BMW R1200GS Motorcycle Trip Reports

Stonewall’s Valley

It’s with a certain amount of trepidation that I write a ride report about Virginia. After all, many of my most regular readers live in Virginia and routinely ride through virtually every corner of the State. By comparison, I’ve only motorcycled through small parts of it. Fools rush in, however, so here we go…

Return to West Virginia

As regular readers will remember, I periodically get together with my college roommate Buzz for a long weekend ride, starting somewhere roughly halfway between Wooster, Ohio and Catonsville, Maryland. This time, the chosen starting point was Philippi, West Virginia. The weather outlook for June 20-23 wasn’t entirely reassuring, with a 50% chance of thunderstorms on Saturday and Monday, but we decided to give it a try.

2008 “Square Route Rally” Scenic Tour

A couple of months ago, the irrepressible Hello Kitty (a.k.a. famous Iron Butt competitor Nancy Oswald) asked me if I would design and lead a “scenic tour” for the 2008 Square Route Rally, held by the BMW Bikers of Metropolitan Washington (BMWBMW). Naturally I agreed, since there are hundreds of scenic roads, views, towns, rivers, structures, etc. within a stone’s throw of Thurmont, MD. I was pleased to accept, although I asked that we limit the tour to 6 riders since my experience leading group rides is limited. Eventually, I had a suitably scenic, 139-mile, 62-turn SRR route established. But about the weather…

Killiansburg Caves (or “Next Time Bring a Flashlight!)

Somehow, between bad weather and a never-ending sinus infection, I hadn’t gotten out for a ride since just after Thanksgiving. Thus, as Sunday, January 27th, approached, I was more than ready to get going. The weather forecast was for scattered morning snow showers and a high of about 35 degrees. My goal for the day was to find the Killiansburg Caves along the C & O Canal. I read about them in A Guide to Civil War Sites in Maryland, and they apparently sheltered a number of townspeople from Sharpsburg during the Battle of Antietam.

28 Degrees? No Problem!

After a frenetic trip to visit my in-laws in Boston for Thanksgiving, I was more than ready for another motorcycle sightseeing adventure. The only available day, however, was Saturday, November 24–with a predicted high temperature of only 40 degrees. When I set off at 9:00 am, it was all of 28 degrees. Fortunately, with the Gerbings heated gear set to “Broil,” I was plenty comfortable. My destination was the historic Oatlands Plantation, near Leesburg, VA.