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Three days of riding


Paul Mihalka

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Paul Mihalka

Morton's BMW, dealer in Fredericksburg VA, organized for the second time a very nice rally in Natural Bridge VA. Great dealers and we are very good friends.

Day one: They announced a group ride from the shop, starting at 10 am, to the site. It is about 250 miles, a long group ride. I was never for this kind of riding, but what the heck. So I left home at 6 am and took some nice roads to be there after 9. About 30 riders! a large group. Ride went smooth, only one dropped bike. I decided again this is not for me. At the lunch stop after eating I left early and had a great ride by myself through the Blue Ridge foothills.

At the rally as planned I hook up with friend Dave Winn from Grand Rapids MI. We met 40 years ago on a European tour! He still has the original bike from the tour, a '72 R75/5. He rode his newer bike to the rally, a '83 R80RT. We see each other's face about every ten years, but stay in touch, now in modern times via email. Long conversations Friday and Saturday evenings. We fully agreed that getting old sucks but beats the alternative.

Day two: All three days were absolutely gorgeous weather, clear, between 50 and 80. As usual, I went off riding by myself. To start off, took rt. 39 from Lexington VA going west deep into WV. If you are close and never rode that road, it is a must. It should be reachable from RCR (Rubber Chicken Rendezvous). My goal of the day was to visit the little village of Helvetia WV. Founded by Swiss families a couple hundred years ago, it is in the Middle Of Nowhere WV. Two barely paved access roads, one from the east, one from the west. It is no Helen GA. A couple of souvenir shops, a couple of Bed & Breakfasts, and most important, a really good restaurant, name "The Hütte". To me it should be "Die Hütte", but who cares. Great Bratwurst lunch. You should visit only on a weekend. It is coal country. On weekdays you have flying coal trucks. The access roads have on the downhill side two deep wheel track ruts, made by the heavily loaded coal trucks. The uphill side is good, the trucks run empty and light. All the roads in that part of the world are great motorcycle roads, can't go wrong.

Day three: A easy 300 mile ride home, no Interstates.

Somehow I was not in the mood to take pictures, too busy riding.

Just to prove it did happen, "The Hütte":

 

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Beats my weekend of yard work. I didn't take any pictures either.

 

That is certainly a possibility for a RCR lunch stop. It is only about 90 min (the short route) from Snowshoe.

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Rte 39 was indeed amazing. We took it West from Lexington and then cut South on various rd. through the G. Washington forest, ultimately ending up in Lewisburg WV for lunch. Taking 311 back to the Nat Bridge was a similar thrill ride as 39.

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Never liked group rides myself. I'm always rushing to catch up or worried the guy behind will run into me when I throttle down at the curve. I also enjoy stopping at overlooks or parks to strech my legs every couple of hours, no rush, just my ride.

 

Another great road intersecting 39 in Marlinton WV is 219. Heading noth on 219 you'll come to Green Bank National Radio Telescope. For $6 you get a close-up tour of largest steable object. Oh, and the road is great, some straight, some curvy, nothing too crazy.

 

 

--Chris Skor

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