Learn Total Control of your Motorcycle near the Dragon at Deals Gap

Photo - Dragon Riders

Master the skills to tame the Dragon

Have you ever come into a corner too fast and wondered if you’d make it? Can you swing your bike around on a two lane road or do you have to go looking for a place to turn around? Do you know how to set your bikes suspension correctly for yourself, your riding style, carrying a passenger or loaded with luggage? Would you like to have the skills, knowledge, and mindset to not only tame the Dragon but become a master of it?

Take your motorcycle riding to the next level with Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic July 16 – 17 in Robbinsville, North Carolina. Learn the skills, techniques, and mental preparation to get the most out of your motorcycle and improve your overall confidence and enjoyment of riding.

This is not for the newbie. Lee Parks Clinics teach the experienced rider how to handle a bike at speed, ride with control and confidence, and master the complex dynamics of setting your bike up correctly for your riding style. Whether you’re on a crusier, a touring bike, or a race replica, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to get the most out of your ride and be safer doing it.

Photo - Rider on the Dragon

Master control regardless of conditions

You CAN ride faster, safer, and with more confidence and control with the knowledge you’ll gain from Lee Parks experienced rider instruction. Before you balk at the price, consider the cost of missing that next curve that shuts down on you, the tow truck winching your bike up the rocky embankment to plop it on it’s side on the back of a flatbed. In the last 6 weeks I’ve seen a bike in the Tennessee River in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a sad group of onlookers at a crash site on the Cherohala Skyway, and just yesterday, a rider went over the guardrail on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Overheard at the Dragon – They were winching his bike up after the wreck when the rider said, “That’s not my bike”. A few minutes later they found the remains that had laid there unseen for who knows how long.

Lee Parks has been teaching these classes for years all across the country sharing the knowledge and experience he gained from years of racing and track riding and translating those skills and principles to be applied in everyday road riding. You CAN be a better rider. You CAN be a safer rider. It’s a small price to pay for an invaluable gain in your riding knowledge, experience, and confidence.

SportBikes4Hire

Contact Greg McCoy at SportBikes4Hire.com

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn these skills so close to the Dragon in Robbinsville July 16 – 17. Contact Greg McCoy at SportBikes4Hire.com to learn more about the class – 865-809-9147; greg@SportBikes4Hire.com.

I’ll be there. Hope to see you as well.

Class is Filling, limited space – CONTACT GREG NOW!

JULY 16-17
Robbinsville, North Carolina

Contact: Greg McCoy
greg@SportBikes4Hire.com
http:SportBikes4Hire.com
865-809-9147

_______________________________________________________________________________

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 
Share

Asheville Lodging Bargain for Blue Ridge Parkway Motorcycle Travelers

Photo - Courtyard Marriott Asheville

Courtyard Marriott - Asheville

Courtyard Marriott and SpringHill Suites in Asheville is offering motorcycle travelers a 20% DISCOUNT on your stay and all you’ve got to do is tell them I sent you! How cool is that?

Springhill Suites - Asheville

SpringHill Suites - Carrabbas between the two inns

You know what a difference it makes to stay in a nice, comfortable, clean and quiet place where you can decompress and relax when you’ve been piling on the miles. You’ll appreciate knowing there’s something good waiting for you in Asheville, an easy-to-find place you can count on for a quality experience that welcomes motorcycle riders like you.

Photo - Corporate at Marriott

Lynn Prater, John Zellers, Christy Shamp, Teresa Taylor sincerely want your motorcycle business

Marriott Hotels honestly want to serve the motorcycle traveler and show you a good time in one of the top destination cities in the southeast – Asheville, North Carolina. Just 5 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway exit at US 70 just south of the Folk Art Center, it’s s straight shot and easy ride to outstanding and convenient accommodations.

Photo - View from the SpringHill Suites

View from the SpringHill Suites

Thank Sales Manager Christy Shamp for the favor. I met her at the Asheville Bikefest as she and her crew spent the long hours staffing a table next to mine promoting a charitable cause. We got to talking during our breaks and she was quite enthused about the motorcycle riders she was meeting at the event as well as the Yamaha factory crew they hosted at the SpringHill Suites. Christy’s corporate team was coming to town the following week and she asked if I’d come by and tell them about what I do.

