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(Photo from Rebel Randi's journeys. See more below!)
October 4th Edition
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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of October 5-11, 2016
Wednesday 74h & cloudy, Thursday 76h & p-cloudy, Friday 70h & 60% showers, Saturday 74h & 90% rain/wind, Sunday 75h & sunny, Monday 74h & sunny, Tuesday 77h & sunny (as per weather.com on 10/4/16)
Gravel response ....
I threw out the subject of riding on gravel in last week's edition of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine and heard from Gary H who said: "Like riding on a road full of marbles! Here in mountains of Virginia it is always harry after rain storms! Be careful out there!!"
Do you have an aversion to riding on gravel ... or do you take on all roads that come in your path with full gusto and grit?
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The CPRs were pretty busy during the month of Sept, even through the hot days during most of the month. Early in the month we rode on mostly US 58 in Virginia to Bristol and back. Charley’s daughter and husband have a cabin near Boone so we rode up there---taking numerous “short cuts” and arrived at the cabin just before dark. Next morning we rode over to Slatery’s Restaurant for breakfast----ummmm, family style so chow down!!
Then headed up NC 16 toward Virgina. 16 is know as “The Back of the Dragon” and it is twisty and mountainous. CPR kind of road. Connected with US 58 which is famous as the Troubadour Road or Country Music Highway. We certainly enjoyed the musical turns, twists and up and down nature of the road. Video #1 has a short segment of some of our ride. We were trying to figure how many curves we had ridden so counted a few 0.1 mile segments as we rode and it varied between 10 to 15 for each segment. We rode about 200 miles and allowing for the straight stretches, we guesstimated 5 to 7 thousand curves we had done. ..and we’re looking for more-----!!! On the way home we rode US 421 which is known as the “Snake,” of which we will ride in another Sept foray.
Our second ride of the month we rode on old NC 105 from Lake James near Marion NC to Linville Falls. This road starts off at Lake James as a typical beautiful NC paved road, but after a few miles becomes a dirt road and not a very nice dirt road at that. As you can see in the video that it took a bite at one of the CPRs. John had never ridden this road and after hearing us talk about it several times he said he’d like to see for himself. We reminded him that Charley and myself had been down once on it and did not have real fond memories of it, even tho we had been on it several times since. But he still wanted to ride it so we planned a day to do it and also walk from a parking area to see the falls. Originally I wasn’t going to tape it as I knew it was so rough that the video would be near useless, but then decided to attach the camera to my helmet and use my body as a shock absorber. Glad I did. The segment shown of our ride shows the more dramatic side of the ride as well as the beautiful spot that overlooks the falls. We didn’t see the falls per say, just the upper part of them, but the walk to this spot was half a mile, 1 mile round trip, and the walk to the lower part of the falls was 3/4 mile, 1 1/2 miles round trip, so we opted for the shorter journey, well 3 of us anyway so Mickey said he’d go with the majority. The lower falls involved a steep trail and any trail is rough in cycle boots much less elevation changes thrown in. Going to see the falls is worth the trip and it is much easier if you get on old 105 at the village of Linville Falls. The road even tho dirt, is much better maintained and smooth. Several trails start off of it as well as access to the falls so the Forest Service takes good care of it. It is only after the trail heads and falls viewing areas that the road becomes such a challenge. Several years ago Mickey and I were coming up from Lake James and a Forest Service truck driver stopped us. Said he recommended that we not go further as it was rough. After he pulled off we discussed it and determined that it couldn’t be any worse than what we’d already covered and it wasn’t! Guess the truck driver hadn’t been on the lower part of the road in awhile.
Our next adventure in Sept involved West Virginia. Last October we rode up to the village of Matewan, where I’d been 4 or 5 years earlier with my buddy Jerry Hampshire. He lives in Alton Missouri near St Louis and was going to visit his Mother in Dayton OH. On his way home he was going to stop in Matewan to check out some roads there and asked me to join up with him there. I really liked it there and had mentioned it to my fellow CPRs, so last year we went up and enjoyed the trip and the town so much we decided to go up again this year. It was going to be a one night stay only. Mickey and I met up with John, Sven, and Charley at Zippers restaurant in Lincolnton NC for breakfast. Charley directed us up some out of the way roads to Boone, where we rode only a few miles on US 321 to. CPR kind of riding! Our "intern," Sven, had planned to do the entire ride with us but could break away long enough to do 1 day only. At Boone we connected with US 421, aka the Snake, up to Bristol where we got on Virgina 11 and other state and county roads all the way into KY and on to WV. As I think about it, I’ll teach you how to pronounce the name Matewan. It is an Indian name and the first part, Mate, is pronounced like the Australian - g’day mate and the second part like the number one.
You probably already know that the CPRs don’t care much for 4-lane roads and interstates and will go to great lengths to avoid same. The most direct route from my home near Gaffney SC is 295 miles-about 5 hours. The roads we rode ended up around 7 hours and 350 miles. “The extreme scenic way!” Both times we’ve stayed at the historic Matewan Bed and Breakfast. One of their “rooms” is a large room with 10 bunks in it, and is located behind the main house. It is only about 10 feet from the railroad tracks which like the railroads in our area is where the towns were built. This is still an active rail and several trains go through during the day and even more at night. The first time we stayed there I think I woke up for every train, but this time I only heard 2. Charley and John said 5 roared past! The video shows some of the roads we were on and we enjoyed them all. For the readers who also do 4-wheel offroad, the Hatfield and McCoy trail system runs near there and most weekends the town is packed with riders and friends. If you get up that way, mention that you know the boys from Gaffney and they’ll only charge you ... 10% more ...LOL!
Video 1 - US 58
Video 2 - John’s dirt road day
Video 3 - Matewan WV
Hi all, my Shriner brothers asked that I share this with you. Happy to! It's next weekend and the weather right now is just right for such a ride. It starts at the Red Fez Club on Lake Wylie and what a nice place to be overlooking the lake. And, of course, Shriners are all about good causes, you know. Proceeds benefit the Shriners Hospital for Children.
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