|06-04-2013, 06:05 AM||#1|
Captain 2 Sexy
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Too Far from My Welder and BMW in South TN.
TN State Parks - Booker T. Washington in Chattanooga Area
I was finally able to finish uploading pictures to Photobucket. A dial up type speed that is spotty in nature, the Blade Show in Atlanta and my schedule don't always fit in the same basket.
This would be the first leg of my longest trip since buying the GS in December, my first ever motorcycle. I have been working up to this by commuting 48 miles one way and riding around the house for a couple of hours at a time. This doesn't sound like much but it's great practice on varying types of 2 and 4 lane with speeds from crawl to 65. I can ride for 2 hours on somewhat twisty stuff, never get on the same road twice and never get outside of an approximate 10 mile radius of the house. To keep the stress low I wanted to take my time and literally turn a short cage trip of 4.5 hours into an all day affair. If you like staying on schedule and not exploring a road you have never been on you need never attempt to ride with me. I purchased a motorraeden for the economic travel but also to get away from that stuff. True to my word I left the house a full 2 hours behind schedule but ready for the trip. The first stop is about 5 minutes down the road. I have been saying since December I wanted this picture and finally took the time to get it. This leads off the back side of the ridge.
The next stop was a little hole in the wall gas station in Pelham, TN. This was a great time to refuel the bike and myself. I know to stay hydrated on what will soon be a hot enough day. After this I jump on the interstate for the first time and ease over Monteagle Mountain. I ran the speed limit the entire time since there were more State Troopers in this area than on the highways. The next stop would be the state park.
I had to travel through Chattanooga to get to the park and that is always a nice drive along the TN River. The interstate through that town is in bad shape so you have to be careful with the large for moto tires potholes and grooves left in the concrete patches here and there. I actually passed up a crotch rocket who never knew I was behind him. Naturally I was running the speed limit and in the lane next to him. :) I was going through one turn around the speed limit with about 5 degrees of lean when I felt the rear tire break traction for a second and shift over a fraction of an inch. Thankfully I held my position and rode it out. The bike went right back to doing what it does so well with those Shinko 80/20 tires. I don't have anything but worn out and/or cupped Tourances to compare these tires to but they deliver far greater traction than the Tourances ever did. The grooved pavement was hair raising for me at first but I learned to treat it as newly wetted pavement and just slow down both speed and maneuvers. That got me through the ride okay. Below is an older pic of the bike with the new tires.
A few minutes later I was at the park. For the TN state parks there is a standard of cleanliness that includes manicured lawns, empty trash cans, relatively clean bathrooms and friendly staff. Unfortunately small amounts of trash are always here and there despite the park crews' best efforts. The usual signage was in place but I noted the park was encouraging visitors to not only put trash in its place but also pick up a few pieces to throw away when you leave. I have always felt this was an excellent idea and have always hauled out more than I take in. Every little bit helps and it only takes a second to pick up a couple of cans and pieces of paper to dump in that trash can you parked near.
I rode into the lower area of the park where the TN River fills a small cove. The ducks and geese were having a great day along with those fishing from the bank. I also got to watch a sailor doing some gymkhana in his sail boat inside the cove. He was doing some "wild" maneuvers with only the wind as power. It was interesting for me to watch since I love boats as much as motorcycles. Apparently the water was somewhat shallow and the boat was stirring up the fish since the ducks stuck with the boat for his entire visit inside the cove. Its always fascinating to me but the boat simply reversed sail and left the cove with the wind heading in the same direction as when he entered.
I sat on the bank in this area for several minutes and took it easy. There is a direct correlation between how hard it is to get out of the shade and get back on the road when your age increases and you have no schedule! The next time I visit I am going to have to schedule less of a schedule since they have a great deal of trails for walking and mountain biking. A mountain bike rack would be nice on the back of the GS. About 30 extra pounds for the bike. That's not much. After reading the signage in the park I learned they were selling patches so I mounted up and rode the remainder of the park and then stopped at the front office. The park is not large and the ride through took only a few minutes. I picked up an awesome patch for the collection I unofficially started while in Boy Scouts. Thankfully I have never let those get away. While picking up the patch the office manager and Ranger asked if I had a "state park passport." When I replied that I had a Department of State passport they dug out a TN State Park Passport, flipped to the Booker T. Washington section and stamped it for me showing that I was in the park. Now I have an excuse to ride every single park in the state!
I left out of the park and headed south to Atlanta to stay with my older brother. I had at least one more stop in GA that resulted in a full blown nap in the Iron Butt Motel on a grassy knoll under some pine trees and did not arrive in Atlanta until after 5 PM Eastern. Next stop and RR is Blue Moon Cycles in Norcross, GA.
If you are located in the Chattanooga area or just riding through I highly recommend you plan on a picnic or rest stop inside the park. It is something to see.
|06-04-2013, 08:13 AM||#2|
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Great first report
Thanks for the report. I've updated the main thread with your info and a link.
We're not that far apart. Maybe we'll have a chance to ride together one day.
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