Photo - Firepit at the Courtyard by Marriott

Firepit at the Courtyard by Marriott

So I spent a few minutes with corporate, toured both inns with Christy, and saw what they had to offer the motorcycle rider. I’m convinced they sincerely want your motorcycle business. Here’s what I found:

  • It’s barely 5 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway and a straight shot to get there
  • Both the SpringHill Suites and Courtyard Marriott sit well back from the road away from the noise of the traffic. Nor does the back of them border the highway. It’s pretty quiet for such a good location on the edge of downtown.
  • Level paved secure easy parking – can accommodate trailers
  • There’s a Carabbas between the inns, a Starbucks, and plenty of great places to eat nearby.
  • It’s about 2 minutes to get on I-240 to scoot around the city and just as easy to get downtown to enjoy what makes Asheville such a popular destination.
  • Enjoy a nice view of the mountains on the horizon from your room, the pool, or the outdoor fire pit.
Photo - Parkway exit 70W

Use the US 70 West exit on the Blue Ridge Parkway and just follow the road.

Everyone I met was happy, enthusiastic, and accommodating which pretty much describes a visit to Asheville. It’s consistently in the top 5 US travel destinations and continues to win awards (Beer City USA 3 years in a row!). A presidential visit is no longer out of the ordinary, a few movie stars reside on the surrounding slopes, and the Blue Ridge Parkway hugs the east side of the city. In a word – it’s easy.

Here’s a strategy to try when you visit Asheville– ride downtown and find a place to park. Walk a block in any direction. You’ve most likely arrived at or passed some excellent dining. It’s hard to find a bad meal in Asheville and you don’t have to go far.

Courtyard by Marriott
SpringHill Suites by Marriott
phone: 828-252-5831
fax: 828-281-1069
email: ashevillessc@mckibbonhotels.com
www.courtyardasheville.com
www.springhillsuitesasheville.com

_______________________________________________________________________________

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 

 

Share

Riders Roost Restaurant – Motorcycles stop here on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Image - Riders Roost Restaurant sign

Riders Roost Restaurant - watch for this sign

Joanne finally got the new Riders Roost Restaurant signs up after a car took out the old ones on the icy winter roads leading down from the Blue Ridge Parkway at Soco Gap (US 19) near Maggie Valley (LINK TO MAP). Just a little more than a mile downhill from the Blue Ridge Parkway exit heading east, the Riders Roost Restaurant offers the motorcycle traveler and good meal in a beautiful setting convenient to your travels.

I’d hoped to catch Joanne in the kitchen, but with such outstanding weather over the weekend, she was out on her Harley enjoying it like the rest of us. Can you blame her?

Photo-Riders-Roost-Restaurant

Riders Roost Restaurant - Great food, Great view, Great location

I highly recommend you grab a nice bite to eat and maybe a cold brew on the back porch with it’s commanding view of the mountains. It’s one of my favorite places when the fall colors come, they’re spectacular from the porch.

In addition to the Riders Roost Restaurant, Joanne has her Fireside Cottages available just downhill. Such a nice package – a great place to stay with good food  just minutes from the best section of the Blue Ridge Parkway surrounded by more outstanding motorcycle riding. What could be better?

Photo - motorcycles at the Riders Roost Restaurant

Biker friendly Riders Roost Restaurant is obviously the place to be!

Riders Roost Restaurant

Fireside Cottages

_______________________________________________________________________________

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 
Share

Asheville Bikefest – Still the Largest Motorcycle Event in the Region

Photo - Can Am Spyders

CanAm Spyder did over 60 demo rides per day! They had a practice track set up at the event followed by road rides. I think they did a great job.

Honestly, that’s not saying much in 2011. Low turnout at Daytona was the first indication of how tough things had become. Every show I’ve worked this year, even the International shows, were way, way, down both on vendor presence and attendance. Still, nearly 2000 motorcycle riders came from throughout the Smoky Mountains to enjoy the http://AshevilleBikefest.com.

Few traveled far for the event. With the weatherman all hysterical about severe storms, hail, high winds, and a box full of nothing but green crayons to color his TV maps, I’m sure many were put off by the rumored deluge that never came. At times we could see it on the horizon, but it never impacted the show. Mother nature kindly blessed the factory demo fleets from Yahama, Star, KTM, Can-Am Spyder, and Motor Trike with dry roads for the many riders who came to sample the latest offerings from the industry after she cursed Boss-Hoss by flooding the factory only days earlier forcing them to pull out of the event.

Photo - KTM riders returning to the Asheville Bikefest

Riders returning from their KTM demo rides to the Asheville Bikefest - I talked with a lot of happy folks afterwards.

