Take the Road Less Traveled

Motorcycle Nirvana. That’s what we have in Highland County, Virginia. I wanted to highlight Highland County because that’s where I live but the counties surrounding Highland in Virginia and West Virginia are full of great motorcycling roads. Motorcycling is about a lot of different things to different people. For me, it’s about Flow. Flow is when the rider and the machine merge to become a single kinesthetic experience.

Proprioception is about our body’s sense of where it is in time and space. When we operate a machine our proprioception expands to include the machine and, with practice over time, man and machine can merge.  With regular practice and earnest intention, we become better and better at what we are aiming to become better at. We become more and more skillful.

The roads and landscapes of this part of the world are very conducive to Flow. It is the blend of roads and landscape that creates the environment for a great ride experience. Most obviously, it is beautiful here. More specifically, there is hardly any traffic. Sometimes I may ride for an entire day only noticing a few cars and, for broad stretches of time and distance, there are no cars.

There are mountains here, and there is a kind of riding some call “mountain riding.”  Mountain riding refers to riding roads that are smaller, one- or two-lane country roads that wind rhythmically through, what I will call, “roadscape.”  Each road has its unique rhythm composed of the road surface, rise and falls, twists and turns, time of year, the weather, and all of the endless nuances of the roadscape environment. Dropping into tune with all of this is where Flow comes in – the effortless effort as you glide through time and space. Motorcycle Nirvana.

When mountain riding, there is the opportunity to ride with no desire to go from here to there, or anywhere in particular. It feels more like riding from here to here. What I mean is this: You find a place to stay, such as Monterey Campground, leave your stuff, and head out for the day or a few hours. It doesn’t matter because you are all settled in with no need to find somewhere to stay. That’s already taken care of. You can choose between many routes, and you’ll discover the ways they connect to each other. The idea is to ride out one way and come back another while discovering the variety, beauty, and rhythm of our unique roadscapes. At the end of your ride, you are back where you began earlier in the day and ready to relax for the evening.

So, come spend a day, several days, or longer, exploring the soothingly beautiful roadscapes in Highland County and beyond. Happy Trails.


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