Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Showing Some Friends Around

As summer school came to a close, thankfully on a good note, it was time to go for a little ride.
Some of my friends from school have been asking to come along with Josh and I when ever we go to the mtns for a while now. Omar, finally got some new rubber put on his Bandit, so he and his girlfriend came along, as well as one of his friends on a R1. Mitch, with a built Trans-Am has been chomping at the bits to come up sometime but unfortunately our schedules never quite worked. Now this TA isn't your typical one, it has been lowered and Penske's put on all 4 corners with multiple other suspension mods, not to mention all the bolt on's under the hood... its sick!

I decided to take the group up to Asheville to show them "The loop." Unfortunately Omar and his girl friend had to leave early to pick up his brother at the airport. However he brought along the Tom-Tom so he could leave from where we were to get back in time.

We met up at the local McDonald's, first thing in the morning to get an early start on the day. As we were getting ready to leave an interesting car pulled in...

I wasn't even aware that any one made a bike rack for the Viper? It looks like it fits rather well, but dang. I couldn't get over that and I am still amazed.

We headed out going south down 85 to catch 74 west like Josh and I have done many times. This time Jordan came along as well so she could see what I am always talking about. Now the past few trips the squelch has been rolling on me due to the wind blowing around the intercom. So I have been moving it side to side a bit in order to get the wind to break else where on the unit. In this process I have apparently loosened up the bolt that holds the intercom on to the clutch perch. Which, by the way also doubles as the pivot bolt for the clutch.

I looked down to see my intercom sitting sideways, so I reached down to try and tighten the nut under the perch. This is happening while heading down I-85 and after a few seconds of messing I realized I wasn't helping the situation as I saw the nut fall off the bolt and bounce off my fairing...
We stopped at the next exit and with a paper clip and rubber band I was able to secure the bolt so it wouldn't jump out on me till I found a hardware store in the next town, Shelby. Luck would have it that as soon as you enter Shelby, NC there is a nice Honda shop. So we all pulled in and I managed to get a nut and borrow some tools to get the intercom secured. While this was all going on Mitch and one of other friends, Richard (riding in the car with Mitch) starting looking around the shop.

Mitch and Richard cussed me for stopping at a shop as they were now trying to figure out how to afford a bike was well as their cars!

We continued on down the road up to Asheville, but instead of getting off 26 at 64 I decided to continue on up closer to Asheville to get on the parkway.

I had no clue where I was going as I saw the Parkway cross about 200 feet above the highway. A couple exits later I saw a sign for the Blue Ridge Parkway and we pulled off to get fuel as well a good stretch break before getting into some corners.

30 mins later we were off. The parkway was just around the corner and fortunately my "Pokey Magnet" didn't seem to be as strong. (The Pokey Magnet, as Jordan calls it, is when we continuously get stuck behind slow people in the mountain that will not move over.)

This particular stretch of the Parkway I had never been on and I was amazed at the number of tunnels! It seemed that there was a tunnel at least every 5 miles or less. Mitch got a few videos going through them to get the sound of his car however I was coming out the other side by time he was entering so I didn't get to hear it.

We pulled off after about 30 miles or so to get on Hwy 215 heading south. I had given everyone fair warning that the twisties were about to start so we headed off. Jordan and I took point with Omar and his girl friend Leanne (spelling) behind me. Tarrence (spelling) was behind Omar on the R1 and Mitch bringing up the rear. As the corners started getting tighter I began to watch behind me to see that everyone was still there. Omar was staying pretty close, however Tarence seemed to be a bit slower and then Mitch was coming out of the corner all over Tarence's butt. Now when I saw his R1 I got the impression due to the shape of his tires that he hadn't spent alot of time in the twisties. As Omar put it his bike is a "Stunter' with out the Stunta'. " But everyone has to start somewhere. I had seen Mitch drive before and he could throw that car in the corners well, so I knew that he was being held up. I pulled over at the next wide spot to let some traffic that I had caught a glimpse off earlier move along. Before we took off I motioned for Mitch to take point so he could push his car as hard as he liked.

Mitch took off, and was railing the corners, staying in his lane and hugging the white line. Omar stayed right there with me for the most part with Tarence bringing up the rear. As we came to the end of 215 we pulled off in a parking lot of some general store. Mitch got out of the car smiling ear to ear as was Richard. It was already 12:00 and Omar needed to be heading back soon, so he broke out the Tom-Tom and he and Tarence took off back to Charlotte. It was short day for him, however he seemed to really enjoy what twisties we got to and can't wait to join us when he has more time.

I told Mitch where 178 was and he took off with me right behind heading for another section of "The Loop."

Once we got out of Rosman I motioned to Mitch to head on out as we entered the corners. 178 is much more intense that 215 with multiple hair pins and elevation changes mid corner.
With Jordan riding with me I didn't want to push the bike like I normally do on that road, so Mitch pulled off again. I could hear him from time getting on it coming out of corners, but that was about it until we got to a straight away where he slowed up to let me catch back up. There was a football team taking a break from camp in a field next to the road at one point. They started yelling asking Mitch to light em' up. Being the good sport Mitch his, he did a nice rolling burn out leaving a cloud of smoke for the athletes to watch dissipate.

We stopped at the store there at the intersection of 11 and 178. Mitch's arms were tired and Richard was complaining that his lower back and neck were starting to hurt from hitting the corners. :) So we took a break and I snapped a few shots.

Its a darn good looking car if I say so myself. He has won multiple awards at various car shows with it and at last show it was referred to as the "Harley Car." I will never let him live that down. That car beats the ground and I enjoyed riding behind him when he was engine braking into some of the corners. Truly one of the best sounding small blocks I have ever heard.
Jordan and I saddled back up and Mitch and Richard followed me over to 276 headed north. Once again I moved over to let Mitch take point. I had gave him a heads up on the funny lane changes this road has and warned if that if he was going to pass there he needed to do it quick.
Well sure enough got behind on of those Honda Fit's as we approached one of those funky passing lane corners. Mitch stepped on it coming out of the first corner coming around the fit, the road was rough and he hit it a touch to hard. As he headed around the car the back end started to step out. He stayed in it, keeping the car under control but slid past the car. You should have seen the look on the drivers face.
We stopped for lunch and headed on up 276 back up the parkway to figure out how we were going to get home.
I decided it would just be easier for Jordan and I to go back to Charlotte before heading to Lexington, since neither Jordan or I wanted to do I-40 from Asheville. As we loaded up to leave, Mitch's car refused to run. It would light then stumble and die. The fuel pump sounded funny and we were wondering if the fuel pump and just failed. The motor was a bit warm as was the rest of the car. We decided to let it cool of and see what would happen. The car lit after cooling off for about 30 mins. It must have vapor locked, but just in case it was the fuel pump Mitch didn't shut the car off till he got home.
Jordan and I made to the house around 6:30 or so I believe. Both tired and a bit sore. We jumped in the truck and headed back to Lexington to take her home. My intentions were to ride her back home, but I was a bit too tired and it looked like rain was working its way in.
Another good ride with some new people. Mitch and Richard enjoyed it alot and I am pretty sure Omar and Tarence did as well. Hopefully we will get back to the western side of the state soon.

No comments: