2008 - Year in Review

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The dawn of the new year opened new chapters in not only my life, but that of my family as well. The first was the possibility of a new job at another motorcycle dealership. Another was the introduction of long distance motorcycle touring to Bryan and Jordan as they joined Julie and I on a week long adventure to Florida and back.
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In January a long time friend, racer and race promoter, Mike Allen, contacted me with the possibility of going to work with him at a dealership he was considering buying. By the end of March everything fell into place and it wasn't long before I found myself at Forsyth Motosports in Winston Salem, NC.
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This was a great opportunity for me in many respects because not only was I going to be working with Mike at a truly great dealership, he had also hired another long time friend and former co-worker Allen Evans too. For the first time since what Allen and I refer to as the "Glory Days" of Piedmont Honda, the shop where we got our start in the motorcycle industry, we would be not only working together again, but we'd be with a man as driven and passionate about the sport and industry as we are.
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Thanks Mike.
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Forsyth Motosports - Winston Salem, NC
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Mike Allen
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Allen Evans
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For our first 'official' ride of 2008 we planned a trip down to Clewiston, Florida to visit my Dad and take in the sights. We planned to go during the kids spring break in early March, which we thought would provide us with moderate temperatures and good weather for the whole trip.
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We thought.
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The FZ6 and the Nomad in full tour mode
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We left on a beautiful spring North Carolina day and were greeted with frost on our first morning on the road. The rest of the trip down to the town I grew up in we were treated to more wonderful days and nights, but the trip back was another story. We rode in rain for the better part of one day, and ran into snow the next. After holding up in a dumpy motel the rest of that day and night we rode over 300 miles in some of the coldest (but dry!) temperatures we've ever ridden in. It was miserable to say the least.
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But the rest of the trip was most definitely a memory maker and one I'm oh so glad that we made. You can find a complete trip report with photos in another section of the blog.
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Bryan, Jordan, Julie and I at the Georgia Welcome Center on US Hwy 301
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Bryan became a full fledged street rider/tourer in 2008. He not only went on his first real long distance ride but also spent a lot of time riding in the mountains and foot hills of the Carolina's. He and Jordan as well as his pal Josh and a few others made many day trips from Charlotte into the western Carolina mountains. On several occasions he also graced his parents with his company and we went on several day trips too.
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Josh's GSXR600 and Bryan's FZ6 on the BRP
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Off Road riding will always be special and enjoyable to Bryan and I, but I think we've both found that we enjoy seeking out twisty mountain roads and long days in the saddle of a street bike too.
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For 2008 Julie and I found ourselves on the tail end of a little mileage game we play with Bryan. We, well actually his mother and he, began razzing each other about who would end up with the most miles ridden in 2008. Momma rules applied and she was given credit for all miles accumulated on the Nomad whether she was on board or not.
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Even after making two trips to Florida and back as well as a few long week-end rides and several day trips Bryan officially kicked our butts. He logged over 9,000 miles where Julie and I brought up the rear at just under 8,000.
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Harrumph. We'll get you next year big boy.
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In search of twisty mountain roads...
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We all reached another milestone in life as Bryan turned 21 years old in 2008. It was liberating for him and traumatizing for us as Julie and I had to deal with two realities. Our son is growing up and we're getting old. *sigh*
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Bryan shares a birthday candle with Tippi
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We went on several trips with our pals Teddy and Tim, a couple of which found us going across "The Snake", a section of US 421 outside of Mountain City, Tennessee that ends up in a little place called Shady Valley, Tennessee. There is so much good riding in that area that we didn't mind going a few times so that we could explore roads and areas we hadn't previously seen.
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"The Country Store", Shady Valley, Tennessee
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We continued another family tradition of going riding on Fathers Day. Hey, who am I to complain? This year we rode the BRP south to Linville Falls, then wound our way off the mountain to Lake Lure and took the long way back home. It was the best Fathers Day so far, but not by much because they're all great! Can't wait until 2009!
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Two generations of J.B. McCrary's. Is the world ready for it?
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Momma and her boy
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Another absolutely great ride was the forth of July week-end trip we took to Helen, Georgia. Jordan and Bryan accompanied Julie and I on this one and a great time was had by all. Helen is a trip in itself and a great destination, but the riding and scenery of the north Georgia mountains has to be experienced to be believed too.
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There are lots of photos and a complete ride report on this trip too elsewhere in the blog.
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The interesting buildings in Helen, Georgia
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Bryan, Tim, Teddy and Julie yuk it up in a Waffle House parking lot where we gathered up for another trip into the Tennessee mountains
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For our 25th wedding anniversary Julie and I did what we love to do most. Go on a road trip. We spent three days exploring West Virginia and riding roads and seeing sights we've never seen before. It was great! A full trip report is also included in the blog. Be sure and check out the GBT.
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How that woman has put up with me for 25 years and still manages to smile is beyond me
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Bryan and I caught our first motorcycle road race in 2008. We went to the "Big Kahuna" AMA national in Danville, Virginia. To say we were amazed and impressed is an understatement!
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The team Jordan Suzuki's lead the first lap at Virginia International Raceway
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We also made it to the very first drag race held at the new "Z-Max Dragway" outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. Bryan and I are big time fans of pro drag racing and nitro junkies of the highest order. It's great to finally have national event this close and we plan on being regulars to the race.
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The Z-Max Dragway is a world class facility that all other dragstrips will be measured against from now on
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The last trip of the year was our annual 'leaf peeping' trip to the mountains in the fall. Bryan, Teddy, Tim, Julie and I got together and rode into the northern North Carolina mountains and then down to Grandfather mountain near Boone, North Carolina.
The colors varied widely as the cold temperatures hadn't really set in and the water tables varied from area to area. Still it was a beautiful ride all in all and a good time was had by all.
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Bryan, Julie, Tim and Teddy taking in the fall colors near the Linville Falls Viaduct outside of Boone, North Carolina
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I hope you all enjoy seeing the pictures and reading the reports of our trips in 2008. We had a ball and enjoy sharing them with you.
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Here's looking forward to many more in 2009!
Bruce