Toronto to Alabama - Barber Museum - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

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post #1 of 21 Old 09-13-2010, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
Juan Tanamera's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Canuckistan
Posts: 1,026
Toronto to Alabama - Barber Museum

I've been wanting to do this trip for many years and since I get laid off for the winter as of October 5th, this seems like the perfect time to do it. This would be my first longer trip on the bike. I plan on leaving around Oct7th and would like to be away for around 7-10days max.

I'll be camping and tenting along the way. I've never camped before but I'll have a new tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad before I go (and I will try out the tent first hand too). I've also never even taken the bike south of the border. Totally looking forward to it!

I have done a few 1200km-one day rides touring in Ontario, but that's about it. I'm hoping to average about 8-10hrs a day in the saddle and cover about 600km a day. I'll do some slab on my first day to get as far south as possible on day 1, but hopefully backroads from there on.

As for sightseeing, I'm very much into nature, so beautiful scenery accompanied by twisty roads is what I'm looking for. I was thinking about doing a lot of the Blue Ridge Parkway, passing through Deals Gap and surrounding area and then hitting the Barber museum in Birmingham.

I know some of you have done lots of longer trips and some out to the museum from this neck of the woods...

Any suggestions? Must hit roads? Cheap places to stay? I'd like to keep things a bit flexible as to what I'm doing or where I'm going as I go along. Some structure is fine, but I have no planned itinerary and would like to keep my costs down seeing as much as possible.

All insight and help is appreciated!

edit: forgot to mention that the only place I've settled on staying at so far is Fontana Village near Deals Gap. Other than that, I still have to figure out where I'm sleeping each night. Is camping by the roadside (away from traffic) or on parkland a no-no? I could just stay at campgrounds and such, but have no experience with what I am required to do to plan for that.

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post #2 of 21 Old 09-13-2010, 10:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: b'ham, Alabamie...29.4 minutes from Barbers
Posts: 2,673

The 2010 Barbers Vintage Motorcycle Festival is Oct 8-10......literally 1,000's of bikes show up for this event.....400 space swap meet, vintage racing all weekend (road racing, MX, Trials, Hare Scrambles), air shows on Sat/Sunday, bike shows and the Bator Motorcycle Auction on Saturday.

Lots of motorcycle campgrounds located in N.Ga and NC....check the internet. You should be hitting the Fall colors about that time.....expect some traffic if in the mtns. Gatlinburg is nice, but crowded that time of year.
Over 100 Attendees at the May 2019......already planning it for 2020!!
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post #3 of 21 Old 09-13-2010, 11:36 PM
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Location: Port Perry, Ontario, Canada
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For the Spring V-Strom meet at the Ironhorse I setup the following route for our group. We started the route in Kingston as that's where we all met. After the Ironhorse we went down to Birmingham.

day one from Kingston:

Johnson St to I-68 W - Google Maps

Our day two and three:

I-68 W to Co Rd 1236/Lower Stecoah Rd - Google Maps

Here is our route from the Ironhorse to the Museum:

We had a great lunch at:

Jeff & Helen's Kitchen
225 N 3rd Ave
Chatsworth, GA 30705-2535
(706) 695-1238

Jeff and Helen's Kitchen - Google Maps

Amazing home cooked food! Tell the we sent you (the Five Canadians back in May) if you stop in there!

I can give you this route in a gps format if you want to use any orall of it. I think everyone really liked the route!


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2015 DL1000 New July 2015 200,000+ km, 125,000 miles.

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post #4 of 21 Old 09-14-2010, 06:29 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The gateway to Cottage Country, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,406
Take V-Tom's route!

I missed this year's ride but went South with him, and the Road Toads, last year. The trip South was so good (constant twisites) that the Dragon was just another road along the way.

Proud to be a Road Toad...Member #5
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-14-2010, 11:09 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Nashville TN
Posts: 442
Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville to favorite section. A great loop off that section: 276 to Brevard, the 64 to 215, then 215 all the way back to 276 near Cruso, then back to the BRP.

There are more roads than you can possibly ride. WV, VA, NC, eastTN, NorthGA: great roads of all kinds just about any direction.

The Barber Museum is awesome. Worth the trip all by itself. Sometimes being laid off isn't all that bad.

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post #6 of 21 Old 09-14-2010, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Vermont
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Hmmm.... between jobs myself and thinking of heading down from Burlington to the AMA races at Barber next week. Thanks for the routes!

2006 Wee rider
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-15-2010, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Canuckistan
Posts: 1,026
Is it illegal to camp by the side of the road (far enough away from traffic) or just in some national park as I'm passing through (like along the BRP)?

Are there any special state laws that may affect me (like vagrancy laws) which i need to be aware of when passing through states like PA, WV, NC, TN, AL or GA?

What are KOA campgrounds like?

Thanks for the great routes Tom and I'm really looking forward to the Barber festival.

Also, I stopped eating meat a few years ago and was wondering if anyone here knew of any good vegetarian restaurants along the way. Up here there are so many multicultural options that it never is a problem finding an awesome restaurant that serves just vegetarian food.


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post #8 of 21 Old 09-15-2010, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Eastern Shore of Maryland
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Be careful on Blue Ridge Pkwy. The rangers are tough on tickets. Also the rubber neckers just stop in the middle of the road to look at the wildlife like pigeons etc. it is a great road, Skyline drive is also good. Also the Cherahola skyway down by deals is good. Also when you get off deals just before you get to a gas station on the right, there is a road with a sign saying something about a national park (it is just a little sign)that also is a great road leading into Pigeon forge. sounds like you are headed for a great trip.
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-15-2010, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 28
Tenting to BHM

Be careful about overnight on side of highway. The land will be privately owned.
Try to stay @ a campground.
The Barber is the best and the grounds have many pieces of large art.
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-15-2010, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ft. Wayne, Indiana
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I live in Indiana but I love riding in West Virginia. Just about any non - interstate highway is good. Going North or South, it would be in your best interest to travel through WV. Of course that's just my opinion, but I'm right. :biggrinjester:

I live in my own little world, but it's OK, they know me here.
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