My Journey Georgia to Pennsylvania.
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:13 pm quote
Georgia to Pennsylvania – First Leg.
I finally made my much anticipated trip to Lancaster, PA combining a great ride with a weekend to see my son perform in an air show. The trip was everything I could hope for.

Day one. Tuesday Aug. 18, 275 miles:
I left work at noon and started north. Quick ride up 441 to Cherokee, NC to start the first goal of the trip, ride the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is a road built in the 30s and built to maintain as high a route as possible in the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you like mountain twisties, then the southern third of the parkway is best. Turns seem to continue forever with curve warning signs frequently illustrating a nearly complete circle. There was so little straight road that it was 100 miles before I saw a passing zone. The 45 mph speed limit was not a major limiter of safe speed. There are warnings of decreasing radius curves and they are common on the parkway. The road was great and the views so awesome to make the ride dangerous as a distraction from keeping eyes on the curving road. I made it a point to pull into the majority of the turnouts to stop and take a safe look before moving on. The sky threatened rain all day but my luck held out with a dry ride.

As the sun approached the horizon I made it to the exit for my first day’s destination, the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground, http://www.blueridgemotorcyclecamp.com/. The road from the parkway to the campground made the parkway seem straight by comparison. The web site’s promise of a great riding area is true if this road is an example. (I’ll be back.) The facilities are outstanding and I highly recommend it. In addition to camping spots it has a number of cabins for $45 a night. They are small with a queen bed nearly filling the room. I splurged with rain in the forecast and rented a cabin. If you want to tent camp but not carry the tent they will rent one and even set it up. Bedding and towels can also be rented with the tent. There are a couple of covered community areas and an indoor area with microwave, TV and comfortable seating. Meals are available on weekends. This would be a great place for a group meet up. The elevation is high enough for comfortable temperatures in August. On a Tuesday night only one other rider was in the campground. He is from Florida and visits two to three times a year.

Day 2. Wednesday Aug. 19.
Blue Ridge Parkway all day…. It doesn’t get any better than this. I was going from 8 AM to 8 PM. Lunch was bread and cheese alongside a stream. Shortly after lunch my luck slipped and rain set in. Shortly after the rain started I hit the first of two detours around areas the parkway is under repair. Total detour total of about 20 miles and very well marked with bright orange signs making easy navigation back to the parkway, even in a hard rain. After a couple hours of wet riding the rain petered out. I realized the elevation had dropped and the road was much flatter and straighter. Steep drops beside the road were replaced with farms. The scenery was good but the middle third of the parkway was the least twisty and the 45 mph speed limit felt like a major limiter.

Again as the sun settled I reached my goal for the day, Willville Motorcycle Camp http://www.willvillebikecamp.com/ just off parkway mile 177. This is another great campground set up for motorcycles. As I arrived it started raining and I again chose to forgo my tent and rent the one small cabin which was available. (There are plans to add cabins.) Check in is on an honor system. Put your personal information on the outside of the envelope and money inside (no credit cards) and make yourself at home. If you want a sausage biscuit in the morning note it on the envelope and add a couple bucks inside. Also at the campground was a group of 5 retired guys from north Georgia staying for 3 nights and exclaiming the virtues of the roads in the area. In addition 3 Harley riders were there. A large pavilion made for a great gathering area in the middle of the campground.


Day 3, Thursday, Aug 20
With my sausage biscuit and a couple good cups of coffee I was ready for another day. I continued south initially disappointed in the lower elevation straighter road. In time I realized the road had climbed and again the curves were sharper and more frequent. The overlooks became frequent. Bottom line, for me the first and last third of the parkway are the best rides and views, but the middle third is still a great ride. Around mile 30 I picked a scenic overlook with a great shade tree and stopped for another lunch. I was thankful for bringing along my REI camp chair. The short laid back chair is easy to strap on the bike and the low legs and reclined posture are the camper’s equivalent to a lazy boy. Any where I stopped I had a chair.

Mile zero of the parkway is mile 104 of Skyline Drive. I had mixed advice on riding Skyline. I chose to try it planning to get off if I did not enjoy the ride. The speed limit was slower at 35 mph. I found the ride and view great and significantly fudged on the speed limit. With 30 miles left and starting to think about where to stop for the night I received a call from my son and found out he would be in Lancaster earlier than I thought. I decided to carry on and rode until after dark checking into a hotel in Frederick, MD. I took back roads to Frederick and totaled 390 miles for the day. Considering 300 of those were Blue Ridge and Skyline miles it was a long day.

