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Online ncroadtoad

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A Few Twisties, A Little Gravel, A Lot of Fun
« on: August 14, 2019, 01:18:01 PM »
I just got back from my first trip with my newly RRL2 updated CB500X. I took 4 days and rode to the western part of North Carolina where I cabin camped and did a little riding. The 1,300 miles (+/-) that I did on this trip allowed me to experience pretty much all aspects of travel on the upgraded CB. I had around 500+ miles of Interstate riding, several hundred miles of secondary roads, a couple hundred miles of mountain twisty lane and about 150 miles of good quality gravel. The bike met/exceeded my expectations in all areas. Enough on that though...


My cabin for the trip, Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground



Mornings frequently start in the clouds along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Watching / riding through the drifting clouds is one of my favorite times to ride the BRP.


My first gravel ride was along the Old Tellico Wagon Road from Robinsville, NC to Tellico, TN. Its around 60 miles of pretty good gravel with some climbs that can be rutted if it's rained heavily.


Lot's of picturesque photo ops. With the exception of Bob, a traveling companion I met at a gas station in Robinsville, we saw nobody for the entire 2 hour ride.


There are many creek crossings along the route, most of the larger ones are bridged by a concrete span.


It's beautiful to have all this nature to yourself.


Nearing the end of the route, the road gets very good and eventually joins a paved track that takes you to Tellico Plains, TN.


And along that track, River Road, is one of my favorite waterfalls. Bald Falls is a popular attraction, but is beautiful.


Day 2 of my mountain riding sent me to Heintooga Round Bottom Road and Balsam Mountain Road. The Heintooga part was very civilized the Balsam Mountain piece a little less so. But still, both were pretty easy tracks.


Typical of the Heintooga leg. Remote beauty on the edge of the Smokey Mountain National Park. I was on the Heintooga/Balsam ride for about 60 miles/2+ hours and saw one jeep. Pretty incredible when you consider the popularity of this area in August.








You cross a lot of small creeks, none of which require fording or getting wet.




Where the Heintooga Road connects to Balsam Mountain Road, you follow a river for awhile. It's so cool to have all this to yourself. It's fascinating to me that in this extremely popular moto area with hundreds of GS's and KTM Adventures ridden by riders on the newest KLIM gear - I never saw one of them on these roads.




Once the route becomes Balsam Mountain Road, it requires a little more focus as it climbs several thousand feet with many 180 degree swithbacks, often in rutted gravel. Recent heavy rain, which I didn't experience, could make it exciting  :003:






No kidding...




One last climb and it's out onto the Blue Ridge Parkway






With storms on the horizon, I headed back to my cabin, called it a day and drank some beer.

A fun trip, made more so by this great little bike. "Adventure Riding" has many definitions. For my purposes this short trip captures it for me. I want a motorcycle that I can ride for a thousand miles, take a nice gravel/dirt track and ride a thousand miles home. All-the-while enjoying good economy, light weight, reliability and just pure fun.

Thanks for looking, let's go riding  :306:

 



Just damn happy to be here...

Offline 2Bpencil

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Re: A Few Twisties, A Little Gravel, A Lot of Fun
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 03:24:52 PM »
 :046:  :152: :080:

Online ncroadtoad

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Re: A Few Twisties, A Little Gravel, A Lot of Fun
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 05:54:56 PM »
Thanks 2Bpencil
Just damn happy to be here...

Offline JMo

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Re: A Few Twisties, A Little Gravel, A Lot of Fun
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 07:59:25 PM »
Fabulous stuff Toad' - I love that part of the country, and as I'm sure you know, the TAT (Trans-Am Trail) passes through that area now too...

You've got me itching to head back east again now!

Jenny x

It's not a unicorn as such, just a little mule with a bump on it's head... www.CB500Xadventure.com

Offline ewryly

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Re: A Few Twisties, A Little Gravel, A Lot of Fun
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 09:39:34 PM »
An inspiring trip! Thanks for sharing it!

Offline woody

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Re: A Few Twisties, A Little Gravel, A Lot of Fun
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 10:43:04 PM »
Looks great, thanks for sharing  :306:

Offline Irishrover

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Re: A Few Twisties, A Little Gravel, A Lot of Fun
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 10:45:14 PM »
Great pictures and great scenery and location. Looking at the road surface I'm sure you could do that with a stock CB500X.
I follow a few guys on YouTube who have ridden many of those trails in that area. One of them by the name of "Old Chainsawbob" lives in that area and used to have a CB500X he is in his late 70's now and still rides those trails.
I often wonder how those roads and trails were named.  :028:

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Online ncroadtoad

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Re: A Few Twisties, A Little Gravel, A Lot of Fun
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2019, 11:05:53 PM »
Fabulous stuff Toad' - I love that part of the country, and as I'm sure you know, the TAT (Trans-Am Trail) passes through that area now too...
You've got me itching to head back east again now!

Thanks Jenny. The TAT is something that I've thought about for a number of years, but a combination of my old guy clock ticking and the reluctance of my riding partners to leave home for more than two nights (don't even discuss gravel) will probably keep me solo riding and the TAT will just remain a good thought that didn't materialize. I do plan on riding the MABDR though. Solo is a reasonable risk, I actually hope to do the first two southern legs this fall.

An inspiring trip! Thanks for sharing it!
Thank you ewryly, appreciate the look

Looks great, thanks for sharing  :306:
Thank you Woody, appreciate the comment

Great pictures and great scenery and location. Looking at the road surface I'm sure you could do that with a stock CB500X.
I follow a few guys on YouTube who have ridden many of those trails in that area. One of them by the name of "Old Chainsawbob" lives in that area and used to have a CB500X he is in his late 70's now and still rides those trails.
I often wonder how those roads and trails were named.  :028:

Irishrover you are absolutely right about the gravel. A stocker could do it, but my AfircaTwin.5 did it nicer  :745:  I'll be on the watch for ChainsawBob. Thanks for the comments
Just damn happy to be here...

Offline Gills

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Re: A Few Twisties, A Little Gravel, A Lot of Fun
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 08:54:20 AM »
Wow, that looks fantastic! Thanks for posting - it's always nice to see where other folks ride.

Online ncroadtoad

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Re: A Few Twisties, A Little Gravel, A Lot of Fun
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 11:58:00 AM »
Thanks Gills. I also enjoy looking at other folks travels. It's a good way to get inspired and take the scooter for road trip.
Just damn happy to be here...

 


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