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Road Runner

Blog - almost like fog...?

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Road Runner



I have never written a blog but I have ridden in fog.


At the end of the year 2000 - I retired from work and decided to start a little group of retirees who had nothing to do but loved to ride motorcycles. It was an informal group after that and in 2004 I started a Yahoo Group on the Internet. That group has grown quite large since that time. We started meeting at a Wendy's Restaurant that served breakfast and continued until they decided to stop breakfast. We  moved to a nearby restaurant that allows us to use their back room for breakfast and we meet there each Tuesday and Thursday to ride generally we have Kickstands Up at 9:30.


Now for the BLOG in the FOG - Back in 2004, I led a group  total of 8 of us, Retired and Riding riders down from SW Ohio thru the Kentucky hills and into Tennessee. We stayed the night in Bristol (TN or VA) depends on which side of the line we were on. 


The next morning we rose early and rode down US 421 - it was very foggy. I could barely see the road ahead and the riders behind me stuck close. We navigated a fairly straight road until we came to South Holston Lake. The road ended up becoming more challenging as we headed for Shady Valley. Twists and turns were awesome in the foggy ride but we made it into Shady Valley and stopped for breakfast. A close friend of mine who had told me about Shady Valley and the mountains and twisty roads there on 421 lived close by at Mountain City, and he joined us for breakfast.


After breakfast, we continued on 421 crossing into North Carolina and into the area of Boone. Just outside of Boone we picked up US 221 and then on to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Guess what... yes more fog on the BRP. We rode in fog at a very slow pace and after the fog lifted we decided to get off at Soco Gap well below Asheville and head into Maggie Valley. We stayed that night at a Microtel in Maggie. The next morning, we left on Route 19 and rode over to 74 headed west and on over to Qualla and picking up RT 441 and then to RT 23 south westerly until we arrived in Franklin. Just north of Franklin we stopped for lunch at a little rustic place where we sat outside on a porch filling our stomachs with some local flavor foods. After lunch, we rode north on RT 28 (which later became known as the "Hellbender"... One rider on his Kawasaki Connie, pulled up along side of me at the intersection of US 19 and said to me ... "Lets do that again..." That was a great road back then and has been more popular in recent years. We did not do it again.


We stopped somewhere near Fontana Lake for a group photo. After the photo stop, we headed then for Deal's Gap and rode that up to Calderwood and back to Deal's Gap. From there we rode to Robbinsville and rode the Cherohala Skyway over to Tellico Plains and RT 68, and from there to Sweetwater where we stayed overnight at a Quality Inn motel. We parked around back and there was a little pond with ducks on the water and on the parking area. We ignored the ducks and found our rooms. Later we found a steak house and had a great evening talking about the events that we had experienced.


The next morning we headed out of the motel on RT 68 after having a brief breakfast and one of my riding buddies had a flat rear time after we passed I-75. Not so great!  One rider put his helmet on the white line indicating we needed assistance... We had tire plugs but no air. In search of some air a couple of us went looking for a place to get fix-a-flat.... no luck, but when we got back a guy passed by who had a compressor on the back of his truck and saved the day for us.  Back on the road we picked up US27 and heading north a little ways and onto RT68 again until we intersected RT 127. Followed 127 north past Pall Mall, TN - home of WWI hero Alvin York. There is a park there and a nice place to have a break. After a short break there we rode north again crossing into Kentucky and staying on RT 127 on some nice roads taking up through places like North Pleasureville (where was South Pleasureville?)  and passing up I-71 ending up on US 42 west to Warsaw, KY and over the Markland Dam over the Ohio River then to RT 156 following the Ohio River back to Rising Sun, Indiana and RT 56 to US 50 and back to SW Ohio where we started.


A great trip with so much to remember. Out of that group 13 years ago, 3 have passed away. two who rode Harley Davidson motorcycles and the guy with the flat tire rode a Gold Wing.


Out of the eight on the ride, 3 passed away and 2 do not ride anymore. The one single female rider is now married to one of the R & R riders and her husband had an accident on his Wing and now neither on of them ride anymore.


I am 78 years old still ride regularly and one other who wanted to "do it again on RT 28" is 82 still rides.


I miss Elmer and his Wing, Ed and Al on their Harley Davidson motorcycles. Going to try to add a photo as soon as I can find one.


Have ridden in the fog many times since but never in a blog.



aka "Road Runner"


Photo above - left to right

Me (Jim), Paul the oldest rider, Elmer now deceased, Milt, Bob (Cowboy), Al, now deceased, Judy now married no longer a rider, Ed, now deceased.





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