All the guided rides and the Poker Runs by the Grassroots Cafe went off well, though only a handful of people took advantage of the opportunities to ride free with professionals who usually charge some serious coin for the service. The 100 mile adventure ride sponsored by KTM had those riders totally satisfied and with tales to tell. Greg from Sportsbikes4hire.com took a small group out to the Dragon for some fun. BlindKenny.com got a few nice road shots of riders nearby.

Half the vendors pulled out before the show. Some others picked up and left before things peaked on Saturday. The remainder seemed to have what people were looking for and had a pretty good event. Personally, it was the best motorcycle event of the year for my business, http://AmericaRidesMaps.com. I was amazed at how many attendees already had my maps, knew of them, or came to see the latest offerings. I had 20 free maps of great motorcycle rides close to the event and gave away a couple thousand of them. On Thursday and Friday I gave away hundreds of my $5 maps at no charge, all you wanted, help yourself. I saw people walk off with stacks of them. It was fun.

The stunt show by the Anti-team was outstanding, as usual. The local music was good, at times great. I liked the food from the vendors.

It wasn’t a huge show. Only 1/3 as many people attended as last year. There were far fewer vendors. Those who came seemed to come with a purpose, to either get together and ride, or test ride a brand new motorcycle. I’m sure some left disappointed, others got exactly what they were looking for. Everyone got at least $5 worth of something (the low entrance fee) and usually a lot more.

Photo - Star-Yamaha at the Asheville Bikefest

Star-Yamaha did and awesome job. This is their second year - I really hope they come back for the next.

Times are hard, but what the show did, it did well. Next year is already booked at the Agriculture Center south of Asheville. As Route Master I’ve got a few new ideas. I’ll be asking you for more. Thank you, Mark and Yvonne Cresswell from Worldwide Dynamics for putting on another well run show.  They’re off to Laconia, then Sturgis, to wrap up the year for their events.

I remember when I first met Mark, he told me (I’m paraphrasing), “You can’t force an event. It has a natural growth. It takes time. Each has it’s own character, and I want this event to be all about RIDING in the mountains, respecting and reflecting the values and mountain heritage that are the heart of this region and sharing that with riders who already love this area and those yet to find it”.

Photo - Motor Trike

Motor Trike had some exciting designs. These folks are looking at the tamer versions.

Mark’s kept to his plan. He’s selective with the vendors to steer the show in a certain way, pruning some branches, nourishing others. This is his home turf, he lives here in Black Mountain.

We’ve made it through the “terrible two’s” Mark, and you know what they say, “Three times a charm”. We’re already setting things in motion for 2012 and the Third Annual Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run – 2012.

There. I’m first to say it. Get involved. I”ll see you at the Third Annual Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run – 2012. next May.

_______________________________________________________________________________

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 
Share

How to Make a good Deals Gap Motorcycle Ride Better –

Adding these two roads to one of the four most popular Smoky Mountain motorcycle loop rides near the The Dragon at Deals Gap makes the least of them measure up to the others.

Photo - morning on the Cherohala Skway

Morning on the Cherohala Skyway. I'm parked on the state line between North Carolina and Tennessee.

Smoky Mountain / Blue Ridge motorcycle riders who flock to ride The Dragon at Deals Gap typically take in other rides when in the area. One of the best Smoky Mountain motorcycle rides is a loop through Vonore and Tellico Plains, TN to take in the Cherohala Skyway. Another popular circuit is to loop around Great Smoky Mountains National Park crossing through the heart of the Smoky Mountains on US 441. A third great loop ride links NC 28 at Franklin, NC to Nantahala Gorge via Wayah Road. All of these are great loop rides in the Blue Ridge with unique characters.

The fourth most popular ride is to take the Cherohala Skyway west to Tellico Plains, then go south on TN 68. You then use TN 123 / NC 294 to head east, and follow US 74 / 129 north through the Nantahala Gorge to return to The Dragon at Deals Gap. This loop ride starts out with the outstanding scenery and enjoyable sweeping curves of the 50 mile long Cherohala Skyway as it crosses the Snowbird Mountain Range of the Blue Ridge. It gets nice again once you enter the curvy sections a few miles south of Tellico Plains on NC 68. It’s gets better and better the further south you go, though NC 68 can carry a bit of traffic on weekends.

