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2020 Grand Tour - Ride plans, photos, general conversation
01-29-2020, 03:09 PM (This post was last modified: 01-29-2020 03:19 PM by StarWolve.)
Post: #1
2020 Grand Tour - Ride plans, photos, general conversation
Since we had a 2019 Grand Tour Thread, I thought I'd start one for 2020. The 2020 Q&A Thread is here, but this is the place to post your plans, pictures, etc.

I'll kick off the thread with some general thoughts and plans.

First, I really like the idea. It's going to be harder to plan, and maybe a bit longer for some to ride to the locations, but the intent is solid. Get out and ride some of the best roads in the country!

Living in Charlotte, NC, we have some amazing roads nearby... most of them with nicknames like the Dragon, Diamondback, Hellbender, Moonshiner, Devil's Whip, Cherohala, etc., and some of those are scenic byways. Aside from the Dragon, the one that most people associate with this area is the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP). The BRP runs from Cherokee, NC, to Rockfish Gap, VA, spanning 469 miles of curves, overlooks, and mountains. I've ridden ALMOST all of it, but this year I'm out to change that.

I'm planning a 3 day GT ride for the summer. The first day will be riding to Western NC, and picking up a few points around the Cherohala Skyway and Eastern TN. An overnight in Cherokee, NC, for an early start to our BRP Attack Run! Day 2 will be an attempt to ride the ENTIRE length of the BRP, from South to North! Day 3 will be Skyline Drive, and a few other locations along the route to rendezvous with family before heading up to NY to visit from friends. We should easily be able to finish the GT on this trip, but the real goal is to complete the BRP in a single day.

My father (#521) is planning to ride with me, and I'm trying to talk Reaver (#139) into riding down from NY to join us. (If he does, we will be riding in the rain. It never fails.)

Anyone else have any epic rides planned?

IBA #41635

"Boredom is my worst enemy. It's killed a lot of my friends, but it won't get me. When I get bored, I go risk my life somewhere." - Larry Niven, Ringworld
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03-03-2020, 02:21 AM
Post: #2
Photo RE: 2020 Grand Tour - Ride plans, photos, general conversation
"Anyone else have any epic rides planned?"

WeSTOC.org but prior to that Montana to Haliax via Tennesse

Ought to be some valid roads along the way... I'm not a big one to plan... I will have one riding partner that will muster with here and there

I am currently laid up... I just had knee surgery

I'll be posting pictures here --> https://mdturley.smugmug.com/Motorcycles...Tour-2020/

MDTurley

"I had the right to remain silent, just didn't have the ability" - Ron White
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03-03-2020, 11:29 AM
Post: #3
RE: 2020 Grand Tour - Ride plans, photos, general conversation
(03-03-2020 02:21 AM)MDTurley Wrote:  I am currently laid up... I just had knee surgery

I hope you heal up quickly, and don't have any kick-start bikes! I was just thinking about that when I had to bump start a family bike with a dead battery... good thing I live on a big hill!

My wife is due in April with our first child, so I'm thinking most of my rides are going to be local-ish this year. But she is planning to meet us at the end of our Blue Ridge ride, so we can visit some family in New York. I should be able to at least finish the tour on this one long trip, so I'm not too worried about other rides.

IBA #41635

"Boredom is my worst enemy. It's killed a lot of my friends, but it won't get me. When I get bored, I go risk my life somewhere." - Larry Niven, Ringworld
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03-03-2020, 01:36 PM
Post: #4
RE: 2020 Grand Tour - Ride plans, photos, general conversation
Anyone grabbed points already? I'm waiting on my placard, and then I know of an overlook near my house that I may run out and grab to kick off the GT!

IBA #41635

"Boredom is my worst enemy. It's killed a lot of my friends, but it won't get me. When I get bored, I go risk my life somewhere." - Larry Niven, Ringworld
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03-03-2020, 09:06 PM (This post was last modified: 03-03-2020 09:26 PM by MDTurley.)
Post: #5
Photo RE: 2020 Grand Tour - Ride plans, photos, general conversation
(03-03-2020 11:29 AM)StarWolve Wrote:  
(03-03-2020 02:21 AM)MDTurley Wrote:  I am currently laid up... I just had knee surgery

I hope you heal up quickly, and don't have any kick-start bikes!
April 4th would be a good day for that Baby... Michael is a good name for either boy OR girl Wink

I'll be riding the Blue Ridge end to end either on the way to or the way from Nova Scotia... no real plan on direction yet.

