Full Throttle Touring - 150 through the Rocket City

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

  1. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    My nest stop was the waterfront. Decatur sits on the Tennessee river. At this point, there is a dam downstream forming Wheeler Lake. I found the waterfront to be quite scenic, especially on a beautiful sunny day like today. I parked the scooter at a lakefront park and walked around a little, taking some pics.

    A railway bridge downstream.

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    There is a large condo or apartment building right on the water. I'm sure it's not cheap.

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    I went down the walkway and climbed on the rocks at the waters edge.

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    The railway bridge is still in use.

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    Then I head along the lake for another viewpoint.

    I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a light house pic......even if it's just a fake lighthouse used for decoration at the entrance of more expensive waterfront condos.

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    Not sure what this was:scratch

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    So I went in side to find out.

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    I'm still not sure, but it looks like someone has been working in here.

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    Anyone have a clue what this building was used for???

    The river is still used to transport freight.

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    Then it was time to head back across the bridge towards Huntsville.

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    And time for some more "full throttle touring":evil

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    #81
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Then it was time to cross the "farmlands of Kansas" again. Although I usually expect to find curves in the mountains or hilly country, I am pleasantly surprised to find some nice curves and sweepers here in this flat countryside.

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    I take advantage of them to see how the Super 8 handles:ricky

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    Running an indicated 50 through some curves, the Super 8 feels stabil and well planted. This is pretty amazing considering that it has super light and super quick steering. It makes a 600cc sport bike like an R6 feel like a truck.

    Even some slightly rough pavement didn't upset the stability.

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    I stopped to take this pic. Can you tell which one is mine?

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    Then I left quickly before they chased me away:lol3

    Total mileage for the day, a little over 60 and under a gallon of gas.
    #82
  3. bgoodwin

    bgoodwin Got Parelli?

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    Nice!!! You're touring my stomping grounds....I live in Hartselle and work at Nucor Decatur.
    Be on the lookout for me or my brother
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    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk
    #83
  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I will keep an eye out for you. The pic you posted above is in my stompin grounds. I've ridden my KLR through Tatham Gap many times.
    #84
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    After unseasonably cold weather more suitable for Maine than Alabama as well as several snow storms, we finally got a break in the weather. It seemed like we went from Winter to spring overnight with highs in the 60s. Today I finally had some free time so......of course I went for a ride:ricky

    I had only a rough plan. I thought I'd cut across Redstone Arsenal, stop by Cycle Gear to see if they had any deals I just couldn't live without, and then ride around some before heading home. It turned out that I got sidetracked checking out Redstone Arsenal and didn't end up going anywhere else. I was trying to find an interesting route across the base but the only map I had was a Rand Mcnally. From my experience Rand Mcnally maps are notoriously innacurate. I only bought it because I needed a Huntsville map and thats all I could find. So I ended up going down several roads that didn't go through. I also found this interesting site:

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    Redstone has a long history of Rockets and space flight. It was the home of Werner Von Braun and other German rocket scientists after WWII.

    Just to the left of the rocket I found this:

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    What? no warning about forgetting to tie my shoelaces?? Must have been written by a lawyer:huh

    The next dead end led me to this:

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    It would have been fun to be able to take one of these out for a spin but I settled for taking a few pics.

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    And one more.

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    #85
  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Then I wandered around the base doing some more "full throttle touring". Actually, despite being on a military base, many of the roads had 50 or even 55MPH speed limits. That meant running pretty close to full throttle much of the time.

    I saw some interesting signs and followed them untill I found myself along the Tennessee river.

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    This old dock didn't look like it had been used for quite a while.

    The view in the other direction.

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    There was also a small RV park near the river but I didn't take any pics. it looked like a real peacefull spot to camp.

    Some more exploring and I ended up on a dirt road.

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    I would have liked tp explore it some more, it had several branches, but my fuel guage was pretty close to empty so I decided it was time to find a gas station. I've been getting over 70 MPG but with a tank that holds only 1.35 gallons (Claimed), it doesnt give me very much range. A few miles later the guage was at zero and it was still several miles to a gas station. I had a few nervous miles but made it to the station. 81 miles and 1.07 gallons. One of these days I plan on carrying a fuel bottle and running the tank dry, just to see how much it really holds.

    On the way home I saw one more interesting site.

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    These things were so big I couldn't fit them all in the picture unless I wanted to take a long hike.

    Here's another angle.

