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Old 11-18-2010, 07:09 PM   #1
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Skyline Drive MD/VA/WV three day roadtrip


Ride report November 2010 ride, Jeff and Doug


Decided to do one last road trip ride, with my buddy Jeff. All summer each of us had things going on, that would not allow us to get our timing together and head out for a much needed roadtrip. We finally got it together and set out for a plan to do a three day trip, November 13th, 14th and 15th.

The original plan was to head north and try to catch the changing of the leaves. Sadly, due to timing conflicts, we were not able to make it happen in time. Also the fact that we did not necessarily wanna get stuck in potentially nasty weather, the plan was changed and we decided to wing it, and head south. We did develop some what of a plan, and wanted to include Skyline Drive (http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisi...line-drive.htm ). Neither one of us had ridden it, and wanted to. Had we had more time, we would have done some of the Blue Ridge Parkway as well, but we still got to do plenty of fun roads….Skyline Drive, Rt 250 and Rt 219 in WV/VA.

Here is the obligatory shot of us ready to leave Saturday morning…mid 30's.



The bikes:

Jeff's: 2008?? Yamaha FJR 1300
Mine: 2003 Suzuki SV1000s. (( The funny trunk set up is because I decided I wanted a GSXR 600/750 tail section on the bike. I had to fabricate a custom subframe to do it. When I did it, I only made the plastics of the tail, strong enough to hold themselves on, and not necessarily strong enough for 40-60 lbs of saddle bags hanging off of them.
Looks nicer with just the tail and cowl on there, but the luggage/rack does its job.
http://home.comcast.net/~dougzweb/sv992.jpg ))


This is the route we ended up doing…(kinda)reconstructed in google maps.

From my town to North East, MD: 89.6 Miles

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...83026&t=h&z=10

The bulk of the fun riding, the main route. 668 Miles. These miles included Skyline Drive, Rt 250 and Rt 219. All fun roads for sure.

http://tinyurl.com/2c3s4ko




The last leg of day three, Warwick MD to home. 103 Miles.


http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...=UTF8&t=h&z=10


Total miles with reconstruction: ~ 860 miles. On the Odo: 954 Miles.

We had stayed in Front Royal, VA for the first night. Then did Skyline Drive the next day with some other riding, and stayed in Elkins, WV the next night. ( I'll get more into that later.)

From my little town in south NJ, we jumped on RT 295, headed down over the Delaware Memorial Bridge, and got on Rt 95 south to exit 100. We got off there to start the back roads, from Rising Sun MD.

Jeff is more courageous with his camera than I am with mine..taking shots as we are were riding. This was actually the only place he did it. Interestingly enough…he dropped it, BUT, while we were standing in a parking lot, at Wendy's, where we stopped for lunch the first day. Figure that one out.





This was a side of the road stop somewhere in MD. We decided it would be a good spot to grab some pics.






We rode some more of the route to get down towards Front Royal, VA, for the night. The sun was setting nicely, behind the mountains……we decided to stop for some more day one shots. Jeff and I shot some similar pics, with out trying.
Jeff shot:

My shot:


Jeff taking one of the shots.


And finally we were at the Super 8 Motel in Front Royal. It was priced right and we were ready to get off the bikes and get some dinner. We could see our bikes from the comfort of the hotel room.


The guy at the hotel recommended us to grab dinner at Dean's Steakhouse….was supposed to be the best steak in town. I don't know about that, but it was good enough and really nice to be off bikes and grab some steaks and beers.

End of Day one. Day two..Skyline Drive to Elkins, WV.

To be continued. Sidenote: I have a new respect for anyone that creates any of the RR's, I read here on ADV. They really do take a lot of work. I was gonna try and get it all done in one shot…I decided it would never get done if I did that.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:58 PM   #2
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:17 AM   #3
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Thanks. Days two and three should be better. More pics. I had my go pro camera with me and took literally thousands of pics doing the "shot every five seconds" option. But, you only get so many post worthy shots with that.

