It all started with
two...two guys...two bikes...too many days not spent
on said two bikes...then it went down to one...one
trailer...one truck...one blistering jump on one
Friday to get to one starting point...then it went
to many...many twisty roads...many other riders...many
stops...many hours of fab saddle time with many
miles covered at the speed in need indeed...and
best of all, many reasons to go back...!...
to start with, here speaketh John McKinnon on the
travels and travails...
"When we pulled into Helen, Friday night, after
driving as if shot from a cannon from an old fort
in Savannah, the temp was frigid and we began to
question our sanity! Under usual circumstances,
we would be up and out early the next morn. Butttt,
this trip, we decided to let the ole thermometer
dictate our start. Arising around 8ish, sauntering
around Helen for a good hearty mountain breakfast
and giving the sun a chance to do its thing, we
were ready to roll about 9ish. Thermals, glove liners,
neck wrap, heat generated from digesting aforementioned
vittles and we were gone...
We first ignited on to the Richard Russell Parkway,
a.k.a. the Richard Russell Raceway ( Scott Russell's
former stomping grounds). What started as a brisk
pace, became a cautious pace, as morning shadows
and gravel in some corners had the sphincter muscles
getting a workout!
Off the Parkway, we headed west on highway 180 ,
A.K.A. Wolfpen Gap Road, towards Suches, home of
T.W.O.. You know the road ahead is like that big
ole sinful triple dip sundae with all the trimmings,
when the sign reads: Warning: extreme curves next
5 miles! Your pulse quickens, pupils constrict,
thigh muscles draw legs tight againsn't metal monster
beneath you and right wrist gets mind of its own.
After 1st few curves, you regain that distinctive
feeling you last had on such roads: >>I am
on my on personal roller coaster ! ! !<< Next
thing you know, we're in the ZONE and oblivious
to anything and everything in our world except maintaining
our rubber patch on our roller coasters guides.
Half way through this journey, whilst still in the
ZONE, our ZONE was disturbed: a caravan of approximately
20 plus Toyota Spyders ( apparently a club activity
) with tops down heading in the opposite direction,
caused the ole sphincter muscles to remind us they
still could control our entire being. I radioed
to Craig my concern which he shared: I hope none
of their entourage drifts over yellow on one of
the blind, decreasing, off-camber 180 degree road
patches called a turn! Later in the day, we also
encountered a BMW Z3 rally of some 30+ participants
in Helen proper, and an entourage of some 15+ Morgans
( What a Sight ! ) on 180 on our pass back through
towards Richard Russell Parkway.
At T.W.O. we spied the 999s as we pulled in and
immediately parked next to it, as there were 2 spaces
available, obviously meant for two yellow family
members. The gent riding the 999s was in the process
of still breaking in and wasn't able to give a lot
of feedback, except that it was way different from
his Monster 900.
Leaving T.W.O. we headed towards Dahlonega on 60
and hung a left on 19 towards Turners Corner. This
months American Motorcyclist highlighted the cafe
know as Turners Cafe located at Turners Corner.
We were too anxious to keep riding to stop at that
time and eat, so we just let the yellow beasts keep
eating instead!! We blasted back around to Brasstown
Bald mountain top, turned around at parking lot
at top and blasted back to Helen for lunch at an
Alpine style restaurant that has ONLY motorcycle
parking spaces marked off in front. One man band
playing outside, while we're sitting under umbrella
covered table, sipping ice-cold sweet tea, stretching
our legs, admiring the scenery, temperature as perfect
as it gets, What A Day !!
One more quick loop around aforementioned roads,
passing all the Appalachian Trail gaps crossing
the road, Blood Mountain, Vogel State Park, rapid
creeks running alongside the roads, trout ponds
in valley vistas, roadside stands hawking apple
cider, boiled peanuts, etc, etc, etc..... Hard to
pull back to trailer and load up, but family and
duties called. At least for a short blip in time,
we had once again allowed ourselves to escape from
all the intrusive thoughts and interruptions we
encounter in our daily existence, to totally submerse
ourselves in an activity with one primary focus:
Stay Upright on The Roller Coaster !! Craig and
I have enjoyed countless trips such as this over
the last several years and each one leaves us begging
for more and planning the next one.....
So till the next one.......
right then indeed, next fab slides please...