Rides  

Spyders on the Skyline

03/20/2013

Spyders on the Skyline   - by SpyderTalker MonsterTruckFan

The day began early … real early.  Hubby and I left the house around 4:30 am full of excitement and anticipation.  The morning didn’t have a chill … it was flat-out cold. We were … correction … I was bundled to the hilt.  Hubby even let me wear his electric jacket as part of my many layers.  He has always been a very generous man.  I don’t ride often, so I don’t have all the expected gear.  He rides almost every day, all year long.  The temperatures that morning were nothing new for him.

It was barely light enough to see.  But, the adrenaline coursing through me was what kept me from saying “It’s too cold. Let’s turn back.”  I was so excited!  Another group ride!  We’d already been on a couple, and they’d been so much fun.  I really enjoy meeting new people … new LIKE-MINDED people!  Can’t beat that!

Hubby and I were headed west that morning.  We were traveling from our home in Fredericksburg, VA to the beautiful and very scenic Skyline Drive.  The schedule stated that everyone interested could meet for breakfast at the Waffle House in Waynesboro around 7:30 am.  Then we should plan to meet everyone altogether at the south gate, mile marker 105 around 9:30 am and head north to I-66, mile marker 0.

Hubby and I made it to the Waffle House plenty early.  Getting there was quite the adventure.  We traveled down route 3 west to route 29 south, then 64 westbound to 340 north.  The fall colors were simply magnificent.  Reds, oranges, yellows, mixed with greens.  The colors were vibrant and bold.  The beauty of nature that morning was a true joy to experience.

Having arrived a bit early, we saw only one other Spyder in the parking lot.  We parked next to it and began to admire the visible mods.  We met a very nice man, a rancher type, whose name I, unfortunately, do not remember.  He must have seen us admiring his Spyder, because he came out to say “hi.”  We chatted briefly and then went into the warmth to order breakfast.  Shortly thereafter, more folks drifted in. 

I didn’t know any of these people although some of their “names” sounded vaguely familiar from their posts on various Spyder websites.  Everyone was very amiable and enthusiastic.  The restaurant soon filled with Spyder lovers.  Everyone excited to meet one another and looking forward to a glorious day of riding.

Hubby and I left the restaurant a bit early because we needed to refuel for the ride.  In hindsight, we had plenty time to do that BEFORE breakfast!  We agreed to meet at the entry point for the starting lineup.  Other folks stated they needed to check out of their hotel rooms, etc. 

Again, we arrived at the early.  Very early, it would seem.  We waited by the old Chevron station and hotel on highway 250.  And we waited some more.  “Where are they?” we asked each other.  As if either of us could answer the question.  Finally, we saw a Spyder go past, so we hopped back on the trike and followed suit.  We met the other rider and waited together at the entrance.

A short time later, people finally began to show.  A small group had gathered, but we needed to wait for the others.  Waiting was actually fun.  We took some pictures and chatted about mods and where we’ve been.

Not much longer, other ride attendees joined us on the side of the road.  Soon, our group was complete and the ride was ready to commence.

We lined up and made our way through the entrance.  The day was starting to warm up a bit but it was still quite chilly.  Talk about royal beauty!  The Skyline Drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia … the western region of Virginia is absolutely stunning!  Not just during the fall while the colors of the tree’s leaves are so vibrant, but all year long.  Anyone who has traveled through that area can attest to that.  It is every bit as stunning as the Rockies and the Smokies.

 

At one of the rest stops, Hubby decided that we would ride ahead and catch the group as it rounded the curve.  It would make for a nice picture.  Unfortunately, the group seemed to have gotten quite spread out, so we didn’t get the “line of Spyders” that we’d been hoping for.

     The stunning beauty of the Commonwealth of Virginia!

The ride was beautiful.  Although the normally brilliant splashes of color were just a bit duller last year than we were expecting, the beauty could not be denied. 

We stopped for lunch at the Big Meadows area close to noon.  It was unexpectedly crowded!  Hubby and I had packed a picnic lunch and snacks with extras to share should anybody wish to do so and we carried them in our Pakit Rak ®. I’m sure glad we did!  Several people opted to just eat snacks from the convenience store while the rest waited in a very long line for their meal. 

One of the other riders was having problems with her trike as the brackets on her seat had slipped and the seat would not close properly.  Hubby offered to take a look at it for her and during our lunch break, he was able get the seat to close and instructed her to take it back to the store where it was purchased and assembled to have it adjusted properly.  Hubby is a great one for doing a good deed!  I’m so proud of him!  One year, I bought a comical ball cap for him of a man running with a giant wrench in his hand.  Wording on the ball cap: “Don’t worry!  I’ll fix it!”

After lunch, we regrouped and headed north.  We stopped for a break and hubby and I again started out ahead of the pack so we could set up for picture-taking.  We caught the group as they came out of the tunnel at Mary’s Rock Tunnel.

Mary’s Rock Tunnel, Skyline Drive, VA

Apparently at the last rest stop, some people decided it was getting too late and they bailed out, not going all the way to the Route 66 north end.  We had no clue about this and by the time we packed up the camera equipment, mounted, and almost caught up with the tail end of the group, the riders at the end of the line were getting off the Skyline Drive.  Confused, but knowing there had to be a reason for the change of plans, we followed suit.  Unfortunately, we never did catch up to “the group” as apparently, everyone went their separate ways. 

Later we learned that some people did continue the trip to the intended ending destination.  We should have had enough foresight to get a phone number so if we got left behind, we could call ahead and verify where everyone had ended up.  Live and learn, I always say!
                

            

All in all, the road trip was a lot of fun and Hubby and I are very much looking forward to more group rides this spring, summer, and early fall.  The next time around, we hope to be much better prepared!