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Old 05-31-2012, 06:57 PM   #1
eSONG OP
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Appalachian Twisties 2012

10 days, 3000 miles on my 2006 KTM 950SM.

This year, our crew (Mike, Tony and me) will head south in search of the best roads possible along the Appalachian....from Philly, PA to Asheville, NC and back.

It's only 3 of us this year (normally it's about 5-6 of us) so we're changing things up a bit. Instead of making reservations at certain spots where we'd spend 2-3 days at a time riding locally, this year, we've made one giant route with no preplanned stops for the night. We'll just find a cheap motel when we feel like stopping. In the morning, we'll get an early start since we won't have tents to take down/repack, have breakfast and ride most of the morning, hopefully find something interesting to stop and check out during the middle of the day, and then ride most of the mid/late afternoon through early evening until we feel like stopping and/or find something good to eat. Hopefully we'll be able to find some good BBQ.

I'm in Western Massachusetts so I'll be high tailing it tomorrow night after work to meet up Mike and Tony in Philly. This is the route we have planned.

PA though a bit of DE, then MD, and glorious WV...a bit into VA (although I'm not really fond of most of VA), and then back into WV....



We will continue through western WV....some of the best twisties I've seen along the east coast. We continue along the yellow route south..



We will cut through VA....amazing roads all thoughout this area. We've been through this area before. If you're in the area, look for War, VA....nothing but tight twisty roads.

We'll continue south towards Ashville, NC through TN and back into NC... Then we'll follow the pink route back north, hit up the Blue Ridge for awhile and then back through VA where we'll just have to pass back through War.



Can you tell we are fond on WV yet? We'll continue north following the green route through WV.



Just in case we run late, I made the route towards the end near the interstate, although our goal is to avoid the interstate whenever possible. Tony has been known to nod off on the bike while droning down the interstate so for his safety, we'll have to comply. Anyway, we'll ride east along PA's country side toward Pottstown, PA.



From here, Mike and Tony will continue east towards Philly, PA and I'll continue heading north (pink route) back towards western Massachusetts through eastern PA, Catskills NY, and then finally MA.



This'll be my setup for the 10 day trip. Since we're not planning to camp at all, my luggage is much lighter. Tony say he wants to find the dingiest cheap ass motels, which is fine by me, but I just hope we don't pick up any bedbugs! If we do, I might have to burn all my stuff before I go home.




10 days / 3000 miles of twisty asphalt, good food, and the company of great friends...a perfect combination for an epic moto trip.


Stay tuned for pics..
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:37 PM   #2
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:41 PM   #3
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I see you broke up the 2 long routes too. See you tomorrow night, ride safe.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:27 PM   #4
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Day 1

Trip officially starts for us.. It was supposed to be 3 of us, already down from our usual crew of 5-7 regulars for our annual week long MC trip...but I was disappointed to see our 3rd having to drop out d/t work, life, the usual bullshit that gets in the way, sometimes. This year it would be just Tony and me. I'm posting some pics Tony took...you can see his ride report and pics here, great moto site. Check it out. http://2wheelslittletime.com/?cat=5

First, I'd like to say I installed ADVMONSTER's LED lights...and boy am I happy I did. Check it out.



OEM lights


With LED on low setting...i'm guessing about 30%


OEM and LED on high beam / full power....wow is all i can say. the high beam bypass relay is absolutely worth it. i had someone merge too close to me on the highway one night. i flicked the highbeam and s/he immediately got back into the original lane.. that sold me right there.


Saturday morning, bright and early, we head off. Not many pics this day as we are making our way through to the promised land...West Virginia.

Yea, I can't wait to hit the road too.




first break






lunch time.. chicken was awesome.








West Virginia...finally.


Dinner


Dirt cheap but tasted great. I think it was about $12


Tony noticed my rear sprocket was a bit worn and my chain loose.. This would soon become my nightly ritual.


...but I wouldn't be the only one. Tony discovered an oil leak, which luckily turned out to be minor.




End of Day 1...and some much needed rest. An awesome start to our trip. Stay tuned for more.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:35 PM   #5
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Good start Song. How did you take the pics while riding?
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougZ73 View Post
Good start Song. How did you take the pics while riding?
left hand.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:54 PM   #7
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Day 2

weather was amazing. low/mid 70s!!! wish everyday could start like this.















Saw this at one of our stops.. and no, it was not a pet store. Seems the only smart one is the one in the back.






these are the roads we seek on these trips. a sign of good times to come.


Was surprisingly good, although I was famished.




back on the road! we covered about 300 miles a day. the skies literally looked like this all day long. temps steadily climbed to about the low 80s by mid/late afternoon. the awesome views, the cool breeze going through my jacket, smooth twisty pavement, and little to no traffic to speak of.. we were a bit worried before the trip about the usual hot steamy weather this time of year. it's hard to believe how lucky we got on the first week of june. i think we hit Virginia tomorrow...


Can't wait for Rt 16 South, just before Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia.


Took a break here to check out this mystery hole.. no cameras inside so no pics. it's worth checking out. i learned there are only 4 kinds of poisonous snakes in the US. we got in with the last tour of the day.


i wonder how long this was here...


back on the road!!




has nice rooms and great views




powdered organic wheat grass. 2x per day. good stuff.




hawk's nest lodge restaurant. it was about average.


like i said, amazing views from our balcony.


