Waybill's ride to TN from N.E. Florida

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ruckusracing, May 29, 2017.

  1. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    Atlantic Beach
    This is my first R/R, so be gentle….and I am not the most literate one either. None the less, let’s get it started!

    A little background story may help, I’m a long-time motorcyclist, but most of my 30+ years of experience is on closed course pavement. I rode some dirty bikes as a kid (yzinger was the first, 86 CR125 as a teen), got a sport bike as a senior in h. school and started road racing a couple years later (1996) until the end of 2007. So, for 20 + years, I was traveling the paved roads around our great nation and I would see all these other roads going off into the distance. Most of them were dirt, some were great looking curvy paved roads, but I always wondered what was on the other end of those roads or what did they pass by? So, now that my 4th and final kid has blessed us and I no longer am trying to be a professional road racer (I still dabble a little for fun), I’ve decided to travel the roads that aren’t the fastest way to go from A-B. I am traveling the roads that are the adventure, that take me past what I feel is the real U.S. of A. After watching some recent movies on adventure riding, it helped re-stoke the fire inside to ride more and also ride the less traveled paths, it also helped when a long-time friend showed me some videos of the T.A.T.

    So, I researched bikes and this past Dec., after what I felt was a good deal, bought my buddies 2013 KTM 690 enduro with the idea of adventure riding. I chose the 690, because I still like to act like a 20 something year old, even though I’m on the low end of 40. Soon after I was introduced to my local group (C.A.D.S) in Jacksonville, FL (Yes, Flatistan) and met some great people that really love riding and they put together some awesome events. They really are an awesome group, I went to a meeting (no dues, just show up) and soon was riding their “Polar Bear ride” this past Jan. and I also attended their “Trans-Florida Rally”. Man what a hoot….Now I am truly hooked.

    I have been slowly planning to ride the TAT, but wanted to “practice” with some smaller trips. Low and behold, Bill (aka, Waybill on here) has a route from Ormand Beach, FL to Tellico Plains, TN, as much dirt as he could reasonably splice together (My guess is about 60-65%). I planned to ride it at the end of March during a time I was able to secure a day off my main job (firefighter) and was off from my part time job as well. Bill had said the trip was broken up into 5 days of riding and he planned the routes to end at a state park each day for camping. What better way to “practice” than to take a trip to TN where the TAT runs through.

    During the “Trans-Florida”, we (C.A.D.S.) met a rider from Mass. that was riding a Kawasaki Versys like it was my 690! Not only that, his footpeg/shifter broke 10 miles into a 300-mile ride and he finished the entire enduro ride using the passenger peg and third gear only…So as we were chatting, and I mentioned my TN trip and he said he was going up there for MMM that same week! I thought it’d be great to ride w/ a bud, and learn from someone that has been traveling America on a bike, camping and surviving on two wheels only, so we planned to skip the first leg from Ormand Beach to Goldhead State Park in Keystone, FL and leave the Tuesday before MMM and to arrive in TN on Thursday, so a total of 3 days for a 4-day trip (Remember, Bill said it was planned as a 5-day trip, but did mention it was possible to combine day 3 and 4, more on that later!).

    Ryan, AKA Banana12, made it to the house Tuesday morning and we headed out about mid-morning, stopping by my shop to pick up some of my gear and say bye to the wife (who was really supportive, but completely confused on where I was headed, why I was headed there, where would I sleep, eat, and POOP! Yes, she asked that too) and kids. I was traveling fairly light, planning to eat out at local diners, I brought a tent, sleeping bag, shower supplies and more clothes than I actually needed. I also brought my tool kit, two tubes, and hydration pack. Ryan had a large amount of supplies, due to living in FL for the winter on his bike, so I felt that we had plenty of supplies and it wasn’t too remote of a trip.

    We planned to link up on the route (using my phone as navigation w/ WayBills GPS points, first time to do so) west of Jacksonville and make our way north. We head through downtown Jax, and just west of Jax there are two state roads, FL 121 and GA 121, that run parallel to each other just across the river from one another. Well I hadn’t turned my GPS on yet and was going off of memory, and I knew we rode past a motocross track on GA 121 called the “Dirt farm”, well silly me didn’t realize we were supposed to take FL 121 and cross over the St Marys River and link up w GA 121. So right out of the gate I miss a turn and miss a cool bridge that Bill specifically mentioned in our talks. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the only time I miss a turn. We continue on and ride pavement for a bit until we get closer to Folkston Ga and take some dirt roads. If you don’t know or haven’t ridden in Florida, the soil of choice is SAND, with a little bit of SAND and a side of SAND to go with it. But I don’t mind, cause the 690 floats on top of it due to ample power on tap.
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    I reckon I will share what components I’m running on the 690. I decided to mix my tire choice up some and run a Pirelli MT 21 front and a modified MT 90 rear. What’s a “modified” MT 90. Well, I cut some extra perpendicular grooves into the large center rubber sections using a tire groover (mine is basically a large soldiering iron w sharp cutting tips) after riding on the tire previously on sandy roads and it exhibiting less than preferred traction. The only other option was the matching rear knobby and I didn’t think it would last the trip, since I had used it on the previous trips. I actually noticed a nice difference with straight line traction in the sand, and was happy with my work and choice. I did run my psi at 25 psi the entire trip north, I knew it was a tad low for the pavement sections for tire life, but was happy w/ it for the grip. I also am running a RAM mount for my phone and added a power outlet w/ USB ports on the left side of the frame, just behind the steering head (saw the setup in the 690 thread). I run the Rally Raid luggage rack w/ GIVI waterproof soft saddlebags, and had a Garmin VIRB elite camera. That’s about it. So here we are cruising up some sandy roads in S. GA, they are mostly straight, but just lean back and wind up the 690, and they pass w/ a quickness.

