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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I managed to get the week off work. I packed up the blue CTX1300 Saturday morning and took off to see some Spring colors.

Photos are slowly being uploaded to SmugMug. Broadband is not available in my neighborhood, so it will take a few days for all of the pictures to be available. Vacation May 2015 - TennesseeSmith

I rode in Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The ride covered 1857 miles of mostly two-lane scenic roads. I tried my best to stay off the four-lane. Some of the roads I chose in West Virginia were not really paved as much as the CTX would have preferred. I was on the road for five days and four nights. I stayed in hotels instead of camping on this trip.

The weather was great with cool mornings and clear skies. I had half an hour of rain as I sat in the hotel on the last night.

The big adventure was a punctured rear tire. I was amazed at how helpful total strangers can be in a situation like this.

I visited Gettysburg and I rode Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway from one end to the other. I also visited The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

More details will follow.
 

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Hey - We got 6 inches of snow yesterday ... :( I hope I get get out for a full days ride soon -I have only done short 1 hr rides so far)

I am wondering how many miles did you average each day and how did your butt feel after a full day on the bike?
Anything woth noting about the bike on a trip like that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Day 1

I rode 421 miles in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. Since there was a bit of fog, I started on the highway. I took US25E down to Pineville KY and then took US119 up past Whitesburg KY to the point where it joins with US23. I took Old Highway 23 into Jenkins and got gas. Then I took KY805 and KY197 to Elkhorn City. I took KY80 into Virginia and then jogged over to VA609. Then I took US460 and VA83 into West Virginia. I got on WV16 and took that all the way to Beckley. I popped out of Beckley on WV41, WV55, and WV20 to Webster Springs. Then I took WV15 and US219 to Elkins.

The fog was a bit of a nuisance at first, but it lifted by the time I got off the highway. I used the iPod for the first time in months and discovered that it had a mix of ’70s and ’80s rock along with Christmas music. I’m sure anyone who heard me playing Silent Night got a good laugh out of it.

I really enjoyed the ride from Jenkins KY up through Beckley WV. The Kentucky asphalt was not too bad. West Virginia had the worst asphalt I’ve ever ridden on. There was sand and gravel in every intersection and on every parking lot. West Virginia had potholes in potholes. The patches had been laid down in rectangular strips that made a lot of edge traps. Many of the patches had new potholes. The scenery in West Virginia was awesome! From Beckley on I was a bit tired and the bike seemed to be getting a bit wiggly in the back end.

I was impressed with the large wind turbines I saw along some of the ridges. It was very windy in the high places.

The iPhone made it very easy to find a hotel. I stayed at the Hampton Inn in Elkins WV. It was a nice new building on top of a hill. I could see the bike from the window. Some other bikes showed up next to mine. The elderly folks in the room next to me played their TV way too loud. I still slept very well.

My big impression from the first day was amazement at the beauty of West Virginia. Next time I'll go later in the year when they've had more time to recover from the Winter damage to the roads.
 

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This is great! I am about to go on a trip myself. I live in NC, near Greensboro. I will head north into VA, then West, South, then East.. One big circle! I will be out for four days and three night... camping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
how did your butt feel after a full day on the bike?
Anything woth noting about the bike on a trip like that?
I had very little problem with my butt on the longer days. I have a set of BeadRider ceramic beads on the bike. Those made for a little discomfort when I started out at 42 degrees Fahrenheit, but they were essential to lasting all day once the temperature came up.

The bike was flawless. It is ideally designed for riding on these slow scenic roads. I had plenty of power for passing in tight spaces when I need to. The bike held it's own on I295 in morning rush traffic in New Jersey and Delaware. I really appreciated the extra mirrors in the heavy traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Day 2

I loaded the bike early and then discovered that the rear tire was flat. I was hoping to make the tires last through this trip and then have the Corbin shop replace them when I returned. Having a flat hundreds of miles from home on a Sunday morning is not generally a good way to start a vacation.

The Hampton Inn staff were very helpful. One of the ladies offered to drive me to Wal Mart. One of the guys offered suggestions for local bike shops.

One of the other bikers at the hotel was extremely helpful. He had a plug kit and a 12 volt compressor that had a connector like the ones that go on the Battery Tender. I pray that God visits a special blessing on this guy for all the help he provided.

I just paused from typing this and ordered a compressor with that connector from Amazon. I used to have one in the Gold Wing’s left saddle bag.

