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Off Topic or Non-Watch related Post Bike Trip! Day 4. Post contains Picture(s)

Posted By: Ricky Lee McBroom
Date: Saturday, 29 July 2006, at 1:04 p.m.

We started off the day with a stop at the Deal's Gap Motorcycle resort.

Lotsa bikes to ogle, good conversation, and a comaraderie that's almost impossible to describe to the non-biker. I took this chance to give the Tree Of Shame a really good look:

's a good thing to do before you run The Dragon, IMHO. As much fun as it is, it's also a deadly serious business:

Believe it. People die here. As Pam was riding with me today, I vowed that I'd be extra careful. And, know what? It was just as much fun!

From this point on, I'm gonna turn you over to my friend Ray Woods, who was kind enough to write some copy for the following photos. PMWF, meet Ray:

Hi folks, Ray here. Rick wanted me to write a bit about our trip so here goes. One of the traditions at the Dragon is to have your picture taken in front of the Deals Gap sign at the Crossroads of Time motorcycle resort. So here is the obligatory pic of Rick and Pam in front of the sign.

The Crossroads of Time is the the place to gather and discuss the latest run, pass on info on any law enforcement activies, and in my case gather my nerve for my first run on the Gap on a bike. You can also pick up anything from a t-shirt to a roll of duct tape to tape your camera mount in place like I did on my first trip to the Gap way back in 2001.

I saw in previous posts that Rick was making disparaging comments about my riding abilities. I will admit that I'm not the most agressive rider. Age has made me a bit more aware of my mortality. My favorite comment on my riding abilities is to ask if whoever I'm talking to remembers the scene in "American Graffiti" where Toad comes to the stoplight in Ron Howard's car. Another car pulls up to him and asks if that is his car. Puffing up with pride he answers that it sure is. To which the reply is, "What a waste of machinery!" Smiley

I'll be the first to admit that the FJR is way more bike than I'm capable of using to it's limits....but even with my limited skills it still puts a big smile on my face. Even my wife has commented that I've been in a lot better mood since I got the FJR. Also in my defense I will say that I've only had the bike for about 4 weeks so far and am still getting a feel for it.

Since Thursday was my "scare myself silly with the bike" day Friday was my "park the bike because there's too much traffic on the Gap" day. So my wife and I took the Miata and left Rick and Pam to his ST1100. My wife Judy risked life and limb to get these shots of Rick and Pam.

She was turned around backwards, hanging over the back of her seat to get these shots.

These were taken on the NC side of the Gap.

They are still doing some paving on that end. This section looks like a part of the old road surface.

Real mess there with very uneven surface that had my FJR shimmying all over the place.

Click to enlarge.

The last photo was after we departed the Fontana Lodge. We had made a short trip down there as there used to be a vendor that set up there. A few years ago they put new shocks and springs on our Miata and we wanted to let them know how much we enjoyed the improved handling. Unfortunately they are out of New Orleans and it looks like their shop may not have survived, as they were not there this year.

That brought us back to Tapoco Lodge and the headquarters for the Miatas at the Gap weekend, and the main reason for the trip. (for me at least!)

This year was the 10th anniversary of the celebration of this event. It started with a handfull of folks on the internet on the www.miata.net forum (shameless plug!) who decided to just get together for a fun weekend of meeting "internet friends" and driving the most infamous road this side of the Mississippi. From the original 40 or so folks it has grown to an average of 300 to 500 cars. About the only thing officialy planned for the entire weekend is the headquarters shown here at Tapoco. There are a few vendors that set up tents, and between runs at the Dragon, there is a rotating "car show" of folks showing off their latest mods and letting the cars cool down a bit after the last run.

Ricky again - So there you go, the Gap according to Ray!

Honor demands that I say one more thing. Ray may still be getting acquainted with his FJR, but he knows that Miata well. I mounted the camera on the ST and the plan was to film Ray as he piloted the Miata through the Gap. But guess what? I couldn't keep up. Smiley Laughing out loud! Rolling on the floor laughing my a.. off!

Now, granted, I was riding 2-up. But it wasn't even close!

Ray later gave me a ride through the Gap and - Holy Smokes! - that Miata corners like a cat on a shag carpet! I seriously doubt that I could hang with him even if I were solo on the ST. I could gain ground on the uphills, I think, on what pass for 'straightaways' here. But these are few and far between, and there's simply no way I could match his cornering speed. So, overall, I do believe he'd smoke me. Impressive! Here's a photo of Ray at speed, taken a couple of years ago:

Ray adds: Thanks to Killboy for the GREAT pic!! If I could re-stage that pic now you would not see anywhere near as much body roll thanks to the folks that used to set up at Fontana and the new Racing Beat springs and KYB adjustable shocks. ( yet another shameless plug!!) The car now handles like a slot car and I had to really WORK to be able to break the rear end loose to celebrate hitting 120K miles on the Miata.

I also got a chance to Pilot the Miata through the Gap (Thanks, Ray!) and, while I couldn't match Ray's pace, it was loads of fun. I didn't know it was possible to have that much fun on 4 wheels, actually. Laughing out loud! Pam loves the car, too, and is making hints about how she'd like to own one. Eek! Is there a Miata in my future? Smiley Could be.. Rolling on the floor laughing my a.. off!

Ray adds: {heavy metalic breathing} "Master....we have won another to the dark side!" Actually, I think Pam's words were "Screw the Sebring convertible, I want a Miata! ...a RED one!!!" Looks like next year there will be two Miatas along with the bikes! Smiley Rolling on the floor laughing my a.. off!

Alas, it's raining this morning, so no Gap runs today, probably. Indeed, we may load up and head for Nashville, to see our grand daughters..

..that'd be a handy way to break the longish ride home up into two more manageable segments. And those two li'l angels always have plenty of hugs left over for Grandpa, sooo... Laughing out loud! Rolling on the floor laughing my a.. off!

Later, gents!


Messages In This Thread

Off Topic or Non-Watch related Post Bike Trip! Day 4. Post contains Picture(s) (views: 104)
Ricky Lee McBroom -- Saturday, 29 July 2006, at 1:04 p.m.
Lotsa fun and a great ride Ricky. Ride it safe. Post contains no message text (views: 7)
chrise2469 -- Saturday, 29 July 2006, at 5:25 p.m.
I'd like to ride my BMW there some day. Smiley Post contains no message text (views: 10)
waco kid -- Saturday, 29 July 2006, at 5:05 p.m.
Sounds like NC was a lot of fun for you...as it is for us natives every day! Thumbs Up for this Watch Post contains no message text (views: 8)
colbypaperboy -- Saturday, 29 July 2006, at 1:38 p.m.
Great shots ! Thumbs Up for this Watch Thumbs Up for this Watch Post contains no message text (views: 7)
Fernando Campos -- Saturday, 29 July 2006, at 1:06 p.m.

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