Saturday, May 16, 2015

Maggie Valley North Carolina - MR Cycles BBQ (Asheville)

Jax asked me a few days ago if I would lead the ride to MR Cycles in Asheville this morning. I thought I was done with my leading chores after Thursday, but was honoured that he thought of me and agreed to do it. Rain or shine. The ride would go via the Blue Ridge Parkway, so he suggested a 9:00 AM departure time to make it to the dealership for noon.

Sandy and I were up at 7:00 AM and hit Pop's for breakfast with Bass Man and Laura by 7:15. Then Willie Wonka and I rode to the Shell station to top off our tanks for the ride. By 9:00 AM, we were ready to roll. Willie and Carlene took up the sweep position on their one-of-a-kind D1 Kawacade because they were CB equipped, providing contact between the front and rear of the group. We were on the way a few minutes after the appointed hour with 26 bikes. Sandy followed with Linda in the Buick.

Saying goodbye

I coasted through town while the group formed up behind me, and then we headed up the hill to Soco Gap where we caught the Blue Ridge Parkway north. Flip on his Wing and Tony D on his ST1300 were right behind me until I waved them around to go and play. As I did on Thursday, my plan was to hold to the speed limit, which was 45 MPH on the BRP. The first leg was quite a bit slower than this. Approaching Balsam Gap, there were four Porsche's getting on the Parkway so I checked up for a bit to let them get out ahead of us. It turned out that they pulled off soon after to wait for a bunch more of them.

BRP riding

Willie passed on Cheap B's request that we pull over for a moment, so I hauled the group into the Licklog Gap Overlook (yes, that is the name). He had been concerned about the other Porsche's behind us but they also pulled over to join the others, so we rolled on.

Licklog Gap Overlook

Flip and Tony D were waiting for us at the Richland Balsam Overlook, the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We got in an excellent group photo courtesy of Linda. While we were posing, the Porsche's (now numbering more than a dozen) howled past in a low gear. I'm not up on the latest model but someone said these went for about $200,000 each.

BRP group photo
 (photo courtesy of Linda)

BRP Panorama
(Photo courtesy of Jason)

Flip and Tony headed out first again. I made a little change in the riding order that resulted in the group being able to move along at 45 MPH. Everyone kept together for the next 32 miles to our exit in Asheville, and we all pulled in to MR Cycle at 11:20 AM.

MR is a big shop that sells all the metric brands. They had agreed to host a BBQ for us today, the whole purpose of the ride. Many thanks to the management for their kindness.

MR Cycle - Asheville NC

Tony D and his new ride

Tbone wondering if this could replace the Meanie

A couple resting their feet in front of a supercharged monster

Dickey's catered the BBQ

It was very good

Some had tables

Bass Man dining with his friends:-))

Most were looking for shade from the hot sun

Everyone looked out for Caleb, as usual

Tony D and I in deep discussion

This fellow brought his wheelchair behind his Spyder

With the BBQ done and MR not having any Joe Rocket or HJC equipment, we decided to head back to Maggie Valley with Billy Bob and Linda. We took the direct route via I-40, and were concerned at first about a nasty black cloud ahead of us. As we moved along, it became apparent that the cloud and its associated rain were south of us and that anyone on the BRP was probably getting the worst of it. Later reports proved this to be true. We got back to the motel at 1:30 dry as a bone.

A little later, the ladies mounted an expedition to the Purple Store. I don't know what it is really called but Sandy and Carlene went along. This left the guys with nothing specific to do, so the WHORE's (We Haul Our Rides Everywhere) among us decided to load our bikes in preparation for early morning departures.

Willie Wonka, Cargo and Badger plotting

Bass Man loaded first

I went second. There weren't any photos of me loading but, for the first time in quite a while, I forgot to put the antennae down first. And I had specifically mentioned to Willie that this was one of the few things I needed to remember.

Willie went third

Cargo attached his helper straps first

Cargo safely on his trailer

Pop's normally closed right after lunch but they agreed to stay open late for us today. After Sandy got back from the Purple Store and a follow-up trip for ice cream, a few of us wandered over about 5:30. Sandy wasn't very hungry and just settled for the world's largest cinnamon bun. I had a huge club sandwich and had to take one quarter of it in a to-go box.

After supper, everyone settled in for the raffle. We won a couple of prizes, one of which included a bag of Wanda's chocolate chip cookies. Many thanks to her, Tina and Southern Draw, who all contributed to the items we won. The winner's portion of the 50/50 draw was over $400 and the amount donated to the Heywood County Sheriff's Department DARE program was well over that due to additional donations. The Godfather won the draw and SERGEANT Heidi (promoted in the last year) was there to accept the  donation.

Did I mention Maxxx and Mar were here? (with Caleb's Dad)

Set up for the drawing

Caleb before they asked him to pull tickets

The prize table

The raffle officials - Mikey, Linda and Jax

A great place to eat if you are in the New River Gorge area

2nd Amendment?

Sergeant Heidi and The Godfather

After the draws were complete, Jenny played and sang a bit. She has an awesome voice. This year, it was just her. After dark, she played a lot more and Southern Draw did a few songs about the attendees.

Southern Draw and Jenny

Wrong Turn and KT shimmying as Sandy watches

It was a mellow evening. I circulated talking to as many as I could and then made a round of goodbyes before heading to our room about 10:45. I set up part of the day's blog to the strains of Jenny's voice and then turned in.

As with all good things, the 2015 SEVROC had drawn to a close for us. Many thanks to Jax and all those who helped him in his 10th year of organizing. It was good to meet Gabbie and Rob of A Holiday Motel and know we have great folks running our new home. Thanks to MR Cycle for the BBQ. Thanks to the weatherman for the best SEVROC weather I can remember. Most of all, thanks to our very special VROC family for just being themselves.

Our reservation has been made for next year.

Today's Route (109 motorcycle miles):

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