Over the years, I have gone to several motorcycle rallies in Virginia and in neighboring states. I have also been a member of several motorcycle clubs. Last year for the first time, my local club, Twin Valley Riders, sponsored its own rally held at the Willville Motorcycle Campground in Meadows of Dan, Virginia. I have just returned from the second annual event.
Last year, approximately 70 riders attended. This year, preregistration was around 125 riders. The success of this event is already emerging.
I left my office in Christiansburg on Friday afternoon and arrived at the campground an hour later. I am one of the original members of Twin Valley Riders and I attended the very first meeting back in 1998. Even though I was not part of the organizing committee for this rally, I felt a certain pride in being an original member.
I rode my vintage 1981 Honda CBX motorcycle to the rally. As has already been documented on these pages, this particular specimen is my second. I bought my first CBX in 1997 and put 50,000 miles on it. I named it Mae, after Mae West, the vaudeville character. It is featured prominently in my third book, Harmonic Highways, as it provided by transport during the research phase of the book. A likeness of it is depicted on the cover.
My new and as yet unnamed CBX was quite a hit at the rally. A crowd gathered around it almost from the time I parked it.
The afternoon was chilly and overcast. I spent most of the afternoon visiting with club members and old friends. The members of my club that had organized the rally brought a large smoker in which they cooked our dinner of chicken breasts, baked potatoes, and green beans. By the time dinner was winding down, everyone was wearing multiple layers of clothing or shivering or both.
The next morning, I began my day with an equal amount of laziness to the day before. By 9:00 AM, it began to rain. I was in no mood to ride my motorcycle. Several of my friends left the campground for various excursions, both on-road and off-road. By mid afternoon I decided I needed some exercise so I walked into the village of Meadows of Dan and then along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mabry’s Mill. One rider who I knew personally rode past me and then came back, evidently wondering why anybody would be wandering aimlessly along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
My wife Jane arrived in the car along with my friend Mike Gunther's wife Angie only a few minutes before I completed my walk. That evening, our cooking crew served pulled pork barbecue, baked beans, and homemade coleslaw. The evening seemed equally as cold as the night before but most people seemed better prepared to withstand the chilly temperatures. One of the best things about Willville is the endless supply of hot water for the showers. I must have stayed under the shower head for a half-hour to get warm. That evening, I sat near the bonfire and finally warmed up before bedtime.
Yesterday was the final day of the rally. After packing up our camp, I hopped on the CBX and rode it northbound on the parkway on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Tuggle’s Gap. I rode behind two new friends from Massachusetts, a couple named Mike and Joanne. On 10 miles or so of the ride, we were engulfed by fog so thick it was difficult to see the road. My speed slowed from 50 mph to 25 mph and I had to leave my face shield because it became covered in the mist. Six of us, Mike and Angie Gunther, Mike and Joanne from Massachusetts, and Jane and me had breakfast at the restaurant at Tuggle’s Gap. Mike Gunther and I rode home together through Floyd, Pilot, and Christiansburg.
My CBX passed 2500 miles on the way home and it ran perfectly. What a wonderful machine! What a wonderful weekend!