2014 Articles

Fall '14 Camp 'n Ride--October 17-18, 2014

in 2014 Articles

 On the prettiest Friday afternoon of the year, LarryK, BobK, and ScottT met in Ball Ground for an overnight ride to the North Ga mountains.  After gassing up and marveling at how much gear we managed to strap to our mounts, we then rode a leisurely pace to Jasper and thru the beautiful Burnt Mtn area on 136.  We then took 52 toward Dahlonega and headed up the ever-twisty 60 to Suches.  We arrived with plenty of light to pitch tents near the babbling brook at Two Wheels of Suches' (TWO) beautiful property.  We thought there would be just a handful of bikers camping Friday night, but final tally was closer to 40 with at least a half dozen states represented!  Dinner was nice and the campfire even nicer. A perfect night for camping. 

Saturday morning we enjoyed hearty breakfasts, then packed up while TadS rode up at first light to meet us for the day's riding.  First stop was Brasstown Bald via the newly-paved Wolf Pen gap.  The view from the observation deck was impressive, but somehow seemed cooler and windier than on the bikes!  Next we headed up and over Unicoi gap to lunch in Helen.  Brats were the order of the day all.
After lunch we rode N on the Richard Russel Scenic Byway (348?), then back south on 129.  Fall color was very nice throughout the day, but all agreed the Richard Russell had the best views and riding of the day. We stopped at the stone building at Neels Gap and admired the hearty souls backpacking the Appalachian Trail which passes thru the store (only place the AT passes thru a building in 2000 miles).  From Neels Gap we headed home down 129 and via Cleveland to avoid the festival traffic in Dahlonega.  Total mileage was about 230. 
A great time was had by all. Everyone seemed impressed with TWO's facilities and we hope to do something similar in the spring.  Don't miss it!

Zip-Lining In Lula--September 13, 2014

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This month we decided to do something different, combine a motorcycle ride with a destination activity, in this case zip-lining at North Georgia Canopy Tours near Lula.

Five riders, Bob K., Steve, Dennis, Richard and Bob S. took advantage of special September-only pricing and signed up for the 9:40 a.m. Saturday tour. The weather forecast for the Gainesville area had deteriorated in the week running up to the event, from good to iffy, leaving to Saturday morning the decision to ride or drive (tickets were non-refundable rain or shine). As it turned out four chose to ride, one drive.

They left Hickory Flat soon after dawn heading up the boring, but most direct route, SR 369. After a brief stop in Gainesville they arrived at the tour site at 9:30. Once safety gear was fitted they got brief instruction in the basics of zip-lining, then off to the wires. The runs started short and easy but progressively got longer and faster culminating in a two wire race track over a pond.Two guides were shepherded the nine person group providing safety tips and humorous zip-lining banter. At the finish they awarded the five their Certificates Of Completion.

 A look around the horizon was not to promising, as thunderheads were building up to the south and west. They took off down the dirt road and picked up Old Cornelia highway into Gainesville where they stopped for lunch at the 2 Dog restaurant, a small place on Spring Street. No hot dogs here but a full menu and good food. After lunch they saddled up and headed toward Dahlonega on Thompson Bridge Road. They didn't get far before rain drops started pinging on their face shields. They were lucky though as it never got bad enough to warrant putting on rain gear. This was not the case for Richard however. He was following the bikes at a distance and reported later that he ran through a deluge from the same clouds that sprinkled the riders.

The riders pulled off of Thompson Bridge Road (SR60) onto Price Road (SR136) and cut a path westerly into Dawson then Pickens counties. After a short stop at the Foothills Chevron they road home by various routes.

By all accounts it was a great day and a harbinger of combo rides to come.

http://youtu.be/iQ8yPEJp_xM

Fort Mountain and Edna's--August 16, 2014

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The ride roster was at four, then dwindled to three, then two and finally one, but thankfully, at the last minute, it filled out to the three musketeers, Dan, Dennis and Bob S. The day was clear and for August, cool. Fine riding weather for the jaunt up to the Cohutta Overlook at Fort Mountain.

They planned on riding backroads as much as possible. No dirt or gravel but interesting rural roads, not boring four lane highways. So it was. First across Cherokee county then up through Pickens into Gilmer finding the back way into Ellijay. After a stop at the Dairy Queen (of saddle bag bumping fame) they headed through Ellijay's square to pick up SR 52 on its way to the mountains. A few minutes out of Ellijay they spotted some movement on the side of the road. It was deer, a doe with a still spotted fawn scampering behind across the road. Lucky for them and the riders there was plenty of time for avoidance.That's not always the case.

The plan was to stop at the Cohutta Overlook and take the short hike to the viewing platform; almost didn't happen. The lead missed the turn-off sign as it was hidden by high weeds and low leaning branches. Maintenance is needed. However, they slowed in time to catch the cut-in for the exit, and took that onto the narrow road. The view on top is great, almost as good as from the platform in the state park and a lot more accessible.

From the overlook it was down the mountain, past the state park to Chatsworth and lunch at Edna's. The parking lot was full of cars with local Murray county license tags, always a good sign for a restaurant. After lunch they headed south on the old highway 411 until it ran into the new, and boring highway 411. They took this south but soon after passing through Fairmount turned east on Salocoa Road, a favorite motorcycle road for many.

From Salocoa the ride to back the start point of the Chevron south of Ball Ground passed quickly, too quickly.

All agreed, a very good ride and great fellowship.

 

http://youtu.be/OHtJoV5-qig

 

 

Ride To KOK (and then some)

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Four of us, Melinda, Scott, Larry and Bob (the elder), after careful analysis of the pending weather situation, took off from our exit 27 Chevron to visit King Of Kings and attend their 10:30 a.m. Service. We made it there (Jasper) just in time to visit with old friends and congregants prior to the Service. It was good to see some of the founders again, including both Keiths (Sadler and Bell), John and Carol Scheder, Gary and Jan Engel, and Dan and Marcia Rubin. Marcia was organist and did a great job.

Of course Pastor Knoche and Donna were their, as were others that have helped the church prosper and grow. It's truly a blessing from God.

After the Service we took a chance that we could ride over to T.W.O. for lunch before the weather closed in. We had some doubts as we climbed into and through clouds on Sassafras Mountain, but they soon gave way before we turned on to GA 52. After passing through Dahlonega we stayed left at Stone Pile Gap and hit a few more low clouds, though not as thick as on Sassafras, as we made our way to Suches and T.W.O.

The new owners of T.W.O.. have made a lot of improvements and the place has a nice ambiance. While we would have preferred to eat on the veranda and keep track of the ins and outs of other motorcycles, it was just too cold, so we headed indoors close to the fireplace (it wasn't lit, after all it is mid July).

We had a good lunch, then headed home non stop (well almost, Scott was on his Street Rod and you know the drill ;)

The visit was a real plus. If you get the chance join us next time, maybe in the Fall.