Fall Creek Falls State Park - Pikeville, TN

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Liberia, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    The weather finally seems to be warming up and it's time to get started visiting some of Tennessee's 54 State Parks.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    This trip is to Fall Creek Falls State Park in Pikeville, TN. It is my favorited Tennessee park and I've visited many times over the past 20 years. Here's the planned route.<o:p></o:p>
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    In combination with this visit to Fall Creek Falls State Park, I'm also trying out Alaska Brother's new toy, a 2000 Sporterster XL883 that has been converted into a trike using the American Classic Motors kit. Like much about life, this story starts on ebay.<o:p></o:p>
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    Meet Vern (and that's Liberia Son in the background). Vern lives in Wisconsin and is one of those lucky guys who has a wife that rides motorcycles too. This Sportster was her bike and she road it for several years before deciding, while visiting Sturgis, that she might like a trike. So Vern selected the kit and began a year long process of converting her bike to a trike. Back problems soon stopped her riding so onto ebay it went. That's where Alaska Brother found it.<o:p></o:p>
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    Since Alaska Brother lives in (you guessed it) Alaska, he looked at having the bike shipped to Tennessee where I would take it to Florida to meet him in a few weeks. The shipping price jumped to $1,000+ so Liberia Son and I decided we would make the 10.5 hour drive up and pick it up ourselves. It followed us all the way home. (Which included a dinner at the Moonlight Barbeque in Owensboro, KY - Go there and eat, you will thank me.)<o:p></o:p>
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    Alaska Brother is never satisfied to leave well enough alone. So he suggested I see if the quick detach tour pak he bought 2 years ago might fit on the trike. I propped it up and took a few pictures. It could work but is a little big for such a small trike. (By the end of the trip I wished I had figured out how to mount it.)<o:p></o:p>
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    Anyway, it's about 11:00am and nearing 60 degrees on a beautiful sunny Saturday so it's time to head out.<o:p></o:p>
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    I have posted several ride reports that cover the first part of this ride (through Woodbury and McMinnville) so my picture taking started in Spencer, TN which is a small, mountainside town fairly close to the Fall Creek Falls. This building had been renovated since I was last through and I really liked the color they chose to paint it.

    <a href="http://s721.photobucket.com/user/rodneycedwards/media/2013-04-13%20Fall%20Creek%20Falls/05SpencerHaston_zps9aa1e557.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i721.photobucket.com/albums/ww218/rodneycedwards/2013-04-13%20Fall%20Creek%20Falls/05SpencerHaston_zps9aa1e557.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 05SpencerHaston_zps9aa1e557.jpg"/></a>

    In the opposite direction is the courthouse.

