Category Archives: Blogs by Chris Skor

Planning for the May 3-5 Georgia Mountain Rally

Its been a few weeks since the ride to Iron Horse Lodges and I’m itching for the mountains again.  Roads in Charlotte are just not the same, full of trees, just not the same curves.

I’ve also picked up a few more camping items I want to try out.  No chair yet, still thinking about that one.  I’ll post a full camping report when I return.

GA Mountain Rally, May 3-5, Hiawassee, GA Www.bmwmoga.info
Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds 1311 Music Hall Road, Hiawassee, GA 30546  N34 57.919 W83 46.346

For those joining me Thursday for tourist ride to Hiawassee, I’m leaving Lake Wyle QT station (hwy 49 and Buster Boyd Bridge) at 9am. Picking up Hwy 11 near Gaffney, past Caesar Head SP and Toxaway SP before climbing north to Cashiers, NC, then west on US 64 to Highlands NC. I’m planning an afternoon stop at Bucks Coffee, downtown Highlands.  Then heading again west on US 64 before turning south to Hiawassee.

I just read about Aunt Sue’ Country Corner just before Caesars Head State Park, local tourist stop.  While riding by, if it looks interesting, we’ll add it to our many potty break\leg stretch breaks.

On the last ride I kept dragging my after market cruiser style forward pegs on my R120RT.  These pegs don’t fold back when they touch the road.  Not a problem in Charlotte, but in the mountains, little bit scary.  After one day of dragging I threw them away.  This will be first ride with my new Illium pegs. Expensive yes, but cheaper then a crash.

I also have the Www.ztechnik.com engine guard.

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No, I’ve not found a comfortable seat.  Yes, I’ve tried most all of them.  I’m waiting for Dave Selvig’s seat report.  He’s now riding with a KonTours comfort seat.  Any updates Dave?

My phone\camera upload to FaceBook (Chris Skorlinski).  I’ll be posting pictures during the trip. 

See you in a week!

Chris Skor (Skorlinski)

Spring Training Ride to Iron Horse Lodge

Chris Skor (Skorlinski)

I was very excited to be joining Dave Selvig and gang for another Spring Training Ride to Iron Horse Lodge.  Maybe it was meet-up at IHOP, maybe it was the 6 hour ride on twisty back roads to Iron Horse, or maybe 1st chance to use my ne camping gear.  I knew it would be a great few days hanging out with the guys riding the NC Appalachian mountains.

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No trip blog would be complete without at least 50 pictures of my bike at various locations.  Here is one at the start of the trip, all loaded and ready to ride.

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The left pannier has “bike stuff”, tools, Roc Straps, warm gloves, summer gloves, heated vest, tire patch kit, tinted shield.  While the right has my clothes and personal items like wash kit.

The blue bag on the back has my new REI Hoodoo 2 tent $120, North Face Dolomite 3S sleeping bag $120, and extra long, extra wide, extra thick pad.  I had a few extra goodies like extension cord and heating pad.  And yes, I’m glad I had the heating pad, it packs small and when the temp dropped to 35 degrees it kept me comfy warm all night.

The black bag on passenger seat was mostly empty. I used to as a backrest cruising down the highway. Thought I would get used to it on the bike as I’m planning on taking it with my on 3 week cross-country trip to the BMW rally in OR.  It worked out great.  Plenty of storage, nice lower back support.

I’ll write up another blog post listing camping “should have taken” later this week.

On Our Way

Taking back road, Dave let us to Blue Ridge Parway and Pisgah Inn for lunch.  This picture doesn’t do the views from Blue Ridge justice as the overcast softened the picture.

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We were joined by fellow riders at the Inn for lunch.  Mr. Orange Vest is Dave Selvig, our leader for this adventure.

 

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Off the Parkway we took Hwy 215 off the Parkway was a blast.  What you don’t see here is the steep elevation change.  These corners where in 1st or 2nd gear, engine braking all the way down for about 15 miles. Just when you think its over, down and around you go again.  I think it was one of my most favorite roads of the trip.

