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Old 08-16-2011, 09:42 AM   #181
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After spending a lot of time planning, I ended up going with my original plan which was to leave Huntsville when I got up, see Desoto Falls, Alabama's ski area and Little river canyon, and get to Ellijay for the ADV dinner by 5:30. I would just wing it in between. I figured I would have plenty of time to kill so no need for any real planning.

I decided to put a new rear tire on the Aprilia since the original was nearly worn out at 3100 miles. Getting a tire was an adventure in itself since I needed an extremely hard to find 130/80-15 for the rear. I found a few online but they were pretty expensive so I headed to Midway Cycles to see what they could get. After searching all their cataloges they found absolutely nothing in that size. After doing some research I decided to try a Kenda 130/90-15 cruiser tire which someone else recomended on the Aprilia forum.

I also decided to try out the Tour master saddlebags I had bought with the scooter but hadn't tried out yet. The big advantage of these over a bag on the rear of the seat is that the gas cap is under the seat so I would have to remove anything on the seat every time I got gas.

Here's a few pics. The Kenda rear tire:



A couple of pics showing the bags:



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klaviator screwed with this post 08-17-2011 at 11:29 AM
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:57 AM   #182
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I got on the road at 9:20 CST which would give me just over 7 hours to get to Ellijay. I didn't really know the distance to Ellijay since I hadn't exactly planned out a route but I had no doubt that not only did I have plenty of time but I would have to make sure to kill some time enroute so I wouldn't get there too early.

The first part of the ride was a pretty boring drone on I565 and 72 to Scottsboro. I only saw one thing worth taking a pic of but I was too slow with my camera. Coming the other way on 72 was a guy riding a custom stretched out chopper......wearing a big Hi Vis yellow helmet. When was the last time you saw that??

Then it was 35 over the Tennessee River. This is when the trip looks like it will get interesting with the promise of the mountains ahead. That and the fact that I have always like going over bridges. So I took some pics:



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Once across the river I took a left on 40 and headed up the mountain. After a few miles of uphill and a few curves, the road gets up on a plateau and there is no sign of any mountains. Still, the road is now only 2 lanes and has a few curves and is a much better ride than 72. Eventually 40 becomes 117, then descends down from the plateau, crosses I-59, then goes up another mountain to the small town of Mentone. Just before getting into town I see a sign for Cloudmount Ski Area and Golf resort so I take a right and head up a somewhat curvy mountain road. Now I'm starting to enjoy the ride. I come to an intersection and see a sign for Desoto Falls so I head for the falls. This road has some nice curves but I also see some deer so I don't push it too hard.

Some pics of the falls:



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klaviator screwed with this post 08-16-2011 at 10:40 AM
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:29 AM   #183
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My next stop will be Cloudmount Ski area. I have been curious about this since about 25-30 years ago when I was looking at an Alabama map and saw that there was a ski area in Alabama

Sure enough there is a ski area in Alabama.



My parents were in the ski patrol for well over 30 years so the above pic is for them.



A Swiss chalet in Alabama.



The main lodge with another bench made out of skiis.



And of course the "giant mountain" of a ski area.

The lift was a type I have never seen before. It's just a steel cable with short 1-2 foot long ropes attached very so often. I don't see how that would work very well. Maybe they add something else during the ski season?



I learned to ski and spent a lot of time at a ski area not much bigger than this one.

It looks like they have pretty extensive snow making capability with snow guns mounted on poles covering most of the hill as well as a snow cat and portable ski gun.



Now I just need to figure out a way to strap my skiis to my scooter and come up here when there is snow on the ground.

I head towards Little River canyon. More curvy roads and more deer. At one point there was a deer just standing in the middle of the road looking at me. I stopped and took a picture just before it ran off.......or I thought I did. So I started riding again when another deer ran across the road. My camera was still on so I did get it's picture.

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klaviator screwed with this post 08-19-2011 at 05:49 AM
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:50 AM   #184
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Nice pics of Desoto Falls, one of my favorite places in Alabama. How is that cruiser rear tire working for you? With that 90 series aspect ratio, it has a huge sidewall compared to your front tire.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:59 AM   #185
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Nice pics of Desoto Falls, one of my favorite places in Alabama. How is that cruiser rear tire working for you? With that 90 series aspect ratio, it has a huge sidewall compared to your front tire.
The cruiser tire is working fine. It really hasn't had much affect on the handling. It is a lot taller so the rear of the scooter is about a half inch taller. The steering seems to be a bit quicker but other than that, No affect on handling.

It has effectively changed the gearing so it now runs fewer revs per mile. It seems to have slowed the acceleration a bit, especially at lower speeds.

