Best Motorcycle Events for Riders in the Smoky Mountains

There are all kinds of motorcycle events though few focus on the best thing about your motorcycle – riding it.

Best Motorcycle Events for Riders in the Smoky Mountains

Best Motorcycle Events for Riders in the Smoky Mountains – I’ve attended many events, often as a vendor, but few focus on the best thing about your motorcycle – riding it.

Most shows, rallies, and gatherings center on one thing – getting you off your bike so you can reach your wallet. Park it here, pay to get in, visit our vendors. OK, so they have a place in the big scheme of things. You get to ride there and back, maybe play a few riding games in the grass to entertain the crowds, but mostly you and your bike part ways for the duration. I seem to end up at them too often, and I’d rather be riding.

Best Motorcycle Events for Riders

Best Motorcycle Events for Riders in the Smoky Mountains – typical rally scene. Surrounded by some of the best riding in the world, the bikes sit idle, the riders milling about wondering what next? Riding opportunity wasted.

Looking back on this year, two events hit the mark for me. Well run, well organized, and all about the ride – the RoadRUNNER Magazine event in Maggie Valley and The Smoky Mountain Motomarathon in Asheville / Fontana. Both were firsts for the Smoky Mountains region and both impressed someone who believes motorcycles are best enjoyed when riding them. Both endured weather conditions that kept most bikers in the lazy-boy watching the tube, yet the riders who came went out on the road every day and had a blast.

Best Motorcycle Events for Riders

Best Motorcycle Events for Riders in the Smoky Mountains – Well organized rides made for an outstanding RoadRUNNER Magazine event in Maggie Valley, NC. The weather did not stop the riders from having a great time on their bikes. Lining up for the days adventures one wet morning. The weather cleared, and it was a great time.

The RoadRUNNER Magazine Event in Maggie Valley drew several hundred riders. Each morning they set out in small groups led by a guide to show them the way. There were a variety of destinations, skill levels, lengths of ride, even some dual-sport routes. At the end of the day, riders returned to a catered dinner and swapped stories beneath a circus-sized tent. Off to bed, then back on the road the next day. The handful of vendors were there to give support to the riders, to address the needs that came up when you get so many bikers together. Despite several days of rain, the groups went out each morning and came in happy every evening.

Best Motorcycle Events for Riders

Best Motorcycle Events for Riders in the Smoky Mountains – I got to enjoy one of the dual sport rides at the RoadRUNNER magazine event, one of the highlights of my year. There was something for everyone at this well run gathering, all had a great time.

The Smoky Mountain Motomarathon drew only a couple dozen riders, but those that attended were the hard core enthusiasts that go unsung in the magazines and print. These men and women came in from all over the country and Canada, most riding from home to participate in an event designed to challenge their skills and fortitude. When greeted by Hurricane Sandy with the winds, rain, snow, and ice, they cheerfully saddled up each day eager to get out and ride whatever came up. They enthusiastically went out in conditions that kept cars off the road, and every one of them returned safe and sound each night, ready to embrace the next day.

Best Motorcycle Events for Riders

Best Motorcycle Events for Riders in the Smoky Mountains – Photo from one of the Smoky Mountain Motomarathon riders during the event as Hurricane Sandy added to the already challenging routes. It slowed them down, but didn’t stop these hard core riders. Awesome event, pretty sure the weather will be better next year.

As you hunker down for the all-to-long winter season and your thoughts turn to riding goals for next year, consider these two events for your calendar.  They were both firsts, and if you’d like to see them back let the organizers know it’s what you want to see more of. I know it’s my kind of motorcycle event, and I’ll lend my support again next year if you want to see more like them.

Best Motorcycle Events for Riders

Best Motorcycle Events for Riders in the Smoky Mountains – bagging a checkpoint in the Motomarathon – Each rider is issued a badge. Route sheets are dispersed at the last minute. As you ride the routes you verify your checkpoints with a photo of your badge at each location. Points scored for each checkpoint. Cool idea.

If this is your idea of what makes a great motorcycle event, let these organizers know you want more of it. Contact them, show you are interested, and I’ll do what I can to help make it happen for you.

RoadRUNNER Magazine – http://www.roadrunner.travel

MotoMarathon –  http://www.motomarathon.com

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wayne busch - Smoky Mountain Motorcycle Rider.com

Wayne Busch

– 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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Learn Total Control

Wayne is an advanced motorcycle instructor for Total Rider Tech teaching Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Courses. Isn’t it time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely? It can transform your mountain riding experience.  Total Rider Tech

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Best Motorcycle Rides in North Carolina – NC 215 Update

After hearing of several wrecks this weekend I decided I’d better make another run out to NC 215 near the Blue Ridge Parkway to check the status of the road work. The photo shows the current state – a new coat of gravel.

