Fort Mountain Special
Saturday the 28th, six riders (Larry, Dave, SteveD, Mel, BobK, and Don) met in Ball Ground for a leisurely ramble north toward Ellijay and the Cohutta’s. We didn’t realize it, but we would soon ride thru the “Shine Peddler’s Metric Century” bicycle ride in the Jasper area. On peaceful backroads like Grandview and Burnt Mountain, it really wasn’t any trouble for either us or the hundred or so cyclists we encountered. “It’s all good” when you’re on two wheels.
Our first stop was www.Apex Cycle Shop.com located deep in the woods outside of Ellijay (no one will ever stumble across this place by accident – GPS required!) Apex is an award-winning custom bike builder converting old BMW’s and Ducati’s into cool works of art. The owner Wes gave us an awesome tour of his shop, custom bikes, and a lounge worthy of HGTV. At the risk of overstating it, this place just oozes cool – check ‘em out for yourself.
Next stop was to be the awesome overlook at Fort Mountain State Park (W of beginning to rumble. So… we took the “quicker and easier” option of stopping at the Cohutta Overlook on 52 outside the park. A great view and quicker to lunch. But before lunch was the wonderful ride down the mountain to Chatsworth on a true first-class motorcycle road! Lunch at Edna’s was delicious
SteveD, Larry, Don, Mel, Dave, BobK
( more photos in video)
Our trip home from Chatsworth was a combination of “fast and straight” down 411 and “tight and curvy” down Henderson Mountain and Damascus roads which, as it kept getting narrower and narrower, I thought may just turn into a goat path. About then we popped out in Ball Ground and made our last stop at the Chevron before heading home. Total mileage was about 175 and home around 3.
Couldn’t ask for a better day of riding. Join us next time.
I hadn't been able to get out with my pals for a ride for quite a while, so when the opportunity arose to go out this last Saturday of July I was stoked. I prepared my 2010 Triumph Tiger 1050 the night before the ride and all was good.
I was up and ready to go right on time to meet my pals up at Apex Cycles in Ellijay. I started the Tiger and got my gear on. I rode up the driveway and to my horror the front brake lever pulled straight back to the handlebars with no resistance. A gentle application of back brake brought me to a stop. I found myself, in disbelief, repeatedly pulling on the brake lever in the faint hope that my first finding was wrong. It was not.
I inspected the bike, but there was no sign of a hydraulic leak and the reservoir was full. There was just no brake pressure on the lever. I inspected the garage where the bike rests between rides. No sign of a problem there at all, not even a drop of oil on the floor of the Tiger's bed. It was no good, this bike was going nowhere today.
Disappointed about not being able to ride my Tiger I considered my options and decided to ride my 1970 TR25W Triumph. Usually my older bikes are finicky about starting, but first kick this baby started up! Excellent, I was off meet the lads. I decided to forego any saddle backs and wet weather gear; I would just rough it if I get caught in rain.
At the meeting we recognized that attendance for meetings and rides during July is normally low, due to vacations etc. so we decided to cancel the July meeting and schedule a ride late in the month, July 28th.
The group also discussed the latest information on the Rainbow Family encampment in the Chattahoochee National Forest and what steps the rangers and sheriff have taken to manage the influx of thousands of campers.
After the meeting we rode over to Family Traditions for a great lunch and fellowship.
The next scheduled meeting will be on August 25th
Camp-n-Ride ’18 – Awesome (and Surprising)
Friday afternoon the 15th, Mel, Dave and Larry played hooky and set off for an overnight adventure in the N Ga mountains. Though recent weather had been very wet, our forecast looked hopeful for a great trip. We enjoyed old favorites like Burnt Mountain, Sunrise Ridge and Doublehead Gap as we wound our way northward. After a well-earned break at the always-enjoyable Van Zandt’s in Dial, Mel decided to forego the “off-road” trip through the forest to our campsite in Suches. His brand new knees were beginning to feel the strain (and that turned out to be a good call).
Mel headed down twisty 60 to Suches and warmed up a porch rocker at our night’s destination, Two Wheels of Suches – the Southeast’s original motorcycle campground and lodge. Larry and Dave began their trek thru the forest and were quickly surprised. Immediately upon turning right onto FS 58 (Noontootla Creek), they encountered freshly-dumped, foot-thick, baseball-sized gravel – a real handful on their loaded bikes. Thankfully there weren’t too many rocky sections to negotiate, but… the road grader had been in heavy use and, combined with all the recent rain, created long stretches of soft, rutted mud to negotiate. By the time they made it to the top of the mountain they were pooped! Fortunately, the remaining trip across FS 42 and down Gaddistown Road and Hwy 60 were superb - and quick, since the afternoon popups were starting to pop.
As we (quickly) set up our tents at TWO, Richard surprised us and camped as well. Richard just barely got his tent up before the skies opened up! Oh well, porch-rocker-time for all! Dinner at the lodge was great (mmm, ribeyes). Our next surprise was some unusually noisy camp neighbors, but that was solved with the foam earplugs we all carry.
Saturday’s breakfast was hot and hearty, as always. With no other riders joining us, we were soon packed and on the road for our next surprise… zero traffic! We enjoyed Wolf Pen Gap (Ga’s Dragon’s Tail) all the way to 75 with nary a car in sight. Our trip down 75 to Helen was almost as clear. Since it was too early for lunch in Helen, we continued up the Richard Russell Scenic Hwy like we owned it, then down through Blood Mtn likewise. We couldn’t have asked for a better day in the mountains!
During lunch at Turner’s Corner General Store… surprise, the afternoon pop ups were ahead of schedule. Mel was able to skirt around them as he headed home in Athens, staying mostly dry. Larry and Dave, not so much. Their pop up exploded in size, causing them to stop and take cover, then play dodge ‘em the rest of the way home. They decided it was a worthwhile price to pay for such a great day’s riding some of the best motorcycling roads E of the Mississippi.
Total mileage was 250. Hope to see you on the next one.
Six of us got together this holiday weekend to discuss the activity calendar for June.
First on the agenda was a short listen to Dolly Parton's "Coat Of Many Colors" followed by a lesson from "What They Didn't Teach You in Sunday School" about Joseph's coat and his interaction with his eleven brothers.
We then reviewed the video from the May 10th ride and answered the two questions noted therein. This led to discussion about the camp/ride for June. The date was set at June 15-16. Those camping will leave Friday afternoon and those skipping camping but wanting to ride Saturday will meet the campers Saturday morning at TWO in Suches for a group ride on "local favorite roads". Larry is coordinating the trip and will send out additional details shortly. In the meantime mark the dates on your calendars.
The remainder of the meeting included discussion about riding "heavy motorcycles" on gravel roads. The discussion was supported by these two videos:
Remember, mark 6/15 and/or 6/16
Our next meeting will be on June 30, 2018