Untitled Trip Blog Part Two

September 2019 Head Of The Dragon Road Trip – Part Two

Liver Sandwiches and Entropy

Liver sandwiches are self explanatory. The only variables are bread type, condiments and method of preparation.
Entropy however can be defined several ways so for our purpose we will use the common understanding, that of “lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder” because that is what perfectly describes day two of this trip.
Day two began just fine with the promise of a wonderful breakfast at the Shoney’s just across the highway from the motel. I had discovered it the night before when I searched for “breakfast near me” and soon discovered the usual plethora of typical fast food joints, a couple Mom n Pop sit down’s and the shining breakfast beacon on the hill – A SHONEY’S! I just love those places for breakfast and I immediately set in my plan for the beginning of Day Two.

  Breakfast at Shoney’s was just as good as I had remembered it had ever been every time I have had it. Even the grits were perfectly cooked and had the skin on top that keeps the moisture in so they don’t dry out and they were not soupy at all. The scrambled and buttered eggs were tender, soft and moist. The bacon was thin and crispy and the fried bologna was heavenly. The french toast was made of thick yellow slices of bread cooked to nearly being fried after slapped on a hot griddle! I could tell because the outside had that fried egg toasty crunch but the inside was simply cooked not toasted! MMMhmmm! I ate too much.

So we waddled out to the bikes and rode a few hundred yards back to the room (we rode over because we knew wouldn’t want to waddle all the way back) and let breakfast sit a few minutes while I fiddled with my new Action Camera. I had ordered one to mount on the bike to record The Ride. Alas, in no way was I able to arrange the various fittings – and there were many – in such a manner the camera would be able to see over the instruments due to the configuration of the handlebars and fairing. I investigated mounting it to my helmet, but the adhesive patch instantly failed when I tested it out. There was a jacket clip mount but I figured that would be too susceptible to wind and road jouncing to be of much use. So after about a half hour the idea was shelved, I resolved to figure this out back home and be better prepared for next time. The entropy was slipping into the scene so gradually I suspected nothing.

We packed up and just before we left the motel I had what would turn out to be the brightest idea of the whole day. I said “according to my GPS we are 1 hour and 2 minutes from Welch and The Dragon’s Head. We should reserve rooms, or this room for tonight and just return here after the riding is done for the day. That way we also have a little head start on the return trip tomorrow.” The idea was readily accepted and we lucked out and were able to get separate rooms too. At this point I also discovered the rooms came with a free hot breakfast, which would save us time as well! I thought things were shaping up pretty nicely.

As we pulled out of the parking lot to gas up right across the street the sky was perfectly clear and it was that certain shade of blue that is just mesmerizing and feels so good to look at. The temps were just cool enough that jackets with vents open would be perfect. I just knew that soon I would be in that spot again where the SOFA (my bike) would be seamlessly gliding toward The Ride and I would be in the wind on the road and be the wind on the road and just be there being that. And soon I was. And it was what I had I had ridden so far to find and I had found it. And all the little aches in my soul were rooted out by the wind and drifted away behind me as all my pieces fell back into place deep inside whatever it is that is me.

I felt renewed, revitalized and ready as we pulled off the main roads onto the secondary road that would snake it’s way toward Welch where we would find the beginning of The Ride. We had left Princeton on 460 and then took 52 over to Bluewell and the GPS said stay on 52 so we did. I remember thinking Rt 52 could easily be part of The Dragon’s Head because it was so curvy, and indeed I found out later it is. At least part of it is anyway. We were enjoying the ride immensely going as fast as we dared on the nearly deserted road at times and slowing to take in the majestic scenery at other times. I remember thinking how cool WV is because the speed limits weren’t all 40 mph on the whole damn road like they would be back east! “These people get it” I remember thinking. Of course there were reasonable speed limits as you approached little towns and drove through them. Sure that was just fine. We were enjoying the old Main Streets USA too.