Since the speedo & odo are driven off the rear wheel, the speedo is now less optimistic and the odo no reads low.

It's much easier to get on the centerstand, all I have to do is step on the centerstand tab and it comes up without having to do any lifting.

I now have more cornering clearance although I haven't scraped anything...............yet. I have been having a hard time getting myself to really push this thing in the curves. I think I finally figured out why. The sensation of speed is much higher than on any of my other bikes, even my Kymco 150. When I approach curves I feel like i'm going to fast so I slow down too much. I guess I'll just have to find some twisty roads and get lots of practice
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:40 PM   #186
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I found my way to the Little River Falls parking lot although I don't know what roads I took to get there. The parking lot was pretty crowded and had three different groups of bikes. Here's a pic of the largest group.



One of the riders cmae over and asked me about my scooter. He invited me to join their ride so I asked where they were headed. He said he had no idea, he just followed the leader.

I put my helmet, jacket and gloves into my tail trunk and walked to the falls.



There was a lot less water flowing than when I came here last winter. I could also see why the parking lot was so crowded. This is a great place to beat the heat.



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Then I headed down 176 through little river canyon. I had forgotten what a nice road this was. It's not only twisty but also goes up and down making it a real rollercoaster of a ride. Unlike last time through I didn't do a lot of stopping this time. I did stop for this pic:



Eventually I took a left of of 176 to a county road. Don't remember the number but it was a real roller coaster with some pretty steephills and a rough road surface. Then a fork in the road and I went down one of the steepest paved hills I have been on. There was a small parking area at the bottom with a bunch of parked cars so I went to check it out.



It was another neat place to go swimming and cool off. Next time I come here I need to bring a swim suit and water shoes.

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klaviator screwed with this post 08-16-2011 at 02:48 PM
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:26 AM   #187
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About the time I took these last pics I realized that time was passing quicker than I thought and I would have to hurry if I wanted to make it to Ellijay by 5:30. The problem was that I didn't have a detailed map of the area and didn't really know where I was or which way to go. So I went. Eventually I came to a T intersection and stopped to look at my map. It was of no help. A lady in a pickup stopped and asked if I needed help. I asked for the best way to Georgia. She told me either direction would work. So I headed north untill I hit 35. Then it was 35 to 9 towards Rome. I didn't hit the GA line until after 3. I got through Rome after 3:30 and picked up 53 to 75 to 235 to Chatsworth. These weren't the most exciting roads but I needed to make some time.

Then It was time for some fun twisties on 52 going to Ellijay

I got stuck behind a gold wing and needed a break anyway so I stopped at an overlook.



Then I followed 52 to Ellijay where after a few wrong turns I found Charlies Italian Restaurant.

We ended up with around 14 ADVrs and better halves and had a great dinner. I was great to meet a bunch of fellow riders, most of them for the first time. The food was good and prices about average for this type of restaurant. It was worth the 250+ mile ride to get there. I'll definitely try to attend the next one of these if it fits into my schedule

A few pics:



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Then it was a boring 60 mile ride to Marietta.
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klaviator screwed with this post 08-17-2011 at 06:33 AM
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:18 AM   #188
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I just got back from a run to wally world on my super 8. As I walked by my truck I noticed spider webs on the front grill. I haven't driven it in about 2 weeks and probably won't drive it for another week. I ride my super 8 every day during the week, usuelly at least twice, and my Aprilia on weekends on longer rides.

One less cage on the road. Thats the way it should be
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:53 AM   #189
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I decided that I'd like to take a really long epic adventurous trip on a bike just like many of the ride reports I often read in this forum.

Unfortunately, job, lack of time off, lack of funds, etc, means that for now I'll have to find adventure during the small amounts of time I have. This past weekend I needed to go to Southhaven, MS, just south of Memphis, for a wedding. I have driven from Huntsville to Memphis several times and rode there a couple of months ago. While my last ride was pleasant, it was not exactly an epic adventure ride. I'm not sure how to make an Epic adventure ride of Huntsville to Southhaven without going a thousand miles or so out of the way. One thing is for sure, taking a route I have already done would not be much of an adventure. From my experience, the best way to make an adventure ride through an area that is not all that exciting is through a very careful lack of planning

So, that's what I did.

Wirhout any planning on my part, I happened to get Friday night off of work so hoped to make this an interesting ride instead of just rushing there on four lane roads on Saturday morning.

