Monday, May 07, 2007

Traxxion Day

Woodstock, Georgia to Waynesville, North Carolina

We were awake early and enjoyed the somewhat more than continental breakfast at the Hampton Inn. After packing, we left about 8:30 to make the 9:00 appointment at Traxxion Dynamics. The address was 261 Rope Mill Parkway in Woodstock. Streets and Trips showed a Rope Mill Road and a Rope Mill Lane. After checking them both out and not finding anything, I phoned and found the real place was about three miles away. We finally got there shortly after 9:00.

Mike Hardy took the order and showed us to the conference room where they had a table, coffee, soft drinks and WiFi for the customers. There was a couple there, Brian (Mr. Fixall) and his wife plus their little poodle. They were both riding Traxxioned Wings and he was in to get the damping altered in his rear shock. It seems he likes and exceptionally stiff ride for his canyon bombing style. We talked Wings and rides for quite some time.

About noon, Tom T. from Toledo rolled in on a '07 Airbag Wing with trailer. We continued to talk bikes and then Brian and Tom learned that they both worked for Fedex so they got talking business.

About 1:30 the mechanic brought the bike out and took a test ride. I noticed right away that there was no fork brace on it. Seems they did not have any in stock. Since this was an integral part of the handling package, I was disappointed until I found Tom had one in his trailer that wouldn't work on his newfangled forks. I bought it from him and Mike installed it. After paying $2,342 and some cents, we were ready to roll at 2:00.

I could feel the bike was tighter, firmer, less sloppy right off the bat. It also made low speed turns very easily. The rear shock, which had been set at 16, was now set at 3. I could feel every bump and ripple but the harshness was gone.

We grabbed a quick McD cheeseburger in Canton since we hadn't eaten since breakfast. Then we headed east on SR 20 to SR 400/US 19 North. We went up through Dahlonega on US 19 and then turned onto SR 60 towards Suches. That is the home of Two Wheels Only, a motorcycle only resort where we held the first big VROC gatherings in 1999 and 2000. Let me say this first. The tanker driver was doing a spectacular job of guiding his big rig through the twists and turns going up the grade on 60. That said, he was still holding us up. In frustration, I pulled over into a lookout where we met a young lady originally from Bismark ND. She has lived in Belfast Ireland for the last 11 years and is on day two of a three month trek up the Appalachian Trail. A gutsy young woman, it was a pleasure to meet her.

In Suches, I pointed out TWO and we turned east on SR 180. This would take us through Wolf Pen Gap. I had forgotten how tight the Gap road is and how steep the drop-offs. This has no forgiveness of errors at all. The bike didn't handle as well as expected, but I found after that, while tinkering with the suspension settings, I had accidentally lowered it to 2. By the end of the day, I found 6 was about right for spirited riding.

SR 180 took us to US 19 where we headed north for a bit and then turned east on the other half of 180 which took us past Brasstown Bald to SR 17. Going north again, we entered North Carolina and turned east on US 64 towards Franklin. There we caught US 441 north to Sylvan and 74 into Waynesville. Here, we got a room at a Days Inn way up on the side of a hill and went to the Sagebrush Steakhouse for supper. Every road we were on today reinforced why this is the best motorcycling area I have ever seen.

The McDonalds where Sandy and I usually have breakfast when leaving KSL has been torn down. Our server at Sagebrush told us the health inspector had found the carcass of a wharf rat in one of the fryers. With all the negative PR, McDonalds tore the place down and is building a new and improved place. I wonder how long the rat was there?

Sorry I got so distracted I didn't take any pictures today. We should be able to make it home in two days from here. Weather looks good (knock wood). We'll see how it goes.

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