November 8th, 2004. For the past month I've commuted on the bike every day it hasn't rained. This evening I had to pause and take a photo of the November sunset. I also played around with the photo, removing the seat and painting the tank, to see what it would like customized.
November 5th, 2004. On my way out for lunch it was surprisingly cold and windy to be sixty degrees, but I thought "what the heck, let's go for a ride.". So I headed into Virginia and rode all the way to the top of Squirrels Spur. The scenery was awesome and the new road is very cool too. I'll miss all the little dips and curves on the old road, but the new one is fast with a lot more overlooks. The mountain was closed when I last tried it in May and just opened this week.
November 1st, 2004. Maybe it is because I got my first bike in the fall, but I love riding in Autumn. I like the smells, the scenery, the way leaves curl up behind the bike when you ride down a country rode, and I like the temperature. The past month has provided some fantastic riding weather sandwiched between the fog and rains.
October 8th, 2004. I rode into the Virginia foothills on Pine Ridge Road and returned on Piper's Gap Road. Only 35 miles (56km), but what a nice day. Cool air and warm sun.
October 7th, 2004. I'm on the road again, just couldn't wait to get on the road again. (Hope that put some Willie in your head) With a new tube in the front tire, the bike is back out just in time for autumn. I rode to Lovills Creek Lake in Cana, Virginia today at lunch.
September 23rd, 2004. The best riding weather of the year is flying by and I'm still parked with a flat tire.
September 3rd, 2004. After riding almost every day during July, tire problems kept me parked for almost all of August. I finally got back on the road today and took three separate rides. One to the east, west, and north of town. It was a beautiful cool day with white clouds and blue sky.
August 4, 2004. Around 50 miles today. 30 miles (48km) during lunch on a loop that covered 89, Indian Grove CH Road, Holly Springs Rd., Ararat Longhill Rd., Ararat Rd., Siloam Rd., and Park Drive.
August 3, 2004. 80 miles (128km) on a gorgeous day that once again included my new favorite Snake Creek Road. But of all the ways to come down the mountain, don't pick 89 through Low Gap. Trucks, construction, heat, road dust, traffic, ... I have to agree with Ricky H on this one, avoid 89 west of Mount Airy.
August 2, 2004. I rode about 60 miles (96km) today with only a few miles in the rain. When it wasn't raining it was beautiful, and when it was raining it really wasn't all that bad. I rode Snake Creek Road for the second time. The name perfectly describes what might be the best motorcycle road I've found. I also rode the full length of Willis Gap Road for the first time.
Click here for a guy's page that rode 10000 miles in one month and 6000 miles in eight days.
July 29, 2004. I had planned to ride to Stone Mt. with Eric, but the weather didn't co-operate. I did manage to sneak about 65 miles in, with only the last couple in heavy rain. When I pulled into the driveway it was pouring. Jackson came out on the porch and watched me take off my my rain soaked gear. He then said "I guess you should have drove the car, huh?"
Remember the third Wednesday of July is national Ride To Work Day. During the month of July I was able to ride my bike to work every day except two. Not bad.
July 17, 2004. We saw a large group of side-car bikes on Main Street today. A few of the bikes were BMWs, but the rest were URALs.
July 16, 2004. Today's ride was the 70 mile North/West Loop #1. The ride on Snake Creek Road was a new one and a ton of fun. Lots of hills, valleys, curves, and fantastic scenery. It was especially nice between Hillsville and Gladesboro. My bike tripped 20,000 during the ride. Click the image to the right to access an interactive map of this loop.
July 15, 2004. Eric and I rode the 85 Mile North/East Loop #1 . It was a nice ride with a stop at Lovers Leap to look at the view and a stop in Meadows of Dan to take a break and look at the other bikes coming off the parkway. The parkway stretch was made at dusk and was pretty chilly, but relaxing once you got used to the cold. Click the image to the left to access an interactive map of this loop.
July 7, 2004. What a great ride, 140 miles, north on 52 to Wytheville. Tons of dips and curves, beautiful scenery, perfect weather, hot dogs at Skeeter's, great day to be on a motorcycle. I also explored the mountains to the west of Wytheville before leaving town on 52N and cutting through Jefferson National Forest to Bland on a round-about way home.
July 2, 2004. I managed to sandwich a ride to Pilot Mountain State Park in between thunderstorms this afternoon. First time I've rode to the top in years. Always a fun ride up and a great view when you get there.
June 29, 2004. Eric and I made a loop that carried us on 89, Indian Grove Church Road, Cooke School Road, and 52. Gorgeous day.
June 22nd, 2004. One of my favorite places to ride through is Fancy Gap, VA. I took this photo while riding there this afternoon.
June 18th, 2004. Logged 220 miles between lunch and dinner on a round trip ride to Hickory, NC. The scenic route along primaries 601, 268, 21, and 70 was a nice change from 77 and I-40.
June 16th, 2004. My nephew, Jimmy, and I went for a ride at dusk through the foothills of Virginia. The sun setting over the mountains and the mist rising from the hayfields made it a very scenic ride. Jimmy enjoyed it very much, but unfortunately burned his leg on the pipes getting off the bike.
June 11th, 2004. Eric and I rode into Virginia on 104, then through Ararat on Friends Mission Road, and back home through the tobacco fields of Johnson Creek Road. It was a hot sunny day which made the shady hollows feel nice and cool.
June 6th, 2004. I rode in the Mount Airy Elk's Lodge annual poker run fund raiser for the Brenner Children's Hospital. Ninety-six bikes participated in a ride through Surry County that started at the lodge, left town going north-east on 89, then circled around the southern side of Pilot Mountain, before turning North on a route that followed 77, crossing it several times, and ended back at the lodge on 52. The day was overcast, but dry, and the ride stuck primarily to enjoyable scenic back roads. The stops were at Pilot Mountain, Fairview, and Pine Ridge.
June 2nd, 2004. Eric B and I drove up Wards Gap and onto the Blue Ridge Parkway at Orchard Gap. And after a very short stint on the parkway, we drove down Willis Gap and back to town.
May 26th, 2004. I planned to ride into Virginia and up the mountain at Squirrel Spur. But as it happens, that route is under major construction, so I turned around and took some back roads back to town.
April 27th, 2004. I reversed my last trek and drove up Orchard Gap to Hillsville, VA, then down HWY52. A cool, breezy 64 degrees in the lowlands, but a cold windy 54 on the mountain. A good motto though is...
Life's too short to wait on the weather, so go ahead and ride.
April 23rd, 2004. Rode down Wards Gap on my way home from Hillsville. A short shower parked me at Orchard Gap long enough to eat a quick sandwich with some other riders from Winston-Salem before heading down the mountain. The clouds in this photo got together again before I made it home and I had my first ride in the rain in a very long time.
April 22nd, 2004. Rode south from Hillsville to the parkway, then south on the parkway and down Piper's Gap. Beautiful narrow curvy road that follows a small rocky stream down Lambsburg Mountain. The only person I met on this road was riding a bicycle up it. I took this photo of the sun cutting through a stand of budding poplar trees near the top of the mountain. I also had a wild turkey walk across the parkway in front of me.