A few days on the TWVT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by dstutz, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. dstutz

    dstutz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    346
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD
    In retrospect, I think the hardest part of this trip for me was getting a copy of the route. Don't want to get too "adv political" and I understand there are all kinds of reasons that people stop/stopped posting routes but I hate that I was late to the game for things like TWVT, TET, BRT, etc. I eventually found a copy of the GPX file and was considering doing the trip at the end of the summer/early fall. I ended up happening upon another inmate (@BuiltnotBought, aka Micah) asking about the route and decided to commence stalking mode watching some of the threads he was asking in and seeing the responses. I decided to just man up back at the end of July and PM him basically asking "Hey, can I come on your trip?". I've done many, many road trips solo and honestly prefer that but for these kinds of routes I know there's a much better chance of something going wrong and I like the safety net of having another person within reach. After some initial back and forth we deemed each other worthy and over the next month prepped for the ride. He originally had a couple friends line up that backed out for various reasons and what could have been 4 ended up just being the 2 of us.

    This is what we came up with for the route:
    [​IMG]

    For those unfamilar, the whole TWVT is like a big Y laying at an angle. The part we decided to do is just the top. There's a long tail that heads off down to the start of the TAT in TN that we didn't do any of. The route was originally released in 2008, merged into the TET in 2011 and "Due to both personal and professional commitments, I find myself no longer able to support this project." in 2015. We knew things would have changed over the last 3+ years but hey, that's all part of the adventure.

    We were starting at the top of WV in Chester on the magenta route, heading to the bottom, then back up north on the cyan track. The dark blue lines are the various alts. The original file naming was all over the place and didn't make much sense so I layed things out like so:
    • The magenta is route 1 and going N to S the alts are numbered 1-9.
    • The cyan is route 3 (the part we didn't do was 2) and going S to N the alts are 1 and 2.
    Micah decided to do the route starting Aug 30 and having a hard stop of needing to be home by the end of Sept 5th. I'm super flexible with work so this all worked out fine for me. He lives in Ontario, I live in MD. He was heading down the night before to NW PA and staying the night and I was looking to camp close to the start. We'd meet in Chester the morning of the 30th and head out.

    I reached out to a couple people via tent space and was able to score a night from @bronciii who had "Half mile from the northern terminus of the twvt" right in the ad. Sweet!

    Route wise, I feel like I did a great job planning but my gathering/packing left a lot to be desired...
    #1
    DragonJoe, max384, bronciii and 4 others like this.
  2. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,655
    Location:
    Garden City, Michigan
    Looking forward to this report and pictures. Also to how well the route flowed - or if alot of work arounds were necessary.
    #2
  3. dstutz

    dstutz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    346
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD
    Before the trip:
    I ended up pulling the zipper apart on my riding pants a little before the trip (also before heading to VT for a week with family for vacation) but I was able to sort of get it back together and clamp it back shut. Repaired zippers never really hold up and I ended up pulling it out again in VT. Wasn't really that big of a deal as it had velcro on the fly and 2 snaps on waistband to hold things shut. We got back from VT on Thursday, I was leaving for this trip the following Wednesday. I was sort of dragging my feet getting stuff together but I had made my packing list and knew I had everything I needed. For some reason I didn't bother looking into new pants until Sunday? Spent a lot of time I should have been getting all my stuff together looking at different pants, attempting to figure out every manufacturers sizing and sort of picked a pair. Since it was fairly last minute I waited until Monday to call a place and they would have needed to get a pair from the manufacturer which would take a day (that's Tuesday) before they'd be able to ship to me. "So uh...doubt this is gonna happen but how much would overnight shipping be?" "$90.00" "Umm...ok, well thanks for your time". Scrapped that idea.

    After work on Monday I started to really get my stuff packed up in my Reckless R80 luggage starting with my camping gear. Stuffed my sleeping bag down into one leg drybag, check. Pull out the tent (Coleman Hooligan 2), damn it's got all kinds of leaf chunks so I take it outside to unroll and shake off. As I'm doing this I see light through the bottom in several places...*sigh*. At this point the weather looked like it was going to be raining. I'll spare you all my insanity of checking stock at local retailers but I ended up ordering from Amazon a new Kelty Salida 2 man tent and footprint, inflatable air mattress (packs up *wayyyy* smaller than my roll up self-inflating model which I was looking to have to strap to the back of the R80 on top), inflatable pillow (again, packs up a lot smaller) and a microfiber towel (smaller, dries out quicker). I guess it was too late in the day to pay extra for overnight shipping so I had to settle for Prime's guaranteed 2 day!

