27 September 2010

Trip Report: Camping with Cruzman Day 3

Sunday, 20 Sep 2010:  Dragon Torture and Hwy 28 Bliss
After deciding to pay for an extra night at the campground so we wouldn't have to hurry to break camp and ride with loaded bags, we planned to hit the Dragon and Hwy 28 toward Bryson City, NC.  When we were up that way during the FZ1 Rally, I rode through there going to Fontana and wanted to be sure to hit it again when we were in the area.  I made sure I packed my things before kyfa25 got there to make departure as easy as possible but I was still moving a little slow in the morning.

Cruzman and kyfa25 took off to get change so we could pay for the extra day while I got my shtuff together and was ready to go by the time they returned.  We went back to CROT, planning to stop long enough to secure cameras before our Dragon Run.  However, when I turned around, kyfa25 had disappeared and I remembered something about the bathroom.

In the meantime, we watched a Harley puke fluids all over the place and I talked trash with some fellow FZ1 riders from Michigan, I think.  They weren't there for the FZ1-Forum rally either.  In fact, we still hadn't come across any of those guys but did meet several people on FZ1s!  I heard warnings about the LEOs waiting just as you passed the long curve and we passed those along to the new guys, all the while talking trash about who would get up the mountain first.  They went inside and had breakfast and still no kyfa25.

I guess that Mexican food from the night before was haunting him.  He finally re-appeared with a steaming cup of coffee.  But none for me!!  I was the one who had trouble getting going and he comes out with coffee.  I was really tempted to get a cup while we waited for him to finish, no need to rush him now, but I didn't instead focusing on getting the camera just right and trying to find a spot for one of the other cams before giving it to Cruzman with the 180° to try on his tank mount.

Eventually we were ready to leave, not long after the Michigan guys rolled out so we were effectively chasing them up the hill.  It didn't take long for us to catch up though, the LEOs were giving them a performance award!

I kind of felt bad for them and hoped my ribbing wasn't the cause of their situation.  It was a torturous ride behind the SUVs and put me in a sour mood.  All weekend, we'd been behind courteous drivers.  In fact, every time I've been in the area, driver courtesy reigned.  I guess I was spoiled and all the bad things I'd heard about the Dragon came true on this on ride.  Even worse, when I got to the top I discovered my camera hadn't gotten any of it on video!  Cruzman thought he hadn't either but luckily he did.  It's too bad, watching Cruzman trying to get those guys to pullover was hilarious!  I nearly crashed I was laughing so hard.  When he passed them, I expected him to disappear after telling him I didn't want to pass.

It was worse on the way back as we never found a spot to pass and the guy pulled over right at the state line.  I'd gotten so used to following them, I nearly pulled over too!

After another slow ride, I skipped CROT and decided to have my way with Highway 28.  I figured all the LEOs were on the Dragon and chose to let loose leaving all those who wanted to try to keep up.  It was a blast!!  The rear Angels were finally getting to be consistent and stopped the little slides in some curves that had me questioning my tire choice.  I guess I finally got the new off of that part of the tire.

On the way down, Cruzman suggested we give kyfa25 the cold shoulder for wanting to ride the Dragon again and getting coffee and generally causing our pain so when I pulled over at Fontana's, I did just that.  I tried to look mean and pretended to be all mad.

He said something about an awkward silence but after a phone call, I couldn't keep up the charade and warmed up after coaxing lunch and some stickers out of him!  After a quick snack, we were off heading south on 28 to get to the really good part.  We all opened our bikes up a bit on the long straight part that leads to Hwy 19 before stopping to gas up at the BP near our turn.

Then it was on to the good part.  I was so excited, I forgot to turn on the camera but let's just say it was as good as I remembered, except for the parts where they'd repaired the road (with no warning signs) that were a little slick.  We were passed by a local rider soon after the turn off, but somewhere along there I re-discovered my riding form and forgot about all the issues I'd been having all weekend long.  In fact, I can spend a whole weekend on that part of 28.  We turned around at the bridge as planned and ran it in reverse back to 19 before stopping for a break at the same BP.

While we were there, two Gen 2 owners pulled in to fill up.  You guessed it, they weren't there for the FZ-1 Forum Meet either.  They were pretty local to the area and really nice guys.  We lingered their for a while before heading back to break camp and the long ride home.

I finally figured out a way to get that sleeping bag on without it being so tall!

This is a much better setup than I rode up with and have used in the past.

It's a keeper!
Without much fanfare, we bid farewell to our weekend home and took the quick way home.  It felt like a marathon as Baby seemed to run worse and worse then every ache I'd accumulated over the weekend decided to make itself known.  As much as I wished we could have stayed an extra day, it was good to be going home.

kyfa25's new pet!
Cruzman wanted to have dinner in Dahlonega but kyfa25 had to get home.  Instead, we soldiered on to Cumming where I mentioned I wanted sushi.  Cruzman and I ended our weekend together with the best food ever!  The sushi was amazing and I wished I could was it down with a Sapporo but I was too tired and on the bike for that.  Instead I ate a sushi and sashimi combo that usually is enough food for two and part of Cruzman's hibachied chicken.  That place is definitely on the must go back to list!

Souvenir from North Carolina.

Ending mileage.
All in all it was a good trip.  Even as I type this, I'm haunted by the everlasting loop day and the failure to even get halfway through the Ambitious Ride.  Part of me wants to go back just to get it done!!

Anyway, here's some stats:

Day 1:  abt 252 miles
Day 2:  abt 213 miles
Day 3: abt 297 miles

Total:  746 miles

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer


  1. Good ride report, as usual. Thanks for doing all the hard work and putting this together.

  2. I enjoyed reading your trip report, thanks for the write-up.


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