Woke up around 0630h to pouring rain, looked at the time and went back to sleep. At breakfast, looked at a weather map and abandoned my plan to ride down into Georgia, on account of the wall of rain between me and there. While everyone was hiding out from the rain, someone put on a “how to ride the dragon” video where a guy on a Goldwing humiliated a lot of people on sport bikes, with at least 20 minutes of commentary about how people should pull to the side and let faster riders by.
Once the rain stopped, took a quick run north over 129, with the goal of lunch, a liquor store, and an ATM. Two out of three ain’t bad (the cheapest ATM I found wanted $3, and I’m not completely out of cash yet). The video apparently had an impact, every group I came upon all day waved me by within a few corners. Nice change!
Did a little bit of riding, looking for interesting roads. Nothing I found was bad, but nothing great, either. Ended up looping back around over 129, where I came across the aftermath of a low side Harley crash a few turns from the NC end, after a couple miles of people alerting me to a problem up ahead. I’d actually stopped believing there was anything going on just before coming upon the crash site. There were already more than a dozen people “helping”, so I rode through without stopping, to avoid contributing to the problem.
From 129 took 28, then ran down 28 to Cowee. The recommendation had been to take it all the way to Franklin from the four lane section, but by Cowee the road had started to straighten out and I was starting to get hungry, so I turned back. Great road, shame the fun parts are separated by 12 miles of slab. There’s probably a good way to avoid the slab part, but I hadn’t thought to look at a map ahead of time so I just sucked it up.
Arrived back at the lodge, with enough time to grab a quick shower before dinner, and noticed my rear tire was at the wear bars already, just 3600 miles in. Between the 500 mile slab day, the extra weight of carrying camping gear, and sport riding at 30+C, the rubber goes fast! I’ll be making some calls tomorrow to see if anyplace nearby can get a new tire on there for me, this one’s definitely not good for the roughly 2000 miles left in this trip, and probably not even good for the 1200 mile direct route home. I’ve had more than enough fun to justify the cost of a new tire, I just hope I find someplace that can deal with the Uly’s… eccentricities.
At dinner, I chatted with a few people about the day’s ride, and asked if anyone knew anything about the crash. Turns out some of the people I was talking with were with the group that the crashed bike was part of, but none of us knew that yet (the riding group hadn’t returned yet). Once they returned, we got a little more info, but not a lot as none of them had seen the crash. From what I’ve heard so far, it sounds like the guy went in to the left hander too hot and couldn’t keep it on the pavement. Two up, both rider and passenger taken to the hospital for X-rays, but it doesn’t sound like it was too serious beyond that. Damn shame, but it could’ve been a lot worse.
Mileage: around 260
States: NC, TN
Tomorrow, trying to find a suitable rear tire.