After knocking out a nice tandem ride on Saturday morning and a short motorcycle ride on Saturday afternoon to make sure we had our new Öhlins shocks dialed-in, we decided to set our sights on a day-trip to Dahlonega, Georgia on Sunday. It would be about a 200 mile round trip, including the extra 50 miles for the loop ride up and over Neel, Wolfpen & Woody’s gaps.
We’d hoped that our friends David & Deb might be able to join us, but they were otherwise indisposed. So, we opted to go it alone and make a late morning departure after taking care of a few honey-dos around the house, i.e., tending to the yard, doing some laundry and some other things.
With temperatures in the mid-50’s, we opted to go with leathers head-to-toe and modular / full face helmets but didn’t go so far as to fit the windscreen. It was just about right for the temperature up in the mountains and then, later in the day, as the sun set earlier than usual while headed toward home … as we’re still not quite used to the time change.
Regardless, Debbie looked stunning as always…. even with the oversized chapeau.
We arrived in Dahlonega around 12:30 p.m. and after searching a bit found a wonderful place for lunch: The Bourbon Street Grille. What lured us in was the TV in the bar with the Falcons game and just enough stools in the bar for our small party of two. So, as is our habit, we parked ourselves in the bar and enjoyed a delicious, leisurely lunch and the first quarter of the Falcons / Colts game. We started out with some Gator Bites just to keep our appetite at bay, given our body clocks said it was 2:00 p.m., not just 1:00 p.m. Debbie ordered the shrimp & cheese grits and I ordered the sausage jambalaya. The gator bites hit the spot and both of our entrées were delicious. Debbie’s shrimp & grits looked more like grits-based gumbo, but the taste was great. There looked to be quite a few other really nice things on the menu as well… including a really good-looking burger.
After lunch, we headed on up Highway 19 to the Rock Pile, then down to Turner’s Corner, and up to Neel Gap and the Appalachian Trail Crossing on top of Blood Mountain where we stopped for a short bio-break. We then headed down the other side of Neel Gap and hung a left onto State Route 180, taking us up and over Wolfpen Gap to Suches, and then onto Route 60 and over Woody’s Gap and back into Dahlonega.
The scenery was beautiful and the Harley handled the twisty’s like it was an oversized sport touring bike, albeit with a somewhat limited lean angle. I must have scraped my heels half a dozen time, noting that the forward controls on a Harley don’t use a feeler peg because your heels are the first thing on the bike to touch the ground, just ahead of the exhaust on the right side or the primary case on the left.
Anyway, it was a great ride and we couldn’t have been more pleased with how our first 200 mile day trip on the Harley went. Debbie was kept nice and comfy in her new leather chaps, not-so-new leather jacket, Fieldsheer gloves and Shoei Multi-tec helmet and the new Öhlin’s shocks’ provided her with a plush ride that left her feeling tired, but not beat up after nearly five hours on the motorcycle.
Fuel mileage was surprisingly good @ 41.5 mpg, even with the spirited ascents up the gaps. A great day to be sure! Well, almost perfect. After arriving back at home around 4:00 p.m. I found I was not quite 100% and running a pretty good fever. Not sure why, but it pretty much sidelined me for the balance of the afternoon and evening. Some six hours later, I’m still pretty toasty. Hopefully a good night’s sleep will help.