FL to SM 500 June 2018

Discussion in 'The Sandbox - AKA Flatistan' started by Fango87, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Fango87

    Fango87 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Longwood FL
    Alright people, I have been able to get time off from work after 1st week of June, and I want to get organized to go do the SM 500. For those unfamiliar with the SM500 it stands for Smokey Mountain 500, which is a 500mi loop of backroads, trails, and dirt roads through the Smokeys, if that doesn't sound awesome, I don't know what does.

    I will be using this thread to get people involved, post information about the trip, dates, places, etc.

    Since I live in Orlando, I will get organized to ride up there, if you want to join you're more than welcome to, otherwise, we can set a meetup date and place so that we can all do the SM500 together. I'm gauging interest mainly from FL people, but of course if anybody else wants to join from other states, they are welcome.

    Tentative dates are: Leave 6-9-18 it's a Saturday, do one shot to the southern point of the SM500, I will post GPX files found on this website at a later time. There is also a FB page already I'll try to get involved in that too.

    Ride the SM 500 over 3-4 days depending on how much riding people want to do. I plan on camping along the way, Will post camprgrounds option/hotels, interest points, etc. So riding the SM will be done on 6-10 -12 or 13 (6-12 is my BDay ;D ) ride back to FL the day after, but you can do whatever you want afterwards.

    Please express your interest in the trip, and I will compile a list of potential participants, and if it's a big lot, I'd like to create groups ahead of time, mainly to ensure that each group has at least 2 experienced riders that can lead/sweep and look after the less experienced dirt riders (such as me).

    Anybody with previous experience is more than welcome to share knowledge, tips, suggestions about the trip to make it as fun and as safe as possible for everyone.

    Depending on how much interest I get, I'll try to reach out to a couple of dealerships to see if they wanna sponsor the trip, maybe organize a big BBQ at the end of the trip, maybe some prizes, etc. Let's try to come up with FEASIBLE ideas to propose to an eventual sponsor.

    We have 3months to accomplish this, I think we can do it, if anybody wants to get involved in the planning and organization, I'm happy to share the load.

    I'll be updating this post periodically with key info about the trip.

    Thank you!
    - Dario

    Here's a post on this forum about the SM500 it has a GPX file you can download, lots of pictures, and rider's reports about the different sections, a good read to give you an idea of the trip is going to be like.

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/smokey-mountain-500.926507/


    Places to stay/camp:

    - Two wheel of Suches:
    Cabins and camping located at the southern side of the loop

    http://twowheelsofsuches.com/camping/
    Ph: (706) 973-1671

    - Ironhorse Lodge
    Camping/cabins
    http://ironhorsenc.com/
    Ph: 828-479-3864

    - Cherohala Mountain trails CG
    Camping/cabins
    https://www.cmtrails.com/home.html
    Ph: 423-253-6061

    Keep in mind late May, early June is gonna be probably crowded, so if you're interested, make up you mind quick cause availability goes quick.


    [​IMG]



    People Going: 12

    - Fango87 + 1 YES BBQ
    - wndsrfr48 YES BBQ
    - smthng
    - KenCM +2 (Kilmern yes BBQ)
    - Ocala Mike
    - DCTFAN YES BBQ
    - Monticello
    - NDKRomany YES BBQ
    - tomcat125

    ** Some people have expressed the desire to go to the Hooch ride in Suches GA, which will take place on June 9th-10th. I was planning on riding up the 9th and startingthe SM on the 10th, However, if Most people want to add the Hooch to their journey and still do the SM500, I'll try my best to leave on the 8th and start the Hooch on the 9th and then continue on the SM500 the 11th-13th and ride back to FL the 14th. I have something planned after the SM and have to make sure it does not interfere. Please let me know if you want to add the Hooch to the itinerary
    https://www.usdualsports.com/listing/the-hooch-dual-sport/ **

    ***UPDATE: I will NOT be attending the Hooch, unfortunately, work schedule and family schedule will not allow it, I will stick to the SM 500 only and it will start on the 10th and end it on the 12th, ride back to FL the 13th. I will coordinate to set a meeting point/starting point and continue to update this first post with information on where I'm gonna stay. I will ride up on the 9th and camp at TWoS.***

    ***UPDATE: I’m trying to see if people are interested in having a BBQ dinner catered on the 12th night, I spoke to a local BBQ joint and they said they can come to TWoS and provide with food, tea and paper goods:

    2 meat plate with 2 sides, tea and all the paper goods for 14.95 a plate + 20% tip would come out to $18 a plate. It’s a fair price considering we don’t have to worry about meeting up somewhere, space etc. please send me a PM if you’re in, I’d rather do this than go out to a restaurant. Thank you***
    #1
    Dan Diego, BostonBaker and Jbrowning like this.
  2. aprracer

    aprracer Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    34
    Location:
    Fort Myers Beach
    Im interested..
    #2
  3. wndsrfr48

    wndsrfr48 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    275
    Location:
    Jax Beach
    As before, heading up the “Old & slo” Group.