Day 4, Friday Aug 21.
I was up early for breakfast at Starbucks and on the last few miles to Lancaster, PA to be there in time to see my son land and spend the day with him.

Total 1,005 miles home to Lancaster airport.

More to follow…..

Blue Ridge 001.jpg
Cloudy skies could not block the great views on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Blue Ridge - Motorcycle Resort 007.jpg
Blueridge Motorcycle Campground

Blue Ridge Motorcycle Resort 011.jpg
Entrance to campground

Blue Ridge - Motorcycle Resort 010.jpg
Cabins at Blueridge Motorcycle Campground

Blue Ridge -  021.jpg
More Great Views

Blue Ridge - Willville Bike Camp 016.jpg
Willieville Bike Camp

Blue Ridge - Willville Bike Camp 017.jpg
My cabin at Willieville

Blue Ridge 023.jpg
Lunch on the Parkway

Skyline 025.jpg
Skyline Drive

Blue Ridge - Skyline 013.jpg
Only other scooter I saw on parkway. Rider off in the woods I guess.

Molto Verboso
Piaggio MP3 500
Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1402
Location: North Georgia
Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:20 pm quote
My, I'm jealous. The trip looks great. If football season ever ends we are considering going that way. Enjoy visiting with your son. On a side note, I get butterflies in my stomach every time my 16yo drives a car, and they increase significantly when I think of her on a bike. Do you not have to sedate her wife to get her to watch your son do an air show? I let my kids do the things they love, but it doesn't mean I don't have a massive coronary about it.
Ossessionato
R.I.P. ----K.I.T.T.500, Agent Orange (400)
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Posts: 2670
Location: Rockford, IL
Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:23 pm quote
Great looking trip, Fuzzy! I wish I coulda joined ya for part of it. The views look great and I love those two campgrounds! I would love to plan a get together someday with a bunch of us at one of em that lasted at least the weekend. They look like the kinds of places that would be great to come home to for a night or two and I'm sure you wished you coulda stayed longer. Glad to see the 400 is really holding up for ya and has 'expanded' your range if that's possible. You should contact a bike magazine/scoot magazine and see if you can submit your trip along with pics. I bet people out there would love to see a true touring scooterist's story. Not many of em out there like you for sure who travel the distances you do.
Addicted
MP3 500 (no - longer); now an old guy on a Goldwing
Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 853
Location: Tellico Village, Loudon, TN
Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:41 pm quote
Thanks for the great report! The blue ridge parkway and skyline drive are on my list of roads I want to ride.

I am interested in how you packed your gear (and what gear you took) for the trip.

I look forward to the next report.
Hooked
MP3 500
Joined: 22 Aug 2009
Posts: 254
Location: ohio
Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:53 pm quote
Sounds like one great trip but at 63 and climbing I'd take a little longer. Do you know how many motorcycle "campgrounds" there are on the Ridge?
Molto Verboso
MP3 500, Honda PCX
Joined: 20 Jul 2008
Posts: 1123
Location: Dallas, TX
Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:03 pm quote
Sounds great! It must be one of the best trips of your life getting to see your son perform and all. I'm very happy for you. I'd like to try out those camp grounds too.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:33 pm quote
GeorgiaGirl wrote:
My, I'm jealous. The trip looks great. If football season ever ends we are considering going that way. Enjoy visiting with your son. On a side note, I get butterflies in my stomach every time my 16yo drives a car, and they increase significantly when I think of her on a bike. Do you not have to sedate her wife to get her to watch your son do an air show? I let my kids do the things they love, but it doesn't mean I don't have a massive coronary about it.
I saw multiple women riding the route with no men around. Several singles and some in groups. More women riders than I had seen elsewhere for some reason.

