Friday, September 30, 2011

Outlaw, Karla and Smash do BRR!

BRR is the "Blue Ridge Ride," an annual gathering of friends and this was it's 7th year! It has always been held along the Blue Ridge Parkway, previously in Virginia and this year in Maggie Valley, NC! We had been planning and saving for this trip for months, it was also Karla's first trip on her own bike! On to the report:

3,820 miles per the GPS of riding, although we did do a 2 up day ride on Roofer's wing that isn't counted in that total. All those miles were on our own bikes. 13 states. Heat, rain, a few funnel clouds (RUN AWAY!!!). Great friends, a dream come true having Karla there. July 22-Aug 1.

The trip out!

Met up at Outlaw's house after we were all packed and finally off work. Thankfully it was to be a short day:

McDonald's for dinner, and of course we all supplied our own wet bar.

The bikes had some company, up and ready to go with the sun to try and beat some heat.

On a gas station door somewhere in Kansas...

We were VERY happy we left early... If we hadn't we would've been waiting for the escort car on the one lane road (in a few places) in the worst heat of the day!

After 630 miles of middle America backroads, time for dinner. MUCH better than McDonalds!

The collective thoughts on 630 miles of middle America backroads....

It's rather amazing how much easier late nights and early mornings are on the way out compared to the way back...

I had spent the whole trip so far dodging birds... From sparrows to robins to HAWKS. Kept me awake and provide loads of entertainment for the two numb nuts following me. Karla had a different animal attracted to her.

Stopped for some gas and a pee break after a particularly excellent set of Arkansas twisties. Smiles all around!

This is the first trip I've done where I didn't camp, but stayed in motels. Oh man oh man... If you want to hit the best roads but have to get across the country in decent time, this is the way to do it! I can't imagine having to setup and take down tents every day, plus trying to get any sleep in that heat would've been a joke. Thanks Outlaw!

The brand-new rider and almost worn-out bike.

Just as Outlaw was opening the door to the room, Karla managed to wing her glove at him, smacking him right in the face! The room was dark and Outlaw was wondering what the heck came out of the room and smacked him!! I missed it, but got the shot of Karla laughing so hard she couldn't stand up.

Our last day? Well, rain. The last 150 miles or so for sure. We didn't mind, it cooled things off. Karla and Outlaw got loads of wet road experience and were happy for it after it was all said and done! Outlaw was the only one of us that bothered with rain gear. Karla and I just welcomed the soaking and cooling temps!

The whole trip out was 2 laners... less than 100 miles of interstate.

Dano had something special waiting for Outlaw! LOL. For those that don't know, one of John's (Outlaw) nickname's is The Most Interesting Man in the World, based off those XX commercials.

and DANG was this place beautiful!

We found our room (saaweet!)

Karla blew up Dano's friend for the week

It felt like we woke up on a movie set!

This is a great place for breakfast... But my body would only allow me the mistake of eating there ONCE! Whew, that was some serious sausage gravy!

This freaked me out every time I opened the door all week....

The XJ (Karla's bike) was in need of some love, so we spent Tuesday gathering parts, running errands and fixing in the "garage."

What's wrong with this picture....

Our patch job held until Kentucky on the way home! Thanks to Jersey for making an AutoZone run for us.

Time for some fun!

Wednesday Outlaw, Karla and I headed out for some twisties and to add South Carolina to our ride map!

At our gas stop there was a lady in need of assistance.... Outlaw and I were pretty much falling over each other.... I bet Karla was laughing her ass off behind the camera...

A local suggested a "big filling station just down the road" for lunch... This was it... No gas either... Tasty though!

We HAD to stop for a photo op!

Big Bird and a few folks go to work on Outlaw's front end, tightening and greasing the steering head bearing. He's had trouble with it for MONTHS, a huge thank you!!

Sabrerdr and Jetman make such a lovely couple

The guys had a few surprises up their sleeve....

