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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Once upon a time in a far far country a child was born.
As he was 16 he heard an old BMW running on idle and so immediately infected.
22 years later thanks to this site and its members' activity he bought his first ever new bike a Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom.

And the story begun...
There is a thread here where everything started almost exactly one year ago. I said I want to meet with you. At that time it was just a dream of course but than came an offer from Paper (who BTW disappeared in the meantime) about giving some free flying tickets to me which started to make me thinking more seriously. Also there was growing up a proposal about a large Stromtrooper gathering, so I thought why not to combine it with my trip? Doing so I opened this thread. That quickly became popular (BTW 2nd regarding both posts and views after Stromette's Travel) and a lot of Stromtroopers posted there. You offered your guides not to be lost, your bikes to ride, your money to make it happening easier and your homes to stay. Finally came Howboucha (Brendan) with his fundraiser idea and water warrior (Bob) with a letter that gained me over and I decided to go. Many thanks to you guys, without you my dream would have never came true!

In this thread I will post my notes I wrote in my diary, pictures that I shot and my experiences about the USA and about peoples I met there. Although my english improved a lot during the 17 days I surely will make mistakes. If somebody finds my post offending it is due to the lack of appropriate grammar and/or words.

End of silly intro, Part 1 coming soon, stay tuned! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Day #1 Sunday, June 24th

To make the whole thing possible I needed to organize a lot of things on my side as well. That led to a situation which was a bit scary: I purchased already the flight ticket, got the visa, set up a USD bank account with a bank card and a PayPal account. I just forgot to plan and organize the whole route properly. :shock:
Even the last day there was not sure if somebody can meet and greet me at JFK airport in NYC. Moreover I could contact lthrnckpa (aka Iron Mike, my first host) only a few hours before my plane took off! My underpants was full with chocolate... :???:

The aircraft took off from Budapest at 11:55. The duration to NY was about 9 hours although the pilot twisted the "throttle":



My seat neighbor was a kind woman from Kentucky. Surprisingly I felt thirsty immediately. She lives in a farm and she teaches something that I didn't understand 3 times a week. Fortunately I didn't have to speak to her too much 'cause she had a book about some vegetables like "DIY in the garden and that will make you healthy and free" or similar. I rather like meat.



The plain landed at JFK on time and all the passengers applauded. The first knockout I saw was that the signs are written in English and Spanish.
For me this would be understandable in Arizona, New Mexico or Texas, but in New York? :shock:

The second shock hit at the baggage claim. There were nice large displays above the conveyors - high tech. But I could find on none of them our flight. So finally when I picked up my luggage from the belt it was like it came from San Diego...

Already my first contact with an American was a pleasure. I asked an officer (who looked like an officer but now I'm not sure he really was 'cause later realized that almost everybody wear the same pants, shirts and cards hanging on their neck), about how can I get (more on this word later ;) ) to the car rentals. He was very kind, spoke clear, slow and articulated. I traveled 2 stations on the Air Train. Not the Route 66 but as a start it was not so bad. ;)

Before I left Hungary I checked the car rental prices on the Internet and found Hertz (!) the cheapest. The guy at their counter said they are out of cars. Neither luxury nor economy nor in between. :shock: Is that possible in the USA?
National had the closest office next, so I went in and get a Nissan Sentra 1.8.



I spent already 1 hour after the landing so I was late. I tried to wake up my GPS and it failed! Geez, I thought, what will I do without it? I had no map, I didn't know the area, the car is unknown, nobody speaks Hungarian, I didn't even know where the Hell I am. How will I get out from there and find the way to Mike? I tried to call him. Damn, my cell phone said wrong number! Oh no, I wished I have never came here!
Ok, after 2 cigarettes in a row I cooled down. I turned off and on the GPS again and voilá it worked! Yippie! I set it up in the car and jumped in The Traffic. About 20 minutes later Mike called me asking where I am. Well I think after our short conversation he thought that he made a big mistake when invited me... As far as I remember I couldn't tell him any clear sentence. But I said I have my GPS so maybe that made him a bit less nervous.

The next two hours was one of my worst things in my life. From 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM by car through the downtown of New York, finding the right way with a GPS that sometimes (in every 5 minutes) went crazy due to the mixed signals receiving between those high buildings. Did I mention that the software was absolutely new to me?



