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Ride from Alabama to Pennsylvania and RTN

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Left Ohatchee, AL at 0630 on Thursday 14 July 2011, headed north to attend a wedding in Erie, PA.


This was going to have to be a quick interstates only trip as time was short. I traveled North-East to Chattanooga on I-59, and went thru allot of bridge construction with hurry up and wait traffic. Can you spell F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-O-N? But the weather was good so all was good. Then it was on to Knoxville on I-75/40, with only moderate traffic and minor construction zones. Just past Knoxville I caught I-81 it is very straight and boring, In its defense, it does get you there as quickly as possible, and the scenery isn't all bad…. but dodging thrown recaps while playing bumper tag with Billy Big Rig wasn’t much fun. When I reached Wytheville, VA I turned North on I-77 toward Beckley - finally the roads were a bit curvy and a little more interesting. At Beckley I took US-19 North, this road was very scenic with rolling hills. I must say even on the four lanes riding in the Mountain State is a delight, at least on a bike. Judging from the odor of burning brakes on the downhill side of some of the mountains, I gather that driving a big rig through the mountains and tunnels isn’t all that pleasant. Still, it's some of the best riding I've experienced in a long time. The roads and the scenery are exquisite and go a long way toward explaining why they call it "West by God Virginia." The New River Bridge and gorge was worth it by itself.


I stopped for the night in Bridgeport, WV (633 Miles/12 hrs) and stayed in a Microtel. The room was small but clean and had everything you would need. I was pleased with the room and the cost and will consider staying at a Microtel again – however when I prepared to leave the next morning I found that the elevator was out of order and I had to drag my luggage down 2 flights of stairs. Into each trip a wee bit of rain must fallJ.


I waited until 0730 to head out hoping traffic around Pittsburg (2 hrs North) would have cleared and it would be smooth sailing. All went as planned and soon I was at the hotel in Erie, PA (230 miles/4 hrs). My room wasn’t ready yet but the clerk told me there was a big bike rally at the lake so I headed down there and spent the next 2 hours wandering around the vendor’s area. There were several thousand bikes parked along State Street and everyone looked to be having a great time. I would have liked to spend more time there but I had to get back and clean up for the wedding. The wedding went off as planned that evening and I partied till midnight and drank just a few too many glasses of wine. The next day my nephew joined me on his bike and showed me around the city we also toured Presque Isle beaches – beautiful.


I headed out on the return trip early (0630) Sunday morning planning to take a different route home and make haste as I needed to get back for work. I was taking I-71 across Ohio then catching I-75 South in Cincinnati. For nearly 500 miles I churned along taking in the scenery, getting stuck in the occasional construction-induced traffic jams. The weather was good and I was making good time…. then I reached Richmond, KY, The cars and trucks heading North had headlights on and wipers going full blast – I decided to pull over and get the rain gear on. It was a wise decision as soon as I got back on the interstate the bottom fell out. For the next hour and a half it was rough going, driving rain and very slick roads. I was just about to join all the other motorcycles I had seen under the overpass’s when I drove out of it just after entering Tennessee. Thank goodness[/b]. The last 320 miles I rode straight thru not even stopping for gas, really glad I have an aux gas tank, I was just anxious to get home to my warm bed and arrived home at 9:30 PM. (823 miles/15 hours).


Overall it was an excellent trip. I saw some fantastic scenery, rode some nice roads, had a good time at the wedding and finally got to see West Virginia. Just sorry I didn't get any pictures of WV but I was in a hurry and didn't want to stop.





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Sounds like a really nice run bro.

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