1.  

    Prologue: (How did we get here?)

    September 2017: I’m attending the B

    MW Motorcycle Owners of Vermont Green Mountain Rally

    . I’m alone, a solo rider and new member of this club. This is my 4th rally in 2 years and Saturday morning I wake up and look around…trying to find a group I can join for a ride. Groups are breaking off quickly. Anxiety sets in. Who can I ride with? I speak to a few people, they are already leaving and I don’t have gear on…some are just doing on-road only and I really wanted to find some dirt because I’m on a new bike and wanted to break it in.

    This is my 2nd GS, the first was an ’09 GSA I bought used. While I’m on the OEM tires, I wanted to push the bike hard as I’ve only owned it for 2 weeks, a demo end of production 2017 GSA that I got a killer deal on from Max BMW.

    A man comes up to me, “who are you riding with?” in broken english. “No one” I respond and ask if they are doing any off roading. He looks at my bike and says “pretty rough riding for us, if you can keep up, you should join” He also made a note that my street tires would probably not do the job but he didn’t discourage me. (Photos of my first weekend with the bike).

    I join the group of 6 riders from Quebec, a solid mix of oil and water cooled GS models and a small lowered F700. We take off and for 5 hours, ride around Vermont on muddy back roads, water crossings, bits of the Puppy dog route and arrive at Killington area for lunch before taking tarmac back to the Rally location that afternoon. (Here are photos from our ride) Over some beers, they invite me to join them for their Fall Rally in Conway. It takes place in October. It’s cold, only for the brave and I agree. Turns out the ride takes place during Canadian Thanksgiving.

    At that group rally, Sylvain who organizes many of the events asked me to join their club. $28 USD after currency exchange. He says if I join, I can join them down to North Carolina in March. I express interest but in my mind, that’s a lot of time off to spend a week away from my job, my dog, my girlfriend but I commit to it before the weekend is up. (Here are photos from our ride in October)

    11/16/2017, Sylvain Writes: “We are going again in North Carolina in March, The last week of March returning 2 of April. If you interested to come just let me know” I again express interest. February rolls around before I know it.

    2/10/2018: Sylvain, “I talk to my friend and he gonna find a trailer for the 2 bikes…. so you have a places for traveling for you and your GSA. I reserved a place for you in a loft, you are 3 peoples in the loft, the cost of the loft it’s $200US each for the entire week, after that the only expense is the gaz and the location of the trailer for going there!! Philippe and he’s girlfriend Josée are your traveling friend and in the loft too!! They are none smoking (20hrs drive… it’s a must) and they talk english !! At this time i don’t know if they leave Friday the 23 (March) or the saturday 24??”

    I agree and PayPal the money to him for the loft at the “Treehouse” resort that I believe is owned and operated by the owner of Killboy. This is the 6th year of the Quebec group going down to North Carolina. Phillipe and I speak over email and we get along fairly well. I hope so because we’re going to spend 20 hours in a car together our first day of meeting.

    I apply for time off from work and from this date, I have 5 weeks to prepare my bike for the trip, the first extended trip on this brand new bike. Odometer reads 3850. I was warned to expect at least 1000 miles on the trip. I order a few things to make the trip easier. Seat, bar risers, new hand guards and a new riding suit that’s waterproof (I’m glad I did) along with some new stiffer riding boots.

     

    Trailering:

    The thought of loading my bike onto a trailer disgusts me. yet now I am a convert. No, I don’t own my own trailer, nor do I have a vehicle that could tow a bike but the day we leave for the trip, it was 25 degrees. The next morning in VA, it was 22 degrees and as we passed through VA to TN, we had an inch of snow on the ground. this trip would have been impossible without a trailer so for that, I concede that trailering your bike has its place but I still feel like an asshole pulling two huge GS bikes on a trailer behind an SUV.

    Let’s start our ride report!

  2. My alarm goes off at 7:30AM. The bike is outside, packed and ready to go. I didn’t have to check the outside temperature. I’d be spending my day in a Jeep Cherokee with heated seats. I still feel like an asshole saying that. I have an email from Phillip….”We’re past the customs :)

    We’re very very early :) gos says 7:45 at your place so we’ll stop for breakfast and fuel :)”

    I read that as they’ll be at my house in 15 minutes! I put on some coffee to brew, throw on clothes and re-read the email at 8AM. They are killing time for my sake. Very nice of them!

