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 Supporter

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    Before I forget, there was one "incident" on the Tuesday ride. As the other group was passing by the Ferguson Store on 209 the Vespa GT of @fatpony died. They suspect it was a bad stator but regardless the scooter wasn't going anywhere on its own power. @fatpony 's wife was back in MV and had a van. There was no cell signal at the Ferguson store but Larry got a hold of his wife and then made sure she knew where to go to rescue him. They had also brought his wife's Vespa ET4 so the plan was to ride that on the Wednesday ride.

    On Wednesday morning I did my normal routine and walked down to check out the sunrise.

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    Then I walked back up and found these hooligans:lol3

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    It was looking like it would be another BEEautiful day once the fog burned off.

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    Rich would be riding his Vespa today and had his Benelli safely tucked away.

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    @fatpony showed up on his wife's ET4.

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    @ag_streak made it up from Georgia with his Adventure 150.

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  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks Josh. I find that a lot of riders, even experienced riders, often have misconceptions and don't know much about bikes that are different from what they ride. That applies to scooters, Harley's, sport bikes (crotch rockets) and probably other bikes as well. Having my scooter referred to as a moped has happened before.

    Some people get offended when stuff like this happens but I know how much fun my scooters are and try point that out. Of course some people don't listen but that's their loss, not mine.

    I am curious if they took my advice and rode Baltimore Branch or if we ended up riding more dirt that day than they did:lol3:lol3
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  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    The route for the Wednesday ride was different from what we did the previous years. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out a route that would do all the good roads I wanted to ride but minimize the time we spent on 64 which tends to have a lot of traffic. Like we did on Tuesday we would have two groups with Larry leading the slower group.

    At 10 to 9 I did the ride brief and then a few minutes before 9 we formed up the "fast" group. I was surprised that we had only four riders. There was Steve, Rich, Doug and me. I thought we would have more but maybe my pace wore out a few people yesterday:dunno
    The route led us up to the BRP, a bit of the Parkway and then some four lane before we got into the good stuff.

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    I was too busy riding to take any pics until we got to our next stop. Don @dp064 who rode in the second group did post some video so I'll re-post that here.



    and another.

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  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    We got to Lake Glenville and I took some pics. This is one of my favorite places to stop in the NC Mountains.

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    Then I parked with the other scooters.

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    Then we hung out by the lake. I didn't get any pics but there is a sand beach there which is very scenic. On this particular day there were four moms there with their kids. Doug noticed something that I probably wouldn't have. All four moms would stand there with their hands on their hips. Doug wondered what some aliens who observed this would think about what significance this had. I guess you had to be there but it was pretty funny. Looking back i should have take a pic.

    We were waiting for the second group but we ended up waiting over half an hour. It was the one time this whole trip that I pulled out my Sony camera with its 50X zoom.

    Here's some pics I took with the Sony.

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    Rich and Doug.

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    I finally used the Zoom!!

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  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Some pics of the other group.

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    @fatpony didn't make it. Apparently the little Vespa was running 38 MPH up 19 to the BRP so he turned around. I don't think he realized that the Super Cub and my Like weren't exactly blazing fast up the steep grades either. He missed out on a great ride.

    Since they was running pretty late I discussed the route with Larry and he decided to skip a portion of it and go straight to Cashiers for lunch.

    @ag_streak decided that the slow group was a bit too slow and that he would ride with us. So we headed out. Paul and I went ahead so I could get some pics.

    It looks here like Paul is giving me the ADV salute but that's just his phone in his hand:lol3

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  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    The rest of the group soon came along.

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    Doug followed by Rich and Steve.

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    Over the shoulder shot of Paul on his ADV150.

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    Then we rode some twisty roads that I added to the route and then spent some time on 64 which as expected had heavy traffic but at least it was moving at a reasonable pace. Then it was back to the good stuff which included a mile of dirt road.

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    It looks smoother in the pic than it really was but it wasn't a big deal even on scooters with 12 inch wheels.

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    Its hard to get a really clear pic when you are bouncing around.

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  7. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Our next stop was at one of my favorite picture spots.

