Solo Rider's Southeast Travels

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by SoloRider73, Jun 1, 2021.

  1. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    [mention]Raptorman[/mention] I saw DJ Tiny in the video below. He is riding in the scooter cannonball run. His exhaust is aftermarket and really loud, so I would hate to ride behind him.

    #21
  2. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    I picked up my Moto Guzzi V7 last weekend from the dealer after a rear drive repair and new tires. I hadn't been able to ride it due to weather and work. On Thursday after work I did a 120 mile ride to try out my new tires and the rear drive fix that was performed.

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    I purchased the Continental Road Attack III tires that are favored by many who ride Moto Guzzi V7s. The loop I took put me on a freeway first, so I had the opportunity to try out the tires at high speed first. The Conti tires make the bike much more nimble than the Sport Demons they replaced. When I first entered the freeway, the tires felt twitchy at high speeds. I was getting worried that they might be too twitchy. I then rode on some curvy roads where they performed much better than the Demons due to feeling more nimble.

    I only stopped once during the loop and chose to stop on the mountain at the Skyline gun range. I'm certain this is my Guzzi's first trip to a gun range.

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    The dealer detailed my bike, so I hated to get it dirty. I don't think it had been that clean since new.

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    On the way back, I hit the freeway again and the twitchiness was not as noticeable. I suspect the twitchiness was due to the old tires being so slow to turn and me not being used to the new tires. Overall I think I'm happy with the tires. Hopefully they will last many miles.

    The other item I was checking out was a rear drive that has been weeping since new. The dealer replaced the rear seals a while back, but it didn't fix the weeping. The oil weeping was more of a mist. After I took it to the dealer, they called me to tell me they thought it was the seals. I told them to look harder as they had already replaced the seals with no resolution. A few days later they called back and told me they found the issue. The hub had a small hairline crack allowing oil to pass the seal. I suspect the crack was from the manufacturing process, since it has leaked since new. The crack was in item 16 below. After the trip, I didn't see any oil on the rear drive. In the past I would have seen some oil mist around 100 miles. I'm going to ride it several hundred more miles before I call it fixed, but it's encouraging that no oil mist was found.

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    #22
  3. chethro

    chethro Confidence is High

    Joined:
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    NW WV
    I hope it cures your leaking issue. :thumb
    #23
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  4. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I went on a group ride Saturday 7/24 with some others from the Motorcycle Alabama forum. The ride started in Gurley AL and meandered through Alabama and Tennessee to our destination, a waterfall in Altamont TN.

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    Five of us started at Hardee's and we picked up a sixth at the nearby gas station. The fifth motorcycle was on the other side of the restaurant.

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    We initially rode some roads nearby where we stopped on a one lane bridge for a photo opportunity.

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    From the Gurley area, we rode up to Skyline trying to stay on mostly backroads. We came out in Cowen TN where we saw a lemonade stand on the side of the road. Why not? It ended up being the most expensive lemonade I've ever consumed. When I asked the cost, there was no cost, just a donation to a local charity.

    I took the opportunity to take pictures of all the bikes. We had a range of bikes for this ride.

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    Frank's sweet BMW. Only ridden to church on Sunday's.

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    Greg's FZ1 which has somewhere north of 140K miles. It also has more off-road miles than some dual sports.

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    David's Vstrom 1000. The Vstrom is fast as he could pull away from most of us with little effort.

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    Randy's new to him CB500X. This one replaced his most recent one that had an encounter with a ditch. I really like the white color on this bike.

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    Next is my MG V85TT. It has ~ 5000 miles on it now.

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    Finally is John's Yamaha Vstar 1300 aka his Dad Bike. It looks comfortable to ride.

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    Next stop was Altamont where the waterfalls are located. There were a lot of cars in the park parking lot. The sign stated the falls were a 0.5 miles from the parking lot. I mentioned to the group that I had grew up nearby and most falls / swimming holes were at the bottom of gulfs below the bluff line. So the 0.5 mile hike might be vertical. Well I was right. The hike might have not been so bad if we had more appropriate boots and it wasn't so hot. I did find out that I was more out of shape than I thought.

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    Nice of them to place some stairs to get over the bluff.

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    Lots of people swimming.

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    Frank stripped off his pants on the way out, which was funny because his shorts were shorter than his shirt, so everyone though he just pulled his pants off. Of course, it was much harder walk out given it was up hill.

