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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Sanguis, Mar 1, 2017.
Fun read Ben……look forward to meeting you soon. :)
Hey Rick, thank you for having me over. The ride today was amazing; hopefully I will catch up on the report tomorrow.
After getting the bike ready I said goodbye to everyone and I was on my way. It was drizzling a bit, but that was actually a nice change after weeks of riding through the heat.
Thank you Nate, Renee, Jacob and Joshua for hosting me. I had a great time and hopefully I will see you again soon.
I lost the GPS track for this day unfortunately, so I don't have my exact route, but I rode west through Maryland into West Virginia and then into Virginia. Also my GoPro remote stopped working... Great... So I barely have any pictures from today and the pictures that I have aren't very hood. Hopefully I will get everything working before making my way down the Appalaches.
At around 4:30 pm I arrived in Port Royal where Joe from adventure rider and his family live. Joe arrived a bit later, because he was on a charity ride for the local animal shelter with some friends. I don't think I have ever seen as many vehicles in someone's yard. Everything from cars and motorcycles to boats and trucks.
They are very nice people; I was fed and told that I could spend the night in the shop, so that I wouldn't have to pack my tent the next morning. That was great, because I was planning to head out early the next day.
We talked about all sorts of things until it was getting pretty late. I would have a long day on Monday, so around 10:30 pm I called it a day.
I headed out early; I wasn't sure if anyone was awake yet and I didn't want to wake anyone up, so I left without saying goodbye. Joe, thank you for hosting me. Please thank your family for me as well.
I rode over Megeath Farm Lane, Rockland Road and the 340 into Port Royal.
After getting gas I turned on the Skyline Drive. It is a very pretty ride through the Shenandoah National Park.
Before getting on the Blue Ridge Parkway I turned on the 250 to get some gas again just before Waynesboro. Then I continued south on the Blue Ridge Parkway. What a great ride! I didn't see a lot of cars; I probably got pretty lucky with that. There are some amazing views along that road!
I went off the parkway at the 221 going north until the intersection with Webster Road, where I gassed up and then headed back onto the parkway and rolled into North Carolina.
I was going to meet Dave from adventure rider, so I left the Blue Ridge Parkway at Trading Post Road and then took the 16, 163, Idlewild Road, 21, Cranberry Springs Road, Todd Railroad Grade Road, Castle Ford Road and finally Old Deer Trace. I was in awe by how beautiful this last part of the ride was. I thought that the Blue Ridge Parkway was gorgeous. But when I rode through this last bit I felt I was riding through some secret valley; green mountains, creeks, small bridges. I can't really explain it, just amazing.
Here I met Dave, Christel and their son Brian; very kind and hospitable people. Over dinner we exchanged travel and life stories. The next day Dave would ride out with me for a while and show me a good alternative for the parkway. It had been a long, but good day.
More pictures will follow!
I was riding where you are on Saturday, it would have been nice to meet up and ride the parkway together, it's good that you are there on a weekday, Saturday was very crowded.
Hey Darwin, how is it going? Would have been cool to have ridden the parkway together!
Still following your awesome adventure. Where /when will your trip end?
Just spent an hour reading your report!
Hey Heike, great to hear from you! The trip will end in a few weeks when I drop the bike off in Mississippi at Walt's.
After I woke up and loaded everything on the bike, Dave made us some breakfast. Shortly after that we were ready to go. It was still pretty chilly out, but the frost on the grass made for some awesome views. We took Old Deer Trace, Castle Ford Road, 194, 221, 105-EXT, 105, at Linville we got on the 221 again, 70 and then the last stretch to Asheville we got on I 40.
In Asheville we took Hendersonville Road, Biltmore Avenue and on Bryson Street there is a motorcycle dealership where Dave knows some people. We hung out there for a bit and Dave treated me on lunch.
At around noon Dave headed back to Boone and I continued to my next destination.
Thank you, Dave and Christel for hosting me. It was great to hear your stories and I hope to see you on one of your future adventures.
I backtracked to Hendersonville Road and then got on the 25, which leads to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The last few miles of the parkway were in my opinion the best of the entire stretch.
There were barely any cars on the road and I could comfortably cruise all the way to the 19, which goes through an Indian Reservation. There the roads were a bit congested, but as soon as I got on Hyatt Creek Road, 74, 19 again and then 28 it opened up again.
The roads here were great: no cars, fast with big curves; you can go as fast as you want here. After a while I got to the 129, which is the famous Tail of the Dragon. I stopped to get gas. I got 93 octane, because it was the only thing they had. Walt had told me to get regular only, but here I had not choice, I was almost out. When I started riding the Dragon the motorcycle started hesitating a bit. I thought it was the gas...
The Tail of the Dragon is a super twisty road. It has something like 314 curves in 11 miles (correct me if I'm wrong). It was a lot of fun. Afterwards I arrived to where Rick from adventure rider lives and I didn't think too much of the hesitation in the motorcycle anymore.
Rick and his wife Roxanne (who would arrive only later that evening) are lovely people, who have travelled all over the country.
Rick and I went out for dinner and in the evening the three of us sat around a nice fire.
More pictures will follow.
I hope you enjoyed it!
Today Rick and I went on a nice day trip. We started riding north on the 129.
There was still something wrong with the bike, but I could not figure out what it was...
We took 72, 411, 360, Ballplay School Road, Belltown Road, Old Belltown MILL Road and then the 360 and 165-BYP into Tellico Plains.
We were on our way to the Cherohala Skyway, so we took Babcock Street, Veterans Memorial Drive and then the 165. Once on the Skyway the bike started rattling like crazy, so at the first stop I looked what it could be. I didn't understand, but then I saw the rear sprocket...
