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 Skyline Drive - Blue Ridge Parkway Part-1

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jdeereanton
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PostSubject: Skyline Drive - Blue Ridge Parkway Part-1   Sat 31 Jan 2009, 07:36

Link to part 2: http://www.silverwing600.com/rides-and-stories-f10/skyline-drive-blue-ridge-parkway-part-2-t176.htm

Link to part 3: http://www.silverwing600.com/rides-and-stories-f10/skyline-drive-blue-ridge-parkway-part-3-t178.htm

Kim and I connected with other SilverWing riders through the Yahoo group and have taken two rides with them – we hope it will be an annual event. The first year (2007) was our ride through Deal’s Gap (Tail of the Dragon), there were 5 of us on 5 SilverWings. This past spring we wanted a little warmer weather and a longer trip so we went a bit later in the year and chose the Sky Line Drive – Blue Ridge Parkway (SLD-BRP). Only 4 of us could make the trip, but we had a fifth rider that we had picked up from Maxi-Scoots.com. We decided to ride the route from north to south to get all of the long high speed runs out of the way up front. We set aside 9 days for the trip and the original SilverWing riders decided to meet in Newport, TN. We’d meet Bob, the fifth rider, on a Kymco People 250, in Beckley West Virginia.

Day 1, May 23, 2008 – Huntsville, AL to Newport, TN (320 miles). We like to get an early start so got underway at 5:00am with a plan of getting into Newport fairly early. We headed east out of Huntsville on US-72, a four-lane highway with a speed limit of 65mph. In South Pittsburg, TN (95 miles into the trip) we had the option of taking I-24 or continuing on US-72 into Chattanooga. At this point US-72 returns to the original scenic two-lane road it used to be, a great stretch of road that follows the river and provides nice hills and curves for enjoyment. Very little traffic, but nice no hurry scenery with a speed limit of 50mph. Following US-72 right into Chattanooga puts us smack dab in the center of the city. Our chosen route leaving Chattanooga was to follow the east side of the TN River as much as possible while avoiding major roads. So we picked our way through Chattanooga and got onto TN-58. This runs pretty straight, but is full of lots of long gentle hills, sort of like a real sedate roller coaster. We turned east onto TN-68 towards US-411N which we followed into Maryville, TN. In Maryville we turned east again onto US-321 toward the Townsend, TN and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The small two lane road that runs through the park is a TN state highway (and US-321), but I know it as the Little River Road. It runs north mostly alongside the river so there is always a real nice glimpse of the water. It is almost noon, the sun is up real well and we are enjoying the ride through the park. Speed limit in the park is 35mph and is very leisurely, there is plenty to keep track of with oncoming traffic and the constant turns and quick short hills. The park empties out into Gatlinburg, TN on US-321 which we stay on all the way into Newport, TN. Donna and Mike arrived shortly after us and over dinner at a seafood restaurant we caught up on what each other had been doing since we last met.

Day 2, May 24, 2008 – Newport, TN to Beckley, WV (420 miles). We eat the continental breakfast in the hotel and look at a few maps. Mike has a Zumo 550 so we set up the route and head for the Cumberland Gap (about 60 miles away) on US-25. The day is a little overcast and the threat of rain is real and realized, we stopped at an overlook to don our rain suits. The ride up US-25 into the Cumberland Gap was really nice. We stopped at the national park to shed our rain suits and verify our route through KY. We stayed on US-25 until the junction with US-119 where we turned right onto US-119. This was a great motorcycle road with a mix of gentle curves and rolling hills in the midst of real mountain roads, sharp curves stunning vistas and all. The road itself was had a great surface and is routed around most towns so we really cranked it up and rode. Saw several coal stations and lots of mining activity it was really cool. We stayed on US-119 to US-460 where we turned south toward VA. We stayed on US-460 all the way into Bluefield where we headed for a short run up the interstate (I-77) into Beckley. It was a long day in the saddle and we really had a great time. The scenery was amazing – We try to stay off the interstate to give ourselves a bit of flexibility to stop and just look at the surroundings. We met Bob at a fuel stop just south of Beckley so got our introductions out of the way over dinner and then settled in for a much welcomed rest.

