Posts Tagged ‘VA’


Debbie and I had a, nearly, 200 mile motorcycle ride this past Sunday.  We left quite early in the morning as it was supposed to be over well over 95F by early afternoon.  Our plan worked as it was 94F as we made it back to the house about 1PM. Hot and muggy, but we beat the worse of it.

Pulling out that morning we really did not have a true destination in mind other than to ride through the towns of Lisbon and Damascus.  We wanted to hit those locations to add to our “Great Cities” motorcycle tour! With no real plan this was just going to be one of those “it’s the journey not the destination” rides.

After rolling through Lisbon we decided to just ride north.  Riding through small towns and rolling farmland made for a wonderful morning.  Toss in some light fog here and there it was just one of those rides were you just love the fact that you ride a motorcycle!

After about an hour we turned the motorcycle towards the west until we ran into US Route 15 which runs right by our home. Heading south we rode the motorcycle into Frederick, MD to stop for lunch and a quick stop at the Frederick Harley-Davidson shop.  The stop at the dealership was to take a quick peek at the new 2017 motorcycles and see for myself how the new engine looks.

A bit later we pulled the bike into our garage with about 192 miles on the trip meter.  All in all just another good day behind bars (motorcycle handlebars)!

Paris, Virginia!

The city of lights!

rattle the runway

The 3 Motorcycle Charity Rides are:

The first ride is the annual Rattle the Runway Ride, this year’s ride is the 7th of September (rain or shine). Debbie and I have ridden in this ride multiple times and, with one exception, it has been a great, well organized, well run ride. All proceeds from the event goes to the Pentagon Memorial Fund.

The Rattle the Runway Ride follows a symbolic route from the Dulles Airport to the Pentagon. Staging for the ride is at the rear of the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum and ends at the Pentagon 9-11 Memorial.


battlefield runOn September the 12th the Battlefield Run supports the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF). The funds raised for the SOWF provide college scholarship grants, based on need, along with financial aid and educational counseling to the children of Special Operations personnel from the Army Special Forces, Rangers, Navy SEALs, and Air Force and Marine Corps Special Operations Command that have been killed in operational missions or training accidents.

Beginning in Leesburg, VA the ride passes through or near multiple Civil War Battlefield sites and culminates in a final, slow speed trip through the Gettysburg Battlefield.  The ride itself ends at Battlefield Harley Davidson in Gettysburg.


DGRNext is the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride on the 28th of September. Raising funds worldwide for prostate cancer research the DGR will be held on the same day in over 200 cities all over the world, check the website for the nearest ride to you. For the ride in the DC Metro area check out their Facebook page.

The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride was founded in 2012. Inspired by a photo of Mad Men’s Don Draper astride a classic bike and wearing his finest suit. It was decided a themed ride would be a great way to combat the often-negative stereotype of men on motorcycles. That first ride brought together over 2,500 riders across 64 cities. The success of the event encouraged the organizers to consider how it could be used to support a worthy cause. And the rest, as they say, is stylishly-attired history


The 2 Rallies include:

September 11-14 is the Ocean City BikeFest at Ocean City, MD.ocean city bike rally harley davidson maryland

Vendors at two locations

Stunt teams

Wall o’Death

NASCAR Simulator

Lots of Bands including The Marshall Tucker Band

Harley Davidson Vehicle Operations, York, PA Open House



The Harley Davidson Vehicle Operations York Open House in York, PA is going to occur 18-20 September.  The wife and I attended the 2013 Open House and had a good time. In addition to the free self-guided tour of the plant there will be the following activates:

Five dealer shopping area

Live entertainment (last year they had the “Globe o’Death”)

HOG Pin Stop

Test rides of new models (’15 Road Glide???, LiveWire???)


At the same time of the Open House the York “While Rose Thunder” rally will transpire. While the website has more details, the rally includes a hill climb event and a Parade of Chrome!

Some of the events for the rally include:

AMA Flat Track Race

Paul Yaffee

Antique racing bikes

Bike Show

C&O Canal Lock 38

Location – Lock 38

Mile Marker – 72.7 and 72.8

Historical Comments – Near two Civil War Battle Fields Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown, WV.  Also nearby is the former headquarters for the National Park Service’s C&O Canal division, Ferry Hill, which is now a restored plantation museum.

