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Old 04-14-2013, 04:21 PM   #1
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Thumb Andiamo! Oh, Where the Multi May Roam...

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Trip 1: Short Hop to Danville, IN (Post #1)
Trip 2: 1000+ Miles to Cherokee, NC and Back



Well, there's nothing like taking a five year ADV hiatus, but I am THRILLED to be back!

I had a Kawi Super Sherpa that I loved but sold in 2008. Had some great adventures on that little bugger, and it was a fabulous urban commuter. I've been jonesin' pretty bad in the intervening half decade, and finally took the plunge this winter. I knew I was looking for a road generalist..but with soul. I wasn't taking advantage of the Sherpa in dirt and knew that hardpack was about as crazy as I would get. I'm not (too) embarrassed to say that I love bikes like the PC800 and the NT700V, but "soul" is not a word used often with either.

Looking around on the Chicago CL one night, I found the gorgeous gal below with 5800 miles. She been taken in trade at a BMW dealer up there. A little Google Fu taught me she was a Ten Best in 2005 (the year of her manufacture) and a Best Used recommendation. Bags, Termi exhaust, handguards, and center stand sweetened the pot. I was looking for a middleweight, but she pretty much sold herself. It would be awesome not to struggle when some roll-on power was needed. Here she is in their garage just before I took ownership.



A buddy and I went up with a trailer and made a deal. She came back to Indy, had her 6000 mile service, and has been an absolute ball.

Moving from the Sherpa to the Multi has been like trading a hang glider for an SR-71, but I am figuring it out. Care-fully. Today I passed a truck going 35 in a 50 zone. On the Sherpa, this would have taken a LOT of planning. On the Multi, the pass was over before I knew what happened. That led to some serious inside-the-helmet laughter. Are you kidding me!!

I've named her "Monica Gabriela" for the two most beautiful Italians I know. Monica Bellucci (duh!) and a colleague I worked with, Gabriel Leanza, who was one of the kindest, brightest, most thoughtful and gentle people I have ever met. Gabriel died of cancer a few years back. Beautiful on the outside, beautiful on the inside. I've got it covered.

I only moved to Indy last summer and have been pretty eager to explore the area on two wheels. Got up early this morning and headed out to scenic Danville, the Hendricks county seat.


Things were pretty quiet.



But I was digging the Art Deco awning there in the middle ground.


Truth be told it was REALLY quiet!




So quiet in fact that Andy and Barney wouldn't open up shop until 11:00am.



I learned that it is pretty much impossible to get a cup of coffee in the main square of Danville early on a Sunday.


Checked out the leftover Easter decorations in front of the county courthouse.




And got a low-angle shot with "Monica Gabriela" in the foreground.




Having gone out on country two-lane, I headed back on an uglified strip-mall route and then the slab to make time, but it was all good! Got home in a centered frame of mind just as the kids were getting up. 90-degree twins are so much cheaper than psychiatry!

More to follow...

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Old 04-14-2013, 07:56 PM   #2
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That multi strada looks so different now we have been subjected to years of beaks on razor edged adventure bikes...When it came out it was radical for Ducati, now it looks old fashioned radical- feather light, and powerful, and purposeful. I think you will have a great time exploring together. More pictures will be excellent...
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:25 AM   #3
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Thanks, conch! I'm hopeful that MG and I will have many happy (beak-less) miles together!
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:26 AM   #4
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Indy to North Carolina and back

One of the advantages of being a middle school administrator is that I can ride the old tin pony to meet the kids on their overnight fieldtrips. Last week our 5th graders went down to Cherokee NC for the better part of a week. Taking the Multi was a no-brainer.

I was set to go early last Sunday. I planned to break the trip into two days, stopping to stay with Hawk in Crossville TN. Here's Monica Gabriella waiting at the end of the driveway to begin the journey.


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Old 05-18-2013, 05:50 AM   #5
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Day one was a lot of slab. I had planned to leave a day earlier and take two-lanes all the way, but events conspired and compressed the schedule. I was getting used to the bike--any bike--at true highway speeds, as moving to a 1000cc twin is a bit different than a 250cc single. The Sherpa would start to get squirrely at 65mph, the Multi sits at 85mph in 6th not even breaking a sweat.

After a hundred miles on 65S, I stopped at McDs in Memphis, IN just north of Louisville. I can NOT recommend the sweet chili chicken wrap.

