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Johns-Pigeon Mountain Ride--March 12, 2016

The weather forecast for this Saturday was all over the place during the week before we were to take off to the west. By Saturday it called for rain starting around 3 pm. As a result we moved the start time up an hour to 8:30 and were able to keep dry out and back.

Nine of us (both Steves, Dan, Dennis and his neighbor Mark, Tad, Garret, Larry and yours truly) gathered at Hardees in Canton. Once everyone arrived we got on SR 140 headed west toward Armuchee. Just short of Armuchee we turned on to what starts out as Floyd Springs Road, heading north, on the east side of Johns Mountain. This is an interesting road with many tight sections bordered by Johns Creek. The creek was flowing briskly and there were signs of recent flooding. This was very evident when we turned into the "Pocket". We often stop here to stretch our legs on the short trails and bridges in the vicinity. Not this time; the "Pocket" was zipped shut--closed. A peek through the woods showed a lot of debris scattered around and sandy mud deposits throughout. It will be a while before it can return to its pre-flood self.

From the Pocket area he again headed north and picked up SR 136 heading into Villanow, a Civil War era cross-road town, that boasts the longest continually operating General Store in the state. It was closed; go figure.

We arrived soon in LaFayette for an early lunch at Queen City Bistro, a newish restaurant that occupies what was once a Ford dealership, circa Model A days. After lunch and a visit with the Bistro's owners we headed out of town on SR 193 and picked up SR 136 to take us over to the west side of Pigeon Mountain. Once up and down the pass we turned south on SR 157 headed for the Menlo-Summerville area. For the most part this road was empty except for a few bicyclists, a barking dog and a game- playing SUV. Whomever surveyed the roadbed preferred straight lines paving over whatever ups and downs that fell in the path. The only inhibitor to reckless speeding was the wind that seemed to always be from one side or the other blowing bikes and riders around a bit.

The ride from Menlo to Summerville to Adairsville saw a pick up in traffic but nothing like the abundance of cars nearer home.

Here's a Video of the ride  https://youtu.be/Ly6hB4TZi74

All in all  a great ride of about 200 miles and good fellowship.

 

Meet N Ride--December 12, 2015

Nine of us (Larry, both Steves, Dennis, Richard, Mel, Dave, and Bob S.) met at Timothy for a short meeting prior to riding up into the foothills on this unusually warm day (70's) in December.

At the meeting we decided to set the January ride for January 16th. Weather permitting the route will be north over Sassafras Mountain to Dial then over on SR 60 to Suches or Dahlonega for lunch, followed be a meander east to pick up some good backroads back home.

Also discussed was the possibility of a multi day camping trip in east Tennessee and western North Carolina in the May time frame.The route between campsites would mostly be dirt/gravel roads that are considered doable on most of the bikes our members ride. Larry will be laying out the details for discussion at a later meeting.

At 10 am the nine took of for points north. The first stop was at a model plane "airport" on Old Federal Highway just north of SR 369. All were amazed at the size of the WW1 biplane models that flew and simulated dog-fighting to their delight. Though it didn't fly while they were there (brake problems) they had a chance to look over a jet powered model that the owner (pilot?) said is capable of 200 mph.

On leaving the airport the nine headed up Mount Tabor road  for a ride on  scenic Kelly Bridge road. After a short hop on Yellow Creek they took Conn's Creek road over to SR 372 then SR 369 to the lunch stop at Amos' BBQ. After lunch the group split to take their preferred ways home.

On all accounts a great ride on a beautiful day.

Here's a somewhat shaky video of some of the highlights.

Follow-The-Leader Ride--November 21, 2015

Two of us, Bob S. and Steve D. took to the backroads on this crisp (48 F) morning to take in the scenery in a four county area near home.

While in Cherokee county we rode Long Rd., lower Bethany, Soap Creek and Damascus before heading up Henderson Mountain in Pickens county. Then Jerusalem and Bryant brought us to the "old timey" village of Ludville, a short distance from the Gordon county line and Fairmount where we pit stopped for coffee plus. 