Photo - Field of the Woods

The 10 Commandments at Fields of the Wood - big enough God can read them

Once you turn east on TN 123 / NC 294, the ride is still pretty good, but the road opens up and the ride is not as scenic and challenging as you progress. Here’s how to punch it back up to outstanding.

Watch for Fields of the Wood, it’s the closest landmark to the turn off onto Hiawassee Dam Access Road. Fields of the Wood is worth a stop to see and a nice place for a break. Those with devout religious leanings will be inspired by the hillside with the ten commandments written out in stone, as well as numerous other Biblical icons and monuments. For those inspired more by hellacious and challenging roads, Hiawassee Dam Access Road is next leading to devilish twists and curves.

Photo - Hiawassee Dam

The Hiawassee Dam is a nice spot for a break.

Turn onto Hiawassee Dam Access Road to start the fun. You may encounter a little traffic approaching the dam on weekends as many come for boat access to the lake and river. Once past the dam, the excellent and challenging road continues a course around the west side of the lake. Turn right onto Joe Brown Highway when you reach the end of Hiawassee Dam Access Road.

Joe Brown Highway is hardly what any of us think of when the word “highway” comes to mind. This isolated and remote twisty two lane back road is packed with curve after curve and some pretty decent Smoky Mountain scenery, though you’ll be paying more attention to the road than the horizons. It’s a whole lot of fun, usually carries very little traffic, and may be the best section of the entire loop, a nice contrast to the sweeping curves of the Cherohala Skyway.

Photo - Nantahala Outdoor Center

The Nantahala Outdoor Center on the river is another great break spot with bathrooms, good food, nice views, and the place to arrange a river trip.

Joe Brown Highway runs you right through downtown Murphy, NC to intersect US 129 / 74 at the junction with US 64 East. Turn north to follow the four lane to Andrews where it funnels down to two lanes again for the ride through scenic Nantahala Gorge. You’re bound to run into traffic in Nantahala Gorge, but the scenery along the popular whitewater river makes up for it. Avoid the gorge on weekends when possible as the buses hauling rafters and kayakers tend to bottle things up.

Once through Nantahala Gorge, turn left onto NC 28 and back into the twists and curves to return to The Dragon at Deals Gap.

Photo - View from Hiawassee Dam Overlook

There are nice spots for a break both atop and below the Hiawassee Dam. The road runs across it then continues around the lake.

_______________________________________________________________________________

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 
Share

New Map – The Best Motorcycle Rides SOUTH of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Image - View of Map

Map #7 - The Best Motorcycle Rides South of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I’m proud to announce the release of America Rides Maps latest compilation of great motorcycle rides in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the final map to complete a series of three maps which detail close to 200 good motorcycle roads surrounding Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Map #7, The Best Roads South of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, covers the region west from Maggie Valley, North Carolina, to Tellico Plains, Tennessee, extending south to cross the borders into South Carolina and Georgia. More than 30 of the roads rate being listed as outstanding rides highlighted in red, and another 20 are shown as great connecting roads highlighted in blue to link them all together.  The Best Roads South of Great Smoky Mountains National Park includes a guide to 9 roadside waterfalls, numerous out-of-the-way gas stations, sights and attractions, and motorcycle friendly locations.

dragon-motorcycles

Motorcycles flock to ride the Dragon at Deals Gap

This is THE MAP for motorcycle riders making a trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway then on to the Dragon at Deals Gap.

It includes the final sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway into Cherokee, North Carolina, the popular 125 mile long Dragon /  Cherohala Skyway loop ride, the Nantahala River Gorge, Wayah Bald, the Cullasaja River Gorge, a surprising wealth of hidden back roads near Franklin, NC, and variations on rides surrounding the Dragon at Deals Gap few ever discover.

The Smoky Park Motorcycle Map Series includes –

Nearly 200 roads are described in this map package which weave through some of the highest mountains in the east, cross extensive scenic national forests and park lands, see dozens of roadside waterfalls, including every ride within Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it’s the most extensive and comprehensive collection of great motorcycle rides in this area ever assembled.

 

 

 

Photo by Jim Miller Photography

Photo by Jim Miller Photography - This area is so remote and wild you'll find hundred mile views with no evidence of human occupation to be seen.

 

 

 

“This map takes my best selling map, combines it with another, and adds new roads I’ve discovered to make the ultimate map for visitors to the Dragon at Deals Gap, it’s all you need!”

_______________________________________________________________________________

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 
Share