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Ride to Iron Horse took us over popular roads like US 64 to Highlands, NC then Franklin picking up US 23.  Along the way I wanted to stop at local coffee shops for afternoon Latté, but riding with Dave, you don’t stop for Latté, actually, you don’t really stop.  Dave’s philosophy is don’t drink and you don’t need to stop and pee.  Got to say with me on the ride, Dave offered just enough water breaks, thanks Dave!

Speaking of water breaks, here are by one of 100s of waterfalls in the area.  This one goes over a little pull-off road.  I’m sure this is a popular place in the summer.  See all the Harley riders in the back, they had to cool over their engines after ride up the mountain.  That’s a lot of IRON to pull up hill for a small engine.  BMWs, never even blinked at the curves or elevation change.

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Later that afternoon we arrived at Iron Horse Lodge where we signed in, paid for our breakfast and dinner, (lunch on your own while out riding), then setup camp.  They even have covered parking.  Yes, another my bike picture.

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Yes, I paid extra $10 for electricity, like I said, forecast was for 30s at night and I’m not much on cold after spending 30 years in Wisconsin\Minnesota winters.  If you don’t like tenting, you can stay in the Bunk House or one of the many cabins.  Check out http://www.ironhorsenc.com/

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If I turn around, here is the view from my campsite.  I listened to the water all night long, kinds of sings you to sleep.

 

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That’s the lodge in the background, here is picture from inside the TV room, looking back at my tent.  Just out of view is a large flat screen TV, this week, showing coverage of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing. 

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Up stairs in the Theatre Room, did I mention they have a Theatre Room, not some old couches and a TV, but an A-1 class act showing Dish Network, playing “bring your own” DVDs, or, as we did during a down poor, sharing tips on Garmin Basecamp.

Nighttime dinner was served, choice of meet and potatoes, I think it was bring your own Salad night, then hanging out at the fire watching stars come out.  In about 5 minutes of lighting that fire we had a nice crown sharing ride stories, bike maintenance tips, and occasionally a little politics would sneak in the conversation.

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Friday turned out to be days of rest as down poor kept most, except our Mr. Dave, off the mountain roads.  When rain cleared a bit, Don and I took a walk up the valley and short this picture back at the lodge.  Don’s GS was itching to climb the gravel road and I was looking forward to capturing YouTube video of Don’s first spill on his new GS.  But for complicated reasons, neither happened.  Lets just say the road was so sleep, wet and rocky we lost our footing walking down.

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Saturday was ride home day for Don and I.  I’d planned a 1 hour loop ride around Fontana Dam to Deals Gap, then back to Iron Horse, then over to Cherokee where we’d pick up the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  While only 45mph, for me the Parkway is an opportunity to work on my riding skills.  I know 95% of the corners can be taken at 45mph and oncoming traffic is mostly under control, no yahoos sliding over the double yellow.  Slow approach, look through curve, lean and roll on the throttle through curve, upright, engine brake as needed, repeat again, this time smoother.  Once in a while I would shift into lower gear, learning how the bike responds at higher RPMs.

I think Don was just bored riding at Chris’ sightseeing pace.  At my speed you can look around and enjoy the view.  We even stop to pee.

Our ride on the Blue Ridge was cut short.  Turns out couple on a Harley had a bad spill exiting one of the tunnels.  We counted 4 rescue vehicles. Hope they’ll be back up and riding again.  Next time we’ll ride a weekday and have parkway to ourselves. If your in the western NC mountain, Blue Ridge from Cherokee to I-77 needs to be on your “Gota Ride Once” list.

 

GA Mountain Rally, May 3-5

Looking to get out riding, then join us on GA Mountain Rally, May 3-5, Hiawassee, GA. 

 

Www.bmwmoga.info

The BMW Motorcycle Club of Georgia returns to the highly acclaimed Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds site in Hiawassee (N34 57.919 W83 46.346) over the weekend of Friday, May 3rd to Sunday May 5th, 2013.

