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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well,
After reading all of Brendan's posts and adventures in his Atlanta to Key West and Final Four Weekend threads, I got inspired. ( Maybe it's just a wild hair! LOL )

I was planning on flying up to my brother’s house in Maryland just outside of D.C. for Memorial Day so I could ride in the gigantic Rolling Thunder event. But after seeing Brendan could make it from Atlanta to Key West and back while on a time constraint, and while on a wee, I decided to make the trip on my wee!

This will be BY FAR the longest motorcycle ride I have ever done. But I'm planning on making it an adventure and having some fun. I also decided that since I'm going to pass the same geographical area, I might as well dog leg over to Deals Gap so I can finally say I made it there! I haven't decided if I'm going to go there on my way up or my way back.

Does anyone have any input on cool or neat places I might want to stop by?

Like I said this is going to be a tiny bit scary for me to be making such a big ride but it IS an adventure bike right! :)

Thanks for wild hair Brendan!!
Jim
 

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If it ends up fitting how you're leaving Fl, I recommend route 28 all the way from Walhalla S.C. right to Deals Gap. A lot of people enjoy 28 more than the gap.
 

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*Terrific* route to Columbia SC

Jim,

I have driven north and south by van so often that I know the route well.

US 441 to Gainesville FL. This is the only tiresome part of the voyage.

FL 121 to MacClenny FL and north into GA. Get food in MacClenny, because it's a distance to the next place where you have any choice of restaurants.

GA 121 (is that a coincidence?) to Folkston GA and north. In Folkston, GA 121 joins up with US 1, US 301, US 23, GA 23, GA 15, and GA 4. BUT YOU STAY ON GA 121 REGARDLESS.

Watch closely for GA 121 and others to veer left off US 301, just north of Folkston.

Watch closely for GA 121 and GA 15 to veer to the right, off US 1 (this is quite sneaky). This is about 12 miles from the previous split.

North of Bristol GA, GA 121 veers right from GA 15. At last you are back on GA 121 only.

But not for long. GA 144 joins from the left and GA 169 joins from the right, so you are on three highways at once. From this point, you want 169, so you wave bye-bye to 144 as it goes off to your right and to 121 as it goes off to your left. (144 has a very strange configuration there; it seems as if 144 goes two ways at once!)

GA 169 ends at US 301, so you turn left and go north on US 301. You stay on 301 for about 62 miles.

There is a bypass around Statesboro. Forget it; barge through the metropolis.

If you need rest before SC, stop in Statesboro, not Sylvania. Most of the maps do not show how bad Sylvania smells.

North of Sylvania is the Georgia Welcome Center, open only 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and after that even the washrooms are locked. Drop in for a free soda if it's open.

Stay on US 301 to Ulmer SC. Veer left onto US 321, and take US 321 due north through the Scandinavian section of South Carolina. Honest, you go though towns named Denmark and North and Olar, and eventually get to Columbia SC.

From there, you are on your own, but I am sure you will enjoy the trip from Gainesville to Columbia, because I always do. I have taken this route over a dozen times each way.

I will be on this road, in a van, pulling the V-Strom, on May 1.

Keith

P.S. Hmmm, I see this sends you a long way from Walhalla SC. How about you suggest a route from Orlando to Walhalla, and I will let you know what I know about that route and any suggestions I have.

Meanwhile, gather your courage. I am much older than you, and in 1965 I made my second longest trip, almost 2000 miles. In 2006, aboard my new V-Strom, I made my longest trip, 6561 miles. Go for it!

While you are on that voyage, I will be training for a 5000-mile trip to Newfoundland.

K. <-- SOF, in the opinion of PonchoV (and he's right)
 

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Jim, Sounds like a good idea. I'm planning a trek this summer as well. Tampa to Penn. on my 650.

When I used to ride up to New England I always rode the Blue Ridge and Skyline from Cherokee to Front Royal up and back. If you leave a few days early you'll beat the Memorial Day grid lock. Of course do the gap. The rest, well that's up to you.

ISYHTRAH
 

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Jim and everyone!

Rick and I will be in Burnsville NC ( East of Asheville by about 50 miles) from May 19 – May 26. We plan on returning to Gainesville sometime over the Memorial Day weekend. This gives us a day to get unpacked and things in order before the dreaded “Back-to-Work” day on Tuesday. It also worked well for traffic to return on Sat or Sunday of the holiday weekend. Friday and Monday of that Holiday are very heavy travel days.

