Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2011 Riding Season Recap

As we work our way though the holiday season of 2011 I'd like to take a bit to look back of the riding season that has come to a close. It has been a busy year and unfortunately I didn't get to ride as much I would have liked. However, the trips I did complete were pretty spectacular and each one opened some doors that I would not have expected.

Dad and I opened the 2011 season with a huge ride. We completed a Bun Burner Gold with Mike "Hammerdown" Brown in March on our way to the IBA party in Jacksonville, Florida. We rode a bit over 1500 miles in 23 hours and 4 minutes. For more details see blog entry, "We Rode to Bike Week the Long Way."

Our "shake down run" a couple weeks before the BBG attempt. We rode around Rowan County and surrounding areas. Stopped a few times to discuss routes and trip plans, etc.

This was our BBG route. Map and points are taken from my SPOT tracker during the ride. Charlotte to Slidell, LA, over to Lake City, Fla, down to Tampa, Fla over to Daytona and up into Jacksonville. We left in the rain on Thursday morning at 12:00am and managed to get soaked in Atlanta. By Slidell, we were back on time, dried out and busted a trail across I-10 to seal the deal.

During the RTE at Flangler Beach the next day, we met this couple. Shane and Annette Cudlin from Australia. They are members of the Far Riders there and were signed up to run the IBR in the summer. (Which they finished, two up!) Turns our their family centers around racing and motorcycles as they own a shop and their sons compete in endurance road races. Damien has even competed in a few MotoGP events on a Ducati and has had a good showing at each race!

Chillin on the side of A1A headed down to Daytona. Nice warm weather in Florida.

In honor of riding my FZ for the BBG attempt, my hero, Barb Smith rode here FZ to the IBA party from Texas.

"Mock-Rageous" made it down to Jacksonville so he could come with us to the Daytona 200 on Saturday afternoon. He rode that small ass Harley from New Bern, NC to Jacksonville and then followed us around Daytona and back home. Jon, you sir are a beast. But you knew that....

Leaving the Daytona 200 got a quick shot of Jon and the sign. The guys in full gear and two with bags, you can see how we stuck out in this crowd.

After the BBG ride I didn't get to do alot of riding since I was keeping the bike back home in Lexington and I was living in Raleigh. In addition the chain and sprockets were shot and I was not comfortable riding on a chain that had the tensile properties of a rubber band...

Memorial day weekend I finally got the bike squared away and spend three days and 4 nights on the road to clear my head from some personal stuff that was going on. Night 1: headed to Mooresville to stay with Travis and his g.f. Rachel. Day 1: Partied on Lake Norman on their friend's boat. Day 2: (pictured) Rode with Travis and my parents up around the Boone area. Day 3: Josh and Jon ran their first track day event at VIR.

Dad, Travis and Myself outside of Blowing Rock for lunch.

On the way to Danville, Va I passed this guy on 58. I think he likes yellow...

Josh looking good as the day progressed.

Jon is on there somewhere... Again, "Mock-rageous"

Made it to an RTE in Hickory, NC when I returned from NYC on business. Good turn out of MTF folks. Got to spend some time riding with Mike Brown, Grizz and the parents.

On Father's Day, Dad and I always make it a point to do something involving bikes. This year we made a day trip up to WV. Dodged the rain and had a good ride up to Beckley and back.

I finally got around to submitting my paperwork for the BBG ride sometime in May. Certificate and backing plate arrived in August.

Working on making a fender with all those backing plates!

In mid August I left NATVAR and started working at TurboCare in Winston-Salem. So I left Raleigh and moved back home with the parents. During the change I managed to work in a week off. So with this, I went riding. No shocker there...
Up on the parkway with Beasley.

Went for a good long day ride with Josh. Started up Hwy 8 to Tuggles Gap. Then rode the parkway south to Boone. Made a pass on 421 and then headed home via 58 and south down to 21.

The Sunday before I started work, Dad and I got out for a day ride to the D-Day memorial in Virgina. Very sombering place.

One nice Saturday afternoon, the group got together for a little ride through the country. Josh, me, Travis & Rachel as well as Mitch on his new ride.

At the list minute I managed to make it to Founders Feast in Western, NC this year. It was held at the Iron Horse Lodge, so I was able to make my yearly Deals Gap ride. :)

The ride to the lodge Friday morning was a bit wet. In fact it rained from the time I left at 4am to the other side of Asheville. However the rain stopped and the clouds lifted as I entered "The Smokies." Amazing sight...

My hotel room for the weekend. Darryl nick named it "The Bates Motel." It wasn't much, but it was cheap and it was clean. Sure, I'd stay there again if I had to.

Saturdays group under Bridal Veil Falls on 64. Had alot of fun riding with this group of misfits!

Eventually the cats were herded for a group photo on the creek bank at the lodge.

Each morning I left my room early to catch a sunrise on the mountain and do a little agressive riding on my own. Sunday morning I made it to the Skyway for a a bit. Shot was taken at the base of the Skyway.

While I was at Founders Feast I managed to ride a Yamaha Super Tenere (S10 for short) and a Suzuki Vstrom. I have been throwing around the idea of getting a large bike for a bit now and those two were on my list. The S10 was just released and the base model runs about 13,000. However, the Vstrom can be bought used for around 5,000 to 8,000. The S10 is everything the Vstrom falls short at, but for the price difference, I think I could deal with it.

Three weeks later....

I found this bike on the Cycle Trader. Bike was located in Atlanta and the seller was a fellow IBA member as well. Wasn't really ready to purchase yet, but the bike was set up and ready to go for LD rides. I had to do it.

Riding the bike home!

Dad and I had a In State SS1000 scheduled for the following Saturday. So I had a week to go through the bike and install my J&M. One thing always leads to another. I ended up rewiring all the farkles on the bike.

The following Saturday, Dad and I completed an In State SS1000 as part of the Jack Shoalmire tribute. We completed a loop of NC in 21 hours I think it was. No shame in admitting that this ride was the toughest one I had ever done.

Now that the Vstrom is around the FZ needs to go. I hate to see it leave as I have enjoyed riding it so much, but to make the swing to the larger bike the old one has to go.

I currently have the bike listed on the forums, craigslist and ebay for 2,800.00.

Lots of fun miles on this bike.

I guess that about sums up the riding year. Not a record year as far as miles were concerned, but I did manage close to 10,000 and completed two IBA rides. I guess I can't complain too much.

I already have a few rides on the books for ext year that I hope to make happen. Dad, Mike and myself are looking to complete a SS2000 (2000 miles in 48 hours) on the way to Jacksonville this year. After that I am planning to make it to Moonshine, Illinois for the Moonshine Lunch Run in mid April. Following that is the MTF ride in Wisconsin in July.

The Vstrom is now parked for the year and looking to be torn down for modifications and maintainence. In the mean time Im looking to keep myself entertained with some snowboarding this winter. (If it ever gets cold)

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