Ride Report: Philly to Maryland to Virginia to West Virginia and Back!

I've been dying to ride to West Virginia since I moved here. Looking at the maps, it has the twistiest roads I've seen here so far. I had an ambitious plan and didn't pull off as much as I'd hoped but still found some killer roads with a quick stop to Gettysburg on the way back. We left Saturday evening after I got off work, around 6pm.  The day before we left was a bit hectic because someone needed to get new tires mounted and set up. The 2nd tires of choice were Michelin Pilot Road 4 front and rear tires. Unfortunately since this was left to the last minute, the first choice was out of stock. But, these performed very well apparently, certainly far better than the 7 year old Pilot Powers that came with the bike!

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So we left Saturday evening around 6pm. My friend and coworker Brian came with us for the ride. I love riding with friends!

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The plan was to get to Hagerstown, MD because it was fairly close to the cluster of roads in W. VA that we were trying to get to for Sunday. Given that we didn't get in til after 11pm, it was definitely a good spot for us. We avoided the Interstates and decided to stick to Route 30. As we got started on 76W, I saw this cool car and had to take a pic. Someone told me that old cars were hard to see on the road in the East Coast, because of the weather. But I guess Philly doesn't fall under that statement, because I've seen so many classics around town. It was really nice to see this one.

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Map: Part 1, Philly to Hagerstown 170 miles

Our dinner stop was along Route 30 at this awesome local place called Jennie's Diner in the heart of Amish country.

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I had the biggest country fried steak, ever! It was delicious. This is what was left after I couldn't fit anymore in my tiny stomach.

I booked us rooms for the weekend at the Country Inn & Suites, which I highly highly recommend. It's a very clean, non smoking hotel that you can pretty much find everywhere. I would say they were pretty affordable, $89-99/night with free breakfast and parking. They even let us park our bikes right out front! It's also pet friendly, which worked well for us when we drove across country.

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Green, lighter green and blue. Not a bad group! (Left: Brian in his Revit Ignition 2 Jacket & Gear 2 pants & Sidi Adventure GTX Boots; Right: Evan in his Dainese Air-3 Jacket and old Rev'it Gear 1 pants)

The gem in this route was Route 77 through Catoctin Mountain Park. A really nice, twisty little road which was beautifully paved too. Even in the pitch black, it was pretty nice. Luckily we got to see it in daylight on the way home. We rolled in rather late, after 11pm since we took the scenic route to Hagerstown. We were definitely happy to get in and climb in bed to get ready for our long day into W. VA.

Map: Part 2: MD to W. VA 413 miles

This was definitely the best riding I've had since moving to Philly. The roads were smooth, hardly any cars but lots of twisties! If you just look at the map, you can tell that the roads are fantastic. Route 250 was definitely a favorite, sweepers & twisties stretched out over ~20 miles. The roads were very quiet, hardly any traffic and not much time spent stuck behind cars.

Since we were riding as much as possible, we only took a few photos along the way:

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Needless to say we had a really really great day riding around WVA. I wish we had one more day to ride further south and west of Elkins, W. VA, I hope I can try again soon, because those roads are calling me back already. I definitely loved 50 and 250, I think those were my favorite. If we had more time, I would've checked out some of the roads off the highway, but since our time was so short we decided to try out the highways first.

Here are a few more shots I managed to get along the way while we rode through W. Virginia:

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Day 3: Hagerstown to Gettysburg

On Saturday night we rode this highway in the dark which we definitely wanted to see during the daytime. It was twisty, smooth and glorious. It turned out to be Route 77 through Catoctin Mountain Park between Highway 15 and Smithsburg, MD. It was short, but sweet and a nice surprise. I managed to take a picture on Monday morning:

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After this we took 15 north to Gettysburg. We did the auto tour and saw all the beautiful, historic sites that basically created this country as we know it. Riding through the park was beautiful and humbling. We saw battlefields, cemeteries, and monuments. I highly recommend visiting the park and seeing how the war was essentially won. Here are some photos that I took along the way:

The way home was uneventful, just a lot of traffic and slow going. We did have to stop and take pic in the buggy at a Hess though:

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783 miles later, it was back to Philly. I had a blast, and can't wait to go back to W. VA!!