    Tueday rolls around, I keep checking order and it hasn't shipped. I'm still getting the rest of my stuff together, I had the old tent+fly packed up just in case. About 9:30 pm I get notification that the order ships...I'm like "really?" The one good thing is that it went UPS which normally gets to my place sooner than USPS (but still in the afternoon).

    Wednesday, I was teleworking (watching tracking all day, Carteret, NJ.....Philly....Baltimore....Sparks....out for delivery!) and as soon as I was done I really started getting my act together as much as possible without the camping gear. Got the R80 mounted on the bike, figured out where the rest of my stuff was going, pumped up tires, gathering all riding gear and finally the UPS guy rolls up about 4:30. Tested out the pillow and air mattress real quick just to make sure they held air, didn't do anything with the tent other than take out of bag and pack it up. On the plus side it took up a lot less space than the old one (it *is* a good bit smaller). I was able to get the sleeping bag, tent, fly, air mattress and pillow in one leg of the R80. I put the poles and stakes in the R80 "tent pole bag" but in the future I'll probably just stick those in the leg as well since they're pretty small.

    Hitting the road:
    I sent a text off to broncii with my ETA which was embarrassingly late and at 5:13pm I hit the road. I went out a bunch of back/smaller roads, picked up I-70 in Hagerstown, I-68, I-79 then some smaller stuff to get to Chester. On 68 I saw the sign for the Eastern Continental Divide, followed by a sign saying something like "Expect Crazy ass weather next 28 miles"...great. At this point it was well into night. I started to see lightning ahead of me but mostly off to the north a little bit. I stopped for gas, gave an updated ETA to broncii and hit the slab again. I hadn't originally intended to go this way and take all this interstate but my poor planning made me pick a quicker route.

    Right after turning the corner and heading north on 79 at Morgantown it started to rain, Yay. I pull off find a gas station with a canopy and start to zip up all the vents in my jacked (allegedly waterproof) and put the rain liner in my pants. I gas up again anyway since I'm there. In retrospect getting gas was a very good idea. Once I got off the highway every gas station that I passed was closed. I don't know if the pumps were open to credit usage but all the lights were off. I probably would have been sleeping on the side of the road out of gas had it not started raining. It poured for about 15 minutes then slowed to a steady rain for maybe another 30 or so then trailed off. I arrived at 11:17pm :(. broncii was great and was somehow still up waiting for me. He got me situated in the garage, which was awesome that I didn't need to worry about getting all the camping gear wet right at the start, and to bed I went. I kept apologizing for being so late. I felt like a huge ass (rightly so).

    Pre-route stats: 5:13pm-11:17pm on the road, 315 miles

    So uh...I'd say it's a good idea to check on *all* your gear maybe a week or two out if you haven't used it in a while? At least I had the bike squared away...

    [​IMG]

    This is actually the next morning...
    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,655
    Location:
    Garden City, Michigan
    Love that Husky !! Hopefully a review of the bike will be included. Is this the first big adventure ride on the 701 for you ?
    #4
  5. dstutz

    dstutz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    346
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD
    I did a three day 800 mile total trip down to GWNF (only 250 loop through the forest) with the luggage holster and one drybag to "try it out". But this is the first time really using the luggage and longest trip with the bike. Absolutely, positively, love the 701. Well...except it seems to eat rear tires for breakfast, 2nd breakfast, lunch, snack-time, dinner, AND dessert.
    #5
    B10Dave likes this.
  6. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,655
    Location:
    Garden City, Michigan
    What kind of MPG and range are you getting ?
    #6
  7. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,084
    Location:
    Spotsylvania, VA
    The 701 IS the perfect bike for the task! Looking forward towards your posts.

    Eric
    #7
  8. BuiltnotBought

    BuiltnotBought Perpetual Project

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    342
    Location:
    Ontario
    Allow me to chime in.

    I had the opportunity to make a bike trip this year and had originally been looking forward to the release of the MABDR. It seemed like it would be positioned perfectly for me to take advantage of. However since it was released and I got a chance to see some documentation of it I realized that while it looks like it would be a great ride, it wasn't quite going to give me the challange I was looking for this time around in particular. I had a few friends who were on the fence about making a ride with me this year, all of which for one reason or another fell off that fence which left me planning a solo trip. I had done a few days solo on the TCAT a couple years ago so I wasn't entirely intimidated by the prospect, but that was on a DRZ, a much lighter bike. This time I had an F800GS which I knew due to weight would limit what I'd be able to tackle especially on my own. So when dstutz contacted me I was definately open to the option of having a riding partner for this trip. We seemed pretty similar in riding background, skill level, and trip expecations, so a plan was laid.

