26 June 2017

Trip Report: FZ1OA Gen 1 FZ1 Spring Rally

15 June 17:  Departure Day.

Or the longest night.  I went to Wal-Mart around midnight to get a new camping mattress and 12v pump.  My local store didn't have the pump but they had a neat chair.  I was all packed by 1:30 a.m. but still could not sleep.  I couldn't load the bike either because Baby needed a bath badly and I was told not to show up at the rally with a filthy motorcycle.

I didn't want to damage my moto-hubby's reputation.  Although he's never washed my bike so I don't know how it would but I did as I was told.  I planned to get up as soon as the sky got light but somehow managed to finally fall asleep and when I woke, it was almost 8.  I can't find the water spout at my rental place so I had to go to the car was and be very careful with the pressure washer.

Before I could get back home, I got a text asking when I was leaving.  Let me back up.  Earlier in the week, I got a private message asking what day I planned to arrive at the rally from Cruzman.  Cruzman and Copperdog took their real wives on a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway the week before the rally

Before I left, I got at least two messages from Cruzman asking when I was leaving and what time I'd arrive.  I wasn't surprised by the text that morning but I never put the other part of it together until I got the 2nd text of the morning asking if I'd left yet and to text him when I did.  The last message said KSU from TWoS (rally headquarters) was at 12:30.  KSU?  What the...Ohhh, a group ride to lunch.

Okay, I admit it's been awhile and I hadn't been following the planning as closely as I should have been.  I got the bike loaded and was on the road by 10, which was good but at least an hour later than I really meant to leave.  I texted Cruzman to let him know I was heading that way and and estimated eta.

After a good bath, I realized how much I like my motorcycle!  Loading this time was a little different since I no longer had the tail case mounted on the seat but the 5stars rack.  I put my tent on the passenger portion of the seat and didn't really notice much difference in the location of the weight.    I barely had time to marvel over how much my moto camping setup had evolved from my very first days camping.

It was a beautiful day to be riding a motorcycle,
a little warm with blue skies full of puffy white clouds.  Typical late spring skies that can turn into late afternoon showers almost without notice.  Before if left, I made sure I had my bag of mounts and wanted to be in a photo state of mind, taking a lot of videos and stuff.  I let these thoughts filter though my mind as I made my way towards Suches.

I'll go ahead and spoil it for you...no video and very few photos as usual.

I stopped at the Racetrack on the other side of Gainesville to gas up and put water in my new hydration bladder.  There was a guy with a huge rv who offered to trade gas bills with me.  I refused and he countered by saying it was too hot to camp.  Mmm...okay.  I don't know which way he was headed but I knew where I was going I was destined to get cold in the wee hours of the morning.

I texted Cruzman and learned the lunch destination was someplace in Helen.  Since I still needed a new air mattress and pump, I decided to go to the Wal-Mart in Cleveland and meet them in Helen instead of continuing to go to Suches and feel rushed to get my tent setup.  He informed me KSU at 12:30 was not likely so I knew I had time to get what I needed and meet them in a timely manner.

Once I left Wal-Mart, I texted him again and learned they were going to my favorite spot in Helen. I was less than 15 minutes away and requested he place my usual order:  the open faced prime rib sandwich.  Yes, I know I'm supposed to be giving up bread but that is a lot easier said than done.  He also told me where they were parked but I was certain it had to be an autocorrect mistake.

I couldn't remember a troll house.  I spent the majority of the way thinking about this and new pavement.  As I left Cleveland, the pine tar snake road became freshly paved road with a passing lane.  I couldn't decide what excited me more:  opportunity to put a few cars in my rear view mirror or the fresh road.  With the cars in the rear view, the fresh road took the number 1 spot as I enjoyed it all the way into Helen.

I never saw a troll's house but the parking lot of the International Cafe was empty so I pulled in.  Cruzman met me in the parking lot, there were a lot more people in the group than I expected.  It was great to see old faces and be seen by everyone.

I'll take a moment here to comment on my Dirt Road seat.  I've been riding with it for about a year now.  My butt absolutely loves it and I know it was worth the humiliation of sitting on a Gen 2 FZ1 all those years ago to have my own second hand seat.  My knee hasn't hurt much since I got it either.  I meant to get the cover personalized but Dirt Road quit making seats before I could decide what changes I wanted.  In a way, I'm glad changes weren't made.  That thing is all day comfortable.  He said he gave the specs to someone so the seats could still be made.  For everyone else's butts I hope so.

