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Old 09-29-2010, 12:28 AM   #1
STBNE OP
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Southern Comfort
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MC Heaven in Northern GA

A ride with vintage Yamaha members that own XS1100s' and XJ1100s' from 1978 to 1982. Known as the XSive Riders Rally. It is held annually in the same place. Two Wheels Only in Suches GA is a motorcycle destination that is totally motorcycle friendly. The only way you're allowed to bring a car/truck is with a MC in tow. The lodge is a little worn looking outside but inside its really a nice cozy place to stay. Additionally you can camp there if you're more of the rugged adventurist, Living in Raleigh its just a short 400 mile trek to Suches or about 8 hours riding time.
Day 1
Got the '82 XJ1100 Maxim packed and ready to head out. I always pack light..especially since I will have a roof over my head.

My route is 90% slab...mostly boring roads. Taking Rt 64 W from Raleigh to I85 South thru Charlotte and thru boring parts of SC. Ten more miles on I85 in GA and I finally head for the 2 laners. I dont use a GPS so I had printed out my directions from google. 2 lane roads start out with a Rt 17 and a gaggle of other roads with multiple route #s makes for some confusing reading especially when you're trying to ride. I stopped at a local corner store and got a local fellow to give me some insights. Turns out he was driving the same way. So he had me follow him for about 15 -20 miles . Turns out the directions were overkill as all the routes #s listed basically amounted to being the same route. Along the way I begin to see telltale signs of interesting terrain on the horizon. Blue Mtns off in the distance begin to emerge and the terrain is becoming more hilly. The roads begin to become less and less straight. Finally I turn onto GA Rt 19/129 North and things become even more interesting. But the real surprises have yet to come. By now I am in the heart of N GA mountain country and it is beautiful. I eventually come to a jct. with rte 60 North and I take this rd. OMG its a serpentine road that climbs a mtn and the curves right and left take me by surprise in that I didnt expect to see such a cool/fun road to ride. In places on the left the trees break away and you get a brief view of mtn vistas and valleys as the road drops off the side of the mtn. After about 5 miles of climbing I go down the other side of the mtn, The roads are no less curvy and in places along the 7.2 mile stretch to Suches this road is quite technical. With off camber, tight curves that almost become blind decreasing radius turns. Being relatively a flatlander these curves throw me a challenge and really awaken me from my 90% slab catatonic state. I am delighted to see this type of terrain and the smile on my face is getting bigger with every mile, I would love to show you how these roads look but i didnt have my helmet cam(note to self...biring it next time) and theres reall not many places one can stop safely. Finally the last mile to Suches and the road and views open up and about 1/4 mile from my detination I am treated to this lovely view.



I arrive a day early for the rally and one of my good buddies is already there. But he went fishing with some local XSive riders. So I arrive at T.W.O. and the place is a ghost town...so to say. The proprietor does not live here so the entire lodge/house accomdates guests... Eventually my buddy comes back from fishing in the early evening and we have to ride into the town of Dahlonega which is 19 miles away. We wait for a local GA boy to meet us at TWO and we head back down Rt60 which i had taken to get here. Interesting how you can take the same road in the opposite direction and its a totally different experience and no less thriling either. Spent a couple hours in town at a Mexican rest. it was okay. best part was meeting up and making some new friends. About 9:30 pm under a full moon we head back to TWO. A really pleasant ride but a bit nervy because of the time. With my loud aftermarket Kerker exhaust...its enough to scare the critters away from the road and I see nary a set of glowing eyes...Back to TWO and crash in our room.
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1979 Yamaha XS1100F "Swampthing"
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"Never too Far...Never too cold...Never too wet..." Moonshine Lunch Run Mantra... RIP Terry Hammond

