Day 4: Take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville

I had planned on turning around and going back home today.  However, we were out a little late last night (in bed sometime after 3am, though I swore it was closer to 11:30) and got up early (7am).  I had planned on taking two days down and three days back up, but I was having a blast and the boys were trying to see how far they could get me to go...

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Day 3: Best Ride of my Life - Virginia is for Lovers

Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles in front Seneca Rocks West Virginia
Happy Easter! What an incredible day.  We drove less than 300 miles today, but it was some of the best riding I've ever done.  I don't think we saw more than 50 cars the whole day, the sun was shining, and the roads were incredible (albeit a bit gravelly).
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles trip on Easter 4/20/14
Here is the route today, thanks to DynastySS's Spotwalla.

Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles in front Seneca Rocks West Virginia 2
Our first real stop in Monongahela National Forest was in Seneca Rocks, outside an "Indian Trading Post" called Yokums, a stunning spot that looks more like the Southwest than the Southeast. 

Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles in front Seneca Rocks West Virginia panorama

Our next stop was in a tiny town called Monterey, where we chatted with a few locals and refueled.  An older guy riding a beat up old VFR750, with a box of fried chicken bungeed to the pillion.  
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles and Richard's Honda VFR750
His name was Richard, and he was a bit gruff at first, but gradually warmed up to us.  This old-timer offered to show us a few back roads, and I quickly lost the pack.  Turns out he was an AMA certified pro for several years in his younger days, and could ride better than any of us. The roads were amazing, and my buddy even let Richard take his Tuono for a spin. 
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles in George Washington National Forest
Outside George Washington National Forest.  Richard took us a little out of the way, so we were starving when we rolled up to gas station / restaurant called "Cucci's" in Hot Springs, VA around 4pm.
 Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles at Cucci's Restaurant on Easter 4/20
I've never eaten at such a suggestively-named restaurant, and when we inquired delicately about the name, our poor waitress got quite flustered and turned beet red. I think she got a kick out of us though, and left a friendly note on the back of our bill.
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles at Cucci's Restaurant on Easter 4/20
This is what the roads looked like all day:
 And the scenery...
 More turns, turns and more turns....
 There was simply no traffic.  We had the roads all to ourselves.  We got a little bit nervy towards about 6pm, when none of us had cell phone reception and we got lost with no cell phone reception.
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles on Gravel outside Covington
The sun was receding behind the hills, and the roads had turned to gravel after Covington ,Va (not a very friendly looking destination), so we finally came across a car, asked for directions the nearest hotel and pushed on till we got to Blacksburg, home of Virginia Tech.
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles on Easter doing Hooptie Ride

Ready to go out, we the receptionist at our hotel couldn't find a cab service that was open on Easter, till I suggested a "Dial a Hooptie" I found on Google.

© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

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Day 2: Harrisburg to Davis, West Virginia 899adventures.com

Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R in Davis West Virgina outside the Bright Morning Inn 899adventures.com
Parked outside the Bright Morning Inn in Davis, West Virginia

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Day 1: Gearing up for a Taste of a Cross Country Superbike Trek: 899adventures.com

Tigho waiting at a gas station outside of Harrisburg Pa for the boys from 899adventures.com | NYDucati

Six months ago, a friend of mine DynastySS told me he was moving back to the West Coast after 7 years in NYC.  His company Streeteasy was acquired by Zillow, and he was going to take the long way round to get back home.  He asked if I was interested in riding 300 miles / day non stop to San Francisco, to which I replied, "...on my Monster?"  He said something along the lines of, "That bike is a cruiser compared to mine...I'm going to get my Triumph 675R track bike legal and take it across the country." Crazy...

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Faulty ST3 goes to Fast by Ferracci

For the past three weekends running, I've made the commute down to PA to work on my 2004 Ducati ST3, trying to fix or even find a presumably electrical problem with the bike. I finally got in touch with the previous owner of the bike (his dad sold it to me), and discovered the issue of the EOBD (check engine) light, error sensor messages and a jittery throttle, all which apparently stem from an unresolved issue he neglected to fix (or even inform me about).

 ST3 goes to Fast by Ferracci

And sure enough, when I flicked the highbeam, the light flashed and the whole instrument panel started flickering dangerously.  Although I have several family members and friends who excel at Ducati maintenance, I've officially given up on troubleshooting electronics and decided to take the bike to a dealer, and was advised to go down to Fast by Ferraci in Willow Grove.  I borrowed my dad's truck and my brother in-law's enclosed trailer, and hauled the bike down to the Philadelphia suburb (above).

ST3 goes to Fast by Ferracci

This bike has been nothing but a headache, but I can't help still hoping that it's just one issue that will be simply corrected. There is a cracked connector coming out of the headlight assembly wiring harness, that I couldn't figure out how to release and check.  
ST3 goes to Fast by Ferracci

Here's hoping the bike isn't a total lemon, and I'm not going to get completely gouged. I had a rather large trip planned, but unfortunately if I don't get the bike back next week, I'm probably screwed. 


© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

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