2014 Mega Ride
This is a discussion on 2014 Mega Ride within the General Concours forums, part of the Kawasaki Concours category; 15 States
Final Ride Map.jpg
What started off as a 2 week vacation changed before it started. Boss called and asked ...
2014 Mega Ride
Final Ride Map.jpg
What started off as a 2 week vacation changed before it started. Boss called and asked if I could put off the 2nd week until a later date but that was difficult because I was so far from home on the bike and would take at least 3 days to get back. The Solution was to leave from vacation in TN and head to my accounts in either GA or SC.
I headed out on June 14 to Johnson City TN for the Concours Owners Group 25th Rally.
Here I Just left an overnight in Louisville
There were over 500 in attendance. Huge Rally! We had the entire hotel booked plus a couple other overflows.
Met up with old acquaintances and made a lot of new friends. Did some rafting but spent a lot of time out of the raft. Guide was new and had a hard time staying out of the Rocks. I took a header out of the raft one time and went head first into a boil. Didn’t think I was ever going to surface.
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There were a lot of roads to hit in the area and most were fairly close. I opted out of hitting the Dragon in lieu of hitting it at a later date when I was in the area. Big mistake because I was there during the week and the weather was spectacular. Every other opportunity I had was either a weekend or it was raining or it was the weekend and raining
Here’s a video of the Snake the 2nd time I ran it after having adjusted my suspension. WOW! What a difference having a tuned suspension makes!
The Snake RT421 - YouTube
Cootie Browns in Johnson City is a must do. Very eclectic menu and everything was very good. Excellent beer selection to boot! Yes there are 2 in front of me!
How do you fit 500+ People in one room? They packed the tables in pretty tightly here. Did wonders for my anxiety.
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Last edited by Rasmith; 07-22-14 at 08:12 PM.
Here’s a pic of part of the 500+ gathered for a group shot.
North Central (my region) was well represented as usual. We dominate most of the Rallies. Banner look familiar Maggie Valley riders?
North Central Represents.jpg
Perry King was a guest speaker as well as the CEO of AMA and many others. Had some side bars with Perry. Very cool dude, easy to talk to and had some pretty to stories to tell.
Last edited by Rasmith; 07-22-14 at 01:38 PM.
From Johnson City I rode down to Palm Coast to spend the weekend with relatives. It was a hot and extremely miserable ride. 97 degrees and 89% Humidity. Can you say sauna? Had a great time visiting. Took them out to Lunch on Flagler Beach then headed out Sunday after lunch to Columbus GA. I took the back roads and went through some interesting country. Peanuts, watermelons, peaches, cantelopes and a lot of poverty. Some towns were barely standing and then there were some like the town of Parrot which is down the road from Jimmy Carters hood that are restoring the buildings to pre-Civil War glory.
So worked all the next week and over the weekend in Columbus then Monday June 30 I headed off to Duncan SC. Nice little town. Worked there a few days, then parked the bike at the hotel and flew home for the 4th of July Holiday. I was back working in Duncan Monday then took off for Maggie Valley Friday the 11th after lunch for the 2 hour or less ride. That's when I conspired with the owner of the Motel to do this.
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The rest of the Maggie Valley Pics and Videos will be posted on that thread Maggie Valley group ride pictures and of videos July 2014
On Monday the 13th It was off to the next job in Columbia SC. Just 3 hours down the road. In Maggie Valley, I made the discovery that I missed the air Filter on my maintenance rotation. Moron move. I couldnt figure out why the bike was sluggish and ran like a dog. On my last night in Columbia before starting my trek back home, I did some parking lot Maint at Advanced Auto..Oil change went smooth, about 10 minutes. Air Filter was a little involved. I was not surprised at what I found. Actually I would have been concerned if the filter looked good and bike ran crappy.
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It was unbelieveable how much better the bike ran and the power was back. Pulled a wheelie leaving the Auto Parts store.
Went back to hotel to pack:
To be continued:
Last edited by Rasmith; 07-22-14 at 02:13 PM.