Josh has been flying for 15 years and aerobatics for 11. One thing that always impresses me is his absolute attention to detail and making sure everything is as it should be. He is a safe pilot. His fist job out of college was an aerobatics instructor for a company selling aerobatic air planes. He had over 1000 hours of tail wheel time when he got a job flying for Continental. Then he went in the New Jersey Air National Guard and has over 600 hours of combat air time in Iraq. I have been upside down with him in two planes and Carolyn one. As parents of couse we worry and it is harder on the mother. One of the toughest things as a parent is letting go. We are of course very proud of him and his brother.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:37 pm quote
luthorhuss wrote:
Great looking trip, Fuzzy! I wish I coulda joined ya for part of it. The views look great and I love those two campgrounds! I would love to plan a get together someday with a bunch of us at one of em that lasted at least the weekend. They look like the kinds of places that would be great to come home to for a night or two and I'm sure you wished you coulda stayed longer. Glad to see the 400 is really holding up for ya and has 'expanded' your range if that's possible. You should contact a bike magazine/scoot magazine and see if you can submit your trip along with pics. I bet people out there would love to see a true touring scooterist's story. Not many of em out there like you for sure who travel the distances you do.
Yeah the hard part about the trip was having to keep a schedule and not having time to spend at any of the places along the way. To do all I was attracted to would have taken a couple of months on the same route. I'll get the rest of the trip posted over the next couple days.

The Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground would be within reach for us deep south folks to do a get together and has great facilities. Many cabins for those that want one. Great gathering areas protected from weather and a large inside room. If the road between it and the parkway is an indication the are would provide riding roads like being at Deals Gap. The one other person there comes several times a year which says a lot to me.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:49 pm quote
kevink wrote:
Thanks for the great report! The blue ridge parkway and skyline drive are on my list of roads I want to ride.

I am interested in how you packed your gear (and what gear you took) for the trip.

I look forward to the next report.
I pack my clothes in the Givi top box. I bought some stuff at REI that is light and quick drying so it can be washed on the road to allow carrying less. Simmilar to what Jerry reported on his trip to Chattanooga.

I put my rain gear in the pet carrier to be accessable along with a couple maintencnce items I want easy access to like a tire gage.

I bought a duffle bag at Walmart for $13 that holds all my camping gear and food. I have a 3 man tent, sleeping bag, stove, cook wear, bottle of wine and camping wine glass, tarp and a few other items. I tie it on the back seat. I used to tie it to the passenger hand rails but it tended to crowd my seating area. I now strap it to the bracket for the top case which holds it back. If packed and strapped properly it is a great back rest and really extends my ability to stay in the saddle. By pacled properly I find it painful to lean back against a pot but great against the sleeping bag insisde the duffle. Something more waterproof might be smart, but so far my gear has stayed dry.

On top of the duffle bag I strap a REI camp chair with a bungee cord. It is great to have a long as a very comfortable chair for the camp ground or stops along the way. I ate multiple lunches along side the road under a shade treee with great view. The chair made all the difference over sitting on the ground or bench. I highly recommend it.

Under the seat I put items I don't need access to during the day. I also just added a Givi tunnel bag. In it I kept maps, water, snacks, first aid and such. It is a great fit but a bit in the way for setting the parking break. If stopping on a hill I had to hold a break with one hand. Remove the bag with the other and set on the ground to then set the brake. I won't use it every day but for the trip is was a good addition.

BTW I read to get a tent advertised for one more person than will use it. I went further and got a 3 man tent with a large vestibule. When I put helmet and other riding gear inside along with my top box full of clothes it is full with just me and my gear.

Last edited by Fuzzy on Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:06 pm quote
vandave wrote:
Sounds like one great trip but at 63 and climbing I'd take a little longer. Do you know how many motorcycle "campgrounds" there are on the Ridge?
We all have our limits but your age is only slightly more than mine and much younger than Jerryw's. Read his accounts of his trip to Chattanooga in June.

My time in the saddle limitations:
1) My fisrt time limiter was my butt. The air rider has extended that greatly but I would sure like something like the day long saddle several have bought.
2) With the air rider my weakst point becomes my back specifically getting tight between my shoulder blades.
3) For this trip I started ahead working on some streatching and basic exercises to improve my back's durability. This definitely helped.
4) On the road I focused on very frequent stops. At least every 30 to 45 minutes I pulled over and got off the bike for just a couple minutes. While off I streatched. For the minutes I lost pulling over I added hours to my endurance. It works. Also any time traffic stops me such as at a stop light I lock the front and stand up off the saddle and will do some streatching of my upper body. I also tried to remind myself to relax as tension is a big part of the problem between the shoulders. Eapecially in twisty sections I would lean forward and tense up and if I rememberd to relax and lean against the duffel bag it helped a lot.

