg0010.jpg   Pennsylvania Coal Country ADV Ride-kimg0011.jpg  

Last edited by philthymike; May 30th, 2017 at 08:35 AM.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 07:18 AM   #3
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Reclamation ponds

According to the signs this area removes iron and other metals from the water and lowers the acidiy down to the ph of milk before the water empties into the river.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 07:23 AM   #4
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Awesome berms and jumps!
weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!
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Old May 30th, 2017, 07:29 AM   #5
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Evil and annoying powerlines
This was not fun. 90% skirting huge puddles and washed-out ruts, 8% having no choice but to ride through the center of same and about 2% nice tame road like where I stopped for the pictures.
After a few miles of very technical riding the road got even worse. Then I heard gunfire nearby. I turned around and went back as rapidly as the bike would let me.
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Pennsylvania Coal Country ADV Ride-kimg0003.jpg   Pennsylvania Coal Country ADV Ride-kimg0004.jpg   Pennsylvania Coal Country ADV Ride-kimg0005.jpg  
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Old May 30th, 2017, 07:36 AM   #6
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Bradley's Steel Belted Radial Barbecue
We like to smoke our tires to a juicy tenderness over a real coal fire for that savory mountain flavor. Mmmmm mmmm good
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Old May 31st, 2017, 05:52 AM   #7
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I think I was mistaken with the location of the Mighty Sarlacc subsidence where the trail was blocked forcing me into a very fearful 8 point turn around.
It was here...
https://www.google.com/maps/place/40%C2%B044'31.7%22N+76%C2%B006'48.6%22W/@40.7409353,-76.1135598,793m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d40.742137!4d-76.113505

Looks as though that trail was a dead-end anyways...
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Old May 31st, 2017, 06:41 AM   #8
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Dual sport riding works up a tremendous appetite especially in cold mountain air.
While I made a point of cooking on the hibachi and campfire as much as possible the bad weather forced a few trips to local eateries nearby the campground.
If you find yourself in this part of the world hankering pizza I wholeheartedly recommend Luigi's in Tamaqua
https://www.luigisbrickovenpizza.com/#/
Best NY style pizza outside NY I've ever tried.

There's a large Italian community in this region so there's some excellent Italian food to be had. I found a truly excellent Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo at Amato Pizza in Mahanoy City.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Am...!4d-76.1382868

For truly rib sticking greasy diner breakfast you can't go wrong at Pottsville Diner
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Po...!4d-76.1887076
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Old June 1st, 2017, 11:29 AM   #9
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Since my pictures were so bad I decided to throw together an illustration of my hillclimbing adventure (or temporary loss of sanity) showing the actual incline on a topographical satellite image. A little of what went through my head at the time noted in the image. Had I been motovlogging it probably would have been more along the lines of expletive, expletive, expletive, expletive, EXPLETIVE, EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE - Wooohoooo!
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Pennsylvania Coal Country ADV Ride-hillclimb.jpg  

Last edited by philthymike; June 1st, 2017 at 11:36 AM.
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Old June 2nd, 2017, 05:39 PM   #10
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Pretty cool Mike!
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