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Recommended rides in Virginia area

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My work has moved me to the Alexandria, VA area from Phoenix. With my bike being shipped out to me in, I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on rides in/around the Virginia area. My weekends are open and am looking to spend them putting mileage on my RT. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

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- From Alexandria, take the Beltway north until you can get on I-66 heading west.

- take I-66 westbound and get off at Exit 32 (The Plains).

- Turn left on Old Tavern Rd., then a quick right on Harrison Rd.

- ride to the end of Harrison, and turn left onto Belvoir Rd.

- take it to the end and turn right on the 17.

- follow the 17 back across I-66, and into Marshall.

- turn left at the traffic light to continue on the 17 (Main Street).

- turn left onto Free State Rd., which you take back across I-66 once again.

- turn right onto Crest Hill Rd., and follow it to the end (a T-junction in Flint).

- turn left onto Zachary Taylor Hwy (522), then a quick right onto Fodderstack Rd.

- follow this into Washington, Virginia (generally called Little Washington around here. It's a very small place, but it's also where you'll find The Inn At Little Washington, and its Michelin-starred dining room. It's not hard to drop close to $1,000 for dinner for two (save that for another time :grin:).

- continue on the same road through Little Washington until you intersect Hwy 522 again.

- turn right onto 522, and take it to Shenandoah National Park. You can pass right through the park if you want, but I'd suggest taking the Park entrance on your right (Fees obviously apply. Best bet is an annual pass for $50, up from last year's $40), and get onto Skyline Drive. I'd suggest heading east towards the northern end of Skyline Drive -- and the Park -- which will drop you off in Front Royal, about 30 miles from where you entered the Park. If you want to go further than 30 miles, you can always head south when you first enter the Park (The Park, and Skyline Drive are about 100 miles in length).

- Front Royal is a good place for a pit stop.

- to head back east towards D.C./Alexandria, you can scope out a few back roads that drop you back on I-66 at about the same exit (31) you used to get off the interstate as you headed west out of the D.C. area. The other choice would be to simply get on I-66 eastbound as you leave Front Royal (I-66 runs right through Front Royal).


By the way, I don't know how much you know about the area, but in Virginia, motorcycles can use the EZ Pass Express lanes for free on the Capital Beltway, and you do not need to have a transponder (though you may want to confirm that with EZ Pass Virginia). I have an EZ transponder on my bike (moto-sized) for other purposes, but was told when I moved here in 2013 that I did not need one to use the Express lanes while on my bike. The easiest way to get to I-66 (for me at least) from Alexandria, is to use the Beltway, with part of the ride on the Express lanes, ditto as I head back to town from Front Royal on the 66, and onto the Beltway heading south towards Alexandria.

Edited by marcopolo
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Thanks Pat and Mark for the suggestions. I will definitely plug those routes into the GPS and give them a whirl.


Mark, I am very new to the area and appreciate the info regarding the EZ pass. Hope to cross paths with you all sometime.


Thanks again




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You're welcome, Steve. One small correction to what I outlined above: when you're heading west on I-66, take Exit 31 (not 32) for The Plains.


Given you've just moved, you may be rather busy, but I'd also suggest you check out the thread entitled "START 2017 - Maggie Valley". It's also in the Ride and Event Planning sub-forum. Each Spring and Fall, a group of riders from this site (mostly those in the "mid-Atlantic" area, roughly speaking), get together for several days of riding and story telling over a beer (not at the same time!) in the NC/TN/GA area. This spring's event is coming up next month (26-30 April) in Maggie Valley, NC. The riding is great, and so are the people who show up. Details here:



Edited by marcopolo
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i am in alexandria also, just south of old town. try to get out and ride somewhere every sunday morning. you just have to gut out the first 30minutes of crappy dc area highways before you get to nice rides. you can go in any direction to find fun. southwest to clifton, east to ft washington/indian head, south east to solomons island, west to skyline drive, northwest to antietim...the options are endless. i just pull up google maps on thursday night figure out someplace to go, get up early on sunday and ride.


welcome to the area!

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Thanks for the suggestion. My bike should be out there in a week or two (being shipped from Phoenix) looking forward to just exploring the area.

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I've been on 33 out of Harrisonburg. It gets very entertaining as you enter into WV. You could run 33 up to Seneca Rocks and say hello to Old Fart. ;)



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Pat, looking at the route I would take to Seneca ( through Harrisonburg ) looks awesome. If you are in Seneca Falls area I would love to stop by and say hello. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Ah, it's hard to believe that everybody hasn't spent the better part of ten years hanging out on this board! :dopeslap:


Old Fart was a beloved board member here named Paul Mihalka. He was plain and simply, a motorcycle man. Knowledgable in historic bikes like nobody's business. Also, a racer (early years) and a rider that had at least two million BMW miles under his belt. But what stood out about Paul the most, he was just a really nice guy! :thumbsup:


He loved the Seneca Rocks area and there was a ceremony there after his passing.




Me, I consider myself a Middle Aged Fart! :rofl:


Edit.. I may have given Paul an extra million miles but heck, bet he's almost there now. More info on Paul, here.




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Pick any road you want.The riding area west of I-81 into the eastern edge W Va,from the top of Va to Tenn is a spectacular riding area.But bear in mind this time of year a lot of those roads will have some fine gravel on the sides and center of lanes courtesy of VDOT.


As a start you could take Rt 50 out of Winchester to RT 220 south,which is somewhat a north/south dividing line thru the area and is also a great ride. RT 33 as Pat suggested back thru Harrisonburg or if time permits farther south to RT 250 thru Staunton would be a great starting ride.

As the weather warms up don't miss riding all those little roads in that whole area.The scenery is nothing short of awesome.


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But bear in mind this time of year a lot of those roads will have some fine gravel on the sides and center of lanes courtesy of VDOT.


It never seemed to bother you! :)

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  • 1 month later...

Hey, that's my old stomping grounds. Left Southern MD in 2011 and came down here to VA Beach. Not much in the way of riding for about 50-60 miles from here, I assure you.


I miss riding up that way. Spent 15K miles riding in WV from 2007-2013. Lots of great roads. PM me for some routes, if you have a GPS.

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I'm in Alex, too -- hit me up, and I'll show you a local fave or two.


And here's props for what Pat said about Pual. I never got to ride awith him, but knew him from Battley Cycles in GAiterhsburg, where he worked. Top-shelf guy, for sure.


We missed you at START, Pat -- hope you're doing well.


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