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.

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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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Greenville IMS Show is past – Asheville Bikefest coming May 12-15

Photo - Asheville Bikefest booth at Greenville IMs show

I don't look busy, do I. The crowds were distracted for a moment by the stage shows.

It’s the morning after the Greenville International Motorcycle Show and I’m beat. It was my first IMS show and it’s quite a step up from what I’ve seen previously – not that I had much time to see what was going on. I rarely left the Asheville Bikefest / America Rides Maps booth. It was my wife who snapped these photos when she popped in for a visit on Saturday and brought me something to eat.

Gary from the Switzerland Inn came down Sunday to help promote the Diamondback Motorcycle route. He’s a great guy and it’s always good to see him. The Diamondback Motorcycle lodge is already booked through the year on weekends, but he’s ready to work some mid week deals for your Blue Ridge Parkway travels. Me, I prefer staying in the Switzerland Inn itself. I ride long and hard and when I come in for the night I want all the luxury and pampering I can get. Park me at one of the bars, give me a great meal, watch the sunset over the mountains from the veranda and then recuperate in the spacious rooms. I deserve it. So do you.

Photo - Mark and Yvonne work their tails off

Mark and Yvonne Cresswell of World Wide Dynamics - promoters for the Asheville Bikefest ... and Sturgis... and Laconia.... and Leesburg... and...

Bill Kneigge from Blue Strada Tours also spent some time with us. He also works with Edlewiess Tours International and he’s one of those guys that everyone likes as soon as you meet him. We’re doing our best to get him to coordinate the guided tours for the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run. I seem to run into him everywhere with his tour clients from around the world when I’m out on the road. It’s always a treat to see Bill.

I’ve got a lot of contacts to follow up on as I look to expand what America Rides Maps offers. The Blue Ridge Parkway and Deals Gap Classic Rides maps are selling like candy. I had a good meeting with Schampa.com motorcycle rider wear, and have some things cooking with Liberty Sports motorcycle eyewear. I’m really excited about BlueRidgeParkwayMotorcycle.com which is about ready to launch (the site’s still under development, but not for much longer).

Photo - working the Greenville IMs show

There we go, look at my big happy smile! I really enjoy meeting everyone.

I could go on and on but I’m just too exhausted. There’s so much to do to get ready for the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run May 12-15. I’ll probably pass on Daytona, but I’m putting some serious thought into Leesburg. That’s a nice rally and I love meeting and talking with those Florida riders.

Thank you everyone who stopped by to see us. You make it worth all the effort.  I’m open to suggestions regarding the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run and hope to exceed your expectations.

_______________________________________________________________________________

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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Views On Bike Shows Changing

Photo - Motorcycle at Knoxville show

A thing of beauty, craftsmanship, design, and art.

Every so often you may still hear me utter the words “I don’t care much for bike shows”, but my perspective is changing. It’s a personal issue, one more defect to add to my already exhaustive list of character flaws. As with many dislikes, it was rooted in ignorance and a narrow understanding.

I give credit to Mark and Yvonne Cresswell from World Wide Dynamics for opening my mind. They’ve been involved with promoting shows and events like Sturgis, Leesburg, Laconia, Daytona, and a host of others for decades. When things went south with Myrtle Beach they saw a vacuum and the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run was born to fill it. I watched them pull together the event last year, got just a little peek at all the behind the curtain challenges and frustrations involved, and came to appreciate the knowledge and connections they’ve built up over the years. I used to think they asked for my contribution for my expert knowledge about motorcycle riding in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but now I think there’s more to it. There has to be. I’m starting to wake up to what that is.

Photo - Bike at Knoxville motorcycle show

Nothing like purple to show passion.

Give me a good bike, an engaging road, and a tank of gas and I’m gone. I don’t need bling, all you’re gonna see is a blur as I flash by anyway. When form vs. function, function always wins for me, and shows seemed all about form – shiny bikes I’d never ride and baubles to dress them up. I struggled with this contradiction but now I think I’m bridging the gap in my understanding, finding the deeper connection. I’ve believe I’ve found the common ground – it’s passion.

