We drove up to Jellico from our home on the morning of June 3. Storms had moved through the area the day before so I expected a good bit of mud to be lurking in the hills. The idea for the first day was to ride around 150 miles as a “shakedown” after the engine rebuild. I planned to take it easy and make any needed adjustments to the bike. In the spirit of keeping the bike as stock as possible, I retained the oil injection system, which is a bit of a risk since they have a reputation of being inconsistent. Even though the new oil injection lines had been bled and the oil tank had been flushed, I was running a 32 to 1 mix for the first tank of fuel as insurance. I could then measure the amount of oil pumped at the end of the day, compare it to the fuel consumed and then calculate the ratio.
The ride started around 1:30. Cool weather, some cloud cover. Just a few miles out of town, I began climbing into the hills on wide gravel roads. Not really much traffic on a Monday afternoon. The scenery was beautiful; there were many single lane wooden and concrete bridges over the numerous creeks. More often than not, there would be people fishing off the bridges or just enjoying the day.
People in the East Tennessee Mountains seem friendly. I received lots of waves and questions about the weird old bike whenever I would stop to take pictures or get gas.
Unfortunately (for me), about 75% (or better) of the first 150 miles of the TAT are now paved. I still enjoyed the ride, however. The natural beauty of the area is hard to beat.
My favorite parts of the ride were the scenery around the Obed River and the dirt trails in the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area.
I met my wife in the camper in the Rockwood area where we spent the night. 153 miles, 3.2 gallons of gas and 12 oz of injector oil.
Wooden Bridge near Winfield, TN
Obed River, near Wartburg, TN
Baby Mudhole, Catoosa Management Area
Toad's Eye View, Catoosa Management Area
Who will get to Oregon first?