    9AM on the dot, my new friends arrive on March the 23rd (Friday)

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    We were on the road by 9:30AM. Coffee in hand, belly marginally full of

    toast with jam

    . Our route is pretty easy and I’ve included this screenshot with indicated where we stop using data from

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    We encountered rain, snow, high winds and 5 different traffic incidents involving some accidents and just backed up traffic. We rolled into the Econo Lodge at 9:14PM, 12 hours later and booked a room.

    Along the way:

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    My mates who had been up at 4AM in Quebec to get me in NH hit the sack without dinner. I walked down to Chick-Fil-A for some food. Spicy grilled sandwich and a sweet tea.

    Dinner & Breakfast at Chick-Fil-A lead to me becoming the mayor on Foursquare. That was easy!

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    Saturday March 24th, I wake up to 22 Degrees Fahrenheit temperatures outside. Still in shorts and a T-shirt (and regretting that decision), I put everything away in the bike, check the straps and we go to get breakfast on my dime after I observe the Econo Lodge’s Contintenal Breakfast consists of Eggo Waffles and instant coffee. This is the first time my Canadian friends have had Chick-Fil-A and they opt for egg biscuits…skipping chicken entirely. Horrific!

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    Today’s Route:

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    Smooth sailing for us this day. Against my recommendation, we actually do Tail of the Dragon in the Jeep. My driver kept the trailer between the Mayo & the Mustard and we didn’t see another car except a Ford Focus RS being Trailered by a Ford F-150 Raptor (lucky bastards).

    We spotted another Raptor at the end of the dragon.

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    We arrive at the rental house around 6PM and on the forecast, 2″ of rain between then and 4AM on Sunday. It’s going to be a wet ride tomorrow.

    Time for a beer!:

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    After introductions from our hosts, it’s Spaghetti time!

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    We get to sleep right next to our bikes:

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    Each Day has an accompanying video. Here is today’s:

     
  3.  

    Today is Sunday the 25th of 2018. We are in Robbinsville North Carolina. The Head count is over 20 spread across 3 different houses in the same area. Here’s where we stayed for the week –

    https://thetreetops.com

    I hear from Sylvain there are 20+ people here mostly on R1200GS Bikes, an F700, an F800, a KTM 530 EXC and Kawasaki KLX 250. This is our tribe and everyone rides their own ride, the group can split up but everyone is looked after by a riding buddy. The group dynamic was amazing. When I’d pull off the road to get some group shots, people would slow down to help me. It was a very caring and thoughtful group. I enjoy riding with them.

    After spending all of Saturday night in the hot tub and waking up to a very wet and muddy drive-way, I get anxious to get out on the road. Most people are still asleep. I’m up, geared up and ride 10 miles to the gas station to fuel up and grab some breakfast bars.

    When I return, people are making their way down the the ‘launch point’ indicating they’re ready to ride. A couple here who has been riding for many years just bought brand new bikes. He bought a new 2018 GSA Rallye colour scheme and her a 2018 GS in white: We end up doing their 600 mile maintenance during the trip

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    We head off to Deals Gap for some photos, fuel and snacks…still very rainy roads:

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    Me in my new waterproof suit…already coming in handy:

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    If you look closely, two people staring at the R1200GS to right of the fuel pumps. The new white GS has already been dropped onto the un-scratched crash bars…breaking it in properly She was upset but quickly moved on. These bikes are going to get dirty and scratched up. The crash bars did their job. It wouldn’t be the last GS dropped that week

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    We went and grabbed lunch at CJ’s in Bryson City. I had some Nantahala Brewing beers that were on draft and the food was so-so.

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    Roads were drying out so we went to the road to nowhere. here’s the back-story:

    https://www.greatsmokies.com/gsmnp/road-nowhere.html

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    With the roads drying up, we return to Deals Gap and I ride the dragon for the first time. Before I share photos, I wanted to talk about my strained relationship with this road.

    I first visited the Dragon in April of 2016 with a Golf R event called Wookies in the Woods. We had a blast! No accidents or injuries, a safe event with hundreds of Volkswagen Golf R / R32 vehicles and a few Audi models.

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    Later that year, I rode south to Florida on my ’09 GS with the intention of riding the dragon. As you can see from the photo, the November 2016 Forest Fires kept me from getting close the the Dragon. Even in Asheville, I woke up with a nose bleed from all of the smoke. I skipped it.

