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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    So I continued down the hill where it ended in a cul-de-sac.

    Looking back up I remembered seeing somewhere what the maximum grade for my scooter was. (I tried to find it after I got back but couldn't). This was one of the steepest paved roads I have been on. Again, the pic doesn't do it justice.

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    I think some of the hills in San Francisco are this steep but it's hard to say, it's been a long time since I was in San Francisco.

    So I twisted the throttle and went up the hill. The super 8 did better than I expected given the steep grade.

    I snapped some more pics.

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    I think I stopped for one or two of the pics but still had to shoot one handed. Unlike a motorcycle, you can't use the foot brake to keep the bike from rolling down the hill.

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    Although I like looking at these houses, even if I won the lottery, I probably wouldn't want to live on such a steep hillside. Most of these houses have driveways so steep that you couldn't park your bike in the driveway to wash it.

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    After this I headed home. This made for 13 straight days of riding. Given the upcoming weather forecast, it looks like I'll be able to keep my streak going for at least several more days:ricky
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    My odometer is in miles. I think the older one were in kilometers.

    As for TWO closing, Frank Cheek told me years ago that this would happen but I was hoping that he was wrong. Hearing the news that it was closing was really a bummer:cry:cry:cry I will really miss it. I'm not sure how I will feel when I ride past there and see something else in it's place. Two should be designated a historical site and protected. It is part of the history of a lot of motorcyclists from all over the world. In case you haven't checked it out already, here's the link to the TWO picture thread: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=663265

    On a lighter note, I'll probably try to put together a ride for small scooters & other wee beasties up in that area in the not too distant future; stay tuned.
  3. Ogre_fl

    Ogre_fl Long timer

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    Is this is on the South East end of LRC?
    If so I am pretty sure its CR 275 and yea it is freaking steep.

    I joke that road builders in AL must not understand the concept of S curves to go up a grade.
    I have found more roads like this in AL that just go straight up than anywhere I have ridden.

    Great RR, BTW :clap

  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I do believe we were at the SE end of LRC. If I remember right, we turned off of 176 to CR248? which becomes CR275 as it passes into Cherokee county, That hill was just off of CR275.

    You are right about Alabama road builders, I've been noticing that many of the roads in Alabama that go over mountains are not as twisty as would be expected. The just build them straight up the mountain only putting in an occasional curve.
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    This was the view on the commute home from work the last few mornings. I finally remembered to bring my camera. It was a nice warm 42 degrees, the dogwoods were blooming and it was great to be riding instead of sitting in the cage. The fact price sign on the gas station I rode past read $3.49 for regular made me feel even better about riding since I have been getting better than 75MPG.

    This made it 17 days in a row of riding.

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  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    It's been over a month since my last post in this thread. Thats not because I haven't been riding. I took my Super 8 to Deals Gap a few weeks ago. Here's a pic taken by Killboy:

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    I did a separate ride report for that trip. The link is here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=670468

    I have also been riding almost every day. Commute to work, ride to the store, etc. Not noteworthy enough to post but it is great to be able to get out on two wheels on a regular basis. I have pretty much forgotten what it was like to live up north and not ride for weeks at a time. I lived in Maine for four years. I went for a ride EVERY month I was there but some month's it was maybe one or two short rides. Even when there is nothing exciting about the ride, just the sensation of being on two wheels, feeling the wind, leaning around the occasional curve:ricky, and feeling the slight vibration from the motor, is something that you just can't get enough of. It's addictive.

    Recently I did go somewhere unique in Huntsville. Not exactly a typical adventure destination, maybe more of a tacky tourist trap? I thought it was interesting. I'll let you judge whether it's interesting or tacky tourist trap.

    My wife was visiting in Huntsville so we jumped on the scooter and went for a ride. It was a beautiful sunny spring (felt more like summer) day. We passed countless people out walking, running, and bicycling. It was a great day to be outside. When we got to our destination the parking lot appeared to be completely full with cars circling around looking for an open spot. It was not a problem for us. Here was a spot just big enough.

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    One of the advantages of being on a scooter. I ran a cable through our jacket sleeves and helmets and piled them all on the floorboard.
  7. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    After that we were on foot. Here's some pics. Where does it look like we were?

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    Just a couple of typical tourists.

