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Old 03-22-2011, 09:31 PM   #31
RandyG
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Location: 30 min from the overlook (Deals Gap)
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great report, saw you there a few times Sat, it was a perfect day to ride!
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:41 AM   #32
brunstei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
Before you can officially qualify as a squid, you will need to ditch the Capt Highlighter suit, your gloves and your boots. Start riding in sneakers, jeans, or better yet some shorts, and wear a loose fitting hoody that flaps around as you ride. Then you must learn to do wheelies, burnouts and be able to go 100+ in a straight line. Until then, you don't qualify as a squid

Sorry to be the one to break the bad news to you. I know you must be crushed



Wait.... if I do all that, do I get some similarly attired cute thing of the female persuasion dangling precariously off the pillion seat? It would ALMOST be worth it
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:02 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by RandyG View Post
great report, saw you there a few times Sat, it was a perfect day to ride!
It was a perfect day to ride Sunday was just as good.
You are lucky to live so close to all the great riding in that area.


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Wait.... if I do all that, do I get some similarly attired cute thing of the female persuasion dangling precariously off the pillion seat? It would ALMOST be worth it
Better hope your girlfriend doesn't read ADV.

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Old 03-23-2011, 09:38 AM   #34
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After a good nights sleep, I woke up, ate breakfast in my room (PB&J and some granola bars) and came up with a plan. I figured I had enough time to ride to the top of Clingmans Dome and back before checkout time. Then I could head over the Deals Gap for more curves
It was pretty chilly so I bundled up. I also brought along a 1 liter fuel bottle because I thought I might be stretching the range of the tiny 1.35 gallon fuel tank on my scooter.

I headed down route 73 towards Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I encountered a slight delay almost immediately due to a section of one lane road because of road construction. While waiting at the red light I noticed that the RV park just across the river was fairly busy. If it's this busy in March, I'm sure it will be full when the tourist season starts. Maybe our economy is starting to recover?

I make it the GSMNP.



Route 73 through GSMNP is a great road to ride.



There is often a cliff on one side of the road and the Little River on the other.



I some spots the cliffs hang over the road.



I can imagine a tall RV hitting the cliff with it's roof

This is a great road but it's been over 10 years since I last rode through it. Normally this road, as well as 441 through the park, is heavily congested with cars, minivans and RVs moving about the speed of your average glacier. Last time I came through here I was so frustrated I didn't come back until now.

Today I had the road to myself. First it was March, but more important, it was early.

I catch a shot of the sun coming up over the mountains.



At the end of 73, I turned tight on 441 towards Cherokee, NC. 441 was also deserted and like 73, it's a great ride without traffic.



It also has plenty of curves including a unique 360 degree curve.



Even Deals Gap doesn't have one of these.

I tried to get the whole curve in one pic but needed a wider angle lense on my camera.



I continued up. With the rise in elevation, the temperature dropped. The road started to have a lot of crap on it, probably put down during the snowstorms earlier this winter. I had to wait at a red light for another one lane construction zone. I passed Newfound Gap. The sign said Clingmans Dome 7 miles. I was looking good on time and fuel

I WAS looking good until .......
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..
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Bummer

Oh well, it was getting pretty cold and would just continue to get colder.

So I turned around and started back
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:51 AM   #35
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I stopped at Newfound Gap to check out the view.

I wasn't the only one.






A group of what I thought were Model T Fords were also stopped here. After doing some research, I'm pretty sure these are Model A's. I now know where the term "Trunk" comes from. These things literally had trunks attached to the back of the cars. The trunks were all different and some were mounted in front of the spare, and one behind. I guess you could remove the trunk and bring it into you're hotel room just like the hard luggage of many bikes.



As I was admiring the cars, one of the drivers came up and talked to me. He said, It sure is cold but I'm sure you're warm dressed like that. So I replied, " I'm still a little cold, but it's not bad. You should be fine, you do have heaters in those cars, don't you?" So he showed opened the hood and showed me the heater. It was a square cast iron pipe mounted next the the cyclinder head and on the exhaust manifold. The front end was open to let air flow through and the back exited into the cab. He said it worked OK in temperatures like this but it sounded like it wasn't the best heater around.

One of the cars had an Alaska Tag.



I was thinking that would be an awful long drive in one of these Then I noticed the Kentucky Tag on the left side. I'm not sure what the significance of the Alaska 1 tag was. All the cars were from kentucky and were on a trip to Florida. I asked how fast these would go and the driver said it would go 50 but at high RPM. Wikipedia claims the Model A would go 65.

Regardless, these things would be holding up traffic on the interestate. They were planning on all back roads to Florida. I would have liked to talk more and find out more about these cars and the trip they were on but they were getting ready to leave. Having a bunch of motorcycles traveling together on a trip is pretty common. It's pretty unusuel for cars. I'm sure a long trip in old cars like this would be quite the adventure.



At the time I wondering why they where doing this trip in March but later it came to me that driving a black car without air conditioning in Florida when it was hot would not be much fun.

