Archive for the ‘Motorcycle Rides’ Category

Not a long motorcycle ride, about 120 miles, takes us from Front Royal, VA to Lost River State Park, WV and back home.  As we pull from the driveway it is an unusually cool summer morning but bright and sunny. The weather app stated that there was zero chance of rain with highs in the upper 70s, a great day for taking the motorcycle out.

By LOST I mean we rode through Lost, WV, along the Lost River and visited the Lost River State Park. So, we had a LOST motorcycle ride!

Similar to the ride I made a few post back “Motorcycle Ride to No Where In Particular” we headed out Route 55 towards Strasburg.  This time we stated on Route 55 with the motorcycle pointed to the West Virginia boarder. Soon we were out of Strasburg and the Shenandoah Valley and climbing into the mountains.  I love riding my motorcycles on mountain roads!

Route 55 took us through the small town of Wardensville, WV.  On an earlier motorcycle ride we rode through Wardensville, years ago.  I remember stopping at the Kac-Ka-Pon restaurant for what I recall was a good “down home” meal.  We did not stop this time as it was only about 10AM and we had breakfast before leaving the home.

Just a bit past Wardensville we stopped the sign for Lost River State Park.  Turns out neither Debbie nor I had been to this park, so a left turn onto State Route 259 gets the motorcycle pointed in the correct direction.

Route 259 runs in a small valley between two ridge lines. Wonderful views and a smooth road made this for a nice ride.  It is moments like this where I just can’t grasp why more people do not ride motorcycles!  The clean air, wonderful weather wow.

The Park itself was very clean and beautiful. Lost River State Park is nearly 4000 acres for those looking for a secluded get away and hiking. After a quick snack and getting a new scented candle, it was time to mount up.

Quick Note….. The Park is mostly hillside, make sure you park your motorcycle in a way that will allow for an easy get away. I did not and it was a bit of struggle to get it off the kickstand and underway (no I did not drop the bike LOL).

The return trip was just as much fun as getting to the park.  We rode the motorcycle along Wolf Gap Road, Stoney Creek Road and Fort Valley Road among others. This loop had plenty of opportunities to get lost, but we made it home.

All in all, it was a wonderful day for a lost motorcycle ride.

Ride on, Ride safe

We have been moving from our former home in Leesburg to a new “temporary” home in Front Royal, VA.  The reason, I thought we were at the top of a sellers’ market and wanted to cash in before it faded.

So now being in Front Royal it is time to get out and discover new roads on my motorcycle.  We live about 3 miles from the northern terminus of Skyline Drive Parkway but that was not my destination this time.  I wanted to try something new.

Leaving my new neighborhood on a cool, for a dramatic change, morning I turned west and headed to Strasburg on State Route 55. The morning light dappled through the tree cover creating a crazy show of shadows and light. It was a quite and very uneventful ride to Strasburg.

The road into Strasburg proper is a mess right now, I don’t know what they are trying to do but watch yourself on the uneven and rough road up to the traffic light at the intersection of 55 and 11.

Strasburg seems to be a pretty cool town with a brewery, antiques and art boutiques mixed in with the normal main street business. Murals seem to adorn, what was, every blank wall giving the town a renaissance feel. I had hoped to find a diner for some breakfast, but I did not, which given everything else on Main Street seemed odd.

Taking State Route 11 out of town I was now headed down the Shenandoah Valley.  Passing though the small towns of Toms’ Brook, Maurertown, Woodstock (not that Woodstock), and Edinburg.  I admired the views from the valley, mountains rising from both the left and right framed the valley and the small towns in a way you can’t get from inside a car.

When I reached Mount Jackson I decided to turn around and head back the way I had come.  There were other ways to make it back to Front Royal but there were places I wanted to stop and take photos.  For my first motorcycle foray into Shenandoah region, I was quite happy.  I look forward to more local trips in and round Front Royal.

An older Skyline Drive motorcycle ride post – 2015

We originally passed through Goshen a few years ago during one of our motorcycle tours of Virginia.

Goshen is a quaint town bordering the George Washington National Forest the nearest “big towns” are Staunton and Lexington VA.

One of the things that interested me was the Goshen Truss Bridge.  Not the best light for good photos but you get the idea.  Built in 1890 it was the height of bridge engineering at the time.

Ride On, Ride Safe

This is the 30th anniversary of the ride to promote the role of motorcycles as an option in the daily commute.  This event originated in the United States but quickly grew into an international event.

By riding to work we demonstrate:

  • The number of motorcyclists to the general public and to politicians.
  • That motorcyclists are from all occupations and all walks of life.
  • That motorcyclists can reduce traffic and parking congestion in large cities.
  • That motorcycles are for transportation as well as recreation.

Some may ask, as we are still in the era of Covid and a large number of folks are still working from home, how can I participate without a commute?  Do as I am going to do….. Ride for 30 minutes before you start your home office workday!