    After the falls, we had lunch at a local BBQ restaurant. I decided to peel off and head home as I had something to do that night and it was already 3PM. So I headed back and missed the turn at Huntland. I ended up going to Fayetteville TN, which probably didn't save me any time over what the group rode.

    Overall it was a good ride and I had fun. I generally don't care where we are going as long as I get to ride my motorcycle.
    #24
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for the writeup and pics. I would have liked to go on this ride but just came back from a 5 day trip to Maggie Valley. I have never been to Altamont. I'll have to check it out sometime. Might make for a good Fall ride when it's cooler and the hike won't be so hot.

    Glad ya'll had a good ride.
    #25
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  6. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Looks like Maggie Valley was fun.

    I know some of the roads between Altamont and Dunlap, so I might do some exploring and try to stitch some roads together for a loop ride. It's a bit of a haul up there, but getting to run up Sewanne makes it worth it.
    #26
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  7. Raptorman

    Raptorman Retired Raptor Keeper

    Joined:
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    Blue Ridge, GA
    I had the pleasure of living in Winchester and working in Decherd for 2 years back in the early 80s. :beer Use to ride my '71 TS-185 in the Franklin Forest and around Tims Ford when the lake was down. :ricky
    #27
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  8. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I decided to get out early today to beat the heat. I rode my Moto Guzzi V7 III through backroads in Tennessee.

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    A couple of tunnels under railroads.

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    I ended up riding my nice clean V7 on several gravel roads today.

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    I saw a herd of goats hanging out.

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    Campbell Station Country Store which always seems to be closed these days.

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    An abandoned build next to the road. The house was also abandoned, but I couldn't get a picture.

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    The mill on Wilburn Mill Rd now has a gate to prevent anyone from driving through.

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    My V7's first creek crossing. It's shallow with a concrete bottom, but you have to start somewhere.

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    Early in the morning, the ride was enjoyable, but as the day went on, the heat got unbearable while riding slow.

    I didn't go out intending to ride gravel and muddy roads, but the bike and the new tires handled it without issue. Also, I didn't see even a speck of oil on the rear drive, so I think the new hub fixed the leaky drive.
    #28
  9. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I've been pretty busy (aka lazy) this week and hadn't written up my weekend ride.

    My rear brake lever arrived at Sloans in Murfressboro last week. So my plan was to ride up, pickup my part and kick some tires of new bikes. I noticed on Wildguzzi.com that a Moto Guzzi meet up and ride was occurring this weekend as well. So I decided to check it out.

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    I started in Huntsville AL and took Hwy 231 to Murfressboro TN. I ran off without my small camera, so my pictures are from my phone. It's not very convenient to take quick pictures with a phone while on a motorcycle. Brian who I have ridden with on other Moto Guzzi rides was there on his big block Breva.

    Sloans had one of the Honda Cubs with a full seat. This is the first one I've seen in person. I should have taken a closeup picture of the Kawasaki KLX230 in the background. It had 145 miles on it and a bad case of road rash. We were theorizing that someone likely bought it as a first bike and wrecked it in the first few days with so few miles.

    The last time I was at Sloan (about a month ago) they had very few Japanese bikes but plenty of European and Indian bikes. This time they were down to four Indian bikes. Most of the bikes in the background are either used or Chinese bikes.

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    Several people showed up but didn't go on the ride. They just wanted to swing by and say hi. We ended up with four riders.

    My V85TT

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    A Stelvio

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    Brian's well sorted Breva

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    Being a poor camera man, I didn't get a picture of the other bike which was a V85TT Travel.

    We rode from Sloans to Sewanee TN taking Hwy 41. Our ride leader apparently had a girlfriend in college who went to the University of the South. He was very familiar with the campus and the buildings. I've ridden all around the campus but never been on it. We were going to look around at some of the buildings, but students and parents were there and it was crowded, so we moved on to some other sites.

    There is a giant Cross that overlooks the valley. We stopped here and BSed for a while.

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    We had lunch at a restaurant next to campus. During lunch one of the guys was talking about the Templeton Library. I ride in this area a lot and had never heard of it.

    John Templeton who was born in Winchester TN was an early Wall Street fund manager. While he didn't live in Tennessee as an adult, he built his own personal library. It's not affiliated with the University, it's just sitting on the mountain.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Templeton

    The door was locked, but there were some women on the back porch chatting. Notice the two guys trying to break in. Evidence if anything is missing. :lol3

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    Nice Views

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    From the library, I broke off from the group to headed back to Huntsville. The rest of the guys live in Tennessee, so they were headed back toward Sloans.

