Hear ye, hear ye! Come one, come all to the Tenth Annual Right Coast Ride at the beautiful New River Gorge in mountainous West Virginia, land of a thousand twisty roads! One weekend only, July 6-7-8, 2001!
The Right Coast Ride (RCR) is an annual gathering of the Denizens of Doom, Usenet's very own motorcycle gang. It is aimed at bringing together biker geeks from the "right" coast of North America – from the eastern seaboard to the Mississippi River. The RCR has been happening every year since 1992 as a floating event, moving around to various sites within the area bounded by the Mason-Dixon line on the north and the North Carolina/South Carolina border on the south. This year's RCR will be returning to West Virginia for the second time in its history, having previously been held at the Cass Scenic Railroad in 1993.
Attendance has varied widely from RCR to RCR, with barely two dozen when we had one out in western Kentucky to just over 100 for one of the Maryland retreats. The 2001 RCR got confirmed a bit late this year so the final attendee count is looking to be about 50 people.
We will be staying at the ACE Adventure Center near Oak Hill, West Virginia. As described in the activities section below, ACE is an excellent hub for enjoying the great outdoors of West Virginia. Directions to the site are provided below.
There are three lodging options.
Cozy Cabins are the most luxurious choice. They are air-conditioned and feature a living room with futon, full bath, kitchen, bedroom with double bed, and a sleeping loft. They can sleep up to six people between the three sleeping areas of the bedroom's queen-sized bed, the full-sized futon and the loft's camp mattresses. Outside of each cabin is a charcoal grill and picnic table, and a whirlpool hot tub on the deck. All cabins are non-smoking. Cozy Cabins cost $190 for the weekend plus 9% in taxes for a total of $207. Seven Cozy Cabins have been reserved with ACE, and all are current claimed by RCR attendees, but all are not full. See the Registrations Section for what space is available.
Cabin Tents give you the camping experience but mean you can leave your tent and bedding at home. ACE says these "safari-style" tents are their most popular camping option. Each tent is mounted on a wooden platform and has a permanent tarpaulin roof above the tent's own roof. They have one double and one single bed each, and sheets, blankets and pillows are provided, though towels are not included. No smoking is allowed inside. Cabin tents cost $66 for the weekend plus 6% in taxes, for a grand total of $70. 12 Cabin Tents were originally reserved with ACE, but only nine were filled as of a few days before the event. ACE were very generous and let me cancel the three unclaimed cabin tents.
Camping with your own tent costs $20 per person for the weekend.
All lodging, even self-tenting, is "no pets". I can't remember a pet ever coming to an RCR before, but thought you should be warned just in case. It isn't my rule, it's ACE's.
Indoor lodging is on a first-registered-and-paid, first-served basis, with a slight bias to first-registered unless you're taking too long (subjectively) to follow through with payment.
Food and Drink
Three meals are being provided, breakfast on Saturday, supper on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday. You're on your own for supper on Friday and lunch on Saturday. For folks who arrive before dinner on Friday, there is a Mexican restaurant pretty very near the camp, or you can head down to Beckley for a larger selection of restaurants.
The breakfasts include scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits & gravy, french toast, fresh fruit, cereal, danishes, milk, coffee, juices, hot chocolate and tea. Breakfast is served at the dining hall from 7am to 10am.
The Saturday supper will be barbecue chicken, roasted corn on the cob, barbecue baked beans, baked apples, salad and dessert. Vegetarian Lasagna (not vegan) is available for me and my fellow herbivores; let me know if this is your entree choice. If you don't specify, the assumption is you want the chicken. The group dinner will commence at 6:30pm with a small awards ceremony and group photographs after dessert.
All the meals and non-alcoholic beverages for the weekend will cost $25. For $1.50 per bottle extra, beer drinkers will get their choice of the usual assortment of brews as at past RCRs. These are mostly beerophile beers with a few cans of Bud and Coors thrown in for those who prefer the mass market flavor.
Your cost will depend on where you sleep, who shares the accommodations with you, and whether you will be having beer each evening.
