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Hey folks, I am going to take a solo ride down to Tennessee from South Jersey this weekend. The plan is to meet up with friends and family at a buddies cabin near Tellico Plains. The ride is about 700 miles each way and I hope to Ride the Dragon on the return trip.

I have picked up lots of good advice on the Forums, but I still feel a bit intimidated by so many miles in just a few days.

This will be the first real test of my Sargent seat, I have ridden over 6000 miles on it, but rarely more the 70 miles at a sitting.

There are so many things that I could have done, but the bike feels solid and has been running well these past few months. I just turned over 38000 miles, 10000 miles more then I had on it when I bought it 19 months ago. It is likely that I won't have much chance to post along the way, so if I don't get back to pages until next week; this is a note to let the group know that one more rider is hitting the road for a few days.

Take care,

John
 

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This is a follow up post from the phone, all my posts have been from the computer till now.
 

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I live in KY a little north of the prime path. Expect a lot of traffic and possible gas availability issues in towns near the interstate as you near the KY/TN border. It is appearing to be turning into a zoo.

I took Monday off work so Wifey and I can sit in the back field with a cooler of beer and our free glasses.

Be careful, the ride will be a hoot.
 

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I telling my friends to fill up before you arrive, I expect food and gasoline issues. Way too many people going to tiny little towns.

Hope you enjoy the show. I am looking forward to visiting the area again, I haven't been down this way for 10 years or so.

John
 

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Finishing my packing and printing some backup maps. Almost ready to roll out.
 

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Leave early ...makes for cooler and easy days. I cancelled the same ride from Toronto only due to the predicted heat and traffic in the area...will ride the Smokies another time. Mind the critters at dusk. Enjoy.
 

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Great Riding to Tellico Plains

Had a great ride down and back to Tellico Plains to watch the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. The Sargent saddle was tremendous, almost no discomfort even after 17 hours in the Saddle. By jumping on and off the highway and not being too choosy about the route, I was able to keep riding and only spent a few hours stuck in traffic; with the worst jam up being around DC at 6:30 PM on Wednesday. It is always better to avoid Washington, DC if your not going there.

The best unexpected ride was on Route 11 south coming out of Pulaski, VA. The view below is from the Draper Mountain Overlook. But it is so typical of so many of the roads in the area.



I rode the "Tail of the Dragon", kind of like Disney World for Harley Davidson's. It is a nice riding road with many to many folks crammed on it. It is a good place to go to get your picture taken.

As I rode out, I saw an RV head for the Dragon. What a bad idea that was going to be.



Almost all of the mountain roads around Tellico Plains are tremendous riding roads.

The bike ran better and better each day and was getting over 50 miles per gallon and over 250 miles on a tank, but I rarely pushed it that far. The ride was 740 miles down on the first day and made my buddies cabin at 11:40 that evening.

On the way home, I took two days, rode the Dragon, most the the Blue Ridge parkway and all of the Skyline Drive. The total ride over two days was just over a thousand miles. I met many other riders along the way and really enjoyed being in my own head for a few days. Most of the time I had really limited phone service and was on my own.

On the way back, traffic going North was pretty intense. As it got dark, my searches for campground came to nothing and I found myself on the Blue Ridge Parkway at 11 pm. Forty two miles and 60 minutes later the search for camping had to be abandoned and I stopped at the first tired old motel I found just off the Parkway.

It was a blast riding the Blue Ridge in the dark, but the deer were lurking in every field. At a stop to read a map at one of the parking areas; the bike just took a tumble and I found myself staring down at it on the ground. The crazy thing was, I just reached down and picked it up. Didn't even think about how heavy it was with fully loaded bags. It crossed my mind that I might feel that one in the morning, but it didn't seem to cause any ill effects.

The hardest part is dealing with the wind noise on the Helmet. The bigger Give Windscreen and Madstad mount really help, but 17 hours of wind on your head is still alot.

Can't wait for the next opportunity to take a big ride to come along. It was a blast.
 
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