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Old 05-29-2009, 12:25 AM   #1
BadKarmaPa OP
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Location: Pittsburgh,Pa. USA
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Putting the GPS in Charge

I'm going to take a stab at trying to do a ride report.

Been a couple years since I last wondered off by myself, so I took a week off and set out on a quest to see the highest points south of me. Set the GPS to fastest route, best route, no u-turns, no toll roads and no highways. I picked the mountain top and let the GPS do the rest. This was my very first trip with this gadgetry and these settings lead to some interesting surprises.

The first surprise was that the GPS even knew this short cut was here and thought it was a road.

First stop, Mt. Davis, Pa. 3,213ft

Next, Backbone Mountain, Md. 3,360ft.
Ran into a problem here. Seems Backbone Mountain is privatly owned. "No Tresspassing" signs EVERYWHERE. I finaly decided to stop at this one. I was getting a bit too far back in the woods and my riding gear ain't bullet proof.

But the ride up here was interesting. I put the video on for the trip back down.

Now on to Spruce Knob, W.Va. 4,863ft.
The GPS took me in on 20 miles of BAD road. It started as gravel and dust, but quickly turned to mud and potholes.

They have an observation platform a little was up a trail. Nice view up there.

After talking to some people at the sumit, I went down the other side of the mountain. All clean paved twisties and switchbacks.

Next was Mt. Rodgers, Va. 5,729ft.
It too seems to be privatly owned. The GPS insisted I crash through a locked gate and ride up through a pasture full of cattle. However, Whitetop Mountain was right handy. So I made that do. Another interesting road, but I made it all the way to the antenna aray at the tippy top.

The weather had turned to crap, so there wasn't much of a view.

I had to come down below 4,000ft to get under the clouds.

Now for the big one. Mt. Mitchel, NC. 6,684ft the highest elevation east of the Mississippi.
Again, conditions were not optimal for sight seeing.

But I wasn't leaven till I got to see somethin. Eventualy the clouds parted a bit.

This is where my quest for altitude ended. To get to Mt. Michel I had to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I didn't ever want to leave. This road is AMAZING. If your ever going to be anywhere near it I HIGHLY recomend you make it a priority. It's closed to commercial traffic, so no trucks to deal with. Lots of national park type things along the way, most of it is lovely smooth clean twisting blacktop, and views are breath taking.

Well, since I'm in the area I felt I also had to run over to the dragons tail. I won't bore you with a bunch of pictures we've all seen 100 times. But I did get to meet a for real celebrity there.

Most of you have probably read about him. But if not.
The dragons tail is a fun little stretch of road, and I'm sure it helped that I was there in the middle of the week, and it was raining. No big crowds. But if I could only do one, I'd rather ride the BRP. But the gap is a great place to see bikes and meet riders.
By now I'm cold, I'm wet, (been raining for the last 3 days), and I just can't think of any place else I'd rather go than home. So on my 3rd run down the dragon I just kept right on going to Knoxville and jumped on the slab for home.
Oh ya, and here was another first for me on this trip. I was cold, wet, hungry, tired and........clumsy. I came zinging into an overlook a little too hot, skidded the rear tire and....

I'm glad the top rail was already missing from that fence. I don't know if I would have cleared it as I was flung out into the grass.

A couple shots of what your expect if you give your GPS free rein to choose the path.

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Old 05-29-2009, 03:25 AM   #2
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Looks like a good ride... even with the rain...GPS on a bike has made navigation so much easier.. Thanks for the report and pics
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:33 AM   #3
Jamie Z
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I like to travel that way too. Some people have said that the GPS takes the adventure out of adventure riding, but as you know, it's very much the opposite. I like to set mine to "shortest" rather than "fastest," as I've found that under "fastest" it will still send me onto major highways and interstates. Looks like you found some good roads.

As for the BRP... I know I'm in the minority, but that road bored me to death. I rode it for a day and a half, and then decided to take an alternate route. Nice scenery, but... nothing to see.

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Old 05-29-2009, 09:32 AM   #4
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Thanks for the update. I was wondering about the sleepy bike pic. It didn't appear to be anything major. Some of those barely roads look like alot of fun.
"Looking at the cake is like looking at the future. Until you've tasted it what do you really know. And then of's too late."
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:46 PM   #5
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Location: Lake Maquarie, East Coast Australia
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Nice way of finding new roads - I'll have to try it

I know, its not a KTM or a Beamer. . . . . . but aye, its got two wheels & Im gon

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