The temperature sat on 30 degrees at 6:45 a.m. as I fired up my Harley Davidson Switchback Sunday to ride over to Tuggles Gap to meet up with Nick Piazza for a ride down Woolwine Mountain on Virginia Route 8 to Stuart and then East on U.S. 58 over to Martinville and South on U.S. 220 to Ridgeway for breakfast with other member of the Roanoke Valley Harley Owners Group.
Heated (inner liner jacket and gloves) gear kept me warm and toasty for most of the ridge but the heat to my gloves stopped working halfway Woolwine Mountain, leaving cool fingertips by the time we hit the relative flatlands of U.S. 58.
A stop for coffee at a convenience store just outside Spencer warmed up my fingers and the rising sun also warmed the outside temperature to the point where where my heated gear was not necessary as we continued along U.S. 58 towards Martinsville. Good thing because a wiring problem stopped power reaching my gloves.
The sun that provided heat also produced a blinding glare for part of the ride and we welcomed turning south on U.S. 220 towards Ridgeway.
By 9 a.m., we joined several others who rode in from Roanoke to Clarence’s Steakhouse, a popular area restaurant and one packed to the gills just a weekend earlier for the first NASCAR race of the season for the Martinsville Speedway. Even without the race this weekend, the restaurant had a good crowd.
After a filling and tasty breakfast of eggs, pork tenderloin and lots of coffee, we joined several members of the group to ride West on U.S. 58 and up Lovers Leap Mountain, stopping briefly for the view, and then headed towards Meadows of Dan for more refreshment at Felicia Shelor’s Poor Farm Market.
The stop gave me a chance to visit with second cousin Felicia, my second cousin (her grandfather and my grandmother were brother and sister). Her successful business operations in Meadows of Dan are a big part of the town’s economic structure.
Then back on U.S. 58 to head West towards Hillsville, then North on U.S. 52 , where we came to a full stop while State Troopers cleared an accident on the road. Then on towards Fort Chiswell and then West on U.S. 11 to Black Bear Harley-Davidson in Wytheville.
A warning light on the speedometer of my Harley indicated a potential problem and a check showed my brake lights weren’t working. Purchase of a replacement bulb fixed the problem. I had worked on the Harley Saturday evening and had foolishly left my tool pouch on the workbench of the garage but Nick offered a phillips screwdriver to help replace the bulb
Most of the group headed back towards Roanoke while Nick and I headed north on Interstate 77, passing through the Big Walker Mountain tunnel, before turning off on U.S. 42 to head through the rolling countryside of Bland and Giles County before turning on Virginia 100 to ride into Pearisburg for a stop at the Dairy Queen. A dipped DQ cone is a welcome departure from diet during a ride.
Then U.S. 460 to Blacksburg and a turn on Price’s Fork Road and a ride down to Radford, then along the New River and along a set of twisties in Montgomery County before arriving back on Virginia Rte. 8 towards Floyd before turning off where the road encounters Little River for a ride along the back roads over to Christiansburg Pike and then U.S. 221 towards home.
Nick turned off on Franklin Pike towards his home and I arrived at our home with the setting sun just before 7 p.m. after 293 miles along some beautiful and scenic roadways of Southside and Southwestern Virginia.
A good day to ride with good friends.
Monday is slated to be an even warmer and beautiful day. Should I work on the yard or ride?