The biker helped me get the bike on the center stand. I located two holes and used his plug kit to fix them. Then I used his compressor to top off the tire. I offered to pay for his plug kit, but he politely refused payment. When I got the bike going, I went to Wal Mart and looked for a compressor. They only had units with car connectors. I bought a plug kit and a bicycle hand pump. Then I went to the Wal Mart gas station and tried to add more air. The nozzle did not fit. This became a recurring theme. The hand pump did not work either. So I stopped often during the day looking for air. Only the Sheetz stores had a proper nozzle. And they were the only ones offering free air.

I rode 327 miles in West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. This added three states to the blue CTX. I took US219 and WV90 up to Gormania WV and then crossed into Gorman MD on US50. From there I took MD560, MD135, and MD495 to Grantsville. At this point I went east on Alt US40, MD144, MD40, and Scenic 40 until I eventually got lost and ended up on PA484. At Warfordsburg PA I found US522 and got back on the plan. I took US522 to McConnellsburg PA where I picked up US30 for the ride into Gettysburg. After visiting the Park, I took PA116 and PA216 to Sticks PA. From there I jogged down to MD23 on back roads. From Bel Air, I took US1 and MD273 to Newark DE.

I was about three hours late getting started, but I still met my goal of reaching Newark by nightfall. The scenery was not as dramatic as West Virginia, but it was still excellent. I rode in some nice high country and some beautiful farm country. I managed to stay off the four lane for all but a few miles.

As soon as I crossed into Maryland I lost the map on my Garmin Montana. It turns out that I did not have Maryland, Pennsylvania, or Delaware loaded on the unit. I was looking at the base map. Since the area was so rural, nothing showed at all. This was not too big of a problem since I had prepared map cards and taped them to the bike. The base map is not great, but it does provide major routes.

I enjoyed the ride even though I was a bit concerned about the tire holding out. I figured that if I could make it to Newark I could find a Honda dealer on Monday. As I moved further east the population density seemed to increase.

The town of Gettysburg seemed like a smaller version of Gatlinburg. It was really bad. I don’t ever want to go there again. People on top of people. No room to breath. The Park at Gettysburg was nice. It seemed like a bigger version of Shiloh. Of course this was a weekend and the park was covered up with people. That part reminded me of my last few visits to The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I was able to get most of the photos I wanted, but many of them had people in the way. Maybe I can edit the people out of my photos. I’ll try to get on a Marketing PC at the office this weekend to use PhotoShop.

I’ve always visited Shiloh on a weekday. I’ve been able to pull my bike right up in front of whatever monument I wanted to photograph. I was not able to do that at Gettysburg. I had to park the bike in marked spaces and then just get the best photos I could.

I stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel at the campus of The University of Delaware. This was the nicest hotel of the trip. Again, the iPhone made finding a hotel effortless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Day 3

I went to check on the bike first thing Monday morning. The back tire was completely flat. The hotel guy checked on the web and found a Honda dealer about ten miles away, but he was closed on Mondays. We found a portable 12 volt compressor in the Maintenance room, but it was configured for a car connection. The hotel guy pulled his pickup next to my bike and I was able to get some air in the tire. I figured that if I could buy a compressor and make it to another city I could find tires there. I was still hoping that I could pump air a few times each day and finish the trip on the old tires.

I rode 355 miles in Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. I added one state to the blue bike. That bike has now been in 17 states. I took the highway through Newark DE and crossed into New Jersey on I295. After a brief visit with an old friend I came back the same way all the way to MD23. I took MD138 and MD137 to Hampstead MD where I got lost and saw some really nice country. I found MD482 and got back on track. From Westminster I took MD27 and MD26 to Frederick. After visiting the largest Wal Mart I’ve ever been in, I took MD85 and MD28 to Point of Rocks and crossed the Potomac River into Virginia on US15. From there I took some little back roads through Lovettsville and Purcellville down to US50. Then I ran some even smaller back roads along the east side of the Shenandoah River into Front Royal. I took the Skyline Drive to Waynesboro VA.

This was an interesting day. The tire held well at highway speeds on the way to New Jersey and back to Delaware. I aired up a couple of times during the day. The last time I got air, the tire was all the way down to about 20 psi.

As I crossed the Susquehanna River in Maryland, an eagle flew up off the water and went directly over me. He was not as close as the one I saw in Tennessee last year, but he was visible for much longer with no trees in the way. Beautiful! I did not know there were still eagles this far east.

I had one of the best burgers ever at Spelunker’s in Front Royal. I did not try the frozen custard because that tends to make me sleepy.

