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Old 08-12-2013, 09:48 AM   #301
klaviator OP
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My newest project:





OK, just kidding. With all the rain we've been getting, it feels like I should be building an ARK.

I have managed to go for a couple of rides in addition to my normal around town commuting.

First, I rode the Aprilia back to GA to pick up my truck. I stopped at the dealer in Cartesville I used to work at to see what was there.



Just an empty building. They closed down a couple of years ago. I wonder if the economy will ever recover enough for someone to try opening another motorcycle dealer here.

Yesterday I took a local ride on the Super 8. My plan was to ride over towards Grant, AL and explore the area. I took one of my favorite local roads, Green Mountain Road. Did a little exploring on the top of the mountain and found this nice house. I'm sure it cost a few $$$



Then it was down the East side of the mountain and across 431. I had no real plan and no map, I just winged it. With my "keen sense of direction" guiding me, I ended up in New Hope. No problem, I just took a left and figured I'd just go East and end up in Grant. What could go wrong?

I rode for quite a while on roads like this:



Eventually i found my way to..................




New Hope

My keen sense of direction took me in a big circle

So I headed back towards Huntsville.

Some more exciting scenery in Alabama:



Hopefully I'll get in a more exciting ride before too long. Weather permitting I'm planning a weekend trip to TWoS or Deal's Gap, or somewhere in a couple of weekends.

With my "keen sense of direction", who knows where I'll end up.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:46 PM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
My newest project:




.


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Old 08-22-2013, 11:15 AM   #303
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I'm headed for theTN/NC/NGA mountains this weekend. I'm planning on camping at Deal's Gap Fri & Sat nite but may decide to head down to TWoS one nite. Hopefully I'll get some good pics and maybe run across a few inmates. I'll be on the Aprilia. Be sure to give the salute if you see me

The advantage of camping is no reservations required so I may change plans at the last minute if I get a better idea.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:24 AM   #304
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I finally had the chance to get away for a weekend of riding and the weather cooperated

I left Huntsville late Friday morning. I was headed for a weekend of camping at Deals Gap and riding some of my favorite twisty roads. I took a reasonably straightforward route up. I jumped on 565 east to 72 east to 156 to 24 to 75 north. 156 is a sceneic fun little road that gave me a break from the four lane.



Then 64 east along the Ocoee river where I did stop to get a pic of some rafters:



Then it was 68 north to Tellico Plains where I stopped at Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters to see if they had anything I couldn't live without. I did buy some replacement Knee armor for my wife. She got some riding pants a while back that came with really crappy Knee armor.

Then I went to the Tellicafe to get some dinner. There was a ZX10 with luggage on it parked outside. I ended up having dinner with the rider. He was on a several day trip and headed back to Nashville. This is one of the cool things about riding. If I was in a cage I would never end up having dinner with a complete stranger.

Then it was a race to beat the darkness as I headed across the Cherohala Skyway to try to get to Deals Gap before it got completely dark. I got there shortly after 8 and was able to set up my tent before it got completely dark. I hung around the campfire for a while and talked to a few people. There was a couple there doing a weekend trip two up on a Daytona 675. I guess if your young enough you can do that sort of thing.

Then I called it a night. I wanted to get up early and get in a couple of runs through the Gap before the traffic and cops showed up
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:34 AM   #305
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I didn't sleep real well. I still haven't gotten the hang of this moto camping. I do fine on a real air mattress and full size pillow but don't want to haul around that much stuff on my bike. I upgraded from a thin 1" self inflating pad to a thicker 3" thick pad. It's better but still marginal. I'm still experimenting with the proper inflation. I will need to find something better than the tiny camping pillow I used. Maybe an inflatable pilow?

Despite not sleeping well, I woke up early and ready to ride. So I headed towards the overlook at around 7:30. There was very little traffic and I had a clean run all the way to the overlook. Unfortunately I was really rusty and was riding like crap. My lines where horrible and I felt like a noob. Good thing there was no one riding with me to witness it. The photogs were already there setting up and I did see a State trooper on a Harley headed the other way. I guess it was just as well I wasn't going very fast. There was no one at the overlook so I decided to head all the way to the bottom. About a mile past the overlook I came to this:



I didn't want to wait for a green light so I turned around. Early morning at the overlook:



These guys came from Texas just to drive their Miatas on some great roads.



Then it was back to Deals Gap for some breakfast followed by another run to the overlook before traffic got too bad. It wasn't too long before i came up behind two Harleys. They pulled into a pullout and let me by I little later it was a Goldwing who also let me by
Then I returned the favor for a couple of sport bikes who caught up to me.

I hung out at the overlook and talked to the sport bike guys for a while. Then the State trooper rode by headed down towards the bottom. The sport bike guys jumped up and said "we're to trying to be rude but this is our chance for a good run before the trooper comes back up". Great Idea. I was right behind them

I was not feeling as rusty as earlier and riding much better, although not exactly great. A group of around 30 smart cars passed by going the other way. By the time I got my camera turned on most of them had passed by but I did get some pics.



.



They were probably having fun but I don't think they know what they were missing by being in a cage instead of on two wheels.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:47 PM   #306
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I'll catch you next time.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:27 PM   #307
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I'll catch you next time.
I'll try to give you more warning next time.

Back to my report:

Traffic was getting too heavy to hang around Deals Gap any longer so I headed South on 28. Had lunch in Franklin then did some more riding.

A few pics:



.



.



.



.




After some nice scenery and countless curves, I went back through Franklin and then picked up Wayah Rd and 129 to Robbinsville.

Shot this at the end of Wayah Rd.



Had dinner at the Mexican place on 129 in Robbinsville. Food was OK but nothing great. Then it was back to Deals Gap. I took a short break then did one last run through the Gap before it got dark. There was not much traffic but I did see the same Harley mounted state trooper I saw that morning. 12 hours of riding back and forth at Deals Gap. What a tough job!

