When a friend rode over 1000 miles to bring the tag back to near TN I felt like I just had to give it a kick myself.
I left home at 12:30 and tanked up near my house with non-ethanol high test gas. I didn’t get far before I ran into a major downpour. Water was rushing down the street 6″ deep. I was in cooling mesh gear when it cut loose. I had a brief thought about putting on some rain gear. Then I thought I didn’t bring any. Oh well. About that time the sun came out and helped dry me off. I got rained on off and on all day. I spent 9 hours in the saddle and covered 300 miles.
The temps were headed for the 70s on this early March day and I decided I needed to take a ride. Where to go? I considered chasing down my Appalachian Tag which is currently at a mine in West Virginia but decided I didn’t want that much of a ride this early in riding season for me.
It’s been quite a while since I rode through the GSMNP (Great Smoky Mountain National Park) or drove through for that matter. I decided to risk going through on my street bike for the first time. I used to run through there regularly on my old GSA but that’s built for the rough conditions. It’s a beautiful route through but all gravel and dirt. I knew with the trees bare some of the views would be better than usual.
A bunch of ROK folks chipped in to ride support for the Cherohala Challenge bicycle ride starting in Tellico Plains.
This rider rides his motorcycle to the bicycle ride carrying his bicycle. Pretty neat.
They had a good cadre of motorcycle riders from our club and some others. The ROK riders mostly chose to escort the longest ride of 113 miles. Some of the bicyclists rode all the way uphill on the “Dragon” then all the way to the top of the Cherohala Skyway still looking fresher than I would have a mile from the parking lot on level ground. Some of these guys were really fit. It made for a fun day of riding for us including a good scenic ride to and from the event.