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A fools trip to Deals Gap
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opossum puncher
 
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Cool A fools trip to Deals Gap - June 9, 2009, 02:55 PM

zx6rfool's that is...



First off a big thanks to all those who helped make this trip a success, Dave thanks for the help with the chain/sprocket, Cam thanks a million for letting me borrow your luggage, its rocked, once I clean it up Ill get it back to you, Nate thanks for letting Tim and I crash on your couches at Fontana, and showing us a good time!

Got back Monday night round 7 after 5 long days of riding, and 1,818.8 miles.


Plan was to roll down BRP to Deals Gap, spend a day playing there then head west to Devils Triangle and north through Wv, and Va home.

Ready to roll:


Day 1: Thursday, its not looking pretty but we decide to roll out anyway. 10:30 meet up in Haymarket, gas and roll. We decide to slab it to get as many miles under our belt as possible with the looming rain. We get 30, yes 30 miles in before it starts raining. Pull off, cover the luggage put on our rain suits and keep on rolling.



We slab 66 to 81 and get on BRP round Harrisonburg.

Gas and Fuel;



At some point duct tape will be needed, so I grab some.

Focus here becomes being smooth, up and down the mountains in the rain with a long, long trip ahead. Smooth to go fast, and this is a great way to knock some rust off. The weather sucked, and in the mountains there where times when the fog was so thick you couldn’t see more than 20 feet. Rare dry spot:


We stopped in Mabry Mill for the night, ate at a nice country store.




Got a room at the Sea-Dee Motel, and a 12 pack of PBR. Start drinkin and dryin out. My rain gear has exploded in the crotch. It looks like I let the biggest fart ever and the pants blew apart, seriously, they looked like assless chaps! Nelson Riggs, your stuff is crap.








PBR and duct tape however can solve anything.






This motel was way too sketch, Tim had stayed there last year and the rate was $35, we paid $65, our given explanation was, “rates went up to $45, and since yall need a room with two beds it costs more, you know linens.”

The weather:


Day 2:
There was only one other room rented that night, we came to find out it was the exterminators. I woke up round 8 and was half asleep, but could hear rats in the walls, chewin on shit.



We suit up, its still raining, and we have a lot of ground to cover, I wanna be in Deals Gap tonight. BRP is hit and miss, some spots are raining and foggy, some are sunny, so we are switching rain stuff on and off.
Sun on:


A horrible pack of trikes are running at between 10 and 20 mph below the limit and are killing us, we get by but have to stop to stretch/pee, etc. They roll on through. Later after lunch on the BRP we go full dry and are loving the BRP, its amazing, the views, the road. And then it happens, we catch up to the trikes, and it starts to rain, and there is no where to pull off, none! And here they are, as the fog rolls in, doing 5, 5 miles per hour! A ford edge charges oncoming traffic to get around them and we shortly follow suit. These people have no reason to be on a motorcycle of any kind, go home and watch OCC or something, beat off to the goldwing catalog, I don’t care keep your ass off the road!



We pull off on a blocked off viewing place and suit up although we are already wet and so is the luggage. Everyone else pulls off and no one is on the BRP moving due to the fog, however, Tim and I roll on. Bout an hour out of Asheville it starts to get a bit nicer, and we roll in to Asheville in need of food. My first Sonic. Its good, not magical, but good, although I don’t like fast food. From there its getting late and we decide to hit 74 to get to 28, and this works well, 28 was a blast and a guy on a FJR flexed it muscles, and showed its versatility keeping up with us on 28.

We pull in to Fontana and find Nate, drool over the bikes, have a drink, and roll up to the cabin. Nate and crew had this place stocked with booze. And we followed them down to the Canadians place and had a Molsen XXX, thanks Nate, went back and drank and joked until 1. Awesome time, awesome people.







Day 3:

WTF? 8 AM, crap time to ride. With the luggage off the bikes we can enjoy the area, but Im not quite feeling 100%. Crap Im getting old, are you allowed to say that at 27? Put on the full leathers (glad I brought these) and roll out 28, then down 129, and back up, and breakfast at the GOT cause Im not feeling well. Its starting to ramp up on the mountain, and Tim and I decide we are gonna make one more run at the dragon and then hit Cherohala and surrounding roads. Well we are stuck behind a train of HDs, and pop off to let them get some distance, hop back on, and Tim has a flat. Yep, new tires too, had at least 6000 miles left in em. We limp back up to the GOT and find out it was a piece of glass. Get some fix a flat and limp down to Wheelers.