    [​IMG]
    #8
    GAS GUY likes this.
  9. BuiltnotBought

    BuiltnotBought Perpetual Project

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    342
    Location:
    Ontario
    I set out from Ontario on Wed. afternoon with the hopes of dodging some forecasted storms. I managed to make it to Buffalo before the clouds tore loose on me, ended up riding in torential rain from Buffalo NY to Erie PA. New jacket turned out to work as waterproof as advertised, Goretex pants held up well except for that seemingly inevitable crotch-wettness. I rolled in to my folks place Wed evening damp but looking forward to a good forecast to come.

    Set out early "Day 1" with the goal of meeting with Dstutz at the local Golden Arches in Chester WV at 8:00am. Traffic held me up a bit, but just by luck I happened to drive past the place where I had proposed to my wife close to 15 years ago, I had to stop for a pic. The Shakespeare Restaurant.
    [​IMG]

    I showed up to the save Dstutz from a bunch of local old guys having their morning coffee. They were starting to get mighty interested in his bike and gear, the trip... you'd think it was the biggest thing in town that day. When I showed up and they found out I was going on the ride as well one of them asked me why I wasn't wearing all the same stuff Dave was. My response was "Well it'd look a little funny if we all dressed the same!":rofl

    Before leaving we were informed that we were welcome back in Chester anytime. Apparently it was official as well, turns out the one guy was the mayor! He made sure and gave us both his card before we left. So if your ever in Chester in the morning, just swing by the McD's if you want to meet the mayor, I have a feeling he's a regular.
    [​IMG]
    #9
    bobw likes this.
  10. BuiltnotBought

    BuiltnotBought Perpetual Project

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    342
    Location:
    Ontario
    We set out into an overcast day, enjoying the wild beauty of western WV.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The route actually starts in the far north tip of WV and ducks over into PA here and there as it makes it way south. Lots of rough paved roads and gravel roads. The PA sections showed much nicer road conditions for both. Western WV has an intriguing standard of living that varries across the state. I'll get into that more, if you were into taking photo's of old abandoned homes/buildings you could spend DAYS wandering WV and finding treasures.

    [​IMG]

    I was using a Kyocera phone running Osmand and Dstutz had a Montana running the same maps. By and large Dstutz led the way, he was much more diligent than I about planning out the route, fuel stops, camping options, ect. Aside from a few minor wrong turns it was fairly easy to follow the route.

    [​IMG]
    Such a beautiful place...
    [​IMG]

    Actually, looking at these pics and noting the mud on my side bags I think these were after the first alternate section. Lol, that's where the fun started...
    #10
    max384 and GAS GUY like this.
  11. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,655
    Location:
    Garden City, Michigan
    Look's like your running a set of Shinko 804/805's ? If so, how do you like them ?
    #11
  12. BuiltnotBought

    BuiltnotBought Perpetual Project

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    342
    Location:
    Ontario
    Rear was not too bad, seemed to give MUCH better mileage than Dstutz's Golden Tire. The front seems to be wearing well also, BUT, it was nowhere near qualified for the terrain I made it go through. I was not really happy with its performance on the gravel, it was far from confidence inspiring on the curves. And in the mud it gave pretty much NO traction. If I had it to do again I would have chosen a MUCH more aggressive front tire for this trip. I probably will not get the front tire again.
    #12
  13. Lostb4found

    Lostb4found wrk2ride

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2017
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    ohio valley
    ive also ridden the twvt. be aware that some of the southern portions are private land. the owners can be aggressive which is why the route was shut down. also with all the rain we are having here be safe in any creek crossing.
    I just mounted 804and 805on my bike. sad to here they are not performing that well. but they will have to do fo my mabdr ride next week.
    also depending how far south you go if you happen to run into any issues I should be available to lend a helping hand as im only about 30 min north of wheeling wv on the ohio side.
    safe travels!
    #13
  14. Lostb4found