Day 3, May 25, 2008 – Beckley WV to Front Royal, VA (370 miles). This was a long day even though we did fewer miles than the day before. I cannot recall the route; I seem to have failed to record it. I can recall some of the events and sights we visited. First of all – we rode across the New River Gorge high bridge. This was an amazing ride across that gorge. We stopped and walked out to an overlook then rode down to the river to look up at the bridge.

WOW is about the only thing that can be said about the engineering that was done to make this happen. What a nice ride down to the river and back up on a little road that was barely a single lane wide.
We travelled some off the map roads and basically weaved back and forth to get over to the Shenandoah Valley. We rode up the west side of the valley until we reached New Market, VA where we dropped into the valley and crossed over to Luray, VA turning north onto US-340 into Front Royal, VA. The ride through the valley floor was really spectacular. We were on a really tiny road that at one point as we came around a corner I actually thought we were on a private driveway. All along we could see the mountains in front and when travelling due north we could see the mountains on either side of the valley.


Last edited by jdeereanton on Sat 31 Jan 2009, 10:54; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added links to other sections.)
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driftwoodpoint
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PostSubject: Re: Skyline Drive - Blue Ridge Parkway Part-1   Sat 31 Jan 2009, 10:01

Thanks for sharing that. Smile That bridge is amazing. I love the look of the side road with the trees close on both sides, that's my kind of road. I'd rather not be on the main roads. It's the "road less traveled" for me. Sounded like a great ride.
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surlybiker58
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PostSubject: Re: Skyline Drive - Blue Ridge Parkway Part-1   Mon 17 Jun 2013, 21:55

I just came back from a two day trip to Skyline drive and back. 
a total of 420 miles on the Silverwing .  Little under 4 hours each way. 
That's a good thing cause I've found that I can't take the seat much more than four hours.
I guess I need to invest in one of those sheepskin cushions. 
Had beautiful weather except for a few drops of rain once I got to the park 
Will be going back again in the fall with the Mrs. to celebrate our anniversary.


Last edited by surlybiker58 on Wed 19 Jun 2013, 10:36; edited 2 times in total
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"Hi Yo"
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PostSubject: Re: Skyline Drive - Blue Ridge Parkway Part-1   Mon 17 Jun 2013, 23:02

Now I know why you call yourself Surlybiker.  PIA=Surliness. You do realize the sheepskin is a cover and not a cushion, as I understand it. The Airhawk products in combination with sheepskins have gotten good reviews. Good luck with your search. We can't risk your becoming more surly.
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surlybiker58
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PostSubject: Re: Skyline Drive - Blue Ridge Parkway Part-1   Tue 18 Jun 2013, 10:31

Part of the problem, is the butt rest locks you into one position. 
On my other bikes , I could change positions backward or forward. 
I'm 6'2" and it definitely gets cramped after awhile .
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model28a
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PostSubject: Re: Skyline Drive - Blue Ridge Parkway Part-1   Tue 18 Jun 2013, 16:58

Have you tried removing the but stop or the but stop to backrest conversion?
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jdeereanton
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PostSubject: Re: Skyline Drive - Blue Ridge Parkway Part-1   Wed 19 Jun 2013, 09:29

surlybiker58 wrote:
I just came back from a two day trip to Skyline drive and back. 
a total of 420 miles on the Silverwing .  Little under 4 hours each way. 
That's a good thing cause I've found that I can't take the seat much more the four hours.
I guess I need to invest in one those sheepskin cushions. 
Had beautiful weather except for a few drops of rain once I got to the park 
Will be going back again in the fall with the Mrs. to celebrate our anniversary.
I hope you enjoy the ride as much as we did.  I will probably get back up that way to ride the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway again in a couple of years.  This is really a nice ride, with slow speeds and plenty of pull offs to check the scenery.
 
Thanks for dredging this back up so I could relive the fun.
 
Enjoy the upcoming anniversary celebration!
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surlybiker58
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PostSubject: Re: Skyline Drive - Blue Ridge Parkway Part-1   Wed 19 Jun 2013, 10:33

I haven't removed the butt rest but that is a good idea before my next long trip.  

It was a great ride out and back because I traveled around the north end of the Baltimore beltway (non rush hour) and out Interstate 70 to Frederick, MD and down 340 to Front Royal , Va ; the Northern entrance to Skyline drive. So I bypassed the Baltimore Harbor tunnel and the craziness of the DC Beltway.
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