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Squeezing in "one last long ride"


DieselDave

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Every fall it's the same drill and every fall my long-suffering wife smiles and lets me get away with it. Sunday comes and I say, "This could be the last nice riding day of the year. I'm going to take a good one". This year I'm shooting to break last year's record of 6 "last long" rides.

 

This past Sunday, I headed out from my home in SW PA (Canonsburg, PA) to explore wild and wonderful West Virginia. Out the door by 9:00 am (temp a breezy 38). Normally I would take my favorite back roads down into WV but, in a concession to the shorter days, I've decided to take the highway down past Morgantown and then find the twisties.

 

Not as cold as I thought so I shed a layer at my first stop. WV RT 119 was a pleasant surprise, leading me down into Buckhannon where I picked up RT 33 E. The first part of 33 was a 4 lane disappointment from Bukhannon to Elkins. Next time I'll catch 33 at Elkins and go from there.

 

However, WV-33 leading from Elkins to Seneca Rocks ( http://www.cheatriverlodge.com/Dscf0224.jpg ) was pretty sweet and it lead me to WV-55 N, which was magical. The road runs along the valley floor and to your right is the ridge of Seneca Rocks. It looks as though God took the rock floor from the valley and stood it on end to form the backbone for the mountains that border the east side of the valley.

 

To add to the fun, just as I turned onto 55 a guy on a Honda st1300 pulled out in front of me. I followed him the entire 20 miles to Town Hill at a nice pace. He turned on to 42 but I had to stop for gas so sent him on his way with a friendly wave. It was nice to have shared the views in that valley with a fellow rider.

 

After gas and a turkey sub, back on the road. WV-42 is another gem of a road, twisting thru farm country with lots of elevation changes. Wind was really kicking up at this point so I kept the speed down a bit.

 

Onto 50 where I found something even more annoying than the wind. Although I don't recall hearing that Maryland had snow, I swear there was salt on the road. After one minor "skid" in a turn, the pace slowed even more. A guy in a Ford Escort WAGON passed me at one point but better safe than sorry.

 

The road from Aurora to Tera Alta was a small 2 lane thru still more farm country. Lots of fun. Picked up WV-7 into Pioneer Springs (temp up to 50 degrees by this point) and then highway all the way home.

 

Home by 4:30, just in time to see the Steelers get stomped by the Raiders... I should have ridden some more!

 

Ride time: 7.5 hours

Miles: 368

Other bikers encountered: 10 (that's right, only 10!)

 

Wonder how many I'll meet on this week's "Last Long Ride"?

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Francois_Dumas

Hi Dave, that was a wonderful report! That situation is pretty familiar (although I usually can ride all year, with some 'snowy' interruptions).

 

My wife usually 'lets me go' too... already glad she doesn't have to 'come along' into the cold with me grin.gif

 

Those winter rides are much more fun than the summer ones when EVERYBODY is out on the roads, don't you think? thumbsup.gif

 

Francois wave.gif

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My wife does not let me go alone, she insists on coming with me on her bike. There is enough good weather here to ride all the year round, the sun is shining in the winter. We do get a week or two here and there when it is overcast, but then I take the car out. This year it snowed in Jan/Feb but the locals tell me that it was the worst snow for 20 years, Pictures of the snow and the bikes are on my blog if anyone is interested.

 

Bob

http://bikesindordogne.blogspot.com/

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Hi Dave,

Sounds like we have the same back yard. I love the roads you were on. The stretch of 50 from Red House, MD to Grafton, WV is incredible although in the spring they were repaving so it was awful. Next time stay on 50 past Aurora. It's got some spectacular twisties on it. You can take 119 up to Morgantown from Grafton. Great to have West Virginia so close. Nice report and welcome to the board. thumbsup.gif

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