A riding club in the region, Laurel Highlands BMW Riders, had an annual pilgrimage to Bridge Day in Fayetteville, West Virginia. The state tourist board had developed a number of ways to celebrate their natural wonders, and this was one of them. Some decades later, Bridge Day has become a good excuse for motorcycle riders and groups to visit one of the best riding areas in the country. And so it was that we elected to head for Webster Springs WV, Getting there is fun because in this state, anything other than the interstate is a good road. Just tell the GPS to avoid highways and great motorcycling will follow. The state is so mountainous, that a straight road is rare, and a flat road is rare. The roads follow rivers at the base of the mountains, or climb over the mountains to get to the next valley. None of these mountains are very high, with most between 2500 and 4000 ft, but they are numerous. All of this makes for great motorcycling, that rivals the best in North America.
On this trip, since we were based in Webster Springs, we covered state roads like 55 and 219 and 15 and 60, and 20, all of which were great fun. There were miles of sweepers, and corkscrews and switchbacks. There were challenging descents and ascents. There were beautiful scenic vistas. There was rarely a poor road surface. To add to this, I was riding with a small cadre of mates that preferred a “spirited” pace. At times, this tested the TKC80s on the 1190R, and I saw the ASC kick in on a few occasions. I even had the bike in Sport mode for a while, but I found that sport mode + TKCs = Danger. Lean angles are good on this bike, even with the Moskos and TKCs, and 180 degree sweepers allowed for considerable speed while uphill or downhill hairpins produced no drama. Besides wishing I was on more street-oriented rubber, I was impressed. Carlito’s Mexican restaurant in Lewisburg was another pleasant surprise.
Back at base camp, the group of mostly BMW riders from the Laurel Highlands club was a great collection of people. Not too hung up on brand, all about riding, a great core of like-minded enthusiasts that made a Ducati, a KTM, a V-Strom, and a couple of Kawasaki Concours, completely welcome. Food and adult beverages went well on into the night. All too soon, it was time for the trek home. I st the GPS to avoid highways, and pointed northeast. No disappointment. It was almost sad to see the sign saying welcome to Maryland, as the terrain changed and farmland appeared as if a scene change from a Hollywood movie had taken place. But no worries WV, I’ll be back.