Posts Tagged ‘WV’


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



This comes from many interweb sources….

Couple of things I caught… only 2 fires cause an investigation (but they have had combustion issues in the past)…. Cam-AM sold 52,000 Spyders!!!….. and there is a police version!


U.S. safety regulators are investigating two reports of fires in Can-Am Spyder three-wheeled motorcycles.

The probe covers about 52,000 motorcycles from the 2008 through 2014 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in documents posted Friday that the fires appear to be unrelated to three recalls of the motorcycles. One Spyder was destroyed last month in a fire while being used by the Morgantown, West Virginia, Police Department. Another burned in the Mojave Desert region of California.

The safety agency says it will look into what caused the fires. Investigations can lead to recalls.

The Morgantown police, in a July 23 complaint to NHTSA, said an officer was riding the Spyder on a city street and felt heat rising from beneath the motorcycle. The officer saw flames coming from the engine and moved it to the side of the road. “Within seconds the vehicle was fully engulfed and flames caught a yard and two nearby trees on fire,” the complaint said.

The Fire Department and a city mechanic determined that the fuel system was the source of the blaze, the complaint said.

No one was injured in either fire, but the police motorcycle was a total loss.

The three recalls happened in 2012 and 2013, and all involved the risk of fires. Last year, the company recalled about 8,200 Spyders because brake fluid leaks could cause fires. In 2012 it recalled about 34,000 because fuel vapors could leak due to an ill-fitting gas cap. It also recalled 9,600 because fuel vapors could exit a vent hose in the engine compartment.



Good description of Harpers Ferry Road!

This road kind of parallels the Potomac River and the C&O Canal starting in the south on the Maryland side of the river across from the town of Harpers Ferry, WV and is a great road for motorcycles. We rode from there to Sharpsburg, MD which is where the Civil War battle of Antietam was fought (this link will take you to our ride to the Antietam Battlefield).

The road is only about 13 miles long it is twisty, with lots of elevation changes, stomach dropping dips, blind corners and blind entrances to the roadway; it is not a road for the beginning rider to take lightly or with speed. It is also scenic and lots of fun, even if the speed limit is only 35 MPH. There are several neat places to stop along the route including the C&O Canal, Antietam Battlefield, Antietam Iron Works Inn, and Harpers Ferry of course.

The road has views of some great stuff; railroad tunnels, rail road overpass, small towns, rock walls, open farm land, cool barns, mountain cliffs, and on and on!

If you are ever in this area I highly recommend a short side trip to ride this road…and then get some ice cream across the river in Harpers Ferry!

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



My friend Doug and I linked up this past weekend to going riding.  We had no particular place in mind and decided to scoot over to Winchester Harley Davidson to look at the 2014 bikes.  

We rode west on US 7 and then cut across VA 601(the Secret Blue-Ridge Mountain Northern Stretch) to US 50 where we continued west until we reached the dealership.  We spent nearly an hour at the dealership looking at their bikes and merchandise.  They did not have very many of the “Project Rushmore” 2014 bikes, with the exception of Street Glides. They had six or seven of the new Street Glides in most of the available colors, in particular I really like the Big Blue Pearl paint.  As we were leaving the dealership we decided to visit the Gander Mountain outdoor center.  

Doug rides a Suzuki Intruder without a windscreen and on the way to Gander Mountain he had an olfactory impact with a stink bug at about 60 MPH.  His telling of the incident was particularly funny in that he was getting a strange smell, off and on, during the ride over to Gander Mountain and attributed it to the normal smells of riding.  Once in the store the smell was following him around until he noticed it was coming from his shirt!  A quick trip the restroom fixed that issue.  I am sure if we were members of a motorcycle club he would have a new nickname! 

After riding through “Old Town” Winchester we meandered through the border area of Virginia and West Virginia.  I would bet we crossed the state line no less than 10 times.  We traveled several “really” back roads including “Smokey Hollow Road” and “Il Pugh Road” until we emerged onto Route 11 (the same Route 11 as the Potato Chip ride).  We took Route 11 north to Charles Town, WV and then Route 9 (same Route 9 that Debbie and I rode) back to Leesburg. 

