Riding Thru Fall Virginia Style
This is from a ride taken on Oct. 3 thru the backroads of Northern Va along the foothills and valleys just east of the Blue Rridge Mountains, all within 2 hours of my house along the banks of the Potomac River a bit south of Washington DC.
Due to a corporate funding snafu I was given the day off yesterday (without pay unfortunately, but what the hey!) so I decided that since all you poor bastards were stuck in the office slaving away at some pointless task as least one of us should get out and enjoy the day!
So I decided to head out for the Blue Ridge Mountains and see where the roads would lead me and perhaps catch a little of falls first colors. At first I had planned on riding out to Warrington for a cup of Starbucks but wound up just riding right on by and making for the mountains. I went past Leads Manor road so decided that IÔÇÖd head up that way. I took that all the way up to 55 and then, having never done the last, most northern part continued on past the Naked Mountain Winery (one of my favorites) and on up to Rt. 15. At 15 I headed back toward 55 and rode east to The Plains where I turned up Halfway Road then decided to take the right fork onto Hopewell Rd since I had never gone that way before. A very nice little road, narrow without any markings and mostly shaded as seen below
On Leads Manor I also came across this funny little building, I remembered seeing it before recently but forgot where until today. This is the second one like this IÔÇÖve seen so there must have been a particular use for such a structure on farms though I have no clue what, but it canÔÇÖt be coincidence that there are two exactly alike, the other one I saw was one from I picture I used for my poem ÔÇ£Rural RomanceÔÇØ.
(added note here is the other one I had seen several years that I used as part of my "Images on Words" section on my web site)
Silent friends together,
looking so forlorn.
Hiding in the grasses,
their builders now un-born.
Two silent friends together
In quiet contemplation,
amongst the swaying trees.
Never to be rescued,
nor used by man again;
They serve a difference purpose now,
for Sparrows, Mice and Wren.
I stopped to ponder how it was,
that thus they came to be.
Abandoned and forgotten,
in a green and grassy sea.
I stood there long and strained to hear,
Their tales from years long gone.
But all I heard was wind and sun;
So I once more traveled on.
Then I found myself at 17 and 234 and made the mistake of going toward Bull Run battlefield on 234 which took me into Manassas *sigh* so I hopped on PW Parkway and headed home. All in all about 140 miles and 4 hours. Funny thing was, I probably saw more color in PW Parkway heading home than I did up in the hills! Ha Ha!
Still a nice ride. Below are more pictures from the ride, sorry if some are a bit blown out, the sunny came up as got to nice roads and at high noon shooting can be tricky. I really need a way of viewing the pictures on the road on something other than the little bitty screen of the camera. (Which I now have, and itÔÇÖs a really trick little set up, IÔÇÖll post another thread on it, its about the coolest gizmo I have gotten to date!)
(note these were taken with both my Nikon and my little P&S cameras)
Last edited by rocketman; 10-16-2007 at 11:44 AM.
These are some great shots... I have such a hard time slowing down to take shots like these. Just this afternoon, I was thinking that I should take some fall pictures, but I was having too much fun on the twisties. Struggling to contain the child within meÔÇª
Riding thru Fall Virginia Style Part three
This is from a ride taken Oct 13 2007 along some of the same roads as the last two along with a few others I came across on my ride. Not much color this year its been so dry the leaves just die and fall. Did find a little color thou, here and there. Again these were taken with both my Nikon and CyberShot DSW100, a damn nice little camera for a P&S.
Since I got the new rear shoe on the LT along with a new helmet I figured I should spend some time today trying them both out. Having already scrubbed the rear tire for a good 80 miles yesterday after leaving Mortons and getting a pair of old headphones that I was able dismantle and install in the new Nolen I headed out for a nice little putt to try everything out. Man I love that new rear shoe, much nicer than the other brand that came on the bike. Better profile not so squared off and the handling is much better. Sweet! so off i went, taking 619 to 605 to 211 past Warrington and then decided to go up Leads Manor Rd which I took to 17. Man what a fantastic day for riding 60 when I left around 10 climbing slowly to perhaps 70 by the time I got home around 2:30.
a few shots along Leads Manor
a nice fence shot
and another type of "fence"
While this is not really a fence, it serves more or less the same purpose. I like this style, not one you see that often, most stone work walls have more vertical faces and some of ones like this one, with sloped surfaces donÔÇÖt have the wooden overwork. IÔÇÖm mot sure if itÔÇÖs for support or perhaps it discourage animals from jumping it. Either way you have to admire the folks that made these, some run for miles and the amount of work to haul the stones then place them, without mortar and have them last as long as they have, pretty impressive!)
As I rode along Rt. 50 I saw a sign that pointed to Goose Creek Bridge, hoping that it might be a covered bridge I turned around and took the side road which warned it ended in .5 miles. At the end was a gravel road to the right leading down to a flat area and a information plaque. When I got down to it I could see the bridge, not a covered bridge, but rather an old stone one dating back to the Civil War times. Indeed there was a major battle over it as it was the only one across the creek and flood plain it crossed.
And who said LTÔÇÖs canÔÇÖt do dirt (well gravel, anyway!)
After stopping at the bridge I kept heading east on 50 thinking I'd go down to Halfway Road that runs from Middleburg to The Plains but then I saw a sign at an intersection a little ways past Upperville pointing to Marshall down a road which I hadnÔÇÖt ridden before so took that instead. Glad I did. Right past the intersection there were some nice stone structures, seen here; a old home and well house.
Rt 713, Atoka Rd, (which I now found myself on) took me to Rectortown Rd on which I headed east.
