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Sport Touring: West Virginia is for Sport-tourers… Ride what you own, Ride where you

1689 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Stichill
Here is my latest RR and 2 cents on the topic.

Mileage: 340 miles/ 547 km​
Temperature: 59F +/ 15C +
Highest grade: 10 %
Average mpg: 65 mpg

I believe a moto enthusiast from the far South once said: “One is never lost, rather, one is following a path unseen by others” (FC). I’ve mentioned in previous posts how the West Coast is an awesome place to ride, except I had failed to mentioned and acknowledge how the East Coast can be an awesome place to ride… as well. A drastic change of opinion you may say, indeed.

It’s Friday around 20:00, I’ve been couch surfing for a couple of days trying to decide where to go on a ride. I pondered and pondered and then I set my sights on Seneca Rocks, WV. (
sit back grab a Pale Ale and enjoy the ride). There is a process to trip planning sort of habitual, ponder, decide, plan and execute. Except, this time I decided to deviate from the habitual by inviting any willing 250R rider from the area to join the ride. Twenty-four hours later Zirgs (from the forum) answered the call and decided to join and set out to tarmac surf. Excellent. I had not expected anyone to respond considering it was on such short notice and high mileage for a day trip.

Fast forward to Sunday at 0745, Haymarket VA. after a brief introduction we are ready to Surf. The temperature is hovering around 59F, cool with a slight wind, clear skies and low humidity, excellent. The first 65 miles entailed surfing Interstate 66, a super slab, yes, but one almost void of big rigs. The next 100 miles is what I seek. We turned southbound I 81 for a couple of miles until a sign welcomed and directed us towards State Road 55. And this is where the idyllic Surfing begins.

Moto enthusiasts will travel near and afar, cross-country or the world in order to find beautiful roads. I’ve learned a few things during my existence, thus I now know that sometimes it all depends on perspective and outlook. What I seek transcends visual stimulation and it may also be found nearby if one knows where to search. The air is cool and it brings a chill that rattles one's core, there is a slight hint of fog in the distance, the tarmac is smooth and it allows the 250R to glide almost effortlessly with only minimal rider input.

The road meanders through green pastures, the smells awaken your senses, the variable speed keeps the rider alert, and the steep climbs and descends offer potential reality checks should one decided to daydream. This is an environment void of urban monolithic symbols and in their place are new, old, and sometimes dilapidated barns. To the uninitiated a barn is a simple structure, but if you look closely you will find that simplicity can be beautiful, indeed.

Finally, after a few hours on the road we reached our destination. We arrived, we admired, and we turned back and headed home. And you may ask, that’s it? Why go there to simply turn around? I can only speak for myself, and as one famous outdoorsman once said “ The Mountains are calling and I must go” (J. Muir) and I concur. Unlike, a mythical omnipotent being, The Mountains exist, that is reality, exponentially beautiful reality.

170 miles later...​

It's time to enjoy the view.​

Same machine, two different perspectives.​

It is possible to hike to the top.​

The Visitor Center was impressive.​

We even found a gravel road to explore.​

Unfortunately, it led on to private property and we had to stop, so much for ADV riding. The 250R has proven to be highway capable and now dirt road capable.​

After a long day on the saddle it was time to sit back and enjoy an Ale.​

Safe travels Zirgs, and thanks for coming out to tarmac surf.​
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Excellent RR: you have a way with words. It's almost like being there. :D

Perhaps we will meet again when I return from my journey. Safe travels!

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^ Did you guys do some gravel and single track?
^ Did you guys do some gravel and single track?
It was just a short portion of gravel single-track climbing the base of the mountain, since we were feeling adventurous and decided to do some exploring. We encountered a few moderate rocks and drainage channels (along with some hikers/climbers), but nothing major. I thought it was a great turning point to the journey.

The rest of the trip was pristine pavement punctuated by incredible scenery. The morning fog in the valleys was breathtaking.

I ride a lot of roads like this and can definitely say that our bikes can handle it, at least if you keep your speeds sane. (I typically don't feel comfortable on gravel over 20mph.) I think I do more "adventure" riding than my brother does on his true dual-sport BMW. :)
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West Virginia is excellent on-road or offroad. If you want to have some serious offroad adventure, it's hard to beat the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. This is a typical picture of the terrain from Rockhouse:

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