Where to start? The scoot and rider are safely in, but it wasn’t pretty. Actually the scenery was pretty, but unfortunately I was busy riding and didn’t take the time for photos
First off: memo to the Tennessee Highway Department. If you are going to close a state highway between point A (Pikeview) and point B (Spencer) post the detour route like the rest of the world would do. Those of you following the progress on follow ride.com might have noticed my track getting just a little off track after the third checkpoint in Pikeview.
Memo to self: Don’t blindly take an offer to “follow us”, even if it is from the organizer without checking your old school map first, especially if they are on bigger, faster scoots.
The route was closed just outside the checkpoint (circled X with yellow and blue highlight for fuel stop and checkpoint). Some riders were able to use their smart phones and find a small road that bypassed the closure. We wound up going NE on the US route to Crossville. I saw that it crossed US 70 as we rode through and thought I remembered it would be part of the route later on and asked if we should tour there. They said no, and we wound up at I-40 which was 84 miles from the hotel exit. I tried it but Vespa means wasp in Italian and I didn’t want to wind up squashed on some semi so jumped off at the next exit. After studying the map I elected to return to Crossville and pick up US-70 westbound. Unfortunately I got on US-70N west bound, which headed back toward I-40. That is also what Garmin wanted since I had put the hotel in as a destination. After some scenic wandering about I finally got back to the real 70 west and continued on to the hotel. All told the last leg took 3 hours and 20 minutes. That was just long enough to get caught in a downpour about 5 miles from the hotel. Others got caught in that one, or the follow on one if they weren’t in yet.
Wet Helix riders upon arrival
I haven’t checked the weather for tomorrow yet, but one of the pictured rides found these messages on his phone after getting in.
Enough complaining. Parts of the ride were quite enjoyable with some nice twisty roads. I was able to ride the famous “Tail of the Dragon” out of Deals Gap. It was an enjoyable ride because there was no traffic in front of me, and helped with my time for the leg as those that chose the optional Cherohalla Skyway route had fog and road construction.
Today the Cannonball started taking its toll on the machine. One of the Hondas had to replace a drive belt and two of the vintage Vespas ran into problems.
The ModernVespa forum has an updated OfficialCannonball thread with more pictures, comments, etc. here: Offficial Cannonball Thread