However, as we drove on entropy became more obvious as we encountered more and more small towns that were literally nearly deserted and many buildings were literally collapsing under the weight of years of neglect. Many places were decades into deteriorating and were far beyond saving. I felt sorry for these buildings. Some had obviously been centers of activity, some had been fancier than most, but all were succumbing to what we humans have come to know as progress.

There were the few clusters of die hard homeowners here and there and their homes stood out like color photographs on a table full of black and white. Somehow I interpreted this as more sad than hopeful, like a last gasp as the entropy of progress slowly enveloped them. It was in such a place I spied the Liver Sandwich sign and I just had to get a picture of it so I pulled over. The alleyway it indicated showed no signs of any sort of eatery and in fact led to the bottom of a small mountain with some houses perched upon it. I investigated no further. I turned the bike around and that is when I saw the few houses that stood out across the way and they made me think about what it might be like to have lived here through the good times and having careers and children and living your life through the slow decline as the coal business – your lifeblood –  was nearly strangled to death by your own gubbmint (a word I invented to indicate a perverse government) and your home town literally died around you.

I also thought of the possibility that the nicely kept homes and the few open businesses may represent young blood and renovation as it has in the old manufacturing sector of Roanoak where the huge old brick buildings are being re-purposed into trendy condo’s and independent shops. I sincerely hoped that was it, and perhaps it is! The place is ripe for ATV and motorcycle tourism. There are numerous ATV camps and many towns are ATV friendly!
Still, entropy was king around these here parts and I was only beginning to realize it.

We rode on, enjoying the sights and the road with it’s twists and turns and spectacular views until we finally did arrive at Welch about 11:30 in the morning. It had been a very fulfilling couple of hours (we had taken our time sightseeing) and we pulled over at the new Hospital on the edge of town after driving all the way through. There was a nice heavily shaded spot next to a brook and I figured to use my phone to plot The Ride from there, deep in the shade because it was getting hot. It felt like at least in the high 80’s and with full sun the shade was quite a bonus. but alas I had no signal at all in that location so I said to my friend “lets double back a couple miles, I saw a really tall McDonald’s sign and they have free internet and air conditioning.” It was agreed and so we did that.

When we arrived at the McDonald’s it was being remodeled. The drive through was open but that was it. There were a couple parking spots out in the open and full sun but the entire place was behind chain link fencing and the place was off limits except for the construction workers. We talked to them a couple minutes and they told us of a couple other restaurants nearby with free WIFI so we decided to go there. We put on jackets, helmets and gloves. He started his bike. I turned on my key and hit the starter.

It was then entropy made itself known and drastically altered the trajectory of The Ride.

Nothing happened again when I hit the starter the second time. The lights were on, the neutral light was on, the radio was working, everything seemed normal except nothing happened when I hit the starter button.

Tune in tomorrow for the third and final part of this adventure.

A Fantastic Lunch

So we’re on our way to the Dragons Head and it’s about 1:30 in the afternoon and we’re about to roll past Madison, VA when I spy a sign for food.

So we detour into Madison and stop at the pizza shop. Walking up it made a good if modest impression, which is fine with me.

I’ve enjoyed some of the best food and deserts and camaraderie in such locals. Little did we know today we found another, and it’s the one that my taste buds still remember.

It’s just past midnight as I write this and I can recall the wonderful blend of flavors upon my tastebuds as if I have just savored the last bite!

If you’re running down through Virginia you must take a moment and consider a stop at Jenny Lynd’s Pizza. Crystal, the uncrowned chef who lists being a Disney chef among her credentials will make you a delicious repast.

https://jennylyndspizza.com/

Viking Cycle Jacket Update 2

Today my friend Clint and I met at the Easton Diner for breakfast before we headed west across the bay bridge for the Dragons Head.

It is the figurative and geographic opposite of the Dragons Tail of course and it is located in the southeastern corner of West Virginia.