I’ll be riding over Thursday then back on Saturday, Sunday is work day for me.

–Chris Skor

My Rides for 2013 — Chris Skor

Okay, so I didn’t go on the www.MarchMotoMaddness.com ride to Tellico Plains, TN this weekend something about 40 degrees, rain with snow mixture in higher elevations doesn’t get along well with my R1200RT.  I am  looking forward to some warmer rides through the Carolina, Tennessee mountains this Spring.   I’m not really a RALLY GUY but I like idea of planning then riding for a destination.  These rallies are close by with some of the best riding roads around.  Okay, Roanoke, VA area too has some great roads, and West Virginia, and Virginia, okay, so like most of the Appalachian mountains are a blast as long as I don’t hit gravel, I still don’t like gravel.  Maybe I need to ride little more dirt-track on a 250cc to get used to my R1200RT fish-tailing in gravel.

 

2013 April 18-20 STC Ride Iron Horse, Stecoah, NC

Dave Selvig leads on some great rides around Iron Horse Lodge.

 

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2013 May 3-5, GA Mountain Rally, Hiawassee, GA

For great camping, music, food, mountain roads hard to beat GA Mountain Rally,

Www.bmwmoga.info

The BMW Motorcycle Club of Georgia returns to the highly acclaimed Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds site in Hiawassee (N34 57.919 W83 46.346) over the weekend of Friday, May 3rd to Sunday May 5th, 2013.

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2013 June 20 Biltmore, Ashville, NC

BMW Rider Association Rally in Biltmore is right in our back yard.  Should be another great weekend of camping and riding, okay, maybe a little wine tasting.

Www.bmwra.org

http://www.exploreasheville.com/2013bmwra/

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2013 July 18, BMWMOA, Salem, OR

Yup, going to ride again to Salem, OR for my 3rd BMW Rally.  I’ve heard temps should be under 100 this year.  For this trip I’m planning 3 weeks.  Leaving on Wed, July 10th, riding to Colorado, then Utah, then Oregon.  Still in the planning stage, I’m looking for best roads out west to ride.  Posted this thread on BMWMOA site.

http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?67439-Best-roads-from-Carolina-to-Denver-to-Oregon-and-back

 

2013 Aug 9-11 Carolina Boone Rally

August should be another great month for riding.  I’ll be attending our own rally in Boone again this year.  Always a blast to hang out with old and new friends.

http://www.carolinasbmwmoa.org/annual-boone-rally/

 

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Camping Equipment

To get ready for these rides I’m updating my camping equipment.  I posted a “what to bring, what to leave” thread on the BMWMOA forum.  Got some great tips. check it out.

http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?67495-Camping-Gota-Have-Gota-Leave

 

I’ll update this blog as the year unfolds.

 

Chris Skor (Skorlinski)
“Not all who wander are lost”

STARMOUNT High School Marching Band Ride

Saturday morning I rode up to Boonville, NC to attend the Starmount High School Marching Band Ride.  Weather in Charlotte, NC was perfect when I started out at 8am, mid 70s and little cloudy with slight chance of rain forecasted for later in the afternoon.  What a perfect day to ride and support local marching band.

The event planners did a great job arranging the event.  From multiple registration tent, the food vendor, t-shirts, to the stage with live band, they were ready to 200 or more bikers.  Unfortunately all the BMWers were in GA rally and all the Harely riders were in Cherokee.  Perhaps it was the late start (11:30am for 2 hour ride) or being advertised as a ride and not a “poker run”, but sadly, only a about 20 riders showed up.

There were a couple of sportbike riders

One CANAM Spider

And of course, a great looking blue BMW R1200RT.

We briefly road on I-77.  I had to keep throttle low waiting for Harley riders to thump-thump their way up to 70mph on the on ramp. The group ride followed clean and curve roads as it wrapped around Stone Mountain State Park.   Riding out of the mountains I gave the Harley riders plenty of space as they rode their brakes.  I guess engine braking is just not something those thumpers like to do, overheating brake more their style.

