The Banks Tour - Fair to Outer

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Solarmoose, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Solarmoose

    Solarmoose electric

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    853
    Location:
    Fairbanks
    Day 35 Oct 10 2011 Monday Columbus Day

    The Ironhorse Lodge is a very nice place, here's a few scenes:
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    very nice rooms. This place is a recommend!
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    We leave after a great breakfast at the lodge and head up Hwy 28
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    We stop at an overlook over Fontana Lake and see these guys lining up
    for a group shot. I offer to take it so they all can be in the picture; after
    that they all want pictures with the Alaskans. These guys were from
    Tampa Florida. One guy wanted a ride on back but I declined.
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    Looking down the barrel of Fontana Dam
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    My favorite sign! and then we are into some twisties, yippee.
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    Heeled over from left hander and getting ready to stand it up and lean into
    the right hander coming up.
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    another favorite sign
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    peg scraping time
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    ho hum, maybe at 50 it'd be fun
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    This is what the GT was made for and I let her have her way. Hang on!
    and this is just the warm up for The Dragon!
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    We ride up 129 in North Carolina but it takes us into Tennessee.
    And then we arrive at Deals Gap on Hwy 129, a lodge, store and
    restaurant that is well known as the beginning of the Tail of the Dragon.
    This section is known for its 318 corners in 11 miles.
    All kinds of bikes congregate here to get ready for a run. Its mayhem.
    Its noisy. and I love it.

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    Wild. It Is. You can not imagine. (unless you've been there.)

    This pic is for you HayDuchessLives!
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    I set the Contour vid cam up on the lower left of my bike and we set off.
    No stills from this section. It was simply impossible to shoot on the run.
    Cee decided she would not keep up with me and when a break in the
    traffic occurred we were off. Mayhem is not descriptive enough. Imagine
    slow cruiser bikers, sport bikers running fast, bicycles, sports cars (I saw
    a Lotus), and SUVs all doing tight enough corners that 25 is too fast.
    Very short to nearly non-existent straight sections, I stayed in first
    gear most of the time, up to 9000rpm on the straight, then let the
    engine slow it down into each corner and accelerate hard just past the
    apex. Repeat, repeat, repeat for eleven miles. 318 corners. Total
    concentration.
    All the while watching all the other guys. I had clear road in front of me
    most of the time. Most fun I've had on the GT ever. I got lots of vid but
    won't be able to process until I get home.
    The sticky part (sides) of the sport tires we use get properly scuffed in today.
    Yep, got the t-shirt.

    At the end we pull over to calm down and drain off the adrenalin.
    We get into calmer roads and slow the pace but still lots of twisty
    road for the rest of the day. Straight road must be illegal here. Ok
    by me after the prairies.
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    We leave Hwy 129 and take 72 to 411 to Vonore and turn left onto
    Hwy 360 to join 165 to 143 (confused?) to ride the Cherohala
    Skyway back in North Carolina.
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    This is a beautiful road and worth the time.
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    There are many scenic overlooks.
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    It got cloudy again
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    Great sounding Ducatis
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    We left around 9am and got back at 6pm. It was an exhausting day
    with lots of technical riding but very rewarding. Dinner was great, and
    sleep easy tonight.

    Thanks to John Powell of Ironhorse for inviting us to this place!

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    see ya tomorrow
  2. Solarmoose

    Solarmoose electric

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    853
    Location:
    Fairbanks
    Day 36 Oct 11 2011 - RAIN


    We pack up & roll out of Ironhorse Lodge in light rain. The long streak of sunny days is over.
    Darn. Was good while it lasted. But we know to dress for cool and rain.
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    We spy this unusual park in Cherokee NC. Famous Rudicoaster? Too funny to not stop for a photo.
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    But there aren't many pictures today since we were in rain most of the day. Break stop to add a layer.
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    still got a grin
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    The next section of interstate hwy getting nearer to Charlotte is not much
    fun.
    There is heavy rain, heavy truck traffic and not much visibility. I know Cee
    is not enjoying this much. We take several breaks to unwind and relax the
    throttle hands.
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    As we get near my cousin's place we see this, what is it? Then it dawns
    on us that this is the Charlotte Motor Speedway. We're both NASCAR
    fans and know there is a race there this weekend. We stop for a photo.
    If we hadn't been wet and ready for a stop we probably would have
    ridden in to see what is going on.
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    We arrive at Sharon (cousin) and Doug's home a short while later. A little wet but not bad.
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    Today's measly stats.
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    Tomorrow we ride to the Outer Banks. This will mark the turnaround point
    in our trip and begins the westward chapter of the ride. We have been
    going mostly east since September 6. It seems strange to contemplate
    going west. But it'll be a different route across the southern states and
    still lots more ride to report on.
  3. eujane