So looking at the weather before leaving Columbia SC at 7am Friday morning July 18, I saw there might be a possibility of hitting the Dragon. I knew if I was heading up 26 through Asheville I would hit rain and a lot of it so I cut through Greenville and just beyond the GA border in Lavonia I got off on RT17 and 2-laned it across the bottom of the mountain range. Just when I got to 129 I started hitting rain. I pulled over and looked at radar and saw there was no way of having any enjoyment at the Dragon so I forged ahead and routed some squiggly roads. I hit one that was nice but as I was heading down the other side of the mountain, I quickly found my butt taking bites out of my custom Baldwin seat. I hit some corners on wet pavement that had absolutely no warning as to the speed or radius. In fact, right before a blind corner, there was a 45 MPH sign. Just as I was rolling on, I was grabbing a handful.
I do want to hit this road again but from west to east next time.
The first corner I hit, heading from point A to B on this link, if you go to street view and move west, I was doing 50 going into it. Thought I was going to lowside right into the turnout
It rained until I got south of Huntsville and then it was on and off. I had joined up with a group of 3 BMW 1200s and we ended up getting into a jam on I-59. People were out of the cars. Come to find out, these three were Mexican Nationals on a long ride. They had also hit the dragon and other routes along that area. I only knew because they had momentos from there. Niether really spoke english so I had to break out my Italian and between that and their tidbits of English, we managed to communicate. We were stuck on the road for almost an hour and a half. By the time we got to Birmingham, we all pulled off for fuel and a pit stop. After we gassed up, I let them know about the Natchez Trace Pkwy because they were headed to New Orleans. So I got them set for that and they asked me if I wanted to stop for dinner with them. I was tired and beat to crap from the rain and wind and knew I had another 2 hours of riding ahead of me and having a belly full wouldnt help matters. Then I remembered the 1.5 hours of ifficult communicating and had to graciously decline. So we bid eachother a fond farewell and safe travels (another tough translation) and I was on my way. I hit the Miss border and I was beat. I knew I had about 32 miles to go to Tupelo but I got to Fulton Saw a Holiday Inn sign and saw I was not in skid row and leaned the bike over on an aggressive exit. Perfect!
Unpacked a couple things off the bike, (by this time it was pouring) threw them on the bed, laid out my jammies (without footies) and went out, jumped on the bike and hit a BBQ joint down the street. I wanted a beer and some ribs. Oh, Dry county..crap. Coke and ribs. The girls thought it was something a guy coming in off a bike in the pouring rain. I had 4 of them around my table asking questions and having me tell them about my adventure while Im smacking my lips and licking my fingers. Half the patrons were bending their necks to listen. Locals.. I felt like I rode through a time warp or something or I was the most exciting thing they've seen in a long time. reminds me of a ride I took on the island of Sardinia. It took me a while getting up through the switchbacks to get to this isolated little town. They all knew I was coming because they could hear the MotoGuzzi LeMans Im sure from a distance. By they time I reached the town, most of the residents were outside clapping their hands and welcoming me. I thought when I took of my helmet and they didnt recognize me, theyd stone me. no instead, they helped me with my gear then lead me to the restaurant and gae me a meal to remember with some fine local table wine.
oK back to earth. The girls were cute, I continually had to ask them to repeat themselves (like Sardinia) but the food wasnt free but it was really good and I had fun being a novelty again.
I got back to the hotel, showered and got in my warm jammies. Didnt turn on the tube and didnt set my alarm.
I was getting coffee in the lobby by 6am
Last edited by Rasmith; 07-22-14 at 05:56 PM.
So, I guess you didn't make it to warm springs, and you passed right between Paul, Russ, and me and didn't call?
Skill is what keeps you on two wheels.
Situational awareness combined with skill is what keeps you out of harm's way.
ATGATT combined with Situational Awareness and Skill means you might live to ride another day when that deer runs into your bike or that drunk blows through that stop sign.
I didnt even make it to Hot Springs!
But I was close..I was on a mission
Awesome report! My wife and I are waiting at Diamond Jims (no relation I don't think) restaurant in Orange Beach reading and seeing that you passed right by our place at Lake Village, AR right after you crossed the Mississippi at Greenville. Because of this, I'm one step closer to a Connie. If I could just find one to ride!
Loved the hotel sign.
Awesome write-up! I just wanna know what ya did to clean the air filter since they don't carry that one in stock at the Advanced Auto.
2007 Mean Streak SE (flames)-My ride, now my son's, we traded.
2004 Black Marauder-My Son's bike, now mine, we traded.
1996 Blue Vulcan 750-Our bike*No tree has branches that are so foolish as to fight amongst themselves*
I had ordered the K&N from advanced. Got my money back and went a half mile down the road to a Kaw dealer and got a stock one
Originally Posted by Texas
So, continuing on.