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    The name of this place is Bridge Street. It's a high end shopping center with a European feel to it. Most of the stores are places I would never shop at. I don't have a big need for a $40 T shirt. But it was a neat place to wander around and we did have some really good barbeque at the Smoke House restaurant for lunch. Actually, we ordered one meal and split it. It was plenty of food for both of us. The best part for me however, was the ride there and back:ricky
  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Occasional I do something that does not involve riding.....although I avoid those things as much as possible. Living on a lake makes it easy to go for a scenic walk or run. We had some summer weather, Mid 80s, so I used the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with my wife and dog. Here's a couple of shots as our dog takes us for a walk.

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    Then after a weekend of summer weather, a storm front passed through dropping night time temps into the mid 40s. It made for a chilly commute home from work in the morning, but also allowed for clear skies and a scenic sunrise.

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  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Redstone Arsenal is a huge base that takes up a huge chunk of land in the Huntsville Area. For me, If I want to go to the Southeast side of Huntsville, cutting across redstone makes for a nice shortcut. I did that today. On the way back I decided to do a little exploring. Many of the roads on the base have gates and are closed to the public. There's still a lot to explore, including some nice "singletrack"

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    I love the bright green found here in the spring, before the summer heat starts drying everything out.

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    It's neat to be able to find such peacefull riding in the middle of a military base.

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    There were some sign that this was not just peacefull countryside.

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    I wanted to get a pic of my scooter in front of one of these bunkers but even though these don't appear to be in use, I figured I was probably pushing my luck just snapping these pics as I rode by.

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  10. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for the concern Dave. I was in my apartment when the storms came racing through at 55 MPH. Lots of sirens going off. It would get real nasty & windy for a few minutes, then the sun would come out. A few minutes later another storm would race by. I was lucky, Tornadoes just a few miles to the north and south but no damage where I lived. I went to work that night after the storm passed and flew to Memphis. It was weird flying back in the next morning and seeing virtually no lights in the city. The entire city of Huntsville, as well as Decatur and many surrounding cities lost power and aren't expected to get it back until sometime next week.

    With no power you can't cook unless you have some sort of grill (on my shopping list for this weekend), you can't buy gas, and there are no traffic lights functioning. Luckily the drivers in the city of Huntsville are much better than the national average and from what I saw, most people were driving rationally.

    I drove to Marietta today. No power until I drove about 60 miles. Looong lines at gas stations that had gas. No food until the city of Gadsden which is about half way. Lots of down trees. Some crushed and damaged houses. As inconvenient as this was for me, I was one of the lucky ones. I can't imagine losing my house, or worse yet, a family member or friend.
  11. Mr Head

    Mr Head Adventure Hippie Supporter

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    Just happened on this thread.
    Good to hear you made it through.
    The other day I was on the phone with a co-worker there in Huntsville when the warning siren went off. We quickly finished our discussion and he took off.

    So far all we know is the facility is fine but closed. With no power it would be no wonder.

    Back when I worked for Intergraph I spent a good deal of time around that area. I always managed to end up with a spare day or two each trip and got to see much of what you have pictured.
    I always wanted to have the time to take the bike. (Back then I was traveling from Colorado so it was a good distance just to get there.)
    I managed to be there during Hurricane Andrew dumping a couple feet of rain on the town over 24 hours. Lots of Tornadoes, real exciting with lightening when RF testing equipment... We would hunker down in this concrete bunker under the test floor, with a battery operated AM radio. That made for some long nights.

    I recommend the tour of Redstone, and the museum. The railroad museum down town is cool too. As is the tour of the old homes.
    I had lunch one summer afternoon up there on the top of mount Sano. The ladies who were preparing for a wedding reception were very friendly.

    Read the book, "the Right Stuff" for a little historical background of the area.
    Getting to see the stuff at the space center was cool. The first time I was there was before I came to work in that business. I grew up seeing much of that history in B&W. Very cool stuff.

    Oh, and come summer get out to the ball park to watch the Stars play. Even though I'm not a huge fan of baseball I enjoyed the atmosphere.