Almost all the way down through Virginia it began sprinkling on us. A few minutes more and there was lightening and then it rained hard enough some cars put on the flashers and slowed down. Eventually we did too. The speed limit is 70 and everyone was doing 80. Except in the rain they slowed down to about 60!

Anyway the jacket got a good soaking – twice actually and I got wet yes. But not as bad as expected and it dried out thoroughly and quickly!

I like this garment so far.

Here is a picture of it protecting me from a bear.

Gettysburg Bike Week 2019 Press Release

Gettysburg Bike Week 2019
(EXCERPT FROM PRESS RELEASE)

Bands and Bikes Highlight Gettysburg Bike Week 2019 Rally

Record Crowds at Gettysburg Bike Week 2019 18th Anniversary!

Gettysburg Bike Week 2019, Gettysburg, PA (July 19, 2018) – Gettysburg Bike Week kicked off Thursday, July 11, 2019, for its 18th anniversary rally at the All Star Events Family Fun Complex in Gettysburg, PA. With four days of the best bands, events and entertainment. Rally goers turned out in droves to great weather and enjoyed great music, Harley-Davidson demos, bike shows, mini-bike races celebrity appearance from Josh Owens and much much more. Crowd enjoying the music

“We had the best attendance we have ever seen” said event coordinator Kelly Shue. “We work hard throughout the year to make sure we have the best bands, entertainment and vendors for all the riders. This year we seem to have the right combination of them all.”

minibike races

National touring musicians graced the stage every day including Jasmine Cain, and Kashmir to kick the weekend off on Thursday. The Resurrection tour featuring Tantric, Shallow Side, Saving Abel, Saliva and Puddle of Mudd had people showing up early to make sure they got to see as many of the bands as they could.  Saturday, Queensryche closed it out with an amazing show of hard rock musicianship, which was topped off by an awe-inspiring fireworks show. All of these top-flight musicians showed their true colors and played to the crowds energy, providing entertainment for the biggest crowds to date.

Other great music acts playing throughout the weekend included Brickyard Road, Rebel Soul, acoustic wizards Redemption Road, and Sound of Silence featuring teen percussion prodigy Avery the Drummer.

And music was just the beginning when it came to this year’s entertainment.

Legendary emcee Jack Schit presided over it all, performing master of ceremonies duties from the Budweiser Stage with Jen Shade helping to fill in any gaps and help keep a local connection. Mr. Schit added his lightening wit to live events like the world-famous Tattoo Competition, Bike Games and mini-bike racing. The Parade of Chrome, and the Cycle Source Ride-in Bike Show, were all greatly enjoyed by the record breaking crowd.

New this year was the Harley-Davidson demos where riders could select one of seven Harley-Davidsons and take it for a spin and see which one they preferred with no pressure. Gettysburg Bike Week brought in Josh Owens from the hit TV show Moonshiners which, provided lots of opportunities for riders to interact with him in a lot of different settings.

Of course, no rally would be complete without great riding, and Gettysburg features some of the best. Riders enjoyed tours of historic battlegrounds and hundreds of miles of the best riding in the East. And in addition to the fantastic solo riding, GBW patrons had a great time with several charity Poker runs.

This one’s hardly in the books, but you can never start planning too early for next year’s Gettysburg Bike Week which will be July 9-12 2020: New and returning riders can find updates, event scheduling, lodging information and anything they ever needed to know about Gettysburg Bike Week by visiting http://www.gettysburgbikeweek.com.

Gettysburg Bike Week would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors Battlefield Harley-Davidson, Budweiser, Gettysburg Trading Post, Hot Leathers, Geico, Stambaugh Law, Dale E Anstine, Color Wheel Flooring America, Tevis Energy, Beckley’s Camping Center, Ride into History and Steinwehr Avenue Business Improvement District.