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Old 03-23-2011, 12:42 PM   #36
Dorzok
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here's a link to one of your Killboy shots.

http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Or...&po=138&pc=377

you're pages 4, 5, 6, and 9 on his calander.
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:25 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Dorzok View Post
here's a link to one of your Killboy shots.

http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Or...&po=138&pc=377

you're pages 4, 5, 6, and 9 on his calander.
Thanks for the link.

So far I have found a bunch of my photos on three different sites. 129 photographers had the most photographers out that day. Then there was Killboy. The third I found was 129 Slayer. Here's a link to one of my shots: http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Or...29&po=29&pc=70

I counted photographers set up in no less than 7 spots on Saturday so there are probably more shots out there I haven't found yet.

If too many more photographers set up there won't be any spots left to take a break at
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:56 PM   #38
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Heading back down 441 I took a number of shots. Traffic going down was still fairly light but traffic coming up the mountain was picking up.

A view of the road further down the mountain.



One of many streams in the area.



A different angle of my scooter.



Underground curve?



As I got near the bottom of the mountain, traffic coming up was getting heavier. There was one string of 10-15 cars stuck behind a slow moving car.

Then it was back on to 73 towards Townsend. I didn't have it to myself like I did earlier. I got stuck behind slow moving cages a few time so I just took the opportunity to stop and take pics.

In many of these pics my scooter is facing opposite the direction I was traveling. With such a short wheelbase its ridiculously easy to whip a U turn to get a pic.



.



.



I made it back to Townsend well before the 11:00 checkout time. Gas turned out to be no issue. Just under 80 miles and under 1 gallon of gas.

Time to head back to Deals Gap.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:54 AM   #39
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I started up 129 towards the Gap. For those who don't know the road, after leaving the lake at the bottom, there are a few easy "teaser" curves to start, then there is a tight left hander that has claimed countless victims. I went into that curve with a half hearted weight shift and Scrrraaaaape. That Metal Tab on the left side of my framed touched down. I eased my line just slightly, scraping along around the curve.
Hmmmmm, I think I'll either need to slow down or shift my body weight to the inside more.................I didn't come to Deals Gap for the scenery. It's time to act like a sport bike rider and hang off on the inside.

So I made pretty good time and got into a rythem going around one curve after another

This is why I came here.

The photographers were out in force again today. I was concentrating on riding so I didn't get any pics. I did stop at the exit of Parson Branch Rd.



I had stopped at the GSNMP visitor center earlier and there was a sigh there that said Parson Branch Rd was closed due to flooding.

The creek that runs through there didn't look flooded to me.



There are a number of water crossing on Parson Branch Rd, all paved. I guess they don't want more than about 6 inches of water to accomodate all the adventurous minivans that drive through.

Shortly after start off again I spotted a silver sport bike a ways back behind me.

I took that as a challenge and picked up the pace. About a minute later a bike went by me. That didn't take long. Then I noticed that the silver bike was still back there, and about the same distance maybe about 2 hundred yards. The distance stayed about the same and the bike arraived at the Deals gap Resort shortly after I did. When the rider dismounted and removed his helmet I was surprised to see an older rider dressed more like the typical BMW rider. I think he even wore a BMW cap. Well, I guess old guys are allowed to ride sportbikes too. (when I say old, that would be my age or older)

I went in and had lunch, A hot dog, fries and a big chocolate cookie. Not exactly the healthiest of meals but it hit the spot. Then I went back outside to check out the bikes in the parking lot.

This was the bike that followed me up before lunch.



I was expecting a CBR600 or something similar, not what is probably the fastest sportbike available today.

I talked to the owner a little later. He was a BMW rider and had decided that if BMW ever made a sportbike he would get it. This is actually not BMW's first sportbike but it is the first that went head to head with the Japanese and beat them at their own game. His tires where feathered to the edges, probably from chasing me through Deals Gap........ Actually he had just done a track day which the dealer had included with the bike.
It was a very nice bike and he had added all kinds of stuff to it like the exhaust and various carbon fiber parts. Can you say $$$$$$.

Like I said, a very nice bike but way out of my price range. If I wanted a sportbike I would get something in the 600cc range, or maybe even smaller. There is no way I could even come close to using all the performance of this bike. The only place this bike could really be used near it's potential wis on a racetrack. I probably had as much fun, maybe more, riding through Deals Gap on my scooter as I would on this S1000RR.

The weather was great, sunny and around 70, the traffic was light, and I came here to ride Deals Gap, so thats what I did. I had a nice run back to the overlook and then turned around to do it again. This time I took some pics.



Although there are more scenic roads around, I never tire of seeing a twisty road ahead



.


.



I wasn't the only one out enjoying the "scenery"



Maybe I could make a living sitting alongside this road and taking pics?

I came up behind slow moving traffic so I took the opportunity to stop a Parson Branch again. This time I climbed down to the creek so I could shoot some pics of the creek from a different angle.



