Road trip

Fog hugged the ground as I set out in the pre-dawn hours of Monday for a long day on the Harley, participating in “Million Mile Monday,” an annual day when members of the Harley Owners Group try to log as many miles as possible in a 24-hour period.

Rode 971 miles last year.  Wanted to beat that number this time around.

Headed north on Route 8 in the murk, towards Interstate 81 and turned Southwest towards the Johnson City, TN exit for breakfast at a truck stop.  Still dark when I turned the Harley north on I-26 towards towards deep Southwestern Virginia and into Kentucky, to Hindman and then on up to Pikeville. Watched the sun rise over the Kentucky mountains.

Just outside Hindman, stopped to rest next to an old country store and talked to Charlie Swank, a lifelong resident of the area.  Said he rode a Triumph back in the day.

Out of Pikeville, headed north to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, then east along the Ohio River to I-77.  South to Charleston then on to the Midland Trail (U.S. 60) through the mountains and the Greenbrier Valley and Lewisburg.  Turned on U.S. 219 south towards U.S. 460 near the Virginia-West Virginia border and headed north towards Christiansburg and coffee at New River Valley Harley-Davidson.

Drove to Floyd, then up U.S. 221 towards Roanoke and I –81 to Winchester.

Amy and I spent a lot of time in Winchester when we lived in Northern Virginia, often eating breakfast or lunch at the Triangle Diner.  The diner closed some years ago but was bought by new owners who are restoring it.

From Winchester, east on Virginia Route 7 to Leesburg. Picked up Route 15 north to Frederick, Maryland, then swung by the eastern edge of Washington, DC.  Picked up U.S. 301, crossed over the Potomac and headed south to Richmond. Headed out of Richmond on U.S. 360 to 460 and then west to Roanoke.

Arrived back in Roanoke just in time for a 6:30 p.m. officers’ meeting of the Roanoke Valley officers Group, then headed south on U.S. 220 to Martinsville, then up U.S. 58 to Stuart, up Lovers Leap to the Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping to photograph Mother Nature’s light show from an approaching storm.

North on the Parkway to Floyd County, pulling into the garage at 11:47 after 1,154.7 miles on a long, but enjoyable day seeing the sights of five states.

A long soak in the hot tub and I was good as new.

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5 Responses to Road trip

  1. You are quite the character Doug. When I first read this I was curious about how you could log that many miles in far less than 24 hours. Not only that, you stopped for meals, butt resting and chit chat as well as several pit stops for gas.

    It’s even more mysterious if you are traveling on any road that isn’t an interstate.

    Dividing your miles by 24 hours gives an average speed of 48 mph.

    That’s pretty spectacular with all your time outs. It’s even better if I use 18 hours which comes out at 64 mph.

    Speed much? 🙂

  2. No need to speed. More than 350 miles involved Interstates (speed limits of 70 for most of those miles). Breakfast at a truck stop was an egg sandwich while getting gas: lunch an energy bar at a gas station. I didn’t eat dinner until I got home.

    My Harley gets more than 200 miles on a tank of gas. At 70 miles an hour, I can rack up 210 miles in three hours. At 55, 200 miles is possible in four hours. When you’re on the road for 23.2 hours, it’s possible to run 1155 miles at 55 in 21 of those hours and still have two hours buffer to eat, gas up and hit the head. Factor in 350 miles of Interstate at 70 mph and you increase the buffer to more than 3.25 hours. I can pull into a gas station, fill the tank of my Harley, down a bottle of water or cup of coffee, much an energy bar and be back on the road in about 10 minutes, especially when you pack your saddlebags and tour pack with bottles of water, coffee and energy bars. Even at 15 minutes a stop, a 3.25 hour buffer provides 13 stops to gas up, take a leak and grab a bite. I left the house with a full tank of fuel and stopped for gas five times.

    It’s not something I do every day but it was something I decided to try and do once in my life. The entire trip was documented on a Garmin trip file which shows routes traveled, date of travel, time on each route, average speeds, etc. It was submitted to Harley. I backed up the Garmin file with gas receipts that show the date and time of day.

    Any more questions? :A)

  3. Not trying to bust your chops Doug, just confused.

    You were back in Roanoke at 630 pm. Without a meeting you would be back home by 730 pm. 24 hours earlier isn’t exactly pre-dawn when you said you left the house.

    I guess it’s impressive that you got home alive. Maybe you should start a Pony Express courier service.

  4. I left the house at 12:20 a.m. I got home at 11:47 p.m. That was hours before dawn (and I wrote “pre-down hours’). After my meeting in Roanoke I rode for another four plus hours.

    Any more questions? 🙂