Nice day, nice ride…even with the damn cows

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Pleasant weather for a nice ride over to Greenwood Family Restaurant on U.S. 11 between Troutville and Buchanan to meet others members of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) for breakfast.

A brief, and not-so-welcome, moment of deja vu came shortly after reaching U.S. 221 when I rounded a curve and found two Angus cows outside their fence and along the side of the road — one with a white face and the other solid black.

On Nov. 9, 2012, I swerved to miss a white-faced Angus in the road on U.S. 221 south of Cave Spring but didn’t see the all-black cow beyond that forced me to lay the bike down and spend 45 days in the hospital along with the next 18 months in rehab and therapy.

They sprinted along the side of the road as I slowed the bike and proceeded by.  Once clear, I punched a button on the touch screen of the Garmin 590LM on the Harley’s handlebars and called 911 over Bluetooth and my iPhone to report the cows.  The operator said she would contact the owners of the animals.

At the bottom of Bent Mountain, a deer sprinted across the road just past the warning sign for such animals and just before the intersection of Pogue Valley Road where I crashed in 2012.  I slowed and gave it time to cross before proceeding on to Roanoke.

After an enjoyable breakfast with good friends, some decided to head over towards Goshen for the day’s ride but I elected to head out alone towards Natural Bridge, the iconic Virginia landmark that is now part of the state park system.

Turned right on Virginia 130 towards Glasgow and then left of U.S. 501 to Buena Vista before heading into the mountains on U.S. 60 to connect with the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Stopped at Peaks of Otter lodge to buy a bottle of water to take the medications that are required four times a day now and talked with a couple riding a Harley and a Can-Am RT.  Explained my wife if the proud owner of a new Can-Am RS and the owner gave me a card with a link to a group of female Can-Am riders on Facebook.

Leaving Peaks of Otter, turned left on Virginia 43 and headed down the mountain into Bedford to much-needed gas before heading south on Virginia 122 towards Smith Mountain Lake.  Turned right on Virginia 24 and reconnected with the Parkway just before Vinton.

Once back in Floyd County, stopped at Rakes Mill Pond for another hit from the bottle of water and then on to Virginia Route 8 and a short hop into Floyd to hit 221 and on to home, arriving just before 6 p.m.

A pleasant day putting about 260 miles on the bike and letting the road clear my head.

Now, about those damn cows.

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