A delightful day of riding Virginia roads with friends from the Roanoke Valley Harley Owners Group.
Our group included manager of one of the largest Krogers in the area, owners of two 7-Elevens in Roanoke, a pharmacy manager, a Appalachian Power official, a retired Air Force veteran, a retired Marine and others.
After breakfast at Country Cooking in Cave Spring, some of us headed out on Interstate 81 to exit 156 north of Troutville to pick up U.S. 11 for a pleasant ride up through Lexington to Shenandoah Harley-Davidson in Staunton.
Short stop to visit then over to I-64 East towards Afton and off the interstate to the twisties through Nelson County towards Wintergreen. Lunch at Basecamp and then east to U.S. 29 and on through Amherst and Lynchburg to U.S. 460 and West towards Roanoke.
Two of us split off on the Blue Ridge Parkway to head South towards Bent Mountain, then up the winding route, where he slit off to U.S. 221 near Bent Mountain to head home to Copper Hill and I stayed on the Parkway to Franklin Pike for my last stretch to Poor Farm Road to Sandy Flat and then home.
Left Sunday morning at 8 a.m. for the ride down to Cave Spring and the start of the day. Pulled into the garage at home shortly after 6 p.m. About 260 miles on the odometer and a full, good day of riding with friends.
Was I tired? Damn right. Was I happy? Damn straight. Amy fixed a great Thai dinner with a lot of spice and I dropped off to sleep early.
Motorcycle riding is good recreation and even better therapy. I find it far more refreshing than attempting to talk politics or religion with anyone these days. On Tuesday morning, I will sit in Floyd County Circuit Court and report on those who seek shortcuts in life through crime. Tuesday night will bring the Board of Supervisors and those who use slights of hand to seek shortcuts to serve hidden political agendas.
Thankfully, Spring high school sports is underway and I can move beyond politics and criminals (which are too often interchangeable) and turn my camera lenses to young athletes.
Friday night will bring the Jamboree, music at Dogtown and other venues to film and produce videos. In a perfect world, photographing sports and shooting film of music and other aspects of the “good life” here in Southwestern Virginia would be enough. News, however, is not perfect and as a newsman I must also deal with the sordid nature of crime and politics.
On balance, the good easily outweighs the bad here in Floyd County. Most of us have good lives. Music is a driving force here. Our schools, even with the constant struggle to obtain funding for not only improve but to maintain current standards, provide a good education.
Yes, there should be more employment opportunities for our residents — both young and old. Wages should be better.
And, for those of us who like life on two wheels (or sometimes three), we are surrounded with some of the best motorcycle roads anywhere.
I have the rare pleasure of doing what I love for a living and living where I love — a great combination to enjoy being alive.
In the end, it does not get any better in life.