I left the Huntsville area on rt 24 going west. 24 is a rural 2 lane through mostly farmland to start. As I went along it became a more rural road and just didn't seem like an important enough road to be on my state map. The road was supposed to go west but I noticed from the sun and my keen sense of direction that I was heading North. I could have stopped and consulted my map but just decided to take the first left I could and see where that took me. Hey, I was headed west so what could go wrong. I started seeing glimpses of the Tennessee river and some nice waterfront property. I must be headed in the right direction........right?



Hmmmmm......



What do the people who put up these signs know? I have known them to be wrong before. Besides, I'm on an adventure bike so I'll just continue along.

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Old 08-23-2011, 12:09 PM   #190
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In this case the sign was correct.



It was a nice spot to take a break and the ride here did add a little adventure to the ride.



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So I retraced my route for a little bit then found a road I could take a left and head north on. The road had a few nice curves but soon ended at Hwy 72. I headed west on 72. I had not been here before but it was your basic boring four lane. Eventually I got bored enough and just took a right. My plan (or lack thereof) was to go north a little then take a left and head west until I hit the Natchez Trace Parkway. The problem is that these little county road I was on would only go so far and then end at an intersection. I would then have to make a decision based on the position of the sun, and of course my finely honed sense of direction

So I wandered around for quite some time. Sometimes I was heading west, sometimes north, and sometimes south.

The roads and scenery, while not exactly exciting, were pleasant enough.



And being lost made it an adventure.

Lets see, based on the shadows, I must be going southwest.



Eventually I found my way to the parkway.

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Old 08-23-2011, 12:42 PM   #191
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I headed South on the Natchez Trace Parkway. I have only ridden a small portion of the Parkway. It's a pleasant enough ride but not very exciting. The curves are so gradual that you would have to be going 100+ to actually get your bike leaned over. Probably the most scenic part of the parkway that I have seen is where it crosses the Tennessee River.


I followed the parkway a bit further until it crossed 72, then i got to the sction I had ridden last time. I was running low on gas so I got of and stopped in the town of Tishamingo and got gas at their only gas station. I then headed south and got back on the parkway until I got to route 4 which I took west. 4 is a pretty nice ride with easy curves and hills. I took 4 to Booneville, MS where I followed signs to downtown so I could get something to eat. Traffic in Booneville sucked and reminded me of Atlanta. I was glad to get out of town and back on the road. I followed 4 through Ripley and until it merged with 5 north for a few miles.

At this point I decided to look for more adventure so I took a left on a small county road which I figured I could use for a "shortcut"

It had gotten cloudy so I could no longer use the sun for direction.



No need for the sun, I had my keen sense of direction

So I followed my keen sense of direction to decide which way to go when I got to intersetions. I had no idea where I was going but at least the roads where mildly entertaining.



My "keen sense of direction" ended up taking me in a big circle

So I continued on. Despite my "keen sense of direction" I did make it to my destination. I also managed to make a 200 mile trip into a 300 mile ride.

Oh well, at 75 MPG, what's an extra hundred miles?
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:54 AM   #192
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For my return trip I decided to play it safe and plan the route in advance. I picked a route that offered some pleasant riding and did not take me to far out of the way. It was all roads I had been on before. I needed to go to work that night so I didn't want to wander around for hours.

So I get on the road for about 20 minutes and saw a road that I figured would take me in the right direction and might even be a shortcut. At any rate, it would be a new road for me. I soon realized that this road was not going in the right direction. I made a turn or two to get me in the right direction. I ended up nearly making a circle.

OK, no more screwing around. I picked up 278 to Holly Springs and then 4 to Ripley where I stopped at Mickey Dees for breakfast. Then 4 towards Booneville It wasn't long before I saw an interesting road off to the right.



It sure looked interesting.

So I did a U turn and took it.

It ended up being a poorly maintained road running past an occasional farm. I was hoping to find a road that I could take going east but that never happened. Eventually the road ended at route 2 which I took a right on. This took me to Corinth MS. At the outskirts of Corinth I stopped at the Motorcycle dealer which happened to be open on Monday.



Besides selling new Hondas and Yamahas, this place has an interesting collection of old bikes on display.



Here's my dream bike from long ago.



And another dream bike.



There were all kinds of Japanese bikes from the 60s 70s and 80s as well as an assortment of other makes and ages of bikes.



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Old 08-24-2011, 08:09 AM   #193
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This thing must be worth a few bucks.



In case 4 cylinders just aren't enough.



Riding one of these for any distance must have been a true adventure.



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This looks like a fun ride.



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Old 08-24-2011, 08:22 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by klaviator View Post


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Not that I am really interested, but out of curiostiy are they for sale?
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:22 AM   #195
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As you can see, they have a serious collection here.



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