I drove through Lincoln Tunnel and arrived to a lot of gates (I don't know how they called). Some of them had pink EZ-Pass the rest Cash Only sign.



I wanted to pay with credit card, so I entered in one of the EZ-Pass gates. Oops there was no hole for any card! The gate didn't lift up, and the cars started to form a nice long row behind me... I was swearing, and then came a policeman. Oh no, he will kill me surely! But he was very kind (the 2nd positive surprise) and opened manually the gate and asked me to park over. Then I payed with cash directly to him and he explained to me the way to PA: I-80.



I was late and noticed that almost nobody follows the speed limits (even 18 wheelers not) so I decided to speed up a bit to make up leeway. I was driving with 80-90 indicated. It was quite scary on a road with a lot of potholes like a battlefield after a bomber attack. I stopped for a short break at Stroudsburg to get some refreshment coffee and cigarettes.



Finally at 11:30 PM the GPS successfully guided me right to Mike's house. I was so happy and excited that we were chatting till 1 AM, then went to bed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Day #2 Monday, June 25th

Woke up in the morning not too early, about 9 (or 10? :D ). Anyway Mike's family has already gone to work, so I couldn't meet them but I got to know 3 friendly dogs. Due to the luggage weight limitation on the plane I did not bring my riding gear with myself, so Mike loaned an original HD-jacket and his wife's helmet. Both of them fit perfectly.

Here is my proud friend, Mike



Then we prepared the bikes (a 1K Strom and a FLTHRSPTC Road Softail Custom Electra Glide Street Classic King Harley or something similar) and went to an authentic American restaurant that I have seen only in movies before.



To be honest I'm not kinda a guy who doesn't care what to eat. I'm rather conservative when it comes to food. But I decided to try the local special foods.
The first opportunity greeted me as a breakfast at Harvest Moon Restaurant in Williamsport. Mike ordered me ham, eggs, pancakes with butter and maple syrup and scrapple. First of all that proved to be way too much for me. I couldn't destroy everything from my plate, but tasted very good. I've heard about maple syrup before (Rain Man), but I thought it is something very sweet. It isn't and I liked it very much. When I asked about the scrapple Mike and the waitress tried to explain it to me - without success. My English improved a lot during my trip, but at that time I was at the beginning of my route so I wouldn't be honest if I said I understood everything. Sometimes is better to be ignorant.

But that's not the case when it comes to warnings. Mike said something about a bridge and a strange steering feeling. After I rode through the bridge I understood what he wanted to warn. I was more than happy not to ride the HD...



After we filled up ourselves Mike guided me to this ship 'cause previously I mentioned him that one of my favorite book was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.



Mike rode the big steel mass quite fast in front of me but I became familiar with his 1K soon so I could keep up with him. We headed to Wellsboro to see the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. Wonderful roads and a beautiful scenery (not meant on me).



I did not want to have a look on Turkey Path 'cause that would take 2 hours downhill and at least 3 uphill.
In the parking lot we met a guy and they started to discuss about bike's color with Mike. As far as I remember he didn't like what Honda offers for the Gold Wing and he stated he would only buy one in pink (?).

Mike asked me what to do next head to the Finger Lakes or go to see a baseball game. That was a hard decision but finally I chose the game. So we headed back to Mansfield down Route 15 to Williamsport. After relaxing in Mike's pool we went to the Historic Bowman Field Stadium where Crosscutters (the local team) played.



I asked Mike to teach me the rules of the game. He didn't succeed but it was not his fault. I really need a book on it in Hungarian.
In spite of that I didn't have any clue about the spirit of the game I became a fan of Crosscutters. :-D I even bought a cap and after the game Mike asked the players to give me autographs. I got all of them! We won over Jamestown Jammers by 6:1 and led the championship.



After the game Mike bought a ton of donuts and we went home. In the evening we were chatting on the deck of Mike's home with his wife and daughter. Man that was a perfect day!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Day #3 Tuesday, June 26th Part 1

After a short sleep I prepared myself to leave Mike early in the morning.
Mike gave me a Playboy (not for reading but keeping my drink cool :mrgreen: ), a thermocup and some donuts. He told me that this will make my long trip easier. And man, he was right! Besides I could spare some bucks, the hot tee lasted for hours keeping me awake. I thought on him very often on my road to North Carolina!