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    Doug's GTS

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  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    From there it wasn't too far to our lunch stop in Cashiers. Since the other group skipped this part of the ride they were already sitting down and eating at the BBQ place in Cashiers.

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    There was along line waiting to get into the BBQ place and Wendy's next door didn't look too busy so we walked over there. There was a reason it wasn't busy. It was take out only. They didn't have enough help to open the dining room. So we walked back and got in line. While we were waiting a guy came up to me and asked what my ADV name was. So I told him and then he introduced himself. It was @driller who had been active in Battle Scooter until recently. It was another "small world" incident which has been happening to me a lot lately.

    The line went faster than expected and we ended up having a good lunch.

    I have to mention the unique sign in the restroom. This picture says it all!

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    :rofl:rofl
  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    After lunch it was time to ride some more. There are some nice roads right out of Cashiers that don't have much traffic.

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    Google maps shows a lot of interesting looking roads around here that I have never ridden and need to come back and explore.

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    Then the really great twisties started:ricky:ricky:ricky Unfortunately this area has more traffic than what we rode the day before and we did come up behind traffic so we pulled over and waited a couple of times. Then we got back on a main road and had to wait for road construction.

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    We were back up to six riders in the fast group. Tony had planned on riding with us in the morning but wasn't paying attention when we left. He chased after us but turned the wrong way on the BRP and of course never caught up to us. He put Cashiers in his GPS and met us there.

    Eventually we made it past the road construction and turned off on to another fun, twisty back road:ricky:ricky
  10. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    The bad part of this route, at least for the smaller bikes, was that it went up the Smoky Mountain expressway up to the BRP. It's a fairly busy four lane with a 55 MPH speed limit and its a fairly long climb to the BRP exit. This is no problem for a 250 or 300 but I was on a 150. So I stayed in the right lane and pinned the throttle. The Like did surprisingly well and maintained 55 most of the way.

    Then it started raining so I pulled off so that those who wanted could put on rain gear. I was wearing my textile jacket today instead of the mesh I wore the first two days so I didn't bother with rain gear. Of course by the time we were ready to go it had pretty much stopped raining:D We took off and then exited to the BRP. Well, five of us did. Steve went straight on 74 hoping to stay dry. He ended up riding into more rain while those of us who rode the BRP stayed dry and had a great ride:rayof

    We stopped at Waterrock Knob.

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    Then we rode back to Maggie Valley.

    When I got back to the Motel Cheryl ( @cdwise ) and here husband Steve and their dog were there. Between doing the Scooter cannonball and moving to the Knoxville area they have had a busy summer. They drove to Maggie Valley to see us and spend one night there.

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  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    That evening we had a cookout at the motel. Priscilla and Jason who run the motel put on a cookout for us and we added some sides, desert and drinks.

    Greg brought his dogs.

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    Candi was nice enough to take care of getting the sides for the second year in a row.

    Candace and Doug.

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    @Donttellmywife and Vince. Vince is a Harley guy who got a scooter to use when RVing. I think he was surprised by what we did with our scooters.

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    Priscilla on the left.

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    @DandyDoug is on the lower left of the next pic. Doug has been active in battle scooters but recently decided that his riding days are behind him. He wanted to meet some of the people he had been interacting with on the forum so he drove up in his mustang and spent the night. He also brought up his riding gear and sold it cheap so it could find a good home and still be useful to someone.

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  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    More random pics from the cookout.

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  13. tonymarchman

    tonymarchman Been here awhile

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    Great pics and dialogue! Thanks for letting us relive a truly wonderful week!
    Tony and the mighty GTS250
  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks Tony. I still have one more day to go but it's 9:20 and I'm about to fall asleep so it will have to wait until tomorrow.
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  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Thursday morning. This would be the last day of riding. I started by day like I had every other day by walking down to check out the sunrise.

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    A number of people had left so we had a smaller number of riders for this day. No slow and fast group today. People had two options today; ride to Mt. Mitchell or ride some twisty roads off of the BRP with me. It turned out that many people chose some other options.

