Sunday, August 21, 2016

Vacation Wrap Up

 I had some issues trying to post pics on Blogger while using my phone this past week so today I'll just catch up on those pics.
Day one and I got wet. Little did I know but this was just the beginning.

A pic I manage to capture every time I visit. This is the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Chillin at Mt Pisgah while waiting on friends for lunch.
The Tree of Shame at Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort.
Dan and I stopping to "defog" on a wet ride.
The gentleman in the center is the owner of the bike with the gas powered pusher seen in the background. From post-Time Machine
A short hike led me to this wonderful waterfall.
I just had to stop due to limited visibility.
 So thats it. I have some stills and footage from the GoPro that I haven't looked at yet. Maybe there will be something worth posting in that mess.


Later

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ride Home

If it weren't for the terrible flooding down south, the weather channel would have only talked about a storm front moving across the Midwest.  They wouldn't shut up about it so I knew what I was in for today. I could see that I was gonna have to pass right through it at some point so when I left Maggie Valley this morning all the gear went on including my yellow glasses. What a difference these make on a gloomy day. Anyway, I hit a few pockets of rain but nothing bad enough to slow me down. That is until I passed Nashville.  I can remember only one other time when the wall of rain was so heavy that I had to pull over. It happened fast and I couldn't even see the paint on the road and quickly lost track of the outline of the truck ahead of me. I knew I had to get out of traffic quick or something bad was gonna happen. I wandered to the right and felt rumble strips then began rolling off the throttle. Just then I was able to make out the hazy image of an overpass. The timing was perfect so I parked the big Ultra and got my ass away from the road. I was soon joined by two other bikes and their crew and we shot the shit till the bad stuff passed.
As I pulled out from under the bridge I was having some clutch slippage problems as I accelerated past 50 mph. I quickly realized there was nothing wrong with the clutch as the rear end started wagging back and forth. It rained hard and I doubt there was any oil on the road. I guess I'll just have to get used to the extra power I have now that I've tweaked the intake and exhaust.
Today was over 500 miles. The GPS said I could have been home by 1030pm with no stops. Screw that. I've done the iron butt thing. I'm ready for a hot meal, cold beer and good night's sleep.

Later.

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Short Hike

Frank and I went to breakfast this morning where an old Harley rider quizzed him about his BMW. This guy fit the Harley stereotype perfectly and it was interesting hearing his complaints about his hog and the questions he was asking. Who knows, Frank may have converted one. I think that may raise his status in the Beemer community. They probably have a vest pin for that although I doubt he is the kind of guy that would wear it.
After breakfast we went our own ways. Frank to meet his daughter and I went for a ride. It was good to see Frank and the rest of the guys that showed up.  
One of my goals for this week was to actually get off the bike and hike one of the many trails I've seen in the area. Of course I'd have to ride to these trails so win-win.
The only real hiking I've done lately is taking the long route from my recliner to the fridge so I knew better than to try anything aggressive. Riding boots, check. Bottle of water, check. Camera, good to go. I stopped at a few of the popular trail heads on the Blue Ridge Parkway and wandered off. I got to see some waterfalls and enjoy some mountaintop views . Another trail was steep, narrow and rocky and  threatened to twist my ankle with every step. A little time alone in the woods is a good thing and the walk reminded me I should probably get in better shape.
The ride back to Maggie Valley  was a wet one and now 20 minutes later everything is dry again. Weird weather here. Tonight I'll plan a dinner ride for some where ive never been before and then ill be leaving here in the morning.

Later.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Time Machine

This morning started out enjoying a hearty breakfast with Dan and Frank. Afterwards we decided to go to the Wheels Through Time museum and check out the old iron. As many times as I've been there I always find something new that makes the visit special. Ya they have some new pieces and they did some rearranging but that's not what did it for me this time. As we were looking at old Harley powered gardening equipment, a group of people walked up pushing an old bicycle that had an engine powered third wheel attached along side the rear tire.
Big deal, right? Actually what we were witnessing was a man in his 90s along with his son that were donating this bike to the museum. The man wanted us to see how people got around when he was young. He told his story about being a mechanic for Ford and also being a small engine mechanic. It was interesting to hear him talk about the way things were back in his day and it got me thinking about the equipment we run now. I mean, every generation thinks they have it so good with the current technology available. Do you think future generations  will wonder how we ever dealt with pot holes in the road as they hover along on a cushion of air or a magnetic field? Things will change but how fast and how much will I see?
There have already been huge advancements in technology since I was born but I really thought by now I'd be commuting with a hovercraft or jet pack. I actually feel kinda cheated that I'm not and I blame it on those tech magazines I read as a kid for putting the idea in my head. Until then I'll just keep scrubbing rubber on asphalt.

Later.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Highlands for Lunch

Today Bill had to leave us. He made plans to visit his mother in Atlanta. That meant Dan and I would follow him till we were hungry, and our stomachs growled near Highlands. First stop we made was for fuel and when I saw what was obviously a local working man, I asked him where the best place to eat was in town. He offered directions and we later saw him there eating. That place is called The Ugly Dog bar and we did have a good meal there.
Bill left us from the bar and Dan and I headed back north. The roads here are in great condition and obviously twisty as we motored up and down the mountains. When it looked like we might get wet, we stopped and got the gear on. Good thing because it rained all the way back to the motel and some of it was coming down hard.
Some say rain and twisties don't mix. It's doable if you're careful and we were plenty careful. We did have to make a few stops to "de-fog" but for the most part we pushed through. My official HD rain gear and boots did their job. My neck line is damp but that's from the wall of water sprayed up by passing trucks as they splashed through huge puddles standing in the road. I would equate it to a water ride at a theme park. Dan's gear didn't do as well. He looks pretty wet right now.
I think I'll ride up and see if Crazy Bob has anything new in his store.

Later.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dragon Loop

That's what I called it last year but today's ride was about great weather, minimal traffic on scenic roads and good friends. The Dragon as they call it was just a connecting road between two places we wanted to be. With its claim of 318 curves in 11 miles, the road attracts a lot of hooligans. Not all those riders are necessarily good riders as we saw one wadded up bike being loaded on a flatbed. That rider must have been in the ambulance we passed because I didn't see him in the squad car. Speaking of cops,  when I came through there the other day I saw 5 of them patrolling the area. For me the Dragon is officially dead.
What's not dead is sitting on the porch at Deals Gap motorcycle resort and watching the bikers come and go. We discuss the pros and cons of the different bikes we see and judge the skill level of the various riders. Bench racing I guess. It's a fun way to relax before finishing out our ride back to the motel.
That's all for today. Sorry, no pics. It's not that I didn't take any but the blogger app is giving me grief when I try to load them.
Later.

Dragon Loop

That's what I called it last year but today's ride was about great weather, minimal traffic on scenic roads and good friends. The Dragon as they call it was just a connecting road between two places we wanted to be. With its claim of 318 curves in 11 miles, the road attracts a lot of hooligans. Not all those riders are necessarily good riders as we saw one wadded up bike being loaded on a flatbed. That rider must have been in the ambulance we passed because I didn't see him in the squad car. Speaking of cops,  when I came through there the other day I saw 5 of them patrolling the area. For me the Dragon is officially dead.
What's not dead is sitting on the porch at Deals Gap motorcycle resort and watching the bikers come and go. We discuss the pros and cons of the different bikes we see and judge the skill level of the various riders. Bench racing I guess. It's a fun way to relax before finishing out our ride back to the motel.
That's all for today. Sorry, no pics. It's not that I didn't take any but the blogger app is giving me grief when I try to load them.
Later.