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Old 01-02-2011, 04:40 PM   #1
Cheatin5 OP
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Tennessee-Outside of Memphis
Oddometer: 9
Natchez Trace on a TBS - Last 2-upper with the son.

Last August, I got invited to ride a portion of the Natchez Trace with a friend and his son. My son was 13 at the time and I was thinking this would be the last time he would be small enough to ride two up with the old man. Anyhow, it was a good two day trip.

We left out of Arlington, TN on a cool August morning - a rarity in west Tennessee. We rode backroads to Jackson and picked up Hwy 412 through the towns of Lexington, Parsons, and Linden, stopping for the night with my uncle in Hohenwald.

My Thunderbird Sport sets up fairly well for light touring duty as a single, but I had never used it for an overnighter 2-up.

The next morning, we headed out with my uncle on his Harley into a clear 55 degree morning. At this point, I realize I had underestimated the weather. Our flow-through jackets were just plain too light, but heck, this was summer in the south, right? Our forcast was good however, 75 degrees with little or no chance of rain. Turns out, I was way off base...

We met up with my friend Dan and his son on their Road Kings at the Loveless Cafe near Nashville. I have to say, this is one of the BEST spots on the planet to get breakfast and kick off a ride.

By the time we were on the road, the sky was clear and the next couple hours were incredible. The Trace speed limit is 50 MPH. That works so you don't miss any of the spectacular views...

Since this was a day trip for us, our group split around 1pm. Dan and his son rode the rest of the Trace, my uncle headed back, and my son and I picked up US 64 in Waynesboro and headed back towards Memphis. Looking at these photos, it is still amazing to me how the conditions changed. In between Waynesboro and Savannah, Tennessee, the skies went from clear, to cloudy, to sprinkling, to pouring. As I stated, I underestimated the weather (or gave the report too much credit) and DID NOT PACK RAIN GEAR. We stopped at a WalMart and found that cheap rain gear ain't so cheap. We geared up in the entry to the WalMart and got back on the road in a 140 mile long downpour. Areas of the road were covered by as much as an inch of rain and mud.

Check the crap on the lower part of the TBS...

Looking back, it was the last time my son and I rode two up. He's now 15 and will soon be able to ride next to me, instead of behind me. In fact, I'll bet that he now fits into the rain suit. If the ride would have been all great weather, we would have had a great time. Now, it's recorded as an adventure - and it gives him a chance to bust my stones for underestimating the weather. When my other young'uns are old enough to go for a ride like this, I'll know better than to leave the rain gear at home!

Cheatin5 screwed with this post 01-02-2011 at 04:57 PM
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:00 AM   #2
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Huntsville, AL
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If you had brought rain gear it would not have rained and it would not have been the adventure it turned out to be
I ride, Therefore I Am.

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Old 01-03-2011, 07:04 PM   #3
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Far West Chicago Burbs
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Awesome. You are lucky to have the memories and all those great pics.
Some ride reports:

Why do I keep thinking I'm gonna wind up in a love / hate relationship with a Guzzi?
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:27 PM   #4
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Joined: Mar 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
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Perfect to do with your son!
04 CRF230F
08 KTM990 ADV/ABS Black
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:55 AM   #5
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Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
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Great ride!! Natchez Trace Pkwy is highly under rated! Lucky boy you have there
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:09 AM   #6
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: butler, ky/Franklin, tn
Oddometer: 842
Great pics. Most people don't realize that the upper part of the parkway is really quite twisty. I've heard nothing but great things about the Loveless Cafe, but I'm really fond of the eating establishments in Leaper's Fork for breakfast when hitting the Trace. Love that area and hope to one day live down there.

When my son turned 16 he got his first road bike...a 1980 Susuki GS550E. Old UJM that worked out great. Bought it off bay for 500 dollars and spent about 200 for tires, chain, and carb work. Sold it a year later for 1100 on ebay. Great bikes for young folk to learn on IMO. Cheap, easy to fix, very low insurance and repair costs. Not to powerful but handles well at lower speeds it will run, and FUN.

Hope you have more fun adventures with your son, as I have.
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