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Last minute schedule and route adjustments moved the Single Overhead Cam/Four forum motorcycle relay ride from South Carolina to Virginia, avoiding a snowfall if not cool riding conditions on March 25 and 26, 2011. The planned leisurely tour up through North Carolina by Nikkisixx, MarkCB750 and others following the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway became a “mad dash” up the interstates to meet Blueridgerunner at Fancy Gap, Virginia. Over lunch and some hot coffee, the newly made friends talked bikes and calculated that the three had among them well over 100 years of motorcycle riding experience.
On Saturday, Blueridgerunner had arranged to meet C’villechopper in Roanoke who was making a round-trip from Charlottesville. Saturday proved to be a dry and sunny day, with Blueridgerunner stopping along the Parkway for some scrapbook-worthy ride photos. Making this six-month-long motorcycle relay/ride by SOHC/Four across the US and Canada are the Forum Ride Banner, a ride log book for participants to sign and the ride mascot, a 10-inch tall Godzilla.
For C’ville, who in real life is 30-something James Karr, it was a cold morning start at 36 degrees when he left Charlottesville, VA for Roanoke on his fairing-free CB500, which sports a 550 mill. He figured the interstate was at least 10 degrees warmer than the higher elevation Parkway, his original route plan. With the handoff done and a brief lunch stop, C’ville headed for the barn to a warm homecoming from his wife and nine-month old infant after the grueling 10-hour trip. On Monday evening he said he was just getting all the feeling back in one finger, which he suspected had a touch of frost bite. All the scrambling of days and routes paid off when he woke up Sunday morning to a snow covered landscape.
It was a day to recoup from a touch ride for both he and Godzilla. Around the house, James went looking for the mascot and found him in the “reading room” catching up on some back issues of Motorcycle Classics. C’ville offered this warning to those who will overnight the ‘50’s movie monster, “he doesn’t like to be disturbed while ‘reading.’”
C’ville likely faces another tough challenge this weekend as he moves the ride west over the mountains of West Virginia — and back home again on the same day with more cold weather and rain or possibly snow in the forecast at higher elevations. There’s no avoiding the mountains on this leg of the trip. But this time out he’ll at least have a ride buddy, Trentnine, to share the experience. Check back to learn how it went on what will certainly be the most challenging part of this incredible ride yet.
See you down the rode. - Steve Shanesy