*** Disclaimer ***
This section isn't your typical ADV RR and may be better suited to another audience, but please stick with me.
I'll keep the racing and Bike Week pics to a minimum.
I've read the thoughts of many guys on this forum with regards to NASCAR. Oh well... at least we all agree on motorcycles.
- Timing belts
- Radiator, flush and fill
- Plugs, fuel and air filters, and battery.
- Cleaning all the electrical contacts and some soldering
- Remove, clean, grease, and reassemble the Final Drive and Drive Shaft.
- Replace the front fork oil and swap the springs for Heavy Duty Progressive Springs.
- New Tires
- New Wheel Bearings
- New cigarette lighter style accessory outlet in the fairing.
- Remove the antanna and disable the pos tape player.
- New Magellan RoadMate 2200 GPS with RAM Mount
Not only could I not afford to pay someone to turn the wrenches, no local shop will touch a bike that's older than 7 years.
The morning after classes ended, I hopped on the Wing and left Winston-Salem
for the Carolina Coast
. While staying with friends on the beach, I used the daytime to click off a couple hundred miles of beautiful coastline roads.
I left Wilmington
area and headed toward Richmond
for the NASCAR race. Along the way, I stopped at a BMW dealer to check out a GSA for the first time. Hell, if I can ride the Wing, I can ride the GSA.
Iím a short guy. 5í7 and a buck-sixty. My Jeans are 32x30. Not only can I not flat-foot the GoldWing, I can barely get both tips of my boots on the ground. So I never
put both feet down at once. Technique is my friend. At low speeds, if I try to put a foot down to correct a mistake, the bike will go down.
Period. All Iíve got is the throttle to help me keep the bike shiny side up.
Anyhow, made it to Richmond
and found a great place to camp, pulled the beer and bungee cords off my bike and trekked to the track for some great racing.
Next, I headed to Western North Carolina
to meet a buddy and spend a week riding the mountains. Think ďThe DragonĒ for a week. We only spent a day on The Tail of the Dragon at Dealís Gap, but we rode similar roads all week long. Just over 1,000 miles that week, but very technical miles. It was awesome to get my confidence up and know that I could lay that beast over until the metal screamed and it would still track through the corners and straighten back up with me in one piece.
No need to comment on my line. I'd hung U-turns and was posing for Killboy taking pictures from the side of the road. On the Dragon, I hugged the white and watched out for double yellow-crossing sport bikes and dump trucks. I just increased my lean angle and drifted toward the center for the photographic effect.
My buddy on his new Scrambler.
My buddy hooked us up with a cool place to stay. No tent for a couple of days.
Tom, pretending to give a damn about where we're going next.
I'm a HUGE Evel fan, have been since I was 4. Me in front of one of his bikes at The Wheels Through Time Museum.
All bikers of all types will love this place. Check it out in Maggie Valley, NC. All gearheads will like it for that matter.
Then, I rode two-up with a friend of mine while camping at night near Asheville, NC
. She had never ridden and we spent a few days on the Blue Ridge Parkway
From the top of Mt. Mitchell
Given that I was about to say "goodbye" to my home for a longtime, and given that we'd agreed to say "goodbye" to each other, it was so nice to spend a few days riding the Blue Ridge Mountains and camping by the French Broad River with a great girl. Gotta make some sacrafices to hit the road for half a year. New chicks dig it, the "present" chicks... well... not-so-much.
Having swapped the Wing for the V-Star, I took off for a week of Racing and Harleys. I went to the NASCAR race in Darlington
and then went to Bike Week in Myrtle, just to see what it was like.
My "neighbor" at Darlington taking a nap. He's a helluva guy and I had fun partying with him for a couple of days.
Loaded up and ready to leave Darlington... with a few beers to spare. "No officer, I haven't been drinking...yet."
A shovel-head under the kickstand kept the bike from taking a trip without me. A "shovel head" under a Yamaha, it's the little bits of irony that crack me up.
Bike week was nuts. I got there on Sunday and left on Wednesday, so the real crazy stuff happened when I wasn't around. It's just not my scene. I like riding, not sitting in traffic surrounded by people who often don't take riding as seriously as I do. It was a cool experience though, and I met some kickass people.
During the days, I clicked off about 300 miles each day riding the South Carolina low-country.
Even found some sand to ride. Heck yeah it's an adventure!!! (on bald street tires.)
At the end... a cool old historic plantation.
If money grew on trees, I'd have a jockey-shift Boss Hoss for sure. Since money is hard to come by, this is the closest I'll ever get to riding one.
Two V-Twins in one motorcycle. I wish I had that much free time. Oh yeah, I do... that's why I riding around the continent. Different strokes for different folks.
Riding with my neighbors from the campground.
Then, I headed north. Before this trip, Maine
were the only two in the lower 48 that I hadnít visited. For two weeks, I took two-lane roads from NC to ME and into Quebec
, and to St. John
Iíll break down that part of the trip with pictures and stories and then, Iíll move on to the westward journey that takes me to the Dakotas
where the trip took on a new twist.