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DGR Deals Gap Rally (September/October)

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Old 10-09-2013, 03:27 PM
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DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

One would think after 13 straight years of our DGR gatherings that I'd be sick of them, but that simply wasn't the case this last weekend.. In fact..if was a stellar event with arguably the best weather we've had in the last 5 or 6 years.. Whoever chose this weekend deserves a pat on the back... Low 80s in the day / 60's at night with not a drop of rain and once the fog burned off... sunshine aplenty. I'm guessing about 30 people showed this year including many "dinosaurs" like Tallahassee Pete, John O, Fast Eddie, DYL, etc. On the flip side , I was kinda shocked at how many of our past regulars... ie... Famdoc, Lurking Charlie, Kyle, Louis, Tim and Susan, etc were absent. They were missed. But what really made the event was the hordes of new attendees...New blood to keep the tradition going. The group that blew in from Louisiana were a great bunch and definitely fit in with the rest of us former hooligans. Here's my take on the event.. It's kinda long...Will probably turn this into a web page for our newsletter at some point..

Thursday 3rd: I arrived at the Fontana Resort Thursday around 3pm to perfect weather. Feeling good... Feeling relaxed. I checked in, was assigned my room and immediately had words with the manager. When I arranged the rally a year ago, at my request they said they'd put all the early reserved guests together in the main building so we'd have all our bikes in the same spot.. Sweet!. While I was the first person booked, at check-in they informed me that my room was waaaaaaaaay down the hill in the building marked "Bumfuck Egypt." WTF!!?? Apparently they lied to me and gave almost the entire upper building to the people attending the "Crossfire" car rally.. They did admit that the Crossfire people book 2 YEARS in advance so they get their pick of rooms. Rather than go postal, I tried to remember I'm here for a good time.. Not to incur more stress or commit any more felonies... I flow with it....

I unloaded my bike, unpacked, suited up, then hit the road to Deals Gap proper. Just 48 hours prior, I had installed new Michelin Pilot Power 3s and wanted to break them in onthe magnificent Hwy 28 before Saturday's riding festivities with the boyz. Got to the Tail of the Dragon and found my buddy Bill Morgan people watching.. We talked a while then both headed back to the Fontana. Later I heard that he had just lost someone dear to him and I didn't see him again the entire rally.. Not sure if he left or not.. My sincere condolences go out to you buddy. I got back to the resort around 5 then hooked up with the gang at the resort's Wildwood Grill.. It's my least favorite place to eat in all the world... Have never found anything on the menu that didn't taste like total crap... I order their "Dam Burger." It's horrible. How on earth can you remove all semblance of flavor and moisture from a burger that's 2" thick?? After this culinary debacle, I make a mental note that for the remainder of my stay I'll buy my food elsewhere even if it's from a vending machine...FYI, I've complained about their food to the manager the last 2 years in a row..and this year will be no different.

Friday 4th: Another glorious day to be riding in North Carolina... After a late breakfast, I hook up with my all time favorite riding buddy, DYL, his friend Richard from Tallahassee, and we headed for the Cherohala Skyway.... I'm leading on my K1200S, Jim is on his Tri-Color Panigale, and Richard is on a Yamaha FZ1. With my tires scrubbed in, we rode at just enough of a quasi-legal pace that we'd have fun, but hopefully not draw the attention of any lurking popo. IMHO it's a fine line between serious riding and hooliganism and Jim and I have ridden on both sides of it.. Throughout this rally I try to keep the speed down and it's a constant challenge. As the miles go by.. the stress of this past year fades away. It seems to just flow from my head down through my body into my bike down through the tires and out into the asphalt where I leave it in my wake. About 20 miles in, some of the foliage colors are starting to pop and I want to stop and take pictures, but unlike the Blue Ridge Parkway where there are pull-overs everywhere, ... there are few safe spots to stop on this stretch of road.. Basically the road shoulder consists of about 18" of grass then metal guardrail.. Not good for pulling over or crashing. I realize I've needed this for a long time. To hell with work. Happiness is a warm motorcycle on a twisty road.

