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Old 09-05-2012, 12:08 PM   #136
jdrocks OP
Gravel Runner
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Oddometer: 3,647
Southwest on 11, then east on Fort just as I entered Edinburg, an easy to miss turn. Fort quickly changed to Edinburg Gap, and I was back on a climb up another mountain, this time on pavement. The Shenandoah twists and turns all through these valleys, and I crossed another bridge over the North Fork. Plenty of room on the bridge deck, and I stopped for a look again.

Water barely moving, so I was able to see the shale bottom which wouldn’t be visible if there was a strong riffle.





Mixed pair of pirates idled by over the bridge as I was stowing the camera, also heading up the mountain, same direction. They were a ways ahead by the time I fired the rat, ok, let’s make a run at ‘em with the little 650, see what those big V twins got, and I was off like a freakin’ shot, damn nice drag race start, missed no shifts, and I caught ‘em in 4th running 90. Minor problem…they were only running 30, and I had to smoke the brakes and downshift like a maniac to avoid passing the tag end Charlie pirate girl in her lane. Turned out that when they idled past on the bridge, that was their top end speed, 30mph, slower in the corners, and I followed along up the mountain, guess they ain’t into any of that there racy behavior. So much for all that pirate hype, I was badly disillusioned, one of the local Mennonites would have passed us with horse and buggy.

They were sick of me following along behind them, but when they both pulled off by the entrance to Taskers, I did too, my road was right there, NF374. Must have scared them, or else I raised too must dust for certain chromium sensibilities. The pirate boy tried out his best evil look, beamed it my way, sorry mister honeybun, won’t work, I now know your personal top end on the mountain is a blistering 30mph, same as a Chinese scooter. Ya done forfeited your lifetime supply of the rolling thunder. They skedaddled, no low peace, and I was on my own again.

The NF374 road runs southwest, is usually in pretty good shape, and I’m always surprised when I don’t see more traffic through here.



I had been on this road several times earlier in the season, including when it was freshly graded, now there was wasn’t enough traffic to keep the grass down.



I had a good roll underway, scootin’, and when I come around a blind right hander, here’s a pair of mountain bikers coming at me, two abreast, using the whole road, including the southbound lane in the double track, my lane. Crap, and I was on the brakes, inched over right to the ditch, back end crossed up left, and I slid by the biker in my lane in a shower of gravel, a cloud of dust. Missed him by no more that two feet. Checked the mirrors, the suicide biker fella was giving me a double number one salute. Peace my brother, ya freakin’ moron, if I had hit your sorry ass, forget about that open coffin funeral.

Another two miles southwest, and I was down where I had seen a wildland fire crew walking a small dozer up the hillside to cut a fire break, plenty of fires around this area in an unusually dry spring. Another few miles, and I was at the intersection with Moreland Gap, I had been in the same general area the previous Sunday, but didn’t have time to ride the gravel. This was as far south as planned, and I turned east on Moreland Gap. This road is well graded, some small creek crossings with the typical concrete structures built to stay put in high water.



Looked down, here was a red spotted in front of the bike tire, run for your life, buddy, I’m on the move.



North on CampRoosevelt, and a short run to FortValley, now riding northwest on pavement, inbound. The countryside around FortValley is pretty cool, remote enough that sprawl hasn’t reached out this far, not yet anyway.



I planned to stop at the little store at FortValley for a drink, and an ice cream bar, can’t forget that.



Two Harley bagger dudes, plus six bicycle riders, four women, two men. The bicycles had come down from Front Royal, this was their turnaround point. This was the skinny tire crowd, all very fit, and in good humor, so I took a chance and said to one cutie “I really like your bike, y’all got some fine lookin’ wheels too”, an old line, but it got a big laugh. She was looking at my ice cream bar like she expected me to offer her a bite, sorry, nobody’s that damn cute.

