20 November 2011

Ride Report: Riding in Circles

19 Nov 2011: Going to Cheaha

Cruzman and I tried going to Alabama this earlier this year with bad results.  I was thinking that I wanted to have a successful  trip there this year when he asked where I wanted to go for the ride.  At the time we planned it, I thought I'd have the new front end and this would be a test.  Some unexpected emotions delayed that install and made this ride even more important for me.  I needed to ride.


It's the time of year for shorter days so we decided to meet as early as possible to take advantage of most of the daylight.  This time, I'd be meeting him on his side of town.  I had to leave the house around 6 to be sure to get there for our 7:30 a.m. rendez-vous at Waffle House.  The sun was barely up when I got there a little after 7.

New Glove Liners
The night before I'd eagerly checked the weather forecast hoping for chilly weather so I could get a long day in with the new glove liners and remade heat controller.  A storm blew through the area earlier in the week insuring I'd have my wish.  Forecast was 10% chance of rain, sunny skies, morning temps in the 30s, highs in the 60s.  Perfect!

I'd also changed where I mounted my gps and was getting used to the new location.  It's not so bad so it's likely to stay there.

Re-boxed Controller
By the time we left Waffle House, I expected to see the sun shining and relatively clear skies.  I didn't.  What I saw was a sky filled with thin white ripplely looking clouds and no indication of sun light.  They weren't dark clouds so I wasn't concerned about rain.  Cruzman had said something about hurrying to the playground and surprised me by suggesting taking interstate there.

New cockpit.  Re-boxed controller is
right of glove controller on tank bag.
I'd already been on the interstate for an hour to get there so it didn't bother me.  Sometimes interstate is necessary.  In this case more so because Cruzman discovered he hadn't loaded the route he planned.  Undeterred, we bundled up again and soon enough were fighting traffic leaving Georgia.  I don't know where those people were going but I was glad to see them leaving.  Hopefully they won't be back to terrorize our roads any more.  It was a harrowing ride but I was nice and warm.  I had both the glove and jacket liner going so 40 degrees at 75 mph wasn't too bad.

We went back in time and before long we were getting out of danger and heading for Cheaha Mountain State Park.  The last time we were there, I was getting the last ride out of a rear tire.  This time, it was the last ride for the front.

After the last ride where I did more stopping to fix equipment problems and no picture taking, I wanted to be sure to get some pics and maybe even video on this ride.  I made sure Cruzman knew and he stopped at the first overlook for me to get the cams positioned.


It was really cold up there!  The wind was pretty strong and the sun had yet to make much of an appearance.  I was beginning to think the forecast was wrong!  I was also wondering if my cheapie cams would like the cold weather.  Before we even got started, I knew one didn't and had to change cams on the front mount.

As soon as we pulled out of the overlook, I could see the front cam bouncing and knew any video wouldn't be barely watchable.  I was right.  It's so bad I'm not even going to bother processing it.  I took some snapshots from it before deleting it.  It may be time to finally consider spending more money for the cams.  I hate to do it because I like the cheapie ones so much.

Getting up there, the road surface was iffy and once we were truly on the road it only improved for maybe a mile or two.  Most of the time it was this
or worse.  For a few minutes the road does improve, but don't get too comfortable.

Cruzman said we'd stop at the state park sign but shortly after that we passed it.

We did stop and take pics at a sign.

Cruzman took a pic of me with his camera next to the sign. (Hint hint, upload your photos!)

After that brief photo stop, we continued on Hwy 281.  We saw a lot of this

My guess is people were hunting for their Thanksgiving meats.  Too bad I don't have a bow or I might have been tempted to try it myself.  I don't know how I'd strap a deer or turkey to the bike for the ride home though.
That's not a fail, that's a Win!
Thanks to the presence of the hunters, the deer were unable to hunt us.  I saw four-legged wildlife the whole day.  I didn't even see trucks with their deer strapped to them or in a trailer behind.  I hope the hunters got lucky.  To that end, we passed a deer processing place and the parking lot was kind of empty.

We were hunting roads not Thanksgiving dinner!  We stopped to gas up and Cruzman put something in his gps.  He said he knew some other roads around there and would let TomTom get us there.  We rode through some scenic country ending up in Linville where he wanted to get is bearings.  We pulled into a Subway parking lot so that he could.

Somebody opened the door and I was smacked in the nose with the smell of fresh baked bread.  At least we knew where to have lunch.  

After lunch, Cruzman told me we were going to Green-something or other so we could find the Talledega Scenic Highway. (Now go back and look closely at the pics.)

Not long after we got started, my Subway lunch was making me sleepy.  Cruzman must have sensed it because he pulled into Piggly Wiggly so I could take a power nap and he could consult with TomTom. We had to turn around and go back through Linville.

"It's on the map in my phone, but I can't find it on the TomTom."
There's a reason to upgrade the maps in your gps every year or two.  TomTom couldn't tell Cruzman where he wanted to go so we had to stop a couple of three times for him to check the map on his cell phone.


I love seeing cows

What's A WI Trail?
Since TomTom was failing, when we saw the sign that had a cruiser on it and read "A WI Trail" we followed the road.  It took us back where we'd just came from but it was a nice detour.  We rode through all kinds of terrain and saw plenty of farms, forest, and small cities--all the stuff the South is known and loved for.

We ended up in Talledga where we stopped for a pottie break and to decide where to go next.  We decided to go back to Cheaha and rode it the other direction from what we had in the morning
before taking the backroads home.  After leaving Cheaha, I glanced at my gps and saw "Talledaga Scenic Highway".  Heck, we'd been on it all day while we were looking for it!

It was a fantastic day!  The sun did finally break through and temps warmed into the forecasted range.  I was even able to take off the heated liners for a bit before the sun went down.  On the way home, we passed the scene of our accident, this time with no incidents.

I basically dropped Cruzman off at his front door after about 360 miles for him then made my way back to the interstate for another 40 or so miles.  I finished the day with 443 miles!  Perfect.

Here's where we went though I can't tell you which direction we started or ended it because we were unintentionally riding in circles.
Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer


1 comment:

  1. Wow talk about getting dinged for my "Old GPS" lol. It wasn't exclusively the GPS's fault, it was my fault for leaving my route at home. Even if the Tom Tom had the latest routs, it probably would not have include the Talladega Scenic Highway name. Tom Tom only gives you County Road numbers and stuff. And we only went to Linville once. :)

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