Wheeler is in full swing, and the place is packed, and who do we see but Nate! Getting the suspension set on the new beast. We pop Tims bike on the center stand (FZ6), and using my tools (My bike is a piece of crap I have to carry a full tool selection when I ride, just ask Jason how many TDs he has seen me not working on my bike in the pits) pull his rear wheel. And then wait. For 3 hours. Wheeler is a master, polite, helpful, very through and true to his art, a truly rare breed. And his prices rock the casba. $170 for a BT021, mount and balance.

We scoop the new shoes on the bike and are off to Cherohala, Tims got a tire on there that is seconds old, but we are rockin and rolling after just a few miles, Tim hangs back a bit, better to not test our luck. But we are still passing people. The ride is long and leads us back to 129, we rock up the Mountain and back to base camp. Load up and turn right back around. More miles to cover that day. 28:

We start back down the dragon and take some pics,







I was hoping more photogs would still be out, I wanted pics of the bike leaned over with the luggage. At the base we swap positions and after a few miles I pull Tim over, his luggage is rubbing. I check mine to make sure mine wasn’t too. What do I see!? Steel belts!!!!!


Wow, I honestly thought I wouldn’t need a new tire for a while, but you know those 218’s, pure crap. We roll down to bottom where 129 Motorcycle Pitstop is, and he has been closed for 2 hours. Fuck, Fuck, Fuck. Its Saturday night. They don’t open until 11 Sunday. There is a guy and his wife out talking to the patch guys who are closing up shop, drinkin a beer and smoking a cigar. “You need something?” “Yea a rear tire” “Fuck, well I got rear tires, you got $$?” “Hell yea and I tip good too!” Dude opens his shop back up, changes, and goes to work, in 30 min Im ready to roll with a brand new pilot power on the rear!!! Prices were a bit more though, but a steal at any price as the guy really, really got me out of a jam. I tip my hat sir!



50 more miles, and a stop for food and we are in Oak Ridge Tn. Its late, 10, and we get a room at the super 8 for $45, 6 pack of beer. Shoot a message to Pimpd1, Mike, but we weren’t able to meet up. Shower for the first time since Thursday, dude, let me tell you, I fing reeked.

Deals gap is like recess for adults. I wanna go back already!
Im gonna pitch a advertising line to the smokie mountain tourist people “The smokie mountains of NC, because grown ups deserve a recess too.” And show pics of fishing, motorcycles, hiking, etc, etc…. Ill even have a commercial where you show kids in class and the recess bell ringing and kids running out side to play in like old 70’s style film, then show adults in an office and the same bell goes off and they run outside, but out side is the smokies and a guy gets on a bike, one runs out in fishing gear, another camping, then a voice over “Get that feeling back; The smokie mountains of NC, recess is calling”


Pics from 129 photos, killboys forth coming...









Day 4: Wake up late and rock out. Devils Triangle time. Well it blows. I know now why its called the Devil’s Triangle, its cause only the devil would take such a beautiful area, and twisty roads and strew them with loose gravel, dirt, and the shittiest paving job Ive seen. And gravel run offs that lead to 100’ drops! And locals who feel the double yellow is merely a suggestion, I almost shit my pants when a Nissan truck swerved right in to my lane than back again, like whole truck in my lane .



We finish that run, and follow my mapquested rout, and start up what should be a twisty road. Its twisty alright, and its freaking gravel. Up and over the mountain.



[To the tune of Simon & Garfunkle’s Sound of Silence]
Hello back brake my old friend, Ive come to rely on you again, to keep me from screaming off this mountain, please don’t let my blood spray like a fountain!

My map holder:

We finally get off that road and are looking at maps trying to figure out where to go from here, when along comes a dude on a rad chopper. Hes lost too, but a local, and we chat for a bit, snapped some pics for Ed:







Both this guy and myself made references to the area and Deliverance.

We then finished the day by frivolously trying to find roads in Tn where apparently marking roads is for the birds. BTW E. Racoon Valley road is EVERYWHERE!!!!!! Roads were still good and we rocked our way in to Va,


Found an absolutely killer road, 158, from Va in to Wv near Bluefield, where is apparently where hope goes to die. And then we skipped on over to Princeton Wv for some food and a motel. 6 pack of tall boys.

Day 5: We decided that we had a lot of ground to cover and need a more direct route home, 219. It was good with a bit of OK. There are parts where its great, and there are towns that are right out of Americana . There are also loggers who drop shit. And tourists who go 10 under and mail men in Chevy Colorados who try to race you and run you off the road. Silly mail man, your truck is slow .
And repaving/construction. We make our way to the intersection of 219 and 250, and find out that they have done some work to 250. Its tar and chip, for 9 miles west of 220. And from what the lady at subway who warned us about it said the patching goes east for another 9 miles. Its brand new. This sucked something terrible. It was like attempting to reenact the titanic, but with motorcycles and patches of tar/chip gravel mid turn.

