Cyclerides.com Weekly Update
8/9/17

Greetings Riders,

If you missed the letter last week with my story about the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC,  Click Here to Read. If you missed the prior week about our unscheduled landing SW of Pueblo, CO. Click Here to Read. Each letter links back to the prior letter.

As part of our Adventure 2017 series of newsletters I am going to continue with the highlights of our 5 days of riding in North Carolina and Tennessee.  This is our second time riding in this area and it truly never gets old. The roads serpentine through the lush green forests for miles and miles going through one small town after another. There are so many roads on the map it is hard to choose which one you want to take next.

Fortunately, riders in the area have made that a little easier for us from the other side of the country by creating a colorful map highlighting the best routes in areas and naming them. I had no idea that this map existed, but when we rented our Road Glide and Street Glide from Bootlegger Harley-Davidson in Knoxville, TN, Steve Clowers gave us this map and it became our riding bible and go to for what route we wanted to head to next. Click Here to View. Be sure to find one of these maps when you go ride back there. You can also order one at www.wildrides.info.

As it would take way to long to go over every road of the over 1000 miles that we traveled in these 5 days, I am going to give you the areas that correspond to the map above, and then give you some highlights and places to see along the way. One thing for sure, if you are going to ride in the hills of NC and TN and expect to pack on 4-500 miles per day, that is not going to happen on these roads. They are way to curvy and mountainous for that to be a comfortable day. It is a scenic area and you should take some time to enjoy it. We averaged around 200 miles per day that gave us a comfortable pace.

One thing that stuck out to me while riding through NC and East TN is that I can now see why they call it the Bible belt. I have never in my life seen so many churches in one area. As you wind your way on the back roads through these little towns, there are hundreds of churches on the sides of the roads. Sometimes 2 or 3 lined up in very small towns. Baptist and Methodist were the predominate brand, but there were several other varieties as well. I often wondered how they supported all of these churches. Look for that when you ride this area. Another thing that amused me along the way was the names of the roads and towns. My favorites were "Snake Bite Holler Rd." and the town of "Loafer's Glory". But there were many more. A lot of the roads seem to have a snake reference. Gotta love it.

Points of Interest in NC and Tennessee:

Dry Falls, NC
The first place we visited which I would highly recommend is a place called Dry Falls, just North of Highlands, NC. I don't know how it got its' name, but it certainly isn't a DRY Falls. This is one of the coolest water falls that I have seen, because the water falls off of a cliff allowing you to walk right behind the 75 foot waterfall where the water is falling. A very cool experience. And also, the ride down hwy. 64 through the Nantahala National Forest and 28 was beautiful. (Map)
Short Video of falls and walking behind it.
Photo of Dry Falls.
Click the arrow on the right to scroll through the photos.

Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is an absolute must if you are this area. It would be impossible to say too much about this road in my opinion. It is 469 miles long, took 52 years to complete and you will see over 130 species of trees. The road is perched along the top of the Appalachian Highlands which gives you a fantastic look at the Smoky Mountains along the way. The road itself is in excellent shape and is continually groomed and each side. It winds around and through the mountains and is a complete joy to ride as it is not insanely curvy. There are some moderate curves around the mountains, but largely comfortable sweepers that allow you to enjoy the view.

There are numerous tunnels along the way that take you through the mountains rather than around them. I have only done around 200 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway myself reaching up into Virginia, but it is my goal to someday do the whole route at one time. One interesting thing about the BRP is that there is no commerce on this road at all. If you need gas or supplies you will have to exit the BRP to one of the local towns nearby. To me, this gives it a little more mystique. Because when you are on the BRP, it is just you, very few other cars and this fantastic road carved high through the Appalachin forests with unending beauty all around. This road is definitely should be on every riders bucket list to do. (Map of BRP) with highlights. Here is an excellent professionally done 3 minute tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Click Here.
See video of going through the tunnels.
Photos of BRP.


Little Switzerland Inn.
Little Switzerland Inn is in the Western part of NC just North of Ashville just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Switzerland Inn is perched on the top of a hill with one of the best scenic views of the Smoky Mountains that you can find. There is a main lodge with mountain views with decks, mountain view suites and cottages. It is a sprawling property with a pool and hot tub overlooking the valley. They also have 2 restaurants and a bar for your evening dining and chairs overlooking the valley in front of fire pits to wind down.
If you are riding the BRP, be sure to plan on of your stops at the Switzerland Inn. It is the second time we have stayed there and is a highlight of the trip for me. Truly one of my all time favorite places to stay. (Map)
Photo - Panorama photo of view.


As I mentioned above, I have included a .pdf of the Riding Map that I picked up at Bootlegger HD. I am going to list below the rides that we did and give a quick comment on them, letting you know on a scale of 1-5 what I thought of them. You can then go to the map to see the route. Click Here for Map.

The Snake: If you like severe twisties, this is your road. Well maintained and fun to ride. Challenging. 5 stars.
226A The Diamondback: Right next to Little Switzerland. An excellent road descending through the trees. 5 Stars.
Roan Mountain Loop: Excellent road that has you going through a State Park to the top of the pass and back down through some small towns. Beautiful scenery. 5 stars.
Copperhead Road: This was a nice road but thought a bit overated. We did Hwy. 70 to 33 and all the way across the top. Was expecting more from the ad. 3.5 stars.
Aces & Eights: Did the lower half of the eight. The top portion was mellow and the bottom was Gnarly. Give the top a 3.5 and the bottom a 5 star.
Devil's Triangle: This route is highly regarded by the riders in the area. Most everyone mentioned this route. It is very demanding, twisty and scenic, if you can take your eyes off the road to see it. Takes you through tall trees going up and down a mountain with severe turns and no guard rails. This is the one we finished on. 5 stars. See short video of riding Devil's Triangle.