Best Motorcycle Rides in NC - NC 215 - new gravel

Best Motorcycle Rides in NC – NC 215; This rider made the right choice for him, hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Fresh gravel on NC 215 at this stage of the repaving, it will get better soon.

If you like drifting your motorcycle and power sliding through turns, it doesn’t get much better than this. A topcoat of gravel over s smooth hard base makes for ideal conditions. I had a blast!

Most riders though are going to find this the worst of conditions, and for now you’d better avoid it until the next phase of roadwork is completed. I’ll keep and eye on it and let you know when it improves.

Best Motorcycle Rides North Carolina - NC 215

Best Motorcycle Rides North Carolina – Paving on NC 215 has started from the top down. You can see one lane done here, still a way to go.

ADD –  Looks like US 276 is done, nice pavement, but still no road markings. Read More about what’s going on here – http://smokymountainrider.com/?p=5031

You’ll find these roads on America Rides Maps motorcycle pocket map #6 – The Best Motorcycle Rides EAST of Great Smoky Mountains National Park along with another 50 or so outstanding rides in the surrounding area and a guide to the numerous roadside waterfalls.

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wayne busch - Smoky Mountain Motorcycle Rider.com

Wayne Busch

– 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

Total Rider Tech Logo

Learn Total Control

Wayne is an advanced motorcycle instructor for Total Rider Tech teaching Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Courses. Isn’t it time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely? It can transform your mountain riding experience.  Total Rider Tech

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Nice Motorcycle Ride Near Maggie Valley, North Carolina

The locals know this good biker road well. Shouldn’t you?

Hard to believe Jan 1, 2012, and we’re out for a spin on the bikes. Unusually warm, the day also brought some showers so we kept our ride short and local. As we’re pretty much surrounded by great motorcycle rides here in the Waynesville / Maggie Valley area, even those short rides can be a lot of fun.

photo-jackie-on-rabbit-skin-road

Jackie welcomes the New Year with a ride on Rabbit Skin Road. Nice curves, nice views, it’s a local favorite.

Rabbit Skin Road is easy to find. From Waynesville / Maggie Valley, head north on US 276 across the broad expanse of Jonathan Valley as it skirts the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The top of the ridge line to the west is the park border. To the north you’ll see more impressive mountains including 6000 Max Patch Bald. Even though it’s a long straight stretch of 4 lane, US 276 is a scenic and relaxing ride and a good chance to get settled on the bike before the challenge that is soon to come.

US 276 ends at the intersection with Interstate 40 at Exit 20. Pass under the Interstate as if you are continuing north to Tennessee and look for Rabbit Skin Road on the right before you head up the ramp to the highway.

This video includes some shots of the bridge where the roads meet

Rabbit Skin Road is one of several very challenging and scenic motorcycle rides through the mountains which lie north of Waynesville / Lake Junaluska / and Maggie Valley. It’s only 3.5 miles in length, but it doesn’t really end, it just continues on as Iron Duff Road for another 4.1 miles before it connects to NC 209 (a.k.a. The Rattler) near Exit 24 on Interstate 40.

The junction of Rabbit Skin Road and Iron Duff Road occurs at a bridge which crosses the Pigeon River. Across the river, are two more good motorcycle rides, Riverside Road and Panther Creek Road. Still more good motorcycle rides link to them.

While none of these roads is very long, all of them are scenic and fun to ride, and they interconnect. They are good toknow about when you have only a short time available to get in a motorcycle ride or are darting out for a cruise between rainy spells. If you know where they are, you can just keep linking roads together and spend a couple hours looping through the mountains and never leave the county nor ride the same one twice.

Image-map-shows-the-motorcycle-ride

Rabbit Skin Road and Iron Duff Road – Local Favorites

 

All Roads Lead to Maggie

The Rattler

America Rides Maps Map #6 – The Best Motorcycle Rides EAST of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Wayne Busch

Wayne Busch – Cartographer

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Learn Total Control

– 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

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

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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.

Photo-View-of-the-new-bar-at-the-Mountaineer

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.

Photo-Band-at-the-Mountaineer

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.

Photo-View-from-the-porch-at-the-Mountaineer

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 http://firesidecottages.net/html/restaurant.html

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Motorcycle Friendly Lodging – Maggie Valley, NC – The Chalet

Photo - Maggie-Valley-Chalet

Motorcycle Friendly Lodging at the Chalet

The Chalet in Maggie Valley offers a quiet off highway setting for all individuals, no matter the number of wheels, that desire spotless accommodations.

