Smoky Mountain Motorcycles Everywhere with Spring Like Weather

Motorcycles were everywhere in the Smoky Mountains this weekend with the arrival of spring-like weather. Temperatures in the 60’s were a welcome relief from this unusually harsh and snowy winter that hasn’t given us motorcycle riders much of a break since November.

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On a back road near the border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Looking north towards Tennessee.

Though snow still lingered in many places, few could resist the urge to fire up the bike and get out to enjoy the fabulous mountain motorcycle riding near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Blue Ridge Parkway remains closed for the season but that’s of little consequence to motorcycle riders here who enjoy a wealth of two lane back roads that stretch to every horizon.

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Jackie rides by with Purchase Knob in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the background. She loves her BMW F800 ST.

It’s about time we had a break in the weather (hope you did too). In a normal winter (is there such a thing anymore?) the cold spells are broken up by these warm ones and year round riding is pursued by many happy motorcycle enthusiasts throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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Clear blue skies and warm winter sunshine had motorcyclists out on all the back roads.

We shot more video for the NC 215 Winter Project but mostly we just made the best of this nice break. We played around on roads through Canton, Bethel, Maggie Valley, made some loops out into the Pisgah National Forest, and went into Waynesville for lunch. It was packed with people in T-shirts enjoying the great food and shopping Waynesville’s historic and quaint downtown is known for.


NC 215 – A Great North Carolina Motorcycle Ride (teaser)

Sure there will be more cold weather to come before spring. I’m hoping things will get back to normal and we’ll have more great days of riding like these. This was great!

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Wayne Busch
Wayne Busch – Cartographer
– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com 
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Electric Bike Kicks Some Gas Ass

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIMQ0c7JKIU

I don’t see an electric bike in my future – right now. Still, it’s with some pride that I’ve watched the development of this new technology and I am impressed that the cutting edge performance is appearing first in motorcycles – not cars. It was just a couple years ago electric motorcycles were little more than mopeds with a battery. Now, they are matching the performance of gas powered bikes and for the first time appearing on the podium at an honest race.

I picked this up from US Rider News and you can read more and see a couple more photos at http://usridernews.com/2011/01/24/electric-superbike-reaches-podium-finish/ .

 

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The Blue Ridge Parkway on Snow Skis (6 Photos)

The first wave of snow has come and gone. After a couple days confined to the cabin, the roads cleared enough so we could get out, get some fresh air and exercise, and restock the pantry before the whopper of storms blows in shortly.

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About a foot of snow on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Soco Gap and we had to break our own trail.

With the storm coming we’re likely to be snowed in for the next few days. We should see somewhere around another foot at my house, though things could get pretty deep up on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Jackie glides by - it's not rare to see her off her BMW motorcycle when the weather gets cold

We’re grateful for the opportunity to get out. Cabin fever sets in pretty fast, especially when you are used to being outdoors. We start climbing the walls after 3 days.

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Just aim the pointy ends down hill and relax - looking over the edge of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The drops can be substantial.

So long as the power stays on, and it usually does, we’ll be fine. There are folks further north who would be glad to swap places.

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The parkway is not our exclusive winter playground. It's rare to have it all to yourself any time of year. We meet a snow shoer, then more skiers.

I’ll spend the next few days squirreled away in my  office revising another one of my Smoky Mountains motorcycle ride maps. It’s easier to get the tedium accomplished when there’s nothing else you can go do.

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View from about a mile up the parkway. You're looking towards Cherokee though I never saw the casino. From higher up, at Waterrock Knob, you can't miss the huge buildings.

The reason I bother to post something like skiing the Blue Ridge Parkway is that it happens less often than you might think. There are only a few times each year the conditions are just right. They could have been better today, but it was good enough. It was a lot of work busting trail uphill. The downhills were not too bad at all.

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The four of us packed down a nice trail to follow when we turned about for the downhill run. The dogs could barely keep up.

It’s hard to believe I was out on my motorcycle mapping the best rides in the Smoky Mountains just a few days ago. With any luck I’ll be out again by the end of next week. But for now, it’s hunker down time.

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Wayne Busch
Wayne Busch – Cartographer
– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com 
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Making Gatlinburg Tolerable for Motorcycles (1 photo)

Gatlinburg. I cringe just thinking about the traffic, congestion, and development.  It’s one of the last places I consider when thinking of good motorcycle riding. Today, my outlook may be changing.

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US 321 north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 90% of the east-west traffic between I-40 and Gatlinburg will be on this road.

I’m closing in on the GatlinburgPigeon ForgeSevierville area, mapping west from I-40 in search of the best motorcycle rides. I’ve already found my best route to reach the city limits avoiding the traffic on US 321 along the north edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A few back roads linked together turn the chore of crossing the foothills downright enjoyable but now I’m getting into the towns.

Even so, I found a couple nice shortcuts today to skirt around the tourists, and there are number of promising roads waiting. The short winter days and roads strewn with road salt, grit, and lingering icy patches limit the miles I can cover efficiently before I turn tail and head home.

I shouldn’t complain about the traffic as it’s the dead of winter. Dollywood is closed. Much of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed. The memories of what happens once things warm up give me chills. I won’t quit until I find the best ways to go.

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Wayne Busch
Wayne Busch – Cartographer
– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com 
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