Thunderstorms | Travel Blog


Published: September 10th 2023

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As seen in a diner restroomAs seen in a diner restroomAs seen in a diner restroom

Day 7
Out of our nice accommodation in Harpers Ferry we rode into Shepherdstown for gas then we were on mainly mainly seal for 150 miles. However this was a great winding sealed route alongside a babbling brook and some trees starting to lose their leaves. Good colours, some fast sections and then slow switchbacks kept us alert (and awake). Later in the day the route led us onto around 15 miles of a fantastic forest track. This had everything rocks, woopdies, (jumps if you hit at speed you gain air), some rocky stream and puddle crossings. A great way to finish the day.
Our destination was a tiny town called Brandywine and shortly after our arrival there was a huge thunderstorm & torrential rain. The restaurant here was only open for takeaway pizza as they had not staff but due to the weather the owner let us eat inside.
Around 400kms today.

Day 8
Straight onto gravel roads & forestry trails after only a mile or two of seal, we were in a heavy mist with full wet gear on from the off. We were in the George Washington National Forest (no sign of the cherry tree he

Ian in actionIan in actionIan in action

supposedly owned up to felling) but plenty of other trees, great gravel riding, some challenges with plenty of fast dirt roads and lots of fun.
Today we must of have travelled at least 80% on gravel roads through the GW Forest and others. At one point we stopped for a break and Brenton noticed a buzzing noise coming from my gear bag. This was a little disconcerting as your luggage is not supposed to be alive! Unpacking half my gear I found my beard trimmer was on & luckily in a cloth bag otherwise it may have chewed/buzzed it’s way out! Our altitude in parts, was up to 1200m with some magic views. Further on in the forest we met 6 guys from Orlando riding the BDR but coming the other way. They had stopped for a rest and to send their drone up to do some filming. We stopped to chat and compare notes. While we were there they sent their drone back up and filmed us on the track.
We continued on these great roads for another 2 hours before our first exit out of the forest and our 1st coffee/food stop at 12.45am (no breakfast or coffee

Mike CornersMike CornersMike Corners

at the motel this morning)
At this lunch stop Ian & I discovered our new chains that were put on by the dealer at the start, are already on the way out and needing 4 or 5 adjustments a day. They are stretching badly and we have discovered they are non O- Ring chains which they charged us $US120 each for??. Other items as well on my bike, I found that they haven’t serviced properly. I have emailed the dealer to point out these problems and that new chains after only 2000 kms should not be almost finished. Awaiting a reply! Don’t hold your breath.
Continuing on more gravel roads we could see a major thunderstorm approaching which we had been warned about. I had got ahead while the others were togging up in wet gear but I decided that it was shortly going to hit us so stopped to don wets. While I was stopped another rider arrived riding the BDR in the other direction. He was French but now lives in South Carolina and he confirmed we were riding into a storm. Torrential rain & lightening soon hit us and immediately turned the forestry road we were on

Keith cornersKeith cornersKeith corners

into a water course. This lasted for around 70kms and in spite of poor visibility was challenging but enjoyable. In places it was like riding in a shallow fast flowing river, but traction seemed ok.

Further on this route, after the storm, we passed two groups of BDR riders on big bikes coming the other way. We all missed one section each at the end of the day’s ride as we were running out of time. At our destination we had completed 460kms.


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