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...
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.