>Shake Down of the Lil Girl….
>The bike came out of the shop on Friday night. My pockets are considerably lighter due to the extraordinary amount of coinage charged to pay her ransom. But I must admit, she is in fine shape once more. You know though: with a bike this age and this many miles on her, you just kinda stand back and wait for proverbial “other shoe” to drop. I’ll cross my fingers. I’ll knock on wood. I’ll do anything to ensure I don’t have another major expense on her until after the 2011 riding season is through.
Bringing her home on Friday night, I’ve noticed the carb is not behaving. I guess I will have to bring the bike back and get them to dial in it. I wish they would just take the time to put her on the dyno. They never seem to get the temperamental carb dialed it without it. I long for the old days, when our bikes could be dialed in so easy, without computers to tell us what we should already know. Well, I do know my carb is sucking the “BIG DOG” right now.
Saturday morning arrives. My pants have ants in em. I can’t just sit at home. The MR. is not well. Golden Rod has raised it’s fair-haired head: my MR. is in agony. Nothing I can do about it. I will go for a ride while he tries to drug himself into oblivious shadow land.
Cranking the girl up, it’s nice to see she isn’t sprayed in oil. She’s dry as a Oak leaf in December. That’s a good thing.
I didn’t know where I was heading until I stopped for gas at my usual place. It has no ethanol and all the hot rodders and antique builders in town hang out here.
IMAGE CAPTION: NO ETHANOL
I decided while I was fueling, to head to Roan Mountain and into North Carolina. It’s been several months since I’ve ridden in this neck of North Carolina. What the heck?
I cross over the mountain into North Carolina and find myself on NC-194 north. This is a rather non-discript road that I have been on many times. What I didn’t know is that I was gonna stay on this road for many miles past the roads I normally turn off on. It turned out to be a good idea. Here are some highlights for ya.
I rode to Beech Mountain. I’ve never been there. Not in winter, not in summer. Guess It was time to go. I turned off on Beech Mountain Parkway and headed up mountain. The ride to this winter wonderland destination is uneventful. In summer, almost all the views of the valley below the road were hidden by tall trees, or expensive homes clinging to the mountain side hogging all the views. It was sad. But I did find ONE turn-out where the view was absolutely worth the trip up.
IMAGE CAPTION: BEECH MT. RESORT VIEW
Riding back down the way I came, I had a local on my ass. That’s generally OK, but the hairpins had gravel in them here, and I’ve hit enough gravel to serve me a lifetime. So to hell with your fast ass behind me Mr. Local. I’m gonna get back down off this mountain without road rash. So just sit tight. I’m not gonna be doing the Sportster Pivot for your delight today.
Coming back onto NC-194 north, I stop to photograph my Lil Girl in front of this Stone building. It’s a portion of Lees-McRae College. I like the stone.
I found this quaint little foot bridge. I liked it because it was such an elaborate ornamental piece, set in a field of wild flowers and thistle. What do you think of it?
IMAGE CAPTION: QUAINT FOOT BRIDGE
Soon I found myself crossing over NC-105. What should I do? Go to Grandfather Mountain?
IMAGE CAPTION: CROSS ROADS TO GRANDFATHER MT.
NAAAA…they charge to go have a looky-loo. I’m a cheap assed tourist. Today, if it ain’t free. I ain’t going. I find another road to go, head off into the direction of The Mast General Store, North Carolina’s oldest running general store.
IMAGE CAPTION: THE MAST GENERAL STORE
IMAGE CAPTION: INSIDE THE MAST GENERAL STORE
Leaving the Mast General Store, it wasn’t long before I came across the route of a marathon. I saw this last straggler as she climbed the hill to the next check in point. I waited there for her, handed her some water, and captured her photo. I like those white dread locks.
IMAGE CAPTION: The last runner in a marathon race.
It was at this point I deviated off NC-194. I had never been on this little back road and I figured if the Marathon was running this way, it also had to lead somewhere. I was in luck, again as usual. It did. I eventually found myself in Boone, and back on NC-194 north. Before I got back on 194 though, I found this in the bushes behind a shut down business in Boone. Cool huh?
IMAGE CAPTION: I THINK IT’S A DEUCE AND A HALF
Don’t tell me you don’t love this!
IMAGE CAPTION: MILITARY HEADLIGHTS
I rode NC-194 until it ended at SR-88 West. I found this beautiful mural in West Jefferson on my way to Warrensville. You must ride through this town. It’s got that friendly feel to it, and I saw 3 bikes parked and visiting the downtown business district.
IMAGE CAPTION: WEST JEFFERSON COUNTRY MUSIC MURAL
Folks this ride is getting “long in the tooth”. So I’ll just have to come back and regale you with more during the week.
Before I go, I must tell you the Lil Girl performed admirably. No leaks of the oil type…my pant legs stayed oil free as did my right side saddle bag. I’m not terribly happy with the carb settings. Much to fast in the idle. That needs to come down a bit. All in all, I’m proud of my Lil Girl. She sure does like to go for a ride.