Started off the morning looking for a place to get a new tire. A few people recommended Wheeler’s, but they didn’t answer their phone so I decided to just ride over. Arrived around 1100h, explained I needed a new rear tire. Wheeler asked what brand I wanted, I said I liked the Pirelli, but wasn’t going to be picky. He didn’t have the exact tire I was taking off, but had the Scorpion Trail I’d wanted to try anyway. For about $50 more than it would have cost me to order the tire online, he mounted, balanced (it was only a little off the first time so he spun the tire on the wheel to balance it with no weights!), and installed it. Very professional job, done quickly at a reasonable price. If you find yourself in the area (about 20 miles south of the Crossroads of Time, on US129), and need anything at all done on your bike, stop in.
With the new tire mounted, I decided I’d take a quick up and back on 129 to run it in. As I approached the NC/TN border the sky opened up, and I decided running in a brand new tire on the Dragon in the rain probably wasn’t the best idea, so I turned back. Looking at the weather map, south and east looked pretty clear, so I started out on the loop I’d plotted to include Warwoman Rd. in GA. Had I known then what I know now, I’d have run down 28, over and back on the interesting part of Warwoman Rd. (the few miles immediately off off 28, it gets mostly straight after that), and back up 28.
As it was, riding down east of Warwoman Rd. was mostly over uninspiring roads (compared to what I’ve been riding on this past week or two, anyway), and I caught up to the rain shortly before the interesting part of Warwoman Rd. so wasn’t able to fully appreciate the road. Heading north on 28, it got to the point where the lightning strikes were close enough to interfere with the bluetooth headset, then to where I was seeing and hearing the strikes a the same time, so I made the very unusual choice to seek shelter from the storm. Riding along, I noticed a waterfall off to my right, with what looked like dry pavement behind it, so I pulled in. Sure enough, the only dry ground in miles was right underneath the waterfall, so I parked the bike, took a quick photo, and sat back to wait out the storm.
After the worst of the storm had passed, I put my rain jacket on over my already soaked riding gear, mostly for the wind protection, and followed 28 back to the lodge. Arrived in time to warm up with a shower before dinner, found a couple of “our people” (a MSF instructor on a Goldwing and a geek on a K12S, a nice change after being the only riider not on a Harley or a trike for most of the week), and spent the evening shooting the shit with them. Good times.
Mileage: about 270
States: NC, TN, GA