I woke up this morning to a promising sunny day. The night had been chilly, but with all my road clothes on it was bearable. The sun takes a while to peep over these mountains and show its face down in this little valley, but the sky was bright when I took a chilly walk out in search of coffee first thing this morning.
Camp at Wheels Through Time Museum
It took about a mile of walking to find Country Vittles restaurant, but their coffee was good and most of all it was hot. The breakfast menu looked inviting with an all-you-can special. I took a paper menu and a coffee to go to show they guys from RoadBike/American Iron magazines, whom I had seen earlier when I was walking hanging out in front of their hotel around their bikes, thinking they might be looking for a place for breakfast. I was hardly out the door when I bumped into Buzz, Steve, Matt, and Tyler. I turned around and joined them for a filling breakfast.
Back at the museum, riders started pouring in on bikes of every description. There were Harleys, BMWs, Honda CBs, a couple Royal Enfields (one of which was Steve Lita's, Road Bike's editor), a few customs, and even an East German "MZ". On top of all those Kickstart bikes were all the bikes of the regular museum vistors. By the end of the day there were 50 or so bikes entered on the Kickstart Classic check-in with more expected tomorrow before we leave.
Dale Walksler's Cannonball Run Bike, Note the CB350 Front Wheel, Chosen for Its Good Brakes.
Dale runs The museum, and raced this bike from Kitty Hawk to Santa Monica, taking third place.
I took off about noon and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant then mosied down to the Hardtail Saloon to cash in a chip for a free beer that Barry, a pal from Fuzzy's, had given me. The folks in the bar said it was old, and that they gave those away back when they had just opened. I guess Barry hadn't been up here for a long while. But they honored the chip which was all that was important. I just so happened to have a Fuzzy's chip in my pocket. A fellow patron said he was heading down to Lakeland, FL, next week, so I gave him the chip and we planned on meeting up at Fuzzy's when he is down.
I headed back to the museum to see what kind of new bikes had arrived and to visit with the riders. I made one more trip out to fuel up so I won't have to mess with that in the morning. Speaking of fuel; I figured up my mpg from the ride up today. Let me preface by saying, I had used a capful of Startron engine treatment in each tank, whihc is suppose to cure many of the ethanol gas ills. That's not all it does, though--I got roughly 66 mpg on the ride up. That is compared to my usual 54 average wihtout using Startron. Good investment.
As the sun was dipping behind the hills, hamburgers, brats, and other good stuff was offered by our hosts. While we ate Buzz Kanter gave us a quick rundown of plans for tomorrow's ride. After dinner and more perusing of each others bikes, the riders started trickling out to their respective hotels.
I will be up early to break camp and reload the bike. The departure time is 10 am and the route takes us to Tellico Plains via the Cherohala Skyway, then south into Georgia and to Rome. Now its time for an early lights out for me as the air grows cold as night falls. Tomorrow ought to be a great ride.
"Ride Your Own Ride."