    <a href="http://s721.photobucket.com/user/rodneycedwards/media/2013-04-13%20Fall%20Creek%20Falls/06SpencerCourthouse_zps42c5854a.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i721.photobucket.com/albums/ww218/rodneycedwards/2013-04-13%20Fall%20Creek%20Falls/06SpencerCourthouse_zps42c5854a.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 06SpencerCourthouse_zps42c5854a.jpg"/></a>
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  2. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Coming into the northern edge of the State park, the first thing you come to is the Liberty Hill Schoolhouse. There’s a picnic area plus the log cabin schoolhouse to visit.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    The next area you come to is the Nature Center parking area which is also where you see the Cane Creek Cascades and Falls. There are large picnic pavilions, rest rooms, playground equipment for the children and, of course, the Nature Center.<o:p></o:p>
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    And the first bike I stumble upon is a beautiful TW200. I bought one of these for my wife but have it stripped to the frame for repainting. That’s been at least 6 months now. Got to get back to that soon.<o:p></o:p>
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    Here’s a few of the things that are at this part of the park.<o:p></o:p>
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    And here’s a map of the park showing some of the major features. Fall Creek Falls State Park is a place where you could spend an entire week and never need to leave the park. There is a tremendous amount of things to do, especially if you like hiking, bicycling, golfing and fishing.<o:p></o:p>
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  3. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    The view below Cane Creek Falls was the prettiest I’ve ever seen. We have had several rains recently and an especially hard rain a couple of nights ago. So the falls are spectacular. That is one reason I wanted to make the trip over today before the water slowed back down to a lesser amount.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    I’ve never seen so much water rushing over the falls. It was thundering with spray wafting out from the falls creating a rainbow.<o:p></o:p>
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    Off to the side is a separate, smaller falls that only runs when the rains have been heavy. I think this is the first time I’ve seen it flowing.<o:p></o:p>
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    A nice quote by Leopold reminding us that we have a responsibility to preserve such beauty for our children and theirs after them. Although I’m not a big environmentalist, Aldo Leopold was (January 11, 1887 – April 21, 1948) an American author, scientist, ecologist, forester, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac (1949), which has sold more than two million copies.<o:p></o:p>
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    Leopold was influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation. His ethics of nature and wildlife preservation had a profound impact on the environmental movement, with his ecocentric or holistic ethics regarding land. He emphasized biodiversity and ecology and was a founder of the science of wildlife management. (Or so Wikipedia says.)<o:p></o:p>
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    The cascades were full yet not muddy. That’s the nice thing about coming a couple of days after heavy rains.<o:p></o:p>
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    The area of the cascades is quite large as evidenced by the guy standing on the rock. So many State and Federal parks don’t want you to actually touch anything. Here you can walk down onto the area above the falls. During the warmer weather there are families with their children playing in the water and even swimming. Below the two falls there are pools that offer enough water to swim in.<o:p></o:p>
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    It always amazes me that there can be a calm eddy immediately adjacent to a boisterous stream of water.<o:p></o:p>
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    Here’s a shot looking down stream to the falls.<o:p></o:p>
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  4. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    The swinging bridge is the best way across to the trails that lead to Fall Creek Falls and the various hiking trails. There are distances for the short of breath (like me) and for the avid hiker.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    A look across the swinging bridge. It’s pretty stable but move enough that you want to put your hand on the side from time to time.<o:p></o:p>
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    Here’s a downstream look from the middle of the bridge. I took one looking up but apparently didn’t get it loaded into Photobucket.<o:p></o:p>
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  5. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Murfreesboro, TN
    Now for a look inside the Nature Center. It’s not very large but they did a nice job with the displays.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    The design of a tall but low volume waterfall is designed to evoke the feeling of being the base of Fall Creek Falls. A bobcat and a quote from Emerson.<o:p></o:p>
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    There seems to be an increasing effort to bring flora into the State park nature centers that I’ve visited. I liked the brightness of this display.<o:p></o:p>
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  6. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Some flora on the outside as well.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    And a nice looking trike in front of some blooming Forsythia.<o:p></o:p>
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    I’m not sure how many tent, RV and cabin camping spots there are but, according to the numbered signs, there must be at least 300. These are nice ones with electricity and water. There are several nice bathhouses in this one area alone.<o:p></o:p>
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    Now here’s a guy that knows what to bring on a camping trip.<o:p></o:p>
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    Leaving the camping area I stop by the side of the lake to watch a family fish for a couple of minutes. The children were having a great time (and I think the parents were as well).<o:p></o:p>
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  7. eap

    eap El Adventurero Solitario

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
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    Location:
    Maryland, Least Coast USA
    :thumb Thanks for the post - I'll be doing a SS 1000 from Md to Indiana at the end of April and FallCreekFalls in on my route!
    #7
  8. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Taking a break for a few minutes but there's more to come. Including the required food pictures (FCFSP has a great lunch buffet) plus a write-up on the Sporty trike at the end.
    #8
  9. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
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    Murfreesboro, TN
    Definitely would not want to do it on the Sporty trike:D although it rides and handles well. I hope it allows you to complete it and then stop by the park. It's a great place to spend some time.
    #9
  10. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Murfreesboro, TN
    Around from the lake is a road that will take you by the top of Fall Creek Falls with the water pool far below. It’s nice because you can drive very close to the overlook. I’ve hiked to the bottom of this falls many times. It is much higher but I think Cane Creek Falls is better.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    Also just alongside the roadway is Caplenor Point. The view is spectacular.<o:p></o:p>
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    A brief ride down the road provides another spectacular overlook.<o:p></o:p>
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  11. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Chainsaw Monkey Juggler