At least the view out the window was good! (Thankfully not my oil stain!)



I hopped back on and got through Louisville. 65 choked down to one lane across the Ohio River bridge. You have not lived until you've worked a Ducati clutch in 30 minutes of stop and go traffic. I thought the forearm pump might be enough for my hand to stop working, but I lucked out and got through the congestion before I had to pull over! The more I ride this thing in the city, the more like Popeye I'll become.

After another 100 miles or so, I turned east on the Louie B. Nunn-Cumberland Parkway and stopped for gas in Glascow, KY. There were some cruiser riders fueling up too. Nice guys with awesome accents and LOUD pipes.


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Old 05-18-2013, 06:03 AM   #6
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With the third and final leg of the day done, I stopped about six minutes from Hawk's house for some malted beverages. I thought about striking up a conversation with the shopping cart wrangler about the merits of our respective day-glo vests, but I didn't want to keep my hosts waiting!



John and his wife and son could not have been cooler folks. I met the whole family, including the four-legged members. Here's Kitty Baby, looking only slightly panicked:



And here's Shelley, being her awesomely affectionate self and kissing strangers:



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Old 05-18-2013, 06:16 AM   #7
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After 350 miles and an awesome dinner of grilled chicken, greens, potatoes, and a couple of pints of Highland Porter, I was off to bed on the sunroom couch.

Great day, great people!


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Old 05-18-2013, 09:55 AM   #8
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Leaving John's I had my first navigational error. Over coffee, we had decided on TN-68 the whole way from Crossville TN to Tellico Plains TN, but for some reason I had a brain toot matching up Nav on my phone with what we had plotted in Google Maps and wound up taking the slab...again.

Instead, I went 40E to 75S and got off on 68 in Sweetwater, TN. Dumbass.




My tour of Shell stations continued. Take it from me, the men's room at the Sweetwater Shell is to be avoided.

While these pix are certainly not glamorous, they do give you a sense of how perfect the weather was.




From Tellico, I got on the Cherohala Skyway, and it was everything it's cracked up to be. Gorgeous road, gorgeous views, gorgeous day.




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Old 05-18-2013, 10:10 AM   #9
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I'd spoken to my wife at my Sweetwater stop. She told me the teachers had called from the bus and that our eldest son who was on the trip was having some fairly serious stomach trouble. Poor guy. Now I was on a medical mission.

As I came down off the Cherohala into Robbinsville NC, I spotted just what I needed and picked up some critical supplies!



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Old 05-18-2013, 11:07 AM   #10
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At this point, with more time, I could have made a left out of Robbinsville and run the Dragon. Instead, I had to meet the bus and get the four guys assigned to my cabin moved in and settled.

I headed NE on 143/28/19 and got to the campground about 30 minutes ahead of the buses. I found a picnic table in the sun, put my head down, and dozed.

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Old 05-19-2013, 05:29 PM   #11
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The week in Cherokee was awesome. The first morning was frosty, but after that the nights were milder. The days were perfect.




The kids had a great time fishing, hiking, throwing atlatls, doing a macroinvertebrate search in the stream, crossing the base of Mingo Falls, and generally immersing themselves in the country and the people. We had a speaker named Bo Taylor, who was funny and inspiring at the same time--always a good combination! Here he is in full "grass-dancer" regalia.




As the week drew to a close, we all got back on the road for home. 441 from Cherokee to Gatlinburg is a tremendous road that goes right by Clingman's Dome. After the mountain beauty, I was a little stunned by the kitch factor in Pigeon Forge. Have you ever seen a museum shaped liked the Titanic and an upside down White House?! After about 100 miles, I stopped in Lake City, TN. Despite what it looks like here, they were not giving out cookies to riders at the Lake City Shell.




Back on the highway for a while. Next stop was Berea, KY for lunch, where I met a kindred soul. We chatted for a while, he loves his V-Strom, but was unaware of ADVr. I spread the gospel.
This pic shows my new stickers from John. Thanks, man!





After I got back on the road all heck broke loose, meteorologically speaking. I was in a serious thunderstorm with gusting winds and poor visiblity even with the "finger shield wiper" set on high. I was soaked and waited some of it out in the Crittenden, KY McD's with a hot cup of coffee. The hand dryer in the men's room helped too!

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