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    Do you see what I see? Is it a coincidence that we see another moto track?
    #1
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  2. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    Atlantic Beach
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    Hey, it’s a curve! YEEAA HAAAWW! Lol Or better yet…BRAAAP!
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    A big concrete bridge crossing, it seemed outa place with the deep sand roads.
    #2
  3. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    So we get a little farther into Ga, the roads are changing colors w/ the dirt and we wind through some back roads and round a dirt corner and BOOM, big nice looking lake w/ the road winding around it.
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    Great dirt road zig-zagging around the edge of the lake.
    #3
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  4. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
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    Location:
    Atlantic Beach
    Then we meander our way north through the woods and roads until we make it to George L. Smith State Park, aka the first stop for the ride. We decide to find a fuel stop and food (best place for food is a little west, in Swainsboro). Ryan pointed out that my rear running light was out and we found a parts store and swapped out the bulb, picked up a 6 pack and headed to find a camp spot. Ryan shared that he camps where he finds a nice spot on his rides, avoiding anywhere that is posted or private property. We found a sweet spot near the route on a dirt intersection next to some trees and a lake.
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    We woke to a great morning and packed our gear, found some good breakfast at a “Huddle House” and made our way onto the route, today we were going to combine the 3rd and 4th day of the route into one. The dirt has been changing from sandy to nice clay and hard pack and the roads where getting good, great scenery w/ fast switchbacks and flowing sweepers. We get up into some areas less populated and we were able to really pick up the pace and have a blast cruising up and down hills, as the trails narrowed the fun factor would go up!
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    Waybill has a picture of when the house was still standing.

    Attached Files:

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  5. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    We come across a dam that housed a grain mill from the civil war.
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    #5
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  6. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

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    We passed some great scenery and made our way to Crawfordville, GA and stopped for lunch at Mama Chucha’s café and it was great!
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    The café is rustic and a lot of original construction w/ dark wood floors and really cool old fixtures. I had the taco salad and I highly recommend it. Looking at the picture of the restaurant makes me hungry.
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    Outside the restaurant with the town square behind "Slug-O the KTM".

    Attached Files:

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  7. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

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    That's all I have written so far, but will get the rest here soon
    #7
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  8. RandyG

    RandyG Been here awhile

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    Location:
    30 min from the overlook (Deals Gap)
    Following along!
    #8
  9. mandatedmotorvation

    mandatedmotorvation Shunpiker

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    Flat road, Florida
    :type
    #9
  10. mr_guns

    mr_guns Look Mom no hands!

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    Nice job. Looking forward to the rest.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #10
  11. kaosrider

    kaosrider Long timer Supporter

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    :thumb Great stuff
    #11
  12. jeepgeek2002

    jeepgeek2002 Long timer

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    wow thats awesome! im watching this thread
    :freaky:drink:jkam
    #12
  13. wndsrfr48

    wndsrfr48 Been here awhile

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    Sounds great Steve, you are very articulate, and have a proclivity for writing worthy prose. Good on ya!
    #13
  14. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

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    Uhhh, I had to Google some of those words! Lol
    #14
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  15. jeepgeek2002

    jeepgeek2002 Long timer

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    Even SIRI had a hard time translating it to english!
    #15
  16. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
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    Location:
    Atlantic Beach
    Let me back track a little, I miss placed some pics in my time line and I really want to share them. I thought I had all the Wednesday morning pics lined up with the story, but I goofed. My Bad….it’s my first time (that’s what she said) ahahaha
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    Well here we are making another turn onto a country road and what do we see? Another single moto track…It is starting to seem like we are chasing a ghost. I say that because we had passed through a minor shower earlier and there appeared to be fresh tracks in the dirt….will we catch the ghost?

    As we make our way out of the woods onto a country paved road, we see an interesting sight ahead of us.
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    O’ brother where art thou….

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    It appears the state prison has closed. We check it out from the parking lot (I don't need to know what one looks like up close), but then cruise on up the road.
    #16
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  17. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    Atlantic Beach
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    Now the roads are starting to really get hard packed and low and behold….more of the ghost moto tracks.

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    Looks like some turnips fell of the truck…thankfully, it wasn’t me.
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    We roll by a pretty cool pond on the edge of the road and then we notice that they had some serious rain not too long ago. It appears they just repaired the road recently.
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  18. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Atlantic Beach
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    We are constantly passing some cool old barns and houses along the way. Some are in real good condition as well.

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    This one is on some property that is maintained extremely well and the house looks like someone still lives in it. Very cool
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  19. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Atlantic Beach
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    Hey, now it looks like we are riding through a field and yet there are the ghost tracks again.

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    Believe it or not, this has a road name on the map! It was cool to ride between the freshly plowed fields.
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  20. ruckusracing

    ruckusracing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    Atlantic Beach
    upload_2017-5-30_23-41-27.png
    Yet another turn onto a country road and what do I see…the ghost moto had already been here.

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    I love red clay…when it is dry and when I am not sliding across it in my leathers at Road Atlanta (back in the day I’ve might’ve sampled the red clay up close and personable, turns out it won’t come off of leathers once pressed in).

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    Some spots, if you haven’t noticed, have you riding through areas that appear to be “on the farm”, but they are state roads and let you see some great sights up close…if you like farms and such (I do).

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    Another pond/lake and more road repair. It looks like they just pushed the dirt through a few days prior.
    #20
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