About Gettysburg Bike Week

Gettysburg Bike Week is Eastern Pennsylvania’s definitive motorcycle rally, featuring great national music acts, historic riding and hospitality that you can only find in a city with this much history. For more information on the Rally, including scheduling, lodging options, and more, visitwww.gettysburgbikeweek.com. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook: @GettysburgBikeWeek or Twitter: @GburgBikeWk.

Note: This press release was edited for content and minor corrections. 

Do You Feel Like I Do?

Last year in general the weather here on the Eastern Shore prevented me from riding as much as I’d like.

Typically I would take one of my bikes to get wherever I needed to be. But no. There was frost on the roads in the morning or it was raining or soon would be or it was just way to hot for me.

This year I’m determined to ride as much as I can.

I’m shifting my focus back to two wheels with four wheels as back up instead of the other way around!

Peter Frampton asked what may be the universal question…”Do You Feel Like I Do?”

Now I’m asking you.

Do you?

Are you riding every time you have the chance?

Do people wonder why you didn’t ride your bike when you arrive?

If you feel like I do leave the cage home as much as possible – maybe even more!

So, tell us where your next ride will take you, even it’s just off to work.

For some of us, even that is a goal!

Peace

Mark

How Do You Plan To Celebrate The 4th Of July?

As far back as I can remember the 4th Of July has been a special time of wonderment to me. Shortly after school let out for the summer (YAY!) along comes the 4th and really shakes things up!

As the days ticked by and the old urban legends made their rounds about fingers blown off and teenagers making out in a car down in the pits and getting attacked by trolls and yes, even the hitch hiking ghost boy and the pirate’s hook found later on a car door handle, it all served to add momentum to the long wait. Then finally we’d be packing up a bunch of stuff and piling in the car and driving downtown to the Capitol for the fireworks.

It was a simpler time, I’ll admit. No street lights. Playing tag or football until you just couldn’t see anymore. And there would be cook outs, fireworks and those little parking lot carnivals….it seemed to me that this was when summer just couldn’t take it anymore and busted wide open in all its glory

It was a magical time. I’m sure that however you celebrated it was for you too.

So this year, how do you plan to recapture that magic?

THE JULY/AUGUST 2019 ISSUE IS READY!

Pick up your free copy at select dealers, shops and events in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C., West Virginia and Virginia!
The magazine will be posted at www.motorcycletimes.com this weekend.

FAMED MOTO AND AUTO JOURNALIST MISSING FOR A WEEK!

David “Davey” Johnson, 44 years old, an experienced motorcyclist was testing a Honda CB1000R for Motorcyclist magazine in the Sierra Nevada area when he went missing.

He had spent the weekend in Las Vegas with his girlfriend then was riding through the Sonora Pass the last anyone knew. He did send a couple texts so people were expecting him. When it became evident he was very late they began looking for him and an official search was launched.

His motorcycle, helmet and gloves (?) were found first, according to our research and sources, in a rest stop in Calaveras County by Deputies shortly after the search had been expanded from Sacramento County. Soon after his laptop and phone and backpack were found by the Mokelumne River.

These are the “known” facts as we here at Motorcycle Times have been able to confirm. Of course there is much speculation of the general kind plus some other “facts” we purposefully omitted due to their sensitive nature or even unreliable (unconfirmed) nature. For example, search dogs were/are being used but the results we are hearing are unconfirmed at this time, other than some of his items were found by the river and the dogs alerted there.

For more as it develops, stay tuned and of course if you do a quick Google search you will get a couple dozen returns to filter for yourself.

Meanwhile, let us all join together in prayer or good cosmic energy or lighting candles and chanting or whatever and however it may be done for you, in order to focus all our thoughts and energies toward a good and happy and safe outcome for Davey and his friends and family and the teams looking for him.

We can join together and ask this of our infinite cosmic universe for his safe return.

Mark

Morning Coffee

This post from our Daily News Page on the the website made my morning better!
Enjoy!