We are staying in a lovely house just 3 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are tons of lovely riding roads and we are within striking distance of Deal’s Gap. In our experience there are better roads to ride. Especially on a weekend (and especially a Holiday Weekend) it will be a death trap for foolish “rice rocket” riders. I would not attempt that run on a holiday weekend. The Cherohola, Skyline and even the Blue Ridge Parkway are good but often the smaller roads are the best, least crowded and more scenic.

Like I said we will be there all week and have room for company. The house is fully furnished and very comfortable. The drive up and down from the house is a bit of a challenge. It’s pretty steep gravel and my first trip down is always interesting. After the first day I get the feel of gravel and we are in business. So if you want some nice roads please come join us. I can provide your phone #’s and directions to the house if you are interested. If anyone else is interested just let us know.
 

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Jim

Made the trip many times. The Gap in on US129, which starts in Chiefland Florida. Take 441 to 41 and than over to 129. 129 is a great ride and will take you directly over Deals Gap. Ofcourse as flrdr says, 28 into Franklin NC is a great road that MUST be riden if you are in that area. If time permits check out the following roads; Foothills Parkway, just north of the Gap, SR1310 also leading into Franklin NC from US19. US19 from Crystal River (where I live) also takes you right to the foot of Deals gap. 276 out of Waynesville is also a great road with a few beatiful water falls to see right on the road it's self. I don't have enough space to tell about all the great roads. Maybe that's a new thread we could start, "Roads of the mountains"
If you would like e-mail me and I can lay out a trip hitting the "Most Fun" roads along your way. But I am sure many riders from Florida can do the same. When are you going? Have fun. Maybe I don't have ant softball tournaments around that time. A ride to the mountains, I am always ready to go.
Charlie
 

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If it ends up fitting how you're leaving Fl, I recommend route 28 all the way from Walhalla S.C. right to Deals Gap. A lot of people enjoy 28 more than the gap.

+1 on that.
28 from Walhalla on up is AWESOME and awesome for MILES. Watch the first few turns as you climb the mountain's near Mountain rest, SC. There's a tough curve there that can get ya. I had a buddy go down there on my last trip.

Oldschooler, the toughest part of your trip vs brendans is he went from great roads, south. This makes time constraints easier. Once your north of Atlanta its MUCH harder to make time if your on the "good/great" roads.

I can make good time on secondary roads in FL, South GA & South AL. Not so much once up north a bit.

Not saying you should not try, you should. Just be realistic on your time frames.
 

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Jim, from one Jim to another, just do it. You will never be sorry no matter what route you take. Backroads, superslab, either will provide you with an adventure you will always remember. Ride safe and ATGATT!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is great ! Just the kind of information I need. Of course it gives me much more to think about but the info is great!

I was planning on leaving about May 25th. Making the Rolling Thunder rider on the 28th in Maryland, staying another day to ride Skyline Drive with my brother and his riding buddies and making it back home by the 31st. I'm still undecided, if I should stop at Deals Gap on the way up or back, but now I'm thinking of leaving somewhere around the 21st. That would give me more time to relax, drive slower thru the mountains with the visual wow factor.
Like I said so much to process but valuable info to think about.

Think, think.... Think, think,


Jim
 

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Now you have time to 28 it over to deals gap, do the loop on this map over and back the cherohalla, hop the blue ridge from its start near Cherokee and ride it up toward washington dc.

I rode it to its end, then the skyline, then headed for the Adirondacks. It takes a day to get from the gap to the northern end of blue ridge but it's great (you might be tired of up and down while going right and left but it's a ball.) Have fun.

 

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Hello All

I've chimed in on a thread or two and I'm hoping to meet some of you Strommers in the near future. After picking up my "new" '05 DL1000 in February, I'm managed to only put on just over 1000 miles (hence to traveling w/work quite a bit). I was unable to attend the April Fool's Days festivities.

Anyhoo, I've been to the Gap before just not on my Strom, yet. I'll be traveling to Tennessee in late April to see some friends near Johnson City. My general route after overnighting in Gainesville, FL was to generally take roads to lower Georgia and catch US 21 and 23(?) through to about Asheville, NC and then superslab up I-26. I may make the trip down to the Gap since I'll be relatively close. Will anyone be going that way around 4/25 or4/27-8?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Time Question:

Anybody ride from central FL to the Gap? How long does it take? Was trying to get an idea so I can plan better.
 

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I've ridden a bike up there from gainesville fl 3 times all different routes, all different times. It is between 5 and 600 miles depending.

1st: up 441 all the way until into NC and over 14 hours (the worse trip)

2nd: I75 and I85 to Gainesville Ga area, 60 up and then through murphy and andrews to robbinsville. 10 hours good once off interstates.