For the first camping trip do it somewhere close so that if your equipment isn't right you can go home. I had not tent camped since high school so my first time was literally in my yard last spring and the second 40 miles away.

Take some day trips and find your limits. Then plan a trip based on your personal limits and if possible be flexible. It can be miserable if you hit your comfort limit and still have miles to go to a destination that won't wait until tomorrow. I would have loved to have another week for the trip to spend less time in the saddle and more time taking in the sites along the way.

The two camp grounds mentioned are the only ones I found in a quick search of the internet. There are many others where motorcycles are welcome but the ones built around motorcycles are more fun to me as you will meet and spend time with other riders. Two Wheels only in north Georgia is another great one and there are several in west North Carolina and East Tennessee around the Chreohola and Dragon.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:07 pm quote
jerryw wrote:
Sounds great! It must be one of the best trips of your life getting to see your son perform and all. I'm very happy for you. I'd like to try out those camp grounds too.
Pay attention here for us to set up another get together so you can get it on your calander. We want you to come back.
Addicted
MP3 500 (no - longer); now an old guy on a Goldwing
Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 853
Location: Tellico Village, Loudon, TN
Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:35 am quote
Thanks for the detailed feedback. Using a duffle bag to hold the camping gear is a great idea for simplifying the tie-down process. I knew about getting a larger tent, but didn't think about using the givi top case as a suitcase that could be brought into the tent easily.

I definitely would like to do an overnight ride - so many places to go!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:46 am quote
The Destination - Lancaster, PA
I arrived in Lancaster early morning Friday Aug. 21 in time to see my son land. Lancaster is the heart of the Amish country but I spent nearly all my time there at the airport with my son.

The destination was to see my son perform in an air show. An excerpt from Lancaster Online
Quote:
Wilson proved his aerobatic skills Sunday in the cockpit of Tail Chaser, a silver-bodied, red-tailed Yak-50 with a red-and-yellow checkerboard nose.
The Yak-50, he explained after a dizzying show, is a Russian-built plane designed specifically for competition — and for five years in the late 1970s, it dominated the circuit and "demolished the competition."
"It's intimidating at first," Wilson said, noting the potent, 420-horsepower thrust of the plane. "It's a monster — real, old-school Russian construction. It's really a tank.
"But flying her is easy. She's really a gentle giant."
Wilson, has logged countless hours as a commercial, military and aerobatic pilot.
"This has been a dream for me for so long," he said. " 'Awesome' is the only word I can find to describe it."
Some of the pictures are scooter or Piaggio related.

Air Show 071.jpg
Son, Wife and me in front of his YAK 50

0821091749.jpg
A beautiful P-51. Even Luthorhuss couldn't make it look better.

Air Show 058.jpg
A different Piaggio rolling behind some Chinese made C-2s.

Air Show 014.jpg
Josh's YAK 50 in lead with SNJ to his left and Pitts to his right.

Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:00 am quote
kevink wrote:
Thanks for the detailed feedback. Using a duffle bag to hold the camping gear is a great idea for simplifying the tie-down process. I knew about getting a larger tent, but didn't think about using the givi top case as a suitcase that could be brought into the tent easily.

I definitely would like to do an overnight ride - so many places to go!
The top case is a great traveling suit case for camping or hotel. It comes off the bike easily and has a convenient recessed handle for carrying.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Neutrino MP3 492.7 AK, 2013 Moto Guzzi Norge
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 21245
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:11 am quote
Fuzzy great report.
You should post this in the main area under "ride reports" for all to read.
Ossessionato
R.I.P. ----K.I.T.T.500, Agent Orange (400)
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Posts: 2670
Location: Rockford, IL
Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:28 am quote
Great report Fuzzy,...like I said, you should submit this to Scoot! or some similar publication along with details of your other outings.

Man, I'm beginning to think that as we grow as a community(new folks everyday), we're getting closer to an ALL MP3 SCOOTER RALLY! That day will come I'm sure, hopefully I'll still be scootin and be able to make it...
Ossessionato
2019 MP3 SPORT 500 IE
Joined: 25 Aug 2007
Posts: 3867
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles sobre el Río Porciúncula
Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:26 am quote
Great report and beautiful pictures, Fuzzy.

