Fall Tour 2010​
The last few years my riding has been half of what it was in the early portion of this decade, brought about by things such as home repairs, part time job, and this year my son's entry into seminary.  Still, I've always managed to put together a Fall tour.

Last Fall I went West on a 5,000 mile cross country ride, this year was not as spectacular, spending the tour in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic, but it was still a great ride.

I had planned on riding New England, but a tough rain storm  plastered the area for 3 days, rendering my plans obsolete.  I arrived in the DC area one day behind the rain, and as I settled in for 3 days with family, the storm drifted slowly north and stalled.  Debbie flew in for the weekend, and while taking her to the airport for the flight home Sunday night, it began to rain again and did not cease till late the next day.  Radar checks showed no dry path to New England so I stayed a extra day in DC to see what might happen.  It was still raining north Tuesday morning when it came time to ride out, so I rode South.  I was disappointed because I looked forward to spending time in the region at my favorite time of year.

It had been a long time since I had been on the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Boone, North Carolina, and on that day it was foggy and inhospitable, I wasn't able to see anything.  I remedied that on this tour by picking up the parkway on Day 2 and riding it 250 miles to the Skyline Drive in Virginia on a pristine day.

On this tour I learned to appreciate the Blue Ridge Parkway for what it is- a national treasure.  It is a velvet strip of roadway, void of stop signs, red lights, trucks, and strip malls, that connects two national parks, in a manner you won't find anywhere else.  It is a peaceful, contemplative ride, that will take you back 60 years in time to a different America.  Back to a era of low traffic, rolling meadows, quiet pastures, and thick forests.  Although it has many travelers, you seldom see many vehicles.  I had a great ride north.

I had to improvise the ride back south to make it interesting.  I've done it so many times, I've run out of new ways to do it, but I managed, you can find out how that went in the story.

The reason for the Fall Tour has always been the Blue Ridge Gathering, and this year was no exception.  I've been to all of them dating back to 2001.  I spent four nights in the Blue Ridge and had a great time riding and hanging out with the guys.

Outside of some rain on day 2, the weather was perfect.  Cool nights and mornings, warm days.  Could not ask for better.  I'd never seen the skies so blue and clear in the Blue Ridge.  I also learned on this tour I'm getting older, and not in as good a shape as I was 5 years ago, and both combined to make this ride a little more challenging, you'll read about those tribulations in the journal.

The bike for this tour was the Honda.  As it closes in on 100k it still performs perfectly.   The only problem this tour were the tires.  Both are cupped and have over 10k miles on them.  I struggled leaning the bike in the hills, and had to work to keep the bike on line while heeled over.

The text and pictures in the journal will once again tell the story of a Long Rider out for a ride.  I hope you like it.

Guy-Oct 12. 2010
Photo by Peter Menard