I rode PA 147 for my first 50 miles today, and this is reflected in the amount of climbing I did. 1700 of that 2200 feet was on 147. It really was pretty nice riding, unlike what 11/15 would have been on the other side of the Susquehanna. I left my motel after breakfast and headed across the bridge to Sunbury. At the other side of the river I turned right and followed 147 till it ended at 22/222 about 10 miles from Harrisburg.
147 started following the railroad paralleling the river and then it headed into the hills with a 200+ foot climb. After the climb, the road was rolling for a while and then it headed back down to the railroad and the river at Fisher' Ferry. This pattern was repeated several times, with the biggest climb being about 330 feet after Dalmatia. The road was generally quite good, traffic was light to moderate, but there were quite a few big trucks. Overall it was a nice ride, one that I would do again. Most of the ride was though farmland (lots of corn) and there were only a few places with really good river views. The best view was, naturally, just after the top of the biggest climb. The shoulder was mostly rideable and traffic was low where it was not.
I had planned to ride 225 for the last five miles to 22/222 instead of 147. 225 is shorter, but has more climbing. I figured the 22/222 part would be lousy riding (it was) and I could have avoided most of it using 225. Unfortunately, 225 had construction - "expect delays", so I took 147. The section 147 to 22/222 was quite fun, but rather busy. 22/222 was the pits - like riding on a busy interstate with a generally good, but quite dirty, shoulder. I was sweating getting a flat tire riding through all the debris, but there was little choice given the heavy traffic. Use 225 if you can.
Shortly after 225 intersects 22/222 at Dauphin, I took the (first) exit to the right. This brought me onto the shore road. Nice. I stopped at a park to use the toilet and get water and then rode into Harrisburg. There is a shoulder or a 4 lane road until a bike path starts on the river side. he bike path extends to (and beyond) a bike/pedestrian bridge to City Island. there used to be a similar bridge from City Island to the West Shore, but its broken so I rode the car bridge that parallels it. All of this was quite fun, except for part of the bike path right on the river. It was in bad repair and was more of a mountain bike path than a road bike path. Even with my Softride stem, it beat me up at 15 mph.
On West Shore, I followed Market St left from the bridge, then took State St to where it crosses over 11 and the railroad tracks. I then followed what becomes Simon Ferry Rd west, stopping for lunch at a Wendy's, and the, at the next light west, I went north to 641 (Trindle Rd) and then west on 614 to Carlisle. 641 is 'the back road to Carlisle', but it was pretty busy. Mostly it had a good shoulder so riding was OK. In Carlisle 641 joins, briefly, with 11. I continued on 11 south (mostly good shoulder, through farm land with some Amish / Mennonite character, good riding) to Shippensburg where I stopped for supper at McDonalds, and, a little later, for the night.
I had planned to ride on to Chamberburg after supper, but, just after reaching the 100 mile mark for the day, I passed a neat looking Bed and Breakfast. Being nostalgic for B+Bs in Canada, I stopped and inquire about rates. With tax, a little over $40. Not great by Canadian standards, but OK by US ones. It is a nice place with neat people and I'm pleased to be here instead of in a motel. Since it is Friday night, I'm probably also saving a bit of money.
This B+B has a phone for guests to use, so I'll see if I can get on the net and send this report tonight. I still have about 25 miles of 11 to do in Pennsylvania, but I don't expect it to change much. This report is already too long, so I'll end it now and send a addendum if there is a dramatic change in 11 between here and the border.
I'd say 11, with the 147 section, is a good touring route through Pennsylvania. It isn't as nice as 11 in NY or VA, but it is certainly rideable and it does have some very nice bits. I have enjoyed riding it much more than I enjoyed riding the route I used going north (York, Lancaster, New Holland, Reading, Allentown, and The Delaware Water Gap).