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    The big one on the left is a Saturn one. It's over 16 stories tall. The others from the left are: Hermes, German V-2, Jupiter, Redstone, and Jupiter C. I can imagine that watching one of these things lift off would be an impressive sight. The power and the fury would even be greater than than displayed by my Super 8's mighty 150cc engine!!!
    #86
  7. Reverend12

    Reverend12 Well there it is..

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    Great ride report, I have to plan a trip up there. Lived in Alabama most of my life, and never been there.
    #87
  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Thanks. I have lived in many cities. So far I would rate Huntsville as one of the best. More on that in my next post.
    #88
  9. brunstei

    brunstei Been here awhile

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    Great photos in the last set - didn't know the "unwashed public" could cross the base, so I haven't tried yet. I'll have to try to go get a look at the Longbow!
    #89
  10. soboy

    soboy Long timer

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    Klaviator, I am really enjoying your Full Throttle Touring reports. Those space rockets are very cool, I would love to see more space-related pics in future ride reports. This has been a fantastic weather week for riding in the Southeast, I have taken all three of my bikes for short rides this week (pulled my hip and back out while hand washing my car on Monday so my body can only tolerate short rides on pavement this week). Time to head to the chiropractor again today - but at least I get to ride one of the bikes to the doc - getting older is so much fun! Keep the cards and letters coming..........
    #90
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I went for another ride yesterday. It would be a shame to waste another day of almost 70 degree weather. First I stopped at Cycle Gear to see if they had anything on sale I couldn't live without:evil

    But they didn't. So I headed off. My plan was to ride south to the Tennessee River, then head East along the river and cut back to Huntsville over the mountain. I was really itchin to find some twisty roads so I could have some fun on the Scooter:ricky

    My first stop was this spot along the river.

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    It would have been nice to have some sunshine to go along with the warm weather, but I guess I shouldn't complain. Then I headed East. Stopped at a small gas station to top off since I didn't know what was ahead and didn't want to risk running out in the middle of nowhere. It took .55 gallons. That's not much but nearly half a tank.

    I did eventually find a steep twisty road back over the mountain, but it was still covered with crap they put down after the recent snow storms...no peg (or is that floorboard) scraping today:(:. I also didn't get any more pics. Not much of a ride report but I do have a few thoughts to comment on.

    First: Scooters get no respect and no other riders will return your waves.
    WRONG!!!
    I saw a number of other bikes, some Harleys, Japanese cruisers, sport bikes, a gold wing and a KLR650. They all waved at me. Some responded to my wave and some waved first.

    I guess it must be my totally awesome and bitchin looking Kymco Super 8.:lol3:lol3

    Or maybe there are just some great people living in the Huntsville area.

    That brings me to my next observation. Huntsville seems to be a really nice place to live. I have lived in many cities. Some of them I really liked, and some were pretty crappy places, most where somewhere in between. I would put Huntsville in the same league as the three other cities I really liked; San Diego, Bath (Me), and Marietta(GA).

    One of the most important qualities of any city, for me anyway, is its proximity to good places to ride. So far I haven't really ridden very far outside the city limits.

    Normally I don't even enjoy riding around in town but with the scooter I'm really enjoying it. To some extend it brings back memories of when I got my first bike and any ride, anywhere, was exciting. Over the years, I got bigger, "better", and more capable bikes. I have had to chance to ride many of the best roads in the country. (Palomar Mountain, Angeles Crest HWY, HWY1, White Rim Trail, Deal's Gap, Hurricane creek, BRP, etc). The end result is that I have become spoiled. It was getting more difficult to have a really great ride. Getting a scooter has made it easier to just go out and have fun on a short ride without actually going anywhere really exciting. And since many of my trips are for some other purpose, such as getting groceries, any fun I have is just a bonus. I don't feel as much pressure to do something exciting just to enjoy myself, yet I do end up enjoying it. Maybe this will wear off as the "new toy" syndrome of the scooter wears off. I'm hoping it doesn't. Only time will tell.

    Still, I am really itching to take the scooter someplace where I can really see how it handles. I thing Deal's Gap would be a blast:ricky
    I'll just have to risk getting spoiled.
    #91
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Are you calling me the "unwashed public".:lol3:lol3 Actually, I'm retired Navy so I was able to get a Redstone sticker for my scooter. That and my Military ID will get me onto just about any US military base. It is possible for the "unwashed public" to get on base by going to the visitor center at the main gate and getting a visitor pass. You just need registration, proof of insurance and drivers license.