This is the place where I would like to say THANK YOU MIKE! First of all for the hosting then the guide, your bike, the gear, the ride, the game, the foods and last but not least your warm welcome and words. I knew a very good person and I hope you don't mind if I call you my FRIEND. You get a place in my best memory along many wonderful experiences of Pennsylvania. Also please forward my thanks to your family Cindy, Candy and Jeff and the dogs ;)

Well, it was hard but time to say goodbye so I left at 6:30 and filled up the tank in Williamsport. I turned on the camera and took it on the right seat for easy access so I could make shots while driving. The most interesting were the road signs. I took a bunch of pics on them. In Europe we have almost only symbols instead of written text. My favorite is:



I was searching for the one "You can fart here"... :mrgreen:

In the different states there are different signs for the same warning:
Bridge may be icy
Bridge ices before road
or just a symbol of a sliding car

I tried to have a brake at rest areas that are also welcome centers to get maps in case my GPS dies. Those are very nice, well maintained and clean places.



Cop's food - my lunch, thanks to Mike



Some really big vehicles and some strange towings:







Mike's last words were "ten over maximum!". I was so excited (or still slept?) that I didn't even understand why did he say that. Than on the Interstate I remembered and from that time almost everybody passed me.

Even complete houses! :D




Should a real Harley rider look like this?




or this?

 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Day #3 Tuesday, June 26th Part 2

That was a long driving (10 hours) but finally I arrived to NC



This is my GPS setup in the Sentra. No Ram or SW-Motech mount needed :-D



"I'm" here



As I was getting more and more south the temperature raised. I stopped shooting after this shot but the temp went up above 100 F.



At 6:30 PM I arrived to Charlotte National Airport to drop off the car. I was 2 hours late so after the guy checked if the car is OK he suggested to tell a "story" in the office to avoid extra charges. I did so but I had to promise I'll never do it again. Ughh, and another positive experience. :-D

A "cigarette later" Dan, the famous drummer phenomenal (aka MonkeyGrass) picked me up and we drove to his house, my second "US home".




I met with his wife Carla and his daughter. Awesome gals!
After the dinner (Buffalo Wings and Yuenglin) we chatted (spelling?) till midnight.



to be continued

Jeff, relax! :mrgreen:
 

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Awesome report. I wish I could have met with you. If you ever swing through the Southwest, I'll make a point of riding with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Day #4 Wednesday, June 27th

MoneyGrass had some issues with his cell phone, actually almost only every 5th call was successful, by the rest his partners couldn't hear him. He started to always use a sentence even before saying hallo. I named him Mr. Canyouhearme? :cool:

MG is a lucky man, believe me guys, this fellow has won the lottery marrying a wife like Carla. She's nice, kind, cooks fantastic, loves his man and let him ride. :cool:

When I woke up in the morning the coffee was ready, also there was prepared some croissant etc. After having breakfast (Dan still in the bed...) I logged in our site and posted some news here.

A few hours later Dan appeared in the kitchen, took a coffee and had a look on his PC. That woke him up (actually thanks to Mortaine), so later we could head to Scott (aka Brown74 here), Dan's brother-in-law. Scott has a 03 (I guess) 1K, he bought it with 200 miles just recently. He is also a very good buddy, has a beautiful daughter Madeline, he just speaks a bit fast for my taste... :cool:

Usually I'm honest, so I share one of my very few mistakes I have made in the USA. Leaving Scott MG rode Scott's bike and I drove MG's Jeep. It was only a few miles, and everything was OK till we arrived to MG's house. Then I smelled something strange. No you f.. pervs it was not me but the rear brake 'cause I forgot to release it when I left. :oops:

We set up the bikes and went to ride. I noticed that even a 1K can have a smooth engine. My experiences can be read here.

MG introduced me to a real roadside BBQ at Black's. Man, I liked that stuff whatever it is made from...



Oh Mike, and I tasted the sweet tee as well! :-D

After we filled up ourselves we shared the bikes and rode around Crowder's Mountain crossing the NC/SC state borders several times. It was a hot day at least I thought so at that time. Later I experienced what is really hot in Florida...

We had a short brake at a very nice and quiet lake.



We rode back home had a shower and chatted with the gals.
Than came the crown on that wonderful day: Carla's awesome salmon



While I was lurking on Stromtrooper.com Dan started to work on Scott's bike. He replaced the old coolant with fresh one.



A bit later I joined to him and Dan showed me how to do a TBS with a special plier.



