Fall Ride 2011
                Great roads, color, and friends what more is there?
The Fall Tour was more of a ride, then a tour this year.  As most know, my long riding greatly decreased in 2011.  I still managed to ride over 15k miles so far, but those miles were mostly on the roads here in Central Alabama that I have come to love so much.  I did take a few weekend trips, but they were not worthy of a trip journal.
I spent the year tending things I've neglected the last 10 years.  A landscaping project here at my home took up most of the spring, and then a few upgrades to the interior followed.  By June I was done, and started my running and fitness comeback.

While I was doing all that, I satisfied my need to ride by slipping away in the late afternoons for a ride of 50-100 miles a few days a week, all the while thinking about rides and miles of days gone by.  I missed long riding, so by the time October arrived I was ready to go.

Each Fall I take to the Blue Ridge to enjoy the roads and friendships.  I usually put a few days in the front of the rally, and make it a week long ride, but not this year, I could not afford the time away from training.  My goal is a half marathon in March, and despite all the progress I've made the last 4 months, I'm not ready to enter the demanding training program I'll have to do to race it. which is very different from just "running" it.  The program is 13 weeks, and starts around Thanksgiving, and getting to the point I could even start it was going to be close even if I skipped the ride.

But in the end I needed to ride, and felt the time away would allow my body to absorb all the changes of the last few months.  It could regenerate, and propel me forward to my next goals, and there is no better way to do that then being on a ride.

I had planned on taking the Honda, even had new tires and prepped it for the tour, but that didn't work out, details on why I rode the RT to follow in the journal.

The first day found me riding to Balsam via Chattanooga, something I'd never done.  From there I took backroads into the mountains to the campground.  At the rally I spent the next few days riding with my close friends, and meeting new ones.

Once again the riding was spectacular.  I rode new roads, that despite all my years in the Blue Ridge, I had never been on.  Leaf color on arrival was just starting, and by rally end was starting to peak.  It was great.   The weather for the rally was pristine.  Mild, cloudless days, cool nights.
The RT performed flawlessly, and in the end was glad I was on it instead of the Honda.  Not that the ST is less, but the RT just loves being leaned in those hills, and it is the superior cold weather bike, which came in handy on a 34 degree morning on day 3.

I took over 100 pictures, and plan to use as many as I can to help tell this story.  The ride was a lot of fun, and reminded me why I love it so much.  I hope y'all enjoy the story.