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BMW Bikes that are engineered to be ridden... just sayin'...

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  #31  
Old 06-05-2021, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Scabbydoo View Post
Plan is to do one more before we load the wagon and meander west.
How far west?
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  #32  
Old 06-05-2021, 03:13 PM
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Western PA
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  #33  
Old 06-05-2021, 07:34 PM
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Western PA
Town, or rural? There's a lot of space out there.
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Old 06-06-2021, 05:22 PM
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Semi rural. Looking at somewhere in Westmoreland county. Close to some good riding in the Alleghenies, from PA down through MD, WV and VA.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:07 PM
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The Four Points of the Solstice Ride - 20 June 21

Ok gang,

Will go ahead and share my plan here. At some point in the last 15 years I read an article in Bike magazine (I think, one of the big Brit glossy mags) about a ride they did on the Summer Solstice. John O'Groats at the north of Scotland to Land's End in Wales. Leaving at sunrise to beat the sunset. Ever since then I've wanted to do a similar ride. I think I've found one of two.

I'm planning on being at the beach parking area at Chincoteague, VA at sunrise on the 20th. The easternmost point in Virginia by public roads. From there, will go to Cacapon Resort State Park in WVa to access the northernmost point. After that, south to Danville, Va and the southernmost. Then West to Cumberland Gap, TN where there's a small point that just sticks up into Va.



Sunrise: 0539
Sunset: 2056
Total daylight: 15 Hours 17 Minutes.

It's a lot of slab, not the most interesting but I think that will work in my favor. That or I must be nuts

Oh, what's the second? That will be for 2022.

Last edited by Redleg; Yesterday at 09:56 AM.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Redleg View Post
Ok gang,

Will go ahead and share my plan here. At some point in the last 15 years I read an article in Bike magazine (I think, one of the big Brit glossy mags) about a ride they did on the Summer Solstice. John O'Groats at the north of Scotland to Land's End in Wales. Leaving at sunrise to beat the sunset. Ever since then I've wanted to do a similar ride. I think I've found one of two.

I'm planning on being at the beach parking area at Chincoteague, VA at sunrise on the 20th. The easternmost point in Virginia by public roads. From there, will go to Cacapon Resort State Park in WVa to access the northernmost point. After that, south to Danville, Va and the southernmost. Then West to Cumberland Gap, TN where there's a small point that just sticks up into Va.



Sunrise: 0539
Sunset: 2056
Total daylight: 15 Hours 17 Minutes.

It's a lot of slab, not the most interesting but I think that will work in my favor. That or I must be nuts

Oh, what's the second? That will be for 2022.
Dang, reminds me of that PA, NY, CT ride so many years ago...
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  #37  
Old 06-13-2021, 10:48 AM
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Where I'm planning on staying:

Beginning: Holiday Inn Express Pocomoke City, MD

End: Holiday Inn Express Middlesboro, KY
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  #38  
Old 06-13-2021, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redleg View Post
Where I'm planning on staying:

Beginning: Holiday Inn Express Pocomoke City, MD

End: Holiday Inn Express Middlesboro, KY

The availability on Saturday night in Pocomoke City went stupid crazy high. I'm at the Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant in Onacock about 40 minutes away.

Same hotel booked for Sunday night though.

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  #39  
Old 06-13-2021, 08:28 PM
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Oh snap, now it's a ride!
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Old Yesterday, 08:34 AM
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The Four Points of the Solstice Day 1



Backroad Mike and I did it. The four compass points of Virginia on the Solstice Day in daylight hours.

The day before (Saturday) we left from his place, went by the Motorrad dealer so I could pick some some new gloves, and from there headed to Maryland via the (not-so-) Nice Bridge and up through Chuck County in search of a cup holder for the Gumby Glide. Got to All 'Murican HD in Hughesville and this happened...

And within minutes of Mike telling me the story of meeting the owner the last time he was there, she came out just as we were leaving (without cupholder) and chatted with Mike for a couple minutes.
From there we went to Annapolis via Lexington Park (MD Rt. 2? Just say no.). Got an ok lunch at a place hoping traffic would thin on the Bridge (it didn't). Mike called Eastern Performance and we headed there hoping to bypass some of the backup on 50. Cupholder secured, we found some local slog, saw the parking lot on 50 , Mike figured out another way, and we managed to miss the worst of it. From there it was an uneventful ride down the Eastern Shore of MD to the Northern Neck of VA. We split up and went to our motels for the night.

Key Takeway - Avoid the Maryland Bay Bridge right now if you can. The old toll plaza has been demolished and construction has made it a mess on the Annapolis side. Next, the big ride.
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Old Yesterday, 09:29 AM
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The Four Points of the Solstice - Summer Solstice Ride

East - Chincoteague Natl. Wildlife Refuge Beach
North - Cacapon Resort [WV ] State Park
South - An unremarkable backroad just south of Danville, VA
West - A trailhead parking lot just beside Cumberland Gap, TN

We did it in 15 hours, 26 minutes with 10 minutes of daylight to spare.

East was the beach at Chincoteague Natl. Wildlife Refuge. Sunrise was at 0539, I got there about 0515. Mike about 10 minutes later. Neither one of us slept very well the night before.