And a slighly different angle.

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Old 03-24-2011, 10:14 AM   #40
Dorzok
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Great RR.
makes me want a scooter. well, been wanting a scooter but thought i needed more. this sure has opened my eyes. gonna keep my "more" and go get a scoot and pass it on to my son next year when he's able to get his learner's permit.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:48 AM   #41
soboy
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Great ride report. See any LEOs at the Gap? I have stayed away from Deal's Gap since 2008 as it became way too much of a slow speed parade and spectacle on the weekends, then the LEOs started writing tickets like there was no tomorrow. My last time on the Dragon was my fastest time ever - took my race-prepped Miata up there the first Friday of March, 2008 - it was very cold, no bikes or LEOs on the Dragon that day - had the place to myself and it sure is nice being able to see thru the trees when they are bare.

Your report reminds me that is much more fun to ride a light and slow bike fast than it is to ride a heavy and fast bike slow!
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:06 AM   #42
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Thanks for the write up and great pictures, I wanna be there right now..! I can imagine how much fun it can be on a light weight scooter... its just so much nimble and light.. are there enough gas stations there in the area?
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:30 AM   #43
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Great RR.
makes me want a scooter. well, been wanting a scooter but thought i needed more. this sure has opened my eyes. gonna keep my "more" and go get a scoot and pass it on to my son next year when he's able to get his learner's permit.
I rode motorcycles for over 30 years before getting this scooter a few months ago. I don't plan on giving up motorcycles but I'm really glad I got the scooter. I bought it mainly to use around town, ride to work, go shopping, explore the city, etc. I have found it to be way more fun around town than any motorcycle I have ridden. It is also much more practical and convenient. Getting around 80 MPG isn't bad either.

There are some limitations to my scooter. Top speed, on the speedometer is just over 60 MPH, but these speedos are known to read about 10% high so actual top speed is around 55. It will cruise comfortably all day at an indicated 50 MPH and even running at top speed it doesn't feel too strained. With 11 HP out of a 150cc engine, it is not exactly highly tuned. I won't be taking it on the highway and I try to avoid roads with speed limits higher than 50. A larger scooter will alleviate the top speed issues but will be heavier and more expensive. I got my Super 8 for $2200 OTD. It was new and comes with a 2 year warrantee. If you are looking for a scooter I highly recommend looking at the Kymcos. Kymco is the 5th largest scooter manufacturer in the world and has a good reputation.

I'm happy with the scooter I got but at some point in the future I will probably get something a little larger, a 200 or maybe 250. I would not consider getting a 50cc scooter, too slow to be comfortable or safe on anything but residential streets or streets with low speed limits.

I have done another ride report on my scooter. The link is here:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=647784

BTW, after riding a scooter for a while, you may not be willing to pass it along to your son
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:43 AM   #44
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Great ride report. See any LEOs at the Gap? I have stayed away from Deal's Gap since 2008 as it became way too much of a slow speed parade and spectacle on the weekends, then the LEOs started writing tickets like there was no tomorrow. My last time on the Dragon was my fastest time ever - took my race-prepped Miata up there the first Friday of March, 2008 - it was very cold, no bikes or LEOs on the Dragon that day - had the place to myself and it sure is nice being able to see thru the trees when they are bare.

Your report reminds me that is much more fun to ride a light and slow bike fast than it is to ride a heavy and fast bike slow!
Like you, I have also been avoiding the Deals Gap for the same reasons you mentioned. The reason I went now is because it was still before the tourist season.

Up to this point in my report I seen a park ranger in GSMNP, another on the Foothills Parkway, but no LEOs on or around Deals Gap. That would soon change.......stay tuned.

I agree completely about it being more fun to ride a slow bike fast. First of all, although I was going much slower than I would have on one of my dual sports, and much slower than the truly fast sport bike riders, I was still going faster than most of the traffic. more importantly, I was probably pushing my scooter as close to it's limits as the sport bike guys were doing on their bikes, and I was probably having as much if not more, fun. Also, if there had been a speed trap, I would have been much less likely to get a ticket. The LEO would probably be embarrassed to be seen pulling over a tiny scooter

You should bring your scooter up to Deals Gap before tourist season arrives. I think you'll have a blast

At some point I plan on riding the scooter up around Suches. I'll let you know before I do. It would be fun to get a few small scooters or other wee beasties together for a ride
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:49 AM   #45
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Thanks for the write up and great pictures, I wanna be there right now..! I can imagine how much fun it can be on a light weight scooter... its just so much nimble and light.. are there enough gas stations there in the area?
There are gas stations in the area but if you have a tiny tank like my Kymco, you may want to carry a fuel bottle. Many of the gas stations close early. There is gas at Deals Gap but the store closed at 6:00 PM Saturday and Sunday, earlier on weekdays. I think they stay open later during the tourist season. Many of the other gas stations in the area also close early. I had a 1 liter fuel bottle but never used it. I also planned ahead and often filled up even though I only needed half a gallon or so.
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