At about 3/4s of the way across the Skyway, we stopped at an overlook to clean the bugs off our shields and rest our throttle hands. One end of the parking area is infested with Harleys so we park on the far side as to not intrude on the chrome and fringe-fest. Before I could even get my helmet off, one of the Harley riders leaves his group and starts walking directly towards me.. For whatever reason, I seem to provoke a certain degree of animosity within the cruiser demographic so it's refreshing to see that the incoming rider is smiling and not wielding a gun. By the time he gets to my bike all our helmets are off and we're curious about what's about to transpire. He walks over and stands in front of my bike and says in a friendly, slow-as-November-molasses southern dialect... "I've ridden Harleys all my life.. Will ride them until I can't ride any more. Have never considered buying anything else, but if I did.. it would be this bike.." As if on cue, DYL, who never misses an opportunity to let every human being on earth know that his bike is faster than yours, does indeed chime in informing "the dood" that his Panigali is faster. Without missing a beat the Harley rider replies in that slow drawl... " I don't need to ride faster than I can think." The 200hp Italian beauty sitting next to my seven year old KS doesn't even register on his radar. I thank the guy for the compliment and realize it's heartfelt and probably rarely given.

By the time we get to Tellico Plains (at the far end of the Cherohala) we're hungry. Jim and Richard take me to the Tellico Plains Bakery where they BOTH swear the sandwiches are to die for.. Especially the BLT. I order the BLT and it's the worst I've ever had in my life. WTF?! How on earth do you mess up a BLT?? I'm getting the feeling that I'm gonna lose weight on this trip. Jim and Richard seem to love what they're eating.. Geezz.. After our unique dining experience, we discuss our return options.. We can head back via the infamous Tail of the Dragon... or simply go back across the Cherohala. While the Dragon is still my all time favorite road in the US, .. I haven't ridden it in 3 years.. Not for lack of interest.. It's just that the road is so technical that riding it on anything other than a lightweight sportbike is IMHO....a waste of time and road.. The K1200S, while a great all-rounder, is simply a pig. Taking it on the dragon IMHO would be like trying every position in the Kama Sutra with a fattie.. Sure.. it could be done with a lot of effort and sweat and might be kinda fun, but I'd rather have a svelte hottie underneath me. We opt for the return ride over the Cherohala and as usual.. it's wonderful. The bike is running perfectly and the Michelin Power 3s are exceeding all my expectations..They are noticeably better than the Power 2s that they replaced. I don't think I lost traction even once over the weekend... That's virtually unprecedented for me on street tires. On the ride back I'm feeling almost like the old me except I'm not getting tickets. Sweet! The day ends with a beautiful sunset and a group gathering at the Wildwood Grill...

Friday Night: The scene at the grill was festive and eventually crazy... My lovely wife Amber showed up around 7:30pm. She made the drive from Asheville after getting off work. Unlike me, she's a people person and loves these social settings and the group seems to love her back. She was hungry and I warned her about the food but she ordered anyway. Just about everybody was there including 5 new attendees from Louisiana that made the 700 mile ride to just stay for 1 day before heading back... Tommy Faulk seemed to be the ringleader and he couldn't have been a nicer guy... At one point he called me over to their table where they collectively pulled out a bag full of goodies they brought for me...!! I insisted I wasn't worthy, but relented and accepted the bag-o-swag which included some LSU hats, some Zapps chips (which seemed amazingly intact), various Cajun spices, a bottle of Tabasco sauce, a pewter Tabasco sauce holder, a camouflage belt holder for Tabasco sauce, a Tabasco sauce Christmas ornament, and even some Tabasco sauce flavored edible panties for Amber.. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and surmise that Tabasco sauce is big in Louisiana. I'm touched. This must be what Christmas in Louisiana looks like... Thanks for everything guys.. we'll put the goodies to good use.. We're still creeped out by the panties..... A few minutes later MattB showed up and bestows a "Surrender the Booty" tee to Amber... As that just so happens to be one of her favorite pastimes.. we truly appreciated it..

Earlier in the evening before I even made it to the grill a young lady on a Kawasaki Ninja stopped me while I was walking to the front desk and asked where the BMW crew would be meeting for dinner. I think she said her name was Alotta Fagina. She looked pretty hot in full leathers and as best as I could tell with her helmet on... not unattractive. Once I got to the grill hours later Allotta was already there .. attempting to be the center of attention.. boisterous...drinking (along with others) and before long she was hitting on virtually every guy there. As I had an auto-bullshit mute switch installed in my brain after divorce # 2, I had her tuned out, but the always observant Amber said Alotta was blatantly asking anyone around her to take her back to their room.. Most of the guys were rolling their eyes...most were married.. I'll assume the GS riders were gay. Eventually she left with one of our group.. I'm guessing somebody (who shall not be named) got lucky.. How often does THAT happen at a BMW rally?? How often does that happen in life? All you single, lonely guys who almost attended, but didn't for whatever lame reason.... it appears that you missed out on a rare.. "sure thing."

