The plan was to enjoy pastries after breakfast but you cannot eat dessert right after eggs and ham. It's a good thing there are plenty of twisty roads to spend a few hours between breakfast and tea time. This Saturday, we spent about four and a half hours to ride 160 miles between Myersville, MD and Sperryville, VA.
There’s a mountain road in West Virginia that I noticed on Google Maps because of its switchbacks. I plugged Hampshire Grade Road and Creekside Bakery & Deli into the TomTom and told it to find a winding path. From the diner it led us west through Boonesboro and Sharpsburg into West Virginia. Then it turned us onto Scrabble Road and then Back Creek Valley Road to Shanghai, WV. Shanghai? There must be a story about that. I got to try Hampshire Grade Road which was as twisty as the map promised but as bumpy as a motocross track. No fun but now I know where to test my next suspension upgrade.
Further south, Fort Valley Road made up for the disappointment. I lived in Virginia for years thinking that US 340 and I 81 were the only roads through this part of the valley. What a surprise to find a valley within Massanuten Mountain. Fort Valley Road is always a nice ride, especially when it comes down off Massanutten Mountain near Luray in a series of sweeping curves.
The GPS is pretty good at picking winding roads but not very good at knowing if they are paved or not. Every trip gets a few miles on the dirt and this one had a few scattered along its length. After this week’s rains, I was worried about mud or high water. Luckily the dirt roads dried enough to be hard-packed but kept enough moisture to keep the dust down. I was feeling pretty “GS” on these little roads until I saw the water crossing. Huh? Where’s the bridge? I parked and walked across it because that’s what I saw in a video. The crossing was concrete and the water was only two inches deep; clearly great skill and nerve would be required.
The last road on this trip is my local favorite: US 211. The curves are just the right radius, the pavement is smooth, and a there is a passing lane the whole way up the mountain. What could be better? The pastry shop at the other end! People who know me are not surprised that I rode past all the fresh fruit stands to stop at the bakery for a pecan bar and coffee. That’s why I’m in such good shape. Don’t snicker, round is
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