I put a bit over 175 miles on the bike that day and Doug and I both agree that we need to do it again soon.  Like a dummy I forgot to take pictures on this ride!






Last weekend Debbie and I went for a motorcycle ride to Antietam Battlefield.  The American Civil War battlefield is near Sharpsburg, Maryland about half way between Martinsburg, WV and Frederick, MD.

motorcycle ride

Ride to Antietam

This was the worst one day battle in American History.  23,000 soldier were killed, wounded or went missing in only 12 hours.  After seeing the battlefield and understanding the tactics of the time I find it hard to understand how these men walked into the open for the cannons to…just wipe them out!

The battlefield itself is well maintained and there are monument to many of the units and men that fought and died on that day.  The museum has a thirty minute movie covering the action, I suggest you see the film first as it will lay out what occurred in a broad scope so you will have some context as you move outside.

You may run across two, non-military, names that were unexpected to see in a place like this.  Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross and, then Captain, Oliver Wendell Holmes. Holmes, who was left for dead at Antietam, would later become a famous member of the American Supreme Court.

We also spent part of the day just wheeling around and by the time we arrived at home we had put nearly 120 miles on the bike.  And for a great change, there was never even a threat of rain.

Well, Paw Paw, West Virginia was not the intended destination, in fact, we just went out to ride.

We pulled out about ten in the morning (on the Ultra Limited) and head west on Route 7.  I noticed the exit for Virginia State Route 9 and decided, what the heck let’s see where Route 9 goes.  We knew it went north to Martinsburg, WV but that was about it.

Route 9 in Virginia is also known as Charles Town Pike and passes through rolling farmland and the towns of Paeonian Springs (which has a historic district) and Hillsboro.  Hillsboro sets in the middle of a gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A short climb out of Hillsboro and you have a great view of Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

motorcycle ride

RT 9 at WV/VA boarder

At this point VA Route 9 becomes WV Route 9 and also becomes a four line highway. While we did not take the road, by the looks of the area I can image that “old 9” down the mountain would be full of twistiness!  Crossing the Shenandoah River we scooted through Charles Town and Martinsburg, we did not stop to look around, today was just about riding. A little after Martinsburg the road becomes a 2 lane again.

When we reached Berkeley Springs we did stop.  Right in the middle of the town is the Berkeley Springs State Park. The town (its real name is Bath) was considered the country’s first spa and resort area because of the mineral spring producing 2,000 gallons a minute.  George Washington even visited the springs. Heck the town even has a castle!

Continuing on Route 9, up the mountain out of Berkeley Springs we summited to a spectacular view of the Potomac River in the valley below. We decided to have lunch across the street from the fabulous view at Panorama at the Peak restaurant. This is a farm to table, organic, restaurant and the food was awesome!

Back on the bike we rode down the mountain and into the Cacapon River Valley.  This stretch of road from Berkeley Springs to Paw Paw was very lightly traveled, I doubt that we passed a dozen cars.  It undulates along the Cacapon River and was just a very nice ride!

motorcycle ride

Riding in the Cacapon River valley

We reached the end of WV 9 when we hit Paw Paw.  It is a very small town at the intersection of WV 9 and 29 and was the point where we began our return trip.  We did not retrace our route instead we zigged and zagged through a variety of roads until we reached Route 7 at Winchester, VA.  After stopping at the Winchester Sonic restaurant for ice cream (I love there coconut milkshakes) we quickly made it back home.

We put in 198 miles on this trip with only a few stops….it was a great day with the wife and the bike!

motorcycle-map-ALL-ridesAs noted in the last post, I had stopped at the “Welcome to West Virginia” rest stop on Interstate 68.  While there I looked at the rack of brochures of all the different things you can do in the state.