Only incident came when one Harely riders tried to park on hill at the first cigarette break and dropped his bike.  Not being a smoker, I would have preferred to ride.  Got to admire their skill, not everyone can ride through the mountains on a bike while smoking a cigarette.  Menthol is just not my idea of clean fresh mountain air.

I didn’t have time to check out Bobby’s recommendation and swing by “Brushy Mountain Road” or “Linneys Mill Road”, but these are on my “bucket list” of NC roads.

http://www.motorcycleroads.us/roads/nc_bmr.html

Keep Riding
Chris Skor (Skorlinski)

 

Ready To Ride

Weather is sunny and 80s here in the Carolinas, that means everyone is getting “Ready to Ride”.  I wanted to share some of the sparkles I’ve added to my BMW R1200RT to get ready for a long riding season.

For longer trips I added a Bead-Rider for my bum and tail bag with removable backrest for my back. The “Grand Tourer” bag, made by Kuryakyn, is identical to the “Journey Bag” from MustangSeats.com.  I bought this brand new on eBay for about $75 with shipping.  Similar eBay listings http://tinyurl.com/763yw5g, goes for $160, but shop around if looking for a <$100 deal.

There is tons of storage in this bag.  It so stiff it works as a backrest even when empty.

The bag can even be mounted on the backrest as a tail bag.  The bag comes with lots of adjustable straps to secure the bag to most any bike.

Notice the bright white back panels of my side bags?  These highly reflective stick on panels are black during the day, but glow bright when hit by car lights.

To be seen from the front I added a HID headlight replacement light kit.  Wow, what a difference, those HID lights really light up the night. I installed both the Low and High beam HID kit.  If I had to do over, I would have just done the Low.  The delay in High beams cranking up makes them only practical when you find yourself late at night riding down some back road trying to get home and there are no cars around.

To help me find my way I bought a Garmin NUVI 1450 GPS off eBay for about $100.  This GPS has a 5″ display.

From Amazon I purchased  a RAM mount in which the GPS snaps right in.  Following master travelier Dave Selvig’s advice I covered any openings with black tape to keep out water during misty rides.

For riding in rain I purchased a waterproof case.  The case didn’t come with a RAM mount, but couple of screws later and I mounted a RAM mount to the back of the case.

The waterproof case has a clear flexible screen providing limited “touch” capability.  The GPS is easy to read and protected from afternoon Carolina showers.

Only thing left is to GAS and GO!

Enjoy the Ride!

Chris Skor (Skorlinski)

 

 

April 19-21 Sport Touring Iron Horse Lodge Ride

On Thurday Don and I took back roads from Charlotte up to the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge in Stecoah, NC for the Sport Touring spring rally.  Riding up through the back roads of North Carolina covering 220 we road through Lake Lure before heading to Hendersonville for lunch.  Passing up collection of fast food we stopped at “The Pampered Palate Cafe”, 728 Sixth Ave West, Hendersonville, NC.  The food was fresh and tasty with over half the menu vegan.  I had great greek salad and squash-curry soup.  This my new favorite stop for breakfast of lunch when heading into the mountains.

We continued on US-64 into Brevard, Lake Toxaway, Cashiers, and Highlands. The roads were perfect, very little traffic, crisp air, clean curvy roads.  I think Don could have ridden for 2 more hours, but by now I had to made a pit stop.  I’ve got to stop 1 hour after morning coffee or lunch diet coke.

From Highlands we headed north on NC 28 to Ellijay then picking up US-74 in Lauada.  I’m loving this NC-28. These are some great roads.  I would return here before the Dragon any day.  Waterfalls everywhere!  Rounding a tight right-hand I could almost reach out an touch the wet rock wall.  At one turn-out water flows over the road covering it in mist.  Next time I’m riding by on a hot day I’ll stop and stand under the cool water, today, we wanted to get to Iron Horse before dark.

Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge was perfect for this trip.  It is right in the middle of some great NC, SC, GA, TN roads.  They offer a wide variety of sleeping arrangements as well as a large dining call, theatre room, outdoor fire-pit and plenty of rocking chairs and swings to sit and listen to the creek flowing by.

 

Don and I stayed in the Bunkhouse.

It had 6 raised platforms with mattresses.  Perfect if you’re riding all day and just too tired to care about guy snoring next to you.

You can also tent camp.

Or stay in one of the many cabins.

When you check it they provide menus for dinner and breakfast during your stay. What a great way to start and end the day, belly full, but bring your own adult drink of choice, they’re in a dry county.

Bikes started to roll in all day Thursday. Mostly BMW with a small mixture of Yamaha and Honda.  This Yamaha really caught my eye, kick start and all.

There we even a few lady riders mixed in amongst the guys.

After hearty breakfast Friday morning, Don, Glenn, from Virginia Beach riding an LT and I headed out for a NC\GA loop.  First road was Cherahalla Skyway. Love this road!  Temp dropped as we climbed curve after curve.  From 73 down to 50 as we road into the clouds, then back down to 70s.  While I road most curves in 2nd gear at 5,000 rpm working on engine breaking, lean, then throttle roll through curves, Don was peg-to-peg all the way.  I could see his smile through the back of his helmet as he lost me after first few curves.

Ride took us to Tellico Plains, TN, down 68 stopping for lunch at Mexican dinner downtown Ducktown.  The chicken was cooked perfect in my enchilada.

After lunch plans was to ride to Suches, GA.  Rumor had it Hwy 60 into Suches was another great road just waiting for an afternoon ride.  But unfortunately the LT went down for a low-side on right-hander.  Nearest we could tell the center-stand caught and lifted the read just enough to loose traction.  Bike slid across the road into small muddy ditch.  Rider, wearing full protection slide with the bike as right side ground down.

We picked up the bike, put back on the mirror and waited for adrenaline levels to lower before heading back to the Lodge.  Glenn wanted us to continue down to Suches, but would hear a word.  If we start out together we finish together, you don’t leave fellow riding who just went down to make his way back home.  I lead the way with Don following behind just in case the LT started dropping parts.  A little slow for Glenn on his busted LT and Don on his RT, but after one rider down, we didn’t need another.

There are so many great roads minutes from Iron Horse, if Don and I wanted more riding, we could always head back out.  Priority was getting Glenn back, busted up LT and all.

Dinner was excellent as always at the Lodge, great food, great company, great riding stories, sky overhead full of stars.  Eat inside or out by the fire-pit.  Too bad I didn’t bring mixing for Smores.  Theatre room showing “Fastest Indian” for rest of us too tired from day riding, it time to dig out the ear plugs and head to the bunkhouse.  Next time I’ll upgrade to the cabin!

Saturday morning Don and I headed back to Charlotte in light rain by way of Ashville NC.  Just as we cleared the rain, we stopped at the new BMW shop, really nice place right near Biltmore Village.  The GS F800 caught my eye.  Maybe on this bike I could take on those gravel roads without pucker.

As clouds moved in lunch plans at WaySide in Biltmore Village would have to wait for another day.  Don headed east on I-40 back to Lake Norman and I took I-26 back home to Lake Wylie.

Thought I would share a few lessons learned during 3 days and 700 miles riding beautiful curvy roads of NC\GA\TN.

First, ride you own ride, not the ride of the guy in front.  When you get comfortable, push just a little bit more.  If you push to fast past your comfort zone, you’ll tense up and mistakes will happen.

Second, sh#t will happen, be it low side slide, mechanical breakdown, or brain fa#rt when parking your bike in netural on a down slope at an overlook and your R1200RT falls over.  When it does, slow down, breath, think, then plan next your next move.

Third, always ride with saddlebags, see above!

Thanks Mr. Dave Selvig for another great ride and for the spare parts for my R1200RT.