Ride to Site – Lock 38 has two separate areas both assessable from Canal Road.  Canal road is a paved but not well marked byway, pay attention to traffic.

Amenities – the lock areas have restrooms but nothing else.  Shepherdstown is nearby with full amenities.

Road Conditions (from main road) – paved

Railway Situation – underpass, very spectacular when a train is passing overhead

Parking Lot Conditions – Paved

Main Attraction – The remains of the lock and the nearby Ferry Hill Plantation.

My Thoughts – A major trail head for folks hiking and bicycling on the Canal Trail but not a lot to see here for the motorcyclist EXCEPT for railroad overpass.  The overpass has to be about 50 yards about the roadway and canal.  When a trail is crossing the view is spectacular.


Lock 38

Whites Ferry C&O Canal Stop

Location – Whites Ferry

Mile Marker – 35.5

Historical Comments –This stop on the canal is named for the actual ferry with which it shares the location.  The ferry predates the canal by more than half a century and is still in operation today as the only ferry on the Potomac River.  You can read more about the Whites Ferry ferry here.

Ride to Site – Riding to Whites Ferry requires you ride through farm land.  Be on the lookout for slow moving farm equipment.  Pay attention as well for deer and other wildlife crossing the road.  There are multiple speed cameras in and around the nearby town of Poolsville.

Amenities – The ferry operates a small grocery/deli during the summer months, the area has picnic tables, boat ramp, restrooms.

Road Conditions (from main road) – All paved and in decent condition

Railway Situation – None

Parking Lot Conditions – Hard packed gravel, use a kickstand puck.

Main Attraction – Whites Ferry, $3 for motorcycles to cross the river.

My Thoughts – The canal site itself is interesting.  After crossing the river you can, at the traffic light, turn left and head into Leesburg or turn right and head back towards Point of Rocks, MD (another stop on the canal tour).


whites ferry



My wife Debbie and our close friends Tim and Karma went for a cool ride this past weekend. Cool in that the temperature was about 50F degrees before wind chill.

I was going to take the Ultra Limited out, thinking the big faring would reduce the wind. But, luck conspired against us and the Ultra would not start (weak battery). So we hopped on the Heritage and away we went, we both had our chaps on and Debbie had her long underwear, full face helmet and heavy jacket. I put on an open face helmet and a middle weight jacket.

picture by scott massey

Watching the pig dance

We linked up with Tim and Karma at the intersection of US Routes 15 and 50. We had barely been there 5 minutes (watching a dancing pig) before they pulled up looking like black leather clad Eskimos! There was no skin showing anywhere on Karma and only a little on Tim. I started thinking maybe I was a bit under dressed.

We did not have any real plans on where to go, this was a last minute thing, so I took the lead. I knew neither Tim nor Karma had been on the “Secret Blue Ridge Mountain Northern Stretch” which runs along a blue ridge mountain ridge line and connects US 50 with US Route 7. I also knew that I was the only one in the group that had taken River Road along the Shenandoah River which would take us back to US 50. I had mentioned the Blue Ridge route here and the River Road ride here.

picture by scott massey

Wolf Tune Pub

As the sun stated to slide into the west it stated to cool even more. About 3 PM we pulled into the Wolf Tune Irish Pub, part of the Blackthorne Inn & Restaurant in Upperville, VA. The atmosphere and food in the pub was superior! The hot apple cider warmed our hands and insides. If you are in the Upperville area we can recommend a stop at the pub!

Getting back on the bikes we began chasing the fading light, sunset was coming fast. Riding back to the intersection where we met we soon split, with Tim and Karma heading east and Debbie and I going north back to Leesburg. It was at the split that I really started feeling the cool, hugging the engine a little closer I survived to ride another day.

allstate rider risk map

The risky location I flagged.

Earlier this year the Allstate Insurance Company introduced a Facebook app to help riders identify risky areas in which we ride (North America only).  The application also allows us to identify new high risk areas on the “Rider Risk Map”.

The application allows users to flag locations that they deem dangerous to motorcycle riders.  In addition to flagging the location you can also post pictures and comments to further articulate the risk at that location.

I installed the application and found two riders had identified two locations in my area as dangerous.  I concur with both those locations.  I added a third location at point of rock where Route 15 south enters the round-about.  There are many close calls at that point and motorcyclists should be over cautious at that spot!

