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Old 08-29-2009, 05:25 AM   #46
prometheus rising
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Keep it coming dude, great RR
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Old 08-29-2009, 05:50 AM   #47
Anticus
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Excellent RR. Waiting for the next installment.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:11 AM   #48
skierd OP
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Day 5 - More Tennessee

Up at dawn again and on the road by 7:30am. Some of my favorite riding was early in the morning before the world had woken up...


Not that there was much to be woken out here. One of the nice things about this route is the rarity of being around other vehicles. I saw just enough cars, trucks, and tractors to keep me honest coming around corners, beyond that I was mostly alone on the road (and loving it).


Lots of Tennessee has been paved unfortunately, and they're working on paving more of it all the time. One of the few bits of gravel left:


And the first brown moment of the trip:


Looks innocent right? Just a stream rolling over concrete? Nope, this was the first of the infamous TN water crossings. I think at one point I was perpendicular to the road it was so slick, made it across though! Seriously, think wet ice with slimy snot on top, coated in teflon, and you're getting close.

A short while later I decided to take a breather under a pair of bridges. There was a boat ramp leading down to the shore where there was some nice shade, so I stopped and ate a quick snack and relaxed.




More water... very gunshy now going across, but this one turned out to be nothing.


Saw this one out of my mirror as I went past, so I had to go back and try it too. This was deeper than any of the other TN crossings, and was rough getting across as it wasn't paved or covered in smooth stones like the others, but I had traction so it was pretty mild overall. Fun through.


More of this endangered species


Another false alarm...


Uh oh, here we go. I've seen this one before.


Stopped, got out and walked it. Just as slick as the first one, except the bottom was smooth river rock covered in slime and moss. As slick, if not slicker. Found a place I thought was a little less slick and decided to try to ride it across...

Made it!


Was it trials perfect? Hell no! But my ass stayed on the bike the whole way and it moved across under its own power. And didn't go down.

Another false alarm, pretty routine.


Under the Natchez Trace


So I'm feeling pretty good about myself. Making good time, no crashes at the slick crossings, and its a beautiful sunny da.... wait what the hell is that.


Ah dammit... This was by far the worst of the crossings. I've seen so many ride reports of people falling on this one, like just about everyone. I wasn't about to join the club so I walked it again. Slicker, faster moving water, and deeper. But I made it just as easily as the last one.


TAT - 0, me - 3 ... for now. The trail would get her revenge later...

More roads...




Ended the day in Savannah, TN and grabbed a hotel because my boots were soaked again and I wanted to dry them out and take a hot shower. Also the skies started threatening t-storms, and I did not want to be out in it if I could avoid it. Regardless, I was happy to be almost out of Tennessee and with luck I would be in Arkansas tomorrow. 330 miles today.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:44 AM   #49
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Great report and shots. Love it.
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:25 AM   #50
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So how is the seat on that WR? Your daily mileage is pretty good for a small bike and I see you had a black sheepskin on it. Do you think that helped a lot? Did you change the gearing on the bike from stock? How does the bike keep up at hiway speeds?

Great report, can't wait for the rest.
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:17 PM   #51
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The sheepskin helps a lot in my opinion, at least on longer rides. I don't use it around town, just when I know I'm going to be riding all day. Works just as advertised I guess, the wool keeps the seat cooler and more importantly about 1/2" wider side to side yet doesn't get in the way off road. The seat itself is fine for my butt, but it does take a few thousand miles to break in (and for your ass to break in to it).

Stock gearing is 13/43, I went to 13/47. It'll crawl at 5mph in first gear and cruise all day at 65mph on the highway with that gearing. I never had to really fight to keep it in the 60-65mph range, but with a 20+mph head and cross winds at times plus gusts it got interesting occasionally in the plains.
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:50 PM   #52
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This rawks, keep it coming. Great to see you doing it on a small displacment bike.
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:07 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skierd
Bun-bun - uh, maybe? I think Bubba's is right there, never really looked honestly. I'm across the street from Kenilworth Mall and work in the mall and eat far too much pizza from Italian Gardens to go anywhere else. Plus they deliver, so I don't care where they're located.
Yeah, that's the place. I lived down the other side of Bosley, down near Eudowood(sp) plaza when I went to TSU.
'course, this was in the '80's.
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:51 PM   #54
taco250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skierd

Stock gearing is 13/43, I went to 13/47. It'll crawl at 5mph in first gear and cruise all day at 65mph on the highway with that gearing. I never had to really fight to keep it in the 60-65mph range, but with a 20+mph head and cross winds at times plus gusts it got interesting occasionally in the plains.
Does the WR250 have a 6-speed trans?
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Old 08-29-2009, 03:05 PM   #55
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yep, fuel injected too.
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Old 08-29-2009, 03:37 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bash3r
yep, fuel injected too.
Ifin I can get my legs to grow a little in next year or so may
have to have one!!!!! Might anyway!!
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Old 08-29-2009, 03:52 PM   #57
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LOL Like the part where the garmin leads down the rabbit hole -- reminds me of the part in Zen & the Art of Moto Maint where he describes that exact situation.