I was due back for a high school volleyball game, one of those “Don’t be late, or else” deals, and I was on the bike headed north again. The bicycles had left earlier, and after following along behind a slow moving Accord with a POW plate, I saw them ahead, four women in line to the far right, the two men riding down the center of the northbound travel lane, WTF. The Accord started to pass, changed his mind, edged right and nearly hit the guy in front. The bicycle guy was hard on the brakes, the rider behind dodged right, nearly colliding with the last two women in line, so very close, a miracle four riders didn’t go down. The Accord cleared the bike people, and I cleared the Accord, get me outta here, I was in a bicycle carnage zone.

Back through the GW, past the intersection with Mountain, up to 55, where I went straight through the intersection on the last bit of gravel for the day. Bucks Mill runs along and over the train tracks, then crosses Passage Creek not far from where the creek enters the Shenandoah. These old bridges were right out of the manual back in the day, still standing.



The railroad bridge hadn’t aged as well, a temporary repair in place, it still didn’t look safe, might see an unfortunate event covered on the evening news quite soon.



Sightseeing over, this loop took me back to 55, then over to 340, I was on a fast run back to Winchester. I arrived on schedule, more or less…dodged the doghouse one more time, whew. No gourmet meals served in the doghouse, ya don’t want to be a bad dog around where I live.

THE END…UNTIL THE NEXT TIME
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:09 PM   #137
dljocky
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Thanks for the ride report. I always enjoy your trips.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:42 PM   #138
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by dljocky View Post
Thanks for the ride report. I always enjoy your trips.
you must remember that Woodstock Tower is around the corner from where you camped in that cold rain at Little Fort in April.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:51 PM   #139
dljocky
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Yeah, I remember it, that was a great trip.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:38 AM   #140
jdrocks OP
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Yeah, I remember it, that was a great trip.

hmmmm...time for another jailbreak. plenty of possibilities.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:08 PM   #141
Laconic
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I always like finding the roads with grass in the middle...
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:50 PM   #142
motopreserve
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Looks like we share something in common...besides the Versys. Love of Ice Cream!

Great report. Look forward to the next one.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #143
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by Laconic View Post
I always like finding the roads with grass in the middle...
me too, sans bicycles. would have been a big splat if i had hit that bike boy, bug on the windshield.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:35 PM   #144
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by motopreserve View Post
Looks like we share something in common...besides the Versys. Love of Ice Cream!

Great report. Look forward to the next one.
thanks. ice cream and pie, cornerstones of the food pyramid.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:08 PM   #145
dhillr
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Greast stuff Dave. Your reports have the little something extra mine are sorely lacking..... Lots of cool pics and interesting writing.

I've gotta slow my pace a bit and actually use my camera other than during fuel stops and breakdowns.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:00 PM   #146
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by dhillr View Post
Greast stuff Dave. Your reports have the little something extra mine are sorely lacking..... Lots of cool pics and interesting writing.

I've gotta slow my pace a bit and actually use my camera other than during fuel stops and breakdowns.
thanks, your gravel road reporter at work. don't see you slowing down any, you'll have to get a Gopro and capture some frames. i think it takes 50 solid photos per day for a ride report, figuring that less than half will be usable. i get quite a few, rarely 50 average.

big ride with the guys next week, wish ya were back in the hood.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:28 AM   #147
siyeh
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
in that case, here's your road...

is that Gravelly Range Road? Me and the boy did Monida to Ennis (bout 85 miles of dirt and Montana gumbo)a couple weeks ago and that sure looks familiar!

great stuff jd

I never tire reading your prose and viewing your pics
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:48 PM   #148
jdrocks OP
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is that Gravelly Range Road?
thanks, yes, the Gravelly Range/Centennial Valley area. the amount of light and whether there is smoke in the air can affect what you capture in the photos. be easy to spend a week around that general area. you might have seen these features too, from Monida east...







MTrider is out there this week, might have some weather.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:32 AM   #149
kajj
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Great photos JD but you need more photos with the V649HP in them
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:49 AM   #150
jdrocks OP
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Great photos JD but you need more photos with the V649HP in them
don't know about Sweden, but in the States, guys want to see some photos of those bicycle girls, the heck with the V649HP.
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