Updated: 5 days ago
Riders: Behram Jamaspi (Motorcyclist Map)
Bikes: 2022 Honda 150 ADV Scooter
Dates: Friday Nov 18th 2022 - Sunday Nov 20th 2022
Temperatures: 25-50 degrees
MABDR - Made this ride possible! Read my summary section at the end
Folks from our internal riding group started talking about MABDR. Since I am still waiting for my BMW Grand America, thought why not trash the scooter a little more. Weather wasnt on my side but then waiting further would have only made it worse. Decided on Tuesday that I am heading there, with no specific plan. Downloaded GPS from the site and was ready to leave Friday after work. No booking or planning. Thats typically how most of my rides are
Day 0 - Pre Planning & Preparation
Didnt have much time except to check tire pressure and basics before heading out for any ride. Packing was standard as well. All my bike tools etc are always ready. Take one spare set of clothes and I am ready to leave for a 2 day or 2 month ride.
Day 1 - Fri Nov 18th
Left towards Damascus VA but got late from work so couldn't leave before 4;15pm. Within an hour it got dark and it was damn cold, near freezing temperatures. Had to cut short (super short) and ended up in Kernersville NC about 3-4 hours from Damascus VA
Day 2 - Sat Nov 19th - MABDR Segment 1
Left by 8am from Kernesville NC on my little sweet scooter :-) .. It was 28 degres when I left in the morning. Needless to say I was shivering my a$$ off even with heated gear and layers. The scooter offers zero protection from wind unlike a tourer. Reached Damascus VA by 12pm. Filled up gas and started the first segment of MABDR! It starts off with some pretty cool and scenic unpaved roads through the forest. There is a section going through a gap which is really pretty and will share that video later. One patch of ice on the road but really small, nothing of too much concern. You can see in the pics the icycles (or whatever they are called) on the side. Rest of the road to Marion VA is standard. If you haven't visited Marion it surely deserves a 30 mins or more. Very cool place but since I have been there couple of times, didn't see the need.
After Marion the road gets better. CR622 is amazing but soon after you get into state roads that are through the forest and unpaved. River flowing by the road, peace, nature, animals and no sight of human beings. It was a beautiful experience. Even to the extent of being a bit eerie since I was alone. Kept thinking "what if I have a flat here that I can't patch" Even with my Garmin Satellite, it would take someone hours to get there and the cold would have killed me by then
All in all, a successful day. Didn't drop the scooter. The unpaved section isn't bad at all. A Harley tourer would have made it with a little extra caution on wet surfaces.
Day 3 - Sun Nov 20th - MABDR Segment 2 - Return Home
Left from the hotel by 730am. It was 26 degrees and rest of the day was supposed to be a max of 37 degrees. It was going to be a COLD ride!
Stopped at Mountain Lake Lodge. Its the lodge where dirty dancing shooting has taken place. Unfortunately due to a poor last minute decision, I did not end up staying here last night. It was too damn cold and I wasnt thinking straight by the time I ended up deciding where I would stay for the night. Now I am not gonna lie, that it was damn fucking cold so while standing at the lodge, i was in two minds if I wanted to continue or just give up and head towards home. As always, the non sensible part of me won and I decided to carry one and brave it! Heres a video I took in the bathroom of the lodge while enjoying the heat inside :-)
MABDR continues right from Mountain Lake Lodge. Now this segment unlike the first, is a lot more challenging. Quite a bit of rocks and stones but thats was just the beginning. This was mid November and worse was expected.
Black Ice: First encounter was with Black Ice. Well it isnt scary if you identify it well in advance and are at a breakable speed before you get onto it. Otherwise it can be a disaster
Dog Doing Its Job : Next fun was a dog charging at me. No biggie but since I captured it on camera, here it is
Scary Sign : Soon after the dog, I hit this sign board. Now its not an unusual sign if you have been around this country. But I am not kidding, Took me about 10 seconds to make sure I wasnt taking the wrong one. Also until about 15 mins into the ride, it kept playing back of my mind that I hope I had taken the right one
Ice Riding : Came across a lot of ice on Segment 2. While its always adventurous to ride on ice, need to be careful as well. Tried to combine a few of the ice riding videos
Misc Riding on SR311 : Just a random video on SR311
Tire Slit (almost) : When riding the final section of SR311, looking at the stones on the road, I was telling myself, this is a recipe for disaster. Stones such as those typically cause a tire slit (not a flat) and a slit cant be fixed by a patch repair kit. As soon as I was on paved 311, stopped to inspect the tires and no surprise .. had a slit but it wasnt big enough to cause any damage. At this stage I had to decide to head back home and give up on the last section of Segment 2. The good thing is that I had been on that section few months back on my Harley when visiting Humpback bridge so i wasnt sulking much about missing it
Summary : MABDR is an adventure riders paradise! Backcountry roads is just the tip of the iceberg. Experienced everything from Riding on ice, dog charging, black ice, confusing signboard, bottle of water turn into ice, deer crossing, sound of gunfire, peace, solace, nature, wildlife, tire slit and much more! While none of these were my first time but experiencing all of them in one day was magical. Difficult to put down in words. Dont take my word, go experience it yourself!
A huge shout out to MABDR folks for all their effort and hard work. If you haven't explored their site, I highly recommend it. They also have an amazing FB group if interested. Please note that I am not associated with MABDR in any formal or informal manner. I just enjoyed the ride and want to appreciate them
Motorcyclist Map Note - While you must have noticed the blog doesnt have a lot of riding videos and its intentional. Riding videos can get really boring and nobody cares about watching them. However I always have continuous recording on my helmet which means that each and every minute of the ride is recorded. If anyones interested, feel free to reach out and will be happy to share hours and hours of video recording.