Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Weekend Trip

Yesterday Slick and I returned from our scheduled trip to the Shenandoah National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway. We headed out on Saturday morning and basically took highway 220 N and then interstate 81 to Front Royal VA. It was a great day to ride. The temperature was actually pretty warm with a lot of humitiy, but it was sunny and we didn't run into any rain.

There was bikes every where. One reason was there was a lot of bikes heading to Washington DC for a memorial ceremony. Many I believe were part of a club called Rolling Thunder. We happened to have seen a piece on the news about them.

After we arrived at Royal Front we decided to relax for a while. We were a little tired after being on the road in the heat for about 7 hours. We were so tired that after we got in our room we couldn't decide if we wanted to eat in town or order out. So I decided to do the next best thing. Walk over to a nice place for some fine dining called McDonald. Many you have heard fo them. Only the best for my wife, I have to say.

The next day we got up around 7:00 am and started packing for the trip through the Shenandoah National Park. We were really looking forward to that. Both of us had not been there before but we had heard a lot of good things about the park. The weather was nice and cool but we noticed that taking pictures might not be that great due to the morning haze. We took some pictures anyway and they did turn out pretty nice. See them below:

As you can see we stopped at a lot of overlooks on the SNP parkway. The scenery was great. We saw some deer and even a small black bear club. Luckily we did not see good old mom walking around. The traffic was pretty lite too. Most of that was because we got on the park around 8:30 and got off around 12:30. If you have not been to the SNP you might need to know the speed limit is 35 mph, the park is around 105 miles long and you willhave to pay to enter the park. It is worth it. Slick and I did not mind the slow pace because we went there to enjoy the scenery, not to set a speed record.

After the SNP we hit the BRP. It was nice but we both said we actually liked the SNP best because of the lite traffic and all the overlooks. The SNP had overlooks every where and many of the parking areas were large enough to handle several vehicles. We rode the BRP for about 50 miles and then realized we needed to find some gas. So we took a road off the parkway to look for gas. I don't remember the name of the road but Slick and I will not forget it, but the road was very narrow and the curves were very tight. Slick wasn't too thrilled with that road. I thought it was pretty fun. Evenually we found some gas near interstate 81. We talked about going back on the parkway but decided not to due to it getting late in the day. So we headed back home on interstate 81. By that time it was pretty toasty and we were pretty hungry. We decided to head to the house.

All in all the trip was just what we expected. We had great weather and spent some great quality time together. We also put on over 750 miles on the bike and road for a total of 17 hours. Today we plan to rest and I need to give Big Red a bath.

Below are a few more picturs of the trip. Enjoy!

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Big Red Photos

I know I have mentioned to a lot of people how much Big Red has changed over the past year. The bike is no longer "naked". Check it out and let me know what you think.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Great Day to Ride the Parkway

Today was a great day. The temperature this morning was about 70 degrees when Slick and I headed out to ride to the Blue Ridge Parkway and met Cindy and Scott. Slick and I headed out around 10:30 and headed toward Fancy Gap on highway 52. It was a great day to ride. Since it was Sunday morning traffic was pretty Lite. But there were plenty of other bikers out on the roads on the way up to the BRP, thru it and on the way home.

Slick and I were all decked out in our “Old Biker” clothes (including our cool vest). Actually the vest got pretty hot for me on the way home when the temperature got up to 83. Anyway, we headed up to Fancy Gap and we had planned to met Scott and Cindy Stevenson just right off the parkway just south of highway 21. We were not exactly sure which site to stop at and of course, we drove right by it. We were early so we didn’t really miss them because they had not reached the park. We just ended up riding about an extra 20 miles and ending up heading toward Wilkesboro

Once we realized we needed to turn around we headed back to an area that we thought they were talking about. And sure enough, 20 miles back, we found Scott and Cindy waiting on us. They had been there 30 minutes. Oh well, at least they got to enjoy the scenery, right?

After a little chat about the mix up, we got on our bikes and headed out to get something to eat. Slick and I were pretty hungry. We had been on the road for about 3 hours and ate little for breakfast. So our plan was to grab a bite to eat and get some fuel. I was getting low due to running all over the park looking for our riding partners. We were pretty lucky since Scott grew up near the parkway and go us up and running and looking for food and fuel. We went to a couple of eating joints near the parkway but the wait was too long. So we ended up eating at one really nasty Wendy’s. The food was okay, but the place was a dump. After the nasty food we headed onward on highway 16, toward 421 and home.

On the route Scott took us on some great two lane roads once we got off the parkway. It was all country roads. The parkway was great and Slick and I really enjoyed it. Even though the speed limit was 45 it was really nice. The scenery was great and so was the weather (Did I mention it was in the mid 70’s). We could have not asked for a nicer day to ride.

All-in-all we ended up riding 400+ miles and were gone 8 hours. Once home, I washed Big Red and got it ready for the week of riding. Next weekend is going to be even better because Slick and I plan to head to Skyline Drive in VA and ride the BRP some more this Memorial Day weekend. We are really looking forward to that.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Monday, May 07, 2007

Chapter's Open House

Last Saturday was our chapter’s annual open house event. It all started with Slick and I getting up at 5 am to be at the Cycle Center in Asheboro by 7 am. We were a little late due to having to stop by and getting 5 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Of course, I had to do a little taste test and take one for the team. Actually, I took 2 for the team.

