Giant Ski Lift

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by Willi-P, May 27, 2005.

  1. Willi-P

    Willi-P Just a man.

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    I'm a noob, so this may have been discussed already. If so, I apologize in advance. But, if not, it's worth consideration especially for Floridians looking for something different to do.

    On June 8, me and 5 of my buds are loading our bike on the AmTrak Auto-Train and taking it north. It takes you to Lorton, VA which is just south of DC. The train ride is great and it's a real value. We're on the train, in sleeper compartments, with our bikes, for only 3 to 4 hundred bucks each, and that includes a couple of meals. I like to think of the train as a giant ski lift with a bar.

    When we unload the next morning, we'll ride about an hour to Front Royal, VA which is where, for practical purposes, the Blue Ridge Parkway starts. The next 550 miles on the BRP is riding bliss.

    We've done this trip 5 years in a row and it's always a lot of fun. The train runs non-stop overnight from Sanford, FL to Lorton daily. It's really for cars, but, it can safely handle 12 motorcycles on specially built dollies.

    Like I said, this may be old news, but since I've been lurking on this site for a while I thought I'd try to make some kind of a contribution.
    #1
  2. MookieBlaylock

    MookieBlaylock Long timer

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    that's cool, now if only you could hop on in LA and wake up on the east coast
    #2
  3. Jabba

    Jabba "HOLD THE LIGHT!!!"

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    Maybe one of these years you'll skip the BRP and ride some of the other great roads between here and there?! Or ditch the train altogether and ride great roads in both directions!!! :D
    #3
  4. Win38-55

    Win38-55 Been here awhile

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    Thats what I do when I only have 2 or 3 hours to ride. I ride up to Crawfords Notch in New Hampshire, ride through it and turn around and ride it back. Since in Maine it goes from nowhere to nowhere in NH. I don't recall seeing a cop any where, excellent ride. There and back again. :1drink
    #4
  5. Jabba

    Jabba "HOLD THE LIGHT!!!"

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    Evans notch is mo better~ :evil
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  6. PhilSpace

    PhilSpace The Gov Administrator

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    We took the autotrain ONCE coming back from Key West 5 years ago, we have rode ever since (and we live 3 miles from the Autotrain station, I sincerely hope they have gotten better with dealing with bikes.

    Make sure you have figured out how to tie down your bike. My '97 RT was a challenge to tie down without using extension straps from up under the fairing to the triple tree. The bikes go on a large aluminum skid with two tracks in it - three bikes per track (maybe 4), ride you bike up the track and tie it down. When we got off at Lorton and watched them unload it was a terrible site. One electraglide on it's side, my bike was listing at 30 degrees but was fine and a couple other harley's had fallen over. The HD guys said that AMTRAK was good with the claims and getting things fixed and painted, but it just ain't worth it.

    Oh, and back then, Sanford was a whole. If I were you I would head for the Gawga high ground and go up one side of the BRP or on it and then go back via the western side hitting WV, VA and TN - roads are much better than the BRP.
    #6
  7. CityClip

    CityClip Upgraded to Scooterdom

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    I got my XR on eBay from a guy near Orlando. Flew down to Orlando for a builder's show, rode the bike to the terminal, loaded it up on the Autotrain, piled into a sleeping car and the next morning rode home from Lorton. No problems, awesome deal (on the XR too).

    :thumb
    #7
  8. Willi-P

    Willi-P Just a man.

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    Hey, I'm open to suggestions when it comes to alternate routes. I'd especially like to know the secret mountain roads leading from N. GA to FL[​IMG]! Seriously, I would like to know about alternatives to the BRP in VA and NC. Although, the BRP is one nice 550 mile strip of pavement, it'd be nice to try something different.

    Don't know how long ago the above horror story occured, but, I think things must have changed since then. Now, it's only two bikes to a dolly and you are involved with strapping your bike down. And yeah, you need to bring your own Canyon Dancer, and it helps to bring along some of those soft tie-down loop things. Next week we'll head out for the fifth straight year and, knock on wood, no problems what so ever so far.

    Let me put it this way, getting on the train with your m/c one afternoon and waking-up the next morning 900 miles north and having a couple of nice meals and partying it up with the boys in the mean time, all for about $360 doesn't suck, especially if you live in flat, flat FL.
    #8
  9. MrE

    MrE computer driver

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    In VA, just pick any 600 or 700 series road. From Lorton, head down toward Orange, then over to Rt 211 across Skyline. Get west of I-81 and start working southwest. You really can't go wrong. If the road gets too big or too straight, take your next 600 series road and you'll be smiling again soon.

    Some of the boys took 11 hours to get from Christiansburg, VA to Hot Springs, NC (should have taken 3 1/2 hours direct route). I hear they had a total of 12 miles of straight road. :evil

    Screw the route... Just go explore. With a map and/or a GPS you can't get lost that badly. :cromag

    The BRP is a nice stretch of pavement no doubt. But there are sooooo many better options that don't have the traffic, the enforecment, the RVs.
    #9
  10. PhilSpace

    PhilSpace The Gov Administrator

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    :nod

    Take 211 to the end and keep going out any of the farm roads south west that will eventually take you out on US33 - lots of fun. I also escape from DC via the the back roads around the west side of Quantico, across 17 to the Kelly's Ford Bridge - not a lot of options when the only other bridges over the Rapahannock are US1, I95 and US29 :bluduh
    #10
  11. MrE

    MrE computer driver

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    Yep, there are some pretty good roads on each side of Kelly's Ford. Definitely a good escape route.
    #11
  12. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    That's my back yard. Excellent roads, and beautiful scenery...

    Barry
    #12
  13. Willi-P

    Willi-P Just a man.

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    Twelve miles of straight roads? Nice. That's what I'm ready for! Here in FL, if you ride 11 hours you're doing good to find twelve miles of roads with curves!

    So, you suggested 600 or 700 series roads? Are those VA state roads? I'll have a look at my Gazetteer tonight when I get home.
    #13
  14. MrE

    MrE computer driver

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    Most of them are county roads. They are the really fun squiggly ones in the Gazetteer. :ricky
    #14
  15. Willi-P

    Willi-P Just a man.

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    Did you happen to buy your XR from a guy named Steve? Did it have #47 on it?
    #15