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Old 07-27-2010, 08:03 PM   #1
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Not ready for prime time ride

I had to visit a BMW dealer to get some code cleared on their fancy smancy computer. I can clear a lot with my Hex Code GS-911 but this one is BMW's to do. I also had to get a shot of the South Carolina border and visit a National Park.

I started around 9:30, the weather and temps were great. As I rolled out I decided to follow VA40 to VA8 and make my way south with thoughts of a Pork Chop sammich dancing in my head. So it was down through Stuart to VA103 and meandering down to Mt. Airy and Snappy Lunch for the Pork Chop Sammich, all the way. Boy that hit the spot.

I left Mt. Airy with my belly full and the weather still being my accomplice. I rode a bunch of back roads not wanting to touch one of those interstate things, so all was good. It started to get a little warm with some stops for construction and folks who just wanted to take their time. I eventually made it to the SC border to fill another spot in the lower 48 photos.

I also wanted to visit the Kings Mountain National Military Park. Nice facility and good museum. This is where the rag tag Backwater Men, dispatched Maj. Ferguson and sent Gen. Lord Cornwallis packing.

From there I headed south east to avoid riding into Charlotte, I didn't feel like playing bumper tag with the rush hour folks. As I rode by Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC it got up to 104, that was a tad bit warm.

I made it to Matthews, NC and found a place to stay next to a restaurant or two so life was good. They also had a free happy hour in the hotel lobby so I had to have a draft on the house. I ended up eating at a very good Mexican Restaurant and got my second full belly of the day along with a great margarita. Afterward I went for a walk, the sky was nice as the evening arrived. I'm now relaxing, boots off and cooling down.

Not sure where I'll head tomorrow, but it may be back towards VA or to points unknown to me right now.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:10 PM   #2
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It was a coin toss this morning, roll north with a couple of stops and get home or head west and get some mountain curves and coolness. Heads it is and west ward bound it shall be.

I finished up at the dealers around 11:30, they found some recall thingy that need attention before they let me go. Nice shop, I stopped in here a few times like 15 years ago. They are planning to move just south of Charlotte at the first exit north of the SC border on I-77 in a few months. The shots are before they moved bikes out and rearranged the display floor.

I headed out of Matthews taking the I-485 loop to make time. My next destination is Cowpens National Battlefield. Some interesting things along the Interstate, the temps were tolerable.

I arrived at Cowpens National Battlefield, this is where Daniel Morgan led his army of tough Continentals and backwoods militia to a brilliant victory over Banastre Tarleton's large force of British regulars. I did walk the one mile battlefield trail, good to get off the bike for a bit. I also saw some turkeys lazing about.

After the break I continued west to US 276 north through Caesar's Head State Park in South Carolina. It started to rain as I approached the park so I donned the Frog Toggs and headed in. By the time I got into the park proper, the rain had abated, the roads where wet but the Pilot Roads had no issue with that. What a great ten miles of fun. I had to pass one pickup but there where slow lanes in a couple of hairpins. I do recommend this route to all, heading north is uphill. Sorry no pictures, I was riding through light showers, some fog with lightning and thunder, what a blast, I was having to much fun to think of photos, plus the road was demanding. As I arrived in North Carolina, the heavens opened up, but the Toggs did the Togg thing well. I kept riding north on 276 until I got to the BRP then swung south along the parkway. It was dry on the BRP, so I made a quick stop to get rid of the toggs and take a few pictures. I met a father and son heading to Asheville, they told me it was dry back to the Smoky's.

I continued south with a few tunnel passes before finishing the BRP and heading further west through the Great Smoky Mountains and to my room in Gatlinburg for the night.

Relaxing to a few Fat Tire Amber Ales before hitting the hay. Not sure where tomorrow, this is getting fun.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:38 AM   #3
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Looks pretty prime to me

Hello Just Jim,
Nice report and great pics. Good luck on the rest of the trip, you're in a great part of the country for ridin'. Thanks for sharing.
not done yet
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:23 AM   #4
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More than ready!

It looks like you are ready for prime time. Great RR, neat pics!
Beautiful country to ride through, huh?
I look forward to seeing more.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:38 PM   #5
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Can't wait to see where you go next!
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:35 PM   #6
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Got up a little late, never trust motel clocks.

The Dealer in Charlotte is Motorcycles of Charlotte, they are a BMW, Ducati, Triumph, MV Agusta dealer.

So I was rolling by 9 and headed to Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountain NP. Traffic wasn't bad but the temps dropped fast and I had to ride through some wandering clouds.

The cloud cover left only a couple veiws open, so I did the photo thing in that direction.

I headed back down with no traffic at all, great ride down.

It was then on to the Blue Ridge Parkway heading north to Virginia. I have ridden most of the parkway just missing the ride from this end to Boone, NC.

Great views, more tunnels, the highest point and a little construction. There was a closed section between US25 and US74, the snow gates were closed with no reason why, I had to run up to I-40 and get back on, short stint. It was funny, people were driving right up to the closed gates looking totally lost, not knowing what to do.

Made a quick stop for lunch and a few more shots on the BRP before hopping off at Boone and speeding up for home.

I rode US 221 home, it was getting late and I wanted to get home before dark. I rode through Floyd, VA and it started to warm up again.

As I arrived back in Burnt Chimney, VA it warmed up to 86 F, it ended up being a 396 mile day.

Okay, I'm done boring you with my Not Ready for Prime Time ride. Ride safe.
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:47 PM   #7
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excellent photos, I live in Brevard and ride those roads often but your pics are better than mine.
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:56 PM   #8
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Great ride, and pics...thanks for boring me...I enjoyed that
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:34 AM   #9
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enjoyed that!


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Old 07-30-2010, 07:39 AM   #10
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Good cheap home cooking at the Blueridge.mmmmm
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:13 AM   #11
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Nice, brings back a few memories from many years ago.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:00 PM   #12
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Nice RR and pic's; I'd say you're ready for Prime Time!

We're heading to NC in two weeks, can't wait!!!


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Old 07-31-2010, 07:37 AM   #13
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Lots of familiar sights there.

The recent heat wave has been a bummer. Just seeing the BRP pics made it feel 10 degrees cooler here in Raleigh.
Only an XR1200 owner knows why Cthulhu hangs its head out a car window.

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Old 07-31-2010, 07:57 AM   #14
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Nice report and photos. We were close to each other at least once or twice during your trip. My wife and I left Western Massachusetts on July 27th for our Middle Tenn home. We overnighted that night in Winchester, VA and then road the next 2 days down the Skyline and Blue Ridge Parkway until exiting at Boone, NC for the final day home.

Thanks for an interesting report.
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:21 AM   #15
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Really nice. Thanks for sharing that.
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