    One more interesting note about Redstone. They require riders to wear a reflective vest or reflective band. I tried to get on wearing my Yellow jacket and hi-vis helmet, both of which have reflective material on them, but they still made me wear a vest. Luckily I anticipated this stupidity and had a vest with me. Most military bases have done away with this rule and allow bright colored clothing instead of the vest. I saw a guy on a cruiser with a black gear except for a reflective band around his waist. I would be 10 time more visible than him even without a vest. The base commander doesn't realize he is actually making his troops less safe since there is no incentive for them to buy bright colored riding gear. They just wear their vest or band on base and take it off when not on base.

    Enough of my rant. I just get pissed off when stupid rules are made in the name of "safety"
    #92
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    One of these days I'll tour the space museum and take lots of pics. I agree about the weather, what a change from all the winter weather. I have been riding the last four days, and left the truck parked:D I have finally been able to ride to work and actually save some gas instead of just burning it. With the price of gas continueing to go up it's nice to be able to fill up for 3 bucks or less.

    As for getting older, it beats the alternative:deal Riding helps keep me young, and sane. I think i'll do some more riding this weekend, in the interest of metal health and staying young:smile6
    #93
  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I'd really love to go to Deal's Gap and have Killboy get some pics of my mighty scooter scooter in action......but I have to go to work tonight and deals gap is over 200 miles away so it ain't happening today. Still, i hate to wast another warm day soooooo, time for some action pics on a curvy road.

    Only two problems, there aren't any really good curvy roads real close by and killboy is nowhere around here.

    My solution:

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    A cul-de-sac in a nearby unfinished sub division will have to be my "curvy road"

    Then I pulled out the tiny tripod I picked up at a camera shop recently and........

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    My camera has a 10 second timer. Surprisingly I didn't end miss getting in any of the pics.

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    I'm sure someone will point out my lack of ATGATT for this high speed sport riding, but I promise I will dress better if I do make it to Deal's Gap:deal

    One more:

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    Looks like I'll have to lean a bit more before I scrape anything:p3rry

    Not exactly Killboy quality pics but it's the best I could do with the gear I have.
    #94
  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I am spending the weekend in Huntsville instead of commuting home to Marietta since the Spousal unit is out of town. This allowed me to go to a longer ride today. I had brought my KLR with me since my scooter is not really suitable for long distance rides. Since I had heard that there was some good riding up near Winchester, TN, I decided to head up that way using the directions posted by Rich2 earlier in the thread.

    It was supposed to be 65 degrees and partly cloudy (or was that partly sunny?). It felt warm when I left so I didn't dress very warm....I would regret that later.

    About 40 miles of droning on the highway got me to Hwy 65. I took a left and soon saw my sign.

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    65 turned out to be a pleasant ride with moderate to easy curves, nothing real tight. Unfortunately the gloomy weather and the fact that everything was brown made it a far less scenic ride that I suspect it will be on a sunny spring or later day when things are blooming and more green.

    Then I turned right on 146. A few curves and a climb in elevation and then the road pretty much straightened out. Then left on 79. Only gentle sweeper on this road, perfect for cruising on a Harley. Actually, a Harley would probably have been more fun than my KLR on this road. I was looking for dirt roads to explore but everything either had a gate or just led to a parking lot. There were lots of signs everywhere indicating that the land off the road was a wildlife management area, private property, or something. 79 became 16 at the TN border.

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    It was colder than expected due to the heavy overcast and the higher elevation here so I decided to just drone through to Winchester to get some lunch and warm up.

    Never been to Winchester before but I found my way to the old town square and decided to stop there for lunch. there were several restaurants there but I chose this one.

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    And a few pics on the inside.

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    had a BBQ pork sandwich and fries which were good but not great. Followed that with a hot cherry cobbler a la mode which was great.

    Then I wandered around the town square.

    The shops in this next pic take up an entire block and are actually just one store.

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    The inside reminded me of Reny's department store. Reny's is a chain of small old fashioned deptartment stores located in some small cities in Maine.
    #95
  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    So far, it had been a somewhat dissapointing ride. That, combined with the cold put a damper on my plans to take a different and longer route back. I decided to retrace my route but try to find some side roads, preferably dirt, to explore. I knew there had to be some off road riding since I had seen a bunch of ATVs on trailer in the area. So I headed back up the mountain on 16. eventually I found a dirt road that was open.