    I took AL Hwy 65 back toward Huntsville which is a mainstay of riders in the Huntsville area.

    Overall, I had a good time and met a couple more riders in the area.
    #29
  10. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Last week when I rode from Huntsville to Murfreesboro to Sewanee, I saw a sign for Lake Normandy. When I was a teenager, I fished a bass tournament at Lake Normandy. I remember the trip really well because the game warden lived at the boat ramp and threatened to give me a ticket. At the time, the limit for bass was 15 inches. I only caught one fish that met the limit. The game warden measured my fish and said it was 14.5 inches. I told him it was 15 inches when I caught it. He wasn't buying it, so I made a joke that I could step on it and make it 15 inches. He was not amused and threatened me with a ticket.

    I thought I would go explore Lake Normandy and swing back by Timsford Lake. I guess it was a lake tour this weekend.

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    Why would anyone ride toward a black cloud? I got lucky and only hit some sprinkles, however the road was really wet, so I think I missed the hard rains.

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    I found some nice roads around the lake.

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    Lake Normandy

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    Should I turn down this road on my street bike. Why of course I can't pass up and interesting road.

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    The road wasn't that bad, but it did have some big mud holes.

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    I came around a corner and saw these guys blocking the road. They didn't seem concerned about me on a motorcycle. I sat here for several minutes watching them stand in the road. Usually when I see turkeys, they exit the road as fast as possible.

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    About a half mile down the road, I ran into another flock of turkeys. You will need to zoom in to see them. These were quicker to exit the road.

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    This is Woods Reservoir on Arnold Air Force Base. Luckily, the road is open through the base and they don't have any gates on the recreation areas.

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    Timsford Lake

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    Lots of fawn deer out. One didn't make it across the road and was a snack for some buzzards. This one was near the lake with his mom.

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    Lots of people out fishing today. I remember from my days bass fishing that Timsford's water is very clear and deep for lakes in Tennessee.

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    Of course, I took the curvy AL Hwy 65 back to Huntsville.

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    It was a good ride and I found a few roads that I could ride in the future. I think I will go back and try to find more roads that I can stitch into a good loop around the lakes and back to Huntsville. I like to ride loops where I get a mix of roads.

    Also, I have about 600 miles on my rear drive repair without any leaks. Finger crossed.
    #30
  11. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Over the holiday weekend, I was only able to ride Sunday. Initially I was planning to ride a forrest service road near Fall Creek Falls in Tennessee that another rider had told me about. However, when I woke up Sunday morning there were storms moving across Tennessee. I decided to implement plan B and go south. Looking at the map of Alabama, I decided to ride around Lake Tuscaloosa. I found an interesting road on the map called Watermelon road that appeared to be dirt / gravel.

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    Tennessee River in Decatur Alabama

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    Bridge Over Smith Lake

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    Some of the roads around Lake Tuscaloosa

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    This is the start of Watermelon Road. It's a really strange road because it switches back and forth between gravel and pavement.

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    My trusty Guzzi

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    There are a few of these pumps around. I'm not sure if this is a water or oil pump. It doesn't look like it has been used in a while.

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    More Dirt and Gravel

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    There are a few boat docks along the road.

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    At the end of the lake is a spill way. This is also only a few miles from what native Alabamians consider hallowed ground. Bryant-Denny stadium at the University of Alabama. Not being a native Alabamian, I didn't bother to ride over and take a picture.

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    I always wondered what my bike would look like with a slight hint of Alabama red clay dust.

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    An abandoned building on the way back.

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    Heading back through Bankhead forrest.

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    I stopped in Eldrige AL to get gas on the way back. While pumping gas, someone came up behind me and said "Holy Hell a Moto Guzzi in Eldrige Alabama, that's probably a first". I told him it wasn't true as I had been through there a few months ago. He was a nice guy and was riding a spotless Harley. He also told me he liked all motorcycles and wasn't a Harley snob. It bugs me when Harley riders do that. I like Harley's and don't make a judgement when someone rides up on one especially if they are nice enough to come over and chat.

    I checked when I got home and Eldrige has a population of 130.

    Watermelon road was an interesting road and I would ride it again. The problem with Watermelon road is that most of the side roads had no trespassing signs, so the side road exploration is probably limited.
    #31
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