Wednesday, January 9, 2008

First Outing of 2008!

One of the benefits of living in the south is that the winters are normally pretty mild. The beginning of the week, Jan 7 & 8, had temperatures in the lower 70's with sunny skies. Perfect riding weather. So my buddy Josh and I took full advantage of it. Unfortunately we were not able to go out on Monday because we needed to get some things done around the apt. here in Charlotte to get things ready for classes starting on the 9th.

Tuesday morning I met up at Josh's house around 9:30 to head out for the day. The weather looked like it would be warmer the further south east we went. So we decided we would spend the day back roading off Hwy 220. Josh had already found a road or two heading down Hwy 64 that would get us to Hwy 220. Old Lexington Rd. runs along side of Hwy 64 and makes for a fun way to bypass the slow traffic on such a long straight road.

The morning started out with heavy fog that was extremely wet, which made the roads slick and made it feel like you were getting rained on as well. The fog as so thick at certain areas you could hardly see the road in front of you. Unfortunately when we got to Old Lexington Rd. the fog had yet to left fully and the roads were still wet so we were not able to push it into the corners like we wished. That and following a 1970's model trash truck, blowing out more smoke than freight train and running 20 mph didn't help the situation either. The road did have some promising corners and we decided that we would work the trip out to hit the road on the way back when the sun came out and dried it up.

Old Lexington Rd. ends up dumping out onto Hwy 220 just outside of Asheboro so we jumped on it heading south towards Troy, NC looking for a few nice back roads to play on. A few miles down 220, the sun poked out of the clouds and it was amazing to see how fast the fog lifted off the roads and the temperature rise. The highway riding also let me get some more use out of my frame sliders by playing the role as a set highway pegs as well. A few more miles down Hwy 220 and we pulled off heading towards Pisgah, NC. I was familiar with this area and the old covered bridge that they have set up off the road and I remembered that there were some nice roads back there as well, so we headed that way.

The Pisgah Covered bridge has turned into a park type deal, with picnic tables and a walking trail that winds through the woods around the area. Nice place to stop and have a break or lunch when it nice out. They have put posts up so that you cannot drive a car up on there, but they aren't close enough to stop a bike from getting up there...

After getting some pictures we decided to head back after it and started to explore the backwoods of Montgomery County... If any of you are familiar with the "Two Guy's Named Chris Morning Show" on Rock 92, you will understand why this can be a bit frightening... and no we didn't find the "Pump and Munch."
With a little luck we ended up finding some nice roads here and there, with a few curves that offered some fun. After messing around for a bit we ended finding a road that led to "Jumping Off Rock" trail head. So we turned off to go towards it and see what that was all about. Well it turns out that the road it was on was a "Scenic Byway." The road was very nice and had a few curves here and there but lots of nice scenery including some nice houses up on hills and nice over looks. After coming to the end of it we found ourselves on Lovejoy Rd, which I had seen something on the Internet about. The road was nice with more nice scenery and ended up putting us into the heart of Troy, NC. As we entered Troy, we couldn't help but notice that everyone was staring at us. Now it didn't help that the main drag of Troy was rather narrow, and Josh's exhaust is rated at like 104 db...however we ended up catching a side road to Candor to top off the tanks and our stomachs.
A little while later we found ourselves riding on and around Hwy 705 and ended up in Seagrove, which turns out to be a major pottery area. I was amazed at all the locally owned pottery stores that lined the side of the road all the way through Seagrove. As the pottery stores began the thin out we found ourselves up by 220 again and decided to see how far north we could head before getting on the highway. Surprisingly enough we did a pretty good job and took back roads to just outside of Asheboro. We stopped and thought for a minute and decided to get back on the highway so we could get on Old Lexington again.
When we got there the roads were dry and the traffic was light. Which made it much more fun this time around. I could easily see people, who are brave enough, drag a knee or two around a few of the corners easily. When we got the end we stopped and talked about how much fun it was, basically avoiding the fact that we were about to get on Hwy 64 again. Then I noticed another road jutting off the side of Old Lexington. I turned to Josh and said, "You even been on that road?" He hadn't so we took off down in with hopes that we could find a back way home with out getting on 64.
As we worked our way down some more surprisingly clean roads we ended up and a stop sign with a road sign ahead of us that said Hwy 64 and Asheboro that pointed the right. Some how we got turned around because I figured Asheboro would be to my left. So after pondering our next move we figured we would go left anyway just to see what it was then turn around and come back if didn't go anywhere. That was the best decision we made all day and before we knew it we were flying into some pretty tight corners and one incredibly long sweeper. I noticed at one point that Josh's left foot was less than an inch off the ground! It took him almost 8000 miles but he is finally getting the hang of this cornering thing, lol. Unfortunately the road didn't go were we hoped so we turned around and headed back the way we came. The road ended up putting us out on Old Lexington Rd. (which was a total surprise) so we got to enjoy it one more time before heading home. When we got back to Josh's house that afternoon we had rolled 200 miles. Not a bad way to spend the last day of winter break if I do say so myself.

1 comment:

Bruce McCrary said...

You've changed your 'layout' since the last time I was here.

Have you settled on this one or still playing around with it?