Christea Joy Jacobs
Looks like she's having a good time, huh?
In the middle part of March Julie's sister Chris (Aunt Christie) came to North Carolina for a visit. Julie says that Chris was a biker chick before she was, however it had been a while since Chris had been riding, so naturally we had to take her for a ride. March 22nd, 2009 marks Aunt Christies official return as a rider.
Now Julie and Chris did more than just go on this ride, including going to the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina and a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. But since this blog is about motorcycles and riding this will be a ride report on our trip.
Initially we wanted to take her over into Tennessee and run US 421, aka "The Snake", but by the time we made it to Yadkinville, North Carolina it was determined that it was simply still too cold to make a trip of that length. At that point we made the decision to go north towards Fancy Gap, Virginia and the Blue Ridge Parkway. It had only been a couple of weeks since our last ride to the same area and the BRP which thrilled Julie no end, so it was decided that this time we would go south on the Parkway and play it by ear from there.
We rode up US 601 into Mount Airy, North Carolina and then headed up US 52 and the top of the mountain stopping just outside Cana, Virginia to set up our Go Pro video cameras and to allow Julie and Chris to swap bikes. Up to this point Julie had only ridden with Bryan on his bike a couple of times and then only for short distances. Based on that she felt Chris might get tired of the seating position on Bryan's FZ6 and figured that the best thing to do would be to let them take turns on each bike. Julie had started the trip on the Nomad so now it was her turn on what we loving refer to as the baby sport tourer. Bryan was thrilled, momma would be getting on right as we started climbing the mountain on the twisty section of old US 52! Heh heh heh... He had every intention of scaring his momma half to death, but I told him not to do it and to take it easy. Then I winked at him when Julie wasn't looking.
Up until this point Julie and I had been leading Bryan and Chris, but as we pulled out I told Bryan on the CB to take the point. The FZ6 is much better suited for that type of road and riding so I didn't want to endanger he and his momma by messing up his flow on the road. Yeah that's it, I didn't want to mess up his flow. *snicker*
It was a few miles from where we stopped to where the road gets...interesting so Chris and I just be-bopped along behind them as we all flowed with traffic through the still congested area. As the traffic thinned and the road started looking more like a mountain road I noticed that Bryan started weaving in his lane, which meant he was warming up his tires. Momma was fixin' to go for a ride!
At first he really just eased along and Chris and I had no trouble keeping up, in fact I had to brake a couple of times in mid turn because I ran up on him, which meant I was going deeper into the turns than he was. Then... whoosh! He checked out. I told Chris over the intercom "Wave bye to them, we won't see them again until we get to the top of the mountain!" Actually, I was able to keep them in sight, although it was at a distance, which was a good indication that he was taking it easy on his mom. But Julie was used to riding the Nomad and with Chris being a good sport about it all I've got to say that I was getting all the Nomad had to give and they were still pulling away. Damn, my boy can ride!
True to my words, the next time we got a good look at them was at the Chevron station on the top of the mountain. Bryan had slowed down near the top so we caught up to them just as they were pulling up to a gas pump. Chris and I circled around to face them, remember the video cameras? I had to get some video of Julie getting off the bike!
It was classic! It was hilarious! I won't say anymore and instead will provide a link to a video that Bryan did using his footage of the ride and then adding mine pulling up to the pumps at the end. You've gotta watch it! Click here:
Wasn't that a hoot?
We topped off the tanks and then went to the Mountain Top restaurant right next door and had what turned out to be a wonderful lunch. In all the times we've stopped there we'd never tried out the restaurant. We'll be back. After lunch we saddled up and continued on. Amazingly enough, Julie got back on the bike with Bryan...
The ride down the Parkway was relaxed and easy. I wanted Chris to be able to take it all in and I'm not sure if Bryan wanted to take it easy on his momma or if Julie threatened to beat him if he didn't. We rode for several miles then found an overlook to stop and do the tourist thing. It was beautiful, as usual. We talked, laughed, had a great time and took tons of photos, some of which are posted below.
While we were there a father and his six or seven year oldish daughter pulled up and were doing as we were. At one point he asked me to use his camera and take a photo of the two of them, which I gladly did. As they rode off I said to Bryan, "You know, the world would be a much better place if more people rode motorcycles."
When we got ready to go Chris and Julie swapped bikes again and honestly I don't remember whose idea it was. Whatever and anyway, we headed off down the BRP once again. We rode for several miles, enjoying the day, the ride, the sights and each others company. It wasn't long before we came to the intersection of NC Hwy 18 where we had decided to turn off the BRP and start heading home. The reason for that decision was two fold. Coming off the mountain on Hwy 18 is a hoot, it's a typical mountain access road full of twists, turns and elevation changes and there is a really cool 'biker joint' called the "Stations Inn" there and we thought Chris might enjoy seeing it. Here's a link to their web site: http://stationsinn.com/index-a.html .
There wasn't a lot going on there that day so we only stopped briefly, then continued on, Bryan and I looking forward to the ride down 18. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I'm not sure which, just as we got to where the road gets interesting we caught up to some really slow moving traffic and were forced to crawl down the road, smelling the over used brakes of a car with Florida tags on it. Go figure, huh?
The ride home from that point was good and more or less uneventful. It was getting late so we didn't have much time to mess around or take any detours. Still it was all new to Chris and she seemed to enjoy every minute of it.
Here's to hoping you make it back in 2010 Aunt Christie!