February Featured Rider
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Acworth, Georgia is about 30 miles northwest of Atlanta. What used to be “out in the country”, is now part of the big mess called “Metro Atlanta”. In this part of Georgia, we’re in just about the best motorcycle riding country in the USA.
The North Georgia Mountains, Southeastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina are full of some of the greatest “twisties” anywhere. The Tail of the Dragon, US Highway 129 connecting Western North Carolina and Tennessee is about a 3 hour ride to the north. TWO (Two Wheels Only) motorcycle campground in Suches, Georgia is only about 2 hours north. The Blue Ridge Parkway is an easy ride from Metro Atlanta. The beaches of the Florida Panhandle are an easy weekend trip to the south. Only problem with riding south in the summer is when you cross the “gnat line” in Macon, Georgia.
Patriot Guard Riders at the dedication of the
Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA
We have about 11 months of almost perfect riding weather here. Winter temps, early in the day can be “uncomfortable” in January and February. I’ve left home on Polar Bear Rides on January 1st with the temps in the mid 20’s. By 11:00AM, it’s in the 40’s and by 2PM, we’re usually in the 50’s.
My Classic I is perfect for riding in this part of the country. I take out the liner in spring and fall and really only use it in winter. The jacket is heavy enough to keep out the coldest temps. In warmer weather, the zipper vents allow me enough flexibility to open them up if I get hot.
End of September, plans were to meet some friends in Panama City, Florida for the Fall Thunder Beach Ralley. First really cool morning of the fall, so I decided to put on my Classic I before I headed out. Motorcycle packed, I turned out of my sub-division and traveled about a half a mile, when a four legged yard shark came out of nowhere. First, I saw he was about a foot away going for my front tire. My instinct was to hit the brake but I still ran over him with my front tire. The braking I did caused a skid and I went down on my left side. I rode the slide for a while, but eventually separated from the bike and rolled another fifteen or twenty feet after the bike came to a stop. Got up and checked to make sure my arms and legs were all there.
I got the bike up on its tires and looked over at the dog, laying on his back in the other lane. His eyes were open and they were blinking real fast. I contemplated going over and putting him out of his misery with a swift kick to the head. I hate to see any animal suffer. When all of a sudden he stood up looking kind of dazed, he shook his head from side to side then stopped, looked directly at me and started barking. I started to move toward him and he took off running for parts unknown.
I pushed the bike off of the road and surveyed the damage. Scraped saddle bag, bent shifter, scratched mirror, crushed crash bar and thats it! Damage to me, small road rash on one knee. Damage to my Classic I was road rash on the left elbow and shoulder, a small amount of road rash on the right elbow and upper arm, scratches on the buckle and a little road rash on the front. Nothing on my body that was covered by my Classic I had any kind of injury. What a jacket! I quit smoking in August and unfortunately have gained about 30 lbs so I’m gonna need a new jacket. I think I’ll try the Classic II this time.
I have been impressed with my “Fox Creek experience” and totally satisfied. Especially now, since I’ve gotten to test it in a crash. In the only other motorcycle accident in which I was involved, I was wearing a blue jean jacket. About 50 stitches in one arm convinced me that leather would be a permanent part of my riding ensemble.
My next trip is Bike Week in Daytona Beach. This will be my 11th. I usually ride down with friends and spend three or four days. This year, I’m taking the whole week. Leaving home on March 3rd and coming home on March 11th. I plan on riding from Atlanta to Daytona, totally on back roads. I don’t want to get on an interstate highway at all, if possible. If you guys are going to be down there, let me know where and I’ll drop by.
Sounds like a fun trip, Dennis, but we’re not going to Daytona. So, folks, we’re depending on you to keep us up-to-date on what happens at Bike Week. Send us your stories and photos about Bike Week or any other interesting ride or experience you would like to tell us about.