TRIP REPORT (Skyline Drive, VA)

The Oracle

We woke at 5:30AM, and dawn’s light was just starting to sparkle on the horizon. Shortly thereafter, Dan and Chris (non-members) showed up on their Honda 600s. We ate raspberry danish and donuts and sipped on some French Roast coffee. Excellent way to start the morning. We climbed on board our bikes and headed towards Sperryville, VA (95 miles away).

Arriving in Sperryville at 7:59AM (we planned to be there at 8AM) with no hitches, we met up with Rob (samurai1833) and Ben (bsrigley). We ate a leisurely breakfast at a small country diner. You may think this part doesn’t pertain to the story… But, alas, it does… Chris hung back in the Diner’s bathroom for several minutes unloading the previous night’s dinner. Afterwards, around 9:12AM we all headed off for Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park.

From Sperryville, you take a very windy part of Route 211 to get to the park. These twisties are some of the finest and we did not let them go to waste…

After we paid our entrance fee, we pulled over to collect our group, Chris meandered back to the toll lady and asked where the closest bathroom was. Finding that there was one ¼ of a mile away, he came back grinning and said, “we gotta stop by the bathroom first.†There were some nonplused murmurs, but for the most part we all just chuckled and agreed.

At the bathroom, we stopped and were talking, when Chris puckered up his arse and started running bow-legged toward the men’s room. He was in there for quite some time.

Back on Skyline Drive, we commenced to some most excellent, high-speed, hard lean turns (i.e. 65+ MPH on posted 25-30 MPH turns). It was schweet! Our group was well matched, as we all seemed to take the turns aggressively and near the same speeds. We made pit stops at approximate 30 minute intervals for a couple of minutes, and each time we stopped, Chris complained of a new body part hurting. Since he rides a Honda CBR 600 RR, he was very uncomfortable. The “double R†is made for the track and everything about it says, “don’t ride me for very long!â€

We rode at our “ludicrous speed†pace for several hours and almost made it to Waynesboro (the Southern end of Skyline Drive) before turning around and heading back up. At one point, the Hayabusa boys somehow managed to lose the 600s and we were kickin’ it Suzuki style… On one particularly tight turn, I went in a hair hot and started sliding a bit. I held on for the ride knowing that the tires would keep doing their job when I hit the double yellow lines… BTW – did I mention that double yellows are slippery as wet pavement on hot days at 70 MPH? So, my slide progressed most of the way across the road and into on coming traffic (of which, there was fortunately none). Dan and Chris finally caught up to us, with some cock-a-mamie story about Dan needing to zip up his jacket or something. We stopped for a lunch break at 1:14PM and relaxed a bit. By now Chris was hurting from head to toe (including his unmentionables). Well, as if I had to say this, once again he ran off to the bathroom and commenced to blowing it up.

Once again, we donned our riding gear, mounted up, and blasted out of the lunch stop for some more fun on the windy road. We were taking our skills to the next level as Rob lead the pack this time and had us balls to the wall. We were rounding a particularly tight turn in excellent fashion when a park ranger passed us going the other way. He immediately jammed the brakes on, hit the lights, and swung a U-turn. We slowed WAY down to the posted speed limit and acted like we hadn’t done anything wrong. Dan was the tail gunner, and pulled over pretty quickly… However, Mr. Police man went right past him and was on Chris’ rear now. Well, Chris slowed, but sort of blocked him from continuing on. And Rob (the leader) swung into an overlook parking area. Chris finally pulled over and once again, the officer passed. Next, Ben pulled over and I was the only one left… When I pulled over he sped past me lights blaring. I was thinking, “what the?†But, then the thought occurred to me, that perhaps he hadn’t seen Rob pull off. The group was all disheveled now, as Ben also took an overlook pull-off and I pressed onward. After a couple of minutes I ran into said Ranger on the side of the road. He jumped out of his car and pointed to me and then the side of the road, indicating: pullover. I did as instructed and he slowly reeled us all in. He took all of our licenses and registrations and left us sitting on the side of the road for about a half hour. During this time, we all tried to figure out if he could ticket us or not, since he hadn’t picked us up on radar. Anyway, he returned and gave us all warnings stating that he didn’t have time to ticket us, since there was a motorcycle wreck down the road and he had to go.

So, we pressed on in a “slower†fashion. We came up to a group of cars stopped and found a momma black bear with 3 or 4 cubs. After passing this, we found 2 LARGE male black bears. We exited the park unscathed around 5:07PM and headed back. Stopping in Sperryville for fuel, we found that Chris had a minor heat stroke… Prolly stemming from dehydration. We relaxed a bit and then hit the highway to go home. Ben (bsrigley) split home from Sperryville, since he lives near there in Charlottesville. At the beltway, Rob (samurai1833) headed towards his home.

Dan, Chris, and I arrived in Germantown at 7:27PM and by this time, I was severely fatigued and sore myself… So, I can only imagine how sore Chris was. We had been up for 14 hours and riding for 13-1/2 hours (including rest stops).

All-in-all, it was fantastic!

BTW - bsrigley took a couple of photos and will be posting them sometime soon.

Over and out, Vaughn.
Sounds real good. Thanks for the story...Though Poor Damn Chris...remind him that sometimes it is OK to just pack it up and head home...Sounds miserable.

Later Bro.
Yeah, Skyline drive is no area to speed. Afew of us got pulled over also for speeding in the park. Luckily we had a MD state trooper with us so the park ranger gave us all warnigns and escorted us out the park. But its all good because our exit from the mountain was onto Thortons Gap(RT211). SO we had a our there and headed on home. Seems like you guys had a good ride. I am heading out to the Dragon this everning. Ride safe guys!

Helluva ride with the VA, MD, DC group, It's Sunday night and my left hand has just stopped buzzing. I must need gel gloves.

The group was a perfect blend of skill, insanity and pure comedy. (you guys can figure out which each of us contributed to the outing). I am truly lucky to have this fantastic machine. I could not have had a better time.

Thanks to you guys who set it up. In between the riding we sat a B.S'd about this and that I learned a lot and enjoyed the conversations as much as the riding. The next time I'll have to bring a note pad for all the info exchanged.

After twisties like that, my commute is going to SUCK. Like having a Cigarette Boat on a 2 acre lake. Looking forward to the next time. (After a nice long rest)
Yeah, Skyline drive is no area to speed.  Afew of us got pulled over also for speeding in the park. Luckily we had a MD state trooper with us so the park ranger gave us all warnigns and escorted us out the park. But its all good because our exit from the mountain was onto Thortons Gap(RT211). SO we had a our there and headed on home.  Seems like you guys had a good ride. I am heading out to the Dragon this everning.  Ride safe guys!

Wish you coulda made it Erik! Maybe next time...

BTW - Deal's Gap?? * drool * That ROCKS! Enjoy and stay safe bro!
Hey guys (sammy and BS),

Dan and Chris wanted to send along thanks also... They had a blast and can't wait to do it again...

BTW - Next time, we may camp out at my step-mom's house in Rixeyville which is a couple of miles from Sperryville.

I've only been lucky enough to do Skyline drive once, but it was one of the best motorcycle days of my life. I remember those sweepers almost rocking me to sleep. Great road.