    eujane n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4
    Tail of the Dragon sounded like some serious riding! Loving ALL the pictures.
    Say HI to Sharon and Doug. Outer banks tomorrow will be the furthest east. WOW! What an accomplishment.:freaky
  4. Solarmoose

    Solarmoose electric

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    853
    Location:
    Fairbanks
    Day 37 Oct 12 2011 The Banks Tour - Fair to Outer

    Mission Accomplished


    We start early this morning, Doug makes some mean coffee and I'm
    rare'in to go after one cup. He's packing up their car for the drive out
    to the Banks. Loading the important stuff:
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    We heard thunder several times last night and heard the rain pounding so
    we know it'll be a wet day and ride. And it is,
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    and several sections of fog.
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    By early afternoon the sun breaks through and we make a stop to drop a
    layer. Saw temps up to 80F. Doug and Sharon take up sweep position.
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    Cool clouds.
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    Water, getting closer.
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    Stand and stretch. The black dots are a flock of birds. I was in their midst.
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    Cee's "office."
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    Working boats.
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    264 scenic route...
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    We're very close now.
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    Heading across the bridge to Roanoke Island.
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    Ocean
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    Just watching the traffic roll by.
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    Closer closer
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    Second bridge from Roanoke to the Outer Banks on 64. Sharon caught
    both of us shooting pics.
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    We're on the "Banks."
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    Lots of nice places here.
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    We check into our hotel and see the view from our room's deck, wow.
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    We can't wait to get on the beach and don't even wait to take the gear off,
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    We Did It.
    Fair Banks to Outer Banks! We've been on the road for 37 days and loved
    every minute. And we still have to ride back!!!!
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    We drop our gear in the room and go find a restaurant for dinner and
    watch the sunset.
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    After dinner we go down to the beach in the dark and stand in the water.
    And then sit on the porch sipping blueberry mead we got in Denver and
    carried here just for this evening! We are very thankful for the opportunity
    to do this. Thank you for coming along so far. There's more to come!
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    Alas, not all is good as Cee picks up a rock that punctures her rear tire
    just before we get to the hotel. We park it and I'll deal with it in
    tomorrow. I'm Not letting this mess up tonight.
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    Today's lovely stats. Total miles since leaving Fairbanks is 6,550.
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    Its a lovely feeling tonight.

    We sit on the porch and listen to the surf pounding the shore.

    Can you hear it?
  5. KHuddy

    KHuddy Survivor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
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    3,498
    Location:
    Tm Pterodactyl Outpost, Montana
    Congratulations!!!!!
  6. dceggert

    dceggert Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    247
    Location:
    Metro Detroit - almost like offroad riding
    Yippie!!!

    Uh, aren't some of the areas on the way back a little white right now? :eek1

    Maybe you could swing through Michigan and pick up the %^$# egg and take it to Alaska (link to the adventure - http://advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16876750&postcount=2898)!

    We actually crossed paths this past weekend. While you were heading east I was heading north in the family truckster (motorhome) after spending the previous week at Disney World with the family. I love the southeastern shoreline. We went up I-95 to I-28 and on to I-77 north. SC, NC, VA, and WV are absolutely gorgeous right now!

    While I wasn't on a bike I did take notice of what was prowling the roads. I saw only 4 BMW's the whole trip and one was a GS loaded for adventure heading south. South of the Carolina's it looked to me to be a majority Goldwing crowd with Harley dressers second. Through the Carolina's and into Virginia it flipped to a majority of Harley dressers. The curiosity continues as to why the Harley's are usually 2-up while everything else is rider only. Some of the Goldwings were 2-up but the % is higher among HD riders. An interesting curiosity....

