Hurricane Weekend in Maggie Valley on my Motorcycle


A little cloudy and rainy was as bad as it got atop Mt. Mitchell

While curiousity got the best of me and I did cruise up to Mt. Mitchell to get a close look at the hurricane, the Smoky Mountain weather was beautiful for motorcycle rides and I took advantage of it with a bunch of local favorites. Judging from all the other bikes out on the road, a lot of coastal folks hopped on the hog and ran for the hills. It was a good decision.


Thunderhawg Motorcycle Rentals, Maggie Valley

Friday found me visiting my friends at ThunderHawg motorcycle rental which just opened at the corner of US 276 and US 19 after my ride north on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Mitchell. Peggy and Mark rent Harleys and it’s nice to have a local rental place again in Maggie Valley. They’ve got tons of info, maps, and they love to meet and greet motorcycle vacationers to the Smoky Mountains. Stop in and see them when you pass through.


A Holiday Motel - Saturday night

Saturday, I rode the Blue Ridge Parkway the other way to Cherokee and Bryson City to stop in at The Gear Head Inn, then hopped on some of the great roads south of there. I ended up at A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley to pass the time while my wife ran in the 8K Maggie Valley Moonlight race.  Always popular with motorcycle vacationers, the A Holiday Motel was full of bikers who came to enjoy the splendid weather. The bonfire was going out front and I was able to cheer Jackie on and spend a little time with the riders. Dale from Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum came by with a couple of Australian visitors who had borrowed a couple of his antique Harleys.

The view from Riders Roost Restaurant is awesome

The view from Riders Roost Restaurant is awesome

Sunday, I cruised NC 215 and US 276, then followed the Blue Ridge Parkway back to Maggie Valley to stop in at Riders Roost Restaurant in before we headed back up on the Blue Ridge Parkway to enjoy the crystal clear evening skies that came in after the storm.

No matter which way you point your wheels from Maggie Valley, you’ll find outstanding riding. The Best section of the Blue Ridge Parkway is right up the hill. It’s a great place to base out of for your motorcycle trip to the Smoky Mountains as so many great rides are within easy reach.

Check out when planning your visit. Maggie Valley is the heart of good motorcycle riding in the Smoky Mountains.


Wayne Busch

Wayne Busch - Cartographer

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– 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 –

Wayne is an advanced motorcycle instructor for Total Rider Tech teaching Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Courses. It’s time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely, it will change your mountain riding experience. It worked so well for me I became an instructor! Total Rider Tech



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?


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 – 

Photos – Blue Ridge Parkway Leaves and Motorcycles – 10/14/10

Photo - fall colors at Soco Gap

View heading down from the Blue Ridge Parkway at Soco Gap on US 19 towards Maggie Valley. The hills are really lighting up now.

The weatherman paid me back for that prior post by starting this “sunny day” with fog, clouds, and rain. I stand by what I said – never believe what’s forecasted. It’s OK, the day was shot anyway as I waited for a mid-day phone call that never came. I used the office time to get caught up.

Photo - leaves changing at Soco Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway

I snapped this photo at the exit ramp at Soco Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I only spent a few minutes driving around admiring the leaves. Great colors are almost everywhere.

The rain gave way to bright sunshine and cool breezy weather after lunch. I finally grew weary of working on the updates to the Best Rides North and South of Asheville map and had to get out of the office. Joanne at the Mountaineer Restaurant on US 19 just down from the Soco Gap exit on the Blue Ridge Parkway needed a restock of maps, and I knew there was always great color at the Mountaineer Restaurant, so I grabbed the camera and headed over there this afternoon.

Photo from Thunderstruck Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway

A view from the Thunderstruck Ridge overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is where the photos of me in the Road Bike Magazine article were taken.

The photos I took at the Mountaineer Restaurant didn’t come out. Ever since I submerged my bike and camera in a river while exploring for the Best Motorcycle Rides in the Mountains of North Georgia, the camera has been temperamental and unreliable. I’m shopping for a new one.

Photo - leaves changing on the Blue Ridge Parkway

I brought the video camera along, but it was a little hazy for the long range shots I wanted. If the force is with me, tomorrow I'll get out with the bike mounted camera and get some of these great views to share. There are tunnels of color.

I don’t know what’s going on with the leaves in other places, I haven’t really been out for a few days. I hope to do some riding tomorrow to give you a more accurate report, at least of the local area. I suspect most of the leaves and color are gone from the highest elevations, above 5500 feet. We should get a cold snap tonight, maybe a little frost in the morning. That will really make the leaves pop – right on schedule.

