The western end of the Blue Ridge Parkway is a motorcyclists dream. The views are magnificent, traffic is almost non-existent, the road is smooth and there is always a pullout area to stop and enjoy the views. As you can see in the photo below, Courtney was not enjoying herself at all…
We had to stop and take this obigatory photo!
It was on the BRP that we had our next bike problem. After we pulled into a rest area to enjoy a spectacular view, the left footpeg on Courtney’s bike broke off due to metal fatigue. Not a problem, I travel with tools and assorted items to be able to handle this type of thing. Hmmm… After noodling over the problem for a bit, it seemed like we could use some cable wraps to hold it on until we could get a replacement.
Courtney was a trouper and rode without complaining. We stopped for lunch at the Mt. Pisgah Motel and then after lunch borrowed the yellow pages from the office and found a Kawasaki dealer in Asheville which was about 20 miles away. By this time, the rear tire on the 750 was toast and needed replacement anyway. It was worn when we left and the mountain riding just finished it off. We rode to MR Motorcycle on Rt 25, right off the BRP exit. They did their best to find a replacement peg but had nothing that would fit. Then the lightbulb went on! Maybe the passenger footpeg would work. We took it off, held it up to the front peg mounting bracket and saw that it would fit perfectly! Problem solved. Now we just needed the new tire. Their service department was very accomodating and took care of things right away.
While we were waiting, a man and woman came in. He looked a bit battered. Turns out he had hit a bear(!) on the parkway, took a spill and banged up himself and his bike. Although he was wearing a leather jacket, he still wound up with a bloody elbow. He was wearing a half helmet and was very fortunate that he didn’t face plant when he hit the asphalt. His partner, riding her own bike, was behind him and saw the whole thing. Luckily, other that some scrapes, cuts and bruises, he was okay. His Nomad was still ridable, but the left saddlebag was busted. Another reason why I have become an ATGATT rider. All the gear, all the time. You just never know when something unexpected will happen. No one sets out in the morning and says “I think I’ll hit a bear today…”.
Around 4:00 pm, the bike was ready to go, and we mounted up and backtracked on the BRP. We got off the parkway and headed north on 276 because we wanted to checkout the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground. It looked like fun, but we wanted a pool and AC that night. Rt 276 is another technically challenging road, in part because the road is not in good condition. The elevation drops significantly as you leave the Parkway and it is very twisty.
We then backtracked, rode 276 back up to the Parkway and down the other side toward Brevard. The ride down is another fun one, and took us to Looking Glass Falls which is popular because it is right next to the road and very accessbile. The water is cold!
We continued on 276 to Brevard where we got a hotel room for the night and enjoyed the pool and the AC.