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Hadn't done a longer trip with Ms. G on the back, so we took off for the weekend. Lightly loaded the bike, but were still probably close to the GVWR. Dunlop 404s at 36/40. First real test of stock pipes.

Beautiful on Saturday. Rode from Friendsville to Walland, TN on Rt. 321, then took off on the relatively unknown great bike road E. Miller's Cover/Walden Creek to Pigeon Forge. Narrower and narrower, twisty road. Surprise, scraped a peg on one corner. Began to feel out how the bike works laden. She was leaning to ride on this bike, too.

Ran into Pigeon Forge. Not too bad. Light traffic, relatively speaking. I think dressing in lurid green must help. Had a burger at Hardees, then continued on the Parkway towards Gatlinburg. Everyone speeds so much. It's simply stupid - way outdriving their sight lines. Took the bypass over to 441, the route through the Great Smokies to Cherokee. Up and up and up and up. Bike kept running better. Stunning scenery. Up into red spruce territory. Stopped at Newfound Gap. Got ignored, pointedly, by a Harley couple. And then popped up to Clingman's dome. Parking lot somewhere around 6400 ft. Incredible views!

Popped down the hill through wonderful curves down towards Cherokee, in NC. Stopped at the visitor's center to watch Elk graze, tourists go nuts, traffic stopping, rangers flashing lights, all the usual entertainment. Orange cones along the edge of the road - what do these people think they mean, marking off parking spaces?!?

Anyway, bike handled all that great. So we turned onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Wonderful 3rd gear climb up and up again. I rode the whole parkway on a bicycle once, 1976. Pretty cool!

Popped off the Parkway at Rt 19 and dropped down the amazingly steep road into Maggie Valley. Got a room at the Chalet. Very bike friendly. Hose to wash things off, towels for drying the bike, hot tub, king bed. Highly recommend.

Then to the ABC store for some refreshments, and on to J. Arthur's for dinner. Almost worth driving to Maggie Valley for that alone - great place!

In the morning, ate at Joey's Pancake House. DON'T miss it!! Wow.

Then up 276 through up and up twisties in 3rd. Along the Parkway to Richland Balsam at over 6000 ft. Wow. Views of Looking Glass Rock, where I used to climb.

Eventually found our way to the Great Smoky Mountain Parkway and headed over to 64 - amazing mountain road, goes on forever.

Turned right a Murphy on 129, and rode home across the Dragon. Really got more of a feel for the 2 up Volusia on the Dragon. Handles very well! The sport bikers were a big of a pain, but I'm slower. Difficult when the speed limit is 30, I can hit 45, and the sport bikers are hitting 60.

Anyway, got to the Tallassee Store. Put the liner back in my jacket - then raced the setting sun home to Friendsville. Many curves, beautiful sky, increasing cold. And finally into the driveway and home.

Great trip, wonderful bike. I'm impressed. 366 miles of rural driving in the mountains!
 

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Sounds like you had an excellent weekend trip!!!! I miss the Pigeon Forge/ Gatlinburg/ Smokey Mountains....I am originally from the Cumberland Gap area right on the Tennessee /Kentucky/ Virginia line.
 

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I'm jealous.
I only get up there once a year. Beautiful scenery. Awesome roads.
 

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Thanks for the story! Just got back from Sevierville end of October. Unfortunately we took the cage but we still had fun. I have been there on a motorcycle three times (HD Sportster and Road King) Looking forward to riding the C50 there next year hopefully. I had hoped to ride my 07 S40 there at least once but I ran into a great deal on a C50 so I traded it. I have rode on most of the roads you are speaking of so it brings back great memories. Ride safe!
 

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Gazoo09 said:
Thanks for the story! Just got back from Sevierville end of October. Unfortunately we took the cage but we still had fun. I have been there on a motorcycle three times (HD Sportster and Road King) Looking forward to riding the C50 there next year hopefully. I had hoped to ride my 07 S40 there at least once but I ran into a great deal on a C50 so I traded it. I have rode on most of the roads you are speaking of so it brings back great memories. Ride safe!
A few of us ride up in September for a week.
 

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dixieblueyez said:
Sounds like you had an excellent weekend trip!!!! I miss the Pigeon Forge/ Gatlinburg/ Smokey Mountains....I am originally from the Cumberland Gap area right on the Tennessee /Kentucky/ Virginia line.
Led a ride to the Gap last weekend. It was fantastic. Stopped at Webb's Country Kitchen on the way out. Great place to eat.

A bunch of the same guys put a ride together to Maggie Valley this weekend, but we had some other plans already made. I was bummin the whole weekend to have missed it. Sounds like you had a great ride over there voldigicam. Talked to a bud tonight that went on the trip and he said they had a great time. About 10 bikes. They went to the bike museum over there, I really wanted to see that.

Glad you enjoyed the trip. Isn't it great to live smack dab in the middle of God's country? I am truly thankful.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We were going to see the museum, but ended up in the hot tub instead. So we'd be nice and warmed up for the cool ride! That's my excuse.

We didn't intend to do 64, but I got turned around. Once we were on it, well. Fabulous road, so we ran it out. The kids didn't mind. Kept us out of their hair a little longer.

The Volusia was excellent for the parkway. 3rd & 4th on the way uphill, 4th & 5th downhill usually. 3rd was like an automatic transmission for many of the twisties. I could tell we were heavy for the machine, but keeping the revs up and it all worked fine.

Only thing that concerns me is the obvious load on the rear tire. I can see we were wearing it a little. I suppose riding 2 up will tear through tires. Front tire ran just barely warm. Rear tire was pretty warm - not hot, though.

I notice the chicken bands are very narrow now, so I suppose the twisties spread the wear out some!

I was sort of surprised to not tap the footpegs on the Dragon - I wasn't aggressive, but the turns are fairly tight. The bike seems to have a greater lean angle than I realized.

My only real worry was the Dragon. It's technical, and many users treat it as a private racetrack. So I'm more worried than I should be, and tend to crawl around the blind corners. Tiring. But often there are semis, sport bikes, cars, trucks, bears, etc around the blind corners! This time, just one cruiser on the double yellow leaning in, a pickup using 2 feet of our lane, and LEOs at the overlook. Fortunately, I wasn't speeding, so no trouble.
 

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You couldn't have had a better weekend for it!!!! I have been working 5- 12 hour days and 2-8 hour days for a few weeks,.. Plus a bout with the flu last week. Good story and I'm jealous!!!!

Doug
 

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An awesome story! Thanks for sharing. A great area to ride indeed.

I have an online friend who lives in Friendsville who is an avid bicycle rider. His name is Steve Perry. He also sells and repairs violins, mandolins, and guitars. His business is called Gypsy Jazz Guitars.

Do you happen to know him?

Jeff
 

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I am him. Gianna Violins & gypsyjazzguitars.

Didn't recognize me in the pictures?!?
 

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voldigicam said:
I am him. Gianna Violins & gypsyjazzguitars.

Didn't recognize me in the pictures?!?
^^^ Now that right there's funny :lol: ^^^

BTW Steve, you and the wife should come back over to Maggie for the Redneck Rally. Usually on Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. It's at the Applecover Motel, owned by a VR member, Derrick and his wife Amy. It's just up the street from the pancake house where you had breakfast.

It's a great time and maybe you could play a few tunes along with PopCycle.
Some of the folks who come, are from around your area too.
 
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