Now everything made sense... It was weird though; a few days earlier the sprocket looked fine. Rick called a friend of his who owns a shop and they had a sprocket set and chain in stock. Awesome, but I still had to ride the bike about 70 miles to Rick's house...
So we continued over the Skyway. I rode slow and kept my speed as constant as I could. Despite the mechanical issues the ride was beautiful. We took Joyce Kilmer Road, 129 and then took the Tail of the Dragon back into Tennessee to where Rick lives. The drive-way was pretty much all that poor sprocket could handle, it barely made it up there.
We trailered the bike to a shop just west of Maryville and Rick's friend replaced both the sprockets and the chain while we ate lunch.
I rode it back to Rick's house following over S Union Grove Road, Big Spring Road, Clendenen Road, Morganton Road, Clover Hill Road and finally the 129.
We took Rick's UTV to fetch some firewood, so we could enjoy another fire in the evening. I went to bed pretty early in order to get a good sleep in.
Rick made breakfast and then I slowly started getting ready to leave. I didn't rush it, because I only wanted to leave after the sun would be high in sky. The last thing I wanted was being blinded when riding on the Dragon.
I headed out at around 10 am and took the 129. I rode the Tail of the Dragon one last time and then took Joyce Kilmer Road, Santeetlah Dam Road and then got back on the 129. I took the Cherohala Skyway in the opposite direction from yesterday and after Tellico Plains I took the 68 south. In Georgia that road turns into the 60. The ride was amazing, but at Suches the road was closed. I tried taking a detour by riding on the 180 and then taking a short cut: Glen Elliot Road. From there I turned on the 60 again, but there it was also closed. No problem; the ride up there was really beautiful anyway. I backtracked to the 180 and turned north. Rural Georgia is amazing; beautiful farmland and bit of forest here and there.
The last part of today's ride I rode south on 129, then 75-ALT and then the 17 through Helen. A few miles later I got to where John from adventure rider lives. He has an amazing half-mile long gravel drive-way. John arrived literally 10 seconds after me.
It seems like since my KTM broke down everyone has KTM's. John has a beautiful 1190. We talked about all the common places we had visited in the USA and went for a walk with the dogs on his property that has a beautiful creek running through it. John let me sleep in his nice, brand new travel trailer.
Today I mostly hung out, caught up on the ride report and played with the dogs.
John and I went out to pick up his chainsaw that was being repaired and John treated me on lunch. For the remaineder of the day it was mainly relaxing and preparing for the next few days.
Glad that sprocket hung in there, dang! Love the skyway, brp and shenandoah park, was up there back in may...still looking as lovely as ever. Hope you're still tracking this way, see you this weekend!
You will enjoy having Ben over, he's a great guest, if you need him to help sweep your boat or stick an engine back in a bike, he's glad to lend a hand. And enjoys trying all kinds of food.
agree very much with King. A very nice, calm, quiet individual that's great fun to talk to. Wife said you wouldn't even know he was here and she was very much impressed with Ben. Unfortunately his time is running out and he still has much to see so he left out on a rainy Monday morning. I hated to send him out in weather like that and would have loved to have him stay another night but I know the call.
If he's ever back this way he has a standing invitation here.
Agree with you guys, Ben is the type of person you could leave home with him in the house and not feel the least bit worried about.
The world needs a lot more people like him.
It was such a pleasure to meet him and talk over a couple of meals.
Thank you all for your kind replies. I really appreciate it.
I am staying in Thomasville for two days, so I will take this time to do some catching up on the report.
John made a nice breakfast for us and then I got ready to head out to Greenville. Thank you, John for hosting me. I had a good time in northern Georgia.
I rode over John's drive-way and then south on the 17 for a bit to get gas and then turned around and got on 255-ALT, 255, 197, Burton Dam Road, Seed Lake Road, Lake Rabun Road, Old GA-441, Boggs Mountain Road and Eastman Mountain Road. It was a beautiful ride; no cars and nice roads. Also the weather was just perfect. I got lost after turning on Wolf Creek Road. A lot of the drive-ways look exactly like normal roads and actually often looked like the main road, while Wolf Creek Road looked like a drive-way. More than once I got to someone's house and figured that I should probably turn around. I am glad that I didn't get shot...
After finally finding my way back to my planned route I got lost again in the area of Rustic Ridge Road. Some of the roads were completely overgrown and all the other roads were narrow and twisty gravel. It was pretty hard to navigate, because I kind of lost track of the direction I was supposed to go. I saw some old houses and I thought to myself: "Why did I have to get lost in the area where Deliverance was filmed?!" I am pretty sure that I heard some banjos...
After riding around for a bit I ended up on Wolf Creek Road again and then I took the 76 to the east. That turns into Long Creek Highway and leads into South Carolina. There I hopped on the 196, Vernal MILL Road, Highlands Highway and then the 107 into North Carolina. The ride was really nice, but it got even better when I got on Canada Road and Blue Ridge Road. Very twisty and through some beautiful back country. I got on Golden Road and after finding out that Twin Ponds Lane is a dead end (damn GPS) I continued over Golden Road, 64 and 178 into South Carolina.
I noticed that I was riding away from the mountains. The countryside became flatter as I got closer to Greenville. I rode over 288, Pumpkintown Road, Geer Highway, Main Street, Poinsett Highway, Stone Avenue, Laurens Road, McAdoo Avenue, Monticello Avenue and finally Beechwood Avenue. I arrived at where Chris from adventure rider lives. Chris is nice and laid-back guy. We walked through the nice downtown area of Greenville and for dinner he treated me on some South Carolina BBQ.
After watching a few episodes of 'All in the family" we called it a day.