Tuesday, May 10, 2011

1,400 Mile Test Ride

The conversation usually goes like this
Me: "I bought a bike, it’s in Birmingham, AL"
Them: "Oh, are you having it shipped?"
Me: "No, I’m flying down and riding it home"
Them, confused…"You’re riding it all the way back?"
Me, confused…"Ummm yes, that’s the plan."

Tail of the Dragon, purchased pic from Xtreme Sports Photography
New Ride - Tail of the Dragon

Riders who understand adventure get why I wanted to Fly & Ride.
Others never hear the road calling.
Friday Morning Road Trip

I got to Birmingham 12 hours after the tornadoes.
As much as I like to document everything with my camera, I could not stop and take pictures of the pockets of tornado damage I encountered. It would have been too…intrusive. Who was I, a joy riding vacationer, to walk in on their grief. I looked…I rode on. It was a sobering experience.
Caravan of Utility Trucks Heading Toward N.Georgia
Utility Trucks

That area of the country has had a spate of severe weather. But my good riding Karma came with me this trip, I encountered the bluest of skies my entire 3.5 days. It was just a little bit of riding heaven.
R1200GS 072

My ride home strategy was this, hit the highway and put Alabama behind me the first half day. Head toward Tennessee and roads whose names end in “Parkway”.
Foothills Parkway
Ride nothing but nice stuff on Friday, and assess my forward progress and make a plan based on that on Saturday. This plan mostly worked out. As I’ve learned from previous adventures, flexibility is the key to success.
Long evening shadow
Evening Shadow

Oh the bike. Well yes, the bike was everything I was promised and more. I never expected to bond so quickly with the new machine. But 18 hours after taking title to it, I was putting it through the paces on the Tail of the Dragon.
Killboy.com photo
New Ride - Tail of the Dragon
Pretty impressive comfort level for a bike I’d just met. I liken it to a good first date. Occasionally you will have one where the conversation flows so naturally it is like you’d known each other forever. That is how I felt on the Parkways of Tennessee on Friday; we spoke each other’s language.
Killboy.com photo
New Ride - Tail of the Dragon

to be continued...


redlegsrides said...

Nice report so far Gail, I wish you continued good weather karma.

I am in agreement re not intruding on folk's disaster times, plenty of locust in the media for that.


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

Nikos said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of GS riding!

Bruce Ferguson said...

Great adventure tale, Gail. I'm looking forward to the rest of the trip.


Roger said...

Great pics, and kudos for you for going and pick it up, personally I wouldnt hesitate...any excuse for a trip! You have clearly made the right decision for you.

GF said...

Nice bike Gail but it needs an "ADV" sticker in the back ;-)
I like the panniers, hope to meet you at the BMW event :-)

Unknown said...


excellent roads to bond with your new GS. It's something I would like to do but the Border creates other problems

have a good, safe, ride home

Riding the Wet Coast

Unknown said...

Looks like a sweet ride, did you bring the stickers down with you ?

Keep it coming most of us were working when you were riding !

SheRidesABeemer said...

Craig, I brought the YB sticker, it came with the MOA sticker. George...hold on to that thought...I can do better than a sticker.

GF said...

Pardon my ignorance, "YB"??
I just looked at your map of traveled states and you also rode around NJ? What's up? it's the Garden State after all ;-)

SheRidesABeemer said...

YB is for Yankee Beemer's a BMW Rider's Club based in MA.
I have skirted NJ all these years. I hear there are good places to ride, but I don't know where they are!

RichardM said...

I've hear nothing but wonderful things about those roads (with the work "Parkway" in the name) but have never had the opportunity to explore any of them.

Looking forward to the rest of the ride report.


Bluekat said...

I've heard of riders doing the fly and ride. Haven't done it myself. I've always found what I needed close enough to home. That being said, it sounds like a perfect way to pick up a bike! You look good on the new bike! :)

btw...hope you get this comment. I wrote it a yesterday...no blogger. Saved it then added it today, but blogger still looks a little flakey.

Anonymous said...

I hope the thrill is back. Looking forward to reading about your trip up the BRP, which is my stomping grounds. Continued good riding and writing.


Anonymous said...

What an awesome blog Gail! First time here. Got here from I-BMW. Great job.

I searched for 18 months for my new ride and flew to New Hampshire to ride it back to Daytona. 2004 Piedmont Red KGT. Love this ride!

Keep up the great blog. I will visit often!