    And of course there was a big sign.

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    The road started out very deep, large gravel. Not much fun but it eventally ended.

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    As I continued I noticed that every few trees there was yellow paint on the trees. I stopped to get a pic but the pic doesn't really show how bad it was.

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    Actually, the previous pic shows it better. There is a big yellow mark the the left and a white sign on the right. It kind of ruined the whole wilderness effect.

    Eventually the scenery got better.

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    And the road got rougher.

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    And rougher.

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    A little past this last pic, it got more challenging than I wanted to tackle by myself on my heavy KLR, so I turned around.

    I found another road to explore. Of course there was another sign.

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    Actually there where Numerous signs. I started thinking about that song from the 60s or 70s...Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.

    Anyway this I followed this road a ways but it was a pretty boring gravel road and there where signs everwhere warning not to leave the road, or hunt, or fish, or pick your nose without a permit:lol3

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    so I turned around.

    Soon I was back at the border.

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    Sorry Tennessee, but you didn't impress me today.

    I pretty much backtracked except for taking 142 from 146 to 65. 142 was a small county road that looked like it might be real twisty. It had a few tight curves but other than that was nothing special. Actually if was pretty rough, no problen on a dual sport but probably not so great on a cruiser or sport bike.

    Then I had some fun on the curves on 65:ricky

    Then it was on to the highway for some mindless droning. I did see this cool Cobra.

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    And of course I know I'm getting close to home when I see the giant Saturn Rocket which dominates the landscape.

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    And then it started to rain just before I got home. A perfect ending to a pretty dissappointing ride.

    I considered not even doing a ride report but after being home for a while, I did a search on U tube and found the perfect video to end this part of my report. It's funny and well worth watching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLm3HMG8IhM
    #96
  17. amr2ul

    amr2ul Machinery 2 Upper Level

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    Klav,
    Bring that business a county to the west and treat the mighty Kymco to a heapin helpin of Stennett Hollow road! Not very long, but very entertaining. Just keep your eyes open 'cause the deer are frequently active there even in broad daylight! Other good roads in the area, too. Try the double cheeseburger at Sportsman Park. Really hits the slot.after a hard day of cadaver recovery(don't ask).:eek1
    #97
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Sounds good to me. Where exactly is Stennet Hollow rd? Tried to google it but came up with nothing.

    I've been trying to find some decent county maps of the area but nobody seems to carry them. Any suggestions? I know about the Delorme Gazateer but it is too bulky to carry along on the ride.
    #98
  19. baldwithglasses

    baldwithglasses Godspeed, Robert

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    Hiya, klaviator-

    Have you tried riding around Lake Guntersville? There are fun roads between Guntersville and Buck's Pocket.


    <iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=s_d&amp;saddr=madison+alabama&amp;daddr=Guntersville,+AL+to:Buck's+Pocket+State+Park,+Fyffe,+AL&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=Ffp3EQIdVFPU-ikPjZXO4BRiiDE4sTdabJgAvw%3BFYNDDAIdUD_b-ikVhZrdwfiJiDG8fRm_nU2QJQ%3BFYsGDgIdK-7e-iE5nRWUWAgDOw&amp;mra=ls&amp;sll=34.40957,-86.174345&amp;sspn=0.201105,0.438766&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=34.53287,-86.398725&amp;spn=0.37456,0.69933&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=madison+alabama&amp;daddr=Guntersville,+AL+to:Buck's+Pocket+State+Park,+Fyffe,+AL&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=Ffp3EQIdVFPU-ikPjZXO4BRiiDE4sTdabJgAvw%3BFYNDDAIdUD_b-ikVhZrdwfiJiDG8fRm_nU2QJQ%3BFYsGDgIdK-7e-iE5nRWUWAgDOw&amp;mra=ls&amp;sll=34.40957,-86.174345&amp;sspn=0.201105,0.438766&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=34.53287,-86.398725&amp;spn=0.37456,0.69933" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>


    Have you made it by Bandito Burrito on Governor's Drive? Try going on a Monday, Tuesday, or Friday for lunch. You'll meet plenty of motorcycling folk who also work in the defense end of things. As for Oscar; he knows lots of good local routes.

    I'd also try a ride around Grant Alabama, too- lots of twisty country roads east of town.
    #99
  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Dave, I have nothing against signs.....if they serve a usefull purpose and are tastefully done. What I saw on this ride made the area look trashy.
    There are some signs I really like......some examples coming up.