I'll see how much more I can get done tonight/this weekend.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:27 PM   #4
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looking forward to the rest and best part of the rr
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:52 PM   #5
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Great RR and pics. Waiting for more!
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:40 PM   #6
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OK, continuing on with the RR. The second day of the trip, Saturday, we woke up at the Super 8 hotel in Front Royal, VA. After quickly getting cleaned up for the day, gathering of the gear and having the typical crappy continental breakfast, we decided to get on the road. Again, it was a cold morning, but we were prepared for it.

Sidenote: I forgot to mention, that on Saturday, when we rode down, we left in pretty chilly temps, and were all geared up. Less than a couple hours later, when we were off the highway and in MD, we stopped for the first gas break..or was it just a break break. Anyway, the weather had gotten considerably warmer. Off came the neck gaiters, the heated vest, and even the jacket liner. I even switched from the cold weather gloves to the "normal" weather gloves.

Back to the morning at the Super 8 hotel: As we were sitting there, getting ourselves and
the bikes ready, we saw a Harley rider, who must be riding in the area as well, and also stayed at the hotel. For what ever reason, he took off his saddle bags and simply threw them in the nearest dumpster. Jeff and I had no idea why. I have a secret theory that we he saw our awesome luggage set ups, he realized how inferior his set up was. LOL.
* Big props to Wolfman Luggage(dry duffle), and JC Whitney knock off Givi case…..they both served me well this trip.

Anyway, back to the pics...some of the pics anyway.

Hotel shot of the bikes next morning:



Now, Skyine Drive just about starts right in Front Royal. This was from our first stop, right after we got on Skyline Drive. With 125 miles and plenty of stops to make and views to see, we did not even get off bikes for this one.


Picture of Jeff taking some pictures.



We rode on a little further, always cognizant of the 35 MPH speed limit, and rangers driving the road watching for speeders. We tried to keep it under 40…..well, OK, 50 MPH…..but even that was hard to do…..until we did happen to see a ranger drive past in the opposite direction and give us the international, " slow down or get a ticket" hand motion. We obliged.

Jeff and I actually met, the 2nd time, at a track day. We both started out slow, got faster through the seasons, and have since slowed back down. Although that road calls for the inner "Ricky Racer" to come alive, we were fine keeping the speeds down and enjoying the ride and views…the point of this road trip.

Second stop, along the way. Some more pics.



Jeff shot:


Not sure why we even stopped here?? Probably to let a slow car of tourists get pretty far out ahead of us.


Then onto the third stop along the way. I am realizing as I am going through this, it's hard to tell the exact timing of everything. Complicated a slight bit by the fact that Jeff and I downloaded each of our pics each night, and merging them in at the correct time is becoming interesting.









Found some of that nice Orange leaves changing color stuff.





Jeff setting up his tripod. Nice, cheap little unit. I bought one as soon as I got back home. Targus


Me trying to take an "artsy ADV" shot with bike and landscape in shot.


Interesting sign at the area we stopped at.


Some of Jeff's shots at the same stop:



Shot of me giving the thumbs up..not sure why at that point. LOL.


OK, and onto another stop..the highest point in elevation, along Skyline Drive.



Skyland:


Now, I brought my Go Pro Hero camera ,with me. I have seen people use it and get some cool shots while riding with. I used the " shot every five seconds" feature for this trip. I had started out with it mounted to the tank, and behind the wind screen. Sadly, although I packed really well for this trip, the one thing I forgot was, a little bottle of visor cleaner and a rag, that I almost always take with me. After this stop and seeing all the deceased buggers on my windscreen, I had decided I wanted the camera on my helmet instead.

I have used the Go Pro for doing some offroad riding video, and have a dedicated sticky mount on my dual sporting helmet. I have not yet stuck any of the mounts, on my street bike helmets. So, the suction cup mount was gonna be it. Worked out well, as you will see later. The suction cup was very strong, and help great, even up to 70 MPH..although the set up would start making me feel the wind resistance around 55.



Makes no wonder why I was getting all those weird looks from passing cars.