I have done thousands of miles of riding in the West and love it out here. There is much variety and open roads. But it is really nice to go back East to enjoy some change of scenery and experience a nirvana of GREEN everywhere you look. We have been in this area twice now and are already looking forward to when we can do it again. To utilize the time we had, we flew into Knoxville and rented motorcycles at Bootlegger HD in Knoxville, TN. This is a very time efficient way to do it. I would highly recommend putting NC and TN on list of future rides.

Click Here for all photos of these areas.

Have a good weekend and Ride Safe,
Barry



This Week

Friday, August 11th
Desert Wind Harley-Davidson Bike Night. Don’t Be A Wimp! Bike Night is a free, monthly event. Riders of all makes and models as well as non-riders gather to show off their bikes! Meet friends, make new friends, enjoy some, live music, and have some fun! Bike Night starts at 5:30p.m. See you there! Desert Wind Harley-Davidson is located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.

Saturday, August 12th
Desert Wind Harley-Davidson Party On The Patio. Party on The Patio is a great way to meet our EVHOG members. They are available to answer any of your questions about the group or just hang out. Raffles and Giveaways! Pancakes from 8am-10:30a.m. After Sturgis Party, we want you to SELL US YOUR HARLEY. Desert Wind Harley-Davidson is located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.

Saturday, August 12th
Chandler Harley-Davidson Presents: Summer Blues Event. Stop by Chandler Harley-Davidson on Saturday August 12th for our Summer Blues Event and enjoy a live Blues Band, FREE BBQ for lunch and a bikini bike wash. Fun for all! Check out our Pre-Owned inventory specials. Chandler Harley-Davidson is located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, AZ. 480-496-6800.

Next Week

Saturday, August 19th
Buddy Stubbs Anthem Hogs & Dogs. Join Buddy Stubbs Anthem Harley-Davidson for Hogs & Dogs! They’ll have free burgers, dogs, drinks and more as they host a great open house on Saturday, August 19th from 11am till 2pm! It’s Back to School season and Anthem Harley-Davidson is your headquarters for COOL! Get the kiddos decked out in the latest Harley gear all at 20% off. Plus spend $50 or more on kids gear and receive a free gift! Remember that Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson is your home of the Lifetime Powertrain Warranty! You’re covered when you shop Buddy Stubbs H-D so check out their inventory today. Hop on your bike, grab some friends and roll up to Buddy Stubbs Anthem Harley-Davidson for all this and more. For more information call (623) 465-1122 or go to www.buddystubbshd.com. For up to the minute info be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram!

Saturday, August 19th
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson Honors America's Heroes. Land of the free, thanks to the brave. Help Arrowhead Harley-Davidson honor America's Heroes on Saturday, August 19th, during our First Responder & Military Appreciation day. *Free lunch catered from TRUBBQ4U. *Patch Sewing by Patch Works *Bikini Bike Wash *Free Ice Cream *Live Music *Raffles. Non-riders and riders welcome. We would like to invite all first responders and military members to join us for free lunch and a free gift with ID. Arrowhead Harley-Davidson is located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr. in Peoria, AZ. 623-247-5542.

Upcoming Events

September 15th and 16th
Thunder Valley Rally 2017. Get ready to rock and rumble in Cottonwood, Ariz. for the 2017 Thunder Valley Rally. The Bootlegging capital of Arizona, Cottonwood knows how to throw a party — and Thunder Valley Rally is a big one not to be missed with added venues and concerts by the “Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band” on Friday, Sept. 15, and “Blue Oyster Cult” and “Mogollon” Sat., Sept. 16. (See full music schedule). The 2017 rally will have two venues filled with merriment, music and motorcycles. Thunder Valley Rally Presented by Law Tigers Arizona’s Motorcycle Lawyers will be at The Freedom Bird Entertainment Park and Campground off of North 10th Street with 96 acres of camping, vendors, concerts, beer gardens and events adjacent to Old Town.

In Historic Old Town Cottonwood on North Main Street, which has been “Rockin’ it since 1885” will host three Vendor Villages, two stages, and two beer gardens. Old Town is located on scenic State Route 89A. Don’t miss the epic ride with the “Bootlegger Poker Run” by Cottonwood Motorsports through the Verde Valley’s Wine Country with $2,000 in prize money, and a Miss T.V.R. Pin-up Girl Pageant by Main Stage. Visit www.thundervalleyrallyaz.com for event updates and make your reservations now. Motorcycle-only parking plus entry is $10. Main concert area only is $5. Only cash accepted. There will be camping at the Kickstand at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds. See all of the details at www.thundervalleyrallyaz.com.



Extras
 
Mid Week Updates will be made on the Cyclerides.com Facebook. New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to www.facebook.com/cycleridescom. Over 6500 LIKES! Take a look at all the new photos posted on the wall. If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the  page, but you will not be able to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you are inclined. Click the LIKE button!

Note to self. Do NOT drive in Russia. Click Here to view.

Video of the Week
If you didn't go to Sturgis, you can do it virtually. See a menu of Web Cams from Sturgis.  Click Here. Click on the Video of the Week graphic to view.
 
If you would like to sign up for the Cyclerides.com Weekly Update Click Here.

Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,

Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"
www.cyclerides.com

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