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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I finally got smart and set up email notifications about private messages here so I wouldn't miss any more invitations to ride :fineprint:

Appalachian Rider tried me one more time after a few involuntary dismissals and we met in Travelers Rest. He asked me what I had in mind and I said that I wanted a long ride in the mountains, hopefully along Hwy 28 to get familiar with the fun route to Deal's Gap. When he just said "Sounds good to me" I figured I'd be a fun ride.

Well, Appalachian Rider lived up to the expectations of a handle name like his. He kept the ride fast but not crazy, fun in the twisties and made a few stops along the way with interesting conversation. Here's one of them:






After the crossing of Hwy 28 and 64 it was all new to me (just got the bike first week of November). Had a nice lunch at a 50's diner in Franklin but I kind of expected Tim at any point to announce that it was time to return. Instead he planned the trip to Deal's Gap. What an awesome ride to get there!! :hurray:

Here's another stop:



Once we arrived he encouraged me to make a run for it; instead I chose to follow him for a little while. We stopped to let a couple cages go ahead. After a couple minutes I decided to go first. Found the truck that was slowing us down on the side of the road as I swear he saw me and got going again in front of me, like at 20 mph :furious: When I had the first chance to pass him safely (though illegally) I did it :thumbup: Then I stopped at the Overlook amazed by the view :jawdrop:



There was a nice old man with a restored '75 Honda Goldwing. Pretty soon the re was a guy pulling over with a professional camera ready to capture every detail of the bike. Here's the bumblebee :mrgreen:



After a little while we continued downhill until we reached the valley. Since we needed to go back I decided that would be my "real" tail of the dragon run. As we were pulling over we saw a guy in a red sports bike making his run but he was gone before I could turn around :headbang:

I got going pretty strong (for my comfort level at least) and after the overlook I saw the red ninja ahead of me. I thought I could catch up with him and realized how bad it could be if i were to loose focus in anyone of those 318 curves. I had to push pretty hard to get right behind him and even harder to stay on his tail. Peg scrapping on a Wee is a bit unsettling the first times :yikes:

I finally got to the store and shortly behind me was Appalachian Rider coming down. Store closed for the season so no dragon sticker for me yet. Hey, I get to do it again! :yesnod: Here's the mandatory pic:



Glad my Wee's fairings didn't end up here:



Nor writing messages like these:





If I would've seen up close the red bike I was tailing before I started the chase, I probably would've quit



We checked out the little motorcycle party scene for a while



Thank you Appalachian Rider for the whole experience. My last ride had been in the tropics 15 years ago:



These landscapes back in Colombia I missed for years



Not a problem. Came back to the mountains!!

Looking forward to future rides, even getting back home at 8:30 pm via the interstate :mrgreen:
 

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We checked out the little motorcycle party scene for a while

Haha too funny, these are buddies of mine and was going to join them for that weekend. I met them through Atlanta Adventure Riders Meetup. Great guys! and Doug on the far left... dude is one of the nicest guys on two wheels and a very skilled rider with a bad ass XR650L! But all great peoples.

Nice ride report and great pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
They seemed nice and yes, they rode from Atlanta. I think they said they were staying in the area for the weekend

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I would have been with you but work and delivering a rescued Golden Retriever puppy we were fostering to his new home got in the way.

He was cute, but we don't need a puppy right now.

How was the Dragon Traffic?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Traffic was pretty good IMO. No big rigs, not a lot of vehicles and the the knee droppers and other stunts had free reign

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That was great : thanks! Loved your pics!
you would LOVE a lot of the riding available out here in the west; Utah & Colorado & Idaho. Here in Utah, we ride from 5k foot elevation to 9000 + foot elevation passes, with tons of great roads / twisties on the way up & down the other side, LOTs of awesome canyons! All y'all should come out & ride with us.
Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That was great : thanks! Loved your pics!
you would LOVE a lot of the riding available out here in the west; Utah & Colorado & Idaho. Here in Utah, we ride from 5k foot elevation to 9000 + foot elevation passes, with tons of great roads / twisties on the way up & down the other side, LOTs of awesome canyons! All y'all should come out & ride with us.
Doug
Count me in Brother. As it happens, my dream ride is Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Not sure about riding my bike all the way there. Maybe renting for a few days would be more efficient in terms of time mainly. Or go with a group from here and trailer the bikes. But you know what they say: trailering a bike is like hiring a prostitute to watch you fondle yourself (I tried to keep that PG-13 :fineprint: )

Thanks for what I officially count as of now as an invitation
 

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Yeah, that's a tough one. I was thinking ; ship it out. But, it's probably a lame thing to say since I don't know any particulars about shipping bikes. Probably just as well trailer it out so you could zip on out real quick on the super slab.

My mom's family reunion is in June in Arizona. Dilemma for me. I want to ride out, but if I just go straight out & back on the super slab = wasted ride, tire wear, etc. Driving the cage is more expensive ... I would need to take more vacation time for riding out & back to make that riding time worthwhile. Also, I would need to bum accommodations for going out & returning so I could make the trip financially. Dilemma.

Anyways, if you could fanagle a trip out sometime, that would be great to take you on some awesome rides. Pretty familiar with road rides. New to being able to go off road for now.

Doug
 

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Thanks for sharing

Great RR, I just made it Deals Gap my first time this past fall after 3 seasons in Greenville. I wonder if Tim took you on Wayah road after you left Franklin on the way to Robinsville? We sure are lucky with all the fabulous riding around here.....Check out the Spring Rendevous at Iron Horse MC resort in May - it is right off 28 on the way to Deals Gap. Cheers.
 

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Nice write up. I was just there the weekend before Christmas. We usually go 2 or 3 times a season when its warm but this was my first winter ride of the DT. Its a lot different with few cars, no trucks, and bored lonely cops. It was the first time we really rode the DT hard and stayed well into ticket territory speeds.

Cherahala Skyway was awesome also but ice and road salt made it a little more nerve wracking than the DT through the valleys.

While I sure do love warm weather, the ride made us forget about the cold and rain on the way home.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
+1 on the fabulous riding. I'll be camping at the iron horse. Hope to see you there

Great RR, I just made it Deals Gap my first time this past fall after 3 seasons in Greenville. I wonder if Tim took you on Wayah road after you left Franklin on the way to Robinsville? We sure are lucky with all the fabulous riding around here.....Check out the Spring Rendevous at Iron Horse MC resort in May - it is right off 28 on the way to Deals Gap. Cheers.
 

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I'll be making several trips to the Dragon this riding season (like always). Hope to ride with some of you in the future!
 

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It's great to ride the Dragon when the American V twin rolling road blocks are resting for the winter. The last time I was there I think I passed 20-30 of them between the Iron Horse Lodge and the store. It was so busy we rode everything but the Dragon.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just came back from Deal's Gap. The ride there from upstate SC is amazing. Ten times the dragon, it seems. As stated before, the american v-twins were all over the road as well as law enforcement. Cars and bikes pulled over by unmarked SUVs, sheriff patrols and even US park ranger. Go figure. All in all, a really good experience. Moving from NY to here was a move I'm proud of :cool:

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Discussion Starter #20
Definitely hooked on the fabulous riding, maybe even the dragon on the off season or weekdays. Looking forward to the North Georgia ride Tim, that is if not embarrased by the sight of my thinstrom next to your nice Vee

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