Amber and I retire to our room and stay up until around 11:30 er.. talking. ... At 3:30am she wakes me up in a panic as she's remembered she's got a pet sitting job lined up TODAY that she'd forgotten all about. DOH! She grabs her chit and is out the door in 5 minutes. I go back to sleep but at 4am I'm awakened by voices.. While my poor hearing won't pick up high frequencies... it's near perfect in the lower range which means I can hear owls 4 miles away and low male voices. In the room directly below mine it sounds like James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman are reading the script of "My Dinner with Andre" .. and with perfect diction. I can hear almost every word. Who has conversations at 4am in the morning? WTF!! After about 20 minutes I go out to my bike and get some ear plugs then back to bed. At around 5am I wake up.. take out the plugs and lay back down... that's when the singing started. From the room next door I hear a womans voice... at least I assume it's a womans voice or either somebody is clubbing a bag of cats. I'd met her/him earlier in the day as he/she was with the Crossfire car club. In technical terms.. she/he was a "Pat." I couldn't tell if she was male or female... No idea what hardware she was packin'. One thing for sure... he/she isn't a professional singer. I put the ear plugs back in and go back to sleep.

Saturday 5th: Had breakfast with Mani Ravee (aka Aviator,) his beautiful daughter, and Darren Wilson. We decide to ride together today starting with a loop up Hwy 28 to the Dragon then down 129 to the Cherohala Skyway. Having never ridden with Mani, I tell him exactly where we're going and where we'll end up in case he's riding slow due to being two up. He leaves about 4 minutes before Darren and I. I'll assume he wants to get gas or something. That's the last time I saw them during the rally.. We looked for them at every stop for the next hour and even dinner that night.. Heard later he was OK, but still wondering what happened...

Up on the Skyway we run into Jim (DYL) again and he joins our party of 2 for yet another ride across the skyway... It's fun... not too fast.. and pleasantly uneventful .. ie.. no tickets today. We have a decent lunch at the Tellico Kats sandwich shop then head back over. The ride is fun and relaxing. It doesn't get any better than this. Back on our side we lose Darren as he wants to explore the area so DYL and I decide to ride down to the Tail of the Dragon and people watch for a while before calling it a day. We never got there. About 3 miles from the Topoco Lodge on Hwy 129, up ahead I see a dumbass teenager standing in the road..His white pick-up truck is off to the left side with his girlfriend in it. He's kinda pointing at something on the right side... Not in an urgent way.. Just pointing. Maybe there's some gravel in the road? Has somebody gone down? there's an adjacent road at this spot.. Is he pointing to the side road? and why? I slow down looking for gravel or a downed rider, see nothing so I blow right by the kid. 20 seconds later there are blue lights in my mirrors.. WTF!!? I know we've been speeding just a little so I'm expecting a ticket and that's fine. You break the law you pay the price... Obla Di Obla Da .. life goes on.

I pull over and before I can take off my helmet.. The trooper is out of his car, at my side, and doesn't look happy...the conversation goes like this...

Barney: "Did you see that guy back there?"..
Me: "You mean the dumbass teenager in the road?"
Barney: "Yes..
Me: "Yes I did."
Barney: "Did you see what he was doing?"
Me: "Yes I did... He was standing in the road pointing at something.. No idea what.."
Barney: (Clearly agitated).. He was rerouting all traffic up the side road because... *blah blah blah unintelligible talking*... Why didn't you turn up that road like instructed?"
Me: Well... He just looked like a dumbass kid standing in the road.. He didn't have a DETOUR sign.. There were no warning cones...No police car. I didn't recognize him as an authority figure.. and I certainly wasn't going to just do what some dumbass teenager tells me to do..."
Barney: (silence for what seemed like 30 seconds...his face is getting red.).. "Turn around.. go back and turn up that road, sir. This road is closed"

*Relief*.. Thought for sure I was gonna get a velocity award. Dodged a bullet!! I later heard that there was a crash just a few miles down that killed 2 riders. A car crossing over the line and hitting 2 bikes. That could have been me and Jim if we'd been a little faster this day. Not a thought I wanted to dwell on.

Jim and I proceeded down the detour road I'd never traveled.. It wasn't the best quality, but at least it was paved and Jim was familiar with it.. After what seemed like 30 minutes we came out on the main road (Hwy 28.) and by then my kidneys had been beaten all to hell from the poor pavement. I'm surprised I'm not peeing blood today. After that and I'm ready to call it a day. Jim and I go our separate ways and plan to meet up at the Grill later for dinner... I got back to the Fontana, loaded up my bike, and showed up at the Grill around 6 hoping to see a big I-BMW crowd and to say goodbye to everyone until next year. Amazingly.. the place was empty.. DYL and Darren showed up a few minutes later and we hung out and talked for a while before calling it a night.... And so ended my 14th DGR .. All in all.. a damn good one. Will follow with a few pics...

