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

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    Doug's GTS

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  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    More random pics from the cookout.

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  7. 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
  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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.
  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Time to head back to the motel. I stopped to take some pics. It really is very scenic up here.

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    Then it was back to the motel and another great evening of hanging out. The time socializing at night is an important part of an event like this for me. When you go for a day ride with other people you really don't have the chance to get to know them like you do at an event like this or an event where you camp together. The Tanglewood was great for socializing because every room had a couple of chairs outside and we just dragged them together and hung out. By the end of this event we all knew each other much better than we did at the beginning. Those who didn't stay at the motel really missed out.
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  16. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    Happy Anniv Win & Debbi.

    :beer
  17. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks Sam! Same to you. I think you are one year ahead of us
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I slept in late on Friday morning and wasn't up until after 7. I still walked down to keep up with my ritual of getting a pic of the sunrise.

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    @RUkidding had already left for his ride back to Ohio. @Retro Iron also had a long ride ahead of him. Here he was ready to go.

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    some of us would be heading home in air conditioned comfort and weren't in that big of a hurry. Some were taking short rides on others bikes.

    Steve riding Doug's Vespa passing Tim as he is leaving.

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    Don took Rich's TnT 135 for a spin.

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    And Rich took Don's bike for a spin.

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    I think the consensus was that the TnT was taller and had more legroom.

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    Soon everyone was loading up their bikes. I liked Rich's setup because it allowed him to bring a spare bike. Its always nice to have a backup bike. I may do something like this in the future.

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  19. 1stpcx

    1stpcx Been here awhile

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    @klaviator, what a 1st-rate ride report. I appreciated the nice photos and your accompanying notes, IDg the bikes especially. I'd welcome a brief on how you managed all the nice action photos (inc. what Olympus you used). One of the best group ride reports I've seen on ADV. Impressive performer, your Like 150, too.
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  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks. I try to do a reasonably accurate and detailed ride report because I like being able to look back and remember the rides I did. I'm also trying to show people how much fun riding is and also how much fun and how capable scooters are. In case of group rides I want the other riders to have some good pics with them in them.

    As for the action photos, I carry an Olympus TG-5 hanging from a strap around my neck. I have become pretty good at taking pics with my left hand while riding with my right. I only use two controls, the on/off button and the shutter. I don't look at the screen, I just point and shoot. For shots behind me I take them over my right shoulder. Before posting those pics I often crop them because I typically get too much of my helmet, jacket and the camera strap in the pic and the camera is often not pointed where I really wanted. The limitations of shooting while riding are that on rough roads or low light the pics are often blurry. I also don't often take pics on really twisty roads. The pics you see are mostly when I think it will make a good shot and I'm going straight or in a fairly easy curve.

    For some people writing great ride reports comes naturally. In my case I have had a lot of practice but I will never be the writer or photographer that some on this forum are. Of course it makes me happy when people enjoy my ride reports. I'm also very pleased that a number of people have told me that they bought a scooter because of my ride reports and seeing what a scooter can do.