View of leaves changing at the Plott-Balsam overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway

There were a lot of motorcycles on the Blue Ridge Parkway. My quirky camera only gave me this one shot near the Plott-Balsam Mountains overlook. I'm almost desperate enough to go out a buy a new camera in the morning.

I only spent a few minutes out of my day to take these photos. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, I’d like to get out and ride. Virtual Blue Ridge , the best resource for Blue Ridge Parkway info, has a new leaf report posted here. 


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 –



Test Drive – New Bar at Motorcycle Friendly Mountaineer Restaurant

Photo - motorcycles at the Mountaineer Restaurant

Biker friendly Mountaineer Restaurant add new bar

Just a mile down the hill from the Soco Gap exit (US 19) of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Mountaineer Restaurant has long been a popular stopping off point near the southern end of America’s favorite motorcycle ride. Over the years, as more and more motorcycle tourists have come to patronize the biker friendly stop, Joanne has adapted to cater to their every need. It’s the last stop to pull off and savor your motorcycle vacation tour before rolling into Cherokee.


I should have got a better photo, but I spent a bit more time at the bar than I should have before I remembered to pull out the camera.

This season brings still more changes, the first of which is the new bar. In addition to more seating, more specials, and new staff, the addition of the bar expands the offerings and gives you additional choices to indulge your sipping pleasures while contemplating the extraordinary mountain views from your table, the back porch, or the large outside deck.


Live entertainment is common when the motorcycles come to town

Of course, I felt it my duty to verify this new venue as worthy of your visit, so I headed up there last night for the inaugural  celebrations. As usual, whenever something is going on, Joanne had arranged for some of the best local musicians to provide entertainment and cleared an area for a little dancing. Surf and Turf was the special of the night, and I judged the brews as cold, wet, and effective to the point of enjoying a few spins on the dance floor myself.


No better proof that the bar was working just fine. Come on in and enjoy the view.

Just in time for the Thunder in the Smokies spring rally just down the hill and the Asheville Bikefest, the bar has passed muster and is ready and waiting for you.

For more info see


This Bike Nite Will Be Hard To Top!

Photo – Bikes at the Mountaineer Restaurant / Riders Roost

Wow! Joanne at the Mountaineer / Riders Roost in Maggie Valley pulled out all the stops. What started as a social ride turned out more social than ride, but what a party! Only a handful of us enjoyed a fabulous cruise in the evening sunset on the Blue Ridge Parkwayjust up the hill. The action kept most at the restaurant.Photo – Bikers Always Welcome at The Mountaineer / Riders Roost

The handful of riders expected turned into a crowd of 50 or more. The place was full and lively. There was mountain music to liven things up. Some of the crew from Ghost Town in the Sky came down in full costume. Joanne had extra staff on hand to handle the crowd. Food, drink, music, entertainment, it was not surprising most stayed put.

We’re off to a good start. It’s going to be tough to top this show, and quite honestly, I’m happy just to make the rides. The timing is ideal. It’s cooling off, the sun is low and golden, the day traffic is gone, it’s a perfect time to be out for a spin.

Photo – Live Mountain Music Entertained The Crowd

It’s nice to be off to a great start. These Wednesday evening rides are open to all. I can’t promise we’ll always throw a party this good, but we’ve got some talented and resourceful people involved. If you’re in town or nearby please come by and get to know the people in Maggie Valley who really welcome and appreciate the motorcycle tourist as much as the local. We’ve got some special deals for you, discount cards to help your dollar go farther while your here, and information on the best rides in the area.

Photo – Happy Diners At The Mountaineer

Look for the flyers, ask at the visitors center, e-mail me, or visit All Roads Lead To to find out what’s happening each week. There is a group of people, growing and expanding, that are working overtime to insure you have the best affordable motorcyle vacation found anywhere. We’ve built all inclusive packages that include, meals, lodging, tours, discounts, entertainment at prices you won’t find elsewhere. It’s all possible because we are surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of miles of the best motorcyling roads found anywhere, more than you can see in one, two, even three trips. You never run out of great riding.

Every day is a motorcycle rally in Maggie Valley. The only thing missing are the noisy crowds. They’re too busy spending evenings on the porch in a rocking chair. Ride all day. Kick back in the evening. Now that’s a vacation.

>> Go To America Rides Maps.com