Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 1. Wednesday, June 3rd

Well it was finally June! I had been waiting on this day for 6 months. It was time for the second annual Deals Gap Meet with the FZ6 International Forum. I had reserved my spot around the first of the year and in the past couple weeks I had managed to get Josh and John to come along as well.

After my little accident the week before, I spent a lot of time going over the bike checking lines, hoses and hardware for possible failures. Nothing seemed out of place except the scratches that came as a result. Once I had my bike prepped for the trip I began working on Jon’s GSXR-600. Jon hadn’t been around much due to other priorities at the time, and I felt that his bike needed a good once over to be sure it was road worthy. After all, he was riding with Josh and I, if his bike broke, we were all screwed. There weren’t any loose screws, and all his fluids were good and the tires were in decent shape. However as I made my way around the bike I noticed that his rear brake pads were toast! I made a few phone calls before heading off to work to let Jon know that his pads were shot and that they needed to be replaced before we left. Fortunately he was able to find a set of rears and we installed them later that evening while packing up the last minute items.

8:00 AM, we were fueled up and heading west. The horse play started early as Jon reached over and shut Josh’s bike off at the intersection leaving the gas station. We thought it was funny, Josh didn’t. (Surprise) Our route took us down 85 to 74 to Lake Lure and then on down 74 Alt to Asheville. We made our first stop at the bottom of Lake Lure to stretch and let some traffic go on ahead. A few minutes later we headed on up to make the cleanest pass on 74 ever. We had never had such luck coming up this road, we honestly had it to ourselves! Past Chimney Rock we continued across 74 passing where we normally turn down Hwy 9. Shortly after this intersection of 9 and 74 the cars that we got behind started moving over and waiving us by. We were really at a loss as to why they were doing this. The three of us waved as we went, trying to figure out why everyone was being so nice. About a mile later the curvy road signs showed up and we were thanking the cars about a mile back! 74 Alt ended up twisting its way damn near all the way to Asheville! It was a good stretch of road with some nice curves and as they got tighter I could see Jon in my mirrors all over my rear end needing some more room. So I waved him on, only to see him again once we got to a stop light just shy of I-40.

Once in Asheville we stopped for gas and grabbed some lunch at a BK there off the highway. I looked over the map while inside, double checking the fact that I was really unsure on how exactly we were going to get there…

Sure enough once we were on the road I got us side tracked and turned around some where around Silva and that area. A couple hours later, after running all back roads were ended up in Robbinsville, NC. We stopped at a small gas station there on the skyway to ask directions as to where The Treetops were located, to be greeted by a family of chickens that were living somewhere around the gas station. The Treetops was a couple miles down 143 on our right, I was afraid I was going to miss it as the road was so darn twisty, I really wasn’t looking for a small gravel road on the shoulder… However we did end up finding it and pulled into what we would call home for the next few days. Anthony, Brian and Nick (I think) were the only people there at the time. Shaggy (Mark) showed up a bit later as we were unloading.

After we got unloaded and talked with the guys a few minutes, Josh and Jon were eager to get up to the infamous US129 to see what it was all about. They really had no clue what was coming.

We stopped at the store to look around for a few minutes and check out the tree of shame. I mounted up the cameras as I gave them the basic run down of warning signs and what to look for and we took off heading north.

After the first pass I pulled off at the gravel trap at the north end with Jon right on my tail and Josh not too far behind. I quickly took off my lid and watched their expressions as they dismounted. Ear to ear grins for both of them. Jon seemed to be in awe and didn’t say much more than, “that was amazing” while Josh couldn’t stop talking about it. We looked at each others tires joking about the chicken strips when I noticed something interesting about my tires. I had gotten the Avon’s pretty darn hot and I had the “rubber buggers” accumulating on the sides like the road race guys! I took a few shots and the three of us headed back down to the store. We took a different order this time trying to get everyone on camera. Jon took point with Josh in the middle and the FZ bringing up the rear. A bit later we were back at the store to pull the cameras off and B.S. about the last run. We headed back the house to call it a day and eat some dinner that Anthony was working on before we left.

The guys were stoked…

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