I didn't arrive before my food but Cruzman had placed my order and only needed to know what I wanted to drink.
Yes, it was every bit as good as it looked.  Better even than I remembered and much bigger too.  This is the only reason I consider riding into Helen anymore.

After lunch, Cruzman had a plan that included 197 and 17 back toward Suches.  I slipped into the back of the line of 6 or so bikes with Cruzman in the lead and Mrses Cruzman and Copperdaog bringing up the rear in the Miata.

With temps above 85 degrees and hovering in the low 90s I had an instant reassessment of my new Bridgeston EVO S20 and T30 tires.  Tar snakes did upset them.  Not as much as the BT023s or the non EVO s20/t30s I had in the past but enough to keep me mindful of my lines.  Cruzman set a brisk pace but nothing that kept us too separated.  We had a group of riders and it was very cool to be in the back.

Somewhere on 197 as we negotiated the cars, I got separated and felt the results on being the last bike.  Some poor old lady in a white Lumina was scared to shaking by the time I got around.  I felt so bad I was busy waving apologies that I went into the next sharp curve pretty hot.  Fortunately, I've been riding enough lately to safely negotiate it without messing all over my precious Dirt Road seat.

By the time we reached the hiking store at the top of Blood Mountain, the cumulus clouds had transformed into the ones that meant rain showers were imminent.  I was also ready to head to TWoS to setup my campsite. I'd avoided being rushed just so I could take the time to get it done correctly the first time like I had at last year's rally.

Me and bmidd decided to go straight to TWoS via Wolf Pen Gap rather than risking the wrath of the rain gods by taking 129 to 19 to 60, a round about way back.  As usual from that direction, I nearly missed the turn and I'm sure bmidd wondered if I really knew where we were going.  Making the turn I noticed much darker skies and decided to pull of to put the rain cover on my tank bag.  This usually scares the clouds away but didn't really work.

It did delay the rain until we got out of the technical part of WPG, but when it came it came heavy.  We rode the last 5 or so miles in a full on deluge.  My leathers were very wet and had me rethinking the decision made two years ago to do away with my Frogg Toggs.  If I had them I wouldn't've put them on then any way.  There was no point in the weekend to come when I would have even if I had them.

The deluge didn't last too long after we got to TWoS and I was able to get the bike unloaded as the rain subsided and the blue skies returned for me to put my tent up in the wet grass.  I met friendly BMW riders from Ohio and Organ Donor on his FZ10, the bastard.  I'm not jealous one bit.  RocknFZRoll was already there too.  Wlfman and his Lady pulled in and we filled out our registrations and dropped them in the box.

As I pulled the tent out of the bag, I discovered the tarp I use for my ground cover was gone.  That meant wet grass in the vestibule and whatever bad thing happens when you set up a tent without ground cover was likely in my future.  I got the tent up correctly with the fly setup so there was an air gap between it and the inner tent meaning no wet inside tent for me.  I left the bike in the parking lot, aired up the new air mattress and got my stuff organized the way I liked.

The Ohio BMW couple gave me a Black and Tan that went down very well after the soaking and sweating and cussing that I'd just done.  RocknFZRoll's phone showed more red "shit" in the radar that made me re-think riding into Dahlonega to join the others for dinner, but bmidd and his truck came to the rescue offering a ride.

Organ Donor, bmidd, and I crammed into his little Toyota to go to dinner at Bourbon Street restaurant in the historical town square of downtown Dahlonega.  I'll just say when I hear a southerner say I have a truck, I do not think little Toyota.  It was a tight squeeze that had me grateful for my recent weight loss.  My leather pants might be baggy but I'm fairly certain I did not get pregnant despite Organ Donor's promise.

Dinner, like lunch, was amazing.  The crawfish dip and whatever else I had must not have been photogenic or so good I forgot to take a pic, likely the latter.  Dinner was awesome and I had no idea there were so many of us already there.  We filled an entire room but didn't stress the waitstaff as much as we had the last time we were all together.

A trip to the Dahlonega Wal-mart solved the ground cover issue.  Organ Donor and I managed to get it under the tent at least before heading off to the fire that never happened.  It got cold and my toes were wet because I only brought sandals for extra shoes.  I said good night and retired to my tent where I finally got a good nights sleep.

More to come...
Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer


No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog