[Note - I just plagiarized myself. I already posted about our trip over on our riding club website, so I simply copied and pasted to my site here]
The ride is over, the memories are fresh, and the pictures are up.
In a word, it was fantastic!
Our group was made up of four riders:
Bruce – Leading the pack on a XB12Ss Lightning
Masa – Next in line in his XB9R Firebolt
George – Following on his Suzuki SV650S
Kurt – Sweeping the group on his Honda Interceptor
We left mid-day on Friday, June 26 and rode about 380 miles to just south of Knoxville, TN where we stayed next to the airport in Alcoa, TN for the night. Took us about 6 1/2 hours with three gas stops and a couple, “where are we?” stops. LOL
Saturday morning found us on the Dragon, a first for all four of us. We didn’t even realize we had started on it until we stopped at a curve and talked to some old timers on their hogs. We hooked up the video camera and off we went. Masa and Bruce flew down the road pretty well on the Buells, while the Honda and Suzuki were a bit more relaxed.
We hit Deals Gap about 10:30am and like everyone says, it was pretty quiet at that time in the morning. We easily parked and checked the place out, then hit the Dragon again. This time Masa took the lead with the helmet video, with Bruce following. Masa pulled ahead at the first curve and Bruce never saw him again until we stopped at an overlook!
We then finished the Dragon and continued a bit more down the road along the lake. In hindsight we should have stopped and turned earlier, as this was when Masa received the first and only “performance award” of the ride.
Our third ride through back to Deals Gap was caught up in a bit of traffic, so that ride was a lot more relaxed but still enjoyable.
We then ate lunch at Deals gap and then took off down US 28 about 2pm, headed to the Blue Ride Parkway.
The BRP was breathtakingly beautiful. The ride exceeded all our expectations, with great curves and rolling hills/mountains and stunning scenery.
We rolled into Asheville, NC for our 2nd night of rest, and then continued along the BRP the next morning. After 235 miles of the BRP and only 2 short detours along the way, we exited off at US 21 and headed to Wytheville, VA. US 21 turned out to be an awesome ride as well. We spent our 3rd and final night in Wytheville and immediately turned on to I-77 to head home the next morning.
Something about I-77 turned some key critical thinking off in both Bruce and Masa as their blood got pumping on the ride and they proceeded to burst down the mountains at 110MPH+. Top that with some incredibly strong windy conditions the entire 350 miles home and in hindsight that was pretty poor thinking. Thankfully all went well regardless of the poor decision making in speed. However, speaking for myself (Bruce) I will probably not lead a group in the near future until I can get a handle on the lead foot…er, make that lead “hand” I seemed to have contracted from this ride.
1,112 miles later and we were back home.
Can’t wait until next year’s ride! Hope more of us can make it then!
Oh, you want some pictures? Okay, here are some highlights from the ride. Enjoy!