So we headed out on our last motorcycle tour for 2016… a private event that has been going on for 9 years! (yes, it even pre-dated our official touring company). Riders left from three different towns (Durham, Wilmington and Charlotte) to convene at Kyle Fletcher’s BBQ near Gastonia. A wonderful barbecue lunch was enjoyed by all before we swung our legs back over our machines and ventured closer to twisties. I did call ahead to the town of Lake Lure to make sure the highway was open as there are currently wildfires in western NC. (Which the problem is very large and many people have been evacuated and homes have been lost.)
Even though we had made the call confirming that the road was open, we were re-directed on a 40 minute detour. Despite the added length, we still were able to hit some wonderful backroads and great curves before hitting the campground an hour or so before sunset. 10 lbs of steak were thrown on the grill and war-stories were exchanged.
Day 2 had us heading to a famous biscuit restaurant near black mountain. Once finished, we were back on the motorcycles and heading up the Devil’s Whip and Diamondback, some of my favorite roads (better than the Dragon!). That afternoon, some hung around the fire while others ventured off to the waterfall or went fly fishing.
As per tradition for this tour, on the last day we wound our selves up 221 to the town of Linville Falls to enjoy breakfast at an institution: Louise’s Rockhouse! Once our bellies were full with country food it was off to the Parkway for another wonderful run. Bikes separated near Boone and more direct routes were traveled home (although the guide and another rider spent another few hours on the parkway before hitting the highway home). A great tour with a wonderful group of guys. Great finish to 2016!
Photo credit: James Babson