Maggots and friends and family, As is the custom after every maggot ride, there is an obligatory ride report. Since a boat trip that I was planning on was cancelled, the week opened up and I was able to join Marc, aka Half Sack on his ride down to the Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway and Tail of the Dragon. Being a man of few words I will just report on the facts of this six day Evilcade 2011 ride.
Day 1, Sunday 9/11. I departed Scarsdale at 7:15 under clear skies and 61 degrees and met Marc on rt 23 in NJ with our destination Casa de Sober outside of Washington DC. I led the way along 287, 78, 81 to 70 where Marc’s GPS took us the rest of the down 70, 270, Beltway to Casa de Sober in Beltsville, MD. Arrive at 2:30. Total miles 376.
Diane and Steve were consummate hosts with the rest of the day filled with great food, football and much drinking and a cigar to complete the evening. Thanks Diane and Steve.
Day 2, Monday 9/12. After a typical maggot breakfast we departed Casa de Sober at 10 a.m. with our destination the Skyline Drive and BRP. Again it was a sunny and beautiful warm day and we reached Skyline in good fashion traveling west on 66. Marc lead the way on the Skyline as is my custom with first timers on these rides. Marc and I have similar riding attitudes. Just ride, don’t stop at the overlooks and admire the view and take pictures. Just ride. We completed beautiful Skyline and continued on BRP until mid afternoon then peeled onto 81 to ride some slab. We needed to ride the slab and get further south in order to be able to complete the BRP before dark the next day. We stopped in Salem VA, north of Roanoke at 5:30. Total miles 313.
Day 3, Tuesday 9/13. The day started ominously with Marc reporting that he had a flat rear tire. There was no apparent nail in the tire so we were hoping that it was just a loose valve stem. Marc used his handy little hand pump, built the tire pressure up to 11 pounds and we headed to the nearest auto parts store at 9:30. Purchase one valve stem tighten, make three tightening turns, test no more leaking, head to full service station fill up with air and off we go to the BRP. The Speed Triple also needed air too. Lost time on tire fix, 1/2 hour.
It was another beautiful sunny day for riding the BRP. The best weather day I ever rode on the BRP.
The next anxiety that Marc had was running on empty. We reached Craggy Gardens visitors stop on the BRP in the southern portion of the BRP and Marc and I had put in 160 miles since the last gas up. His low fuel indicator light was glowing. Marc said that he gets about 130 miles to the tank but can get 150 miles if the riding is slower than interstate speeds. He was quite nervous that his Triumph Scrambler would run out of gas. I said, “Don’t worry it’s 20 miles to the next gas station and it’s mostly down hill”. You lead, go slow and coast when you can. If you run out of gas, I’ll go to the gas station get a gallon can. Don’t worry!” We make it to the gas station. Before Marc fills up the Scrambler, we open up the gas cap. Shake bike. Nothing. Fill up gas. Takes 3.1 gallons. Tank capacity 3.1 gallons. Bike range 180 miles.
We continue down the rest of the BRP before dark. Reach Cherokee at 7:30. Total miles 397. Marc and I estimate that we rode 75% of the BRP. That is the most I’ve done on my many trips down or up on the BRP.
Day 4, Wednesday 9/14. Another beautiful sunny day. The weather Gods have been good. Depart for the Tail of the Dragon at 11 am. Great riding day thru the Smokies then back to 81 for the ride home north. Make it back to Salem on 81 at 8:30. Total miles 371.
Day 5, Thursday 9/15. Starts out cloudy then turns to rain and fog. Marc programs Deep Creek to meet the other maggots for their annual speed week get together. On the way up some mountain road in WV, we encounter a sign “loose gravel”. That adds some extra concern with the rain and fog. Marc and I arrive at Deep Creek expansive condo at 2:45. Total miles 238. We get to meet more maggots, drink and enjoy a great steak dinner at a local restaurant. Thanks Bing and Pagan for the invite.
Day 6, Friday 9/16. Clear and cold when we leave Deep Creek at 8:15 to make the final run home. Marc peels off on 81 in PA to take some back roads to his home in NJ, while I continue to run on slab to get back to Scarsdale. Arrive home at 3:30.
Summary. Total 2089 miles in six days. Ride for 47.5 hours. This was the longest motorcycle trip and one of the most enjoyable rides I have ever taken. Marc is an accomplished riders and a great riding companion. Looking forward to Catskillcade.