After arriving at the Cycle Center our chapter began setting up for the event. The weather was a little soggy but it was bearable. Most of our chapter members were there. After the set up, I decided to do a little shopping so I could beat the rush and get my 20% discount. I ended up buying about $200.00 worth of stuff for Big Red. Slick decided to buy us some matching “Old Biker” vest and shirts. We really like the Old Biker gear. The prices are good and the items are great. Actually we are starting a nice little collection of Old Biker gear.

We were able to make a pretty good profit from the open house. As for door prices I was able to win a nice sleeping back that I plan to use for my trip with my old Harley buddy Pablo in July. I also won a can of Honda polish too. It seems that everyone wants that stuff since Honda is discontinuing that product. My old buddy Craig really racked up and won 6 cans (lucky old fart).

Slick and I did our part by working the awesome duck game. It was really hard to do that job. We also did our part to participate in the “Pin the Trailer on the Goldwing”. All in all it was a lot of fun. Our chapter was able to make about $1400.00. That was about $300.00 off of last year’s total. We know we would have had a better showing if the rain would have held off. Oh well, we will just plan for next year. Below are a few pictures from the open house.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Great Time at Spring Fling

I am a little late on this post but here it is. Last Thursday Slick and I headed to Spring Fling in Pigon Forge TN. We met up with some members of our group in Lexington before headed west. Big Red was packed to the max. Actually, having Big Red packed with all the extra weight was a real pain for me. Slick and I talked about it and decided that our next big purchase will be a trailer. But that will have to wait a few months. Luckily, we only have 1 more trip where we will be gone for more than 1 day and that is to Marysville Ohio to the Honda Homecoming in July.

Once we met our gang in Lexington we headed to TN. It was an interesting trip. We were trying to beat a storm that was coming from the west. We didn't make it. We rain into the rain about an hour outside of our destination. All of us had to put on our rain suits once we hit the mountains. It just worked out that there was a lot of traffic backed up and we decided to put on the suits at that time. Once the rain gear was on we were ready to roll.

It took us about 4.5 hours to get to "The Grand" in Pigion Forge. There was a lot of bikes already there. There were all types. There was even some Harleys there. Man, did they look out of place. Once we got settled in we met up with the remaining members of our group. There was a total of 17 of us that showed up for the rally. We met up and headed for our first group meeting. Of course, that involved food. We took a trolley to a local school where we were served hot dogs and hamburgers. Those tasted really good since we had to wait in line for about 45 minutes. I felt like I was in death camp waiting in the line that long. All I could keep telling myself is those hot dogs better be good. They were. Or I was just so hungry that a brick would have been tasty with a little salt.

After the meal we headed back the the hotel for the night. I stopped by the vendors to see what they had. All of the vendors were not there on Thursday so I decided to wait until Friday to give them all my money.

Friday came and we started out the day with breakfast. Did I mention that Goldwingers love to eat? We had a nice expensive and fattening breakfast and hit the vendors hard. Slick racked up on body chrome for her (jewerly) and I started out slow. I first bought a back rest, Slicks passengers floorboard and her arm rest. I was going to stop there but Bubba bought a lot of his chrome and I was a little jealous because his bike was looking really good. My bike was really naked. So I bought more stuff and my motorcyle mentor Craig put all my stuff on. He is a really talented guy and I don't know what I do without him.

After spending all my money and helping Craig fix up Big Red it was time to get cleaned up and go to a local show called the Dixie Stampede. It was a really good show and I highly recommend it. At the show we had a group photo and individual photos made. After the show we headed back to our hotel and the guys play a little poker and then the gang wanted to head over to Shoney's for a nightly snack. I shouldn't went there, but man that hot fudge cake and coffee was good.

On Saturday, we did a little more shopping. Of course I was broke but I was able to buy a few "Old Biker" products. Slick bought more body chrome and then we all got ready to go to the "Apple Barn" for dinner. That is one really nice place to eat. They just give you way too much food. And of course, I ate too much. After we returned to the hotel, it was time to do the next best thing after a heavy meal. That's right, crash!

Sunday morning came and it was time to pack up and hit the open road. Four couples left around 8 am. and hit some of the back road before we hit interstate 40. It was the first time some of us got to ride for the weekend due to rain. We actually took a small part of the Blue Ridge Parkway on the way back. It was a beautiful day to ride, but we couldn't stop to enjoy it because we all had to get home at a decent time. Slick and I plan to return to the parkway in the next few weeks.

On the way back we stopped to have lunch at the Moose Cafe in TN. That was our breakfast for the day. If you like country breakfast and biscuits that is the place to go. After breakfast we mounted our bike and began to hit the road again. I did not get too far because once I started to leave the parking lot I dropped my bike. I wasn't going fast enough and I chalk it up to going too slow and all the extra weight. That was the first time I dropped it. It was a real bummer, but oh well, it will not be my last time. What made me feel better was that the veteran riders that I was with told me it happens to all riders. Craig's wife Melinda told me she had been dropped 2 times. So I didn't feel too bad after a couple of hours.

After 3 of us picked up the bike we headed east toward home. It took us about 6 hours to get home due to all the stops. All-in-all it was a great trip. I got to spend too much money and my bike no longer looks naked. Of course, I am not done but I did make a huge improvement in the bike thanks to Craig.

If you get a chance to go the Spring Fling I suggest you do it. It was a great trip and Slick and I do plan to attend the event next year. Oh yeah, below are a few photos of our trip. Enjoy!

Until next time and enjoy the ride!