30 September 2011

Trip Report: There and Back, Day 2

10 Sep 2011
The Skyway, Road to Nowhere, and Hwy 28

The night before, Cruzman said he wanted to go to the Road to Nowhere.  Great!  Now what do we do with the morning?  The Road to Nowhere is maybe a half an hour from where we were camped at Cheoah Point Campground.  There's always the Skyway, so it was off to Tellico Plains early.

Alright, early enough.  I love my Multiguage (MG) and couldn't help telling Cruzman little details about what was happening with my bike, like the morning started with temps in the 60s and dipped into the 50s along the way to the Skyway.  I was grateful that I did get the heated grips working a little better.  Still not much heat on the brake side but with the hand guards on, it was bearable.

It was the perfect morning for riding too.  There were very few clouds in the sky and other than the dip in temps as we went around the lake, the temp was perfect.  We were both getting the feel for our suspension.  Cruzman did his front forks a few weeks ago and also the R6 shock mod.  His problem was still getting his front end dialed in the way he wanted while mine remained figuring out adjustments on the back.

After a tip from bigdave on the FZ1-forum suggesting I go to 3 on the compression.  He was right!  I really liked the changes but there was still something a bit off.  Riding without luggage, I was able to figure out that I needed to soften some things.  My new settings are 3 on the preload, 14 clicks on the rebound, 4 turns on the fast compression, and 16 clicks on the slow compression.  Seems to work well but my rear tire is getting near the end of it's life so there really was no point in trying to go further until I get new rubber.  We made those changes at the usual midway stop, where the bathroom is.

There were a lot of people about taking advantage of the beautiful day.  There were two ladies hiking with their pup, a guy and his mom on a Goldwing, some Canucks headed back to Canada, and some pirates pulled in as we were pulling out.  I think Cruzman talked to all of them!  I wasn't much in the talking mood, especially after I saw the puppy.  The only thing I could think about then was

and how he'd jumped out of the car to get to me in Kmart and must be really pissed off that I wasn't at home with him.  I knew better than to get puppy on me too!

The changes I made to the suspension were definitely in the right direction.  Now I just needed new rubber to be sure and that would happen when I got home and could use my new to me tire changer (after I bought new rubber).

We got a snack at the Cherohala Market in Tellico and hung around a bit before heading back across the Skyway to Hwy 28.  Boy how I like that road!  The views are spectacular and it's just the right kind of challenging.  Not the tightness and claustrophobic feel of the Dragon.  They've recently done some repaving or painting on the Tennessee side so we were a little careful in case it was slick like fresh pavement can be.

Instead of taking the Skyway all the way in to Robbinsville, we took the Joyce Kilmer turn off so we could come out farther up on 129.  We stopped at the Gap store to ogle bikes before taking Hwy 28 to Bryson City where we ate at the Filling Station for lunch.  We both had the Cuban sandwiches and dawdled in front of the Station for a bit.

We saw a variety of cars rolling through town and I marveled at the amount of traffic since I knew that road went no where.

After lunch we went to the end of the road to No Where.  I didn't bother with pics and Cruzman didn't want any.  I guess he just wanted to say he'd seen it.  After gasing up, we left Bryson City with the intention of taking Hwy 28 South to Tellico Road and that to Wayah RD.

On the map, Tellico Rd changes to Otter Creek Rd and the whole thing appears to be paved. That's only on the map.  When the road changes names, the pavement ends as the road continues to wind though what appears to be someone's yard.  When we reached the yard, I decided we should turn around.  Perhaps there was a turn I'd missed or something.

I hadn't.  We doubled back to HWY 28 and once we reached pavement, I started to hear a noise coming near my feet.  I didn't know what it was but I stopped in the middle of the bridge and demanded Cruzman ride Baby to see if he heard the noise or could tell what it was.

After a bit of diagnostic trips back and forth on the bridge, he determined the chain was loose and went about tightening it.  Then he said the bearings looked worn and would need replacing soon.  He tightened the chain and the noise went away, kind of.  By the time we got back to 28/74, it was back.  We resolved to take a closer look at it once we got back to camp.

The late-ish lunch in Bryson City meant neither one of us were that hungry as the sun was beginning to drop out of the sky.  We ended up getting sandwiches to take back to camp in case we (I) got hungry later.

Fortunately when we got back to camp, our neighbors were still up so we didn't need to worry about making too much noise or taking Baby to the shower where there was no one around to disturb.  With a few flashlights we could see the chain was loose once again.  Cruzman said he'd tighten it in the morning since we knew what the problem was.

Doing all that, I worked up an appetite and finished my sandwich before taking a shower and going to bed.  We were going to have an early morning, Cruzman said something about seeing sunrise on the Foothills Parkway!

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

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