Thought I would share my trip from the perspective of this being my first street bike in almost 25 years. Give the new guys some perspective, in addition to showing the vets that babysit us, how much they improve the quality of our riding experience.
Had a couple from church that are long time riders offer to host a tour up to Mt Mitchell in North Carolina last Saturday. I was downright giddy as I don't currently have any regular riding friends.
At 240 miles round trip, a perfect introductory tour ride. It was hot in ATGATT, mesh or no. And zero percent chance of rain. (more on this later.) Most appealing was knowing that it is far cooler at the top than in town.
The route was awesome. We started out on 26 for a bit. I batted clean up in the pack. Normally, I know us new guys get put behind the ride leader. In my case, since I was still breaking in the bike, I wanted the liberty of alternating speed.
Spent much of the day riding 19 and 23, in addition to some BR Parkway time. Miles of twisties that were about perfect for a returning rider still working on settling in and re-learning riding skills.
I learned a lot riding caboose. I got to observe Roger and Penny's rider behavior, lane choice, obstacle avoidance, and pointing out road hazards to other riders. Relearned sucking up lanes from the back to allow group to move over. Lots of things that I had forgotten.
Most interesting was the twisties and watching how the three different bikes performed. Roger was riding this behemoth. Six Cylinder, full blown Gold Wing beast with about every farkle known to man including central heat & air. I think he had a big screen on it too. That bike had to weigh almost double the Versys and appeared to be mere inches shorter than a 50's Caddy. That said, the bike was shockingly agile in the twisties. I understand that much of it can be attributed to rider skill, but Roger rides that thing like he's on a 250 sport.
Penny, OTOH, was riding a CanAm. And let me just say that she is an absolute beast. She ain't no girly-girl. Wore me out in the twisties. I never rode over my head, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that she just flat pulled away........often!
We finally arrived at Mt Mitchell and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and reduced temps !
While it was great to enjoy the scenery, all three of us were jonsing to get back to the twisties.
Oh and remember the 0% chance of rain? Well it poured like a cow peeing on a flat rock. We made an emergency pit stop at Subway because puddles in the apex of twisties sounded unappealing.
The rain cleared and the roads dried pretty quickly. We took a slightly different ride home. Some amazing crank the bike over sweepers. I'm certain that I was barely leaned over, yet I felt like I was about to drag an elbow!
I made it home just before dark. I was on the bike for 8.5 hours. And I attempted to make peace with my old nemesis, Monkey Butt.
It's been 6 days since this trip and I cant begin to explain how enjoyable it was. Roger and Penny were superb ride hosts. They kept an eye on me the entire day. Pulled over to safe spots to discuss route changes. Kept the pack pace to within my personal ride ability. And made sure I was always having a great time.
To you veteran riders that take the time to help out the new and returning riders. Never underestimate the gift of your time and experience. While it may be the 300th time you rode the route, you are helping to shape lifetime memories for others, while teaching them road safety and manners. We thank you !