Today was a good day to get out to ride and see the fall colors one more time before the rest of the leaves fall of the trees. Our friend Sean had planned today’s route so we’d be following him and his wife Christine on their Victory Cross Country Tour. Today we’d be riding on the west side of I-575 and its farm lands before crossing over to the east side and the mountain roads. Georgia HWY 108 (Fincher RD) south of Waleska, GA should really be renamed “Tar Snake Highway”. The black caulking used to fill cracks, referred to as “tar snakes” were all over the place. It almost seemed in some spots that there was more caulk than asphalt! It was a good day to ride as there were few if any clouds and the temperatures warmed in the upper 60′s (F) along the way. Sean planned a good route that did take us along some nice roads, through some nice farmland and then on some curvy mountain roads before we had lunch and headed for home. But I swear that on one small road I heard banjo music playing!
Now about the title of this post. It seems we rode past way more chicken ranches or farms than usual. If you’re not familiar with chicken farms there’s only two words to describe them: THEY STINK. No make that three words: THEY REALLY STINK. They are putrid smelling places, even driving past them. When people ask you to eat strange foods and tell you “It tastes like chicken.” it’s a whole lot better than telling you “It smells like chicken.” Now in fairness to Sean, he probably had no idea we’d be riding past those kinds of farms.
But it was still a great day to ride!
The chicken farm route!
Tags: georgia, rides
This past weekend we rode with my Blue Knights Chapter up to the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge & Campground in Stecoah, NC. It’s turned into an annual overnight ride up there on the last operating weekend of the lodge for the season. Donna and I led our group up there again on a route that got us up there about 2:00 in the afternoon, right at check in time.
We met our group in Jasper on Saturday morning where it was a crisp 30 degrees (F) under a cloudless blue sky. The group had opted for a combination of scenic roads and faster major roads. In the past we took our time and arrived later in the afternoon. Our route took us up Georgia HWY 515 to Young Harris where we took GA HWY 66 into North Carolina and eventually came out on US129 in Murphy, NC before heading for our lunch stop in Robbinsville, NC. After lunch it was just a quick 20 minute ride to the Iron Horse. Along the way I had built in a “pit stop” in Blairsville, GA and it was a good thing I did. One of our members was having problems with her heated gloves and needed a quick repair. The problem was a blown fuse, which she had extras of and one member even had a multi tester in his motorcycle! The leaves on the way up are just about peaking in their colors. When we arrived at the Iron Horse it had warmed into the mid 50′s for temperatures and actually felt nice. It’s always fun to gather on the porch, have a few drinks and talk about the ride. We also noticed that there were a few hearty souls who were tent camping! We say hearty as the temperature had gone down to 25 degrees (F) the night before. We were glad we were staying in cabin rooms with heat! On Saturday’s the dinner choices at the lodge are either prime rib or salmon, so this is no rustic campground! After dinner the group outside had formed a tight circle around the campfire so we opted to stay in the lodge to chat and have drinks.
Although the forecast was for 35 degrees (F) overnight it only got down to 40 but there had been an overnight shower. We never noticed it as we were tucked in our bed in the cabin with the heat on. It was time to head down for our “Biker’s Breakfast” before packing up and heading for home. For the trip back I had planned for us to ride through the Nantahala Gorge along the Nantahala River, one of the venues for the 1996 Sumer Olympics. From there it was down US 64 through western North Carolina and into Tennessee. We rode through such exotic places as Copperhill and rode past McCaysville Drug and Gun Store in McCaysville, Georgia before coming back out on GA HWY 515 in Blue Ridge and heading south for home.
Even thought it was cold in the beginning of the first day, it was still a great weekend to ride and spend time with friends. And after all, that’s what’s all about.
A quick repair to some heated gloves.
The Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge.
Arrived at the Iron Horse!
McCaysville Drug & Gun!
Our route to Robbinsville, near the Iron Horse.
Most of our group at dinner at the Iron Horse.
Stecoah Creek runs through the Iron Horse property.
The morning sun coming up over the ridge at the Iron Horse.
Our route home from the Iron Horse.
Donna and I on the way home around Murphy, NC.
That’s right, last week we got a new front tire on the Magic Carpet and Donna wanted to try it out today. What a great day to do it! There wasn’t a cloud in the sky! We went on a short ride for lunch, riding though Canton, Ball Ground, Nelson, Tate, Marble Hill and stopping for lunch in Talking Rock. The barbeque restaurant we stopped in was celebrating their 5th anniversary and was serving pink pig cupcakes! The leaves are definitely getting their fall colors too. On the way home after lunch we even stopped to look at campers.
A cloudless blue sky in north Georgia. That’s Jasper in front of the mountains on the horizon.
The pink pig cupcakes at the barbeque restaurant.
Tags: georgia, rides
A while back, I helped a friend do the 12,000 mile service on his BMW K1200LT. When I got home I found that I had his 14mm allen socket in with my tools. I needed to get it to him. What a great excuse to meet him and go for a ride! And since it was Wednesday why not call it a Hump Day ride?