STBNE screwed with this post 09-29-2010 at 01:32 AM
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:30 AM   #2
STBNE OP
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Day 2
Friday a.m. The proprietor of TWO comes in to open the lodge at 6:30 a.m. to serve breakfast and take in new guests for registering. My buddt Earl and I have a great slow/homecooked breakfast of hotcakes,scrambled eggs and sausage. And ofc the obligatory coffee. To gether with the only other member to arrive at TWO,Chris the three of us head otu to explore local roads and sights. Just an easy going day with plans to stop whereever we find something interesting. The roads around here are terrific. You can ride an entire length of road and never have to stop until you reach the end of that road. Our first road out of Suches is RT 180-Wolf Pen Gap Rd. 12 miles long. This roads is beautiful! In its 12 miles barely more than 1/2 mile of it is in a straight line. The GA countyside is in view and the rural nature is very pleasing to see. The last 5 miles of this road are exteremly technical with sharp turns and at leat 2 hairpins that the sign say to take at 15 mph. This road is as technical as any we will ride the rest of this rally...and we will ride it several more times and in both directions. Again no pics of the road at this point...to busy navigating it.. At the end of 180 we intersect with rt19-129..take it a few miles then get on another section of 180 going east to the highest mtn in GA,Brassville Bald at nearly 5000 ft. We get off 180 and take the mtn road up 3 miles to the parking lot at the base of the summit. A 3 mile road that offers just as much technicality in turns and off camber radii.
In the parking lot at the summit...






The summit is a steep walk of a 1/2 mile and the road is closed to vehicular traffic except for the shuttle that you can take for $3 a person...we decide not to go up. It was very cool temp up there as lower elevations were in the 80's It was in the low 70's in the parking lot. After decending the mtn road its abck to 180 w to another scenic hwy rt 348. Not technical but plenty of fast sweeping curves. Like most every other road this one climbs over a mtn and snakes its way down the other side. At some point at the crest of the "hill" there is a place to pull off and take in the mtn vistas...and a good shot of the road we just came up...


Do I look like I am on a high? Well I am...


We finish riding GA RT 348 and head into the town of Helen GA for some lunch. This place was very good for BBQ pulled pork sandwich...but disappointed they didnt serve hushpuppies.

We stayed at lunch spot about 2 hours and we then rode back to Suches on roads I fail to remember but needless to say they too were fun . Late Friday afternoon and other attendees to the rally are arriving steadily. By Saturday a.m. we have almost everyone in attendance and are assembling for our Saturday ride. Not all the bikes are vintage Yamahas as you will see.
__________________
1979 Yamaha XS1100F "Swampthing"
Go Your Own Way
"Never too Far...Never too cold...Never too wet..." Moonshine Lunch Run Mantra... RIP Terry Hammond

STBNE screwed with this post 09-29-2010 at 01:57 AM
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:59 AM   #3
STBNE OP
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Day 3
Getting ready to start our Sat ride 210 miles of pure bliss. Various shots of the bikes and other attendees gathering outsdie the TWO lodge


















From this point forward I didnt know where i was or what roads we were taking until we made our way to Clayton Ga...from there we head out a realtively mildly curving road Warwoman Rd that lead us to GA Rt28 otherwise known as the HellBender. This roads winds ,twists and climbs all the way to and into NC. What a technical piece of engineering wonder. Very tight a nd twisting curves I get a little over zealous,and get too hot ina right hander only too lose it.I go into the opposing lane and the guard rail looms large in my field of view...somehow i get the bike to lean and made the turn albeit a bit wide...people behind me pass by and I get back onto the correct side of the road. As if i needed any m,ore of an adreanaline rush than I was already having. 10 mins later we are at Highlands NC for lunch. By far the best BBQ anywhere on this trip Ribs were outstandind ang the BBQ pulled pork just scrumptious. Hushpuppies were just..ok
__________________
1979 Yamaha XS1100F "Swampthing"
Go Your Own Way
"Never too Far...Never too cold...Never too wet..." Moonshine Lunch Run Mantra... RIP Terry Hammond