Maybe I should ride for 30 minutes everyday before work?????

RIDE ON, RIDE SAFE

Up ShiftDistinguished Gentleman’s Ride – This year plan on your Dapper Riding to take place on May 23rd.  The format of the ride will be based on the COVID rules where you live and ride.  Some will ride solo, other on specific routes and some may even get to ride as a group.

The event has raised over $27 Million dollars for men’s health causes over the years and the organizers hope to pop the $30 million mark this year.  To help that along Triumph Motorcycles will be provide four motorcycles to give to the top fund raisers worldwide. Check out gentlemansride.com for more details.

My Take – I have participated in a couple DGR rides and raised a small bit of money for the cause.  It is fun to dress up and go for a ride, especially for a good cause! 

Check out this video of me leaving for the 2014 DGR.

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Up ShiftInternational Female Ride Day – This year plan to set aside May 1st to get your International Female Ride Day on.  This year it is going to be a fix of solo rides, socially distanced gatherings, and meetups in 120 countries and every continent except Antarctica.

 According to IFRD’s press release, “The movement places a spotlight on the diverse participation of women already engaging in motorcycling and powersports while inspiring other women to learn to ride and obtain their license.” It goes on to state that, even though female ridership has doubled over the last decade, women still represent just around 20 percent of all motorcycle owners, and the momentum needs to continue to advance the future of motorcycling for women and, arguably, the sport.”

The 15th version of the IFRD is using the theme (and hashtag) of #FocusFemaleForward to put more emphasis on the IFRD’s goals of encouraging new women to ride while aiming to move women forward in all aspects of motorcycling.

My Take – The 15th year anniversary!  Yet another reason to get out and ride… not that we really need one! 

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Down ShiftFlying motorcycle by Subaru.  OK I thought this was an April’s Fools joke but maybe it is not.  Multiple sources are reporting, including Motorcycle.com, that Subaru has filed for a patent on a flying motorcycle.

From what I can tell the wings and engines of the flying motorcycle would fold up similar to those on a airplane on an aircraft carrier. When flying the wings would fold out, the motorcycle wheels would retract and way you are off into the wild blue yonder.

My Take – Hooey

James Madison’s Montpelier

As noted in in Part 1 of this Quarantine Motorcycle Ride series on the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Byway, had to occur over three seasons.  Part 2 Leesburg to Montpelier occurred last summer.

This leg of the ride started on a cool summer morning.  Blue skies, white puffy clouds, and the local weatherman, promised a comfortable day to ride the motorcycle.

Our eyes and the weatherman were right! Our ride on the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited motorcycle was smooth and sweet.  Great tunes and light traffic made this leg of the Hallowed Ground Byway nothing short of great.

This part of the Byway is packed full of sites that just beg to be stopped and explored as this part of Virginia is packed with history and historical sites.

Getting to Montpelier took us past the following historical sites, and these are the major sites. There are many, many smaller sites in each of the towns you pass through.  This leg of the Hallowed Ground Byway can, by itself, could take a week to work your way though.

Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park | Nova Parks

George C. Marshall’s Home

President’s Monroe’s Oak Hill

Bull Run Battlefield (1st and 2nd Battle for Manassas)

This section also passes though the Northern Virginia wine and brewery corridor.  For example, there are over a dozen breweries and 30 vineyards in Loudon county alone! Just do not drink and ride, of course!

Of course, the destination of this motorcycle ride was the home of President James Madison’s home Montpelier.  Montpelier was the plantation home of the Madison family, including the fourth President of the United States James Madison and his wife Dolly.

Montpelier is both a National Historic Landmark and part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Completed in 2008 a major restoration (by the National Trust), in part to return the mansion to its original size of 22 rooms.

Archeological investigations provided information on African-American life at the plantation. Philanthropist David Rubenstein funded and enabled the National Trust to restore the slave quarters in the South Yard and open a slavery exhibition, The Mere Distinction of Colour, in 2017.

Getting to Montpelier is a wonderful ride through historic lands.  If you are in the area, on the Journey Thorough Hallowed Ground Byway or not, take the time to stop.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We pulled out of our driveway on a cool, crisp Friday morning for a long weekend motorcycle ride.  By cool & crisp I mean 51 degrees Fahrenheit, a little less with wind chill, of course. We knew it was going to be at least that or a bit less on Skyline Drive.

We had decked ourselves out in appropriate clothing and closed the vents of the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited, so the chill was not very noticeable. Otherwise, the sun was out with blue sky all about and traffic out of town was quite light.

It took us about an hour to get from home to the northern terminus of Skyline Drive in Front Royal, Virginia. I really think that the state could do a bit better job of signage to get people to the park.  I knew where it was but, until you are right upon it the signs are few and far between.

