By Tracey “Gypsy” Kohman
Having grown up on the east coast I learned how fleeting autumn is, and if you don’t catch it quick, it’ll be gone. It has always seemed that there was only one day where the leaves and colors are in full bloom, and you have that day to absorb it and enjoy it. It’s nearly guaranteed that the next day it will rain, accompanied by high wind, which of course blows all the leaves off. This is the reminder that riding season is coming to an end.
However, there is nothing much more enticing than the feel of the wind and the feel of the swoosh coming up from the road beneath you. Riding in the crisp fall air, seeing the trees swaying with the wind almost as if they are waltzing, bringing a peace that only this time of year can bring. This means it is time to gather all your rider friends, and the riders that will soon be friends and head for the rural roads.
I spent a couple weekends camping in Letchworth State Park over the summer. I knew instantly this was going to be an amazing destination for pictures come fall. Even though it had a lot of bike traffic in the summertime, I somehow knew that would be threefold come season change.
Letchworth is an amazing state park with more than sixty miles of hiking and bike trails, surrounded by lush, thick forest. As the Genesee River winds its way through the gorge between the 600-foot cliffs… bragging about its three waterfalls. It has been labeled “The Grand Canyon of the East” as mentioned on their webpage. It has many attractive activities inside the park, including hot air ballooning. Personally, I have a need for speed, not height… but I would guess it is quite a beautiful view from up there.
When the leaves started to change, I knew I needed to watch closely or I would miss those photo-opps. About that time, as predicted… it started raining… and raining… I held my breath hoping that the wind wouldn’t be kicking up, but I knew my luck wasn’t going to hold up forever, so I decided to wedge myself between the raindrops…and get as many pictures as I could.
Even with the rain, it was still a beautiful ride through historic villages featuring buildings over 100 years old… sidewalks with huge cracks… a stop sign… maybe a gas station. Farmland that stretched for acres that were sorely in need of harvest. Straight highways that seemed to go on forever, often with a river running alongside some parts that were hilly, making it much more like a rollercoaster. Not a policeman in sight… (it’s that need for speed that makes me hyper-aware of these details).
Beyond Letchworth, there are lakes of all sizes and three mountain ranges, the Adirondacks, the Catskills and a part of the Appalachians. Each beautiful, each offering summer bike rallies, events, shows and camps.
Among them are the Americade Motorcycle Rally held in Lake George, NY (Adirondacks), Catskill Mountain Thunder (Catskills), and Moto-Jam motorcycle snow racing (Appalachians). I am looking forward to each one of these events and I can’t wait to write all about each of them!
For now though, nearly everyone has packed up their bikes, put them in storage, and anxiously wait for the first signs of spring… Planning tours and events for the upcoming season.