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    In April of 2017, I once again tried but from Florida to New Hampshire with a stop in Asheville, I was in rain every single day of my trip. Not dry enough to really ride to the level I wanted to on US129 and the surrounding roads:

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    So, this is the first time I’d be in the area and of course it had rained that morning but thanks to the sun, it was dry enough for our ride. It was a blast!

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    Here are some other photos I took that day:

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    It’s after 5PM now so we return back to the house for dinner, drinks and more hot tub time.

    Here’s the video for today’s Antics:

     
  4.  

    Today is Monday the 26th of 2018. I’ve slept on the futon the past 2 nights and I still haven’t visited the grocery store. There is no cell phone service and Satellite Internet is about 3x the speed of dial up (15-20kbps down). This would be heaven for most ADVRiders but for this Millenial, shock is starting to set in. When I travel, I capture about 100 gigabytes of data per day in photos & videos, geo-location bread-crumbs and personal notes to myself. With no way to upload this data to my home server or share photos with the world, I realize it’s going to be a long week.

    Today is our first day of off-roading. I didn’t take an early solo trip. Everyone was on their bikes by 9AM ready to ride.

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    Soon, we find ourselves off road.

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    The ground was dry and hard packed. Sylvain calls this the “off road dragon” it’s 15 miles of twists on hard packed dirt but very tight. You can’t go too fast unless you’re on the KTM530 in which you stop every 5 minutes to wait for the heavy ADV bikes to catch up

    after a few hours of this, we find asphalt again. Bummer!

    The KTM runs out of gas and we push it to the gas station which was luckily 400 yards away from us.

    Lunch is at Chevelle’s in Murphy NC. Bland food but huge portions. We must be in the south.

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    I love going to Asheville for culinary reasons so I informed the group at lunch I was headed there for the evening. I found a cheap hotel for $89 before tax and had a craving for fried catfish and coleslaw. I head back to our camp while the group went back to off-roading and grabbed my luggage and a change of clothes…but first a photo at the Hub which wasn’t open yet for the season:

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    Here’s my location log for Asheville

    Sierra Nevada Brewing Organic Garden

    Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Asheville Downtown

    HomeGrown- Amazing catfish!

    Ultimate Ice Cream Charlotte St.- For some reason this place was dead even though it was 42F outside!

    Wicked Weed Funkatorium

    Burial Beer Co.

    Here are some Photos from Monday in Asheville:

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    I get back to my hotel room at 10PM and spend 90 minutes digitizing things, editing photos and uploading a ton of things to Flickr and iCloud Photos. I’m sure the hotel’s Internet was a little bit slower that night.

    It was a nice day and evening. I picked up a few beers to take home with me:

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    Looking forward to sharing these with friends.

    Here’s the video from today’s Riding:

     
  5.  

    It’s Tuesday, the 27th of April. I awake to an alarm at 7AM. I’m in Asheville NC and it’s around 40F outside. Perfect riding weather. I pack everything and try to fit all of the beers in my panniers that I acquired the night before. I go outside and my bike wasn’t stolen or vandalized. Always a good thing. I honestly worry sometimes that they’ll just flatten my tires or steal my seat…not a trip ruiner but annoying enough to make the trip no more fun. Bike was safe and sound.

    Today’s stops in Asheville:

    Biscuit Head

    Ultra Coffeebar

    Eurosport Asheville – to check out my suspension w/ some odd vibrations and tighten up my grips which were loose. I really need to start packing tools with me. Eurosport’s 15 minutes with my bike..no charge! Thanks team. Amazing service and a huge selection of gear.

    Ingles grocery store – Finally grabbed some breakfast bars and juice

    Some Photos:

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    Today was really boring for my readers at home. When I got back to the base-camp around 1PM, the group was gone. I knew this already and while I tried to convene with them, lack of cell service meant we couldn’t quite sync up our locations. The initial goal was to return back to camp by 9AM (a 2 hour ride) and go with them that day but going to the dealer and getting coffee and chicken biscuit for breakfast screwed up my timeline. I hear they had a ton of fun that day.

    Since I had some time to kill having missed the group, I did my own Tail of the Dragon run. The roads were warm, dry and the sun was out. I went to Fontana Dam for a few photos:

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    At Deals Gap, I spotted a 310GS a guy had rented and an F800:

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    Then I played the dragon. I’m on TKC80 Knobbies but they didn’t hold me back from a respectable lean for an ADV Bike!