Once I got to Marshall I headed thru at the light and found myself back on 17. Just as I was waiting for the light an old motor went by me and I had to do a double take, but sure enough, it was an Arel Square Four! I was really tempted to turn around and chase him down to take some shots. Now thatÔÇÖs a machine you wonÔÇÖt often come across just out riding around! Too cool! Looked to be in very good shape.
As I went down 17 just a bit past where it became 4 lanes I saw a sign for 619 and 605 so figured IÔÇÖd take that since that would take me in the direction I wanted and I had never ridden that section of 605.
I soon found myself passing thru Airlie and just past that I came to an old stonework dam and bridge.
Another shot of the dam and stonework walls around the creek leading away.
Being so dry this summer there was no water flowing over it and the pond on the other side is probably pretty low as well.
On the other side of the road was more stone work.
The LT at the entrance to Airlie House, sure is one handsome machine!
All this was at the entrance of something called The Airlie House and Conference Center. I hadnÔÇÖt heard of this so I looked it up when I got home. Quite a spread from looking over the web site. Seems they do a lot of ÔÇ£greenÔÇØ things. HereÔÇÖs a link to the site.
IÔÇÖd like to go back and see if you can walk the grounds.
Just past there 605 ran into 29 and I realized that I had just come down the section of 605 that I had thought about riding up on my way out when I had turned onto 29 to head to 211! So thatÔÇÖs where it went! From there I headed back 605 to 28 then to 619 and home.
All in all a nice 4 hour 130 ride. I canÔÇÖt believe how smooth the LT rides now and the way it handled, Nice, Very Nice. Having the tunes right in the helmet helped a lot too, no excessive roaring in the dead (right) ear and the left wasnÔÇÖt buzzing from the wind noise like it has in the past. Now I just need an adapter to pipe both channels into one since my right ear is shot. Still the music did seem to act like white noise, which is what I hoped for.
A most excellent afternoon, hope everyone else was out riding, this was probably the best riding day of the year. Least it was for me.
Yeah I hear ya, its tough to not just keep going when you're getting into the rythum of the road! happens to me all the time and then I realize I'm been riding all day and never stopped to eat either. Ha Ha.
Originally Posted by grossjohann
Dum vivimus vivamus
Awesome write-up - thanks!
Leeds Manor is one of my very favorite roads - for both pure riding fun and sentimental reasons ... it was the first road I took on my first ride on my first BMW (with Brian Horais, Bill Shaw and Dave Keuch back in 1994). I retraced it when I took my "first ride again" in 2004 after my crack up on the Delaware Memorial Bridge - Video here, camera work and R1100S Boxer Cup courtesy of Bill Shaw
Make sure to ride it now before it is devoured by McMansions
"A good stick is a good reason
What a great report. Some really nice images, inventive compositions and cool close-ups, too. Thanks for having us along.
+1! Well done!
Originally Posted by SNC1923
Brings back memories
Superb photos-- You gave me the ole 5 sense experience-- Thank you so much for sharing from Virginia- Like a lot of former Marines, I spent a lot of time at Quantico (lived in Dumfries) and had the chance to drive the countryside on Sundays for over a year- I really love that part of the nation- Check out my ride "Surf to Summit" for a drier experience-
Tanks, I'll check your shots out, making it out to Ca and the left coast is in my plans, I'm thinking of taking 6 weeks or so in 2010 to celebrate my 60th. The idea of going from 0 to 5K feet in as little as 80 miles sounds way kool. I've been out that way several times but never with a bike.
Originally Posted by cromk12
Thanks for the great shots. You covered some of my favorite roads. Great getaways from the congestion and traffic you typically find in Northern Va nowadays.
Love the nature photos but I can't understand how you guys can stop your bikes and get off and take pictures. Only snow, ice, or the need for sleep or fuel can get me off mine.
Riding thru Virginia
Great pics R-Man, feel like I just had a Virginia backroads tour.
We swept thru Va on Monday heading south from Ohio.
The colors throughout arent as striking this fall, hence our trip to see more foliage.
We ended up in eastern Georgia so after a trip to Savannah today and Hilton Head tomorrow will head back through NC and Va.
Can you recommend a quick detour not too far off I-77 for some curves.
Originally Posted by wilcox
if you do the southern end of the Blue Rridge ( which the highest section) and got back on 77 at Fancy Gap where it crosses 77, I'd go north to Princton WV and pick up 460 east/north to 42 at newport.
Then 42 N to New Castle and pickup 311 to Paint Bank
then pickup 18 N to fairlawn.
There head north on 220 to Warm Springs and pickup 39 west. (39 is considered one of the best roads for twistys in the area.)
Note that 39 will head sort of south at one point picking up 219 for a bit then east again.
Follow 39 to Gauley Bridge (it will pick up 16 and head south again at Belva a little north of Gauley Bridge. )
From there pick up 60 or 61 ( I like 61 better) and follow along the river back to 77.
Probably doable in a good days riding. and you won't find a stretch of striaght road anywhere along that!
Note that along the river you will see a number locks and damns that control water flow so that a bardge can go all the way from Morgantown WV to New Orleans. you may even see a bunch of barges being pushed along the river. It is how raw materials were moved from the PA WV mining down the Rivers to manufactoring plants prior to the railways and trucks. its still the cheepest means of doing so, just not as fast.
"Love the nature photos but I can't understand how you guys can stop your bikes and get off and take pictures."
Actually the area and rides being written about are in my back yard. I should appreciate it more; leaves are a blasted nuisance in a few weeks time!
Bring on some serious young mountains, none of these ancient rounded 4000 footers!