Last month, I picked up a Buell XB9SX to join the 919 in the garage. Last weekend I finally got a chance to take it to the mountains for a weekend of riding with a good friend. We stayed in Galax, VA and made a few loops around the area hitting VA, NC and TN.
Saturday, we did a short loop from Galax to Floyd, VA and back. Our route can be found here:
Floyd Loop - Google Maps
The first part of the ride was typical Blue Ridge Parkway... good road, slow moving traffic, beautiful scenery. Route 58 from the Parkway towards Stuart is mostly downhill, lots of twisties, and great road surface all the way down into the valley. Turn on to route 8 heading up to Floyd... another great surface with really great turns... the kind of road you want to turn around and do again. Stopped in Floyd for some lunch, then on to US 221 back to Galax.
It would have been a perfect ride except for the last 5 miles when the skies turned black and just opened up with big ol' FAT rain and 40mph wind gusts... literally blew me from next to the shoulder stripe all the way across 2 lanes almost into the median. We got back to the hotel safely, dried out and hung all the gear up to dry.
Sunday we headed out for a longer loop, heading north out of town, passing through Fries, then generally west to Damascus, south into Tennessee, then back east into NC, and back to Galax. Route can be found here:
Galax-Fries-Mountain City-BRP - Google Maps
Route 94 through Fries and further north are smooth and even with a good mix of straights and curves. Back roads across to US21 are a bit crappy, but go through some nice rolling farmlands. US 21 is great, but the real fun started once we left Independence on US 58. This is a FANTASTIC road! Great twisties up and down the mountains with beautiful scenery. The only downside was that we were in and out of rain for a good bit of the section between Independence and Damascus. South into TN, which was fun albeit a bit underwhelming after route 58. Turn east back into NC on NC88... another fantastic road... great surface, and all kinds of turns... tight hairpins to nice sweepers. Back onto the Parkway for the rest of the trip back to Galax.
So, in a nutshell, a great weekend of riding... routes I will no doubt do again. Looking forward to doing them again on the 919. If you are in the area, I highly recommend both routes!