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    Yes, I bought a few photos of me again. Worth it because I love how they came out and my bike was looking fairly clean that day:

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    Here is what I heard from the group on their day:

    1. One flat tire where they were able to use a tube to get home. The owner had to go to a local shop the next day for a tire (a 45 minute drive).

    2. One side-stand switch was damaged off-road and they had to by-pass this so the bike would start again

    3. Lots of delays but overall, the group had a great time but it meant they were very late getting back to the camp

     

    So from noon – 6:30 PM, I edited videos, photos, cleaned the house a bit and wrote some blogs along with replied to a few work emails. I also had a few too many beers (after the work emails) so I was ready for dinner as soon as everyone arrived.

    That night’s dinner was Shepards pie but without the crust. Here’s the wikipedia entry for it –

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pâté_chinois

    I had some Vermont Liqueur made from maple sap in a cream sort of base. it was delicious! and was in bed by 10PM. Exhausted from a long day of riding.

    Here’s the video from that day:

     
  6.  

    It’s Wednesday the 28th of March. I wake up at Treetops, have a breakfast bar and some caffeine and start the hour long routine of getting my bike ready. Why so much time? Well, mostly it’s setting up my bike for all of the video and photo recording I do while on it. I only run a tank bag if I’m not going to sleep in another location. No need to weigh my bike down with boxes and luggage if I don’t have anything to put in it.

    I got the GoPros charged up and ready, brought my nicer camera with me but, since this day was such a great day of riding, I didn’t take a lot of photos. This day’s entry will be quite short but there are some great video clips in today’s Vlog.

    it’s bike maintenance day. Two bikes are getting their 600 mile maintenance plus 3 other bikes with oil changes. Phillipe leaves in the truck to buy a tire to replace his broken one. Given the group won’t be going anywhere until 10:30AM, I decide to go out and explore on my own. I found some super muddy tracks, ignored a few private property signs on accident and had to turn around a few times due to dead ends. Still had a blast.

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    We took some nice twisty roads Granieri’ S Italian Restaurant in Andrews, NC. I have my first Yuengling of the trip:

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    and take some photos of the bikes but not before this beautiful car photo-bombed me!

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    Three bikes are MIA because they were dealing with tire changes back at base-camp. They arrive as we were finishing up our lunch.

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    We found some amazing roads today. As a group, we had to stop a lot due to photos, mechanical issues and some people dropping their bikes but on the 2nd day, I ended up being #2/#3 in the group riding order behind Sylvain and his Girlfriend. I could keep up with them no problem but then our group of 3 would leave behind the rest of people. We had a rule which is every turn, we come to a stop and wait for people to catch up. After 2-3 miles of each turn, we’d be on our own again and then wait for the group. I don’t find this annoying at all. Everyone rides at their own pace but it does make the day go a bit long when you have to stop so much. it did allow for some good photos when we stopped to wait:

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    This is Sylvain going back to find out where everyone is as we’ve been waiting for 10 minutes:

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    This is our group of 3 bikes that are usually airing on others. Not a huge deal honestly, I’m not complaining. It is why I prefer solo trips. Riding at my own pace, stopping when I want, etc.

    When we got to the bottom of the hill pictured above, I let my bike have a nap. it deserved it:

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    That evening, we had Fondue w/ Fruit:

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    I had a Pilsener:

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    and I observed that the powder coating I had done to my headers in February was already peeling off

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    Here’s today’s video:

     
  7.  

    It’s Thursday the 29th of March. This is the first day of challenging off-roading. I had been asking Sylvain all week “when am I going to get my bike dirty?” I was a bit annoying about it. “Fine, you want mud, let’s go find some” The KTM530 rejoined with us for the first time since Monday with the promise of mud. He and his wife had been doing their own thing on Enduro trails all week. There would be 6 of us who would break off from the group while the rest continued on to wait for us in Gatlinburg.

    We get on the highway for 15 miles and I see on video the KTM pulling off the side of the road and waving everyone to keep going.

    We pull off at the next exit and wait for half an hour…where is he? Finally, his bike shows up on the back of a pickup truck:

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    While the owner was diagnosing his issues, this local flew past and I snapped a photo. He was going about 45MPH. I’m amazed I caught it!

