Monday, May 23, 2016

MP3 Spring Gathering

We had the MP3 Spring Gathering over the weekend.  I believe that there were 4 MP3's there, surprisingly outnumbering the Honda NCX bikes.

I rode my Honda NC700X, leaving Jacksonville at 5:00.  I was to meet Adrian in Huntersville, NC at a sub shop at 11:00, but ran into constant rain in Columbia, SC up into Charlotte.  But weather be damned, I rode into the parking lot at exactly 11:00.  Wet and cold but I made it.

I stripped off the wet outer wear and had a nice lunch with Adrian before riding the remaining 230 miles to Douthat State Park in Virginia.

The weather was variable on that ride with some sun, but lots of fog and mist entering Virginia, so I didn't turn off onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and we stayed on the highways.

Adrian on the Highway

We arrived at around 4:00 and I went to check in, then to Cabin 15 that I was sharing with Ken and Gary.  They had arrived in Gary's truck with their scooters in the trailer.  Wimps.  Gary offered a couple of ice cold beers out of his Yeti Cooler.  Perfect.

Ken's Big Red

Honda and Gary's new Vespa GTS.  I borrowed Adrian's Air Hawk for a few miles and had it on when arriving.

The dam that makes the lake that makes the park.....

We then found that we were all supposed to be at an Jack Mason's Tavern in Clifton Forge.  We drove because Ken thought he may want a drink or two.  It was a well attended dinner with most of the participants included.

Dinner at the Tavern

After dinner we drove a little further to the Dairy Queen for ice cream.  What a treat!

Ken at DQ

Friday morning we awoke and headed to Penny's Diner a little further down the highway in Low Moor, then for the meet up at the BP station for an incredible ride.

Bikes at Penny's

Some of the riders inside

Rick and Amy had prepared a route of just over 200 miles of fine, twisty roads.  Rick led and asked me to ride sweep, or the last rider.

We rode mostly narrow roads through the forest for starters.

Then some sunny curves in the mountains

Probably my signature photo of the group

We rode through much of the area, stopping for lunch at the Peaks of Otter Lodge.  They had those cool black on white oval stickers you see everywhere.  These said POO.  I bought two.

Bikes in the parking lot at POO

The afternoon ride continued the great roads and we got back to the park after 5:00.

A ride in the woods

Dinner was in the park restaurant where we had the strangest service and food ever seen.  But the views and friendships were there so it was all fine.

We had the entire porch, almost.  At least we had a nice view.

Gary and Ken

The gang of scooter riders.

After the ride I realized that the new seat on my Honda was not well suited to me.  I got the sore butt that I had heard so much about but never experienced on the scooters.  I spotted a big, thick towel in the cabin and thought I could fold it and use it as a substitute to the favored Air Hawk seats.  I called it the "Towel Hawk" and it worked great on Saturday.  Two hours of comfortable riding.  We rode over to 39 for a fine ride to lunch in Marlinton, WV.  We ate on a porch overlooking the Greenbrier River.  After lunch, I decided to ride solo back to the park and enjoyed the freedom to ride my speed and stop wherever.

Misty, but still fun

More beautiful roads

Afternoon riding

Honda with the "Towel Hawk"

After dinner, George had decided to prepare a steak dinner for everyone.  The place was Noreen and Kevin's cabin, where preparations were made by George, Adrian and Adrian's daughter Isabella. Steaks were cooked outside on makeshift grills.  Everything was great, the best meal of the event.

George working on the sauce

Adrian cutting fruit

Isabella helping

Preparing the fire.

Ken and Mark helping Philip load his scooter

With the success of the towel I decided to buy one at the local CVS.  I got a beach towel and used it for the long return home.  Unfortunately, it was not as plush as the cabin towel and began to cause discomfort after less than 100 miles.  It was a miserable ride home due to the seat, but I made it home before 6:00.  Much fun was had by all.


  1. It was good to see you again, Bill. I'm glad that you enjoyed the rides.

    1. Rick, Thank you for all of the planning. That was a lot of responsibility that you handled like a champ. I enjoy seeing you and Amy a lot. Can't wait until the Fall Gathering.