You're an inspiration.
Gobshite Shiva
Kymco Downtown 300i the 'Dolphin Noise'
Joined: 16 Mar 2007
Posts: 14959
Location: London UK
Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:15 am quote
cheers for the great ride report. those campgrounds look great - i especially love the little shelter for the bike! if i ever do a scooter outing in the states the blue ridge parkway is now definitely on my list
Member
MP3 2007 Silver
Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 31
Location: Zeeland Mi
Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:40 pm quote
Thanks for the great report Fuzzy that will give all of us something to think about, what a great way to spend a vacation.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:44 am quote
Final Leg - The Journey Home
Final Leg – The Trip Home to Georgia
For the return trip I planned a route to go west, then south on a route through West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. I used an outstanding web site to plan the route, http://www.motorcycleroads.us/ The web page opens with a map of the US. Click on a state then a region within the state and a map comes up of roads motorcyclists recommend for riding. They are color coded for scenic, sweeping curves and twisty. I fit all the twisty in I could for the return trip.

Sunday August 23.
The air show was rained out Saturday and rescheduled to Sunday. This gave me a later departure time than originally planned and I left the Lancaster airport around 3 PM. I had received advice about nicer roads west in Pennsylvania but behind schedule I just went west on 30. This gave a fast freeway ride to York. The road goes right by a Harley Davidson plant that makes touring models. They give tours of the assembly line on week days but unfortunately my schedule had me there at the wrong time. The sad news here is that Harley is considering shutting down the old inefficient plant and moving production elsewhere. It employees 2,500.

West of York the road became 2 lane passing through numerous small towns including Gettysburg. I have been before but wish I had time to spend at the battle field. I continued on 30 to interstate 81 and turned south for 65 miles exiting on US 50 and was now on a road I wanted to ride. 50 was the route of last year’s Cannonball. I rode 150 miles of 50 in Virginia and West Virginia and believe it had to be some of the best ride of the Cannonball. 45 miles down 50 the sun was dipping below the mountain tops and I found a nice campground on a river near Romney, WV.

Monday August 24.
After a pretty good night sleep with in spite of constant bellowing of cows in the woods across the river, I broke camp and headed west. I rode another great 100 miles on 50 and turned south on WV 20 near Clarksburg. WV 20 is another good find from http://www.motorcycleroads.us/ 20 allows the type of riding for tires to last longer by not wearing out the middle, just watch out for gravel patches where others have brought gravel from the shoulder in a tight turn or from a side road. Another 100 miles of great ride and I turned west at Clarksville to get to US 19. A few miles south on 19 is the New River Gorge Bridge. This is one of the tallest and longest arch bridges in the world. It is a favorite for base jumpers. It clears the river by 876 feet. There is a drawing of the Washington Monument topped by two Statue of Libertys fitting underneath. When built it reduced the trip across the gorge by 45 minutes on a switch back road to the bottom of the gorge and across the old bridge. This is definitely a site worth a detour to see and you must take the one way switch back road down the east side and back up the west side for the full effect of seeing this engineering marvel. After the Gorge I continued to Beckley where I again turned west on WV 97. This was another twisty mountain route through coal country. I guess it is a sign of the economy as in a 50 mile stretch I passed 5 shut down gas stations before turning north on 52 and finding one in service. I ended up in Williamson as it got dark and after another wonderful but long day wimped out and checked into a hotel. Williamson is a major rail depot and I have never seen so many rail cars in one place. Every one was either full of coal or ready to be loaded with coal. The attitude in town was signified on a sign stating “Make Coal Legal.”

Tuesday Aug. 25
After a continental breakfast I headed out. 200 yards from the hotel I was in Kentucky and turned south on US 119. 119 is a high speed divided highway through some beautiful mountain country. Near the Virginia border I turned onto US 23 and shortly at the top of a pass was the Virginia line. For the third time on the trip I was to cross a section of the State I was born in. A little further south a turn to the west on US 58 to get to the top of VA 70 another great recommendation of http://www.motorcycleroads.us . This road gave very little opportunity to use the center of the tires with changes in direction frequently allowing less than a full rotation changing form leaning one way to leaning to the opposite side. The road crosses into Tennessee and becomes TN 70 and continues the same high quality ride. Eventually at Greenville, TN I said good bye to the great ride and turned west on US 321. The road straightened out but provided a scenic ride through the Tennessee country side to Gatlinburg. I then went to Pigeon Forge where I miss read my map and got turned around. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I programmed my GPS to take me to the Foothills Parkway and it came through in spades. The GPS took me on a series of small winding roads: Miller Creek, Laurel Lick, Little Cove Church, Little Cove and Valley coming out on 321 about a mile from the parkway. This ride was great made better by turning on it behind a local on a sport bike who set a great pace for me.

