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Dan Hughes

Tuesday May 4, Athens GA to Blue Ridge GA

Riding the North Georgia mountains on the two-lane twisty roads is about the best way to spend a day. Pure Biker Trash Paradise all the time. Nothing but three-star roads today.

Left Athens a little after 8 this morning and headed North. Decided that the flat and straight roads South of Athens and into Florida would not be any fun. Plus the extreme temperature and humidity have nothing to offer.

Less than 50 miles out of Athens the roads are already first class biker roads. I picked up GA 105 just South of Baldwin and the fun started. Then GA 184 to Boydville and GA 17 to hit GA 197 at Clarksville. And now the fun got much better and by the time I reached GA 2/US 76 just West of Clayton I was smiling and grinning from ear to ear. GA 197 is one of the better roads that I’ve ridden in a very long time. All these roads have very smooth surfaces, they are very narrow, and they are very twisty. The posted speed limit is 35 MPH and that can be a little disconcerting. It’s like a city speed limit and it takes some time to realize that The Law is not hidden away around the curves waiting to nab everyone. After working past those thoughts, the roads become even more fun, if you get my drift. Well, I took a break at the GA 2 intersection to let the joy sink in thinking that it’s going to be hard to beat this. But it was only the beginning.

Took GA 2 / US 76 West to Hiawassee to find a bank so I could replenish my gas-money supply. The bank had a TV on and there in huge red numbers was a summary of the action on the Dow. It was very very ugly and the trading day was only about half over. So much for wealth accumulation. Actually, I’m not into wealth accumulation, and with what’s been happening recently it’s just as well that I’m not. All I need is to keep my gas-money supply from hitting empty. Today that seems to be highly unlikely, but I’m going to burn it while I’ve got it.

Putt-putted back to GA 17 / GA 75 just outside Hiawassee with the objective road being GA 180. Ran down to Suches on miles and miles of three-star road to check out a legendary moto-only “resort”, named Two Wheels Only. The place has seen much better days and was not yet open for the season. Somewhat of a disappointment, but no big deal.

Picked up GA 60 at Suches and headed North back deep into the mountains. Another beauty. Three or four in a row. Reached an intersection at which I’ll have to make a decision about which road to take, so I decided to park here in Blue Ridge and put off the decision-making until tomorrow.

In addition to the most-excellent roads, the mountains are beautiful. And the skies are blue.

The roads today were all classic olde-timey twisty roads that hug the surface of the earth with decreasing-radius curves, reverse banking, Ss to the max and are void of cut and fills and wide sweepers. They are disappearing and already there are wide four-laner alternatives for all of them.

I’m already a little concerned about the thousands and thousands of miles of potential three-star roads that I would like to see this time out knowing that I can’t make them all. It’s a problem that I’ll have to deal with, I guess. We’ve got to ride these beautiful narrow two-laners while there some remaining. All too soon, there will be nothing left but wide sweepers and, shudder, wide proved up to the max four laners.

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May 4, 2010 - Posted by | moto touring |

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