North Carolina Motorcycling Trip

What a great ride up to North Carolina on the FJR1300.   Rode up Friday, played all day Saturday and 1/2 day Sunday, then back home by 10:00pm.

The week was pretty crazy, with me not getting home from work before 8:00pm any  day that week, and having to change oil and mount a new Michelin Road Pilot 2 tire on Wednesday night.  That left me up VERY late Thursday night getting all my gear together, including camping gear, tent, etc.

Friday was pretty crazy, I was supposed to leave Clermont and meet Jim and Paul North of Orlando about 45 minutes from my house at 5:00am, so we could get through Jacksonville before rush hour traffic.    Well, thanks to going to bed two hours prior,  I woke to the sound of HARD rain… at 5:30am.    Not good.   I jump up, grab my cell phone that had several missed calls and call to see what’s going on.   They are waiting, clear skys where they are.    DAMN!  Quick check of weather, and there are some pretty bad cells of storms here and there, with the biggest being HERE, right on top of me.  It will be like that off and on most of the way up.

We decide for Jim and Paul to start North, I’ll get started and catch up after Jacksonville when they will stop for breakfast.  I get ready as quickly as possible, and am out the door a little after 6:00 in a hard rain.  I get out of the weather quickly, but the roads are wet, it’s still dark, and early morning traffic is starting to move enough to keep my 45 minute backroad trek to get to our Interstate meeting place a full 45 minutes.  Once on I-4, I’m in catchup mode.  Out of the rain, I’m doing everything I can to make time on guys I know started 45 minutes before me, and are riding 70-80 miles an hour.

As I get to Jacksonville, I get a voicemail from Jim that they are at an exit in Georgia and ready to roll out.   They are exactly 13 miles ahead of me as I exit to get gas, and a little caffeine.    Since I’m just pulling in, need gas, bathroom, and coffee, I tell them to go ahead, I’m close, and will close the gap in an hour or two.

300 or so miles of rain, construction zones and slow-downs later, we finally get together at an exit in South Carolina.  All day was in and out of rain, some heavy, getting cooler as we headed North.    It was a pretty crazy day.    Once we were all together, it was only another 150 miles or so up to the cabin in North Carolina(we thought we were tent camping, but last minute change had us staying in a nice cabin).  It’s almost at the top of a mountain up a 3.5 mile gated, cattle guarded, steep dirt mountain road.   A pretty interesting proposition for two FJR1300’s and a BMW RT1100.(Click photos for full size)

These pics are the flat sections, some of this was pretty treacherous, both up and down.

North Carolina Mountain RoadNorth Carolina Mountain RoadNorth Carolina Mountain Road

After the ride to the top of the mountain…

Top of the mountain

we spent a  relaxing evening planning the next days ride.

On Saturday, we headed into Pisgah National forest, and various roads in the area.  Were going to ride Blue Ridge Parkway, but one direction was closed due do a landslide, or contruction or something, and the other direction was closed that morning do to SNOW!  Yes, as we got to higher elevations, the sporatic rain, fog, mist turned to snow!   After a while, we had ice accumulating on our windsheilds.

In the afternoon, things cleared up, and we had a great ride.  About 250 miles on Saturday, with some great stops at some local diners.  Sunday morning, 27 degrees at 7:00am on our mountain, but warmed to the 40’s by 10 or so.  I don’t travel without my running shoes, and got in a two hour trail run up and down the mountain, which was just great.  I love running the trails so much.

After that, a huge lunch at Golden Corral before letting the big bikes stretch their legs and take us home by around 10:00pm.  Around 1500 miles of riding for the long weekend, with great curvy roads, dirt mountain roads, snow and some trail running.  Good times!  (CLICK PIC FOR FULL SIZE)

North Carolina Motorcycling Trip SnowNorth Carolina Motorcycling Trip Snow

North Carolina Motorcycling TripNorth Carolina Motorcycling Trip

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