    Great ride! Thanks for sharing so far. But...I get the feeling it is about to get even more interesting so I am staying tuned!
  7. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    Lewisville, NC
    Glad you have been enjoying our beautiful state, the weather looks to be clearing over the next few days, the color is fantastic, going riding tomorrow with some friends up on the BRP.
    Wish ya'll were here !!

    Doug
  8. AK Bob

    AK Bob AKAM

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    260
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    Were the Blues running? Or were the fishing rods for show?

    How's the BBQ in the Carolinas?

    No snow on the ground in Fairbanks!

    It is +26F.!

    Just think if ya keep the bikes outside, you get to go down this winter and ride too. Then you could hear folks cry about how its too cold to ride,.. YOU could laugh and laugh and laugh.

    See you in November
  9. Solarmoose

    Solarmoose electric

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    853
    Location:
    Fairbanks
    Day 38 Oct 13 2011 - Fishy Tire Squared

    dceggert - Yes, I'm sure some of the country we've passed through is or
    will be white so our westward trajectory will be the southern states and
    we'll keep an eye on the weather. After we leave the Banks we'll be
    heading for Arkansas. I'm sure it will be interesting...
    To break some of the suspense, the bikes will be stored in Seattle area
    and we'll fly back to Fairbanks. We'll be back out next spring to continue
    the journey.

    Interesting observations on rides and one vs two-up. I've seen similar.
    Another thing we've noticed is the bike to bike wave. As we rode east
    the wave was consistent, as in nearly always, but in Iowa nearly
    non-existent, back to normal in Mo and AL but seldom in NC. Anyway,
    maybe just my imagination or related to type of roads but I wave most
    of the time to other bikers. I won't get into brand of bike vs. the wave
    but have seen some patterns.

    AkBob, rods were not for show, they spent most of today plying the
    water. Didn't see many Blues being caught. Local talk is fishing is bad
    since Irene. Haven't had any BBQ, just local fish. Good food here.


    I got up early to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic.
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    This is where we are staying
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    Older place but nice
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    Today I plugged Cee's tire and she'll ride it with the plug. We'll watch
    the air pressure closely. Anyone have experience with plugged bike tires?
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    As I walk by Doug and Sharon's car I notice their rear tire is flat from a nail.
    So Doug has to put on the fake spare and went to get the tire patched.
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    What are the odds of Cee's bike getting a rock chip in it and a nail
    in Doug's car too... :huh Is the Outer Banks a dangerous place for tires?
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    So tire duties performed, we do some early morning fishing.
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    Its busy
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    After a hour or so of fishing, we go visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
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    We thoroughly enjoy the memorial, the museum and the park service
    presentation. Cee is a third generation aviator. Her grandfather got his
    flying instruction from one of Alaska's pioneering pilots. Today Cee flies
    her father's last plane, a 1946 Cessna 120.

    Then it was back to fishing.
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    This bird was not the least bit intimidated by our presence.
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    Its been a nice day at the beach. The Outer Banks is a cool place and
    we may have to come back and spend some more time here. We ride
    back to Charlotte tomorrow and I'm feeling like the time here was too
    short.

    Going to go listen to the surf some more...
  10. jspringator

    jspringator Been here awhile

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    May 11, 2008
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    Location:
    Versailles, KY
    I don't know about bikes, but on car tires they pull them off the rim and add a vulcanized patch on the inside of the tire. They don't plug them any more.
  11. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Lewisville, NC
    The Outer Banks is a very special place , the people who live out there year around are also a hardy lot.
    We like to go visit after the normal tourist season, the peace and solitude are wonderful.

    Enjoy your visit.
    Doug
  12. Scott of the Sahara

    Scott of the Sahara Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    422
    As soon as I saw pics of the new Moto Guzzi Norge, I was hooked. Great pictures and cool adventure. Thanks for taking me along.
  13. zandesiro

    zandesiro In rust we trust....

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
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    Location:
    Polygyros, Greece...
  14. richardak

    richardak Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    158
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    I've really been enjoying seeing the pictures from your trip. Thanks for putting them up.

    (No snow, still riding!)
  15. Solarmoose

    Solarmoose electric

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    853
    Location:
    Fairbanks
    We did enjoy our time there. Cool place.


    Thanks for the great comments, Cee is hooked too.