    Joined:
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    Memphis in the Meantime
    :lurk
    #11
  12. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    It’s after 2pm and I haven’t had breakfast or lunch. So it’s a good thing the conference center and Inn have a restaurant. As I was parking (very easy to do with this trike), a family of 4 walked over and the husband asked if he could take a look at my bike. He had just sold his bike to buy some stuff for his kids. I’d say he knows what’s important in life. We talked for a while and then walked into the conference center together.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    This is quite a place given that it’s a State park. I think it’s the largest of all the Tennessee parks as far as a facility like this goes.<o:p></o:p>
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    The restaurant closed at 3pm and they were putting the closed sign on the door when I walked up. I asked if they were closed and she said that I was welcome to go on in. I sure was glad to hear that.<o:p></o:p>
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    They have a buffet at lunchtime and in the evenings. The lunch buffet had fried fish, chicken fingers and barbeque pork. Along with that came the salad bar, vegetables and dessert (peach cobbler, ice cream and a chocolate cake that was super rich.<o:p></o:p>
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    Although the food was good, the view out the window was worth the price of the buffet (which was only $8.25!).<o:p></o:p>
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    Here’s a view of my plate. There was bbq pork, a chicken finger, a fish fillet, corn, hushpuppies, chicken salad and sliced peaches. I didn’t take a picture of my dessert plate (my wife occasionally looks in here).<o:p></o:p>
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    After leaving the restaurant, I took a quick side trip to look at the lake cabins. My wife and I stayed up here several years ago on my birthday but the cabins weren’t anywhere near this nice at that time.<o:p></o:p>
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  13. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
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    I will add several pictures taken by the GoPro camera that I had attached to the front of the bike at the bottom of this report along with my thoughts about doing 200 miles on a Sporty trike in a single afternoon.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    This is the last picture from my regular camera. My back was getting really sore on the way back and I stopped a few times to stretch. The last time was at this church’s parking lot. I appreciated the time to walk around and let my back pain ease off a little.<o:p></o:p>
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  14. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Murfreesboro, TN
    Liberia Son mounted (Jerry rigged as Daddy would have said - He was in the Navy) my GoPro camera to the front of the forks just above the headlight. I set it to take a photo every 10 seconds automatically, turned it on and away we went. I'm guessing it took about 1,000 pictures of which I chose 16. Since there is no screen to show you what the pictures look like (or even if it is taking pictures) I keep looking at the little LED screen on the front to see if it's on and taking pictures.
    Is this thing working?
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    What it's like riding down the park lanes.
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    Riding up to the lake.
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    I love how you can always count on a fellow biker to give you a friendly wave.
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    Is this thing working?
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    Heading into the convention center.
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    A family of curious trike examiners.
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    I just can't tell if this thing is working.
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    The back way out.
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    Quite the view.
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    Pulling into the first gas station after exiting the park. $4.19 per gallon for high test when regular is $3.43! Turns out it's 93 octane with no ethanol. Great gas but a little on the high side. I stopped here the last time on the way out. Very nice folks and, needing only 2.89 gallons to fill the tank, an affordable stop.
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    Going in to pay. It doesn't put a spring in your step. Something interesting though. When I pulled up a father and his daughter(?) pulled up and she got out and said, "Is that a Frankenstein?" It threw me for a moment until I realized she was asking about the trike conversion kit maker. I told her that it was an American Classic Motors kit. She said her family back in Pennsylvania did trike conversions but they used the Frankenstein kits.
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    Took 284 over to 111 then to 399 then 108 and 50 to Pelham, TN. From there US 41 and I-24 back home. Some nice roads with little to no traffic.
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    Petty fancy color for an untouched GoPro photo taken by chance at 6 pictures per minute.
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    The final picture before the battery went dead. Somewhere around 1,000 pictures taken automatically at one every 6 second.
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  15. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    This started out as a 2000 Harley-Davidson XL883 Sportster and then had an American Classic Motors trike conversion added. The bike was ridden as a 2 wheel bike until about a year or two ago. With a little over 8,000 miles on the bike the trike conversion was started. Vern worked on it off and on for about a year to get it completed. Until I rode it today, it had only about 250 miles on the conversion. The carburetor was rebuilt about a month ago. When we picked it up it started immediately and ran smooth. With the super short pipes, I was afraid it would be obnoxious but it actually has a nice Harley sound. Being carbureted, it has the slow "lope" that Harley's are known for. There is no reverse but it&#8217;s not needed due to the low seat height and light weight of the bike.

