Horizons Unlimited 2014, Part Four


So, I had some mechanical issues to overcome. I got onto various motorcycle communities to ask for help, mainly where I could either buy parts or have them shipped. The overwhelming response was to use Wheeler’s Performance in Robbinsville, NC, near the Horizons Unlimited Event I was headed for. This didn’t seem too bad, except it was 300 miles away. I called them to ask about part orders and learned they couldn’t get them until Monday. I’m been hoping for next day shipping, but was pretty remote. Well, for NC.

I went ahead and ordered the parts, knowing it would put the ride to Ontario in jeopardy but not being sure what else to do. Then I adjusted my chain and got back on the road.

And 30 miles later got off the road. The vibration was too much, enough to destroy the Lifeproof handlebar mount for my phone, which had almost thrown my phone off at speed. I’d saved the phone, but the mount was unrepairable.

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I found an out of the way place in a truck stop parking lot and pulled the sprocket off, flipping it around. After a few hundred yards, the vibration was – less. It was rideable, anyway, so I got moving again.

Eventually I reached Knoxville and got a hotel. I had thought about ordering parts in Knoxville and waiting there for them, but it wasn’t that much further to the HU event and I was pretty sure I could make it. Once I was there, Curiosity wouldn’t have to move for a few days, and it was only another 12 miles to Wheelers.

I recharged everything and took a shower. In the morning I had a large breakfast, adjusted the chain, and headed into the mountains. My route, not by any real plan, took me through Deals Gap, the Tail of the Dragon.

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I have to be honest, I’m not a fan of The Dragon. There are other good roads in the area without the hype, traffic, or police presence. Still, there’s a store with gas, a couple restaurants, and places to stay. And there were people all along the 11 miles, 316 curves with cameras and large banners where the photos would be available for sale in the future. Some of them took my picture as I went past, but I certainly wasn’t going to push the bike any.

Once at the bottom of the tail, I stopped for some obligatory tourist pics while I took a break from the vibrations.

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Then it was onto 28 and to Iron Horse Lodge for the Horizons Unlimited Meet.

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