No kick start bikes! Knee will be OK in 4 weeks... it wasn't that bad but I play advanced level Tennis... so had it repaired... pushing that envelope as a geezer!

My 2 big trips are end of JUNE and end of AUG... Montana and Wyoming and Idaho do have a fair number of Scenic Byways... local trips will suffice

Placard Printed... think I'll go laminate it tomorrow and turn my taxes over to the bookeeper...

https://mdturley.smugmug.com/Motorcycles...Tour-2020/

MDTurley

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03-26-2020, 10:48 AM
Post: #6
RE: 2020 Grand Tour - Ride plans, photos, general conversation
Well, with the GT on hold, most breweries and restaurants closed, and my county on a "stay at home" order... I guess there's no excuse to ride, except for the pure love of being out in the wind!

But with our son due in the next few weeks, I think my time is about to fairly limited anyways!

IBA #41635

"Boredom is my worst enemy. It's killed a lot of my friends, but it won't get me. When I get bored, I go risk my life somewhere." - Larry Niven, Ringworld
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04-02-2021, 09:04 AM
Post: #7
RE: 2020 Grand Tour - Ride plans, photos, general conversation
Now that we're back underway, I thought I'd update the thread with my annual "how-to" on mapping.

This year was a bit more challenging... there are some really great maps out there for each state's Scenic Byways. They're maintained by the state DOT's - which means they have a larger budget than I do for mapping software, and use ArcGIS for most of their maps. I've used the software for the Army, and it's great - but expensive.

My goal is always to get the maps into Google Earth, as I use that for ride planning and it's free.

So if you're a "map geek" like me, you can sign up for a 21 day trial of ArcGIS pro, download the state scenic byways maps, and the use the "convert to KML" function to export the maps to a format that can be opened by Google Earth. The sign-up process is a pain - their website is one of the worst I've used to sign up for a trial and download software - but I got through it eventually.

I'm in the process of doing the local states local to me (I consider anything East of the Mississippi "local" to me) but if anyone has a specific request for conversion, please reach out to me at starwolve@hotmail.com, and I'll try to help. But I only have 20 days left on my trial software, so do it ASAP!

If you can find the map file for ArcGIS (usually an "item.pitemx" file for the state) on your state's scenic byways site, or on ArcGIS online, that will help. I'll create a follow up post in a few days with my KML files to share, but will probably be focusing on the East Coast states first.

IBA #41635

"Boredom is my worst enemy. It's killed a lot of my friends, but it won't get me. When I get bored, I go risk my life somewhere." - Larry Niven, Ringworld
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04-16-2021, 07:46 AM
Post: #8
RE: 2020 Grand Tour - Ride plans, photos, general conversation
BRP... that is a long day at 45 MPH. DaJuice and me did that about 10 years ago or so Big Grin Nice ride though Big Grin

Wherever I may Roam... I wander...

Cruzin

2012 WR 450
2008 FJR
2003 Intruder
1984 Wing
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04-16-2021, 12:06 PM
Post: #9
RE: 2020 Grand Tour - Ride plans, photos, general conversation
I'm sure you stuck to that speed limit, as always.

http://www.youtube.com/korysrides
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04-17-2021, 07:36 AM
Post: #10
RE: 2020 Grand Tour - Ride plans, photos, general conversation
I rode the BRP a couple years before Cruzin & dajuice. It’s a beautiful ride with so many historical stops along the route. I’m sure they found the overwhelming presence of Park Rangers as I did, a deterrentWink
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04-17-2021, 01:48 PM
Post: #11
RE: 2020 Grand Tour - Ride plans, photos, general conversation
(04-16-2021 12:06 PM)Lapchik Wrote:  I'm sure you stuck to that speed limit, as always.
Speeding on the BRP is not a good idea, it's like going to Key West.

Wherever I may Roam... I wander...

Cruzin

2012 WR 450
2008 FJR
2003 Intruder
1984 Wing
1965 Rambler "Rag-Top" Cool
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