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    Back to the KTM, the engine was completely seized up. I heard from Phillip that the guy had not changed his oil all week. A few hundred miles w/o any maintenance on a 530 was asking for trouble. Motor was seized, the rear wheel had actually locked up on him on the interstate, he engaged the clutch and no one was hurt. When you watch the video, you’ll see we push his bike to a person’s home down the road and Michael and him go out and get his bike that evening in the pouring rain in the group’s Sprinter Van. The bike didn’t get back on its feet this trip and he wasn’t able to join us in our off roading.

    After dropping the bike off, the KTM owner road his wife’s Kawasaki and she hopped on the back of one of the GSes and joined the group that wasn’t doing any serious off-roading.

    I don’t have many photos of our off-roading but plenty of great clips in today’s video linked below. here are some that I do have captured by Sylvain:

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    He then passed the camera off to show off. “hold my beer” I think i heard him mutter…a moment later, he drops the bike:

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    Then drops it again: and I go to help him up…again

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    Our dirt trail put us back on I think highway 40 like dumped us right onto it. it was weird coming out of the mud and onto the freeway. At the next exit, 10+ bikes were waiting for us. They were there for 90 minutes waiting on us to arrive. Oops. Sylvain got down to his underwear because he was soaked from falling completely into a river with his bike. My socks were wet but overall, it could have been worse. We rode 10 miles on the high way and grabbed lunch at the Bean Tree in Hartford TN right past the NC/TN border. Delicious fried pickles which I shared with the group because they’ve never had them before

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    and I had a Buffalo Chicken panini w/ Sweet Potato fries. They were cut to order and lightly salted. really top notch!

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    While we at inside, i used my GS turn signals to dry out my socks….it helped only marginally.

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    After lunch, Gatlinburg, TN was our next destination. I’m not a “touristy” kind of traveler. I skip those parts and having been here when I was very young (around 5 years old), I expected more but this is a weird place. After miles of very few people, we come to a strip that has every touristy trap restaurant and shop possible. it’s like I-Drive in Orlando mixed with North Las Vegas with a tough of Times Square. I wasn’t impressed but I did find a hole in the wall liquor store that had two whiskeys that I can’t get where I live. First is Buffalo Trace’s Cream Whiskey. This used to be available only at their gift shop but has seen some distro in KY/TN the past year. I’m stoked to try it. The other is a 10 year Bourbon that I can’t get and have already opened..and it’s amazing!

    (ignore the cider, those were bought in VT) purchased from Old Dad’s Gatlinburg General Store:

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    This is all I have for photographic proof of being there:

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    At this point, we went through Great Smoky Mountain National Park on route 441 to Cherokee stopping for gas by a casino and we did get caught in the rain so everyone stopped to put on their suits. The ride home was wet and gross but we made it safely.

    That night, more drinks, more beers and I was in bed by 9PM on the dot. it was an exhaustive day with my 600 pound ADV Bike off road and picking up Sylvain’s bike twice..oh and the 3 water crossings where we had to pull the F700GS that’s lowered across rocks as it was too low to do it unassisted.

    Here’s today’s video which as you all know is a lot more fun than my writing / photography skills:

     
  8.  

    March 30th, Friday, our last day of riding! I’m sore from the off-roading, I inhale a back of chips, a protein bar and a vitamin water.

    Before we start the day, I observe that my bike is finally looking properly broken in. Mud, Clay, Dirt and Sand. Beautiful:

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    Selfie of the week while getting gas @ Skyway Food Mart – Robbinsville

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    We take off on the Moonshiner road, passing fishermen and women and stopping to take some photos along a stream just as that 5% of rain we heard about starts to fall..it’s light, no need to put on rain suits:

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    I turn around and it looks like Sylvain and I had the same idea of photographing this:

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    A few miles later, we come across this beautiful waterfall:

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    Then we continued on to Highlands, NC. a very ritzy town. Lots of rich people from what I can tell…and that’s coming from a group of BMW owners :)

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    We had lunch at “The Pizza Place” where I had a buffalo chicken calzone

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    Then coffee at Buck’s Coffee Cafe. The beans were decent and the espresso was well done. I was hoping they roast the beans themselves as that explain the acidity but nope, they buy from someplace else I had never heard of. The baristas there were doing a great job.

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    After lunch, we checked out a waterfall.