The Foothills Parkway is a great ride with multiple overlook stops and ends at Tallassee at the Tennessee end of the Dragon. Google Maps says I was only 16 miles from Deals Gap but somehow my odometer clocked another 100 miles before stopping for the night at Deals Gap. I confess I booked a room at Deals gap and stripped the gear off my ride to enjoy the area carrying 100 pounds less weight. I did a round trip of the Dragon then the circle on 129 to Robbinsville and circling around back to Deals Gap on Hellbender 28. This was my 4th trip to this area and I will never get tired of riding it. After another long day riding until after dark I again slept well with my ride spending the night looking at the tree of shame comforted in the knowledge that no MP3 parts were seen hanging from it.

Wednesday Aug 26, The last Day.
After another round trip on the Dragon I headed south on US 129 out of North Carolina and through the Georgia mountains. It was then on to US 441 for the quick ride home with a stop in Commerce, GA for the best burger and fries there are at Five Guys Burger and Fries. Arriving home mid afternoon I had clocked a total of 2,285 miles. I was tired and glad to be home, but at the same time sorry the trip was over.

TOTAL TRIP DISTANCE 2,285 MILES

West Virginia 005.jpg
View from my tent near Romney WV. No cows in site across the river, but they were there.

West Virginia 007.jpg
Old bridge and New River Gorge taken from near the new one.

West Virginia 011.jpg
New Bridge from the old one.

West Virginia 016.jpg
Road back up the gorge.

Tennessee 001.jpg
HWY 70

Tennessee 002.jpg
Swagerty Fort on 321. Built in 1787 as house that could be defended from Indians.

Dragon 004.jpg
My ride spent the night facing the Tree of Shame confident that no MP3 parts were hanging on it.

Dragon 008.jpg
No matter where you go, other riders have to get a closeer look at the MP3.

Dragon 010.jpg
Small chopper in front of Cherokee Cycles shop.



Last edited by Fuzzy on Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
Ossessionato
R.I.P. ----K.I.T.T.500, Agent Orange (400)
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Posts: 2670
Location: Rockford, IL
Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:18 pm quote
Sounds like you had fun, Fuzzy. Was that big black Honda Rune still at Cherokee? That's one of my "wish I had it in my stable" dream bikes. Looks like you hit the Dragon at the right time...when it was cleared out during weekdays. Great write up. Reading this gave me a nice idea for me and the fellow MV'ers...could you do a post(possibly a new topic) on what you do bike-wise pretrip and post trip to maintain it?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:36 pm quote
Route Maps
Below are the route maps going and coming.

Home to Lancaster-1.jpg
Milledgeville, GA to Lancaster, PA via Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.

Lancaster to Home-1.jpg
Trip home via West Virginia and Dragon.

Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:41 pm quote
luthorhuss wrote:
Sounds like you had fun, Fuzzy. Was that big black Honda Rune still at Cherokee? That's one of my "wish I had it in my stable" dream bikes. Looks like you hit the Dragon at the right time...when it was cleared out during weekdays. Great write up. Reading this gave me a nice idea for me and the fellow MV'ers...could you do a post(possibly a new topic) on what you do bike-wise pretrip and post trip to maintain it?
The Honda is still there Luthorhuss and I thought about you when I saw it. It is a sweet looking ride.

Cherokee Cycles claims to be the largest independent cycle shop in the U.S.

As for preperation of the MP3, I had the 6000 mile checkup shortly before leaving and put new tires on all 3 wheels. Rear was very close to necessary and fronts had cupped at 7,000 miles. Second Diablo 150 on back and Pirelli GTS 23s on front. I forgot to pack oil and had to buy a quart in Lancaster. Topped off there and got home not needing any more. For adding oil I picked up some paper funnels at a convinece store and they will fold flat taking up no room in storage.

