Running around my stomping grounds. Front Royal is horrible for traffic lights. Yesterday I did 522 in Front royal to 211, over the mountain in Sperryville into Luray, then over the other mountain to New Market back to 81 then home.SKYLINE DRIVE... A bit more than I bargained for, 438 miles yesterday. I should have checked the maps more carefully!
From Baltimore I picked up 70 west to Frederick and 340 south to Front Royal, 115 miles in nearly 3 hours. Route 340 has traffic lights and towns (Berryville, I think, was having a community yard sale...). We finally made the northern end of Skyline Drive about 10:30 AM. It had taken so long to get to Front Royal that I despaired of doing the complete Drive, my armchair plan.
It was a great pleasure to start on Skyline. Perfect surface, leaves not yet out on the roadside woods. The 35 mph limit was no burden; I had no particular wish to go any faster. Nearly all of the turns, except maybe a couple of tight hairpins, could be executed at 35. There were quite a few bicyclists, no impediment unless there was also oncoming traffic.
Here's just a shot along the a typical section of the Drive. Didn't need all three Givi boxes, but I wanted to check them out in anticipation of summer touring.Attachment 36022
I stopped for lunch at the Skyland area, about 42 miles down the 105-mile Drive, and a fellow rider snapped this one... pardon the "helmet hair"! Attachment 36023
An idea of the appealing views is suggested by one I snapped at one of the 75 "scenic overlooks." Not sure which one this is. Attachment 36024
It was 2:45 PM when I reached the southern terminus at Rockfish Gap... hmmm, over 200 miles from home. What do I do now? My "armchair" plan was to head west over to 340 and take it north, all the way back to Frederick, but I remembered all those traffic lights and towns and chose I-64 west to I-81 at Staunton VA. In a couple of hours I was refueling in Winchester, where I picked up Rt. 7 east to 340 at Berryville, then north to Harpers Ferry and Frederick. Home 6:45 PM. (BTW, 78 mpg at that Winchester fill-up. All that 30-35 mph riding, even in 4th gear, was great for the fuel economy.)
Beautiful weather, mid-70F I think, clear skies, no real traffic until the usual insane dash on I-70 approaching Baltimore. Nearly every trailhead parking area along Skyline Drive was filled to overflowing --- great to see so many people enjoying the woods on this gorgeous day.
What's the price of skyland drive now? I heard they were going to jack the rates up.