Chris Skor (Skorlinski)

 

Chris Skor up coming 2012 Rides

Weather is great and riding season is in full swing.  Every week new rides are being planning all across the US and far reaches of world.  Here are a few of the rides I’m planning for 2012.   I’ll post ride reports throughout the year.

April 19-21: 8th annual BMW Spring Training Camp located at the
Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge in Robbinsville NC.

April 20-22 Road Atlanta for http://www.m1powersports.com/big-kahuna-atlanta/

April 26-29th in Helen GA, for Helen Back ride presented by BMWSportTouring.

May 4-6 for 22nd Annual GA Mountain Rally http://www.bmwmoga.info

May 18th for Morton’s BMW Sping Fling Rally at Natural Bridge VA http://mortonsbmw.com/springfling_2012.html

June 5th-9th for Americade www.americade.com

July 14-15th for Roanoke Riders Workshop www.ridersworkshop.com with Jim Ford.

July 19-22 for BMWOA Rally in Sedalia MO.

–Chris Skor (Skorlinski)

Feet Warm at 40

I was heading out for a nice day of riding, no destination, just riding some of my favorite roads around upper part of South Carolina.  I was looking for curvy roads to practice engine braking.  My goal was to get comfortable rolling on and off the throttle with my R1200RT at 6,000-7,000 rpm in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear.

Checking the temp, it was 40 degrees and not expected to get much warmer.  Putting on my electic vest, I know my body would be warm, but my toes were already complaining.  Reaching in my saddlebag, I opened Foot Warmers.  I picked these up at Walmart for $1.  I prefer the ones shapped liked insole and not just Toe warmers.

I find they work best if I don’t peal off the sticky liner, instead I just drop them in my boots.  I can ride all day and toes never complain.  I take an extra pack in my “just in case” supply.

–Chris Skor

Ride To Mothers

I had just picked up a new textile riding jacket at Competition Accessories in Rock Hill.  If you haven’t already, check out their warehouse store located hear Home Depot on US 21.  Walk past the check out desk to the “clearance”.  I found a new 3/4 length jacket with both zip out warm and zip out waterproof liners for $75.

I was itching for a ride to try out the new jacket so I thought why not ride to mothers. No, this is not some new Tattoo parlor in Charlotte, NC, but with weather forecast 45 and rainy for the next 5 days I decided this was a great time to ride to visit my mom in Fort Myers Florida.

My 2007 BMW R1200RT loaded for FL trip.  The tank bag holds a memory foam pillow, great for those quick way-side naps. During long hours I’ll learn forward and rest an arm on the tank bag.

My 2007 BMW R1200RT loaded for FL trip.

The rear bag includes a removable lumbar support which I can remove if I mount the bag behind the passenger rest.  With stock BMW seat, a little back rest helps miles go by little bit easier. This is my “overnight” back with change of clothes, warm riding gear, CDs, and bathroom supplies.

Bike all backed and repacked, trying to figure out what I’ll need, what to leave behind.  I start out about 1 hour before sunrise, getting in a few hours ride, watching sun come up before I stop for breakfast.  First day is my best, longest riding day, 500-600 miles per, by day 2 I’m stopping every 100 miles, lucky to get in 400.

My plan was to Ride hwy 49 to Augusta, GA, then work my way west until I hit Gulf coast of Florida, but strong line of thunderstorms pushed my east along the Atlantic coast.

Below are a few “lessons along the way”.

Lesson Learned: Near end of the day, turn off your cruise control. If you notice your speed keeps dropping, time to stop for the night.

Lesson Learned: Find place to sleep as the sun sets, get good night sleep, then go again early morning just before sunrise.

Lesson Learned: IF you have to ride at night, better to follow than to lead.  Follow a car about 5-10 seconds behind using their lights to look ahead for obsticiles, curve of the road, or wild life.  Better for a “cage” to hit dear then your bike.

