J.P.’s Primary Cover

J.P.’s Primary Cover

By Janis Perfetto

You know what time it is, right? YES! It’s time to get planning for Johnson City, Tennessee, and our 32nd Ride-In! We have some fabulous features to tickle your fancy. This issue contains our mileage contest. Y’all put on some serious miles! Congrats to our winners for a job well-done. This is also the last issue you might see prior to setting off toward Johnson City for our big bang of the year. So safe travels and I can’t wait to see YOU!

Tennessee is one of the best parts of the world for motorcycle enthusiasts, and in my top three. Depending on which direction you are coming from, you might want to plan for one of the most famous rides in these parts of the world. If you are traveling east, you will want to take a look at a map to see if your route might accommodate a side trip to include the Cherohala Skyway, a 50-mile National Byway and Forest Scenic Byway that connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee, to Robbinsville, North Carolina, which is home to the Tail of the Dragon. If you are traveling west, you might want to build an extra day or two into your travel plans to include the Cherohala Skyway, which is approximately three and a half hours southwest of Johnson City. The Skyway boasts a majestic ride through the most beautiful scenery imaginable. The elevation climbs from 900 feet above sea level to 5400 feet on very wide lanes, all paved, and beautifully maintained. The curves are mostly sweepers offering a thrilling ride. There are multiple pull-outs to rest, catch your breath, and enjoy perfect photo opportunities. Check it out at www.m.cherohala.org. (My photo above was taken on the Cherohala Skyway, so don’t be surprised when you see the photographer on the side of the road snapping your souvenir photo!)

If you choose to ride the Tail of the Dragon, please be mindful that it requires very advanced rider skills. The advice from the locals would be to ride it late in the afternoon on a weekday. I’ve ridden it countless times at various times and days, and it is my opinion that weekday afternoons have less traffic and fewer dare-devils. Again, it is a very technically advanced ride. If you choose to ride it, stay on extreme alert and do not take your eyes of the road for even one second. It is a breathtaking (literally) ride that will earn you the title of “Dragon Slayer!”

There are so many awesome rides in the whole state, you will not be disappointed. See the information on page 20 for the Southern Dozen rides that originate right at our host hotel. If you plan to camp while you are at the Ride-In or while traveling to or from, Tennessee and North Carolina have some of the best campgrounds to offer located in beautiful settings. You might want to check the cabin availability at the National Parks as well, especially if you do not want to lug tents, sleeping bags, and gear. Book early because they sell out fast. Most of the cabins are furnished all the way down to linens and kitchen items. You’ll be in camping mode, but sleeping like you are at the Marriott!

Make sure you see page 7 for the upcoming changes to the “normal” order of Ride-In operations. I’m looking forward to these changes as the mornings will be left open to riding and our other exciting activities will be scheduled in the afternoons. Our Ride-In™ speakers’ bios start on page 10. What an exciting line up! I can’t wait. Mostly what I can’t wait for is the meeting of new members and the reunion of my WOW friends. Without WOW, I would not even have had a sliver of an opportunity to be friends with those of you who live in Missouri, Illinois, Alabama, and even some parts of my home state of Florida, as well as most of the lower 48! What a bargain for the best investment of my $40.

See Page 5…