Here is the result:



After the job was done we chatted till 1:30 AM in Men's Heaven:

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Day #5 Thursday, June 28th

Wow, only 4 days in the USA and I was already filled full with exciting experiences! I've met with excellent peoples and ridden 3 different bikes for more than 300 miles! That must be known by my fellas so after a short breakfast I went on the PC and put some posts with pics to our beloved site.

Due to the weight limits on the plane I did not bring my riding gear with myself. All of my host could loan me helmet and water warrior brought even pants and jackets for me, but I didn't want to destroy my new sport shoes so after we brought back Scott's bike we went to Wal-Mart to get a pair of waterproof boots for 22 bucks.

Scott with his babies:


Suddenly MG caught sight of an underpants with a squirrel printed on it. I fell in love immediately, I thought you will like it when meeting at Tellico Plains. MG bought me a little Gold Bond and that later proved itself as a must have item. :cool:

After walmarting ( word (c) by mokusbajusz ) we went to get some sandwiches at Subway, then back home. Before we left we loaded the Jeep with some essential stuff like different drums, drinks, spare parts, tools, manometer, The Plier, brake fluid, different lubing materials, pocket compressor and the ultimate problem-solver duck tape.



In the afternoon after the sandwiches we headed to Brevard, NC. I drove the Jeep. At a traffic lamp Dan asked me to go to fill the tank of the car while he ride back home to pick up his note-case. That was not so easy. I drove around the gas station twice to find a free pump. OK, I parked the Jeep and read: "Follow the instructions on the screen". I was more or less already familiar with the road signs (written text instead of symbols) so I followed the instruction but didn't get gas. :evil: I tried it several times without success, so I gave up and waited for MG. He succeeded but, I think the stupid wasn't me! Namely every instruction was written except one: to pull up a lever. For that step there was a symbol....:confused: Good morning Mr. Engineer!

We found ourselves in heavy traffic soon:



After we survived that, a short rain came. Dan found a quiet place to go under its roof: a funeral house
Once we had to stop for a while he shortly checked the TBS on his 1K. That guy really likes to put tubes on bikes...:-D

Than we had to speed up a bit not to be late:




We arrived to Brevard at 8 PM where G and Mat (Dan's old Polish buddies) were waiting for us with cold beers, two dogs and a rabbit.

Man, those two brothers are really crazy, and I liked them from the first moment!

From left to right: Dan, G and Mat



After some beers we had a little jam session 'cause G was very sad that Argentina won 4:1 over USA in soccer.



I first tried to join with my harmonica, but it turned out that it is in key C major which didn't fit to Mat's style :-D so I finally went on rattles.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Day #6 Friday, June 29th Part 1

We left the house 8 AM in the morning, G on his Speed Triple, Mat on a CBR 600F, Dan on his 1K and I with Mat's Nissan XTerra. Filled up the bikes in the town. Who is that monkey? :-D



...then the motorcyclists headed to Tellico Plains on a different road, I followed the GPS and didn't regret it!



Of course I know the rules, so I maintained my karma even when I drove:



In Tennessee when you see such a road sign you'd better follow it when driving an SUV. Not like in NC, where you can surely double your speed. I guess the NC-road-sign-calculator was too careful or smoke some hard stuff...



I met with the guys in a parking lot of Tellico Plains' centre, we all arrived almost in the same second.




I guided my fellows to our lodging at Hunt's M/C Resort, which is right along the Hwy 68.



Right after us Bob (water warrior) arrived with his Taurus equipped with a Canadian flag on the aerial. That was a great moment, we met after so many chat and PM on the forum and emails. He is a great person, and did a LOT to make me being there. He even drove more than 3500 Kms to meet with us so big hug.

We were the only ones there so far, and Bob said he saw a M/C shop so we decided to find it 'cause Mat needed new gloves and I was also planning to get a mesh jacket.

to be con't
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Day #6 Friday, June 29th Part 2

We went with two cars, Bob was leading with me and the rest were following us in the Nissan. When somebody has ever experienced how Bob navigates immediately understand the reason behind his post titled: Lost in America.

We drove criss-cross the whole county but didn't find the shop. After about an hour the other gang took the lead. With that the situation became a bit worst, 'cause besides we lost as many times as just before we additionally caught a heavy rain. We headed back to Tellico Plains and suddenly voilá, we found well not the shop we were searching for but a bike dealer. We got in but they had only very few gear, but a lot of bikes from different brands.

