VRCC Valkyrie riders, North and South, ride the Mason Dixon line 2014

I left out of South Carolina around noon on Wednesday to meet up with Joe and Wimp "sometime around three" at Tellico Plains Tennessee, and we all showed up exactly at 3:00. We headed off on some good roads towards Clinton. Wimp split off and me and Joe continued on on some back roads that only a local would know. We had to cross the flow of rush hour Oak Ridge traffic at one point, quite a rush, but we were spared any involvement in a I-75 head-on collision/explosion of two opposing-lane tanker trucks. Several people were killed in the explosion. I-75 was like a parking lot beside the motel, but we got there on a "local" road. Others in our group got stuck for a while. We left Thursday morning from the Hardees on the corner...



Through Tennessee and into Virginia at Bristol and onto the truck-filled I-81 for forty miles until we hit Hwy. 16 North out of Marion. I wish I'd had the goPro turned on then. 16 has tons of the best curves, and then there's an awesome breakout of a fantastic vista right before you get to this store...



After this I lead the group down hiway 61 that I remembered having been on once before... I thought then, this would be a great motorcycle road. Not long after we started going down 61, Joe pulled up to me and yelled "I think Don and Tracy live on this road!", so he pulled in front so we could turn in their driveway...



Gordon used to live in England...



Joe missed the driveway, so we pulled over at a popular place where people seem to like to... hang out...



On the way down 61, Terry saw an old brick building and asked me if I had a picture of my bike in front of it... no. But I stopped on the way home and got one...



When we got to where 61 hits 460 we had to decide which way to turn. The three guys with GPSs all yelled "turn right!". The others looked at the signs and yelled "go west, turn right!". I just sneered at them and said something like "any idiot can tell we're supposed to turn left", so we turned left. They were pretty gracious about the 15 mile detour, but I didn't find myself leading any more after that... We stayed the night in Lewisburg at the Super 8... me and Roger and Terry and Allan ate Irish Stew at the Irish pub in Lewisburg.



Here's Gordon shamelessly denigrating Joe's favorite brand of cigars...



Ron (wolf) showed us a good place to eat breakfast the next morning and then lead us off towards Elkins West Virginia. We stopped at Droop Mountain...



and the Highland Scenic Highway...

  http://www.pocahontascountywv.com/highland-scenic-highway

Thanks Ron! Eric picked us up at Elkins and rode us all over the place, and the next day too, there were just more of us... the days kind of start blending together...

















We stopped at the flight 93 memorial...











We pushed your bike off the cliff...



This guy's anonymity made him feel safe, I guess, I don't think he was with us...



At my other motorcycle club we play chess and discuss geopolitics at the motel after the rides are over. VRCC meetups are usually a little more action oriented, on this ride we had an electric bench that we tricked gullible people into sitting on. Yes, I sat on it. The only person smart enough to say "no" when a group of people with cameras invited them to "sit here" was Hal. They shocked Wimp, who's over 70 years old, and he was thrown from the bench to the ground. I got angry when they showed no more good sense than to shock my friend Wimp until I found out that it was his fourth time...

We all split up Sunday morning, a group of us headed back into West Virginia towards the New River Bridge...





 I split off from the group at the bridge and headed back towards Lewisburg on Route 60, which turned out to be a good curvy motorcycle mountain road for a while, and then super nice farmlands more towards Lewisburg. It was dusk, and really cool riding alone through the farmland. Of course I passed within a few feet of a family of deer. The next morning, I decided that I could ride all the way back home from West Virginia on back roads with no map. I started off right away by heading from Lewisburg to Ronceverte on Teaberry road, a road real similar to Rockland Road where my grandfather's house was...



Not much room for two vehicles...



Just kind of shoot for the hole...



I had to stop in Ronceverte at the Station House... my Cousin William worked at Martin and Jones down there at the end of the street until he passed a few years ago...





 I got caught by the spy-cam taking a picture of Chessie...





   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chessie_(railroad_mascot)

My grandfather worked for the C&O.

I got to ride 219 with these fellows for a while...



Then back to 61 for a while, until 52 split off. 52 is the road people had to use if they wanted to cross Big Walker Mountain before the Big Walker tunnel was built...



There's a touristy lookout-tower place from a different era where the road crosses the top of Big Walker.



   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Walker_Lookout

I wanted to pick up the Lee Highway instead of 81 for the next leg... the Lee Highway is a nice country road that goes the same way, sometimes you can see the truck filled Interstate over there. 81 is a miserable road, even though it goes through "The Valley of Virginia". The Lee Highway is a nice country road between Wytheville and Marion. Maybe it is a nice country road way up into Virginia a lot of the way, maybe a good way to see "The Valley of Virginia" from the back of a motorcycle...



   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpJ8wtf1L3Y



  http://www.scenicbeauty-va.com/civil_war_era.htm

 I picked up 16 South in marion, and 10 down below I40 in North Carolina. By then it was almost dark, and I still had 100 miles to go, so I "cheated" by running 74 up to Saluda and on to home... This was an epic ride, we put in some good miles on all kinds of roads every day.

-Mike