    The plan was that we would all ride the BRP to the highest point on the BRP and then split up from there. So we headed up to the BRP and headed North. After riding a bit on the Parkway we stopped at one of the scenic overlooks.

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    One of the reasons for the stop was to get some pics of the clouds below and the other was that Don and I wanted to swap bikes for a bit. Don had never ridden a scooter and I was interested in riding his CSC San Gabriel 250.

    I gave Don the Scooter brief. The most important thing of course was to make sure he knew there was no clutch lever. Squeezing that left lever real hard would result in slowing down real fast. Then of course was the all important squeeze the brake or the scooter won't start.

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    Don's CSC is a pretty small motorcycle. Its not as tiny as a Grom but the seat was surprisingly low which made for a pretty cramped riding position for a tall guy like me.

    Then we rode a few miles of the parkway. The CSC SG is a nice motorcycle to ride. Despite the somewhat cramped short seat to peg distance, the bike was still pretty comfortable. The handling was light and neutral and the 230cc motor was reasonably smooth and had a bit more power than the 150cc motor in my Like. We stopped after a few miles and swapped back.

    Don said he really enjoyed riding my Like. Maybe there is a scooter in his future?

    We rode some more.

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  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    We soon arrived at the highest point on the parkway. Time to take some pics.

    Kuleen and Steve enjoying the view.

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    Someone littered the parking area with scooter trash:lol3

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    We had one CSC, one Honda, two Kymcos and the rest were Vespas.

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    Steve making his Grand Entrance:D

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  17. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Then it was time to split up and head out. Doug and Scott decided to ride to Mt Mitchell. Jim wanted to go to a shop in Ashevlle. Tim wanted to head back and explore around Waynesville. Several others decided to head back with them. I recommended the ride 215 and 276 back.

    Candace was ready to go!

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    Riding the BRP.

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    I turned off at 215 and stopped. Jim riding by on his way to Asheville.

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    The group heading back.

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    My group headed South on 215 and turned on to Charlie's Creek which is an outstanding ride if you like riding curves:ricky:ricky:ricky

    We stopped at a county park at the end of the road and took a break. Steve was wearing the Jacket and helmet he had bought from @DandyDoug .

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  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    On Wednesday @sanjoh had posted that the WNC Tag was in the area we would be riding and that we should pick it up. It happened to be the fire station right next to this park were I had planned to stop all along. So I jumped on the Like and rode a few hundred feet to grab the tag:

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    I took the pic with my phone but didn't have enough signal to download the pic. Hopefully no one else would grab it before I could post.

    Then we headed South on 281.

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    We turned east on 64 and stopped at the first gas station since everyone except me seemed to be low on gas. I was able to post the tag there.

    Then we rode to Rosman where I planned on eating lunch. It had been a long time since I had gone through Rosman but google maps showed three restaurants there and they were supposed to be open. One was closed. Another had a sign: "Closed on Thursday for electrical repair" and one was takeout only:dirtdog

    Time for plan B. We would take 215 to 276 where I knew there was a good restaurant. 215 was a great ride but I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have because I was really hungry.

    No one perished from hunger and the restaurant was open.

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    The food and service were good and we all enjoyed lunch:dukegirl

    A couple of riders on a Burgman 650 and Kawasaki Vulcan also stopped in.
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  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    After lunch the plan was to ride some more twisty roads before taking the BRP back to MV. The weather didn't look to good in that direction with the radar showing rain and our eyes and ears verified what the radar showed as it looked ugly and we could hear thunder. On top of that we were pretty tired so it wasn't a hard decision to just take 276 back to MV. We rode through Waynesville on the way and the traffic sucked. It was a rude awakening after four days of little or no traffic.

    Once we got back into MV we split up and went our separate ways. I had an idea of where I wanted to place the new tag I was just hoping I could do it without getting wet. Tony, who probably had no idea where I was going followed along.

    On top of a mountain just above Maggie Valley.

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    The road to get to this point was extremely steep. I doubt that one of the 50cc scooters so common in NC would be able to make it up.

    It would be really cool to ride up here and take a pic when everything is covered in snow!

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    This was where I placed the tag.

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    It only took a day or so for someone to grab the tag on a KLR650.