Dan with his friend decided to head back, I think they lost their trust in finding the shop Bob storied about.
But we tried again. After some (felt thousands of) miles we finally found it! We got in and I started to look around. I tried several jackets on but it seemed to me that they had only jackets for women: all of them had the zip sewed the opposite way as they are in Europe. Finally it turned out that this is normal in the USA! :oops: I went with a Firstgear Mesh for 116 bucks. Later I realized that this was one of my best investment ever.

I don't know how but somehow we found the way back to Hunt's lodge. I put my Squirrel-underpants on my shorts and we drove to Cherohala M/C Resort to meet with the gang.

The biggest moment of my trip!
That was impressive! I don't know how many Stromtroopers were there, but I guess almost 60 or even more? Everybody was very kind and it was really a great pleasure for me to meet with the fellows who made it possible for me to be there! Besides the PayPal fundraiser you surprised me clubbing of resources there again!
It was exciting to know the faces of people that I knew only by their nickname before.
Brendan delivered a speech and so did I. We traded our liqueurs and t-shirts.
I chatted a lot with different fellows and soon realized that I cannot understand everybody. Maybe due to the beers. :rolleyes:

About 2 AM we ended checking Eli's pics on his Mac and drove back with Bob to sleep. I was exhausted!

On this part I have no pic at all, 'cause I was smart enough to leave my camera at Hunt's...

As soon as I receive some from you I will include them here.
Send them please to karakasb at gmail dot com
 

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Thanks for the mention of my talent, I think. At least now everyone will believe me when I say I can get lost on a straight road with a road map. After dark all bets are off no matter where I am. lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Day #7 Saturday, June 30th

After prepping in the morning we drove with Bob to Robbinsville to rent bikes.
The way to get there is the Cherohala Skyway. Wonderful road with beautiful scenery.



I don't know why but this time we didn't lost. Maybe 'cause Bob was concentrating more or because I turned his on-board compass on? :rolleyes:




Soon we were caught by a group of riders, so Bob let them go.



Thunder Mountain, the shop where we rented 2 KLRs. The owner is from Australia so that was quite an international deal...




Bikes are packed up, ready for adventure.




After about 5 minutes of riding I noticed that the forks were twisted in the triple clamps, so when riding straight the handlebar was at an angle of about 85 degrees. Well the guy at the rental place said that there was some minor crash on the bike, but so huge? :shock:

Some 30 minutes later we were lost. But this time it was not Bob's but my fault. I got in a parking lot which was on a little hill to check the map. I parked the bike on the left shoulder of the pavement and tried to get off. It failed...the stand bent backwards and we started to slowly lean to the left. I remembered when my left foot damaged recently falling my DL on it, so I jumped off. But there was nothing to the left just the side of the little hill. I rolled down like a clown. That could be an attractive stunt, at least Bob enjoyed it. :mrgreen:
Luckily no damage on the bike, but the handlebar end together with the clutch lever stuck in the grass so much we could hardly get it out!
I love my mesh jacket!

I thought I get the way so we continued.
The Little Tennessee River at the border of Graham and Swain Counties.




We met there with G and Mat who was already after a small maintenance job of replacing broken clutch lever on his CBR. Fortunately he was OK.

We rode through the Dragon. I was focusing so hard on the twisties with the bent handlebar and with the offroad tires, that I didn't notice that we did the Dragon!

Bob & I




Short diner at Motorcycle Pit Stop




My best Canuck friend



to be cont'd
 

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Did you notice the T-shirt I was wearing in the last pic ?? A Strom shirt from Hungary and delivered by a very good friend.
 

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You guys are like peas and carrots!
[I mean that in a good way!]
Loving the thread!:D
 

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The Son I never had. And I mean that in a good way.
 

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So glad I can finally hear about the rest of the trip.

WW, I've got a matching t-shirt to yours!:p Now all I have to do is wait about three years and I can deliver a Crosscutters jersey to Budapest.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Day #8 Sunday, July 1st

Today we wanted to join to a group of Stromtroopers and friends (Mat, G, MonkeyGrass, MightyShep, etc.) and ride together to Chattanooga.
We prepared at our favorite coffee-bar in the town with Jeff (JONNYREB) and Bob. Richard (loblo) also joined but a bit later.