    Hey Richard, good to hear from you. Glad to hear you're still on two wheels.
  16. Solarmoose

    Solarmoose electric

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    853
    Location:
    Fairbanks
    Day 39 Oct 14 2011 - Go west young man.

    I get up early again hoping to see a horizon sunrise, not today but its cool
    looking none-the-less. Certainly not something I've ever seen before.
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    A short time later the clouds move on and its a stunning view.
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    We pack up and head south down the Banks.
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    We don't have a lot of time today but we'll ride down a ways and see something new.
    One of the joys of this trip is seeing new stuff.

    A marina with some nice looking boats.
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    Across a long bridge, driving on top of the ocean!
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    More two-wheel ocean cruising
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    We stop to check out the dunes
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    Walking uphill in sand is tiring.
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    Empty beach
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    Almost empty beach
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    And it was windy
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    Heading off the Banks to Roanoke
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    For my northern buddies, its 75F here, very nice and warm. Perfect riding weather.
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    Bridge off Roanoke Island
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    and then we're back on the mainland. After over a month to riding East
    and looking for the east going roads, its very strange to be going west.
    And we'll be riding west for the next couple weeks. But I liked going east.
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    Not much else got photographed today, we had stiff headwinds all the
    way to Charlotte so lots of buffeting

    Today's stats:
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    After arriving at Sharon and Doug's home I do my usual walk-around the
    bike and see this, oh oh! bad seal in the beemer's final drive.
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    Its a little after 6pm and I call BMW Motorcycles of Charlotte and talk to
    Mark, he tells me to bring it in tomorrow morning (Saturday) and they'll
    look at it right away. (Mark Engel is the store owner.)

    to be continued
  17. Bicyclist

    Bicyclist Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    579
    Location:
    Maryland
    That seal leak is pretty common and the seal is easy to change, so it shouldn't be a problem. edit: That's a good dealer. I consulted with them when I had a fuel pump problem with my F800.

    I saw several Norges at Barber, but they were all silver (or maybe I saw a silver one several times). Didn't see a whatever-color-that-is one with Alaska tag.

    That #21 BMW we both took a picture of has a Rob North frame. Did you notice that the 20X Triumph around the corner from it also has a Rob North frame and the bikes look very similar. That was my first trip to Barber. Amazing place.

    Looking forward to the continuation of your trip report.
  18. Solarmoose

    Solarmoose electric

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    853
    Location:
    Fairbanks
    Day 40 Oct 15 2011 - surprises

    We start the day by taking the K to the BMW dealer
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    and drive by the Charlotte Speedway, they're getting ready for a NASCAR
    night race today.
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    Nice riding the bike without luggage and all the weight. Feels sporty.
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    Charlotte Skyline
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    Cee is checking out the new bikes and likes this blue K
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    while I go in and talk with Bill Walker.
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    Bill says they will fit me in this morning and see what it needs. So we leave
    the bike and go do errands. Bill calls me back later in the morning to say
    it only needs a seal and will be done by 2pm. :clap:clap:clap:clap

    We go to Manggiono's for lunch, it was quite good. We pick up the K GT
    afterward.

    Thanks to all the guys at BMW Motorcycles of Charlotte! :clap:clap:clap:clap

    An even bigger surprise awaits later this evening when Cee presents
    me with a ticket for a Race Ride with Richard Petty Driving Experience
    for tomorrow, Sunday, as an early birthday present. :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap
    And Sharon gives one to Doug. Tomorrow will be a fun day.

    We're watching the race on TV tonight and since Sharon and Doug
    live near the track we can hear the roar of the track along with the
    sound on the TV. Cool!!! Now that is what I call "sound effects."

    We'll have track pics to post tomorrow!
  19. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    Lewisville, NC
    Very cool to get the ride experience, bet it is fun !!

    Since you are only about 60 miles south of my location in Lewisville, NC. , if you want to pop on up to visit give me a shout, 336 624 1810,

    Doug & Ashley.
  20. hndymn

    hndymn n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    New England
    You know, you guys are are having altogether too much fun!!
    I've been following your trip, and in fact I was looking for those AK plates at Barber. 2 of us rode down from NH and MASS and I was hoping to be able to meet you guys. Thanks for the great photos, much better than mine.
    I'm seeing lots of familiar scenes in your thread, roads I've been on in NC and Mississippi too. Thanks for taking the time and effort to share.

    - Michael