Motorcycle Kickstart Classic Participants Pause for a Group Shot en route to Denton, NC, and the AMCA Southern Meet
We left Wilkesboro for Denton, NC, on day four. Our route took us through the North Carolina countryside, on a fairly short ride, about 100 miles. We ended up at Denton for the AMCA Swapmeet in the early afternoon and paraded through the grounds in a long line to a special parking area reserved for us. The rest of the day at the meet was spent perusing all the used parts from all makes of motorcycles along with complete bikes and vendors with bike clothing.
The Crash Bar
That is when things went terribly wrong for Old Faithful. I found a crash bar that fit the CB350 perfectly for a measly ten bucks, but when I went to install it (a simple three bolt operation) I noticed something wrong near the left front lower motor mount, that I had planned to use for the crash bar. Funny, I don't think you should be able to see light right through the frame--a crack had developed all around the downtube and the only thing holding the two ends together was the welded on motor mount that bridged the crack.
Old Faithful's Welded Bandaid
It was not safe to ride the bike back that way, even though the engine was also mounted on the other side in front, and on top and at the rear. I was talking to a fellow who had wandered up to ask about the CB350 and told him the problem. He knew just the guy, a welder, and he was working a booth just fifty yards away. I walked over to talk to Drew. He offered to weld the bike that evening when he was done at the meet because he had no one to watch his booth and told me he would put me up free of charge for the night at his place. I was hoping for a nice hotel room that I had reserved for Roger and I, but had to reluctantly cancel the reservation. Roger was going to ride down to his brother Allen's place just outside of Charlotte and we would have to meet up somewhere in between in the morning to resume the ride back.
Luckily, someone at the meet who had a shop and welder on the premises offered Drew the use of the equipment and we ended up with a repaired Old Faithful in the late afternoon. Meeting up with Roger in the morning in an area I have not ever been in was going to be a challenge and now, thankfully, we would not have to do that. I rode down to Charlotte and stayed at Allen's, too. Roger and I were back on schedule for a start of the return journey together in the morning.
After an evening of talk, food, and beer with our gracious hosts, and a nice sleep in a comfortable bed, we set out for points south this morning. We decided to head west before going south so we could ride the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Parkway (SC 11). The ride is along nice road with little traffic and beautiful views of the mountains just to the north.
A Stop on SC 11 in front of Table Rock
We had originally planned on staying the night again at Mistletoe State Park just inisde Georgia, but changed our minds and decided on travelling on while we had light to make the last day's ride easier. We altered our route from taking US 1 again south and stayed on US 221 instead. We followed that all the way to Hazelhurst, GA, substantially farther than we had hoped. We grabbed a hotel room and ran out for dinner and are now relaxing in the AC and soon will drift off to sleep in anticipation of our last day on the road.
"Ride Your Own Ride"