    Lostb4found wrk2ride

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2017
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    ohio valley
    it looks like you'll be coming close to senaca rocks wv, if you've never seen it its with the stop. you can camp at the camp ground next to yocums or stay in the hotel. hotel is around 80 a night. camp ground in 8 bucks, use to have a shower house but it burnt down a few years ago. they also have tee pees and cabins available
    #14
  15. dstutz

    dstutz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    346
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD
    This is for the trip:
    [​IMG]

    That dip to 38 was sprinting across the interstate doing 75-80...so maybe don't do that all day? There's a big difference in how you ride. I'm fairly sedate and like to use torque most of the time (rode R1200 bikes for over 10 years) so I'm not rev happy. That said, I know I'm in the low 40s when I go to the sandy Pine Barrens in NJ because I'm running a little faster and having a little more fun in the soft stuff.

    I'm at 47.2 avg over 3107 miles that I've tracked. Best has been 54.6. 3.4 Gal tank. Do the math for range. Fuel light typically came on 115-120 on this trip but I'm pretty sure at that point I have at least a gallon, maybe a little more left. I almost think it comes on too early. No fuel worries on this trip BTW. If 3.4 isn't enough, you can remove airbox and install rade garage tank to get another 1.5 under the seat. I brought along a pair of 2L Hunersdorff (bless you) fuel friends so I had almost an extra gallon. Never needed it though I did use it up on like day 3 when we got to a station that only had regular (which happened a few times) and to shed the weight. Didn't really notice any difference in how the bike ran.

    I'm curious about this. Are you talking about the part that we didn't ride that heads down towards TN? Everything we were on was either obviously public road or not signed private. I'm pretty aware of this kind of stuff and err on the side of caution if there's any question. No one chased after us with firearms! Also, thankfully, no worries about this couple days of pouring rain over the weekend...we've been back since early last week. I've been near Seneca Rocks/Spruce Knob before but we didn't head past it for this trip.
    #15
    GAS GUY likes this.
  16. BuiltnotBought

    BuiltnotBought Perpetual Project

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    342
    Location:
    Ontario
    I think they'd probably work decent on the MABDR if your not pushing it too hard. I will say they never made me concerned while riding through twisty pavee sections, good road grip on them, even for the rear being pretty knobby.
    #16
  17. dstutz

    dstutz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    346
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD
    OK, Back to it.

    Day 1:
    As Micah said, I arrived first at McD's where I was kept company by the gaggle of local gentleman with lot's of life experience mostly enjoying their senior coffees. I'm still not clear if "Little Fat Boy" was actually the mayor as one of the men said or was just running for mayor as the card said.
    Anyway...We hit the road at 9:05am. Less than 20 mins later, we're in PA? Even though I worked with the GPS files so much I don't think I actually realized at first that it dipped into PA, no worries, a little over an hour later we're back in WV minding our own business when the real welcome mat is rolled out.

    County Highway 32/3 aka Counselman's Hill Road:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some real nice sticky, slippery, clay mud. Also, don't know if you can make out where it looks like the last "vehicle" to go on this road was tracked. We made it through a few of the more sedate sections pictured and then found a really nice washout. Micah and I (mostly Micah) scouted ahead and picked a route. I'd dropped into a probably almost 3' deep washout and rode that down 150' or so and popped out the other end. Next up the was the F800 whose only problem was being vertically challenged and basically sat the belly pan right down onto the really soft stuff at the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    BTW, *this* is where you got the mud on your saddlebag.



    Micah whipped out a couple straps, tied them together, one end to the crash bar and one end in my hand and the bike was moving forward again fairly easily. The rest of the way down the hill wasn't too bad and we had a chance to wash some of the mud off crossing Castleman Run before getting back onto some gravel.

    #17
    max384, bronciii and GAS GUY like this.
  18. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,655
    Location:
    Garden City, Michigan
    No worries. The Shinko's work perfectly on the MABDR.
    #18
  19. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,655
    Location:
    Garden City, Michigan
    My perspective is obviously limited to the picture and video, but it seems like the GS would have been much better off following the higher line to the left. Why did you choose to drop down into that soft washed out trench ?
    #19
  20. dstutz

    dstutz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    346
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD
    IIRC It was really slippery and there was worse hole a little down on the left...taking the ravine meant less chance of falling over. It really wasn't that hard to get through. Was looking at the pics after I posted and waiting for someone to ask why we were in there. The 2 of us thought it was the best line at the time. I didn't have any issues getting through and he just hung up the once (for the whole trip).
    #20
    GAS GUY likes this.