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    After the group diverged at some point. I have it all in Garmin basecamp but in short, this was a major road but at some point in the last 20 years, it stopped being maintained. So what we had was 5-10 miles of loose asphalt, grass & nature encroaching onto pavement, downed trees, some cut up others just left in the road and it was a ton of fun! Parts of that are in the video for today and it was the most fun I’ve had on tarmac.

    After this, we break off the beaten path and make our way home on dirt:

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    This is the last ride our group went on together before we headed back to our base and unfortunately to load up the bikes:

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    That night, there was meatloaf and rice. It was delicious. We didn’t get a lot of sleep that evening. I was sore from a week of riding, I had some sore shin bones and a few bruises. We had to be uprooted early early to leave.

    I find out that the rest of the group is staying until Monday (2 more days of riding) but both Philip and I had to be at work on Monday so we had to leave early…overall I’m glad I did. I was pretty exhausted and ready for a day of rest before going back to work.

    Here’s the video from today:

     
  9.  

    March 31st, 3:30AM, We pile into the Jeep and head home.

    I arrived in North Carolina with just under 3900 miles on my odometer. When we left, I had 5,041 miles. Given that we trailered our bikes, I feel that we had a really good week. 200 of my miles were interstate. The rest was a mix of country roads, dirt, gravel, mud, sand and local town roads. We were on the bikes 10 hours a day for 6 days and I had the time of my life.

    Our route home was pretty boring. We finally stopped for dinner just south of Albany NY. We had some dinner, got to my place at 10PM. I offered a bed and some food to my Quebec friends but they pushed on getting home around 1AM local time and unpacking their gear the following day.

    The ride home, fairly uneventful. No deer, no running out of gas, no traffic accidents or delays. We each rotated who drives and arrived home safely.

    I wanted to document two highlights to this trip and unfortunately, they’re both a similar subject matter: Women Riders.

    First, Josee, who is Phillipes girlfriend and my roommate for the week. She didn’t have her own bike and road as passenger with Phillip. She has had a crazy 2017 and I hope she doesn’t mind me telling this story.

    Summer of 2017, she and Phillip were riding the Trans-lab together. He on his GSA and her on an F800. around 90kmh on gravel, she developed a wobble in the front bars, before she could react, she lost control flying over the handlebars. She was in the hospital for over a month in and out of consciousness with a body of broken bones. His InReach is what saved their life with a helicopter arriving 2 hours after her crash. “I walked up to her laying in the road after her crash just praying that she wasn’t dead” Phillip told me on our ride down. Doctors told her to expect at least a full year before she could ride again. On the last day of our trip. Josee borrowed one of the other women’s R1200GS bikes. She found the friction zone and rode off for a bit. You could see the huge smile through her helmet. She wasn’t convinced she’d want to ride but she did and loved it. She’s going to buy a new bike very soon. I personally..I have no idea if I’d still want to ride after a horrific crash like that. Everyone was so happy to see her riding again. She’s looking at oil cooled R1200GS models for her next bike.

    and on that topic, I wanted to discuss the group in general. 8-10 of the riders were women. There was only one pillion and that was Josee. A lot of women I meet don’t think they can ride motorcycles especially big adventure bikes. This group wasn’t held up by the women, in fact, they were faster than many of us men. Handling these bikes on and off road, really kicking ass. If you have a friend who is interested in bikes and she thinks she can’t do it, show her some of my videos of women off roading and cutting Twisties even faster than the men. It just takes confidence and believing in yourself. You can ride. This is not a dude hobby!!! …and I shouldn’t have to say this but I personally encounter many women who have talked themselves out of riding. Anyone can ride no matter your gender.

    I wanted to close with my sincere thank you to the BMW Club of Quebec. This group is amazing. My favorite group to ride with. Very open, very easy going, they truly care about each other and put the individual needs ahead of the group’s and I have a lot of respect for this club and their ability to gather 20 people together in March and drive down to NC and then do 1200 miles in 6 days and there wasn’t a single injury, accident or issue other than a few maintenance items that popped up.

    I can’t wait to ride again with this group in the Summer-Time.

    I forgot my jacket in NC and Sylvain brought it to me 2 days later on his way back home. I said “I’ll see you in June?” He said “pfft, you’ll see me in like 2 weeks!”

    Here’s ever GPS Trace from our week plotted on Basecamp:

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    Creating this Ride Report when you put everything together, capture, editing, cataloguing and assembling this is roughly 20 hours of work. If the story wasn’t compelling or very good, I’m sorry. I did take a lot of care but I’m sitting here staring at the create thread button wondering if I did a good enough job covering this. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it inspires others to take up a similar adventure with the data points I’ve put here.

