July 02With a decent hotel breakfast to get me started, Purl and I were off to move West. The weather was still not looking great and I hoped to get a bunch of miles in. The Vespa was riding well, I had made my first adjustments in how things were packed and it was time to get hustling.

My goal is to avoid highways/ superhighways as much as possible. The Vespa “can” go 70 but the rider doesn’t like it! The larger trucks can take this bike sailing. But there are plenty of secondary roads where you can keep up a good pace.

The wind was blowing and rain came on and off. This seems to be a theme for this trip!

Drive-throughs for coffee are common now, but I hadn’t done one on a Vespa yet, so when I saw a tiny hut in the middle of a parking lot, I took a chance. The delightful Heimer’s Brew House window was manned by Neil with a smile and he agreed to a selfie along with making a damn fine latte.

Drive through- get a smile and a great espresso drink!

Drive through- get a smile and a great espresso drink!

This is the area of the Delaware Water Gap, lots of outdoor activities and plenty to keep me entertained. I saw a sign for the Jim Thorpe Memorial and took a short detour. I come from a “track” family so this felt like a pilgrimage of sorts.

2013-07-02 10.56.42

Jim Thorpe Memorial, Jim Thorpe, PA (Yes, they really changed the name of their town to honor a favored son)

It started to rain, again, so I got back on the road.

On my shake down ride, I had most of the work I needed done on the Vespa, but weather prevented me from making the appointment for the oil change and drive belt replacement. These still needed to be done for me to feel truly confident in the new-t0-me scooter. I had heard great things about Pride of Cleveland Scooters and called to see if they could take me in the following afternoon. So that became the goal for the next day.

Late afternoon, stopped for gas and some caffeine. I pulled the bike out from under the gas pump overhang and over to the store. Luckily, I looked up before heading in and hustled the Vespa (and Purl!) back under the overhang. The torrential downpour was to last over 30 minutes. I was done for the day. Quick glance at Priceline and the night’s lodgings were booked. College towns are terrific for finding a clean, quick place to stay!

Of course, the skies cleared for the rest of the night, but it wasn’t worth getting in just another hour’s ride, so instead, I went to grab a few supplies at a nearby Odd Lots type store. Including the tarp I was warned to bring… and would be used more than I could then know.

Start: Bridgewater, NJ
Finish: State College, PA
Miles: ~230