I spent yesterday in Knoxville TN, at the Easyrider Custom motorcycle show. A few weeks back it was Charlotte NC, and before that Greenville SC. All of these were outstanding well run shows that crowds of thousands truly enjoy. Coordinating and managing them is an extraordinary accomplishment and a tremendous amount of work. Touring it on the road from city to city presents daunting challenges. I have nothing but awe and respect for Easyriders Events – well done! It didn’t happen without passion.

Photo - motorcycle at Knoxville show

Now here's one I'd enjoy riding! '73 Kaw rescued from a farmers field.

I’ve had just a little taste of what it takes to be a vendor at a show, a behind the scenes look, a “backstage pass” so to speak. It’s a grueling routine. Miles and miles on the road. Up before dark to get into the facility. Hauling in all your merchandise through the loading dock, building the booth, hoping and trying to get a good spot on the floor, the race to get everything set up before the doors open to the public. Once the people flood in you’re on your feet and on your game non-stop until they close again. It’s a long and exhausting day and at the end you’ve either got to break down and pack up to head for the next show or spend a night in a strange bed to do it all over again tomorrow. It’s done so well and they make it look so easy you never think about what went into creating it. You don’t do that without passion.

Photo - motorcycle at Knoxville show

I've always liked the red ones.

No need to waste words describing the passion of those who build and bring these bikes to the shows – the photos clearly show how much passion went into these creations. That passion is also evident in the thousands of people who come to these events, to share the enthusiasm and stoke their own personal passions for what motorcycling brings to them.

We motorcyclists are a diverse group. Each one of us gets something from the sport / hobby / lifestyle / – however you categorize what motorcycles do for you. We’re all different, but one of the things that unites us is passion. My passion is best expressed and fulfilled through riding at the edge of my abilities on the most challenging and engaging roads I can find. The shiny things don’t always fit in my personal world, but I can appreciate how it does for others. Passion is the tie that binds, the common denominator for us.

Asheville Bikefest Info

The Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run May 12-15, 2011

Passion has got to be one of the reasons Mark and Yvonne asked me to help again with the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run May 12 – 15. It certainly isn’t my competence with putting on a bike show, they know my attitude and lack of experience with such things. Coordinating the vendors, the stunt shows, the entertainment, the manufacturers and their demo fleets, and all that difficult and exhaustive list of things that go into a show are their passion. It’s what they bring to the table and I was impressed with how well they pulled it off last year.

My passion is riding. That’s my mission. I’m taking it very seriously because it’s what I love most. I can point you to 100 outstanding motorcycle rides around this Asheville show and I don’t know anyone who is as passionate about motorcycle riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway as I am. Just 10 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Asheville Bikefest offers something many other gatherings lack – a wealth of great motorcycle rides through the fantastic scenic Smoky Mountains. Motorcycles aren’t just welcome here, it’s a part of life. The mayor of Asheville rides. You’ve always been welcome here. When you have passion, you can’t help but share it with others.

Come see me at the show. Come with a full tank. Come and let me share our passion with you.

Image - Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy Welcomes Bikefest letter

Asheville Mayor/motorcycle rider Terry Bellamy Welcomes Bikefest

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A Winter Day Searching for Great Smoky Mountain Motorcycle Rides

The Smoky Mountains of the Blue Ridge aren’t waiting for the official arrival of the solstice – winter time is pretty much here and now. Last week was messy, wrapping up with a deluge of rain.  When the weather broke a little yesterday, I finally got out to do some motorcycle riding. I waited for the sun to get high enough to minimize any icy patches on the road, then set out on a cold and mostly overcast day. It’s good that I did. It looks like we’re in for a cold wet stretch of dismal gray skies and the constant threat of rain or snow over the next few days. It’s hardly the kind of winter weather that inspires one to go dashing over the river and through the woods on your motorcycle no matter how much Grandma wants to see you. When the skies clear, you shouldn’t chance missing the opportunity to get out and ride. The good riding days will be more and more rare.