Thanks for the scoop on the Hennessy, been on the fence about those for a couple years. BTW this will add 10 degrees to the first half of the nite:


Ride safe!
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Old 08-29-2009, 05:08 PM   #58
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Day 6 - Get me the hell out of Tennessee and get to the big river

Woke up with a decent hangover thanks to eating at a decent restaurant called Uptown the night before (http://www.uptowntn.com/home.asp), ended up drinking a bottle of wine with dinner after a 2 beer appetizer.

Thats ok though, it decided to pour down rain first thing in the morning, so I slept in a little.

Waiting out the storm


Cleared up, mostly around 10:30 and I was on the road by 11.


Oops, not quite yet. About 20mins later, another storm rolling through, ended taking shelter at this body shop:


If you're ever near Savannah, TN and need body work, stop in and see these guys. Very nice, old school run type shop and were very nice to let me cower in one of their bays, stink up their waiting room, and read their magazines.

I ended up dodging storms all day, fortunately the trail swung me between and around the rest of the rain and I stayed dry the rest of the day.

Western TN was such a disappointment. Why? They're paving it. 80-90% of TN was paved, much of it was obviously in the last few years as well. The last 70-80 miles were almost completely paved and treeless (I guess from logging?) and as such it was kinda miserable riding. Fortunately, just before the border, it turned back into dirt... and then suddenly...


turned red. Welcome to Mississippi!



Got my first taste of how the roads would be for the next 300+ miles: 2-8" of dirt and gravel dumped on the road and left to sit. Great for cars, great for drainage too I guess, not so great for a motorcycle. At least the storms kept the weather cool...

Had another brown moment, or more accurately a black and yellow moment, shortly after taking the above picture. I hit a bee at 40mph, stung me in my neck when I hit it, went down my jacket, and stung me 3 more times before I could stop the bike and get the little fucker out. No more (stinging) insect encounters after that, though I did run into a june bug (bounced off the armored knuckle on my gloves, and it still smarted) and hit a few big horseflies along the way. I started wearing my 'stich scarf to keep the bastards off in the buggier area.

Most of Mississippi was pretty nondescipt fields and country lanes. As I approached the River, it got better though.



Thanks to another ride report, I bypassed the first of the two main bridge closings without incident. Then I came to the other one that most people say you can ride over (gotta love all the tire tracks).



Note the kudzu reclaiming the road... I decided not to risk it, there were a bunch of loose nails on the former bridge surface and I didn't trust my riding abilities that late in the day to get over the assorted bits of lumber other riders had used to get across, especially since the detour was only a few miles.



Getting flat... and hot...


Here's something I was really looking forward to, riding the levee roads:


Easy riding, but fun because you're so much higher than the surrounding land. Great views and cool to be off the main roads again.

Back on the highway and there... can you see it?



Ahh.. the bridge to the west, across the Mississippi River! But for now, tonights destination is in sight:




Stayed at the Isle of Capri casino. Can't beat $40 a night, my low for the trip, with an included all-you-can-eat buffet and comp drinks if you gamble a little. Also can't beat the parking, right up front at the hotel entrance:


My night ended up costing me about $15 total as I won $25 on the slots.

The food was decent at the buffet, wasn't expecting much for the price honestly. Got to see a bunch of country ass people, and the absolute fattest family of four I've ever seen. Each, individually, was so fat that they couldn't sit at the same table together, the mom, dad, son, and daughter had to each get their own table to fit their disgustingly fat asses. And the mountain of food each required, of course.

I was less than pleased when the fire alarm when off at 4:30am, but all in all it was a decent place to stay, considering the price. There certainly wasn't anywhere I'd trust to stay in Helena, Arkansas, just across the river, thats for damn sure.
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"We wish your trail a long one" - Darlene "Sid" Dowd ~ Never run out of traction, ideas, and real estate at the same time.
2008 Yamaha WR250X
Eastern TAT 8/2009 ~MD-Key West-Oklahoma 4/2011~Maryland to Alaska 3/2012
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Old 08-29-2009, 05:21 PM   #59
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Great ride report & looking forward to reading more!

Interesting that you don't hate the stock seat. I spent maybe 4 or 5 hours on mine (WR-X) today, and was really happy to get home and off the bike this evening. Overall, I think the stock seat is too soft. Is the sheepskin making that big a difference for you?
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:39 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeird


Those pictures look familiar.

This picture is actually that parking lot right there by the bridge on route 80.

This one was from about a year ago when I was riding with a friend up there.


There are some beautiful places on the blueridge parkway, I'll ride a lot more of it some day, after all I'm not too far from it!

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