By this time the sun had done its job and temperatures were well into the 50's. Off came the heated gear and heavy clothing. Heading south out of Fairmount we turned onto Irwin Mill Rd. and worked our way along the stream and up to Salacoa Rd. at the top of Johnson Mountain in Bartow county. The ride down the mountain afforded great views of the valley as the foliage was down and the area making a comeback from the tornado devastation was still very open.

Johnson Mt. road took us through the Falling Springs ranch country and out to US 411. Heading south once again we blew past the intended turn onto Knucklesville road, but we substituted an eastward jog on SR 140 to bring us to that always nice East Valley area.

Our lunch stop at Doug's Place in Emerson required us to pass through Cartersville on US 41. What a contrast to our pleasant ride in the back country. We saw more cars at one traffic light than we'd seen all day up to that point. But we were hungry and Doug's was not too far.

After lunch it felt like the temperature had dropped, clouds blocked the sun and the wind picked up. Our way home took us through Red Top Mountain State Park, and various suburban roads into Cherokee county again.

All in all a great ride, not fast or high mileage, but pleasant and interesting . The mileage on the Ural was 165 km.

This is a good time for scenic riding. If you don't have heated gear talk to Santa. It really makes a difference, and lets you enjoy riding year round.

Barber Vintage Festival---2015

Three riders (Steve D., Steve G., and Dan) from TLCMC camped a couple nights in Alabama to attend the 2015 antique motorcycle festival at the Barber Motorsports Park, October 9-11, 2015. Here are a few photos:

 

 

 

Fall Camp-N-Ride...October 16,17 2015

 

On a crystal clear Friday afternoon, six riders (Larry, Scott, Dennis, Mel, Dave, and John) met in Ball Ground for our fall overnight ride to Suches. The warm afternoon was just beginning to give way to blustery north winds as we headed through Jasper and the Burnt Mountain area. After passing the Amicalola Falls area along 52, we stopped for a breather at Nimblewill Church off 52.

From there, Larry and Dave took the direct route to Suches (forest service!) while the rest of the gang continued on the traditional route, 52 to Dahlonega, then “twisty 60” up over Woody Gap to Suches. Both groups thought they had the best ride!

 

What Suches lacks in size, it makes up for in beauty – and this fall day didn’t disappoint. The color change was underway and the mountains looked stunning across the blue lake. A bright yellow plane seemed to float motionless above the blue lake and green grass of Georgia’s highest airport (well, airstrip) at High Valley, elevation 2800’.

 We set up tents along the creek, then as the light dimmed, headed into the lodge at TWO (the original motorcycle campground in the SE). The steaks were good and the fellowship even better. Dave couldn’t stay and headed home while the rest enjoyed a warm campfire and visiting with other moto travelers, like Daniel from AL. As we headed to bed, that clear sky we enjoyed earlier meant we’d have a cold night – about 35 degrees!

 

Everyone fared well thru the night, but it did make TWO’s renowned breakfast all the better. Tad rode up from Duluth and met us at 10 (brrrr!), We headed to our first stop just down the road at High Valley to see a yellow plane which kept taking off and landing. We were surprised to find a large fly-in of “Carbon Cubs” from all around the SE (almost all painted yellow!) – nearly twenty planes.

 

 

It was fun to see them and meet a few pilots, but we had our own piloting to do, so we continued on Wolf Pen Gap (GA’s “Dragon”) to 75, then down toward Helen. From there we ran up the Richard Russell SCENIC highway, then down 129 thru Neels Gap, sampling some of the very best motorcycle roads in GA.

 

After a quick lunch at Turners Corner, we headed down to Dahlonega and its Gold Rush Days festival traffic – ughhh. Tad routed us around, then it was down 400, then 369 back to Cherokee County where we all peeled off toward home. Total miles for both days was about 240, and a great 240 they were! Join us next time.