That's it for tonight….getting late. Still a lot more pics and RR to come. I still have to sort through about 3000 Go Pro shots….which maybe 20-30 will be worthy of posting. Thanks for the interest of anyone reading…..I appreciate it.
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Skyline Drive 11/2010 , Catskills 2010 trip, Catskills 2011 , Southern TNJT, 2011
DougZ's MTB thread , DZ Moto Photo Bloggin' , (my) Learning photography thread, DougZ vids
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:48 AM   #7
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Skyline Drive looks good in the fall too!! Thanks for the pics

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Old 11-20-2010, 01:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Skyline Drive looks good in the fall too!! Thanks for the pics

No problem..more to come sometime tonight. Thanks for checking the thread out.
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:56 PM   #9
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As soon as we got onto Skyline Drive, I started up the Go Pro. Not too much text for this post, just the pics.




















I thought this shot was cool with the mountains in the background and Jeff being backlighted by the sun.


When we stopped at Skyland, is when I thought I put the camera on my helmet. I may have just been changing the SD card or batteries there, or both. This, side of stop, on the beginning of Skyline Drive, is where I changed to the helmet mount set up.














Leaves falling and rustling across the road in front of me. Luckily they were dry leaves.



Jeff and I swapped places while riding, as we often did.









Gotta love the carloads of tourist. They seem to like 20 MPH…..that is what many do.

Thought the sky was interesting on this one.



Stuck behind cars again..so I start looking off and enjoying the landscapes.






This is the end of the first series of the pictures from the GoPro camera. I culled out 29 worthy shots, out of 1251..for this set. 2.3%..great fun. Took over an hour to do this part, so that is gonna be it for tonight. More to come during the week.

As always, thanks again for checking it out.

EDIT: My buddy from the trip, Jeff, had taken all of the Gopro shots and merged them into a movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgmepxYFxh4

Enjoy.


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Old 11-22-2010, 03:58 AM   #10
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Nice pictures. Only thing I ever found boring about Skyline and BRP is the speed limits and no passing. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by achesley
Nice pictures. Only thing I ever found boring about Skyline and BRP is the speed limits and no passing. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
Thanks for checking it out..still more to come..just takes so long to go through all the shots and post up. Again, the guys that do the really detailed trip reports......I admire those guys.

I agree with you on the speed limits. We did not make it to the BRP.....we decided to start our loop back north and jumped on Rt 250. I wish they were at least 50 MPH limits, but there would probably be way more accidents with that.
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by achesley
Nice pictures. Only thing I ever found boring about Skyline and BRP is the speed limits and no passing. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
True, but you can go faster in the right spots.

Last trip to Tn 421 we averaged 67mph down the BRP
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Braun2332
True, but you can go faster in the right spots.

Last trip to Tn 421 we averaged 67mph down the BRP
I spoke to a buddy of mine yesterday, who had done it over the summer. He and a buddy of his, had not seen one ranger or cop. We saw at least 4-5, just on Skyline alone. Since it was off season, we made out pretty well...did not get slowed too much behind cars.
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:18 PM   #14
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OK, back on the RR, and hopefully finishing it tonight. Here are some more shots from the GoPro. It’s the end of the Skyline Drive part of the trip. For what ever reason, I took the camera off at this point and put it away.


Porta Potty..just in case you need to make a quick stop. Actually, it was for the construction work going on, on the next scenic view pull off.











Jeff out in front again.







End of these shots.

And, now in hindsight, looking back, I had wished I still had the camera on. We had gotten off Skyline Drive, and were hungry for some lunch. Jeff found a Quiznos on his Driod, and we were close…so we headed that way. We get there, only to find out, it was closed for renovations. Figures. There was a pizza joint at the end of the same strip mall, so we just decided to eat there and come up with our game plan. After looking at the time, and where we were and where we wanted to be, at the end of the day, for the trek home, to NJ, we decided to loop back up the scenic way, and jump on Rt 250…..which eventually led to Rt 219.(holy run on sentence Batman) Both roads, I really wish I had the go pro going for. But, such is life, and hindsight is 20/20, or so they say.

