24 May 2010

Ride Report: Taste of Sautee

22 May 2010:  Surprising the eFnWife.  274 Miles.

Cruzman and I planned to ride today not long after I received my new muffler.  I'd hoped to meet up with va_rider to get some jet work done but I found out a couple of weeks ago the day didn't work for him.  The alternate plan was to go see the eFnWife's art display at the Taste of Sautee.  After an exchange of emails, TopWop decided to join us and I put together a route that would include Wolf Pen Gap Rd and the newly re-opened Richard Russell Scenic Highway.

We decided we'd leave early.  I went to TopWop's, arriving about 30 minutes later than I planned to, and we left to meet Cruzman at Waffle House on Hwy 53 at the intersection of GA 400.  It had stormed a little the day before but by the time I left the house, the roads were drying and the clouds appeared to be moving away.  It was a little cool and I was glad I'd opted to wear a thin thermal shirt over my shirt rather than the liner.

Since we were running late, I decided to take the quickest way to the meeting point, straight up GA 20 to GA 400.  At that time of morning, there was little traffic to impede us and we arrived right around 8 a.m.  We had breakfast and decided to make a short stop at Moto400 because I needed more faceshield cleaner.  We looked at a few bikes before getting to the route I'd planned.

Right off the bat, we started having problems.  Mostly because I didn't study the full route before leaving.  The GPS kept telling me to turn around but I thought it was confused because where Waffle House is and where the GPS thought it was was two different places.  I pulled over a couple of times before I deleted some points to get the damned thing to stop telling me to turn around.  We ended up taking a more direct route to point 8 on the map.

The weather around Dawsonville was foggy or drizzly or both, nothing like the clearing skies near the house.  That meant damp roads and constantly wiping my shield so I could see.  I wish I could use something like RainX on it for situations like that.  Since it was my route, I was leading except for a short bit where TopWop's Garmin seemed to be making more sense than my iGo8.  Once we reached the town circle in Dawsonville, I resumed the lead.

I'd added Old Dial Rd to get us from 52 over to 60 to avoid going all the way to APD 515.  That was a mistake since Old Dial Rd is not paved.  It's not the first time I've made that mistake.  I did the same thing shortly after returning home and ended up with a flat tire on my VX800.  I didn't realize the mistake until we were on Macedonia Rd and the pavement ended.  I suspected it a little before when we were passed by dual sports.  We took a break for me to adjust the route before proceeding around the unpaved road.

After deleting some more points, we were back on the road only to find the Ranger School and more dirt roads.  TopWop had enough, and it was around 11 so we decided just to go straight to Sautee.  The actual route to Sautee:

Coming back down Hightower Church Rd, they were drying out and we finally had a chance to really enjoy the roads.  The sun was coming out bringing warmer temps so we took a break to shed layers and gas up.  Then it was back on the road after checking in with the family.

Then, I applied the lessons I learned while attending the MrsTwisty school of photography:
TopWop and Cruzman still trust me enough to keep following me to Sautee.  At least we didn't go down any wet gravel roads.

This next one was so bad, I was going to delete it until I saw headlights in the bottom right corner:

We planned to surprise the eFns by showing up and bragging about what a wonderful morning it was to ride and too bad they were stuck hawking wares at the festival.  But instead, TopWop couldn't resist telling eFnJustRide that I'd learned all the lessons in the eFnRideLeader book.

After eating lunch with the eFns, TopWop decided to go right home and David and I decided we'd go to Wolf Pen Gap Rd so he could practice some of the things he'd been reading on riding techniques.  He still trusted me to get us where we were going so I led us to Wolf Pen Gap.

We stopped once along the way to setup our video cameras just before the good bits of 129.  I saw a gopher along the side of the road peeking out of the grass but there was no way I could get a photo of it before he ducked back down and was out of sight.  The car traffic was a little heavy as there was a lot of stuff going on in the area.

The skies were clearing and the temps were rising.  Just as we passed Vogel SP, when the road is under the trees and starts getting twisty, a passing rider warned us of Police presence.  We weren't going fast but we slowed down a little more as we passed two cruisers.  A few moments later, the Georgia State Patrol officer drove by and I wondered if he was the only one.

I didn't take any chances and we slotted behind a car when the road narrowed back to two lanes.  Wolf Pen Gap Rd was coming up in about a half a mile and despite my warning over the radio, Cruzman whizzed by me when I slowed to make the turn.

I let him get ahead of me on WPG Rd once he caught up again and no sooner than we'd gotten started, a Jeep then a following Biker warned us of more police presence.  It turned out that there was an over turned pick up truck on the opposite side of the road.  We wicked it up a little after passing the wreck and enjoyed a pretty clear road ahead until we passed the lake when we picked up traffic.

We decided to turn around and go back to the Scenic Area for a short break to cool off.  This little guy was waiting for us when we arrived:

It was nice and cool under the trees.  I checked my camera to see what kind of video I had and discovered I'd only taken about 13 mins of video and none of it was on WPG.  It was a little disappointing but I noticed how the camera was affected by the wind where it is on my chin bar and suspect that might be why the video is cutting off.

Cruzman with Stella and Baby:

Self Portrait:

After that brief but necessary respite, we left going towards Suches to ride 60 south and go home.  We were slowed by traffic again but overall it was a nice day.  I learned a couple of things:  I need to study the route before I try to follow it and I will try to move the camera to the top of my helmet in an attempt to get longer video.

I was home right at 6 p.m. for another 12 hour day, but boy what a day!!

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer


  1. I ride for 2 hours in circles, and I miss one turn and it gets mentioned here.... :) It was a fun day. Thanks for putting together the route.

  2. Hey, I mentioned the 2 hours in circles here. And you missed two turns, except if I'd followed you the first time, we wouldn't've ridden in circles for 2 hours! Still would've turned around on Old Dial Rd though.


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