I was pleasantly surprised to see four or five motorcycle specific brochures.  Each of the pamphlets outlined different rides in different sections of the state.  I have ridden several of these over the years and they all are great.

I am glad to see WV start promoting the state to bikers.  I have ridden the Tail of the Dragon and it was cool, but many of the roads in the southern and eastern parts of West Virginal rival or surpass the Dragon!  Heck, the road outside the house I grew up in has 108 turns in eight miles.

If you have never considered riding in WV please do.  You can go to WV Motorcycle Rides section of the state’s tourism website for more detail.

Over the Memorial Day weekend we put a bunch of miles down on a long motorcycle ride.  This year we made a decision to forgo Rolling Thunder and decided to ride in a poker run supporting the 1st Battalion 201st Field Artillery.

We left Leesburg, VA Thursday afternoon and traveled across I-70 (which was, interestingly, the first interstate project) and I-68 to Morgantown, WV.  The 187 mile trip to Morgantown was uneventful except for the rain storm we hit about 30 minutes from our destination, we don’t have the nickname of “storm chasers” for nothing! Once we reached Morgantown, home of WVU, we stayed with our close friends Tim and Karma (Tim is the Battalion Commander of the 1/201st FA).

Friday was quite cool so we chose to just hang out.  We visited Triple S Harley Davidson (I bought highway pegs) and then went to the movies.  We watched the Hangover 3, it was the weakest of the three but I laughed so hard at the end I cried. Make sure you stay through the credits or you will miss the best part of the movie!

Saturday morning at 6:30 AM and 33 degrees we pulled out for the poker run.  The poker run began and ended at the National Guard Armory, Belington, WV. 137 miles long, the run passed through Buckhannon, Fairmont, Elkins.  I did not draw my cards well, ending up with a pair of aces and Debbie ended up with less than that, so obviously neither of us won any prizes.


Debbie at start of poker run

The ride for the poker run itself was nice, even if it was very cool, rolling through the back country roads of WV.  One of many interesting spots was the covered bridge of Philippi built in 1852 and still used as a main road (US Route 250).  We threw in some side trips during the event going to B&B Harley Davidson and Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch. By the time we made it back to Morgantown we had put exactly 300.0 miles on the bikes, and it was 46 degrees.


Debbie and Karma at Mount Summit Overlook

The next day, about noon, we set out again this time we linked up with Karma’s sister Kelly, her boyfriend Buba and their friends Jim and Joe. Riding though Fayette County, PA we had our first stop half way up Mount Summit at the lookout on Route 40.  From the lookout you have a great view of the valley below and Uniontown, PA in particular.  From the lookout we rode to lunch at Dogwood Acres Bar and Grill the atmosphere was biker friendly


Dogwood Acres Bar and Grill

(about 40 bikes in the lot), the food was good and the stories, while not repeatable on line, told by Joe were priceless.


Fried Goodness!

From the bar we rode on to Ohiopyle and took a look at the water falls.  The area is a local meca for whitewater enthusiast and the roads were lined with cars carrying kayaks, rafts and canoes.  One of our funnier moments happened at the Ohiopyle General Store, Tim wanted to try a fried Oreo and order three of the batter dipped cookies. Well, apparently Tim and the cook misunderstood each other and he got three orders of four cookies each!  Everyone had a good laugh and then tried to help him out!

Kelly and Buba next took us to another local landmark, one I still have no real idea how to pronounce, the Youghiogheny Dam.  The dam is an earthen structure built in 1944 with the intent to allow folks to drive across the top to the public access areas.   At over 180 feet in height the view from the road on top of the dam was spectacular.  From the dam we rolled to the National Pike Bar and Grill for some refreshments and then back to Tim and Karma’s house.

The next morning it was time to head back to VA.  Tim and Karma rode with us from their home to Cumberland, PA where we had lunch and said our good byes.  The traffic back to the DC Metro area was HEAVY with lots of stop, and go fast and stop again moments on I70.  Eventually we made it back with 804 total miles for the holiday weekend, all in all a great time with friends!