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Thread: Riding down South

  1. #1

    Riding down South

    I'm from Colorado so I haven't been to the South much. Would Asheville NC be a good staging area for good rides in the area? A little pricey maybe? Is May a good time weatherwise? I thought maybe go before it gets too warm. This week's weather report looks rainy. I'm also wondering what route to take to get there. I'm thinking maybe through the Ozarks. Any advice from you southern boys?

  2. #2
    Registered User gfspencer's Avatar
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    I was born and raised in North Carolina. Asheville is my favorite place in the whole state! There are lots of places to stay and lots of places to eat. There are quite a few local breweries around Asheville. Asheville is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Deal's gap is not too far away. (Stay away from Deal's Gap on the weekends.) The weather in May is decent.
    2015 R nineT

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jolev55 View Post
    I'm from Colorado so I haven't been to the South much. Would Asheville NC be a good staging area for good rides in the area? A little pricey maybe? Is May a good time weatherwise? I thought maybe go before it gets too warm. This week's weather report looks rainy. I'm also wondering what route to take to get there. I'm thinking maybe through the Ozarks. Any advice from you southern boys?
    Asheville is a TERRIBLE place to base your adventures, trust me!

    The Ozarks are also TERRIBLE... stay away!

    Come after Mother's Day, the weather will be perfect.

    What kind of riding are you looking for?

    Ian

    ps => if you're concerned about costs, there are a few small town to the west of Asheville that are quite nice and even closer to the great riding. Waynesville, Sylva, Dillsboro and Bryson City come to mind. North of Asheville are Mars Hill, Marshall and Hot Springs, all very nice places.
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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  4. #4
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Ozarks-Arkansas

    Riding thru the Ozarks is a good idea. Depends on your time frame. If I was going to make one run through, I'm thinking Highway 16 end to end. Western end is Siloam Springs on the Oklahoma border to the eastern end in Searcy, Ar. Plenty of top shelf roads off 16 in all directions. Which is kind of a problem, because you'll want to take 'em. . A Ark. Dept. of Transportation map is a good carry. Well detailed to show you the roads. www.arkansashighways.com and Arkansas.com/motorcycling These maps and broshures are available at al welcome centers at the border. Ride Arkansas and enjoy.

  5. #5
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    I have ridden a lot around Asheville and the Ozarks and actually enjoyed the Ozarks a little more I think but you can't go wrong with either.

  6. #6
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Go to the section The Club-Regional South. Find the thread Mid-South ride, eat and meet. Posts 1921-1927. Some pics of maps of highway 14 and 16 hilighted in Ozark area.. Some info of the riding area. You might find it informative.

  7. #7
    Adventurist nakwakto00's Avatar
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    Go online and request a Motorcycle Guide from Arkansas. It's great and filled with both road trips and off-road adventures.
    -don
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    "If you don't treat yourself right, no one else will."
    '06 R1200RT, '13 F800GS, and '16 R1200GSA (wife's)

  8. #8
    I live and ride here - about 30 miles southwest of Asheville. Just did 200 miles yesterday with 100 off road. From gravel forest service roads to impassable (to me) 25 slick, two track clay slopes. We had 5" of ran last weekend and you can expect rain at anytime due to the mountains. There is a motorcycle campground that would be a good base area in Cruso, NC. http://www.blueridgemotorcyclecamp.com/

  9. #9
    Not sure what kind of riding you are interested in. Then again what kind of base of operation you are looking for? There is good riding from N.Ga to W. Va, WV, SE Ky, W.Tn, all the way up to an including Central PA. I run day trips out of Spartanburg, SC all over that area. You almost have to work hard at finding a bad place to ride. Asheville ain't bad. Plenty to do there when you get off the scoot too.
    Old But Not Dead
    Semper Fi

