1300 Miles of Perfection

The ride down Skyline Drive was amazing to say the least. The road is very well maintained. I don’t think I saw one pot-hole or blemish in the roadway for the entire 104 mile stretch of road.

I can finally check this one off the bucket list! I made a 10-hour ride from Atlanta to Front Royal, VA to ride down the entire length of Skyline Drive and The Blue Ridge Parkway. For those of you who have read or followed my blog, you’ll know that I have made a few trips on to the Parkway but my goal has always been to ride the entire length. Mission finally accomplished! And, of course it didn’t disappoint. And, to top it all off, the weather was a perfect 75 degrees+ for the entire trip with sunny skies.

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New Ride, New Trip

Hello Friends, it has been quite awhile since I’ve written on here. The last few months have been busy with a new job and other ventures. Back in November I traded in my Sportster for a New 2016 Street Glide and I am taking my first road trip with her this week. I am headed back up to Skyline Drive (since I didn’t get to ride it back in September). Will begin in Front Royal at the top end of Skyline Drive and follow it south to the top of The Blue Ridge Parkway on down into Cherokee, NC., then back to Georgia.

I do plan on camping along the way and will post pictures and blog entries here in the evenings, providing I can find a wi-fi connection. The weather is supposed to be in the mid 70’s during the day and upper 40’s at night, so it sounds like perfect weather with no rain in the forecast. Hope to get some really nice photos along the way.

Stay tuned!

Eat, Sleep, Ride

9/18/2015

Eat, Sleep, Ride is a great little app for the iPhone that tracks and records your route, average speed, elevation, etc. It is also a perfect description for this trip, and what is making this a fantastic journey!

We managed to make it as far as Little Switzerland which is located right on The Blue Ridge Parkway and 226A (aka The Diamondback). We were shooting for the Julian Price Campground just outside of Blowing Rock, NC. But it was another hour and a half ride from Little Switzerland and it would have been getting way dark by the time we checked in, unloaded our gear and set up camp. So, as an alternative we opted to get rooms at Little Switzerland. It is a great place with restaurants, a pub and a spectacular view! We are staying in a little 8 room cabin and there are another group of bikers here from Raleigh, NC. We had a great dinner…I opted for jumbo fried shrimp and Mike had a steak sandwich.

Little Switzerland Pub

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Prepping for My First Motorcycle Camping Trip

My first and last experience tent camping was back in the summer of 1998 when a good friend and I decided to take a tent into the cornfields in Illinois during the first week of July to attend a music festival called Cornerstone. The festival was great – except for the fact that we were in a tent.

In just under a week, I’ll be embarking on my first motorcycle excursion which will include camping, or roughing it with a tent and camping supplies. I am a little nervous about this venture, as I have never been the type who enjoyed roughing it in campgrounds. Up until now, my idea of camping was a king-size bed and air conditioning with room service in a fairly decent hotel. While the kids were growing up, we did purchase, and put to use, a pop-up camper. Even then, I remember when we were purchasing it, that it was not my idea of a great time. Having always considered myself more of the big-city urban type, even pop-up camping seemed to me a bit primitive. But nevertheless, I have great memories camping with that old camper with the kids. The pop-up had running water, air conditioning, a small refrigerator and most of the comforts of home, if even on a much smaller scale. Other than being in a campground, around other campers though, I guess you could say it was budget-minded luxury camping.

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Impromptu Ride to Elijay

When I look back on my life, I think the two things that have kept me sane was my years as a surfer and now being able to ride 30 minutes north into the mountains and get lost in the scenery, the roar of the exhaust and the asphalt speeding by in a blur of grey, white, yellow and green.

There is a lot of negative unmentionables going on right now in my life. I have family members who are hurting. The only thing that keeps me off of a therapist’s couch myself, or drinking too much fine single-malt scotch (aside from not being able to afford these things right now) is riding. It is very therapeutic, and I know I am not alone. I hear this from many other riders all the time. It is part of why we do it. I equate it to the days when I lived in San Diego and was able to surf almost everyday. When I look back on my life, I think the two things that have kept me sane was my years as a surfer and now being able to ride 30 minutes north into the mountains and get lost in the scenery, the roar of the exhaust and the asphalt speeding by in a blur of grey, white, yellow and green.

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Group Ride with Alpharetta Motorcycle Road Runners

I recently met a great group of riders from Alpharetta, GA called the Alpharetta Motorcycle Road Runners. Met up with them the first time at a great burger place, if you are ever in the Alpharetta area called “Tower Burger”. I rode with them for the first time this past Sunday on some back roads I had not explored yet on the way up to Elijay, GA. I’ve ridden with several different groups over the past few years and I really enjoy riding in groups. There is just something about sharing the road with fellow bikers that is hard to describe. Maybe it’s all the different styled bikes, the view of having other bikes riding in the same direction, at your right and left and ahead and behind; perhaps it’s the rhythm and rumble of several bikes touring down the highway that causes passer-byers to pause and look; perhaps it’s the feeling of knowing there are strength in numbers. I just know it is an awesome feeling riding with a pack down the highway, not unlike that old country song from the 70’s called Convoy about large groups of truckers trucking across the country together. I’ve ridden in small groups of 2-12 and also in police-escorted charity rides of several hundred.

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Epic Tunnel Runs

One of the many thrilling things you will encounter on The Blue Ridge Parkway is the number of tunnels you will ride through on the south end between Cherokee and Asheville, NC. I took some video footage on my last trip there and strung together a few clips here.

I am a graphic designer by trade and Adobe just released their update to their Creative Suite and Adobe Premiere Clip is one of the mobile apps they released as well and this video was put together entirely in Adobe Premiere Clip. All footage shot on my iPhone 5.

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The North Georgia Mountains

The playground in my own backyard. Just an hour north of the traffic infested nightmare of Atlanta is a refuge, a beautiful myriad of twisty roads and vastly beautiful mountainous views of its own. I am coming to know these backroads well after countless rides to clear my own head of the stress of living and  working in a metropolitan area like Atlanta. This area also known as Six Gap. North Georgia has over a 100 mile long figure 8 tour of twisty roads that never gets old to ride. Some of the great small towns you’ll pass through and want to spend some time exploring is Dahlonaga, Suches, Blue Ridge, Morganton, Ellijay, Blairsville, Helen and Hiawassee.

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The Tail of the Dragon & The Cherohala Skyway

Tail of the Dragon Store

As of this writing, The Tail of the Dragon is my favorite stretch of road. I know many who have ridden this and said it’s too technical, too crowded, too many groms trying to prove their manhood…but never over-rated. This road is not for the faint of heart or for newbies for sure. But if you enjoy endless curves and switch-backs for 11 short miles, (it boasts 318 curves in just 11 miles), this road is one you have to add to your list of accomplishments. Documentaries have been written about this road as well as being featured on numerous cable tv channels and in movies. There have been many unfortunate deaths and injuries as a result of the inexperienced and experienced meeting their fate here.

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