That's it for me! - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-02-2018, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oliver Springs TN
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That's it for me!

The federal government decided to "Tar and Chip" the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you don't know what that is, they spray down hot tar and cover it with stone chips. (VIDEO LINK BELOW). It's rough and the stones come loose. You can't tell if they are loose or not so you always have to ride like you're riding on gravel. It wears out your tires too. I just got my first look at it yesterday. They even have signs up that read "Travel for Motorcycles and Bicycles not recommended". You can ride it but you'll not going to "make good time" .

We always come to Maggie Valley every summer to ride and the Parkway is the main attraction. I guess it's been 8 years now. When you ride it. You leave the valley that 80 degrees and hot. then climb into the cool 60's on the parkway. The views and curves are perfect!. BUT,,, No more. This will be our last year. They are working from the Asheville side going toward Cherokee. As of today, they are just south of Hwy 276.

They are killing the parkway for motorcycles and the whole area will suffer. Businesses WILL close. This WAS the ROAD TO RIDE.

They had a rally this weekend in Maggie Valley. You couldn't count the Harley's. Every hamburger joint and pizza place was full.

For the most part nobody seems to care. The locals say "there are other roads" and to a point that's true but the cool temps of the parkway and the views make it irreplaceable. I've got roads at home.

We've personally spent over 4K on a campsite this summer. Add in gas, eating out, grocery's, shopping at the local produce stands, etc. and that adds up! It wouldn't surprise me if we spend 10K in this area this year alone. And that's just me! Motorcycles bring in so much business to this area. That's over. Some may come next year, not knowing. Once they ride the tar and chip road, they'll not return. It may not really effect you KLR guys much, but road bikes will be gone.

We're going to stay and ride this summer as long as we can, staying on the last of the good pavement, watching as the infected pavement narrows our area to nothing. Then we'll be gone. I may even sell our motorhome and quit altogether.

We have looked at buying a summer home here or buying some property to park our motorhome on. We even considered buying property and building a new campground in the area.

Leave it to the government to F things up! They even used my money to do it! I'm about as pissed as I can be!

Everybody need to ride their bikes up there and park right in front of the road crew but we'd all end up in jail. The cops always win.



“Take the risk of thinking for yourself , much more happiness , truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” Hitchens
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-02-2018, 11:36 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
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Toney, Sorry to hear that the DOT has spoiled the early part of your summer.

But be patient, the heat and the heavy traffic will press most of the chips into the tar & old asphalt underneath. Then in a week or two they usually use a rotary brush to sweep the remaining loose stuff off the entire roadway.
The roadways will have better traction in the dry and especially in the wet/rainy conditions which I am sure there are many days of.

There is not a summer goes by that I don't encounter chip seal on one highway or several during the course of my travels in this sparsely populated/travelled state. We find it totally normal & expected. Because it helps with winter traction as well.

Just go ride a few less popular routes for a week or two.
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pdwestman
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-02-2018, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
Toney, Sorry to hear that the DOT has spoiled the early part of your summer.

But be patient, the heat and the heavy traffic will press most of the chips into the tar & old asphalt underneath. Then in a week or two they usually use a rotary brush to sweep the remaining loose stuff off the entire roadway.
The roadways will have better traction in the dry and especially in the wet/rainy conditions which I am sure there are many days of.

There is not a summer goes by that I don't encounter chip seal on one highway or several during the course of my travels in this sparsely populated/travelled state. We find it totally normal & expected. Because it helps with winter traction as well.

Just go ride a few less popular routes for a week or two.
I hate the heat. That's one reason the parkway is so desirable. 64 degrees seems to be my ideal temp to ride in. Right between a jacket and none. I think next summer, maybe Maine or even Canada. I think Canada will exchange US dollars for Canadian currency no issues. Have to figure it out. Never been there. I guess the dog needs some kind of paperwork. I hear British Columbia is awesome! Need to go to the english speaking parts. Never took French. Might go see Norm and his Bunny. I'll fly my Google Earth F16 around this winter and find a spot. We have to have a place the is easy to drive the RV to, yet surrounded by curvy roads for the bikes. Glad we can move and the RV has wheels! Would have sucked to have bought a summer home here last year and now this.

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself , much more happiness , truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” Hitchens
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-02-2018, 06:05 PM
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Yep, tar a chip roads suck for a little while but they get beat down into rideable pavement. I've always wanted to do the Blue Ridge but I can ride winding tar a chip roads back home. Back home, we call those "country roads" that the county is too cheap to pave properly.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-02-2018, 06:37 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
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The Northern third of Wyoming has 2 National Parks & 1 National Monument with some pretty good roads to, thru and in-between. And probably not near the amount of traffic which you are used to.

Check US hwys 14 & 14A between Sheridan, Greybull & Lovell WY.

Check WY 789 S. from Greybull to Manderson - WY 31 to Tensleep - US hwy 16 to Buffalo - I 25 N. back to Sheridan.

Check US hwys 14/16 east out Cody WY to Yellowstone NP, North to Canyon to Tower Jct., East to Silver Gate/Cooke City MT., US hwy 212 (Bear Tooth Pass) to Red Lodge MT is about like the Alps (I've heard). WY 296 connects the Beartooth hwy to Cody WY over the Chief Joseph Pass.

WY 28 South from Lander to Farson, US 191 North to Jackson/Moran Jct., US 26/287 South back to Lander is about a 375 mile loop or 425 miles with detours.


But you will probably encounter road construction, chip sealing, wind, rain, hail and possibly even snow storms on the higher passes even this time of year. Possibly even some of even most of the above in the same day! Your riding a Versys, correct? I can even recommend some graded dirt routes.

Then you can proceed to go visit Norm Keller & Dave Pelletier up in BC Canada. Glacier Nat'l Park with its 'Going to the Sun road' is along your way towards them.

pdwestman
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-02-2018, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
....Your riding a Versys, correct?
Yep, the V1. Wife is on a NC700X.
Sounds like good riding there but far! I have a business in TN and could have to return at any time. You never know. So far things are running smooth but any time something could turn. Over the winter we'll figure it all out.

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself , much more happiness , truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” Hitchens
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-05-2018, 03:01 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
The Northern third of Wyoming has 2 National Parks & 1 National Monument with some pretty good roads to, thru and in-between. And probably not near the amount of traffic which you are used to.


But you will probably encounter road construction, chip sealing, wind, rain, hail and possibly even snow storms on the higher passes even this time of year. Possibly even some of even most of the above in the same day! Your riding a Versys, correct? I can even recommend some graded dirt routes.
pd! Pegged it. I've been on those routes and they are good rides. The temps are usually in you desired zone as well. WY. is in it's second season now so you never can guess what's ahead. (The seasons are winter and road construction.)
BC is great as well. Been to Waterton twice. Beautiful! If nothing else I recommend what pd offers and that you follow through on your plans.
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