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Old 11-03-2014, 12:32 PM   #1
Voyager II OP
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Central VA/Tidewater BMW 1200 GS Off-Road Riding Opportunities

Im heading out to Colorado next year to ride several off road passes (the Alpine loop, etc.) on my recently acquired 05 R1200 GS.
Although I have MX and HS experience, Ive never ridden a battleship off-road. Can anyone recommend some easy/intermediate gravel/dirt roads in the area to practice bloated bike handling before I get out there and make a fool of myself by falling off the edge of the world?
Live in Williamsburg, but assume I need to go up around the VA National Forests?
Thanks
Bob
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:07 PM   #2
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Head to the mountains

is your best bet. Plus a lot of options up there. You're only a couple hours from some good stuff west of you.
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Old 11-04-2014, 05:59 AM   #3
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Excellent. Thanks for the feedback. The challenge Im finding is that Im looking for an anomaly/outlier.
A road that falls outside of what the street crowd wants and the off road crowd wants. A road nobody wants?
I just know that there is a miniature Engineer Pass hiding somewhere in the Shenandoahs.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:02 AM   #4
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Geo. Washington Nat. Forest

I envy your trip to Co. Always wanted to ride the high passes out there.

I've ridden a few of the roads in the Geo. Washington Nat. Forest off of Rt. 60 between Amherst and Buena Vista. They're good for gravel road experience with no guard rails. Of course the drop offs can't compare to riding the Rockies. The road between those two has some fun corners, especially when you start the down hill to Buena Vista. BTW, they don't use the usual Spanish pronunciation. It's Be-yoo-nah Vista to the locals.

Other than that there are gravel roads in Isle of Wight and Southampton counties. Those are closer but nowhere near as much fun.
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Long Gone screwed with this post 11-04-2014 at 08:09 AM
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:07 AM   #5
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Good info, and agree with this area in the GWNF

Have a camp near Forks of Buffalo (off Route 60), lots of great gravel roads. Heading there Friday am for the weekend, weather is looking great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Long Gone View Post
I've ridden a few of the roads in the Geo. Washington Nat. Forest off of Rt. 60 between Amherst and Buena Vista. They're good for gravel road experience with no guard rails.
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:39 AM   #6
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Chris yes, the trip to CO will be fun. Two weeks of adventure biking, mountain biking, and bar hopping. Wife & I are celebrating putting our last child through college (Go Hokies!).

Im scanning the USDA Motor Vehicle Use Map 2012 of George Washington and Jefferson National Forests right now. Very little fidelity, but its a start. Guess Ill check out the Amherst/Buena Vista area (map sheet 29).

Id prefer to rip up single track on my KTM300 XC, but those days are over. Time to slow down and enjoy the scenery. An old BMW and a quite mountain road seems like a great place to start.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:44 PM   #7
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The Gazetter's are good

for researching roads too. More detail than the Motor Vehicle Use Maps.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:18 PM   #8
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State Gazeteer map books

Except for their size I've found the Gazeteer books that can be found at a good book store are great for the detail they show.

Forks of Buffalo is where I've camped also. Been skinny dipping at Panther Falls after dark too but it might be a bit cool for that right now.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:57 PM   #9
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=880087

Try this. Some good gps files for the area west of Harrisonburg. Also look up allehandra (sp?) rd between 56 and 60 on the east side of the brp.

Or post up in the Richmond thread. Those guys are always coming out to the valley to hit these roads
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:23 AM   #10
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I live in Lexington and would be glad to show you around . FS roads are my favorite these days also. AB:-)
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:25 AM   #11
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Wow. Great stuff. Ill go get a Gazeteer and check out the other links. And AB I may take you up on your offer thanx.

Again just looking for something simple to get my sea legs. Ive never ridden a big bike off road. Colorado trip is 9 months away. Trying to crawl/walk/run on roads similar to Colorado high pass road conditions (minus the altitude).

Im a little pissed at myself for just mounting Michelin Pilot Trail 4 tires. Should have gone with something more off road capable.
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