    If you need any help in prep or execution, let me know
    #3
  4. legend2

    legend2 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    58
    Location:
    Mesa
    This sounds fun! It would be a last minute entry if I'm able.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
    #4
  5. smthng

    smthng Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Very interested... but depends on my next bike acquisition. I just sold the TW to make room for a large(ish) dual sport with cruise control. I should have something by the time this rolls around and it's just the right amount of distance, time and camping that I'm looking for. But, I'm not a dirt rider... Based on other descriptions I would probably take a fair amount of the "ride around" routes. Dropping a bike is fine, but I prefer to avoid sliding or crashing one. :)
    #5
    BostonBaker likes this.
  6. Fango87

    Fango87 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Longwood FL
    I've updated the first post with a link on the SM500 from another post in this forum.
    #6
  7. Jbrowning

    Jbrowning Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Clemson
    Just posted on FB. Will follow this thread.
    #7
  8. BC Leigh

    BC Leigh n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Bradenton/Blue Ridge
    My home base is Bradenton Florida but I also have a place in Blue Ridge Georgia which I spend my Summers. I have done the 500 with Andy a few times and would be interested in this repeat. Please keep me in the loop. You can email me at LHollins1@aol.com thanks
    #8
    wndsrfr48 and jeepgeek2002 like this.
  9. Fango87

    Fango87 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Longwood FL
    I'll keep you posted on big changes or new developments.

    Right now the dates are solid, and pretty much set in stone for me. Spoke to a dealership who might be interested in doing a small sponsorship, but nothing for sure. I've gotten some interest on the FB page as well, I'll try to update the list of people going between the forum and the FB page.

    If you are interested, please let me know and communicate with me that way I can start putting together a more detailed travel plan, and try to get reservations to restaurants so we have spots to stop for lunch/dinner and won't have to wait for seating if we're a big group.

    But please confirm if you are coming.
    #9
  10. BC Leigh

    BC Leigh n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Bradenton/Blue Ridge
    #10
  11. BC Leigh

    BC Leigh n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Bradenton/Blue Ridge
    This is Lee. I think we are also communicating on Facebook if this is Dario. There are actually two versions of this ride one being much more dirt than the other which is what I prefer. Let me see if I can get a couple of my buddies who do more dirt and we can cross paths as we have done on the 500 in years past with Andy and stop at the same place each night. I'll be in touch
    #11
  12. BostonBaker

    BostonBaker I get lost on purpose.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Sounds AWESOME!!
    Dario, sorry I didn't answer your text earlier I have been crazy with some new ventures. I will do my best to be a part of this and Kristen is interested as well. I will be more than happy to lead/sweep a group if you need once you are up in this area and I will also talk to a dealership, in Asheville, that I am friendly with and see if they have any interest. I will spread the word, our group is looking for new ride and a way to get out of that FL heat!!
    :beer
    #12
  13. BostonBaker

    BostonBaker I get lost on purpose.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    GSA or KTM!!! maybe an Africa Twin!!
    #13
  14. dewaynehasty

    dewaynehasty Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    185
    I'm interested, but can't confirm this far out.

    btw, Two Wheels of Suches is awesome!
    #14
    BostonBaker and Fango87 like this.
  15. Fango87

    Fango87 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Longwood FL
    Lee this is Dario. I'm ok with having more dirt, I just wantto make sure we can provide a reliable GPX file that people can download and use. Also keep in mind I'd like to keep this big bike friendly, I personally don't have a lot of dirt experience and ride a Tiger 800, loaded, so if it's easy dirt, I'm ok with it, let's just make sure we have it planned out well and have bypasses for those who are not comfortable. Thanks
    #15
  16. Fango87

    Fango87 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Longwood FL
    Sweet, Keep me posted!
    #16
  17. smthng

    smthng Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Count me as confirmed. I'm planning to make this happen for me somehow. It'll be a good warm-up for the MABDR. :)

    I'm probably going to keep hunting for a lightly used Yamaha Super Tenere... they're ugly as sin, but I can deal and I like that I can always find parts and a dealer... I've had about 10 Yamaha's over the years, so I'm kind of biased there. The Tiger 800 XCX(rxxcxrxxrrxr or whatever it is that year) is my next choice, but I'm WAY far away from any dealers and they seem to be closing down fairly regularly... I'm worried about parts and repairs, although I do love me those tripples. :) I could be talked into the right one at the right price. I'm pretty sure KTM's are out of my price range to get one with cruise. Boss has hinted at a bonus soon, so I'm kind of waiting to find out how much before jumping in bed with one I'll regret later.

    I'm pretty much in the same boat. I have no issues with the dirt nuts taking off to hit the trails though... I'm perfectly fine meandering my way to the next meetup on pavement if it get's too much 'off' and not enough 'road' for whatever fat piggie I end up riding. As long as I know where, I'll find a way. If we can pick those spots ahead of time, I'll create an alternate GPX/Waypoints, etc for anyone else who needs it.
    #17
  18. wndsrfr48

    wndsrfr48 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    275
    Location:
    Jax Beach

    Im sure you're aware of this Tiger at Jax beach. I Don't own one, but hear that they are a great bike.
    https://jacksonville.craigslist.org/mcy/d/triumph-tiger-800-abs/6524073958.html
    #18
  19. BostonBaker

    BostonBaker I get lost on purpose.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Are you thinking of starting in Nimblewill GA?
    #19
  20. BostonBaker

    BostonBaker I get lost on purpose.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Asheville, NC

    FYI
    Another place to stay instead of the Iron Horse is the Tapoco Lodge just north of Santeetlah Lake. This is located 5 minutes from the Tail Of The Dragon. A great thing to hit before dinner or after breakfast and on the riding bucket list for most. I'm sure all of you have heard of it.... either great or awful. I have made three trips to the Dragon and all three were great! It is what you make of it.

    The Lodge is super cool and has cabins if anyone is interested in taking a day off camping and a hot shower. They also have a great restaurant with a full bar. That area is dry so finding a watering hole after a long days ride is hard.

    There is a campground on lake Santeetlah, Cheoah Point Campground that is nice. Also along Pine ridge Road witch is just south of the campground there are campsites right on the lake. I'm not sure of the pay structure but they are very nice.

    .https://www.recreation.gov/camping/...oundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=75477


    Just wanted to put it out there......
    #20