Photo - morning clouds bring us snow

After yesterdays break in the weather, clouds are moving back in this morning. Rain will turn to snow tonight, but not a significant amount. Blustery for the next few days.

I spent the afternoon prospecting for great motorcycle rides near Hendersonville, Mountain Home, Pisgah Forest, and Mills River. I’d not paid this area much attention before as it was not a piece of real estate previously included in one of my motorcycle maps.  There’s relatively high traffic and congestion around here and I tend to avoid going through, but I’m already thinking about the Asheville Bikefest in the spring and I want to become more knowledgable of this nearby area. It turns out there are a number of nice roads passing through it and I managed to locate and explore several good new ones I can now recommend as more enjoyable alternatives to the main roads.

Photo - flooded road near Mills River

This area got hammered by recent heavy rains and I forded a few flooded roads this afternoon. While some were several feet deep yesterday and some cars got stranded, the water was only inches deep today.

Located south and slightly west of Asheville, the mountains in this area are not as high as those to the north in the Pisgah Forest. There are a number of rivers which flow through here, some farmland, a few high end neighborhoods, and some rugged and forested areas like the Dupont Forest with it’s many waterfalls. I -26 runs north-south just a few miles east and the border with South Carolina in only minutes away. It’s a pretty area, but the mountains of the Pisgah Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway to the north overshadow it.

Photo - Looking Glass Falls

I commuted via US 276 from Waynesville to Brevard to reach the area. No ride on US 276 is complete without a stop at Looking Glass Falls.

The areas I have left to scout for this map revision (in progress) are scattered across 4 states. I’ve still got to press a little further into South Carolina then sweep west into the corner of Georgia to look at one potentially good road. The bulk of the remaining riding is in Tennessee, just north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I’ll need two really good days to thoroughly re-explore that area.

If the weather doesn’t break soon, I’ll start working on the next map, the companion to this one. I’ve got plenty to occupy my time. Still, I’d rather be out riding.

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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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Temporary Blue Ridge Parkway Closures in Asheville This Week – Suggestions

Photo - Detour sign on the Blue Ridge Parkway

It's not a detour, it's an opportunity to explore!

Was it too good to be true? Finally, the Blue Ridge Parkway opens from end to end after 18 months of problems and here we go again – more closures to add spice to your motorcycle vacation. Parts of the “commuter section” of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville will be closed this week as a tree trimming crew works it’s way north through the area from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM each day. You’re not missing much in the way of motorcycle touring or scenery in this closed section. The Parkway is reaching its low point near the city to cross the French Broad River and there is little to see, though the park headquarters and visitor center are located here. It’s referred to as the “commuter section” as so many locals use the Parkway to skirt around the southeast side of the city and avoid the traffic.

The section where the closures will occur is between the NC 191 exit at MP 393 near the Arboretum on the southwest side of  Asheville to the US 70 Exit (a.k.a. Tunnel Road / Oteen) at milepost 383. The crew will start near 191 and work north. I’m not sure why they need to completely close down the road – I went through some pretty heavy tree work in Virginia and they were only holding up traffic as needed to do the trimming and clear the debris, nor are the trees in this section particularly close to or overhanging the road. Maybe they are planning to drop some of the big ones.

As for alternative routes, it’s going to be nearly impossible to avoid going through the city. I suggest you make the most of it and see what’s makes Asheville so much fun and unique. Of course you can just follow the detours and take I-40 as directed, though I try to avoid the US 70 exit and Tunnel Road – it’s congested and there are a lot of accidents in that area, though getting on the Interstate is not difficult. Nor is the 191 end of things all that attractive, but you gotta get through it. Consider taking a little extra time and getting off the Blue Ridge Parkway at the next exit north at Town Mountain Road.

Town Mountain Road is one of my suggested good rides. It’s nice and twisty, passes by the Grove Park Inn and Spa (drinks on the veranda anyone? Oh, so nice), then dumps you right in the heart of downtown. Passing through the city on your motorcycle tour gives you the opportunity to find some outstanding dining and discover why it won the “Beer City” award again this year at one of the numerous microbreweries. As there’s really so little to see on the closed section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and so much to discover in Asheville, why not make the most of it? That way you’ll be ahead of the game for next years Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run and already know some of the hot spots.

