Wednesday, October 3, 2007

THREE DAY BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY RIDE

I received an email from a good friend in Pennsylvania asking me if I would be interested in meeting him on the Blue Ridge. I don't need much temptation to ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I don't need any. I packed up the Bug (Buell) and set out for Boone, NC on Sunday morning. I had to run boreing interstates to get up to Bristol and then East over to Boone. The Blue Ridge Parkway is just a few miles away from there. As I climbed up the twisty mountain toward the Blue Ridge Parkway the air turned crispy. I stopped and added a pull over sweater under my wind proof riding jacket. Much better! A subtle right hand bank and the familier Blue Ridge Parkway sign appeared and I coasted up to the stop sign. A sign bearing the words Parkway North with an arrow pointing to the left appeared. I eased out onto the smooth asfault that would be my guiding path for the next two days. The road is simple and it runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge mountain chain. Switch backs are prevelent. There are no traffic lights to remind one of the complexity of society. It is an adventure to be here.
I rolled the throttle on slowly accellerating to 60 miles per hour. A gentle sweeping (sweeper) turn appeared and bent to the right. I leaned the Bug over to the right and she followed the verticle right hand bank perfectly. Upon exiting the first sweeper, another appeared and bent to the left. It was a tighter corner and would require a greater lean angle from the Bug. I maintained the sixty mile per hour speed. This corner had a 35 mile per hour sign on it but I know the Bug's limitations and a 35 mile per hour corner at 60 mph was not even beginning to tax her prowess. I entered the corner and took the shortest path through it leaning the Bug far over to the left. Exhilleration! I exited the corner in fourth gear with the power on and up shifted to fifth at the same time I started to bring the Bug verticle. Seventy miles per hour was the exit speed. The whole event was perfect and smooth. The Bug is a cornering beast. One must exercise caution when driving a machine that does not transmit any negative feelings from the road. The aforementioned was repeated over and over countless times the entire ride on the parkway. I was doing my best to maintain a 55 to 60 mile per hour average as I wanted to be at Stations Square by four o clock to meet my friend Tom.