What makes a good day ride? Good roads and good food for one. The TomTom suggested a road to Luray that I had not ridden before. Crest Hill Road from Marshal to Flint Hill had fresh pavement, curves and a lot of shady trees. I love roads where the trees form a canopy over the road. The morning fog was pretty thick and cold as we rode Route 211 over the mountain and across Skyline Drive. A great meal at Brookside Restaurant took long enough for the sun to burn off the fog. Since my wife was not with me, I enjoyed Virginia Ham, eggs, biscuits & gravy, and home fries. Gotta love a meal with no fiber and lots of grease & salt. Since TomTom did well on the way to the restaurant, I trusted it to find a nice back way to Mount Jackson's covered bridge. It was a scenic winding road but without that hard smooth surface that our RTs love. Too bad we had no GS bikes with us. Oh well, no database is perfect.
I passed near this covered bridge many times but did not know it was there. It's just off Route 11 south of Mount Jackson. We made a few passes through it for photo ops. Jose at the Covered Bridge
by Bruce Dimon
, on FlickrBruce at the Covered Bridge
by Bruce Dimon
, on Flickr
Up the mountain to Fort Valley Road through the George Washington National Forest. We rode past full campgrounds and jammed parking lots at the trailheads. The crowds were hiking, fishing, or building campfires but not clogging up the roads. The traffic was surprising light all day. Eventually, we exited the forest and wiggled through some back roads to the Skyline Drive. The grumpy ranger who took our money grudgingly passed a map after I asked for it. The sign by his booth said only one lodge had any room and forget about camping; the grounds were full. Just a thousand feet above the valley, the temperature dropped down to 72 degrees which made up for the hazy views from the overlooks.
By the time we got back to Route 211, it was time for lunch. We tried a bakery/deli in Sperryville that served up Chicken BBQ on freshly baked bread. The cinnamon rolls and blackberry turnovers were yummy too. Turning south out of Sperryville, we rode another Fort Valley Road. Less twisty than the first but just as scenic. At Madison, we turned onto Route 29 and followed the herd back to I-66. We took all day to ride about 270 miles with long breaks for breakfast and lunch. I wish I could do this every day. View Larger Map