Ride Report – EOM 2022

FJR1300 Eastern Owners Meet (EOM) 2022 – Flatwoods, West Virginia.

This year has had some peaks and valleys for us.  As I’ve shared in other posts, lots of family milestones with our youngest  – Harleigh; high school graduation, 4H horse shows and fair as well as earning the honor of representing the county at the state 4H horse show.  We had a scare with Hurricane Dolly the wonder pony being lame just before fair but recovering and then the crushing blow of losing JWilly in May.  Being in Marietta for the Ramble was a double edged sword – being with a portion of that extended family was a blessing, but sharing that news was difficult.  Leveraging the forum as a conduit to keep the latest information available for the group was a much needed distraction, forcing focus towards not what was lost, but how to embrace being better humans to each other and to those we encounter in our day to day.  Witnessing and being a part of the gathering and celebration of life in Woodstock did not fill the void, but rather soothed and subdued the hurt we were all feeling.

I have looked forward to the EOM event each September for many reasons. 

All this activity through the and summer has been for family – the time off used while is technically “vacation” by my employer’s definition, it is not the type of time away from work responsibilities that fuels and recharges the soul, mind or body.  The time to accomplish those things for me is EOM.  It is my time, per say, to recharge and remind myself why all the other things are needed, so that this time for me is possible.   I look forward to it, crave it even.  Time on 2 wheels working down a technical section of twisty road is a form of therapy that few comprehend.  For those who do, the experience is our utophia.

In the weeks leading up to EOM, the checklist slowly shrank as tasks were completed.  New tires were levered on & balanced, brake pads checked and rotated, fluids changed and topped off, shake down ride confirming all systems were green lighted.  Mrs. Clocklaw was working her magic with solicitating companies for door prize donations even though her and the Mister would not be able to attend.  That’s dedication to the group and event!  As the fruits of her labors materialized in the form of boxes and envelopes, I realized that riding to EOM would not be reasonable.  There are various upsides to driving & trailering to EOM for us and the group.  Two primary and key elements that I’ll point out include:

Trailering benefit 1 – weather.  In previous years, we have endured some truly horrible riding conditions at points of our journey to the EOM venue.  One particular memorable one was traversing US421 while the remnants of a hurricane dumped buckets of rain on us.  By putting the bike on the trailer,  it all but guaranteed pristine weather for the duration of the event.  My sacrifice to the weather gods was recognized, rewarded and enjoyed by all who joined us in Flatwoods. You’re welcome.

Trailering benefit #2 – I mentioned that new tires were spooned on and a shake down ride was completed prior to our departure.  The feeling of fresh tires when we rolled up the hill from the hotel and made the left on WV15 the first day and the resulting release of endorphins is simply the closest a two wheel enthusiast will get to heaven on this earth.  Vader 2 quickly forgave me for the trailer confinement and rewarded me with the willingness of a familiar and willing dance partner through the first few curves.   But I’m getting ahead of myself.  We’ve got to get there first…

Thankfully, the FJR prep was completed well before the weekend and days before we departed for Flatwoods.  In typical fashion, my work schedule was packed on the Monday and Tuesday.  My work day ended around 8:30p Tuesday evening, at which time was tossed everything that had been staged in the garage – riding gear and EOM related materials – at the car and trailer.  We left right at 6:30am Wednesday for Flatwoods – beating the Detroit rush hour crawl as we made our way south.  There’s no more enjoyable task than navigating that traffic when it turns ‘stop-n-go’ and you’re in a manual transmission equipped tow vehicle.  The GTI handles the bike and trailer well – you only know its back there by looking in the mirror or checking the MPG.  We arrived in Flatwoods in the early afternoon and I promptly unloaded the bike – no witnesses. 

Thursday – Spklbuk Special.

Turns out, there were a couple of other early arrivals at the hotel Wednesday evening.  We spend some time catching up with the “Huron52’s” and had to pleasure of meeting GDSfjr and “Buy-me-a-drink”.  VFRFJR and DanCooper joined in as well.  On Thursday morning, after sharing our plan to ride the Spklbuk Special loop, VFRFJR and DanCooper made the decision to join us.  Not sure why, because I’ve rode less this year and explained it would be a painful process of me finding my ‘sea legs’ so to speak – meaning the pace would be boring, if not aweful.  They joined anyways, but were forewarned.  Set expectations low, and when you delivery even marginal results, you’re the hero – good plan, right?


The Spklbuk Special loop was a tremendously entertaining mix of sweeping curves, opens sections leading into some narrow lane-and-a-half pavement along the river and back to flowing twisties.  We dropped out of the loop and into Marlington for lunch at the Greenbrier Grill & Lodge.  There was baked mac & cheese followed by desert.  I stopped paying attention to what desert was because the Williams River Road was calling…  Williams River Road was another section of lane-and-a-half pavement with some choppy repaired bits but offered up some spectacular scenery and break in the pace.  The first 90 minutes of the ride, while the scenery was spectacular and the deer aplenty, all was not well with Vader 2; in my hast to get on the road, I omitted confirming the position of the rear preload screw.  Turns out, it was turned out.  All the way.  The result was a wallowing marshmellow-ish ride until our first stop 90 minutes in.  Running the preload adjuster knob in on the Ohlins had an immediate and positive impact on everyone – Vader 2, me, Annette.  All was right in the world at that point forward.   The cherry topping to this wonderful sundae of a ride was getting another run on WV20 and WV15 leading back to the hotel.  It was rejuvenating, nearly an out of body experience.  We parted ways just before the hotel so Annette could check her “sci-fi” box for the trip by stopping at the Flatwoods Monster museum.  We grabbed dinner near by and then rolled back to the hotel. 

