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Old 03-18-2007, 08:57 AM   #1
Sly-on-2 OP
Rockin' Winger
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Previously, Camel City Carolina, now Denver
Oddometer: 156
Southwest VA: A Cruiser - ADV Style

Lots of pictures: Check it out if you want to see a cruiser buried to the frame in mud.

This is my first ride report. Usually I just enjoy others' reports and my rides, but I never report my rides. You guys don't really want to see pictures of my 21 year old Goldwing in The Florida Keys, or of my cruiser on the street.

But I thought you all might like to see my cruiser buried to the frame in mud. (that part of the story begins below after dozens of pictures: scroll down past a couple of the larger pictures if you want to get straight to the buried cruiser pics. you'll see it begins after the next smiley face )

An '07 GSA would be super nice. Until then, I've got to make do with what I've got.

Only 250 miles on this ride (about 15 hours total) - but over 25 miles on gravel and over 12 off-road.

This report is picture intensive.

All of the pictures came straight from the camera; no editing or cropping.


The bike and the dog are in the truck.
Bye-Bye NC - Hello old college buddy in Blacksburg, VA.

I left Blacksburg from downtown - Harding St. turned into 785 - Just outside of town and I was already draggin' floorboards on 25 mph sweeps through beautiful countryside on almost single-lane roads with no paint on the paving.

Less than an hour into the ride, I hung a U-ey (handlebars locked left, throttle and rear-brake, dump the clutch in 1st with an 1100 V-Twin with a K&N, richer jets, and pipes... loud ones.) and rode 95 mph back to this place to duck in from the rain. Behind the windshield, with speeds nearing triple digits, I didn't get uncomfortably wet from the 2-3 minutes of rain. 15 minutes later, back in the saddle and back on the throttle.

Another U-Turn (now on 311 headed North toward WVA) to catch a snapshot of this place. Will return with hiking boots (probably on my Gold Wing.)

Now for the ADV part of the ride (I should say, the start of the ADV part of the ride.)

No passenger car here.

Though I disagree with the sign, I had my old Contour (Mondeo for you folks outside of North America,) on worse fire roads, but I guess those pictures should go in JM.

The road was fun. Occasionally my bike felt, and sounded like, it was falling apart. An hour in the driveway with a set of sockets and some loc-tite is a must after this trip. No permanent damage, but the bike powered over some pretty rough terrain.

Just after riding down the trail above and rounding the left-hand curve, I came to another section of mud.

At one point, I thought: "if it doesn't catch soon, I'll be fully locked left with nothing but throttle left as a way to get out of this slide."

Mildly intense...

Dropping the bike is not an option. The custom paint and the sparkley chrome wouldn't survive falling over.

Don't you guys have skid plates and the like to protect the vitals?

I doubt the Napa Gold Oil Filter would survive a direct impact. (Installed on a Jardine's Oil Filter Re-Location Kit, (for the benefit of any V-Star owners who stumble upon this Ride Report.))

The Oil Filter and my front fender were my two biggest worries. Later, a section of trail was so rough that if I had slid off my line (< 1 foot wide) and into a rut, I'd have ripped the front fender off for sure.

After a fine lunch in Paint Bank, it's back off-road for me and the V-Star.

Now for the first of the off-trail excursions.

It would make for such fine photograhp... and off I go.

So I rode down to that far power-line pole to take a picture.

This is looking up at where I just came from (the pole in the picture below is the far pole in the picture above.)

The picture was worth it; the ride back up the hill was a ton of fun.

The ride on this trail was fun; the picture of the sign was necessary on the way out to document the location.

I've got no GPS. One day for sure, but I'm getting along fine without it for now.

... on 311 at the top of the mountain...

A Self-Portrait... courtsey of the Sun and the Riverbed.

Riding through a tunnel.

And so goes the fateful choice that led me to get stuck in the riverbed with no chance of getting the bike out by myself.

I decided to get a picture of the bike by the river. You see the river is down the hill, around the bend through the little trees and twigs, on the other side of the mound of dirt on the left. I rode down, around, right again, and parked a dozen feet from the water's edge.

The next picture shows where the view from the picture above ends, but from the opposite angle. Here, the camera is pointed up toward the road and the image below ends where the view from the image above ends.

Here is where I stopped (directly over the mound in the big
picture above , but down by the water.)

Here is a few feet further. In my attempt to turn around, I made it 10 feet before sinking. I knew I was in trouble when I got off the bike to take the picture above.

Notice the kickstand, locked and in the upright position.

The bike is just sitting there, straight up, stuck in the deep mud.

Buried to the frame - oh to have knobby tires at a time like this.