220 wasn’t too bad, but more construction slowed us down. And then it happened. 33. Neither Tim nor I had ever been to 33. And just like old Blue, it was glorious! That was a fing romp! Time did not permit another run sadly. So we shipped out 33 to Harrisonburg, catching some light rain, suiting up once again (trip coming full circle I see). Its 5 already, so we slab it home. I didn’t mind though, everything hurt. For 5 days we had been riding at minimum 8 hours a day, most of the time more, up to 15. And I no longer wanted to feel my knees scream and allergies were KILLING me. 81-66-234 for me, and when I got home, man, beat.

Killer trip! Most miles Ive done in a trip by a long shot.


Report sounds negative, but I wouldn’t trade this trip for anything. Reporting on the good parts would just be me saying [James Woods Voice] “Ohh another turn, Ohh another turn, Ohh another turn, Ohh another turn, Ohh another turn, Ohh another turn, Ohh another turn, Ohh another turn, Ohh another turn, Ohh another turn.”

Lessons learned:
Gel seat, if you don’t ride a full on touring bike your seat is going to fail, I think I permanently damaged my ass.

Cramp buster rocks! That lil thing was awesome.
Rain gear, don’t go cheap!!!
Duct tape, fixes cheap rain gear!!!
Plan where to stay in to your route, most of the towns we passed didn’t have accommodations, or even food.

Pack power bars or something.
Camelpaks are sweet! Mine kept me rolling.
Leave slack in your plan for the unexpected. Its gonna happen.
Don’t over pack, you don’t need to shave, you don’t need 3 pairs of jeans when one will do. You don’t need a sweatshirt when layering is just as good.
Never though Id want an FZ6, but that thing is a million times more comfortable than my bike. Which is a Sport Tourer today (ZZR600)
Buy a GPS, its now on my wish list.


Theres more Im sure, but, well, Im still burnt and not sure. My ears hurt, putting the helmet on and taking it off so much over the last 5 days has rubbed my ear tops raw. Whats up with that?

Pics forth coming, need to find or buy a new cable as the wife is out of town with the only computer we have that has an SD slot.


-
Attack Life! It's going to kill you anyway.

08 Z1000

Go Hokies!

Last edited by zx6rfool; June 9, 2009 at 08:09 PM..
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June 9, 2009, 03:15 PM

Nice Brad....thats awesome. Yeah sorry buddy, I have family in town with the new baby being born, just wasnt the right time. I have heard mixed things about Devil's, I have never been on it, and now I wont go.

As for the Cherohala, that is my home away from home, I get to Deals and go through just to go there. If you go through Monroe County, which is the end of the Cherohala, and get pulled over, be sure to call me ASAP!!!!!

Hell I didnt know you guys stayed in Oak Ridge, you coulda crashed in my basement for free....next time though.

Glad you enjoyed it...awesome scenary, and great roads....I get them year round....well almost...only 10 months worth I guess


RIP...Karl Michael "Dragula" Meckenberg WE MISS YOU BUDDY!!!

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June 9, 2009, 03:57 PM

No worries man, I knew we wouldnt be able to meet up, no connection at the gap, and when we got round your neck of the woods we were already toast, we were in and out.

Next time, Im already looking in to it!


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Attack Life! It's going to kill you anyway.

08 Z1000

Go Hokies!
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June 9, 2009, 04:58 PM

Good read..sounds like it was an interesting and entertaining time.


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June 9, 2009, 05:19 PM

Very nice report. 5 stars. Deals Gap is a special place. I like the way you put it... recess for adults.
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June 9, 2009, 05:20 PM

Nice dude - glad we could entertain ya for a night... Imagine that for a whole week


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June 9, 2009, 05:57 PM

nice read..... recess indeed!


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June 9, 2009, 06:00 PM

Awesome ride report. Makes me want recess again!
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June 9, 2009, 06:50 PM

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June 9, 2009, 07:57 PM

I like the part where he gives props to the FZ6 (and thus FZ1 by proxy) hah!

great trip report man.. always good to hear about the *reality* of long long rides.
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June 9, 2009, 08:09 PM

Updated with pics.


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Attack Life! It's going to kill you anyway.

08 Z1000

Go Hokies!
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June 9, 2009, 08:26 PM

My schedule sucks. I am sorry I missed this.


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June 9, 2009, 10:18 PM

glad you made it back alright. wish i could have gone.
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June 9, 2009, 10:46 PM

That's the business!


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June 9, 2009, 11:13 PM

Awesome report. Thanks for sharing the experience.
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