End to another great day on the road..
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:04 PM   #8
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Day 3

Just minutes from the lodge and we're back onto some sweet roads






I've been here once before. Across this bridge, if you turn left, it goes through some seriously gnarly trails where it looks like only jacked up 4x4s have been. It's also where our group got split up. Anyway, this year, we turn right. ^_^


On our way to one of our scheduled stops...a ghost town.






looks like an outhouse


...but upon closer inspection.. wtf??












later, we came across this random little building with all these signs






next stop...coalwood. not much to see here.




on our way towards war, wv.. there are some awesome roads down by here. skip va, and head towards southwest parts of wv for great roads, very little to no traffic, virtually no leo.




dinner! finally some bbq.. unfortunately it was not very good, especially by the local standards around here. it was called smokey mountain bbq & grill in bristol virginia (i think). it was a long day and we were starving so it was better than some fast food joint.


time to adjust my chain again and pass out for the night.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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Day 4

Day 4...Bristol, VA to Ashville, NC. A good day of 350 miles.



We hit up IHOP for some food. I don't often have pancakes but when you're at IHOP, it almost seems like a sin not to.



Yet again, another beautiful day...as you can see in the photos.











and we soon come across a road we have never traveled, although we've ridden around this area many times. Route 421. It is awesome.





simply gorgeous...i love it.







notice, they have no ethanol in their gas! perfect. i wish more stations would at least offer this. i'm sure many riders would pay for it.





wanna race?





couple random Indians at the country store.





our next stop.. i just could not get over how awesome the weather was this week. first week of june in TN/NC and we were having low/mid 70 temps, slightly breezy, and thousands of friendly clouds. doesn't get better than this.





we found a little note left for the 2 of us.



209 south is AWESOME...very tight, very twisty, and very smooth. no traffic. i didn't get a chance to take my camera out on this section.





these tires have amazing traction, and were wearing very evenly...









Disappointment. It was Tuesday.



that sucks.



Oh, well. No biggie...because we were heading to the Blue Ridge Parkway next...one of my favorites.













here we take a break and regroup. Tony thought I was riding a tad bit too fast; I thought I was riding reasonably (fast in the corners and within 5mph of the speed limit in the straights). We settle on him taking off a few minutes before me so I can catch up later. Works for me.





There should be more of these signs on the roads we often travel.



since we didn't go through Deal's Gap this year, Tony took an action shot of me. Too bad by the time I came back around, there were cars driving ahead of me. Notice my awesome LED lights. They were flawless.



OMFG....dinner time, finally. We are absolutely starved. We settle on this little joint.



my mouth is watering just thinking about this meal. they were the absolute best hush puppies i've ever had, and I've had quite a few during the years living in Atlanta, GA.



it was so good, I decided to have another. yea I know, a bit excessive, but it all made sense in my mind at the time.



and now, time to finally head back to the little motel, adjust my chain (again), and pass out for the night. what a great day of riding today.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:47 PM   #10
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Good stuff Song. Rt 421...is called the snake, isn't it?

Looks like you guys had a great time and great weather.

Funny how part four comes out after a weekend at Catskils?
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:55 PM   #11
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Great Pics

Great pics keep them coming. really enjoyed
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:21 PM   #12
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Really enjoying this one, not least ebcause I love that countryside. Taking the BRP at the speed limit is a bit tedious surely, especially on those lovely machines?
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:01 PM   #13
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Thanks! Next day coming right up..
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:34 PM   #14
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Day 5...

This is as far south as we go this year. From Ashville, NC we start heading back north and eventually end at Pineville, WV. Another glorious 350 mile day coming up..



But first, we grab some breakfast.



Really, I don't eat pancakes this often...but hey, I'm on vacation!



And we head back to one of my favorite roads...the Blue Ridge Parkway.



So many thick clouds, it started to remind me more of the Smokies than BRP..



As you can see in the breakfast pic, the pavement is dry. It was cloudy today, and at the elevations of the BRP, we're basically riding in those clouds, and hence the 100% humidity turned the roads wet.

Yea, it got thick in some parts. And yes, that's a car in front of us. Kinda hard to pass when you can't see past the car right in front of us!



Still, it was a great view at one of the overlooks we took a break.



Damn...it's like a wall.



The other side of the overlook...we could literally see the clouds moving through.





We decide to give it another go and hope it clears up soon....but we find otherwise. We didn't come up here to do LESS than the speed limit...this was getting ridiculous.



And now, it was starting to rain. First rain of the trip, so we put on a rain jacket and cover our gear.

It's nice to be parked on *THIS* side of the LEO. Seems every year I end up finding myself having a [not so nice] chat with an LEO, but I'm happy to report this year the streak has been broken! It's about time. Here we met a nice couple heading back south (Alabama I think) from their trip up north. Nice Honda, although the newer one looks butt ugly IMO.



Soon, we decide to head off the BRP (sadly) in search of dry pavement. And sure enough, once we got off the Blue Ridge, it was dry.



random bumper sticker I saw at a gas station.







lots of nice smooth pavement.





cloudy but dry. good enough for me.



Truly, this is what MC trips does for me. My religion.





Hell yea, we love Rt 16 by Hungry Mother State Park so much that our route back home goes through it again.



Gorgeous. I could hang out here all day, going back and forth on this section of Rt 16...but we must continue north.







We finally make it back to War, WV looking for a hotel for the night. We hope to find a room at the War Hotel... little did we know, it turned out to be the worst piece of crap run down hell hole half way house wanna be building. Seriously, it was bad. I wish my camera battery didn't run out by this point bc I would've loved to take some shots of this place. Obviously, we decide to head up the road to find another place.



last picture of the day. the next hotel was something like 70 miles, as the crow flies, according to the GPS. we ended up riding another 130 something miles after we were already quite tired when we got to War, WV. Oh well, good thing my ipod hadn't run out of juice. We settle on a 2nd floor motel above a commercial building with a subway downstairs, which we had for dinner. It was about 10pm at this point. We inhaled our food basically, and then I proceeded to lube and adjust my chain again. By this point, I was getting pretty good/quick about it.



Through it all, another great day.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:20 PM   #15
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XLNT RR, Song ....
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