Full Throttle Touring - 150 through the Rocket City

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by klaviator, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    Great ride report! :clap We moto-camped when we were younger. Well, it was the only way we could afford to travel back then.

    About 10 years ago, we had a nice motorcoach that had to go to the factory for service. While it was gone (several weeks), my wife suggested we "try motorcycle camping again." I had a Harley Ultra with a Bushtec trailer; she had a Heritage Softail. We loaded up the trailer with camping gear... I was almost looking forward to the camping. She bought an air-bed just for this trip. When I sat down on the bed, it launched her off! :huh When we were done laughing, we tried it again... no one got launched, but it squeeked and creaked. And when I turned over, she still got air! The only thing that might have been worse would have been sleeping on rocks.

    I admit it, I am too old for that crap. Not crazy about motels, either (had a couple decades of that with my work... and I know, no matter how nice the place is, they haven't cleaned those bedspreads in months (if ever)! :eek1

    Solution: RV... motorhome, 5th wheel, toyhauler... something made for comfort... with a Select Comfort mattress. Haul the bikes to a great place and then ride the heck out of 'em. I'm over coast to coast biking, but we are sure not done traveling.

    Options. Yes, I know there are plenty of folks out there who enjoy moto-camping. We are not... umm... in that camp. :evil

    Thanks again for the ride reports - nice!

    Captain Jim
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Getting an RV and touring the country with it is one of my dreams. A small RV with a Scooter on the back for exploring. Right now I don't have the time to justify an RV and once I retire I'll have to see if I can afford it, especially if gas prices keep rising.

    As for camping, I've done a lot of camping but by hauling my gear and bike(s) in my truck. I can sleep pretty well with a real air mattress, pillow etc. I never considered moto camping until I started reading this forum. I love the idea since it allows much more flexibility on a trip and saves a lot of $$. Now if I could just get it to work for me. So far I have yet to sleep well while moto camping. I haven't given up yet though. I'm sure I could make it work if I got a bigger bike and hauling more gear but I'm trying to avoid that. I may end up getting a slightly bigger scooter like a Kymco 300 and probably another motorcycle with the Versys at the top of my list. Neither of these are huge bikes and I have no desire for a Burgman or Goldwing at this time. Smaller bikes are just to much fun to ride:ricky:happay:ricky
  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    After leaving the overlook I headed towards home. My route was 129 to 72 to 411 south to 68 west to 307 to Athens. At this point I don't remember my exact route but ended up on 75 south. I took 75 to Chattanooga to 24 west. I wanted to do some exploring in the Chattanooga area so I exited 24 and took 72 west which looked like an interesting road following Nickajack lake. I was expecting a fun road with a lot of nice water views but got a poorly maintained road with no real curves and only occasional vies of the water. Just before getting back to the intersection with I-24 it did become scenic and I stopped to get some pics. There was a guy there with a "real" camera, not a cheap point and shoot like mine, also taking pics. We talked for a while about photography. He said to be sure to get a pic of the old railroad bridge since it wouldn't be there much longer. I did:

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    When you mix water and mountains it's hard not to have scenic views.

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    Then I headed over I-24 and on to 156.

    This is why I like this detour:

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    Since it was still early, I did some exploring. The first interesting road I turned down ended up as a dead end. The second went up a mountain. This nice view was spoiled by the barbed wire fence.

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    I stayed on this road into Alabama where it became 73. I took 73 to 71 to Flat Rock where I took a break and some pics.

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    From there it was 71 to 40 to 35 to Scotsboro and the 72 to Huntsville. These roads were nothing spectacular but most of them were new to me and a pleasant alternative to just staying on the boring 4 lane.
  4. Mr&MrsErnbo

    Mr&MrsErnbo ...

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    A couple of suggestions to make moto-camping more comfortable.
    1. A hammock will be great to sleep in and there are several good models available. I used one in the Army and loved it, used from the woods of southern Georgia to the deserts of the Middle East.
    2. Travel light, freeze at night. Not in the summer, but less is more as you know. Foot powder makes socks last longer, bungee cords twisted together make great drying lines.
    3. Sterno heats up water in a small container which is good for cooking and making a hot beverage in the morning to wake you up.
    4. The 'ol puss pad, a closed foam cell sleeping mat if you don't like the idea of a hammock. I used to put my pad into the hammock.
    5. A good partner to join you and provide comic relief and support, such as myself.
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    you're not the first to recommend a hammock. The last, and only time I slept in a hammock was a long time ago when I was out sailing on this:

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    I was a lot younger back then:D

    One problem I see with a Hammock is that there often aren't good places to tie it off. I have never seen a Hammock at any of the places I have camped. I have camped mostly at motorcycle campgrounds like Deals Gap, Blue Ridge Cycle Camp or TWO. I have also camped at some state parks.

    As for a partner to provide comic relief, are you volunteering?
  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Thursday night there was a "flash mob" scheduled in Madison on Bamarides. It promised the best wings in North Alabama. It meant missing some sleep and going to work tired that night but I decided to go. So the spousal unit and I jumped on the Aprilia and went. The place was Crickets:

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    Judging by the parking lot it looked like it attracted all the local riff raff:D

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    I have to say they did have the best wings I have had in Northern Alabama.............................well they were the only wings I have had in northern Alabama.