NOTE: The person who places a deposit for a cabin is responsible for the cost of the cabin. If you place a deposit for a cabin, it's up to you to sort out payment arrangements from the other occupants.
On the cheap end of the scale, someone bringing their own tent and not having any beers will pay $25 for the food and drink and $20 for camping, $45 total.
Most people will probably be paying around $66. That's one person's portion of two people sharing a cabin tent, plus meals and four beers.
The upper end of the scale is for three people sharing a Cozy Cabin and imbibing more than the average bear. That would be roughly $109 for one third of the cabin, meals, and five beers per night.
Besides the many fine motorcycle roads in the area, West Virginia has a lot of wonderful outdoors activities. ACE's 1400 acre resort is bordered on three sides by the 70,000 acre New River Gorge National Park, and Sandi Brown at ACE, +1.888.223.7238 ext 126, can help set up any of the activities described below.
The New River, and the nearby Gauley River, have world-class whitewater runs. With a variety of conditions suitable for any level of skill from rank beginner to Olympic expert, anyone should be able to have a fun time kayaking or rafting these rivers. Running the rivers is ACE's main gig, and by all accounts they are a very reliable outfitter.
There's also a stable at ACE for people who want to get on the original one horsepower engine. The guided rides use ACE's private network of trails to visit canyon overlooks, meadows and wooded paths. There's even a special sunset ride out to the overlooks.
Mountain bikes are available for rent for either independent cycling or a guided tour, and can be on either easy, rolling hills or challenging single track trails.
The New River Gorge National Park is home to some excellent rock-climbing. Options are available for novice, intermediate and expert climbers on the cliffs of the gorge.
Spelunking is available as an all-day activity. ACE will provide all gear and shuttle you to and from Greenbrier County's cave country to go cave diving.
ACE also has guided fishing trips on the the New and Greenbrier Rivers, which they say are "justly famous for smallmouth bass fishing".
Sandi can also set you up to ride the New River Jetboats or play a round at the Brier Patch Golf Links, even though those aren't ACE activities.
Of course, if you want to just go off hiking, there are many trails to choose from without riding anywhere, and beautiful Babcock State Park is not far away. The ACE Adventure Center also has a five acre pond for swimming, playing water volleyball, jumping on the jumbo water trampoline, or floating around in kayaks, canoes and pedalboats. On land there's lawn chess, tetherball and table tennis.
Each night we'll have a nice campfire going so everyone can just relax and swap lies.
Fellow Attendees Activities
I'll gladly put notices here about the various activities people plan on doing, so you can get a group together if you want.
How to Register
Oak Hill is on US Route 19, about 15 miles north of Beckley. First, map your own favorite motorcycle route to Oak Hill (and it'll be hard to pick an unfun route – here's a route I like from the far northeast of West Virginia).
From US 19 (either northbound or southbound), take the Main Street exit eastbound, which is also WV Route 16 North. Directly across from the Speedway gas station, turn left on Minden Road (County Route 17), which will loop around and cross under Main Street. Follow the signs to ACE, it is just under three miles from the turn onto Minden Rd.
The location is marked on this MapQuest map.If you've got a DeLorme West Virginia Atlas & Gazetteer, the site is on page 53, square G9, with the campsite icon numbered 4000 next to Concho. If you don't have the gazetteer, you can start browsing the lay of the land at TopoZone; the crosshairs mark the spot.
GPS geeks might want to eschew maps and just head for 37°58'04" N 81°05'28" W (that's UTM 17 N 492008m E / 4202024m N), but be careful you don't end up on the other side of the New River Gorge; it's a long way to go around.
For those of you who are inclined to zip back home the fastest way possible, here are some on-the-road times and distances using expressways between Oak Hill and other cities:
ACE says they're "within a day's drive of two thirds of the US population."
Names that have links are for people whose cabin/tent are not yet full, so you can contact them if you'd like to share the space. [All of the links were removed when the event was over.]
When all the bills are paid, if there is any cash remaining it will be donated to the AMA Motorcycle Heritage Foundation Museum in the name of the Denizens of Doom in memory of Arnie Skurow.