Discover the thousands of miles of great motorcycle touring roads in the surrounding mountainsAmerica Rides Maps

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Another Great Motorcycle Ride to be Added to the List – My Secret

It’s not all that frequently I miss a great motorcycle ride in my explorations. I really try to be thorough as well as intuitive, so few slip by. Still, I can’t claim to know ALL the great roads in the southern Appalachians, just the vast majority of them. I continue to find more, and quite embarrassingly, they are too often close to home. Everyone believes they know ALL the great roads right in their back yard. Time and again I am proven wrong, and that’s not such a bad thing.

Stop reading now if you think I am giving this one away. No photos, no road names, nada. I just gave away 30 routes at the Asheville Bikefest for free and people gobbled them up. Nor is this a post about the Asheville Bikefest, I think you may be getting sick of hearing about that, but be cautioned, there will be more to come. The event was far more successful than expected and stuff is flooding in. The only reason I mention the event is because I found this great road because of it.

As Route Master for the Asheville Bikefest (there I go again, last time) I spoke with countless people helping them find the best rides in the area and getting them to see the most in the time they had. When you’re passionate about something, even work becomes fun. I went almost non-stop for four days and I had a great time. That’s why I founded America Rides Maps.

So anyway, this guy wants me to direct him to one of the two dozen local roadside waterfalls, which I do, so he can get of picture of his bike behind it. Yeah, you can actually drive behind this waterfall right off the road. He didn’t find it. Why, I don’t know, it’s one of the most obvious roadside waterfalls there is but that doesn’t matter. What matters is this guy doesn’t give up. He gets directions which lead him off into the forest. He rides and rides everything in sight, exploring places I know better than to go. He never finds it.

The next day he comes back to me and tells me he couldn’t find the waterfall. I’m a bit incredulous, it’s so easy. I redirect him. He relates his adventures and tells me he found this awesome motorcycle ride. I’m dubious. If he couldn’t find the easy waterfall do I believe him now? I made a mental note of it nonetheless. About an hour later I’m talking to a couple of women. They’re buying maps of the areas closest to them (we all think we know our own back yard), right down the street from the “event which will not be named again in this post. Out of curiosity, I ask if they know of this road the guy mentioned. “I live on that road, it’s great!”

So I can’t resist. Today I have to check it out. It rocks. Who cares how or why I missed it.   I’ll add it to the “The Best Roads South of Great Smoky Mountains State Park – EAST” map tomorrow. The other routes in the area I’d previously identified were detours around a congested town and a four lane section of road which formed one leg of a 100 mile+ triangle of superb riding. Now I think I’m looking forward to the detour more than the great rides that lead to it.

I have some more leads to follow up. I know some will be disappointing. I think I’ve done at least one and rejected it, my standards are high, but you never know. I’d be very pleased to find another jewel.

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Waiting to Hear About the Asheville Bikefest and the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Run

Photo - The Headquarters building

The big log building in the background was the headquarters for the event - as Route Master I rarely left it.

From before the gates opened to well after they closed, I spent the last four days at the Asheville Bikefest and yet I never really saw it. As Route Master for the event I was stationed in the luxurious air conditioned headquarters building and tasked with helping folks get out and ride the fantastic motorcycle roads in the surrounding area. I rarely stepped outside nor ventured far from my post.

Photo - the Route Master at work

A printer, 30 routes, and me at work helping you find the best rides and routes.

Flanked by two long tables stacked with 30 motorcycle ride routes for people to choose from, I spent much of my time running back and forth to the printer to maintain the supply. There were great motorcycle rides in most every point of the compass, up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway, and to several of my personal favorite motorcycle roads. It kept me busy. When my wife came down Saturday to help me out, I urged her to take a few minutes and grab some photos. She probably saw more of the event than I did.

Photo - vintage Triumph Bonneville

A vintage Triumph Bonneville parked right out front - I rode one of those back in the day and find myself back on a Triumph today. Great bikes!

