2 - The Preamble

Total Miles:
Goldwing: 2,000 Atlantic Beach, Richmond & Western North Carolina
V-Star: 1,000 Darlington & Myrtle, SC Asheville, NC

The journey began on April 28th. Grad school was over and my old Honda was waiting. During the next three weeks I rode nearly 4,000 miles throughout the Southeast. Though a dozen nights were spent in a tent, I visited friends along the way and also spent time at the beach.

The trip began on the Gold Wing with a bit of NASCAR.

Richmond is a great track. I got lucky and saw the pace car on the way into the Bush Race. The Cup Race didn't run under the lights because of
Saturday night rain.



Oh well, at least I camped next to some really cool people.

Before heading to Western North Carolina to ride the mountains around Asheville, I switched motorcycles. Not as nimble as the Wing, nor as old, but much cooler.

Camping along the French Broad River has been one of my favorite pastimes while living in The Piedmont Region of North Carolina. Just three hours away are beautiful mountains and accessible rivers. And of course, The Blue Ridge Parkway.





The scenery in Western NC is fantastic, but so is the scenery in Darlington, SC on race day.

Loaded up for a week long trip, I left to see another NASCAR race and then another spectacle: Bike Week in Myrtle Beach.












The race was great (less the winner of course.) And Bike Week was nuts. Though I've ridden thousands of miles through more than a dozen states, I'd never been to a bike rally. It was something to see for sure. The experience was pretty neat, but not neat enough for me to change my riding style: Long Distance & Solo.

Darlington is a great race to see. I camped next to the son of two-time NASCAR champion, Tim Flock. Donald Flock celebrated his 60th birthday that weekend and he was quite the character to hang around with for a NASCAR weekend. His Road King had custom paint to commemorate his father's achievements. He gave me a t-shirt that commemorates the Fabulous Flying Flock Brothers.

Off to Myrtle a day late after Darlington was rain delayed.

There are lots of novel things to see at a rally. I think that a Jockey Shift Boss Hoss would look quite nice in my garage. First I need a garage. And I don't really need a motorcycle with a small-block Chevy V8. But if I did need one, the Myrtle Beach rally is the place to get it.

Time to turn in the motorcycle for a cap & gown.


... and then more riding.

Time to switch bikes once again. One of my B-School buddies and I rode Western Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee after graduating.

We rode hard, found the most challenging roads, and had a great time.

Back on the Gold Wing, my buddy on his Scrambler, we headed West... and UP!


We spent hours on the Parkway and rode to Mt. Mitchell, the highest point in the East: 6,684feet.

Day 3 - We rode the Dragon.

Deal's Gap, TN. 318 curves in 11 miles.

It's that nuts. As a rider, it's something I'm glad I did. As a guy that wants to live to be an old man, it's not something I'll regularly repeat. Riding hard but within your limits is one thing, doing it with hundreds of other riders is entirely different. It did make for good pictures! A professional photographer set up in one of the curves took these of my buddy and me.








We rode it four times. Whipping around a 1,000 pound motorcycle is a sure way to get worn out.

A can of Coke never tasted so good.




Well, it's been a fun month.

Old University of Virginia buddies are waiting in Charlottesville for our annual "let's get together and act like we're 20" weekend. Better get the Wing fired up and pointed toward Virginia.



Next:  3   -  Leaving Winston-Salem for the Great North Woods

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