From Iowa to NC, Day 5: One more ride!


The next day, four of us were heading towards Charlotte - cfreger, navycoat, intel-killer, and myself.. I had some plans to try to check out the motorcycle museum, as as many times I'd been in the area, I never did manage to see it on the way back East from the mountains.

cfreger and intel-killer wanted 'one more run.’ l'll just say it now - I'm a ‘wuss' at Rallies, for a number of reasons - been out there enough including both bikes and cars, and car rallies, and there's just too much traffic to sanely run the Dragon at speed on a weekend, let alone a weekend with three bike rallies going on.

Usually for rallies, I get out there early, or leave later to do my runs solo, or go through mid-week versus the weekends. The fact I was sore and tired from the 1000 miles or so so far, now-bald rear tire, and just wasn't too confident on the still new to me SV, just made it a no-brainer for me, so navycoat and I stayed at Crossroads/CROT while they did their run.

After buying the required random bits from the store(Tail of Dragon keyring, sticker, ..), I took a few pics of some random bikes, well, a Ducati and a 3 wheeled Can-Am.

Ducati at Crosswinds
CanAm three-wheeler

The Can-Am is cool looking, but I don't quite get it. It steers like a car, versus leaning like a bike. I think I'd rather have an Elise, but..who knows? It is neat looking.

And…an accident

Time passed, and we started to get worried about them, as they were only going to around the half-way runout and back. We ate some lunch, and still a no-show, so were deciding on going to look for them, then Intel-Killer came back with the bad news - cfreger had low-sided on the Dragon, and they bundled him off in GMSlave's truck to get him to the hospital.

We wanted to get his bike and make sure it’s taken care of, so Nick and Jason decided to take Navycoat's bike up there, to ride them both back. cfreger's bike needed front and rear brake levers..

Accident aftermath

They headed out, and were gone..a while. A few bad jokes about 'Send another SV!' were made, but we noticed there was no traffic coming back out on the NC side of the Dragon, at all, so we held off, figuring an 18 wheeler had blocked the route or similar. As it later turned out, a Harley rider hit a truck head-on. Not sure on his condition, but it didn't sound good.

The 'floodgate' opened back up, and cars and bikes poured back out of the NC/CROT side of the Dragon a while later, with cfregers and navycoats bikes among them. We made arrangements for cfreger's bike to be held on to at CROT until he could retrieve it, which sort of sucked, as he'd ridden from FL, and was supposed to be in Charlotte the next day to see his daughter, but..better to know the bike was safe, if he decided to ride or trailer it (he wound up riding it home, go cfreger!). Not so much damage to the bike, another dent for the tank (already previously dented).

SV accident aftermath pic 1
SV accident aftermath pic 2

Another bike showed up not long after, also getting ‘bit’ by the Dragon, but at least not in a head-on.

Once the bike was taken care of, and we knew he wouldn't be getting out to ride that day, we headed out, a bit later than expected. I think we finally headed out around 2:30 or so, and pretty much nixed the museum, just heading back to Charlotte. Nick was going to head off at some point on another highway towards VA, and navycoat and Intel-killer both lived in Charlotte, while I was going to visit a friend of mine I hadn't seen in a bit.

Inside Rancho de La Cumbra

Leaving the Dragon..for now

I got stuck behind a truck at one point shortly after we all headed out, then hit a fork I had no clue which way to go at, so fired up the GPS, with those guys likely a ways ahead of me, then got stuck again behind someone. They all looped back, likely thinking 'great, someone else went down,' and passed me going the other direction. I pulled over and waited, then we headed out again, with me in the rear. I probably should have kept in closer behind them, but didn't, and had a few car lengths between us all, then saw them cut off onto an exit while my GPS was telling me to keep going, so I beeped and tried to get their attention, versus trying to make the ramp. Besides, I was pretty wiped out from the trip so far, was riding slower than them, and really didn't want to be holding anyone back, worries.

It was damned hot out, with a heat index warning for that day or at least the next. Once I had cell reception, I called cfreger and left him a voicemail, plus a PM and forum post, so GMSlave and cfreger would know the status of his bike and not freak out, and to get hydrated at the same time.

It almost seemed like stopping was worse than just keeping going, with the wind at least blowing through my mesh gear. I called my friend to let her know a rough ETA on when I expected to make it to Charlotte, and added an hour on, figuring I'd be stopping at least once more en route to stretch and hydrate, plus for gas at some point.

I made it to Charlotte at a reasonable time, hung out for a bit, and we went to dinner. She's in a pretty cool area, with a largish shopping center within walking distance literally right next door. I was a bit paranoid about the bike, so pulled it up on the sidewalk, and put on the disk lock, plus chained it to a tree 'just in case.'

As it turned out, there was a sort of 'bike night' in the shopping center we saw on the walking over for dinner. One that sorta made me happy I'd decided to chain up the bike :-)

The middle of the night was...entertaining. I woke up, thinking I was having a dream, then realizing I wasn't dreaming, but wasn't entirely sure where I was. It sounded like a domestic disturbance in the place next door, then realized her place opened to the parking lot on one side. It sounded like a half dozen people screaming, but mostly a guy and girl, and I heard something that sure sounded like someone getting thumped. Arggh. So, I threw on clothes, shoes, grabbed my knife from the tank bag while hoping it would prove unnecessary, and headed outside.

The screaming was still going on, a black guy apparently arguing with his girlfriend, and some of their friends around, one of which yelling at them that someone was going to call the cops. Umm, yeah - it was like 3am on a Sunday night! A few other people from the apartments showed up, I noted my bike was still there, and they took off in cars a few minutes later. Yeah, I never quite get the reason why someone things it's a good idea to go ballistic at the top of their lungs, let alone in the middle of a parking lot..whatever.

I went back inside and got some sleep.

Time to head home tomorrow...