I just finished my pancake and coffe and was smoking a cigarette in front of the house when suddenly the group arrived, and so I had no time to go back for my camera, so these pictures are from Jeff.

Also Richard didn't forget what we were talking about last night, so he gave me some emergency braking lessons in front of the restaurant. (Many thanks for it, I already had to use what I learnt from him here in Hungary!)

The group left and we tried to keep up, but we lost them in the first 15 minutes. We stopped in a rest area on the Cherohala Skyway and agreeed to skip the group ride and do a round trip instead including the Dragon.

The only Stromer left with us, a very good guy: JONNYREB



We rode the Skyway, got a short brake at Thunder Mountain (Bob left his passport behind in his car and he wanted to get it) and headed to ???.
I need help from Jeff here, 'cause he led us with his GPS and I don't remember the roads and places. I guess that was road 28 from Tuskeegee to NE. One thing is sure, that road was beautiful! It followed a river which was VERY cold but was full with a lot of rafting teams.




We met a lot of vintage cars along that road. I think there should have been a rally for them or so.
Had a brake at Friendly Fields and got some cold drinks. Man that was a hot day! We put our signatures on the inner side of the roof of their Bike Barn. Besides me there was only one European there.




I think this is Fontana Lake. Its water is BLUE.




4 PM we arrived to Deal's Gap, where we met with two Stromtroopers: Don (traind57) and Rusty.




We did some shopping (thanks Jeff for the t-shirt, I wear it as often as I can and I'm very proud of it!) and "got some fat in".




After taking some pics, we rode the Dragon together.





We just noticed that we lost our Stromer buddies when we finished the Dragon. We stopped at Chilhowee Lake to wait for them. They appeared soon with a bent right turn signal. Don dropped his bike in a curve, but fortunately happened nothing serious. Nor real damage on the bike, we repaired it in 10 minutes.




After the Stromes filled up in Vonore we headed back to Hunt's Lodge together. We got some light rain in the end of the day but nothing serious.

 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Day #9 Monday, July 2nd

The last day of Springtime Stromfest rally came finally. :(
It was time to say goodbye. I had to leave the area with the fantastic roads and wonderful scenery, the good old KLR and the fantastic Stromtrooper gang. I had a blast with you guys, a memory for my life! Thank you!

It seemed the weather knew how to make it easier: clouds and light rain. No too much pics on that day.




Mat had to get to Mississippi, so he left early in the morning by his car, leaving his CBR there for me to ride it back to G's house. So I packed my luggage and put it in the Nissan.




We rode the KLRs with Bob back to the rental place near Robbinsville. I was very cold on the Skyway (t-shirt and mesh jacket). When we drove back to the campground a letter waited for me: G, Scott and Monkeygrass went in the town to get a coffee. I decided to have a nap. I think that was the dead point on my trip. I was completely exhausted, I couldn't really get acclimatized yet. I guess I slept for hours, but my friend left me alone. Very much appreciated!

At about 1 PM we headed to Pisgah. It wasn't my best ride in my life: the CBR was new to me, its front brakes were jerky and G set a (at least for me) quite fast pace. I wasn't brave enough to lean her too much and she didn't want to go under 6000. At the end of the Cherohala Skyway we split, MonkeyGrass and Scott headed to the Dragon, G and I (Joe: that was a joke) went on the 143.
Somewhere we filled the bikes up, drink some soda, smoke a cigar and we changed the bikes.

Man, what a difference! And what a feeling! If somebody would offer I would seriously think on a trade with a Speed Triple. It's stable, as much neutral as the wee in curves, it has a much sporty but not uncomfortable suspension, amazing, half-finger front brakes and an engine pulling like a locomotive. And that torque curve! What curve, no curve at all! That's as flat as a salt lake in Utah. No matter in which gear and at what RPM you are, just keep grabbing the handlebar otherwise as soon as you twist the throttle you will be in trouble. Amazing machine, I liked it very much! (perhaps the wee a bit more flickable...)

In the mountains we changed the bikes back ( :???: ) and put our raingear on.
In the beginning we were riding in fog and rain. Later only in heavy fog. I very much had to concentrate to follow the line. Of course I couldn't keep the tempo with G. After one more short brake we finally arrived. I went in the bed at 6 PM, woke up at midnight, got a sandwich and went back to sleep.
I think that was the day when my body regenerated.
 
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