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Michael Elyard

 

Motorcycle Page

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CR14 near Kline – Pendleton Co

Spruce Knob – Highest point in WV

Rt. 50 – Near Cool Springs

WV Historical Markers Project

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Welcome to my Motorcycle Trip Reports Page.   I have written travelogues for many of my trips, some brief - some quite detailed.  Being a motorcyclist and living in West Virginia is like being a surfer and living in Hawaii.  There are hundreds (thousands!) of miles of curves and back-roads waiting to be explored. Let’s go!

 

FEATURED RIDE REPORTS

 BRINGING HOME WWII/KOREAN WAR HEROS AFTER 50+ YEARS

  Private Emmett Kines  - (Sept 2016) a WWII Marine is brought back home to West Virginia after perishing at the Battle of Tarawa in 1943.

Welcome Home, Corporal Alva Clifford Groves - (Aug 2015)  Korean War soldier who died in captivity; his remains were recently located, identified, and returned by North Korea.

Welcome Home, Sgt Kiger   (July 2013)- A WWII airman who was shot down over Germany in 1944 is found and remains returned to his hometown of Mannington WV

(More Ride Reports Listed Below)

 

       The Bike:   2007 Suzuki V-Strom DL-1000.

(UPDATE March 2017)  In October 2016, I made the difficult decision to become a "former rider" and hang up the helmet after 40 great years of riding. Some occasional minor balance issues and concern about injuries sidelining me from my treasured position as Organist/Pianist at Wesley United Methodist Church made the decision to sell the bike easier to justify. As I told my wife, "I'd rather leave on a good note than on a stretcher."  I purchased a new Nikon D7200 Digital Camera and still plan to explore and photograph West Virginia in my trusty 1997 Honda Civic.

The bike pictured below was my 9th and last one.  It was my third V-Strom over a period of 12 years, with a Suzuki Burgman 650 Touring Scooter thrown in for variety for a couple of years (put 15K miles on it). I loved the V-Stroms!  They are rugged, fast, comfortable, and reliable. I've done 700 miles comfortably in one day on one, crossed streams on gravel roads, scraped footpegs on fun twisty roads, and runs 0-60MPH in under 4 seconds.  This one had only 8K miles on it, and the previous owner did many upgrades - a Givi top case (hard luggage), centerstand, skid plate, upgraded 4-piston-caliper front brakes, engine guard (for tip overs), adjustable windshield, and much more. The only thing I added was a set of hard saddlebags and new tires.  There are lots of these bikes with well over 100K miles.

 

 

2015VStrom01.jpg      2015VStrom03.jpg     2015VStrom04.jpg 

 

LINKS:

Riding WV  - My website with ride reports, photos, and trip planning for riding in WV.  I started this website in 2011 as a way for fellow riders to post their photos and ride reports.  This came as I saw numerous riders from other states (and even other countries) trying to get information on what to see and where to ride.  Some parts of the site are still empty or under construction, but as it grows, I feel it will be a useful tool for folks who want to explore our wonderful state. 

West Virginia Historical Markers     I organized this blog on the Adventure Riders forum and organized a group of about 25 riders as we photographed and documented over 800 historical markers in WV between 2009 and 2011. We were assisting the WV Dept of Archives and History in their restoration project at the time.  Their last survey of the markers was outdated, and they needed current information to determine which markers to repair/replace.  By posting our photos online, they were able to easily access them and quickly determine which markers to add to their list.  In addition to learning a great deal about my home-state’s history, I had the opportunity to explore hidden corners of the state I had not previously visited.  Who said something educational can’t be fun?

 

LATEST RIDE REPORTS: 

Accident / Dead Desoto / Chicken Crossing the Road - (01-02 September 2016)  Accident MD to Petersburg WV and back on lots of narrow back roads.

Garrett County, Maryland   (Westernmost County) - AUGUST 2016 - Exploring New Germany Road and Savage River Road from Friendsville to Westernport

Following Rt 220 -  AUGUST 2016 (Part 1 - Waverly NY to Cumberland MD)  Historic Road that runs 680 miles from the PA/NY state line to the NC/SC state line.  Once a main north-south highway.

North-Central Virginia - (JULY 2016)  In search of historical markers and good riding. I found both! 



WEST VIRGINIA / VIRGINIA AREA RIDES

Private Emmett Kines (Sept 2016) a WWII Marine is brought back home to West Virginia after perishing at the Battle of Tarawa in 1943.

Welcome Home, Sgt Kiger   (July 2013 - A WWII airman who was shot down over Germany in 1944 is found and remains returned to his hometown of Mannington WV – Very emotional! – Link is to my RidingWV site)

Welcome Home, Corporal Alva Clifford Groves - Korean War soldier who died in captivity; his remains were recently located, identified, and returned by North Korea. We escorted him home from Pittsburgh Airport  Aug 2015

Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia   6 Counties in search of historical markers and back roads - August 2015

Brandonville - Terra Alta - St George WV   via Brandonville/Aurora Turnpikes and Stemple Ridge/ Limestone Roads - May 2015

Retracing History - Riding Maryland Rt 40 (National Road) and Pennsylvania Rt 30 (Lincoln Highway)   July 2014

RETIREMENT RIDE I - (June/July 2005) A one-week ride from Illinois back to West Virginia to celebrate my retirement from the US Air Force.

RETIREMENT RIDE II - (June/July 2006) My second ride was extended from Illinois through West Virginia, then south to Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee before returning.

Barney Visits Rella's Cafe & Hanging Rock    Oct 2010  (Rella is a pistol-packin’ firecracker of a Great-Grandma who runs a home-cookin’ diner out of an old trailer on Rt 20 south of Hacker Velley, WV.)

New River Bridge-   July 11, 2010   (See the side of this WV landmark few people bother to see)

Barney's Big Adventure II     June 25, 2010     (Clarksburg-Huttonsville WV / Rockingham / Augusta Counties VA in search of more VA historical markers)

Barney's Big Adventure I      (Bath & Highland Counties, VA - May 2010 in search of VA historical markers)

Spruce Knob - May 2008  (Come visit the highest point in WV)

Cass Scenic Railroad - June 2008  (This old steam railroad still takes passengers up the mountain daily)

 Monterey VA Loop - July 2008  (Nice scenery!)

Laurel Fork, Glady, Bemis WV  - August 2008  (See some real back-roads towns off the beaten path)

Rt 50 Grafton / Mt Storm - 24 August 2008   (Nice riding on Rt 50, and lots of great scenery around Mt Storm)

Seneca Rocks    2008   (Magnificent WV landmark - Fall colors and first snow)

Ride #1     (A suggested camp/ ride/drive loop around Seneca Rocks, Spruce Knob, Germany Valley, Sugar Grove, Franklin, and Smoke Hole)

The Scooter Meets West Virginia – (July 2013 – riding to Seneca Rocks, Spruce Knob, and Smoke Hole on the “new” Suzuki Burgman 650 Maxi-Scooter – Link is to my RidingWV site)

 

LOCAL RIDES: (Illinois/Missouri)  

Illinois-Missouri Rides – 2003 – 2007

 

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