I made it to Ocala, FL, little after sunset and checked into Days Inn.  TV had 1 channel with a wall mounted remote.  I never did find out what the button on the right controlled.

Next day it was off to BMW Tampa.  Didn’t really need a reason, but guess that’s why we ride in the first place.  I checked out the HID blubs for both Low and Hi beams.  Parts Guy says I’ll get about 10% more light, along with hotter white.  A little expensive, but worth investigating.  I head over to the Service Desk for lesson on installing bulbs.  I’m told simple operation, just reach up, remove the bulb, replace, and reinstall.  Sound simple, but somehow became a $50 job and 2 hour wait when I asked if they could do it for me.  I left $200 still in my pocket.  Contrast this to great customer service I get from MAX BMW last fall on my way to the BMW Rally.  MAX not only replaced a burned out low beam for no labor charge, but also topped off my oil again at no cost.

If your riding in the Tampa, FL area, you’ve got to head to south on I-275 to St Petersburg and ride over the Sunshine Skyway bridge.  http://bridgehunter.com/fl/pinellas/sunshine-skyway/ This unique bridge has limited support wires running down center and feels like riding over a 2×4 on stilts. On to Fort Myers and vist with mom.

While in Fort Myers I stopped at Sun Sports Cycle on Colonial Blvd to check out the CanAm, Honda, and Yamaha bikes.  Nice airconditioned building.  Oh, did I mention it was in the 80s!

Lesson Learned: Have enough free room in your bags to peel off and stow your warm riding gear.

After a few days visiting, time to head home.  I picked a route across Florida over to Atlantic coast.  Ride took my past Lake Okeechobee, US 6th largest lake that you can’t see from the road because it is behind a dike.  Riding across Florida this morning I followed 2 school busses, one white, one yellow.  Up the road was a collection of tin shacks, outside parents watched as kids played.  I watched as yellow school bus drove by while whites bus stopped.  Both kids and parents climbed aboard the white bus.  It was then I noticed sign “Harvest Bus” painted on side.  Next time I buy oranges, I’ll see faces of those boarding the bus.

I decided to visit NASA on my ride home.  Really, how could I pass it up, big rockets, lauch pads, explosive fuel, way cool.  I hung out with one of the astronauts as we planned a motorcycle ride on Mars for 2014.  I’ll be collecting CASH deposits at the next club meeting.

If you get a chance to visit the Kennedy Space Center, check out the Hubble 3D on IMAX, wow, just really freaking WOW.  Speaking of WOW, those Florida bug were huge.  I had to keep a rag in my jacket pocket to keep my face shield clean.

Lesson Learned: Only keep your face shield rag in you jacket pocket or you’ll be riding back to pick up your MP3 player.

After day at NASA and bug wipping on ride back north.  About every 30 minutes I would wiggle in my seat and stand a little just to keep blood flowing.  As night came the temp dropped.

Lesson Learned: Don’t try to change into warmer gloves while riding or you’ll end up riding back to pick up a dropped glove.

I stopped for the night at the Comfort Inn in Kingsland, GA. I was upgraded to poolside room. All night long trucks fly by I-95 so close I can see bugs on windscreen. Big yellow ones come out at 7am, bugs that is, messy splats.

With little sleep and almost edible breakfast I headed north toward Brunswick, GA where I intended to pick up US 27\US 25 for ride back to Augusta, then hwy 49 back to Clover.  My GPS indicated a twisty road on my right called “Sandy Run”.  I made a course change and headed over to see what Sandy had to offer.  After 2 miles I discovered SANDY was not someone’s name but the CONDITION of the road.   I did see mile after mile of 100 year old moss covered oaks reaching over the road.

Somewhere in the back roads of GA I road past an amusement park bone-yard with 30 or more old carnival rides rusting, long since ridden.  Already into the afternoon, I had too many miles to go to allow time to stop, maybe another day.  What unexpected treasures we’ll find if we take little time to ride the back roads of America.  All we need it gas and a direction to travel.