Thanks to everyone for making it another successful event. Even though I'm usually as antisocial as Ted Kaczynski, .. I truly feel lucky to be part of this group... You guys let me know if you want me to set it up for 2014.. They're sending me the paperwork this week.....

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Old 10-14-2013, 01:37 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

FYI.. this is a re-post of my rally report.. The initial post had a glitch in the Matrix.. In theory.. all should be good now..

In case anyone is interested...

1. I have just uploaded my rally pics (and a few others I've pilfered) to a Pirates Lair photo album ... http://pirateslair.smugmug.com/Motor...1339&k=gDQCdQZ

I'm pretty sure none of the pics are incriminating so enjoy... If anyone else has some pics.. please post them or send them to me and I'll add them to the album..

2. Rather than put up another poll.. or ask for a consensus...or consult with MattB.. I'm going to go ahead and book our group for next year.. same place.. same weekend... As the Fontana is pretty much the only game in town and in high demand this time of year, I figured I'd just do it and be done with it before another group takes the spot.. I'll just assume that if I book it... they will come... I'll make an official announcement after the first of the year when they start taking reservations... So it is written.. so let it be done..
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:04 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

Jerry,

Many thanks for posting the pics, although just increases my sense of regret for not making it this year. Was 7 in a row, '06 thru '12. Next year will be 8 out of 9.

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Old 10-14-2013, 06:52 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

Jerry - meant to ask; do you have a high res of image above? Brings back a ton of memories..
Would love a copy if you've got one!
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:20 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

I do not... sorry...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vics
Jerry - meant to ask; do you have a high res of image above? Brings back a ton of memories..
Would love a copy if you've got one!
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:08 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

Quote:
Originally Posted by vics
Jerry - meant to ask; do you have a high res of image above? Brings back a ton of memories..
Would love a copy if you've got one!

Translation: if you want a high res pic, you will need to attend a rally. I say that in only good terms.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:09 AM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

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Originally Posted by allikanbe
Translation: if you want a high res pic, you will need to attend a rally. I say that in only good terms.
Yeah; have attended / organized the 1st 10 or so i-BMW rallies (before your time) - that image simply adds to the list of great captures.
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:55 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

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Originally Posted by vics
Yeah; have attended / organized the 1st 10 or so i-BMW rallies (before your time) - that image simply adds to the list of great captures.

As I said, "in good terms". I'm sure there are a lot of members, old and new, who would like to meet you and say thanks for this site.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:31 AM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

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Originally Posted by allikanbe
As I said, "in good terms". I'm sure there are a lot of members, old and new, who would like to meet you and say thanks for this site.
Yes, understood the reference, just adding clarity in case it wasn't known - I'll be in attendance again soon - Cheers.
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:58 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

Great report bud, as usual

Cheers
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http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?p=191559#post191559
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:59 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

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Yes, understood the reference, just adding clarity in case it wasn't known - I'll be in attendance again soon - Cheers.

Yeah... right!
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:13 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

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Yeah... right!

It would be excellent to see you at a rally Vic. And maybe one day I'll even get to meet the infamous Louis.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:30 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

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It would be excellent to see you at a rally Vic. And maybe one day I'll even get to meet the infamous Louis.
Careful what you which for
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:34 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

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Careful what you which for

Are you speaking of Louis or Vic?
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:04 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

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Are you speaking of Louis or Vic?

Or both
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:05 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

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Or both

A sign of the Apocalypse?
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:52 PM
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ROB ROB is offline
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

OK, it's been awhile since the rally, but it took me this long to get the photos I bought from the guys on the Dragon who take the pics. Not sure what caused the delay, but the guy, Dave, at US129photos.com made up for it by sending me 10 pics when I only bought one. Nice gesture.

I got a few pics. We had a good time. Thank you, Jerry.

Not in chronological order necessarily, but here are the pics.

On Saturday we made a trip to Franklin with The Eddie Layton (Wilbur) and his beauty Becky (Nadine) and with Mani and his daughter Anjali. The "Ridin' Double" crew. We took a backroad that followed the Nantahala River upstream from the gorge to Nantahala Lake. Great route.


Anjali, Mani, and The Eddie. They're happier than they look.



Beth and Nadine at the same stop.

The day before, Beth and I did the Dragon and the Cherohala. Here are pics of us on the Dragon Friday morning.



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Old 11-04-2013, 09:38 PM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

Cool pics Rob, thanks for sharing
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:07 AM
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Re: DGR 2013: Rally Report and Pics.. Another For the Books

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricM
Cool pics Rob, thanks for sharing

+1
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