After flagging down a few cars who couldn't help, two V-Dot guys stopped and helped me out. One guy came up with the plan to get the bike out. My plan was for them to push and for me to ride it out of the rut (about 10 inches deep) and up a small hill, grab the clutch and roll back, gun it and u-turn and head back up the hill. The guy said we'd be compacting new mud and wouldn't make it. Instead, we pushed it backward over the ground I'd already covered. Then, I started it and walked/pushed with one hand on the throttle and between the 3 of us and the throttle, we got it out of the deep mud. I got on, they pushed for the first 3 feet, and I got on the gas all the way through the little trees, over some down dead logs (3-5 inches in diameter) and rode up to the road while shootin' a rooster tail of mud as high as the custom-painted rear-fender would allow..

Check out the hand-made farkle from the previous owner. Diamond plate
passanger floorboards are certainly not stock.

... on the road again....

A 1950's chassis. It was built by OREN as a fire truck in '69.

This turned out to be a mistake. I went down the trail for < 1 mi. before heading back out to get on the gravel road. It was too much. The ruts were too deep and large chunks of rock were common; both quickly became difficult to avoid.

... and then to blacktop...

lots of "loose gravel" signs.

These folks sure are fortunate to live in one of the prettiest places on earth.

... and so ends the ride.

I consider the 250 miles I did during the two days to be among the best miles I've ridden. Thanks to Steverino for the route suggestion.

With my last four bikes, during the the last 10 years, I've ridden over 50k miles through over a dozen states. This last summer, the thousands of miles in MN and WI were georgeous. Riding the Gunflint Trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area along the Canadian border was amazing. The ride around Blacksburg ranks up there with some of the prettiest scenery and most fun roads.

I hope you enjoyed the photographs.


A few more photographs from another thread: my 1986 Goldwing Interstate.

Sly-on-2 screwed with this post 06-15-2007 at 06:56 PM
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:26 AM   #2
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Thanks for the pics Aaron and what's a ride without a little adventure thrown in?

I went to school at Va. Tech and grew up in Sw. Va in the little town of Lebanon. Being out in Tucson since 1981, I sure do miss that area and try to get back as often as I can, which isn't very often.

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Old 03-18-2007, 09:26 AM   #3
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Great ride report and pics!! Maybe you need knobbies on your cruiser!! Thanks for posting!
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Old 03-18-2007, 02:06 PM   #4
Old F'ng New Guy
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere, not far enough, out there.
Oddometer: 173
Thumb It's not about the bike. It's the attitude.

Welcome to the asylum. Guys who ride like you do are ADVRIDERS.
Ride report needed only a picture of your lunch to be perfect.

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Old 03-18-2007, 02:47 PM   #5
4-4-09, 12-6-09, 1-13-10
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Oddometer: 9,391
Great pics and great report. Looked like tons of fun, mud and all
"Lest we forget"
They gave the ultimate sacrifice because they answered the call without question
E.O.W. 4-04-09, Eric, Paul and Steve
E.O.W. 12-06-09
E.O.W. 10-12-11
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Old 03-18-2007, 02:50 PM   #6
Ohhh mist! Die Bullen!!!!
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Joined: Apr 2006
Location: The mountains in Germany
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nice report!
12 Suzuki DL650AL02
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:36 PM   #7
Sly-on-2 OP
Rockin' Winger
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Previously, Camel City Carolina, now Denver
Oddometer: 156
Thanks guys. I rode over 25 miles in gravel, usually 30-40 mph. Not true dual-sport style for sure. My boots never touch the ground and my tires are a far cry from knobbies, but I still got to see the scenery of the mountains that only people who venture off-road can see. It's ADV enough for me... until I can afford another bike.

My Gold Wing would die off road. I'm selling my V-Max this weekend. For now, it's the V-Star off road.
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:10 PM   #8
Cradle Robber
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Joined: Aug 2005
Location: West Virginia
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Great pics!

How long until you give it a bath?

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Old 03-21-2007, 06:17 PM   #9
Arrogant Horse's Ass #1
Joined: Nov 2001
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Pretty damn cool, I have been all over all of those roads my 3 years in Blacksburg. Glad you enjoyed the route suggestions. I know I did when I rode them.

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Old 03-21-2007, 06:50 PM   #10
Uncle Larry
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Location: Fort Lauderdale
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That was pretty cool!

The grayness of the landscape is quite the contrast to the shockingly green landscape during summer.

It's absolutely beautiful country when it's green!
I am The Private Man
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:56 PM   #11
Beastly Adventurer
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Location: North Carolina/Idaho
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Thats a great area to ride in, looks like you had fun, great job

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Old 03-21-2007, 08:32 PM   #12
Viel Spass, Vato!
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Joined: Nov 2003
Location: San Antonio, Tx
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Super report. Not just a beautiful area, but a gutsy ride.
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