Mike and I met this morning at the Dunkin Donuts in Woodstock, GA to have a ride to lunch. We rode under a cloudless, blue sky with temperatures in the mid sixties (F). It did cool to the upper fifties (F) as we rode over Burnt Mountain on GA HWY 136 but it’s always cooler up there. Here in northern Georgia we’re seeing the leaves beginning to change to brown and red and even yellow in some areas. At times leaves were falling like they were snowflakes. For lunch we stopped in at Bigun’s Barbeque in Talking Rock, GA before we headed for home.
A pair of K1200LTs at lunch.
What day is it? Why it’s Hump Day!
The view we get every time we return home.
I was supposed to go to a Blue Knights meeting today but I played hooky. It was too good a day to ride just a few exits on the interstate to go to lunch meeting and then go home. Since I’m not a Chapter Officer anymore it was easy to do.
Donna said she wanted to go for a “long ride” today. It was our first fall ride of 2013. The leaves are already changing and dropping (or is that FALLing) here in north Georgia and it’s only the last weekend in September! Maybe all the rain we had this summer has something to do with it. We had no plan, just a direction and a couple of lunch ideas in our heads. It was a beautiful, cloudless blue sky and the forecast was for a high temperature of 77F. Actually for most of the day’s ride it was in the upper 60′s for temperatures and was great. We were on Georgia HWY 53 headed for Dawsonville when Donna asked “What about that road past Big Canoe?” I told her it would take us straight out to GA HWY 136 and we could take that on up to GA HWY 52 and then take HWY 9 right on into Dahlonega. “Yeah. Do that.” came through the headset. So we took Steve Tate HWY passed Big Canoe and then with its tree covered hills and curves. When we made it over to HWY 52 we were passing some pumpkin fields. It was really feeling like fall now. We passed a “pumpkin patch and corn maze” where traffic slowed just a bit. It was odd that we didn’t see any other motorcycles along our route until we got to HWY 9 and headed for Dahlonega. Donna wanted to stop in at Rider’s Hill for a short break after I told her that our lunch stop would Turner’s Corner Café, to which I got an excited “Yippee!” through the intercom. We left Rider’s Hill behind us taking GA HWY 9/60 to the Rock Pile was it was US 19 though the hills and curves until Turner’s Corner Café where we had lunch out on the deck overlooking the intersection and the river. A couple of sport bikes made the left and headed up US 129 and up Blood Mountain. When one revved his engine out of site, Donna said “Let’s go that way! How long will it take to get home?” Even though home was to the south and that route would take us north, a little math from a sign for Blairsville told me we could there in 30 minutes. So I told Donna that Blairsville was about 30 minutes away and I knew home was an hour and a half from Blairsville so I’d get us home about 5:00 pm. “Let’s go.” Going up Blood Mountain wasn’t a special ride for us, we’ve ridden it numerous times. But it’s a nice fun, curvy road with a good surface and good visibility. We were passed by bikes going the other direction in the curves that looked like they were on a race track! Not just the leaning but the speed! Local resident’s have been “venting” in a the Atlanta paper’s column “The Vent” about the speeds of motorcycles this summer. They know motorcycles have always been on the road but they’re now complaining about the speeds and I see why. It’s only a matter time before the Georgia State Patrol begins a dedicated enforcement action. I don’t care how a good a rider you think you are, it’s a public roadway and not a personal raceway.
It was a good day and fall is in the air!
We stopped in at Rider’s Hill before heading for lunch.
We weren’t the only motorcycle at Turner’s Corner Café. There were actually quite a few.
Donna dining on the deck at Turner’s Corner Café.
Today was a gorgeous day in northern Georgia to ride. Temperatures were in the mid 70′s with some white, puffy clouds against a blue sky. Fall started today and some of the leaves are already starting to change. So we rode.
Sean, a friend of ours, and I had gone to Lowe’s this morning so I could get some lumber for a project. I can fit 8 foot lumber in the PT Cruiser but there’s no way I can get the 4′ X 8′ foot pieces of plywood in it! That’s where Sean and his pick up truck came in. It was morning when we got back and unloaded the lumber. Donna came outside and the next thing we knew she was calling Sean’s wife, Christine, to see about riding today. A ride to lunch was their plan. You see, Sean and I are both blessed with wives that love to ride on the back of the motorcycle and enjoy the scenery. Sometimes they plan rides. But they don’t really plan the ride, they plan to ride or give us the destination and we get them there. Sometimes they even get us out of chores that they planned for us! So I guess it really is a family affair. We just headed up to Davis BBQ in Jasper, GA using back roads and then headed back home doing the same thing. This was your typical RTE (Ride To Eat). This is some good BBQ and Sean and Christine had not been there yet.
Today was also a good day to test out the new LED bulbs in the Motolights since it was a nice bright and sunny day. I rode behind Sean for a while and he said the lights were a nice very bright white and they made for the triangle that would catch his eye in the mirror. That’s just the plan I was looking for. I want the lights more to be seen by oncoming traffic than for lighting the road up at night. My headlight already does a real good job of lighting up the road in the dark. So the LED bulbs are a success.