Speaking of unexpected, if you’re in Claxton, GA, stop in “Mrs. Rigers Restaurant”.  For great comfort food try the Sea Food Casserole.  For something lighter and more “international”, just north of town on US 25 is the “World Deli”, a must stop on my next ride through town.

After 1,500 miles hardest were last 60 miles back to Lake Wyle.  My tired eyes were taking too long to look from instruments to road ahead.  Another sign I needed to be home in bed snoring next to my wife and not on the road.  To keep alert, I would quickly count cars in front of me, forcing me looking forward down the road.

Lights reflecting off Lake Wylie were a welcome site as my R1200RT road over Buster Boyd bridge now just one traffic light and home.

Continental Divide Trip on Motorcycle Oct 2011

Some of you may remember I sent an email out to the club a motorcycle trip a few of us were going on from Colorado to Canada on the Continental divide trail in early October. My son Zach put together this video It’s a compilation from our still shots and GoPro videos. It is turned out well. 5 mins of film. 8 days of awesome. I wanna ride! Take a look! I thought you would enjoy!

Written by: Curt Johnson
Posted by: Chris Skorlinski (Skor)

2011 Nazareth Children Home Toy Run

2011 Nazareth Children Home Toy Run – Check back for fabulous
pictures to be posted after the ride!!!

The Holidays are here and motorcyclists all across the country are taking part in much anticipated annual Toy Runs.  From hard-core bikers to sport riders, all are coming together with generosity for children in challenging circumstances.

Today, December 10, 2011 is one of my favorite rides.  Pat Rogers Harley-Davidson in Concord, NC hosts a Christmas Toy run for Nazareth Children’s Home  (http://www.nazch.com/).  Bikers with bears, dolls, shoes, clothing and toys personally deliver toys to wide-eyed and ecstatic children.  The personal exchange warms the heart and soul of both giver and receiver.

Children living at the Nazareth Home from ages 10-18 are published for the bikers to gather much needed items for children some with nothing more than a warm bed and a box of belongings.   Santa Chris’s saddlebags are filled with – books, jump-rope, chalk, dolls, socks, play dough, and of course a few motorcycle toys thrown in!

If you’re looking for a way to share this holiday checkout www.cyclefish.com for other area rides.

With love to all, Merry Christmas ————–Where ever you ride today, ride safe

–Chris Skor (Skorlinski)

Charlotte BMW Tank Ride

Last Saturday riders from the Carolinas BMW Motorcycle Owners Club rode to Danville, VA to visit the A.A.F. Tank Museum 3401 US Highway 29B Danville VA 24540.   When I got on my R1200RT to join everyone for breakfast in Concord, NC, my onboard temp said 65.  Then I rode out of my heated garage and the ICE warning indicator came on.  The temp outside was a chilly 24.  Almost everyone was wearing heated vest under their riding jacket.  Well, everyone except the puppy in the side car.  He likes to think he’s a tough dog and doesn’t think he looks “cool” wearing a heated vest.

Not only was my vest on, but my seat and hand grip running on low as we headed up I-85 for a 3 hour ride.  Little bit of traffic, lots of big trucks, got lost couple of times, no one ran out gas, and we all stayed together.

The museum was bigger then I expected.  Best of all it was ALL in side.  The machine guns, tanks, and jeeps were all in a large warehouse.  You can walk around for hours.  They even had a large simulated battlefield where people bring their remote control tanks.  These are BIG RC tank with turrets the move and guns that rimulate recoil when fired.

I only wish they had a tank you could climb inside, or one cut open to see all the controls, but it was still cool just walking around.

After while we headed to local hangout for lunch, then split up into groups for the ride home.  Don, Don, and I headed down back roads to Rural Hall, NC, then to I-85.  It took a little longer to get home, but much nicer breathing smells of FALL, instead of the fumes of traffic.

Sorry the pictures look grainy, no flash photography allowed and my HTC Trophy camera phone SUCKS in low light.

–Chris Skor