Totally still usable!!

Miss you buddy.... Thanks for keeping an eye on us. This pose is in memory/honor of our friend Jerrimy that was killed by a reckless driver in Dec '08.

On the dragon are several professional photographers. It's a great, world renowned road for bikes, sports cars, anyone that wants some twisties! Here are a few samples of Karla and I!


The tin sign? A gift for a good friend of ours for his birthday, him and his fiance were not able to come on the trip.

Ran into these hooligans....

Beautiful spot for a break, and figure out how we were getting home

That night we got Kings Cup rolling, a great drinking game.... A small group at first quickly built up as folks realized when I said "kings cup is starting!" I really meant it!

Never have I ever.....

Skull sorting out how to NOT break the circle... (if he does he has to drink the pitcher)

Dum dum here burnt his fingers trying to move a log in the fire.

Skull was happy to show him proper safety gear.


Later that night....

Your turn Phil! Many might remember me getting my black ST1100 wrapped excessively in industrial saran wrap.... Phil did it! So it was my turn this year to "retaliate." It's a very friendly, fun game.
The next morning....

Had a few presents for tractor boy as well....

Looks like more than just our little group was busy last night.

Roofer was kind enough to switch bikes with us for the day, so Karla and I joined the "slow" group for a great ride on Friday! Karla was impressed with the comfort, handling and speed of the GL1500.... She even took a nice 45min nap back there! Did get some good giggles out of her when I raised the front wheel shifting on a nice straight-away....

Now for most of the video and many of the pics... Pretty much any of it that's looking straight ahead... Karla is standing up on the floorboards!

Yep, I like this wing...

Took some practice for Karla to get these shots with those armrests! Not that she was complaining, she had a great nap!

Yep.... That didn't go as well as I'd hoped....

TJ took us to quite a few waterfalls. Neat!

We backed off and slighshotted quite a few times. I bet Jersey was laughing seeing a shrinking, then rapidly growing, GL1500 in his mirrors....

The look on Roofer's face!!!

TJ asked me to lead home... Yikes! These guys ride a LOT slower than I am used to. Evidently in my fear of going to fast, I actually went to slow!

It really was a great ride!! HUGE THANK YOU to Roofer for letting us use his wing and TJ for continuing to be an incredible ride captain.

The morning we meant to leave I was off in search of a tire, but not before we saw this on Karla's bike!! (leaking petcocks caused all the spots on the ground... Gas, not oil)

Pulled out of Maggie Valley in pouring down rain.... Got a good few miles down the road before I realized...

We slabbed the whole first day due to time constraints, then decided as a group to stay on interstate the whole way home. The heat was rough!

We did have to stop somewhere in Kentucky to fix the exhaust again... More muffler tape (applied correctly this time, we were doing it wrong before, whoops) and some wrenches and she held together the rest of the trip.

Great place to escape the heat for a bit, plus Outlaw had never been to one.

Another heat break, plus the nasty wind in Kansas had the Sabre's getting 100 miles at reserve.

Sympathetic convenience store owners pointed us to the beer cooler. Ooooooooooo that's nice.

Lots of this at every stop.

With a later start (oh the sleep felt GOOD) and lots of heat/gas breaks, we pulled into KC at sunset.

Snuck the bikes as quiet as we could to my cousin Christie's house. she and the kids were out of town, her husband Brooke came out to say hello then hit the sack (his work day starts early!)

Completely pillaged their kitchen and made sandwiches...

Our planned early start was thwarted by the front shocks on the XJ not wanting to take air. We were soaked with sweat at 5am working on it.

Last pic of the trip!

We hit some heavy, cool rain about an hour or two outside of Castle Rock. Karla's bike doesn't like rain. The headlight goes haywire, and this time the kickstand kill switch activated. Her quick thinking kept her safe and moving. I pray next year we will have her on something a smidge more reliable!

Great trip!!