Morning twilight over the Atlantic:


Mike made a friend - guy was up from Louisiana on vacation:


Sunrise and two Doofs ruin a beach picture:



Wheels up but not before Mike pulled over to catch this:


From there a frustrating search for breakfast (places don't open 'till 7 AM or have not fully re-opened yet), back north to the bridge, and me making getting on I-97 more interesting than necessary (stupid Maryland highway signs). West on I-70 from B'more to Hancock, south through Berkley Springs, WV to Cacapon Resort State Park where West Virginia owns the northernmost point in Virginia. Yes, it's true. To get there you go uphill on a gravel road and get stuck behind two hilbillies in a Ford Focus.
At least the view was nice. Until these two show up again (I remembered to fix my hair this time):


Back down the gravel, Mike coasted to cool off his bike, and now all (mostly) 4 lane highway to Danville, VA.

Fun fact - When you take your bike down off of the center stand it's enough of a shock to make your RAM-Mounted iPhone think you've been in a crash and it automatically dials 911. Thank you to the very understanding 911 operator who called back make sure I was ok.

Not much to say about the ride down to Danville. Mike was cooking in the mid-day sun and put his hoodie on for some relief.

The end of the road just south of Danville. Beyond there lay strange creatures known as Tarheels.



Hopped on 58 West in Danville and went...well, west. Not much to say except that when we got to the twisty bit my lack of ability combined with being tired showed. Then when the SEMI showed up blowing a turn coming from the other direction I was done. Waved Mike by and he presumably had some fun going through the Lover's Leap area. I caught up and we headed on for more slab.

A self-righteous SOB on 77 N below Hillsville decided that he wasn't going to go over 65 in the left lane. Bastage backed up the highway for a few miles behind him. Mike showed his appreciation by extending the middle finger of friendship as we passed Down 81 to Bristol/Kingsport and a frustrating series of traffic lights then finally west to Cumberland Gap, TN.

The GPS clicked over to dark mode at 2056 (8:56 PM), sunset. We were nine miles from the final destination. Frustrating. But it was still evening twilight. Arrived in Cumberland Gap at 2106 (9:06). At the western edge of town there's a little thumb of a parking lot for the trailhead up to the tri-border point in the Natl. Park. This little parking lot is the westernmost point in VA you can get to by public road.




Two very tired Doofs. But we did it with 10 minutes of daylight to spare.

Hopped back on the bikes and went through the tunnel to Middlesboro, KY. A decent Mexican dinner and two Modelo Darks to celebrate the accomplishment.

I had to get up early and head out Monday, was not able to get the night off from work. My poor cat was very happy to have me home then equally upset when I had to leave for work an hour later. Mike left a little later, saw Dippsy in Roanoke. We both made it home safely, but exhausted.

My tripmeter at the end:


And, of course, the low beam bulb blew when I started the bike to come home. Stupid lampf.

Last edited by Redleg; Yesterday at 11:22 AM.
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  #42  
Old Yesterday, 09:49 AM
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The Four Points of the Solstice - AAR

AAR is military for After Action Review.

Three Ups:

1. WE DID IT! Managed to pull off the ride with the only casualties being my low beam bulb and many, many, many bugs.
2. That was the furthest either of us had ridden on our respective bikes. The foam on my seat finally broke in so I was a bit more comfortable. I also remembered I had a soft setting for the Auto Suspension on Die Motorrad. (Die=Feminine).
3. We had fun and have another story to tell.

Three Downs:
1. Missed the sunset in the west. The extra time it took to get breakfast in the east and the traffic lights in Kingsport wiped out our time margin.
2. Plan these things more in advance if it involves a tourist area. Mike and I both felt like we overpaid for our respective hotels.
3. Having to work Monday night meant not being able to see what I'd wanted to in Cumberland Gap and missed seeing Dippsy.

Three Lessons Learned:
1. We would not have been able to do this on a weekday. Bay Bridge and Balto-Wash weekday traffic would make it impossible to get through the area in the time needed.
2. Plan earlier and save money on the hotels. This was a last-minute thing and we paid for it on the eastern side.
3. Better planning for breakfast. We left too early for the hotel breakfast and stuff just wasn't open yet. Bring something to eat and/or get something more substantial at the first fuel stop.

Bonus Lesson Learned: If going to the Northern Neck of VA or Eastern Shore of MD, save much hassle and just take the Bay Bridge-Tunnel from the Virginia side.

I'm glad Mike "invited himself on my ride" as he put it on Sunday when we finished dinner. I'm already planning something for next year.
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  #43  
Old Yesterday, 09:16 PM
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Thanks for sharing the photos and story. Glad you guys had fun and I wasn't there, couldn't have done that. And of course that you both got home safe. Hope to see you sometime when I get back James.
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  #44  
Old Today, 05:30 AM
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Nice write up James.

Thanks again for planning this ride. I was a little concerned about endurance, but after the first 500 miles I knew it wouldn't be an issue. Found a new way to rest my heals on the top of the lower fairings which relieved some pressure points I was having in the saddle.

Weather was originally a concern as that tropical storm in the gulf was forecast to affect our ride Sunday night and Monday morning, so I packed accordingly. Fornatually it veered off further south and we had beautiful weather.

With my extra rides through TN 63 and 33, plus 3 extra stops with friends (quick visits) I got home at 11 pm Sunday. The last hour was watching lightening behind the clouds from 30-50 miles away. Beautiful finish to a 1600 mile ride.
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