A lot of motorcycles on the road!

Once we were on Skyline Drive the cool air got a bit cooler! There was nearly a 10-degree difference from the valley to the top of the mountain.  While we did notice it, and I turned on the heated grips, the motorcycle seemed to love the cool air and purred as it rolled up, down and around the ridge.

The leaves had not yet started to change colors or drop from the trees, but the greens were awesome to view. I do have another complaint, maybe it is a by-product of Covid 2020 but several of the overlooks really did not overlook.  The trees and bush build up limited the view on some of the stops.   Only a minor disappointment as the day was so nice!

We reached the southern terminus of the parkway late afternoon and headed to our hotel in Charlottesville, VA. The next day we went to some local site like Monticello. Our return tip was via the American BywayJourney Through Hallowed Ground Byway”, which will be documented on another post.

It was our anniversary by the way!

Skyline Drive by motorcycle really shows that the adage “Riding in car is like watching a movie. Riding on a motorcycle is like being in the movie” is absolutely true.

If you live on the east coast this ride needs to be on your bucket list.

Ride On, Ride Safe

I really enjoyed the films “Long way Down” and “Long Way Round”. The movies chronicled Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor motorcycle adventures.

If you did not know there is a new one which follows them from Patagonia, Argentina 13,000 miles to Los Angeles in the US. This time they ditched their BMW motorcycles for the new electric Harley Davidson “Live Wire”.

The Live Wire motorcycles were modified for off-road use and their trip was supported by all-electric Rivian trucks. These trucks were more proto-type then production according to the trailer.

Long Way Up is coming out on Apple TV. Sigh I don’t have Apple TV so I will have to wait until it comes out on another service as I am not spending any more money on TV.

q1

My daughter and grandsons came from Denver to visit!  Ashely only got to spend a short time with us but, the grandsons will spend most of the summer between the two sets of grandparents.  Looking forward to some time with them!

One of the things on Ashley’s “to do” list was a motorcycle ride.  With the Covid quarantine lock down still going on strong in Maryland and Virginia I decided to ride out to Berkeley Springs, WV.q2

Berkeley Springs was the first “spa” in America, where people would go to “take the waters”.  Berkeley Springs history goes back to the at least the 1740s when George Washington reportedly took a bath in the spring water. Berkeley Springs is also on the George Washington Heritage Trail (an America Byway).  I rode this byway a few years ago you can read about it here. An awesome ride for a motorcycle by the way!

Ashley having a good time!

Ashley having a good time!

For our ride we pulled out on the motorcycle mid-morning.  The sun and puffy clouds were out, and the temperature was more than reasonable. A mix of rock and country music playing through the Harley Davidson speakers provided a background soundtrack for our ride.

My plan was to take a lot of backroads and end up at our destination about 1PM.  The motorcycle was humming along as we rode through Virginia and Maryland.  We crossed both the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers as well as Cortactin Mountain and eastern side of the Alleghenies. The views were idyllic and the ride smooth and comfortable.

It couple hours later we arrived in Berkeley Springs. Ashley, much like me, is a bit of a q3history nut and we spent a some time in the museum before our stomachs told us it was lunch time.  Walking down main street we decided to have lunch at the Naked Olive Lounge.  This was a particularly good decision!

They were at serving at a reduced capacity and disinfecting everything as people left, per the Covid free directions. The atmosphere was nice, the wait staff/person was friendly, but the best part was the food, excellent.  I will be going back soon.

After lunch it was time to head back home.  Mounting the motorcycle and pulling out we took a more direct route home. Ashley wanted to go to an antique store before she went back to Denver the next day so she and the wife had their afternoon.

I had a great day out with my daughter!

 

Ride on, Ride Safe

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Just a short motorcycle ride, just a bit over one hundred miles. Really nothing more than loop through northern Virgina and Maryland. BUT, we were out of the house, we were out on the bike, the weather was great (for a change) and it was fun!

Leaving our home in the late morning, it was still jacket wearing temperatures but with copious sunshine and a promise of great riding weather. Heading north we crossed both the Catoctin Mountain and creek before dropping down into Brunswick Maryland. The main street was like a ghost town. No lights in the windows and no one on the street. It is going to sad that when the quarantine is over that most of these building will still be vacant.

We did drop down next to the Potomac River and the Brunswick section of the C&O Canal to have a picnic lunch. There were a lot of folks moving along the canal towpath on hikes or bikes (peddle type). Everyone was observing the rules about social distancing so no need to freak out.

IMG_20200516_123801788_HDRBack on the motorcycle we headed up the mountain and stopped at the War Correspondents Memorial. This memorial is way out in the middle of know where but is an interesting and atypical to most memorials.  I wonder how many war correspondents are even aware of it?

From here we road about other hour heading south back into Virginia and then to home. A short motorcycle ride but one that was greatly needed.