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Offline 1150newguy

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A bit of a review on our three day "coal country" ride.
« on: May 25, 2015, 09:41:40 pm »
We managed just a tad shy of 900 miles over three days. We left Chillicothe, Ohio on 23 south to Ashland Ky. where we got on Interstate 64 east and took it to West Virginia 10 at Huntington. 10 is a nice two lane route going south in WV. The pavement for Huntington to Pineville was all in good shape with no major construction zones to deal with. This is not a road to make time on, it is a nice two lane ride through rural WV. At Pineville we caught 16 south which was much the same as 10 on into Welch, WV. After Welch is where 16 gets VERY interesting VERY quickly. The turns get tight and after a few miles of truck lanes it also gets very narrow. Folks talk about The Back of The Dragon which is 16 from Tazewell to Marion, Va. That is a nice ride, but for my money the stretch from Welch, WV to Tazewell is much more fun. The road was in good shape for the most part, but there are areas where the surface is a bit rough and a few places where the road is dropping, mostly along creek banks. None of these are too bad yet, but I am sure they will get worse. There was no problem with gravel or loose dirt in the curves. 16 is not a road to get lazy on. It is twisty, narrow, and most places have 0 areas for runoff. If you get off the road you are in for a REALLY bad day. One high point is the store at Thompson's Valley just south of Tazewell. You must stop and have a Scooter Dog. My long time riding buddies Don and Tracy have a portable hot dog stand that Tracy pulls with her Valkyrie Trike. They live in that area and she often sets up at the store. Don and Tracy are great folks and really put the hospitality in the term Southern Hospitality.
 
We spent the night in Glade Spring Va. and the next morning went south on Va. 91 to Rt. 421 also known as the snake. It has been a few years since I rode 421 and the surface was in bad shape in a few spots so beware. Some rough patches are marked with signage and some aren't. We stayed on 421 all the way to Richmond Ky. 421 is a lot like 16 with very little room for mistakes. The road is wider, but there are no shoulders or runoff areas in most places. A couple of things to remember when riding WV, Va. and eastern Ky. These are VERY popular destinations for the off road riders. These folks come from hundreds of miles away to ride the trails around here. They bring a lot of money with them and as a result most of the small towns allow them on the public roads. Nothing like busting around a turn at full tilt and coming up on an ATV running half your speed. Another issue is the coal and lumber trucks. We took our trip over a holiday weekend so they were few and far between, but during the week they can and will be on these roads. Meet one in a curve and someone has to give. I guarantee it won't be the truck. Put away your TV and movie stereotypes about the ill tempered ignorant hillbillies. This are has some of the nicest, friendliest folks that I have ever had the pleasure to deal with and I have been to the four corners of our great country and met lots of great folks.

From Richmond Ky. we took 388 north to 627 north to 27 north to 62 east. We crossed the Ohio river at Maysville, KY. and then it was 41 back to Chillicothe. All of these roads were in very good shape with the exception of a few bridges that were being repaired. We had to sit at a traffic signal a few times for these, but they had signs posted to warn you well ahead of the area so no surprises there. Next time you need to get through Wv, Va., or Ky. don't just blow through on the interstates, take some time and explore the back roads. This area is so rich in folklore and history, you will be glad you checked it out.


Offline atrophy

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Re: A bit of a review on our three day "coal country" ride.
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2015, 11:57:45 pm »
Nice write up, thanks.
Sounds like I need to make that trip, and pretty soon.
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Offline nervouswreck

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Re: A bit of a review on our three day "coal country" ride.
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2015, 11:15:57 pm »
Sounds like you had a nice ride NavyDad thanks for the report.   Myself and three friends are going to spend ten days in WV this Aug/Sept.   That may be a bit too long but we'll see, lots of good roads to ride in WV.   I found a place in Hico/Fayetteville called New River Cabins.   Called the people and the lady, Lory (not an i), gave us a great price for a cabin that sleeps four which is just right.   It will end up costing each of us about $33.50 per day and the cabin has a kitchen.   Also the cabins are pretty new, 2009 and newer.   So we are looking forward to trying not only the cabins but the WV roads for ten days.   

Thanks again for the report on your ride.

Offline w8d4it

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Re: A bit of a review on our three day "coal country" ride.
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2015, 11:31:49 pm »
Nice write up Navy Dad.  I've been on some of those roads myself.  Fun aren't they?
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Offline GarminDave

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Re: A bit of a review on our three day "coal country" ride.
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2015, 08:57:38 am »
Thanks for the write up NavyDad, any chance of a map of the ride?  It's hard for us English folks to get perspective of the riding area with our light knowledge of the States.  Do you have a SPOT or other trail gathering information so we can see where you rode?

Thanks for taking the time and trouble to share your ride.

Later

Dave
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Offline nervouswreck

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Re: A bit of a review on our three day "coal country" ride.
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2015, 03:35:08 pm »
GarminDave, Google "West Virginia Motorcycle Roads" then pick the site that says "55 Motorcycle Roads in West Virginia USA"   The map is interactive, you can click on each individual road and get a report and rating from some rider on that road.   

Offline gregmains

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Re: A bit of a review on our three day "coal country" ride.
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2015, 06:17:44 pm »
Hey NavyDad:

I did a similar ride through "coal country" on a recent trip back to southern Ohio.  Took US 52 out of Bluefield & wound up in Huntington, WV on my way to Ironton. For the most part the roads were good (this was last summer).  Had a friend that took me on some really back country roads in VA on this trip (friend had a a GS & nav system) but the SE was not built for that type of dirt-road riding.  I'm sad that VA/WV so far from home base TX to really enjoy these roads more frequently. Thinking about heading back up this way in early August so I may explore new roads up thar.  Doing the Back of the Dragon & The Snake has always been a destination spot for me.  One more time won't hurt!!
"A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving"  Lao Tzu

Offline 1150newguy

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Re: A bit of a review on our three day "coal country" ride.
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2015, 09:06:56 pm »
There are some nice rides anywhere in this great country. I had so much fun in Texas Hill Country that I plan on returning. Not just the roads, but some really great people too.