    Here's the items that were added to it (from the purchase advertisement):
    Billet chrome, stretched (8 inches) and raked (6 degrees) front end and triple trees.
    Custom mag front 26" wheel. Less than 500 miles on front tire.
    American Classic Motors trike conversion kit (limited slip differential)
    Custom chrome 15" mag rear wheels with new, low profile tires.
    Chrome rear brake calipers.
    Fat Bob tank with custom paint and graphics to match
    Forward controls
    Chrome drag bars with riser
    Custom air cleaner
    Custom chrome mirrors
    Custom grips
    Solo seat
    Chrome luggage rack
    New battery

    The bike has a noticable slope from front to back. Several factors cause this. The 26" front wheel, the 15" low profile wheels on the back, a shorter set of shocks were added and they are set at the lowest level to make it easier for his wife to touch the ground and manuever the trike. This didn't cause a problem at first but, due to the slope, no backrest and forward controls, I was unconsiously holding myself forward all the time. By the time I was part of the way home, my back was killing me. I talked with Alaska Brother about this and we're putting a sissy bar on it so that we can put a Lazy Rider round bag on it to serve as a driver's backrest. You really need something to push against and that should do it. We have a set of longer shocks as well and they can be changed out in a half hour or less. So we're going to put those on to see if that levels the bike out too.

    The power of the bike was a concern when it was purchased since it's a Sportster and an 883 cc engine at that. I'm 6'2" and 200lbs. However, I ran it at 60 to 70mph for a fair amount of the ride with no problems. I didn't have to downshift in the hilly/curvy areas either. The bike, even with the kit, is light. You can roll it around easily. Speaking of speeds, with the low profile tires on the back, the bike is registering at least 10-15% faster than it is actually going. I didn't have a gps to check the true speed but I was continually being passed and never passed anyone during my trip (although I did pass a tractor once). On the interstate I had it at 80mph displayed and was not being left behind to badly but also never caught up to anyone.

    Handling was surprisingly good. I was worried due to some low speed wobble in the forks when crossing rough pavement or gravel. At speed the problem goes away and the trike was very stable. Highway 30 that goes from McMinnville to Fall Creek Falls is quite steep and very twisty in places. I had no problem taking the curves at speed and never felt unstable. One reason for that is the stiffness of the shocks in the back and the straight axle (more stable than independent rear axles but not a cushy a ride). Hitting bumps at speed did not bother me during the first half of the trip although it was certainly stiffer than a Road King or similar bike. On the way home, when my back was hurting already, the jolts were magnified and I dreaded them more.

    Given the error in the speedometer/odometer, I used Google maps to determine my distance travelled. Looks like it was about 182 miles. That would give me 38 mpg for the trip. Not bad given that over half the trip was at 60 - 70 mph.

    It is a very fun, adequately powered and plenty stable trike. After we make the changes needed to provide a backrest and level out the profile, I'd be willing to ride it on much longer trips.
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  16. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Chainsaw Monkey Juggler

    Joined:
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    Great RR! I gotta visit that one. :thumb

    Caption: "Is that thing as loud and painful as it looks?" Yes ma'am!
    #16
  17. aldntn

    aldntn Vgo

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    274
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    On the way to or from, run this fun road: McMinnville to Pikeville.
    #17
  18. Bama Gringo

    Bama Gringo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
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    Matt, new to nashville, tn
    great report! i gotta check that place out.
    #18
  19. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    8track, your caption is 3/4 right. It's not obnoxiously loud but it is pretty loud. The last 75 miles of the trip were incredibly painful. Working on the solution now. Alaska Brother has a backrest coming and we're looking for a bag to put in front to act as a backrest. It's in the back of my warehouse and whenever I walk past it, my back gets a painful twinge.

    It was a load of fun however. Never thought it would have the power that it does.
    #19
  20. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Aldntn, I did take Hwy 30 on the way up. It's a great road and I had a lot of fun with the trike. Much more stable and manuverable than I thought it would be. Also a little stiffer than I thought (thus more stable).

    We should do a ride up there together one day.
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