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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:




Ocoee- Chilhowee Ride-September 12, 2015


First… no motorcyclists were harmed in the making of this ride report (only a minor bike “owee”)…

Saturday morning, Sept 12th, six riders met for a beautiful ride to TN along the Ocoee river and Chilhowee Recreation Area – Mel (Larry’s coworker), his neighbor Dave, Mark, Larry, Paul and his friend, Bob F. Although cloudy and muggy heading to our start in Ball Ground, we could just begin to feel the season’s first real cold front pushing in refreshing, dry air.

Similar to last month’s ride, we took the back roads up through Tate, Jasper, and Ellijay for a leisurely trip to Blue Ridge. At Blue Ridge, we’d earned a seat break (again at the world’s busiest McDonalds), but when we parked, where’s Paul? I saw him just two miles back. Phone rings, “Hey, I think my battery is dead”. Bob and Larry head back to Paul and push start him easily, but suspected his bike wasn’t charging. He made it to a gas station a mile down the road, but it didn’t have enough juice to run consistently. We called a local shop which came out and jumped started him. So Paul and Bob headed to the nearby shop for further diagnosis (and an early return home). With Paul in good hands, the remaining four continued.

It had been too long since I’d been to the SE corner of TN and had forgotten what a nice ride TN 64 is along the Ocoee river (for car or bike). The road is wide, well-paved, and not too twisty to prevent us from enjoying the beautiful river and mountain views. The river seemed almost continual white water and numerous rafters and kayakers  were making the most it. After the 20 mile stretch of white water, we came to the Chilhowee Recreation Area where we looped around the east, north, then west side. The east side, Hwy 30 - Greasy Creek, is very comparable to Wolf Pen Gap, but in denser shade and less traffic – very enjoyable! The north stretch was similar. The west side was straight and empty roads providing an open view of the Chilhowee mountain area on our left.

The Ocoee Dam Diner was an enjoyable lunch stop with good menu and service. Since we were running behind schedule, we passed on heading to the top of Chilhowee (with its renowned vistas – another time!) and headed back to Blue Ridge and another helping of Ocoee river views! At the east end of the rafting stretch, we enjoyed the scenic Boyd Gap pullout for a view of the Big Frog Wilderness, headwaters of the Ocoee.




Once we hit Blue Ridge, it was the fast lane home down 515 / 575.

Mileage 240. It was a great ride and we hope to see you next time!

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.


Back Way To Morganton


On a comfortable Saturday morning, 6 riders met for a leisurely tour of North Ga – Larry, Richard, Bob K, Steve G and Steve D, with his son-in-law Clay (glad to have you). With a muggy, but clear, forecast, they headed up old 5 to Jasper, then on to Ellijay via Jones Mountain and Yukon Roads. The air hung heavy with the scent of chicken farms! Leaving Ellijay on Boardtown Road, we managed to find even more farms along the serene back roads of Gilmer county. By then, we’d earned a “seat and coffee” break at (the world’s busiest!) McDonalds in Blue Ridge.

The ride continued with a beautiful pass across the Lake Blue Ridge dam, then onward to Suches. “Twisty 60” lived up to its nickname by starting with gentle sweepers in the Morganton area, then becoming ever-tighter as we ascended to Suches, the beautiful “Valley Above the Clouds”.

At TWO (Two Wheels of Suches), we enjoyed eyeing the “moto candy” as we soaked in the mountain views from our porch gliders. This was Richard’s first visit and he was quite taken by the babbling brook running through this original motorcycle resort in the SE – maybe we’ll see him on a future ride-n-camp here!


    After enjoying a hearty lunch in the lodge, we hustled out of TWO in a handful of raindrops (where did they come from - I guess that’s why Suches is so green!) southward to Woody Gap (AT crossing), then down the twistiest curves 60 has to offer. On the way to Dahlonega, we pulled into Riders’ Hill so the group could see all they had to offer (sales, service, restaurant, gear – not a bad way to kill time while getting maintenance done). From there, we continued into Dahlonega. Auraria and Castleberry Ridge roads were both a scenic and peaceful, yet lightly-traveled and fast route to Dawsonville. From there it was 53 West and Yellow Creek south to our homes in the Cherokee area (and by early afternoon, no less!) Mileage was 160.

 Chalk this up as a great ride day. Join us next time.