3rd: back roads till north of Yulee, I95, I26 to Greenville/Walhalla area then 28. 12 hours; the most fun.

Ride fun.
Roy
 

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This will be BY FAR the longest motorcycle ride I have ever done. But I'm planning on making it an adventure and having some fun. I also decided that since I'm going to pass the same geographical area, I might as well dog leg over to Deals Gap so I can finally say I made it there! I haven't decided if I'm going to go there on my way up or my way back.

Does anyone have any input on cool or neat places I might want to stop by?
Here's two of my many favorite places that may or may not be along your way:

http://www.twowheelsonly.com/ Campground/lodge/rider hangout in north GA

http://www.wheelsthroughtime.com/ Neat motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley NC

You already have plenty of route ideas to decide upon so, if you don't mind, I will just share a couple of random thoughts from my experience you may want to consider before departing on "BY FAR the longest motorcycle ride I have ever done":

-This is not the time to try any new riding gear. If you need something new get it now and try it and/or break it in before you leave. (helmet, gloves, jacket, all the stuff...even the sunglasses)

-Be prepared for cold and wet weather in spite of what the weather man tells you. Wet is bad and cold is worse, cold AND wet will make you sorry you ever left home.

-It's nice to know you have a room (campsite) waiting for you at the end of the day, but making reservations only means you have to be somewhere before you stop for the day. Stay flexible through-out the trip if possible.

-Move around in the seat from the get-go. Don't wait to get uncomfortable to start squirming.

-Leave the cotton skivies at home. Go with the synthetic sweat removal kind such as UnderArmour boxer briefs.

-Take lots of breaks and drink lots of water. You can become seriously dehydrated before you know it when riding all day.

-Take lots of pictures and you may want to consider keeping a log to refer to when you write your trip report for us!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
"Leave the cotton skivies at home. Go with the synthetic sweat removal kind such as UnderArmour boxer briefs"

See, the good but suttle info keeps pouring in. That would have never crossed my mind. Only scary thing is, UnderArmour boxer briefs don't wick the sweat out to your pants so you end up looking like your 100 miles to late for a pit stop does it? ;)
 

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Oldschooler!
Awesome you are going to do this.
I second all info in the posts. If you have the time, do the backroads as much as possible. I have done the blueridge pkwy many times and its a new adventure each trip. The gap is fun too, but there are better roads in the area (my opinion of course). But you have to do the gap at least once so you can say you did it.

I am a big fan of Underarmor. My long distance clothing consists of the UnderArmor style Stromtrooper shirt, Underarmour "trunks", and best of all, soccer socks that go over my knee (synthetic wicking material).
Here is another tip. Your clothes will get ripe on a long day of course, so I always take a small bottle of Woolite with me. At the end of the day, fill the sink with hot water, drop in a bit of Woolite, then drown your clothes in the sink. Let them sit until the water cools, rinse and hang. Hopefully they will be dry the next day.

Oh, and make sure your tires are in good shape before you leave. :)



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In order to be properly hydrated, you might want to consider a Camelbak or Platypus type drink contaiiner. I use the platypus style inside my Roadcrafter jacket and it is wonderful. Just sip on fluids while going down the road, rather than trying to drink a bunch while stopped for gas or other stops. Keeps a better level of hydration IMHO. The new Gander MT. over by you has some really nice models for not too much money. Water is usually available when you stop, if not a bottle of Gatorade or something similar also works. Just push the fluids!!! Especially water. Cannot drink too much. I usually try to stop around the 200 mile mark or 3-1/2 hours when traveling via Istate, back roads is more of a time issue rather than miles. Cannot stress enough to stay hydrated. Good luck and if you want a partner to get out of the state with, just holler, might just have to ride along for a few miles.....
 

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VeeTX, great to have you posting. I'm over in New Smrna Beach and get to Orlando regularly. When you have time to ride, just give a shout. CYA!!!
 

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Jim, another thing you might want to do, is when you have a tenative route, go to the regional forum for that particular area and put a post out about your route and ask for suggestions. Most likely will get bunches of help and maybe even riding partners for short distances. You also can ask for motels and campgrounds, etc. We have a great network here and most are willing to share information and time. Another $.02 from NSB!!
 

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A big + for staying hydrated. Last year I had my first long ride and did it in very hot conditions. Never been one to drink water but I learned a big lesson. Spent the first night wide awake with extreme foot cramps and calve cramps. Since then was doing a bit of experimenting with water consumption and will never hit the road again without it. My biggest fear would be getting a severe cramp while riding because I would surely crash. Don't need that. Ride Safe.
 
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