Looking back at the RoadRUNNER Touring Weekend 2008

Aug 01, 2008 View Comments by

What could be better than an entire weekend of great roads, great weather, and great company? We can’t think of anything!

This past July, RoadRUNNER Magazine welcomed a large group of subscribers, readers, and other motorcycle-touring enthusiasts to Natural Bridge, Virginia for our first full touring weekend. Since 2006, the staff of RoadRUNNER Magazine has been hosting the Christian Neuhauser Memorial Ride in honor of RoadRUNNER’s fallen founder. Those events were great successes and the riding exceptional, but with the number of interested riders growing, it became necessary to seek out a bigger venue with easier access to the fun routes. So in the spirit of Christian’s interminable wanderlust, we moved the event to Natural Bridge, Virginia in 2008. The Natural Bridge Hotel was an easy choice. They’ve hosted a Shamrock Tour in the past and they have a prime location in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley: on the doorstep of some of the finest riding in the United States. And since we pulled up stakes and moved away from home, it made sense to go ahead and make it a long weekend. Those whose schedules allowed were encouraged to arrive on Thursday night for a welcome dinner and a meet and greet with the RoadRUNNER staff.

Friday morning, the festivities began in earnest as four groups led by Christa Neuhauser, Florian Neuhauser, Chris Myers, Jim Parks and Harry Vanderlinden departed on two separate routes carefully designed to highlight the area’s finest roads. We couldn’t have asked for more perfect riding weather. The blue skies were relentlessly sunny, but a gentle cooling breeze kept the temperature in check as we weaved in and out of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Two different lunch venues, Dories Lounge in Marlinton, West Virginia and The Hermitage Restaurant in Bartow, West Virginia served up delicious meals to hungry tour goers. Both routes were in the neighborhood of 240 miles and delivered an incomparable mix of twisty mountain byways and awesome Appalachian vistas. Those that preferred not to ride with the group had their choice of several self-guided day trips that highlighted a few of the region’s many interesting features.

Riding wasn’t the only activity on the weekend docket. After dinner on Friday, Davis Bales from BrazilMoto took the stage to share his knowledge about touring in South America. Then on Saturday evening, Harry Vanderlinden from the Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School in Atlanta was on hand to explain how closed course track instruction benefits the street rider. And because safety is of paramount importance at RoadRUNNER, we teamed up with the Stayin’ Safe program and had four of their unique, on-road mini-sessions available as yet another option.

In all, it was a very special weekend for the RoadRUNNER staff. We all travel frequently but don’t often get the chance to meet our readers in person. For us, it’s always a great experience to spend a couple of days meeting and talking to some of the readers that make our magazine possible. And we can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it was to have you all join us for a ride.

Please mark July 9-12th, 2009 on your calendars as RoadRUNNER Magazine’s Memorial Ride Weekend returns! This time, we’re taking the show to Wisp Resort in the beautiful mountains of Western Maryland.

Also, don’t forget to download GPS files and tankbag maps for both of the tours from RoadRUNNER Magazine’s 2008 Touring Weekend. These features are available exclusively at www.roadrunner.travel and are included in the yellow information box to the right of this article for convenient access!

Tags: Categories: Events and Rallies