    Seriously, they were some of the best wings I have ever had. It was a good time and worth missing a little sleep.

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  7. EdM

    EdM Been here awhile

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    The look on the face of the gentleman to the right of the table is interesting - is it envy or trepidation?

    Ned
  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Went for another ride with some guys from Bamarides. It was advertised to be a spirited ride so I decided to take the KLR instead of the Aprilia. Also, I just got new fork seals and front tire on the KLR and It's been a while since I did a long ride on the KLR.

    The plan was to meet near Guntersville and do a ride from there. I set my alarm wrong and woke up a little late but I could still make it if I hurried. Got up and looked outside, it was raining. On top of that I had heard a lot of thunder over night. I checked the Bamarides forum. There was some nasty weather out there so it was decided to push the ride back an hour. It stopped raining at my house and things where looking good. Then just before I left it started raining again. Oh well, it's only water so I took off anyway. It took a little over an hour to get to the meeting place. It rained off and on and my feet and crotch were wet. No one else was there but I was pretty early.

    More riders started showing up a few minutes after I got there. Like my last ride with Bamarides, it was a mixed group. We ended up with an R1, Ninja 1000, Hayabusa, Old Nighthawk 700, HD Electra Glide (2 up), Suzuki M109, and of course me on the KLR.

    Hangin out at the MAPCO on 431:

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    We were waiting a while for another rider so I took the opportunity to dry out my socks and boots some.

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    The other rider never made it but it we weren't bored and it gave the roads a chance top dry. By the time we left the sun was out:D

    Heading across the bridge into Guntersville.


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    We turned left on 227 and then did some back roads to the right and left of 227.

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    A group with such a diverse bunch of bikes should not work, but it did. We all rode our own pace and didn't try to ride in formation like it was a parade.

    It was a scenic ride with lots of water views.

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    We ended up having a late lunch in Scottsboro.

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    After that we split up and went our separate ways. Two guys came up all the way from Birmingham, one or two from Muscle Shoals and the rest of us more local. It was my second ride with Bamarides and it was a great ride. I plan on doing many more. If you live in Alabama, you should check Bamarides out. http://bamarides.com/

    The Harley rider in the group made a video:
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  9. steveb126

    steveb126 Adventurer Anonymous

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    :wave


    Howdy klaviator,good RR as usual.
    I'm digging the new Grom too.
  10. Tachedoutoffroad

    Tachedoutoffroad Mr. Parrish

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    The bamarides groups are always funny like that.

    We had a Xr650L, TTR250, my Husky SM, a Goldwing, an '80s Honda Cruiser, a brand new Aprilla, and a DRZ, Harley 883, and probably 5 other random bikes on a ride before.

    Shane, on the black R1, can ride like the fukin wind. He doesn't wear full leathers on the street because he's cold :huh:deal:lol3 Hes the only guy I've seen drag a need on an intestate on-ramp :eek1:lol3
  11. Mr&MrsErnbo

    Mr&MrsErnbo ...

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    As for a partner to provide comic relief, are you volunteering? __________________

    I thought about this and have to say, time and opportunity allowing when you go for one of your epic rides, then yes.

    But first, in order to qualify for that role, I have to get more dirt experience and am headed to the sand box to do just that.
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Thanks for following along. Earlier in the year when I was to busy to ride much I saw some of your ride reports and was jealous. Now I'm trying to make up for lost time:p3rry



    I think it's cool for a bunch of riders on different bikes to be able to have good rides together. It's really more about the riders, not the bikes they are on. A good rider is a good rider. Period.

    I figured Shane was a serious rider, first from his bike and the cool cornering lights, and also his well scuffed knee sliders.

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    I really liked the Ninja 1000 with hard bags too.



    It seems like most of my rides lately have been mostly on the pavement. I am thinking of outfitting my KLR for touring duties but until that happens, my riding will be mostly street. Of course, even my scooters go off the pavement occasionally.

    Enjoy your time in the sand box.

    As for time and opportunity, who knows? I'll keep it in mind.



    My next adventure will be attending the Scooting through the Ozarks Rally. This will be my first scooter rally. I'll document it here or maybe in a separate ride report.
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    The other day I took out my XT350 for a short ride just to keep the carb from gumming up. I did a little exploring and found this just a few miles from my house.


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    Not exactly the best off pavement riding I have ever done but it's only a few minutes away. It's been so long since I rode in the dirt that I was really rusty.
  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I'm loaded up and headed out to give this moto-camping another try. My destination is Two Wheels of Suches. I plan on camping there tonight and possible Saturday night. My route? I'll just wing it:D

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    I'll post some pics when I get back.
  15. N-m

    N-m Captain 2 Sexy

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    Outstanding! Now ell us about those other bikes.:lol3
  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I'm back from my trip. Someday I'm planning on getting a small laptop or other device that I can use to update from the road. For now, I have to wait until I get home.