About 5pm, we were running out of light, just started to get dark, and then it happened. It started to rain. Not a big deal…we have ridden in rain before….heck, we had done track days in the rain. But, after two long, and fun, days of riding, we were ready for a hot meal, cold beer and a dry bed and room. We decided just to head for the next town, in hopes there would be a hotel to find and stay in, and there would be grub and pub close. Next town ended up being Elkins, WV.

Luckily, as soon as we got into town, we saw the Hampton Inn, up the hill. It looked new, so that is where we headed off for.

It was nice and dry, and the girl behind the counter was nice and friendly, and nice enough to let us keep the bikes under the canopy thing. Made for easy unloading and loading of the bikes the next morning. Luckily, they were still there in the morning.


Here are some shots of Jeff teaching me some of the special effects that the camera has. He has the same one and gave my wife and I, the same one for our wedding present. Nice gift, and has gotten a ton of use.






Jeff using the hard wired internet, while I used the wifi connection on my netbook.


More to come and finish next post.
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:16 PM   #15
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The night before, we had decided we wanted to get out and on the road much sooner. Friday and Saturday, we were not out and riding, as early as we could have been. In an effort to make this happen, we had both packed our gear and bags up, and had them ready to throw right on the bikes. I even showered the night before, to speed the morning process up. We had a lot of miles to cover, since, due to the rain, we had stopped sooner than we wanted to, the night before. I forget the exact mileage, but it was going to be the most miles of the day, to get back. Had we straight slabbed it, it would have been around 367 miles..and we were not going to slab it until we got to Warwick, MD.

It worked, cause an hour to an hour and half sooner, than the previous two days, we had gotten on the road. After a quick continental ( good one this time) breakfast, at the Hampton Inn, we were off.

The rain had stopped, but the ground was still wet and a heavy cold fog was still in the air. For what ever reason, right as soon as I started my bike, I was smelling an odd burning smell. It was one of those," what the heck is going on with my bike" kinda smells. It was a cross between an electrical wire burning smell, and rubber melting. Not good….and did not give me a warm and fuzzy about starting the long trek home. But, I needed to get me and the bike home, so there was not too much I could do about it there at the hotel. I looked over my wiring and the stuff I added on, heated grip warmers and an outlet for the GPS, but everything seemed fine. So, we were off.




When we had left, we just got on the road, and not worried about anything, like getting fueled up for the day. Not a big deal, we only had 60-70 miles on the last tanks of gas. I could go about 120 before my light would come on. Jeff had a bigger tank and could go further, if needed.

We had about a 50 mile ride, before we decided to stop to get gas. This was that route:



We were some pretty desolate back roads. At time, there seemed to be some sort of mill or something in the area. We left passing truck after truck of those large dump trucks….the kinda that bring asphalt, when roads are getting paved. I had no idea what they were hauling, but we passed at least 20 of them. We also came upon this section of road, where they were doing construction. It was actually pavement, they were putting in. Along the way some where, we must have went through some plenty dirty roads, cause the bikes were a mess.


Our first stop was in Gormania. Weird little town, but they had a gas station, and that was all we cared about at that point.


We were right near MD..but still in WV at this point.


Some interesting buildings across the street:






And then, our next stop, to get gas again, somewhere….I am not sure where exactly. The sad and dirty bikes.













And that is the anticlimactic ending to this RR. Dirty bikes end the day. We did not actually stop too much after this, and take any pics. We had one last stop, somewhere in northern MD…where we grabbed a five minute McD's lunch/dinner, and got back on the road asap. We jumped back on Rt 95, headed through Delaware, and went over the bridge back into NJ. We got on Rt 295 and headed home. Jeff and I waved our good byes, as I exited Rt 295 for Rt 38, and he was headed up to grab 195, to head towards his home.

It was a fun trip, and I only wish it had lasted longer and we put on more miles. But, we were happy with just getting out and on a trip finally. I am a sufferer of acid reflux(heart burn), and the proof was in the pudding, as they say, as I did not have one drop of heartburn, the entire three days. Like I said, it was a good break, but I was also glad to get home to my house, see my wife, pet my dogs, and sleep in my own bed again.

Till the next one.
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