Be still my heart. I think I had one of THE most awesome weekends of
riding. May I share it with ya'll??
This past Friday my husband and I set out to North Carolina with some
riding buddies to attend the Cherokee Rally. I was extra excited about
this trip because I knew there were some awesome roads to travel up and
around that area. Some of my favorite places to ride too.
We all met Friday afternoon at a gas station and headed north. We had
nine bikes in all making our way up there. That is so cool to see and be
a part of! Everyone had their wives or girlfriends on back...I was the
only woman rider and the only one riding solo. My hubby was taking one
of our friend's daughters on the back....A couple of the wives on back
are ready to ride. One is waiting for a bike, the other for the courage
to ride more....
Anyway, we took the quickest way up north since daylight was winding
down. What a great feeling to strap on your chaps and leather...load a
few clothes, and head off for a weekend.
The ride up was majestic. The countryside around this area of North
Carolina is really something else...As the sun was finding its place of
setting, we set a steady pace north buzzing through the country side. It
got dark on us on the tail end of the ride. I don't see so great in the
dark and my headlight on low beam gives me little light. I felt like I
was doing my "Helen Keller" version of riding...I stayed behind the lead
rider and listened for his engine...What do I mean? Ok like we were
going around all these curves down hill...In the dark, it's tricky to
know how sharp the curves were. So I'd listen for him to downshift ...or
listen when he revved his engine accelerating in the middle of the
corner...It worked too. (I know I know not the best way to ride at
We arrived safely. Unpacked our bags and then took a spin checking out
the little town and where the rally was going to be. Not much going on
so we headed back, ate some pizza and hit the hay. I went to bed
wondering what it was going to be like to "do" the ride of my
The next morning, after a quick bite at McD's, we headed out to begin
our day of riding. That morning our group divided up into two separate
groups. Those that wanted to ride, and those that wanted to be seen
riding. <g> The younger crowd hung back while six of us (the parental
units) headed off for the day of riding....four bikes in all...
I stuck close to the lead man while my hubby guarded the rear. WE had
some good laughs right off as our lead man and his wife made a few wrong
turns. One had us going on this curvy little road where two dogs were
determined to make our front tires their breakfast. We spun around this
one corner and the next thing we knew...boom, there was a gravel road.
You can bet we teased our lead man about that...He sheepishly made a
sharp u-turn in the road...and we followed. I have to say the Fatboy
handled so much better than my Deuce in these tight cornering maneuvers
and all. I was always extra careful and did slip on the gravel....but
was able to hold my bike and swing out of there...(heavy sigh).
From there we found Highway 19...took it to Hwy 74 and then Highway
28...I was so into the scenery that looking and remembering the route is
difficult. <g> What views...We were out amidst the mountains and spring
was making its appearance gloriously. . The dogwoods were in bloom in
their radiant white and pink, all sorts of wildflowers were showing off
their brilliant colors, and the sun and blue sky made a great backdrop
to the mountains surrounding us. Unbelievable. I was speechless. I had
to be careful chewing my gum. I'd get this grin and realized a bug could
change the flavor (not to mention texture!) real quick. WE stopped at
this dam (dam I can't remember its name right now <g>), before swinging
back to catch the beginning (to us) of the Deal's Gap ride. We stopped
at this gas station where tons of bikes had gathered either for the
beginning of the Deal's Gap ride or the end....depending on which
direction. I got my "I survived Deal's Gap" t-shirt even tho I hadn't
made the trek yet. Right off we saw these sport bikes shoot away toward
the first curve popping a wheelie. Interesting.
After a drink of water and buying some t-shirts, we set out. My heart
was going pitter patter in anticipation. I was ready but not quite sure
how my Fatboy would do in these sharp curves. Our lead guy used to race
sport bikes. He told me to try and scrape my floor boards before the
ride so I'd know how it feels and not freak out. Hello. I never got the
guts up to do that. (Is he crazy? <g>).
So we head out and begin the Deal's Gap
ride. We come around the first corner and there lies one of those sport
bikes we just saw popping wheelies on the side of the road, picking dirt
out of his bike (and probably his teeth) on the side of the road.
Oops....a need for speed in some of these corners can mean getting much
too acquainted with the mountain side terrain! (He was ok...There were
about six sport bikes stopped to make sure).
So I follow our lead man and soon find that groove. We take corner after
corner...I must say I did not view the scenery. I had to stay focused on
the curves. Oh, but I was loving and enjoying the feel of the Fatbabe as
it proved to be nimble and quick as we wove our way through the mountain
side. I didn't have much time for my mind to wander as each corner
tested my mental ability to stay focused. Wow. What an experience. I am
having problems finding the words to describe it.
Soon we shot out into a valley and were done. I raised my hand in
exhilaration and thankfulness. I survived Deal's Gap! What a ride!
From there we cut across this Parkway (not the Blue Ridge) that was so
gorgeous and such an awesome ride. My mind had time to wander here as
this road was not anywhere as challenging but just as resplendent. I
really could not believe how beautiful this area was and how awesome it
was to experience while riding a motorcycle! For some reason, I also
thought of that lady who just lost her life, was it Fern? And I thought
of some who may never get to experience this ride because of living so
far away. So I thought...I am riding for these folks!!
We ended up riding along this river and making our way the back way to
Gatlinburg where we had the best lunch and could re-live the ride
together. What a day!! From there, we cut across the mountains and found
our way back to Cherokee. It was about 185 miles for the day of
incredible curvy roads. I could not wipe the smile off my face all day.
God's country, my husband, good friends, Deal's Gap, and motorcycles. I
never would have imagined that mix could make for such an awesome day.
Saturday, April 28th, was a "Red Letter Day" for me.
As always, thanks for letting me share a piece of it.
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