    I headed East via I-565 - 35 - 40.

    Stopped at a roadside park a few miles West of Mentone.

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    The 40 became 48 in GA. I took a left on the Lookout Mountain Pky, and right on Dougherty rd.

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    One of the hairpins on Dougherty.

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    Took a right here.

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    Then right on 193 to Lafayette. After eating lunch at Subway I picked up 136 east and followed it to a small park in Talking Rock where I stopped for a break and took a few pics.

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  17. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    From Talking Rock I followed 136 to 52 to Dahlonega. The GA countryside was really beautiful. Due to all the rain everything was still lush green and the wall to wall sunshine didn't hurt either. Also the temperature was perfect, not hot and not cold.

    I stopped at rider's hill, took a break, talked to a few people and drooled on some of the exotic bikes. I wanted to get my tent set up and have time to ride to dinner and back before dark so I didn't stay at Riders Hill too long. I figured I'd come back the next day. I took 60 up to Suches. 60 from Dahlonega to Suches is mostly perfectly banked curves. It's a great road but unfortunately they also allow all those slow moving four wheel thingies on it and there aren't that many places to pass. I pulled over a few times and let the cages go for a minute or two before riding on. I'd catch them in a couple of miles and repeat. Back in my sportbike days I'd just pass them on the double yellow. I guess I'm just getting old and slow.

    There were quite a few tents already set up at TWoS. I found a spot and set up right next to the creek.

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    There were some guys with pretty impressive camping rigs.

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    They look very comfortable but for me pulling a trailer would ruin the ride so I'll stick with my more primitive setup.

    Speaking of my primitive setup. I lowered the pressure in my air mattress and stuffed some clothes as well as my little camping pillow into a pillowcase. I ended up sleeping OK. There's still room for improvement. I did wake up early and took this pic as the sun was getting ready to come up.

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  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Breakfast was served starting at 7 and I was there.

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    They have a pretty good selection on the menu. I had a sausage and egg biscuit with OJ. It was very good

    I decided to do an early ride before the traffic on the roads picked up. On of my favorites has always been the "cooler run". From Suches it's south on 60, left on 19, left on 129 and over Blood Mountain, left on 180 back to Suches. It's 36 miles of curves, curves and curves.

    This is Woody lake right at the beginning of the ride.

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    Interesting rig for sale at the top of Blood Mountain.

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    Signs of fall.

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    It was a great ride since most people don't get out on the rode early. The exceptions were hundreds of kamakazi squirrels who all seemed to want to play chicken with me and also the spandex warriors were out in full force on 180 keeping my speed down some there.

    Back at TWoS. A lot of riders there to get breakfast or just ride and enjoy what promised to be another perfect day for riding.

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  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I hung out for a while and talked to people. One of the things I always liked about this place was all the interesting people. I talked to some who I met here years earlier and others who I met for the first time. There are always interesting bikes in the parking lot too. I liked this sticker:

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    OK, the bike didn't look all that insane.

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    The old TWO had a lot of interesting memorabilia which was part of it's unique character. When it closed, they sold it all off. Many people bought it with the hopes of someday returning it too it's rightful place. Here the sprocket clock being returned:

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    TWoS will never be exactly like the old TWO, but the new owner seems to be committed to making it a great place for riders to come and stay and/or eat. I mentioned to him that there weren't nearly enough picnic tables in the campground and he said he would have more built over the winter. He was also making some improvements to the bath house. They don't currently serve dinner except for special events. I don't know if that will change in the future however, the 180 diner is just 4 miles down 180. I ate there Friday night and it was really good.

    And of course, TWoS is still in the same great location. The roads are more crowded than when I first started coming here in the early 90's, but they are still great.

    So I went for a ride again to check out those great roads. I took 60 north to Morganton. What a great ride:ricky:rayof:ricky

    I didn't get any pics until I stopped at Blue Ridge lake.

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    Then I headed over to Blairsville and then south on 129 where I stopped to check out this tourist trap.

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    if you really miss the old TWO, just use this go back in time. :lol3

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  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    After returning to TWoS I hung had a seat on on of the comfy chairs on the porch and talked to a few people. Then an old friend who I had first met at TWO back in 90 or 91 showed up riding his latest toy. We talked a bit then he said He wanted to go down to Riders Hill. Since I wanted to go there too, I rode down with him and another friend.

    My friend and his latest toy:

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    And his buddy was riding this:

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    The Sport City did just fine riding with these "slightly" more powerful machines:ricky

    So we hung out there for a while. This place is full of exotic bikes that leave me drooling. They have also become a Suzuki Dealer in addition to all the exotic Italian bikes.

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    A lot of people complain about dealers ripping them off with all kinds of extra fees.

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    Just in case anyone is looking for a new (demo) sport city:

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    I don't think that's quite the deal I got 2 1/2 years ago but still not bad.

    This bike was sitting outside waiting to be picked up by it's new owner:

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    We ended up talking to the guy who bought this and helped him load it into his truck. Nice guy, looked like he was under 30 yrs old. Must be nice to be able to afford something like this at that age. He must be single.