I met folks from as far away as Maine, New York, Florida, and a whole lot from South Carolina and Virginia. Considering the remnants of the Myrtle Beach Bike Rally were going on simultaneously, it was encouraging to see so many who had chosen to come here instead, a sure sign that beach venue has lost it’s luster. Most who came seemed to be local. It was a surprising turnout considering all the competing events in the region and up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Asheville-Bikefest-pics

Yamaha / Star / Boss Hoss and other big rigs set up in one corner. There was a steady stream of demo rides the whole time.

I expect more photos soon. I saw some wild ones from The Anti Team Stunt Show with the bikes in flames. When I caught the last of them on Sunday, they were pulling out all the stops and those boys went home with some painful souvenirs.

Photo - stunts provided by the Anti Team

Three stunt shows each day from the Anti Team kept getting better and better. They kept finding more stuff to blow up or burn, sometimes themselves.

I was there, but I can’t tell you much about it. I was too busy. I’ll post more as it comes in. If you made it, let me know what you thought and I’ll try to do even better next year. Unlike others, this event is all about the great motorcycle riding and should be one you add to your motorcycle vacation plans.

See some cool videos of the show at http://theantiteam.com

For routes and maps: http://americaridesmaps.com

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Great Motorcycle Riding Weather is Killing Me, Must Work On Asheville Bikefest

Photo-bikes-sit-idle

All fueled up and ready to go, the bikes collect dust instead of miles.

Clear blue skies, lush green mountainsides, temperatures in the 80’s, the first lavender rhododendron blooms are popping open to join the showy azaleas while the white dogwood trees are finishing their lower altitude show. Flowers are in bloom everywhere you look, miles and miles of empty two lane roads lead out in all directions. Fresh tires and a sparkly clean motorcycle prepped and ready for the challenge rest quietly in the shade of the carport under a dusting of pollen, the headlights eerily sad and dark longing to spark to life and shine with a roaring brilliance as they seek each new bend in the road. Come ride me, I’m ready for you. Taunting, teasing, tantalizing, it waits for something I can’t deliver right now.

Photo-mountain-scenery

A photo from just down the road - the mountains are calling and I can't go.

For the next week it’s all about the Asheville Bikefest. As the official “Route Master” for the event I’ve got duties that must be served. The 13th is rushing at me like it’s pegged to the red line and I spend every spare moment getting things in order. Jumping from computer to computer as one gets tied up with processing the printing, the other pulls together the 30 or so routes I’m asked to prepare. It’s not hard to choose them, rather it’s the time involved in getting them in a form for output and reproduction. All the while the sunshine streams through my office windows and the view of the blue skies and green mountainsides beyond the glass has me pining away for just a little saddle time.

Image-asheville-bikefest-poster

Asheville Bikefest May 13-16. I'm doing everyhting I can to make sure you have the best time.

The road time will come, but not on my schedule. It will be in those last few days just prior to the event as I ride out to experience the routes first hand, identify where any problems and hazards lurk, and confirm the Blue Ridge Parkway is fully open on the sections required and identify the best detours as needed. If past experience holds, when the time comes to get out on the road the heavens will open up and I’ll pass the miles in torrential downpours, but I’m so accustomed to that it no longer matters. Still, while the sun shines it’s tough to be on the wrong side of the window glass.

I’m giving all I’ve got to make the Asheville Bikefest as successful as possible for it’s kickoff year. The rest is up to you. There is no better place to be on your motorcycle than the mountains surrounding Asheville. The weather is ideal, the flowers are blooming, fresh beer is flowing from the breweries, and the bands will be playing all day. Plenty of affordable rooms, campsites, cabins, and even luxury accommodations are waiting. I hope to see you there.

http://ashevillebikefest.com

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Motorcycle Group Riding Video – Good to review before the Asheville Bikefest

I stumbled across this video and with all the rides scheduled at the Asheville Bikefest May 13 – 16, it’s a good one to review. There will be guided tours as well as self-guided rides and something to satisfy most any motorcycle rider. With all the bikes in town, it will probably come in handy up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erpkyD7SMfw

Asheville Bikefest

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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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