    Thanks for the continuing reports and photo touring. Someday I'll get back down there on a bike instead of a rental car.
  12. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    Glad you made it through OK!!!:eek1 :lol3
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I drove back to Huntsville on Monday. I took a different route from what I took leaving Huntsville on Friday. From Gadsden I took 278 west to 231 North. This area really go hit hard by the tornadoes, especially a long stretch of 231 south of Arab, Al. There were downed trees and destroyed houses everywhere. I saw well over a hundred utility crews clearing trees and stringing new power lines. It did look like power had been restored to many places. I had power at my apartment when I returned although the radio said that only about 30% of Huntsville had power.

    One thing that really stood out in this disaster was that I didn't see anyone taking advantage of the situation. Despite huge lines at any open gas stations, it did not appear that anyone raised prices. Drivers, with very few exceptions, handled the lack of traffic signals very well.

    One lesson I learned from this was how poorly I was prepared for this. I had no real food to eat since everything I had depended on refrigeration and/or the ability to cook. Before I returned I bought a small camping stove as well as food I could prepare on it.

    I will also take tornado warnings more seriously in the future. Last I heard over 250 people were killed in Alabama and thousands injured.

    One thing I had done right was too have plenty of gas in my truck as well as my scooter. Without that I would have been stuck here or forced to drive 30-50 miles to one of the few open gas stations and then wait in line for hours.

    I sold my DR250 to an inmate from North Carolina. He picked it up the morning after the storms (fly & ride) and headed northeast on 78 towards Chattanooga. He made it almost to the Tn state line when he had to stop for gas. He waited in line for 2 hours to buy a couple of gallons of gas. He also couldn't find any food until well clear of the area.

    The weather sucks today but should be nice tomorrow. I'm planning on jumping on the scooter to do some shopping and check out the aftermath of the storm tomorrow. If I take any interesting pics I'll be sure to post them.
  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Except for one day, the weather since the tornadoes has been really good. Today was no exception with wall to wall sunshine and a high in the 60s. Unfortunately, there are many people who are probably not able to really enjoy this weather. The death toll in Alabama is over 350 and still rising. I was one of the fortunate ones who was missed by the storms. Other than being without power for a few days, these storms did not have a great impact on me. Still, this was different than all the previous disaster I have seen on TV since I was here. Despite hearing the sirens and listening to reports of tornadoes all around, I was really not all that worried. After all, what are the odds of actually getting hit by a tornado?

    The drive to and from Marietta last weekend did take me through some areas that had been hit by the tornadoes but I only caught glimpses as I drove by in my truck. To really be able to take in the surrounding area, driving through in a cage is not the same as riding. This is true when trying to enjoy the scenery, and I figured it would also be true when trying to witness something like this. So today I decided to ride my scooter up to the Harvest, Al area. Harvest is only a few miles northwest of Huntsville and had been hit hard by the tornadoes.

    I had never been to this area before so I had no idea what it was like but I had a picture in my mind of a flat landscape with lots of open fields.

    Riding through Huntsville and Madison I did see some tree limbs and debris piled up on some people lawns but no real signs of damage. This was my first indication that things were going to change:

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    Still, nothing really all that bad so far.

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    This was the first real sign that things would get worse ahead.

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  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I rode towards the disaster area snapping pictures, mostly as I was riding. These will not be professional quality pictures, but even if they were, I don't think that pictures can really convey what it was like. I have seen the footage filmed by professional camera crews on the news but it did not prepare me for seeing it in person.

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    I'm not sure what the smoke was from but it made it look like a war zone.

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  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Almost every house had one or more tarps on the roof.

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    I suspect the only reason these telephone poles are standing is that they have been replaced.

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  17. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    This would be a scene from a really great spring day........except for the blue tarps on the roof and the low hanging wires.

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  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I think this flag symbolizes this, and other communities hit by tornadoes, tattered but hanging in there.

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    If you look closely through the trees, there is a foundation with nothing left on it.

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  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    It may seem like I'm posting a lot of pictures, but this is only a fraction of what I took and I only captured a fraction of the damage caused by one tornado out of an estimated 305 tornadoes that were part of this storm system.


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    The utility crews in the area did a great job but I'm sure they were all dead tired form the enormous task they faced.

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  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Last, this picture symbolizes something else about how the people have reacted to this disaster. Despite shortages of gas, food and other essential items, I have not seen or heard of any price gouging on those things. A co-worker stopped to get some bags of ice on her way back from Tennessee. The store owner wouldn't let her pay for them.

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