Tuesday, September 30, 2008

West Virginia trip

Ok, this wasn't an ARCPosse trip, but it seems a good place to post a ride report, anyway. My brother Mike and I joined the Sport-Touring.net ESTN (Eastern meet) in Marlinton, West Virginia for some "Road kill and twisty thrills". Every year, the Sport-touring.net folks gather around this time in the Southeast for their Eastern rally, and this year in Marlinton, the date lined up with the local "Roadkill cookoff". Great times!

( http://sport-touring.net )

We rode the Interstate down to Rt. 220 off I-80 (95->495->66->80) then stayed off any real highways the rest of the way into Marlinton. We hit a couple hours of light rain through Virginia - as predicted - but nothing nearly worth all the worry. Friday wasn't about enjoying the ride so much as getting there in a timely fashion, in plenty of time for dinner, drink and friends. SUCCESS! We pulled in to town at just about 5pm, topped off the tanks, then trudged to the motel to check in and get situated. We ran into Garry at the conference room, then we unpacked and started looking for friends and rustling up some dinner plans. Had a great evening catching up and meeting people and telling war stories. I asked Doug if Mike and I could tag along on his Saturday loop - all set to go! Headbanger

Saturday we got up, put down a breakfast and joined up Doug's group. This consisted of Doug (R Doug on ST.N), Erik (FizDog74 on ST.N), Vince (I'm sorry to say I don't know his screen name on ST.N) and my brother Mike (not on the forums) and me. Doug has posted the particulars of his route and I can tell you, what a route it was. An excellent mix of some technical twisties, some sweepers, some open road with great vistas and the occasional HOLY CRAP hairpin or downhill surprise. What a great day of riding. (pictures below)

We made several stops throughout the day, including a snack stop at Paint Creek or Paint Bank, where the general store's rocking chairs and old time porch made it especially difficult to get back on the bike. It was so peaceful and nice that Vince fell right over trying to get situated on his bike. Or maybe it was all the discussion about corn and miles. I'm not sure. You kinda had to be there. I heard a big bang and turned around to see Vince lying on the ground under his bike. He was lying there with his head back (helmet on) and his arms splayed out and my first reaction was, "OH SHIT - HE DIED!". Fortunately he just lost his footing on the gravel and was lying there just feeling sheepish. We got his machine righted and verified no damage or injury and got under way. Headbanger

Doug hamming it up at a nice pace (he is f'ing FAST, in any weather!)

Erik hot on his heels

Getting back on the road after the photo stop

I asked the guys to let me buzz on a head and find a place to take some action shots.





Then I had to take a picture of my own bike, of course...

We stopped in Lexington, VA for lunch at the Subway, then headed over the Goshen Pass. Very nice road, a nice mix of scenic surroundings and mild twisties. We stopped at the overlook to take a breather and take some more photos, including some clowning around.

"I see you seeing me seeing you..." (or something like that)

Say what you will about Harleys... they sure are photogenic.

I'm not sure what was going on here, but I think Mike was trying to hypnotize Doug into giving him his bike, old Vampire-style.

The crew...

More action shots...

We returned to Marlinton by about 5:30pm and sat at the coffee shop in town enjoying some warm drinks and discussion about a little bit of everything... including the fact that we missed out on the Road Kill Cookoff. The town was packing up as we rolled in. Bummer. :( But hey... we had a kickass day of riding. So it's all good. yippie

Again... photogenic. I think I'm going to do something a bit stylistic with this picture. Maybe water-color it, or or blur the background a bit or something.

Oh, hey... more Harleys joined the group. Oh, never mind... they're not ST.Ners. They're travelers who just happened to show up.

Dead Men Walking! (to dinner)

We went and had dinner, enjoyed the buffet and talked a bit more. We definitely had the rowdiest table and the most fun. Really...

Yes, Sara... that's chicken. Honest. The Roadkill Cookoff was down the street.

Wait... are you sure???

Doug... let's talk about corn.

The group as a whole was milling, drinking, laughing and talking 'til after midnight and everyone seemed to have a great time. I know I did - great turn out, great riding, great comradery... camaraderie... Why the hell are there so many spellings of this word??? Anyway, it was great meeting folks again, and others for the first time. It was great putting faces and real-life personalities to names (and online personalities). An awesome time!

Sunday, Mike and I got on the road fairly early with the intention of taking an easy, slow ride home. The weather mostly cooperated and we only hit a few small, quickly-passed storms all the way home. We took 39 -> 42 all the way to I-81 (in Harrisonburg) and wow... what a wonderful, pretty ride. Absolutely beautiful, and we were able to wick it up a little and enjoy some nice sweepers thru' the valley thanks to the rather shy appearance of the sun and some drying roads. Headbanger

I stopped at Mike's place to unwind and BS for a bit, before heading home, and pulled in to my driveway around dinner time with 968 miles on the clock, one desperately shot front tire (YIKES!), and being all the right kind of tired and sore. Great times, indeed.

Just some of the very, very many memorable quotes from Saturday...

"And then she said, 'here, hold my nutsack'!" -- Mike (MK96xj)

"Oh, I am completely shitfaced!" -- Sara (HappyRiding)

"pffffft. Pirates!" -- Sara (HappyRiding)

"Now you can strap the parts back on your Harley when they fall off!" -- Stefanie (stefrrr)

"I'd eat the corn..." Ya know what... I can't even finish that quote and I won't tell you who said it, even tho' he was quoting someone else. LOL LOL LOL

1 comment:

Ayasha Kieth said...

Wow, I really like your blog, cool photos and a great bikes. I like it.
Fender Flares | Bushwacker | Bestops| Discount-autocar-parts | 4wheelonline | All about car