For my other gear I keep the camping gear and duffle bag together so I don't forget anything.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:03 pm quote
kevink wrote:
Thanks for the detailed feedback. Using a duffle bag to hold the camping gear is a great idea for simplifying the tie-down process. I knew about getting a larger tent, but didn't think about using the givi top case as a suitcase that could be brought into the tent easily.

I definitely would like to do an overnight ride - so many places to go!
Found myself on Killboy. The pictures show the duffle bag mounted behind me and how it works as a back rest. I am the next to last bike on Aug. 25. Here is a link http://www.photoreflect.com/pr3/ThumbPage.aspx?e=5124252&g=03&s=100 There is a screen capture from their web page proof below.

Dragon Aug 09.jpg

Ossessionato
R.I.P. ----K.I.T.T.500, Agent Orange (400)
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Posts: 2670
Location: Rockford, IL
Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:33 pm quote
MAN TALK ABOUT A ONE IN A MILLION PHOTO! What do I mean?....look for his left front tire... Do you know the chances of getting it that lined up at those speeds? interesting...Another very interesting point is the fact that Fuzzy is running the larger tire on the rear...Check out the clearance between it and the center stand...eesh! I don't think we could go much bigger
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37253
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:50 pm quote
Superb write-up and pics. A good journey, well enjoyed.
Addicted
MP3 500 (no - longer); now an old guy on a Goldwing
Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 853
Location: Tellico Village, Loudon, TN
Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:59 pm quote
Fuzzy wrote:
kevink wrote:
Thanks for the detailed feedback. Using a duffle bag to hold the camping gear is a great idea for simplifying the tie-down process. I knew about getting a larger tent, but didn't think about using the givi top case as a suitcase that could be brought into the tent easily.

I definitely would like to do an overnight ride - so many places to go!
Found myself on Killboy. The pictures show the duffle bag mounted behind me and how it works as a back rest. I am the next to last bike on Aug. 25. Here is a link http://www.photoreflect.com/pr3/ThumbPage.aspx?e=5124252&g=03&s=100 There is a screen capture from their web page proof below.
Great picture. The setup looks very efficient. My brother-in-law has a place in the Poconos not too far from Lancaster ( I also went to High School near there in Radnor). Now I have to go and plan a trip - too many roads and too little time!

Thanks for the link to motorcycleroads.us
Molto Verboso
Smrfmobile was a 2007 sky blue Piaggio MP3 250ie w/Tow-Pac, Inc. Instatrike B kit
Joined: 29 Jul 2008
Posts: 1307
Location: south San Francisco bay area, CA
Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:13 pm quote
Simply put, +1 and Awesome Fuzzy!!!!
Molto Verboso
Piaggio MP3 500
Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1402
Location: North Georgia
Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:15 am quote
Great job writing it up, and glad you are home safe. I REALLY REALLY want to go on a road trip. Thanks for including the links to the lodging, hopefully that can come in handy soon. I didn't mean anything about your son's skills or your wife's coping ability by my earlier comment - that is coming from a purely personal place watching my daughter learn to drive Mary Beth is 16 going on 25, but I can't look at her without seeing my baby girl.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6141
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:04 pm quote
GeorgiaGirl wrote:
Great job writing it up, and glad you are home safe. I REALLY REALLY want to go on a road trip. Thanks for including the links to the lodging, hopefully that can come in handy soon. I didn't mean anything about your son's skills or your wife's coping ability by my earlier comment - that is coming from a purely personal place watching my daughter learn to drive Mary Beth is 16 going on 25, but I can't look at her without seeing my baby girl.
Georgia Girl I think most parents understand the point of your comment. Letting go is one of the hardest things for these parents to do. It would be easier to keep them at home, never out of the house where we can protect them. Of course our oldest has not chosen the safest line of work or play. Carolyn too has been upside down in a plane with him but the time she was most worried was watching a video of his first air show.
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MP3 250 (sold) MP3 500 (current)
Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 21445
Location: Palatka, Florida
Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:44 am quote
Very cool Fuzzy. Just got back from the northeast and actually drove on part of your route (on 15 down through to 270) and wished i were on my scooter instead of in my silverado pulling a camper. Some beautiful roads back up towards scranton too...up and down the hollers.
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