Allstate has several other applications for riders available including a Facebook page called “Allstate Motorcycles”.  I will cover some of these applications in future posts.

Virginia Tech (officially Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) has the Motorcycle Research Group as part of its official research arm. The objective of the Motorcycle Research Group, which was founded in 2007, is “applying the multidisciplinary research capabilities at VTTI to real-world motorcycle riding.”

According to the website they are on their third major safety study. Information on their first study, for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, was the “Naturalistic Motorcyclist Study is available here.

According to their website, they are looking for riders to participate in the Naturalistic Study as well as their other efforts. If you have spent any time looking at motorcycle safety you know that there are very few actual studies of the subject. The fact that a major university is doing this will, undoubtedly, lead to better laws, techniques and equipment. Take a look at the requirements, listed on their webpage, and if you qualify consider participating.


Well this was the first day of the fall that I needed chaps for a motorcycle ride.  Pulling out at 7:45 AM the temp was 45F, cool before I began moving.  My wife had to work today so I followed her to her favorite breakfast stop Chick-fil-a.

Shenandoah River

Shenandoah River

After eating our breakfast she went to work and I began my ride.  With my destination of Winchester Motosports set I had no particular route in mind, so I decided to take “River Road”, County road 606, which I picked up at its intersection with VA Route 7.  This road follows the Shenandoah River for about 10 miles.  The views are picturesque now but in a few weeks when the leaves reach their peak color it will be spectacular!

When 606 leaves the river (and changes names several time) you weave through backcountry Virginia until you reach the intersection of US Route 50 and 606.  I was tempted to turn around and ride 606 again but I moved on towards the Royal Enfield dealership.

As I mentioned a few posts ago I found Winchester Motosports when I looked at the new Royal Enfield Continental GT website.  I thought it would be neat and visit the store and check out the bikes they had on hand.

When I arrived I meet Ed and the owner Carl. Turns out that Winchester Motosports is not only a Royal Enfield dealer but is also a Moto Guzzi dealer.  They are also one of the largest motorcycle consignment resellers in Northern Virginia.  They were also, at one time, dealers in Victory and Triumph bikes.

Carl is a very gregarious guy who, you can easily tell, absolutely loves what he does.  His knowledge of the bikes he sells (or sold) is immense.  I really enjoyed my conversations with Ed and Carl!  If you are interested in Enfield’s, Moto Guzzi or a used bike of any kind I would consider Winchester Motosports as a first stop. WP_20131019_026

After ogling the bikes for a bit it was time to start for home as the weatherman said that rain was coming in the afternoon.  Weaving through more back roads, I ended up on US 340 and then hoped on VA Route 9.  About an hour or so later I was back in Leesburg.  Round, trip I put on 125 miles on a pleasant, but cool, fall day.

There was one big negative on today’s ride.  I dropped by phone and now the screen is krap and the pictures are not right.  Nearly all the photos on this site have been taken with my Nokia 928 phone.  I have been very happy with this phone and camera.




It’s October and the pleasant riding season in the Mid-Atlantic is coming to a close. Soon the chaps and heavy jackets will need to be brought out of the closet.  Also, I have been offered a job, but it will not start until the Federal Government gets back to work. With that as a background I am considering riding an Iron Butt Association ride, the “SaddleSore 1000” which is 1000 miles in 24 hours

I have checked out the bike I would use (The Ultra Limited) and its tires are good and the next service would not be due until after the ride is complete. I have ridden multiple 200+ days this year and Debbie and I have several 1000-1500 mile rides under our belts (but not in 24 hours).


I might be after this!

The route I am considering is home to south of Knoxville, TN (just a little) and back to home.  I have driven this route several times and the only area of any concern is the part of Interstate 81 from Winchester, VA to the intersection of I81 and I64.  That part of the highway is heavy with large trucks.  South of the intersection traffic is light and moves well.

Looking at the weather it appears that next Tuesday and Thursday, here in Virginia and in Tennessee, the chance for rain is under 20%.  Temperatures at both ends will be cool in the morning but nice in the afternoon.

The only thing holding be back is the potential cost should anything go wrong.  I have a few days to consider and discuss with the wife soooo…… “To be continued”