    Here is a 30 minute time lapse that covers the entire week of riding w/o Edits:

    Sunday Night, my girlfriend makes some home made pizza and we have a good beer together. Then she catches Pneumonia but she’s better now :)

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    PS: My next big adventure, end of June to Prince Edward Island. and End of July, Trans-Labrador to Nova Scotia, PEI and back through Maine (3800 miles total). I can’t wait to share those with you all.

     
  10.  

    Inevitably, I think some people will ask about my technology setup. For them, this list shouldn’t be too overwhelming. If it is, sorry. I guess this is a appendix?

    Cameras:

    • Canon 5D M3 w/ 50mm f/1.2 Lens (fits in the tank bag. I have a 24-70 as well f/4)
    • Lumix LX-10, Pocket 4K 30FPS camera 1″ CMOS sensor with a flip-out display
    • iPhone 8 Plus 4K, 60FPS with Optical Image Stabilization.
    • Helmet: GoPro Hero 6 set to 2.7K or 1440P in 60FPS w/ Digital stabilization enabled.
    • Rear Facing / Crash bar camera: GoPro Hero Session 5 in similar settings to Hero 6 wired via USB to my battery
    • TomTom Bandit (slowly being retired) but waterproof body and small
    • GoPro Hero 4 for Time lapse
    • GoPro Hero Karma Drone + Karma Gimbal (which I didn’t even get to use on this trip).
    • iPad Pro 9.7″ was used to shoot some evening 4K shots but it’s not a great camera compared to iPhone 8 but it’s what I happened to have on me.

    Editing:

    • Mobile: MacBook Pro Late 2013 (Core i7 + NVIDIA GPU + 16GB of RAM)
    • Home: iMac 27″ Late 2015 (Core i7 4Ghz, Radeon GPU, 32GB of RAM)

    Media Management:

    • 1 Terabyte Bus-powered USB 3 LaCie hard drive
    • 4, 128GB MicroSD Cards
    • 2 64 GB SD Cards
    • 1 64GB compact Flash cards
    • 1 USB card reader that does CF, SD and MSD Cards
    • iCloud Photos w/ 2 terabytes of space
    • Lightroom 6
    • Pixelmator
    • Final Cut Pro

    Practical Tech that Enables my workflow to go much easier:

    • Manfrotto Carbon Fiber Tripod
    • Manfrotto Small pocket tripod
    • Three Anker 20K MAH battery packs. I keep two on me constantly charging batteries. Everything I travel with can be charged via USB from my headlamp, flashlight, GoPro battery pack (that holds 3 batteries), Hero session, Lumix, Canon 5D batteries etc, etc etc.
    • Manfrotto Camera Bag
    • SAE to USB Adapter at front and rear of bike that I plug my GoPro cameras to that are fixed to the bike
    • GoPro Remote. I press record and 1,2 or 3 cameras all start recording simultaneously w/o having to risk safety to fumble with cameras.
    • Apple AirPods
    • A 6 Port USB Charging station from RAWPower. Plug it into the wall and it can charge 6 USB devices…I need a 10 port to be honest but this is okay for now
    • Sena 10U in my Shoei helmet
    • 12 different USB Cables
    • TomTom Rider for backup GPS
    • Misc GoPro mounts, cases, brackets and accessories
    • GoPro Mic Adapter + Lavalier Mic inside of my helmet for a few vlogging clips but I only ended up using this setup on sunday.

    You can Google for most of this stuff but if you can’t find something, just let me know and I’ll send you a few links.

    Most people don’t care about the tech but my setup isn’t perfect but it actually does enable me to enjoy the ride and still capture memories. In total I collected just under 1 terabyte of data for the week which took my iMac 24 hours to Transcode into an editable format in Final Cut Pro. 1000 Photos taken which I narrowed down to 200.

     
  11.  

    …and that’s it! I hope you guys enjoyed this. It was so much work to assemble this ride report. it’s my first one so I really hope it’s received positively. Crossing my fingers. I’m a little long-winded.

    Peace my friends!

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    10:30PM, I found 300 photos so I picked 80 (yes 80) that I thought were pretty good. Here they are! (can these all fit in one post? )

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    here’s an album on Flickr –

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamjackson/albums/72157689208643000