Tags: georgia, rides
So it has been a while since Donna rode on the back of the Magic Carpet. Yesterday we were at a wedding that some riding friends, Sean & Christine were at also. Donna came to me and said “We’re riding tomorrow. Christine and I already decided.” So I guess I was told. Sean had to was their camper early in day so we knew we were already going to get a late start.
So this afternoon we met for a nice lunch of Mexican food and head out for a short afternoon ride. I say short in that it was only a 125 mile ride today. We left Canton and headed for Talking Rock and then up and over Burnt Mountain on Georgia Highway 136. All of the mud and land slides that had a happened in the heavy rains of a few weeks ago have since been repaired but we sure could tell where they were. There was even new pavement in some areas. Burnt Mountain isn’t a tall mountain at all but it sure it twisty and curvy or as a friend puts is “crooked”. Even though it’s not tall, it always amazes with the temperature difference on that mountain. Today it was 10 degrees cooler (F) up at the top as compared with the base which is already hilly. I do have a pet peeve from today though. I’m not a lead foot. But if you’re going 15 mph below the speed limit and there is traffic stacking up behind you, pull into one of the driveways or better yet, one of the pull offs the state puts there for just that purpose and the traffic go by. We made our little loop and stopped for ice cream before heading home. We all figured since Sean worked so hard washing the camper, he could have some ice cream!
Our quick little ride today.
I met one our blog readers and a fellow reader of the bmwlt.com message forum today. Scott and his wife are vacationing on their BMW K1200LT from Michigan and are staying up in Hiawassee for a few days. Scott had gotten in touch a while back so that we could get together and ride while they were here. Today was that day. Unfortunately Donna had been put on the work schedule and couldn’t get anyone to swap with her so it was just me today. I had a great cool ride from the homestead up to Hiawassee. Around Blue Ridge it got pretty foggy and the mountains were shrouded in the fog.
We planned on meeting at the Blue Otter Restaurant in Hiawassee before heading out for a ride that included lunch. As it turned out, the three of us had all skipped breakfast and were hungry so we just decided to start with lunch right there at the Blue Otter. We then headed through Hiawassee before heading south down Georgia Highway 17 towards Helen. We made the turn on Highway 75 Alt and I wanted to point out Goats On The Roof along the way in Scorpion Hollow (unincorporated) but as we approached, there were no goats and the property was vacant with a large “For Sale” sign out front. We then turned back north on US Highway 129 to head up Blood Mountain and head for Blairsville. We stopped for a break at the Appalachian Trail crossing and I asked “Was that stretch of road okay?” It must’ve been a good choice because both Scott and his wife were grinning from ear to ear while taking off their helmets and nodding their heads. But soon it was time to head back down the mountain and for Blairsville where we’d say our goodbyes.
It was fun to ride with another K1200LT also. You usually don’t see many of them out on the road, let alone two of them together.
Scott it was a pleasure and fun riding with you guys today and we wish you a safe journey on the rest of your trip and on your way back home.
The route taken by our two BMW K1200LT motorcycles today.
To get run over by the Beemer. But more about that later.
Today we headed off for a ride in a different direction going towards northwest Georgia this time. I had a Blue Knights lunch meeting in Talking Rock that we rode to. It is a motorcycle club after all. After the meeting we had planned to ride up to around Ringgold, GA with Sean & Christine to look around at an RV dealer. We headed north and east using GA HWY 136, US HWY 411 and GA HWY 2 into Ringgold and then to the dealer which pretty much straddled the Georgia and Tennessee state line. While not quite as curvy as northeast Georgia it was still a nice summer ride.
Now about the chicken. North of Chatsworth, GA while on US HWY 411 we ran over a chicken. In all fairness someone had already hit the chicken but it blended in the asphalt pretty good and made a mess when we ran it over. The side stand, center stand and the bottom of Donna’s floor board got most of it. If we hadn’t got her the floor boards she probably would’ve gotten chicken on her boot and pants! In all my years of riding this counts as my third bird, well maybe two and a half. I hit a pigeon in downtown Atlanta while at work riding a Harley Davidson FXRP police motorcycle (that was really messy) and we hit a crow 2 years ago while headed up to Virginia for our Blue Ridge Parkway trip.
The remnants of a chicken that had tried to cross the road.
My Blue Knights Chapter rode a route in north Georgia today that is known as “The Gauntlet“. It’s a 133 mile route of twisting and curvy mountain roads. We had 5 motorcycles with 9 people (3 motorcycles were 2 up) meet for breakfast in Dahlonega before departing. When we headed across the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway we ran into fog that was so thick it felt like rain. Then on the way down that mountain we did get roads wet with rain. We stopped to don some raingear and to decide if we should continue. We decided that if it looked like rain at our turn for Hiawassee, we’d head for home. The skies didn’t clear but the clouds stopped leaking so we headed for Hiawassee and our lunch stop at the Blue Otter on the shores of Chatuge Lake. After lunch it was time to finish the route and head for places like The Biker Barn and more curvy roads around Nottley Lake and points south and east. The group was just the right size to easily keep together. We’ve actually ridden every one of these roads, except for one before but this was the first time riding all of them in the same day. It makes for a long day of riding and we put a total of 248 miles on the Magic Carpet today