Bob Mundens NR501st Annual Dearborn Ride to Eat.   Doug Grosjean said it, not me.   '1st Annual' usually means there will be more, right?   Good thing too 'cause there's a lot to see at The Henry Ford, Greenfield Village and the greater Detroit area.
  I got there a little early, parked my FJR and wandered around a little to see if anyone else was there.   After a short while, I meandered back to the lot to see a couple likely suspects stowing gear and covering bikes.   Sharon, Doug Grosjean, Bill Yarian and Tom Southwood had all arrived together.   Sharon is local, Doug is from the Toledo area, Bill and Tom are out of Indy and I'm from NE Pennsylvania.   After introductions we headed in to the Cafe for some good food and equally good conversation.   Just as we finished our lunch, another rider joined us.   Bob Munden from Canada showed up on his 50cc NR Honda . . . so guess which way the conversation turned?   Actually Bob was hoping we could help him with a problem he's having with the bike so if there's any two-stroke or small bore experts out there, give him a shout (cause I don't think we were much help at all).   After a short while we returned to the parking lot for a group photo . . . it doesn't take long when there's only 5 bikes . . . even if you're setting up a swing lens camera (Widelux FV from the 50's Doug tells me).
  Here's a picture of the group taken by Doug Grosjean (actually Sharon pushed the button . . . ).   Click on the pic to see a (slightly) larger version.   Other pics taken by me throughout the trip can be seen by using the menu on the left (800 X 600 or thereabouts).

(l to r) Bill Yarian, Bob Held, Tom SOuthwood, Doug Grosjean and Bob Munden

Shortly after taking the picture, Bob Munden started back to Canada and I left for Hell ;-).   Thanks to Doug for setting it up and if there is another next year, I'll try like heck to get back and spend some time at the Henry Ford, Greenfield Village or the myriad of other sites Dearborn and Detroit has to offer.
Bob Held

My Mission for this Ride:

Hell, MI   Right from the beginning I had a plan for this RTE.   I wanted to go to Hell . . . ;-) and ride PA RT666, the Devils Highway, all in the same trip.   That would be Hell, Michigan (about an hour NW of Dearborn) and RT666 in NW PA.   I've wanted to go to Hell ever since it was the turn around point in the Mason Dixon 20-20 rally for riders wanting to get their Saddlesore 1000 certificate to become a member of the Iron Butt Association.   As for RT666, I had ridden it end to end in . . . the Mason Dixon 20-20 a few years back (fancy that) . . . but that time was at night and a little damp (read no fun whatsoever).   This time was day light . . . and only a little damp.
  There was actually another reason for this ride, to use my (new to me) Garmin 2610 for the routing and follow it.   Here's the plan: Allentown, PA to West Middlesex, PA after work on Friday evening.   W. Middlesex to Dearborn for the RTE then to Hell and back to W. Middlesex on Saturday.   W. Middlesex, PA to Allegheny National Forest and PA RT666, then meander a bit to Renovo, PA to ride PA 144 and 44, drop down south of Williamsport to Bloomsburg and then ride PA 339 into Mahanoy City before getting back home to Allentown via 54 and 309 on Sunday.   FOr once I followed the plan, but more about that later.
  The ride to W. Middlesex and the RTE was uneventful, all slab so no real news there.   I didn't really even stop in Hell.   I just rode through finding only a couple biker bar type places and no real sign so I used the picture I took at the last turn before town to 'document' my visit.   Again the ride back to W. Middlesex was slab so no fun there . . . but traffic was light so that's a good thing.   I couldn't get up on time on Sunday morning, guess I'm more out of shape than I thought, might have had something to do with the damp conditions also (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).   Actually the weather cooperated pretty much at the start, only a few spritzes here and there . . . but enough to slow my progress a little on RT666.   First GPS learning - must learn when to use my gut and when to follow the GPS blindly (not an easy one I know plus it might have something to do with the doofus inputting the waypoints . . . might).   The picture I took documenting RT666 is not where I wanted to be, I wanted to be 7 miles west of there.   When I got across the river at Tionesta and the GPS told me to turn right, I knew in my gut I should have turned left because I had been here before (a few years ago - but still).   I blindly followed the GPS and ended up not quite where I thought I would . . . since I wasn't in a rally, close enough and lesson learned.   BTW, what the heck is a lighthouse doing in Tionesta anyway?   RT666 is a pretty nice road on both ends, but the middle kind of sucks.   The middle portion has a lot of broken up / rough sections where it's hard to even maintain the 45 mph speed limit.   If they ever fix it though, it would be one fun ride!
  After RT666 I headed to RT144 north and then 44 south.   144 was a hoot even though I was getting rained on part of the time.   The Pilot Power 2CT's were sticking very nicely, even to the wet pavement.   Which brings me to another GPS learning.   I seem to be pretty much in step with the GPS when it comes to arrival times on the slab, back roads is a totally different story.   I consistently beat the back roads time by a pretty fair margin.   Guess I have to adjust the settings a little and try again . . . or slow down . . . NOT!   RT44 made up for the fun of 144 because a) the road surface was much worse, b) there was a lot of crap on the road and c) it was raining in earnest now :-(   After a little more non-twisty back road riding I hit Centralia (famous for its mine fires) and then on to one of my favorite roads, RT339 outside of Mahanoy City.   Unfortunately a small pickup turned in front of me just as I was getting to the turn off so I had to wait through a really nice uphill section before I could pass safely.   After that it was about as much fun as one can have with ones clothes on . . . for about 10 miles into Mahanoy City anyway.   The rest of the trip home was just sit here twist that (but no slab).   If I remember correctly I beat the original GPS time by about half an hour for the day, now that's some fun back road ridin!
  Last GPS learning - I didn't spend much time looking at the GPS and that was also part of the plan as I didn't want it to distract me, just help me.   It was better than using paper maps in that where it's mounted on the dash shelf of my FJR, it is much closer to my line of sight than a paper map in my tank bag.   So I lied, this is my last GPS learning - I need to break the routes up a little better as I got confused a couple of times by the 'time to next turn and time to arrival' (or I'm a doofus, take your pick).