From just east of Tupelo I headed out after getting and coffee and gassing up. 14 Miles later I was here.
Natchez Trace Highway is one cool stretch of road. It's flat, no twisties or sweepers. Most of it is tree lined except along some large fields https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=N...=13&via=4&z=13
Or where a mega tornado wiped out a stretch of it in 2011
Motorcycle Selfie--Accidently switched to front camera
This was a cool place in the middle of nowhere.
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My original plan was to ride the "Trace" all the way to Natchez but after doing some mapping I saw that even with the long first day, I would have to put in another 2 very long days to make it home by Sunday. I told my wife I would be home by Tue-Weds but I heard the disappointment in her voice over that. So at the last minute I made the call to take a hard right in Jackson MS. Knowing my wife is terrified of going over bridges, I snapped a few going over the Mississippi..
Last edited by Rasmith; 07-24-14 at 04:04 PM.
After crossing the Ole Miss, I jumped on US65 North. And gassed up..After changing the air filter, I was getting better range on a tank.
I was hungry and thought if I hit the first town by the river, I wouldnt have a hard time finding some cajun food. The first town I hit was Tallulah. Nice looking town as soon as I rolled into it but as soon as I got depper into it, things changed. I asked Garmin to find me some food and it sent me to a Fish Shack..Sounds good so I went north 2 blocks then west 2. OMG..All the building were falling down and I did find the Fish Shack..Poor old guy in a parking lot with a little stand and a deep fryer. Ya know, I love hitting places like that where someone is actually trying to pound out a living instead of having his hand out. I pulled in and as soon as I came around the corner, I saw these three individuals sitting on stumps under a big tree in the shade passing around a frigging crack pipe. I must have surprised them because they ditched the pipe pretty fast. I just shook my head, looked at the fish dude and pointed at the crackheads..My luck, I wouldve gotten rolled while chomping on a fritter. So back north I went and rolled into another falling down town with a large portion of businesses shut down. Lake Providence LA. Im hungry and blood sugar's getting low and not a happy camper at this point, but just as Im getting to the edge of town, things start looking up. Houses are nicer, business are open and I see this big sign with Crawfish on it..OH YEA BABY!
This place was really cool. Surrounded by Cypress Trees and a nice outdoor seating area
So after not understanding a single word the folk was saying behind the counter I asked them to make me up two orders. One to eat here and one to take out. One my order to eat in asked for anything cajun they liked. So I got a catfish, crawfish, sausage with some other cajunese items in it..Lip smacking good! For my carryout, I asked for the best dish they had with gater.
So with a full stomach and some rest, I was on my way north again and stopped in Conway for gas..Still getting good range
Right when I started my bike, I noticed this car full of Persons* pull up to the pump next to me. In it are a couple guys, kids and a woman. The woman gets out and is dressed like a Memphis Hooker. Both guys get out, one goes away from me and towards people pumping gas and the other towards me. I knew what was going on because this happened to me on last years trip. So the guys starts asking me a question while Im rolling on my throttle each time (im a jerk).. So I flipped my modular up and said I couldnt hear him. He started his pitch when I cut him short and said I dont help people who are too stupid to take off on a trip without gas money then put it in gear and looked at the guy gassing up next to me who was laughing and nodding.
So I got me a hotel 2 blocks down the road and ran into some of the same type of Persons* in a nice shiny gold Charger with big shiny wheels with a woman also dressed like a Memphis hooker parked in a Handicapped Spot walking better than I can.
Anyway, I checked in..Grabbed my stuff off the bike and had my an alligater feast for dinner..Man was that good!! I highly reccommend that place if you happen to roll on through.
*Low life overly Entitled system suckers
Last edited by Rasmith; 07-24-14 at 09:13 PM.
With only 422 miles to go and about 7 hours seat time, I decided to get a little later start and headed west a little before getting on some 2-lane on my way to RT23, commonly known as the "Pig Trail". This road was somewhat of a disappointment in comparison to a lot of the roads I was on during this trip. The road is in need of a complete tear-up and resurfacing. I found myself most times in corners trying to find a good patch of road that I lost my lines going into corners.
I will say though, in this video I can definately tell the bike is breathing much better. It was pulling very strong.
The only excitement on this leg was when I got too close to the car in front of me and I hit a raccoon broadsided. It was a fresh kill and luckily wasnt in the road long ways.
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