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Old 06-08-2013, 07:05 PM   #1
threadkiller OP
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Houston
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A little Middle TN pavement loop with pictures and catfish and orange cream soda!

It took 15 minutes to finish my coffee at Hardees this morning. Hell, it took ten just to get started. That stuff was boiling. Futilely waited around for some riders to show. At ten after ten, I hopped on the Nighthawk and headed out for a loop of Highway 85, backroads between Clarkrange and Cookeville, 290, 53, and Highway 70N. Would've done 96, but time wasn't on my side.

Heading out from my house.

Going through Hartsville, I got stuck behind someone hauling hay. It's that time of year, and I knew I'd have to keep an eye out for tractors and other slow moving vehicles on the roads today. Honestly, it kind of made me gun shy. I hate coming around a blind curve and seeing a tractor in my lane.

From Carthage, I started out with a shortcut to 85. Highway 263. It'll wake you up and let you know you're on a bike. I regret that I didn't get pictures of the really good stuff. Operating a camera while negotiating twisties is not something I'm good at. 263 has a 90° bend that will scare you if you're not paying attention. Anyhow...riding along, I noticed my chain was making some noise. I diagnosed it as a stiff link. So onward to Gainesboro where I found a hardware store and bought some much needed chain lube. 25K on it. Poor thing needs all the love it can get.

From Gainesboro, I intended to ride 85 to Livingston and eat at the Ole Pizzeria. The damn place was closed. It had great reviews online and their website said they'd be open. Maybe next time... I tooled around Livingston looking for a place to eat. Found a highly rated Mexican joint that looked. like. crap. Rode on and wound up at Parkway Restaurant. A little meat and three with cute waitresses and self-proclaimed best fried catfish in town. Sign me up!

Got out of there and finally hit the part of 85 that I'd been wanting to ride for years. This section has several switchbacks that are one after another. In hindsight, this section wasn't all that fun. The road surface was uneven at best and several sections were sliding off the side of the hill, leaving cracks in the pavement. A bike with better suspension would be fine, but the Nighthawk was out of it's element.

85 ended north of Clarkrange. I thought there were some backroads I could ride to Cookeville, but I couldn't locate them on my POS GPS. So I took 62 to Monterey and then found some great backroads to Cookeville. The first road was Woodcliff Rd., going to the community of Brotherton. From there, I took Buck Mountain Rd. to Cookeville. Really great road!

Once I got to Cookeville, I screwed around, lost as a goose until I found 290 going towards Granville. Excellent road. The best of the day in my opinion. I took it all the way into Granville and stopped at a country store.

Obligatory snack photo:

Granville is a nice community! To my knowledge, there isn't a bad way to get to or from the place.

The sun was getting low and it was time to hit the highway. I rode 53 back to 70N, enjoying the last twisty bits and crossing over the Caney Fork River.

Back in Carthage where I passed the Hardees. This picture, all things considering, is the best picture I have ever taken from a moving motorbike. My arm literally flapped with about the same intensity of a bullrider's free hand while simultaneously managing to clamp down on the shutter button at the right time. And this is the unedited, straight-off-the-camera result:

Since you will probably be in awe of my picture-taking abilities for the next few hours. I'll go ahead and wrap this up.
Besides, it's a straight, ass-numbing ride back to my house from here. All total, I put about 270 miles on the bike. Hope you enjoyed the report!
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:34 PM   #2
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Nashville TN
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Tn 85

is a terrible road and everybody should stay off it.

09 DL650ABS
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:25 PM   #3
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
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Good roads

Thanks for the report. Looks like some great roads. I hope to get up that way soon to visit a few State Parks.
"You can get everything in life you want if you'll just help enough other people get what they want." Zig Ziglar

Join our 54 Tennessee State Parks Ride Collaborative! [My Ride Reports here.]
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:28 PM   #4
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Moon Pie & a Dads. Life is food.
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:32 PM   #5
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Location: Tennessee
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sounds like a good day!
2013 Suzuki DL650 Adventure

Travels with Maw Maw
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:47 AM   #6
Husky Dü
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: the 'Nard
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My wife's family is from the Gainesboro/Cookeville area, and we were out there on our bike in 2001. I love the area and could see myself retiring there.

Thanks for taking us along on your ride.
'11 Husky TE630
'99 H-D FXD
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