I signed up for the annual May long weekend ride with the GTASportriders, the plan, to ride for four days, two down and two back from Toronto down to Salem Virginia and back again, but via the twistiest most fun filled squiggles on a map that we could find.
Scott, Karen and I met up at a Tim Horton's in Richmond Hill conveniently located next to the 404 highway, and we headed south, next stop, Fort Erie border crossing.
|A wee camera malfunction, but I like it!
Karen pulled her breakfast out of her tank bag and I pulled out my camera when I saw that she had written her name on the banana. Apparently her fiancée Scott enjoys banana's too. Luckily for her, he's literate with a guilty conscience. :P
And here we are with only an hour down and a whole lot more superslab until we get to Springvillie New York.
|Around Milton the clouds that had threatened rain decided to become a dense fog instead.
|Fort Erie border crossing! Whoot!
Uhoh, an old timer's traffic jam. They wouldn't pull over, so I found myself with some free time...
Darlene is leading our pack, but stuck at the tail end of their slow moving pack. Think of us as the wolves. We'll begin to prey upon the weak and lame as soon as the road opens up a bit for some passing. :D
|Minutes away from Renovo to our left and East.
|Coal cars on the rail siding.
|Mark, joins Rich, Darlene and I for lunch at Yesterday's in Renovo PA
|Yesterday's, Renovo PA
It's a wonderful little gem of a restaurant that we make a point of visiting each year on our way home from our trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway. There's a link below, and let me tell you that if you're looking for great riding roads, then try Route 144 South to Renovo, have lunch here, then hit 144 South again and head up and into Sproul State Forest.
An excerpt from their website follows:
|The view of the West Branch Susquehanna River looking East. :P
|Some gas station near Altoona I believe.
|Me and my shadow!
|Is she practising for offroad or is her bum as sore as mine?
|Scott and Karen take a little while to warm up...
|Here's the gang enroute to New Market VA on I-81. Notice how their highways are so much prettier than ours? Do take note MTO. Please.
|Darlene having fun in the Shenandoah valley
|Is she nervous or is she taking the weight off of her sore bits?
|This is rural Virginia. Horse country to be certain.
|The Shenendoah mountains in the distance.
|Simply terrified? She'll be screaming in her helmet soon...
|Water crossing! I wimped out and took it easy (2,000km from OHIP!)
|Viv and Geoff wait for us to finish fueling
|Rich is saying "There's wild turkeys here!"
|Sudden curve ahead may cause rider to fall off of the rainbow
|Every corner you turn has a new vista to offer. It truly is a wonderful experience.
|Kenda 270 with about 1,000 kilometres on it.
|And the front...
|I made it!
|Roanke Virginia has a lot of riders, especially with the Blue Ridge Parkway only a half hour away!
|Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Scott is working feverishly on Karen's bike to repair the electrical system.
|"Is it fixed yet?"
|Somehow I think this is not helping. Hahaha!
|Here is the culprit! A resettable circuit breaker that has been bouncing around too much and has tripped itself.
|Geoff and Viv help out by getting more beer.
|"Whaddooya mean this is my wake up call?!"
|Route 311 takes you back and forth across the state line. Hahaha!
|The Hollah - Revisited
|I'm on Catholic Church Road in West Virginia when I came across this...
|That's Friar's Hill Knob up yonder.
|The Hollah is left yo...
|Cross the creek...
|Around the bend and up the hill...
|The pavement gets a bit rougher as you climb...
|But eventually it levels out and there is a farm or two.
|When the pavement turns to gravel, just keep going...
|Now if you were on a sport bike, I'd think twice about climbing this hill past the washed out bits...
|I'm taking a break, I thought you'd like to see how I got this far...
|The tires day three are looking used now, but I've been a bit heavier handed on the throttle.
|Yep, I have to set it to offroad to continue. That's a good indication that the route is going to be lots more fun!
|It's a groomed access road for the wind turbines.
|We're still climbing Cold Knob WV, and the scenery through the trees is beautiful!
|The road is getting worse. Potholes, large rocks and a few muddy bits with standing water from last nights rainfall.
|Somebody took the time to sign the road, and there's been alot of vehicle traffic along this stretch, it's much better groomed than Cold Knob road.
|Wind mills in the distance disrupt an otherwise beautiful shot.
|For scale, that yellow bar between the blades is about belly height. These things are huge, and this one sports damage on it near the tip.
|Well, the fun's over now. Asphalt. :(
|Coal mining operation of some sort with weigh scales and a railroad siding.
|They have two things in West Virginia, Moonshine and Coal.
|He's heading back up into the mountains for more shine.
|Drinking 'shine in Rupert WV
|I see these ads, usually weathered and old on the sides of barns all over Pennsylvania and West Virginia
|These two brothers, one from Tennessee, the other from North Carolina are enroute to Canada's province of Nova Scotia
|Extreme "I've done this all day long and this is an easy corner." touring lean angle, where you give it just enough to make the corner without losing your speed and putting your luggage over the line and in harms way. Darlene makes it look so easy.
|Here's another ad on brick. I'll get a better shot next time around.
|Kevin is left to his own devices while our resident RMT destresses from a long day of riding.
|It rained last night, but it looks like it'll be a great day.
|Rich says "Fare thee well!"
|Scott forgot about his gel seat on the bike, and it got soaked last night . DOH!
|There's always someone who enjoys talking bikes, no matter where you go.
|On our way home we encounter other riders. I bet these guys on the adventure bikes are ADVRider's too!
|There is a lot of moisture in the air, it's heavy and taking it's sweet time clearing away.
|Is that the sun?! Hooray!
|This is what happens when the oversize crane gets ahead of you in the 3 mile long uphill construction zone.
|I think somebody should have stayed behind that crane...
|I decided to preride the route to the restaurant, so Rory blesses me and the bike with emulsified meat snack.
|On my way back to Renovo PA again, but this time there is more fog, so I took another shot.
|The gang will be coming up this road, but my lens was dirty so I blew on it to clean it off and the next video is foggy but well meant.
And I'll leave you here, on Route 144 in South Renovo just before lunch as I'd filled the memory on my card and that was all she wrote for pictures.
It was a great adventure, and I'm looking forward to doing this again next spring, where I'm thinking I may return to the "Hollah" and try that Richwood road from Cold Knob this time. ;)