Many hands make light work – we got the t-shirts sorted and orders filled – realizing that the vendor shorted us some shirts.  It’s time to move that to a more local operation so I can QC the order before delivery – note to self for 2023.  We spent the evening catching up with some of the “get of my lawn” crew and meeting some of the event first timers as well.

Friday – South to the Bridge for Pies and Pints where “Pies” did not mean apple pie…

Notable quotes include: “my butt hurts” and the response of, “maybe less butt stuff on motorcycle trips would help with that”.  And “I’ve to a 10 incher coming…”

Friday’s ride plan was to run the New River Gorge loop with a lunch stop at Pies and Pints in Fayetteville after doing the touristy under the bridge road at the, you guessed it – New River Gorge.  Our group included D-Eagle(& MrsD-Eagle), MrBill,  De Oppresso Liber, & CJF-FJR.  Along the way we stopped at Cathedral Falls near Gauley Bridge, WV (link).  .  Beauty shots were taken.  Don’s selfie technique appeared to be under sharp scrutiny, so I tried to bail him out with an assist.  We also were able to take in a healthy dose of “#Merica” when a pair of F-15 Eagles passed overhead just above the river valley walls.  We pressed onward down WV60 through Hawk’s Nest State Park – that is a nice stretch of pavement.  We bypassed the visitors center and followed the squiggly road down into the New River Gorge and back up the other side.  It all came crashing down when someone realized that the pies in “Pies & Pints” was not referring to apply or cherry pie, but pizza pies. 

Before our stop at the New River Gorge, we crossed a milestone on the bike.  There are many more out there with more miles on them; but Vader 2 has carried us without fail or hesitation.  It’s continued to be faithfully reliable, even when I ask unreasonable things of it.

The group split after lunch with some wanted a few more miles of twisty stuff; we opted for the short option to get back and have a few minutes to relax before joining the parking lot and patio social hour.

[b]Saturday – Spklbuk Special (again).[/b]

The fog burned off to reveal yet another glorious day of near perfect riding conditions.  The goal today was to ride – no beauty stops, pictures, etc.  Just ride.  WheatonFJR decided to join.  I already had my ear plugs in, but I think he said something like, “stay the f out of my way” and “mumble, mumble, mumble, something else”.  Maybe I miss heard him, idk.  We left the parking lot and went up the hill with proper tire pressure, suspension preload and the right music for the mood.  The road was clean & dry and it all felt just right.  There was a quick stop to adjust some luggage and we were off again.  This route was just as fun the second time around.  I did chopped off the section east of WV219 and I was quickly reminded that WV219 has some very sweet sections in that area. 

We enjoyed Williams River Road just as much as Thursday, but the ground hog we encountered almost didn’t have a good day.  We landed in Webster Springs at The Custard Stand restaurant for a late lunch.  They are known for their “America’s Tastiest hog dog chili” according to the signs.  The milkshakes are fantastic – this one’s for 0Face!  We finished the day with a smooth run back along WV15 into Flatwoods.

[img] https://attacktheroad.com/piwigo/_data/i/upload/2022/09/20/20220920221909-702522e7-me.jpg[/img]

EOM Banquet – 100+ of my best friends and extended family.

Saturday evening’s highlight was the EOM banquet.  Many wore their best Hawaiian shirts in memory of BeemerdonS (Don Stanley).  Andy – Bikergeek – joined me to share a little background on the Hawaiian shirts as well as a toast to those who are waiting around the next corner for us all to catch up.   Things took a left turn when someone decided to make mention of ‘someones’ milestone birthday that is approaching.  The cards provided some interesting reading later that evening.  Could there be any better way to hear ‘happy birthday’ than that of one being lead by Bikergeek???

And there was brief moment where I lost my place in my notes at the podium, but I managed to find my place and continue on.  

There was a generous donation via the 50/50 raffle to help Violione – this group of folks continues to humble and amaze.  There were door prizes from Cardo, Kermit Chairs, HMVP, Admore Lighting, and FJRiders.com – the set of tires going to first time attendee Anand of Georgia.  There were many new faces this year, which was great to see. 

One last presentation and thank you that evening – to the one who, with out hesitation, suited up and followed me into the unknown as the light was fading.  Because Red Bull is mostly water.  Stay hydrated my friend…


We packed up the next morning and headed north – weather was still good for those riding home Sunday, but Monday’s forecast hastened the pace for many.  We had a fairly relaxed drive home and I spent Monday unpacking the car and bike.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Flatwoods this year.

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