  10. #10
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    The western NC area is hard to beat there is good riding every direction. Asheville has many great restaurants and craft breweries, pretty much anything you could want. Also a BMW dealer should you need their services. If you will be camping, in addition to the aforementioned campground there is Hot Springs Resort less than an hour away which has an inn, cabins, and good campspots on the river, with good hiking, whitewater rafting on the French Broad River, etc. This campground, unlike many others, does not hassle you for drinking as long as you are reasonably civilized, and they are popular with biker parties too and there is a small music festival in early June. The Appalachian Trail goes right through town and there are a few interesting bars and restaurants. It's kind of popular with bikers and hikers. A couple hours east of Asheville is High Country Campground in Ferguson, NC, a M/C only campground that is quite remote and nice. Good roads around there, and June 9-11 the Gathering of the Clans Rally. Closer to Asheville is Roan Mountain on the NC/TN border at Carver's Gap, where the AT crosses again at about 6000 feet elevation. There are balds, clear areas on the mountains, covered with thousands of rhododendrons and flame azaleas which will be in full bloom in mid-June, quite an awesome sight. The village of Roan Mountain on the TN side has a good Highlander BBQ restaurant, and Bob's Dairyland, both of which I can recommend especially Bob's for breakfast of big biscuits and gravy and great burgers. You can also camp at Roan Mountain State Park nearby but will need to make reservations well in advance. Mt. Mitchell is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, I think maybe highest mountain east of the Miss. River. In addition to Deal's Gap which has already been mentioned in E. TN, there is Hwy 421 between Boone NC and Bristol TN also known as The Snake, which many like better than the Dragon. Don't miss the popular gathering spot for bikers in Shady Valley for a cold drink and a snack and lots of bikes usually. I could go on, but you will not find a more enjoyable area anywhere. May and June the weather is usually very pleasant, but right now we are having a good bit of rain so you never know. Carl

  11. #11
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    Ozark Heaven

    I lived in Wisconsin my adult life and visited relatives in the Ozarks every year. I endured the long boring ride to get to Alton MO every vacation just to ride the beautiful highways in the southern MO area. I can't begin to describe the gorgeous roads in southern MO and northern Arkansas area of the Ozarks. The roads may be patched but they are smooth; none of the buckled and cracked roads that make WI highways feel like riding on railroad tracks. These roads don't buckle from freezing temperature the northern states get from winter weather. I retired a year ago and moved to Alton MO. I am in motorcycle heaven. The riding season is much longer, I've ridden on nice days all year round. The sun is hotter here. Even if the temp is below 40 deg, if the sun is out, I will sweat in my leathers. I love these roads and I live on one that is just as good as the Blue Ridge Pkwy, (I've been there) and the speed limit is 55 if you're a daredevil. My home is available if you want a "starting point" to explore these roads. You can tent here or sack out in the spare room but you can't live here! I have lots of room for guests but I need advance notice. I'm in the anonymous book. Email at geomrqtt@gmail.com.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GEOMRQTT View Post
    These roads don't buckle from freezing temperature the northern states get from winter weather.
    I laugh every time I hear this excuse for bad roads in northern states, when I have ridden all over Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario in Canada and don't find that their comparable winters leave the roads turned to junk. The winters do damage roads but US states seem unwilling to invest in their roads whereas the Canadian provinces seem willing to do so. Thus, I don't buy the winter argument and instead believe the cheapskate argument. YMMV.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  13. #13
    I'm from Germany and often complained about bad stretches of road if they weren't perfect when I was young.
    Then I moved to San Antonio, Texas and I realized what I kind of road heaven I left behind.
    The cracked roads, yep, got them here, not that we have much of a winter, I think it's mostly washouts under it.
    Visited Germany this June, was kind of sad to see the Autobahn is patched up after all (memory tricked me), until I realized you can see the patches, but not feel them, no dip, no bump, just different, so I'm still jealous of good roads.
    So I'm with PGlaves on difference in road technology and maintenance.


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  14. #14
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Was up in the New England around 25 years ago in early spring riding motorcycles and driving in the New England 1000 Vintage Car Rally. Found out about winter frost heaves on the local highways. Frost heaves? Being from beautiful sunny balmy Arkansas, I was totally ignorant of frost heaves. But yes they gottem in New England. Guess the frozen ground from them long cold winters pushes the road bed up and makes the road really uneven and rough for driving and riding. Yes, I drove and rode over them. Live and learn.

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