STBNE screwed with this post 09-29-2010 at 07:53 AM
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:29 AM   #4
STBNE OP
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The rest of Day 2 was a blur as the roads and the twists and turns had me numbed out by the late afternoon. The weather had been changing and we had some spotted rain in places. We make it back to base by 5:30 pm and rode 210 miles. I was tired but really happy. I have wrinkles permanently embedded on my face from grinning silly all day long. The Sunday ride was cancelled due to heavy rain in the mtns...we caved in but did have a technical workshop working on one member's bike that had carb issues. Monday also was rain but most people went home. My old bike hates rain and will cut out 2 cyls when the wires get wet so i opted to stay another day along with 2 others. We spent Mon driving around in one guy's truck as he had trailered his bikes there. Spent the day going to different pawn shops. Tuesday a.m. and the weather finally broke and it was a bautiful sunny blue sky day. temps had dropped off and it was delightfully cool and crisp. The following pics were from my ride back to raleigh. I took an entirely different route home than what I took to get to TWO. GA and NC scenery....My route home was to take Rte 180 again to RT19/129 to Blairsville GA then head east on Rt76. Then Rt 69 Nortn into NC for a few miles. Then Rt 64 E to 441/23 N to Ashville then onto I40 for the slab ride home. I40 is really a nice road until you get to Hickory Nc going east it then has flattened out and its just a mundane ride albeit a fast one...So thats it minus some rally activity shots that we did on a rainy Sunday to kill the day...Hope you enjoyed the ride along..I know i will need to revisit N GA and Western NC too.






__________________
1979 Yamaha XS1100F "Swampthing"
Go Your Own Way
"Never too Far...Never too cold...Never too wet..." Moonshine Lunch Run Mantra... RIP Terry Hammond

STBNE screwed with this post 09-29-2010 at 07:27 AM
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:05 AM   #5
eddie98
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Nice report. Glad to see you enjoy the roads on our state, sometimes we locals take them for granted.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:57 AM   #6
BOOGIEMAN
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Dallonega GA

I spent some time there at the US ARMY RANGER training camp. Mountain training is conducted there. Enjoy our trip.
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:07 AM   #7
STBNE OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie98
Nice report. Glad to see you enjoy the roads on our state, sometimes we locals take them for granted.
Yeah I'll be back and to Eastern TN,Western NC and NW SC as well
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1979 Yamaha XS1100F "Swampthing"
Go Your Own Way
"Never too Far...Never too cold...Never too wet..." Moonshine Lunch Run Mantra... RIP Terry Hammond
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:14 AM   #8
STBNE OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOGIEMAN
I spent some time there at the US ARMY RANGER training camp. Mountain training is conducted there. Enjoy our trip.
A really nic town with alot of good restaurants and numerous pawn shops and antique shops. Half the fun was gettting down 60 and 19/129 into town. I would love to live there.
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1979 Yamaha XS1100F "Swampthing"
Go Your Own Way
"Never too Far...Never too cold...Never too wet..." Moonshine Lunch Run Mantra... RIP Terry Hammond
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:12 AM   #9
NCStephen
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Great report and pictures. I am glad you had such a fun time. I am also glad you didn't leave any marks on that outside guard rail or become a hood ornament on a Buick. Sounds like the bike did great! Recover quickly and come on to lunch. Good job BNE

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Old 09-29-2010, 08:51 AM   #10
STBNE OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCStephen
Great report and pictures. I am glad you had such a fun time. I am also glad you didn't leave any marks on that outside guard rail or become a hood ornament on a Buick. Sounds like the bike did great! Recover quickly and come on to lunch. Good job BNE

NCS
Thanks Stephen..I was lucky in that there were nearly no other vehicles on this road especially when I was in the wrong place. This trip taught me alot about how to be a more technical rider. For the remainder of the day all I said to myself was...white line, yellow line...white line, yellow line.....
I didnt get a good nights sleep and I am feeling too tired to come in for lunch just ate breakfast so i will skip it today. I will be there next week though. Glad you enjoyed the RR.
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1979 Yamaha XS1100F "Swampthing"
Go Your Own Way
"Never too Far...Never too cold...Never too wet..." Moonshine Lunch Run Mantra... RIP Terry Hammond
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:25 PM   #11
Brown Dog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOGIEMAN View Post
I spent some time there at the US ARMY RANGER training camp. Mountain training is conducted there. Enjoy our trip.
You guys Scared me hiding in the woods while I was stopped waiting on
your partners to cross the road with guns in hands

.
.
NICE GA. Pics as mentioned
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