Well, I’m back home, and sooner than I had planned. The cold front that moved through the area, combined with more wet weather, convinced me to call it a day. I took my heated jacket along, but didn’t really come prepared for riding for hours in the 30s and 40s every day. Here is a random wrap up of the past few days:
- The Super Duke is…super! Loved it. Spent very few miles on the Interstate, mostly concentrating on back roads. I never got past 4th gear on the bike, and that included more than one occasion of “accidentally” slipping into 3 digits speeds.
- No one knows what the Hell I’m riding. Person after person came up to me and said, “What kind of bike is that?” I would say, “KTM.” They would say, “Yeah, but what kind is it? You know, like Honda?” They never heard of KTM. One guy asked me if it was “custom built for some special purpose?” I told him no, but later wished I had said, “Yes. It was custom built for hooliganism and general bad assery!”
- The bike gets a lot of attention…including some that is unwanted. I was approached by a woman in a parking lot while I was taking a quick break. She looked like, well, like a meth addict to put it nicely. She asked me about my bike and responded that she and the men in the truck across the lot had been “checking it out.” Made me wonder if they had been calculating how quickly they could throw it in the back of their truck before I could stop them.
- The luggage worked out great. My only complaint is that I am so damn short that when I put the rear seat bag on (the one that did not contain my coffee kit!) I can barely get my leg over the seat. Sometimes I had to actually grab the pant leg of my riding suit and lift it up and over the seat just to get on. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a guy chuckle at me when I did that once. I just laughed too…it did look pretty silly.
- I’ve had a love affair with this town for years. I still like it a lot but I may be falling out of love a little. It is becoming too crowded and just too touristy…too many people like me are coming to visit.
- Okay, when I use the word “hippie,” I say it with love, as I was raised during the hippie generation, but Asheville is full of dirty hippie types. I was standing in line at the grocery (yes, buying coffee) and I noticed a little girl in the grocery cart in front of me. She looked like little orphan Annie, or maybe Rihanna when she had a red afro…only the little girl’s hair was white and her clothes were filthy. And her dad looked a lot like Tommy Chong.I’m Pretty sure I heard someone the next isle over ask where they kept the pachouli. Actually, now that I think about it, I was probably the only “weirdo” in the whole store!
- Asheville has earned the title “beer city” and that’s one of the reasons I will keep going back no matter what I say. At least 2/3 of the beer selection at the store was local. That is both awesome and mind blowing. “Budwhatchamacalit” was nowhere to be found.
- The second reason I will keep going back is because it makes a great headquarters for some of the best motorcycle riding in the country. Ride all day, kick back to some great craft beer and fantastic food in the evening. Doesn’t really get any better than that.
- Sierra Nevada Brewery is not a small, local craft brewery, but they have an awesome place just down the street in Mills River. Definitely worth a visit.