The highlight of the day was Skyline Drive. It cost $15 and I had to make a large detour in the middle of it. But it was a nice ride in the woods alternating with a ride along the edge of the mountains with some outstanding vistas. My Garmin unit came back onto detailed maps about a fifth of the way down Skyline Drive.

I bought an automotive 12 volt compressor in Frederick. I had to cut one of the connectors off my heated jacket liner to make it work with the bike.

I put up for the night at the Comfort Inn in Waynesboro VA. The tire was down to 15 psi when I got there. This hotel was nice as well. It seems that the staff in the hospitality industry really understand customer service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Day 4

The back tire was completely flat again. I pumped it up to about 35 psi and started my trip for the day.

I rode 259 miles in Virginia. I took the Blue Ridge Parkway to Roanoke, rode around town a bit, and then continued down the Parkway to Fancy Gap.

I had to air up the tire repeatedly in the morning. I was going from 40 psi to 10 psi in about 30 miles. I really enjoyed the Parkway. I had to watch for woodland creatures since it was early when I got started. About a dozen deer, a dozen turkeys, and a couple of rabbits crossed the road in front of me. None of them were close enough to be a threat. I saw many deer and turkeys along the way. I felt bad every time I broke the peace of the forest by running that air compressor.

When I got to Roanoke I stopped at a Taco Bell for breakfast. They were having a disaster of a day. They had advertised a special for Cinco de Mayo and they weren’t able to make the food fast enough. They were twenty minutes behind on whatever the special was. I just told them to give me something that wasn’t on special. I had a burrito with sausage and eggs that was actually pretty good. The iPhone again proved it’s worth. It only took me a few minutes to find a Honda dealer and get them on the phone. They saved my day.

Star City Powersports was having a different kind of bad day. They had no power. But the parts manager found a tire that would fit my bike.
I rode across town and waited with them for the power to return. The lights came on at about 1 p.m and by 3 p.m. I was on my way again. While they were at it, they also replaced my front tire. I had a bit over 11,000 miles on the original tires. These are Bridgestone Exedras. The front looks like what I had on the Gold Wing.

These guys impressed me. The showroom had way more bikes than ATVs. Nearly all of the employees rode bikes to work. That's way different from what we see around this part of Kentucky.

I got back on the BRP and rode south until the rain got close. I got off at Fancy Gap and found a Holiday Inn Express in Hillsville. The bike had to sit out in the rain, but at least he had new shoes. I just had some chips for supper. My lack of a good meal on Tuesday made me feel a bit rough the next morning.

The afternoon portion of the BRP was more farmland than mountains. It reminded me a bit of the Natchez Trace. This was another beautiful day in the saddle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Day 5

When I checked on the bike in the morning, it was great. Wet, but great.

I rode 495 miles in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky. I rode the BRP the rest of the way to Oconaluftee. Then I went across the Great Smoky Mountain Park on US441 and took Little River Road (TN73) to Townsend. I took the highway to Knoxville and then came up US25W back to Corbin.

I started off a bit smarter this day. I bought some fruit and nuts to carry with me so I would not have to look for food along the Parkway. There were more deer and turkeys, but none were any real threat. There was a dog in the Park that acted up a bit. This was one of the best riding days in my life. I had an excellent motorcycle with excellent tires on one of the most excellent roads on the planet.

I love riding in the woods. I like to stop and look at the big vistas in the mountains.

I stopped at Asheville NC for gas and a Dew. Once I got to Tennessee, I was in my home territory. None of the roads I used in Tennessee or Kentucky were new to me. This is my normal riding area. We have some of the best roads in the world. I don't think any state has better asphalt than Tennessee.

The trees around the loop had been thinned a bit. I got the best view of the loop I’ve ever had. I’ve been riding through there for 35 years. Last year I said I’d never ride in the Park again. It was much better today. The traffic was reasonable. But there were way too many people in the way to get any photos at the Sinks.

When I got to Townsend I looked for a route that could get me back to Corbin before dark without fighting too much traffic in Knoxville. I took US321 all the way to Lenoir City and then took US11 up to Farragut. I took TN131 around town to US25W. I ended up at home with nearly an hour of daylight to spare.
 

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your a badass
I wish I could sit that long. I was gonna cry after 150 miles the other day
six months of no riding and you got to get the body ready to sit on a bike
great work seems like it was a great trip
for the record those bad roads are what we drive on here in Minnesota all the time
 

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Wow.... thanks for sharing all the details of your trip. An adventure for sure!
 
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