A day of riding did wonders for my riding skills. I had a much smoother and faster run than I had that morning. Then I got back just before they closed the parking lot for that evenings "Fiddies for Life" races.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:40 PM   #308
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Camping is akin to riding in one regard, I think; the more you do the better you may get. Or not.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:19 PM   #309
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First post

I love your reports. The pics are great and the verbage is smooth and easy. I hope those pants your wife bought with the lousy knee pads were not from my shop. Oh well I can take it!
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:10 AM   #310
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pillow=jacket wadded up in side sleeping bag stuff bag
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:53 AM   #311
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Camping is akin to riding in one regard, I think; the more you do the better you may get. Or not.
I'm hoping that I get better at it. Besides saving $$, camping allows much more flexibility. I don't usually plan my trips in advance. I often don't decide where I'm going until after breakfast. Places like Deals Gap or any of the popular riding spots often require reservations way in advance to get a room. Getting a spot to pitch a tent is never a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillMidway View Post
I love your reports. The pics are great and the verbage is smooth and easy. I hope those pants your wife bought with the lousy knee pads were not from my shop. Oh well I can take it!
Thanks Bill. No the crappy knee armor did not come from your shop.
However, I did think of your shop several times on this trip. Every time I had the throttle pinned on the Aprilia trying to maintain speed up a hill I would think how nice it would be to be riding on of the 300cc Kymco's on your showroom floor.


Quote:
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pillow=jacket wadded up in side sleeping bag stuff bag
I tried stuffing my rain jacket, a sweat shirt and some other stuff in the bag for my tent and then using my tiny camp pillow on top of that. It didn't work that great. It all kept sliding around plus the stuff in the bag was kind of hard and lumpy. I'm not one of those picky people who brings my own pillow along on trips so I don't have to use the motels pillows but then I can't just sleep on the ground like my son can.

I have tried using my jacket before but the next day the armor in it was all deformed and didn't fit right for a while. It also wasn't very comfortable I'm going to see if someone makes an inflatable camping pillow. I think I have seen some before.

Or maybe I just need to get a bigger bike so I can bring along more and bigger camping gear. I hope I don't have to resort to that.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:00 AM   #312
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I forgot to mention my encounter with the Harley guys in Robbinsville. After Dinner I stopped at Wendys to get a frosty for dessert. When I went out to my scooter there where two Harleys parked there. One had the seat removed and a guy working on it. So I asked what the problem was and the guy said it wouldn't start and he thought it might be a loose battery cable but he didn't have any tools. I pulled out my tool kit and handed him an adjustable wrench and some vice grips. Then his buddy came back with a couple of cheap tools he had bought somewhere in town.

They tightened the battery cables. Access to the battery is surprisingly difficult for a bike with virtually no bodywork. That fixed the problem and the bike started. Then they borrowed a screw driver to replace a fastener they had managed to remove with a coin.

One of them remarked that Harley should at least include a tool kit. I can't imagine riding around without any tools. I don't depend on the manufacturer for a tool kit. 95% of my tool kit was stuff I added to it. I think the only thing that came in my Aprilia's tool kit was a screw driver. Anyway, they were a nice couple of guys. They said thanks and we went our separate ways.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:50 AM   #313
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I'm going to see if someone makes an inflatable camping pillow. I think I have seen some before.
I have one that I purchased at Walmart about 3-4 years ago. When I first saw it I did not know what it was. It comes with it's own pillowcase and a piece of foam that you put in the on top of the air bladder to smooth it out. I find it extremely comfortable. Unfortunately I cannot find anything like it now online.

These are about as close to it as I can find but do not have a pillowcase or the piece of foam.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Outdoor-Camp...-/111142939608

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Air-Trav...-/310710439484
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:44 AM   #314
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The highlight of that evening was the Fiddies for Life Mini Super Moto races in the parking lot. It was still light when practice started but was dark for the races. My El Cheapo camera doesn't take good action shots in low light but I gave it my best try. Here's some pics:



.



There was a little kid having fun on the track before things got started.



.



These tiny bikes real haul ass. The next pic shows just how fast they were.



The scene at night.



The racing was pretty intense. There were lots of crashes but they would just pick the bikes back up, kick start them and rejoin the race.

I found some videos on U Tube showing the racing. This was shot at some previous races, not the night I was there.

">
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:50 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by duanew1 View Post
I have one that I purchased at Walmart about 3-4 years ago. When I first saw it I did not know what it was. It comes with it's own pillowcase and a piece of foam that you put in the on top of the air bladder to smooth it out. I find it extremely comfortable. Unfortunately I cannot find anything like it now online.

These are about as close to it as I can find but do not have a pillowcase or the piece of foam.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Outdoor-Camp...-/111142939608

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Air-Trav...-/310710439484
Thanks for the info. I'm thinking a small inflatable pillow + the small camping pillow I have now all wrapped in a pillow case would work great.

Back to the RR:

After the races I went to bed......well, tiny air mattress. I let some air out of the mattress and adjusted the stuffing in my "pillow". I slept a little better but I still need to find a way to be more comfortable when moto camping.

I got up early again and headed through the Gap before the traffic and cops showed up.......or at least that's what I was hoping. I made it about 3/4 of the way to the overlook without seeing any other traffic. I thought I might make an entire run without seeing anyone when along came a State Trooper on his Harley What's up with that? He should still be eating a donut somewhere shouldn't he? Then I saw a pickup coming the other way before I reached the overlook.

After a short break I headed back to Deals Gap for breakfast. The Trooper was sitting on the side of the rode looking for victims about a mile from the state line. I heard later that he wrote quite a few tickets. I was going slow and just waved as I went by.
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