Photo-Maggie-Valley-Chalet

Private, secluded, secure, peaceful, and friendly - What more could you ask for?

We offer all paved easy access, plenty of trailer parking,  bike/car washing area, rag bucket,  and even some garage parking.Our location is secure and bikes are not visible to traveling public.

Photo-View-of-room-at-Maggie-Valley-Chalet

Now that's what I'm looking for at the end of a good day of riding!

The vast lawn area with gas grills, horseshoe pit and enclosed hot tub is ideal for socializing.

Photo-View-of-room-at-Maggie-Valley-Chalet

Comfortable, relaxing, all you need to feel at home

Our units are all studios or suites with kitchens excellent for small groups of up to 30. Most of our guest come back yearly to enjoy the comfortable accommodations we offer.

Photo-Facilities-at-Maggie-Valley-Chalet

They have all you need to make sure your bike has a nice stay too!

For more info contact http://www.mvchalet.com

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It Doesn’t Get More Motorcycle Friendly Than This!

A lot of motels and lodgers CLAIM they are motorcycle friendly, even hang out a cute little sign. Few will show you hospitality like this and at a price that will have you inviting your buddies along! A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, only 5 miles from the best section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, stands out. Check out this video from last summer;


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

They are located in the heart of town, walking distance to restaurants and bars, have a restaurant on site for breakfast, offer covered parking for your bike right in front of your room and rocking chairs to sit and enjoy the view of the sunset reflecting off your chrome.

Add to that a bike wash area, grills and picnic tables, a fire pit, a pool, a horse shoe pit, clean rooms at surprisingly low prices, and personal attention and hospitality that goes beyond what you expect, nestled in the friendly mountains which line every horizon.

Don’t come alone! They’ll set up a tent for groups and cater your party, even bring out the big projection screen to watch your favorite movies.

Here’s what one visitor had to say –


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGgsBURxBv4

I know Gabi and Rob personally and you’ve got my promise they’ll show you a great time and help you have one of the best motorcycle vacations ever. I wouldn’t be recommending them otherwise.

Rob & Gabi Edwards
A Holiday Motel – Your Preferred Lodging
828-926-1186
877-686-4386
www.holidaymotel.net

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The 2009 Fall Rally in the Rain


Photo: We had it all – Daisy the Pig, Hank the Bear, Moonshiners, Biker Girls …

I suppose it’s my fault for posting that TV Pilot video from a couple years ago that showed the best we could do during the rains of the 2007 Fall Rally in the Valley in Maggie Valley, NC. It must have reminded someone to open the faucets again. At times, I should have had a boat, not a booth.

Still, the crowds came out. Not as many as we would have liked, and I can’t blame those who bailed on the event, though at times a little help bailing from those who didn’t would have been appreciated. The rain started days before the event and grew progressively worse. By the time Friday rolled around, we were already pretty saturated. There were breaks in the weather, and when they came we were busy and tried to put on a good show.

I think we represented Maggie Valley well. A last minute effort from the lodgers and merchants of AllRoadsLeadToMaggie.com, we pooled our resources to purchase a vendor spot at the event. We passed out a good bit of literature from the Haywood County TDA and visitor guides from the Maggie Valley Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, raffled off a 3 day, 2 night, food / lodging / guided tour package, sold a good bit of Popcorn Sutton Moonshiner memorabilia, guided a lot of visitors to some great local rides, and I sold a lot of maps.

Daisy the pig (shown in the photo) was a big hit, as was 7 year old Ellie in her black leather chaps and pink Harley-Davidson gear. While she tore up the dance floor in the evening, she was too shy to get on stage, though the crowd urged her repeatedly. Hank the Bear got a much needed bath. I got a tremendous amount of support and volunteer help from Joanne at the Mountaineer Restaurant, Gabie and Rob at the A Holiday Motel insured I was fed, Phil and Tammy from the Clarketon Motel made sure I didn’t waste any time making trips to the beer tent, and numerous other All Roads Lead To Maggie.com people who came out and volunteered their support and assistance. I even made freinds with the fine ladies at Biker Bettys Apparel and Accessories next door who were so impressed with my maps they’ve offered to take them on the road with them.

Thanks to all who braved the weather to travel to the mountains and spend much of their weekend riding in the rain. I hope I’ve helped make your trip worthwhile and opened your eyes to the vast number of undiscovered roads that lace the surrounding mountains. When you come back, be sure to visit allroadsleadtomaggie.com to get the best vacation packages and room deals for your next visit. The best of our riding season is just starting.

Wayne@americaridesmaps.com

>> Go To America Rides Maps.com http://americaridesmaps.com/

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