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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well not as bad as it sounds but frustrating albeit with a happy ending. Spent my March break in Bryson City, North Carolina. On the way down from Canada, just north of Lexington, Kentucky I went to fill the gas tank on the Gix1 which was sitting in the back of my Avalanche when it hit me that in all the excitement and rush to get down to Deals Gap I left the key in my cupboard back in Canada. So back on I75 south, hit the OnStar button and track down half a dozen Suzuki dealerships in Lexington and Knoxville. It's Friday night most are closed , Saturday morning start punching up numbers on my cellphone. No one has a blank key let alone the ability to cut one. But I do have the key code and one dealer sends me to a Honda dealer East of Knoxville that I am told can cut keys. Arrive at Honda dealer he cant cut Suzuki keys. But he knows a mobile locksmith, still I need a blank key. Then we get a call from the Suzuki dealer across the road, asking about a Canadian guy lookin for a blank Suzuki key. Turns out one of the employees had oredered one up for himself a few months prior and didnt need it, do I want to buy it for $20. Like yeah man, its a beautiful sunny day and I want to hit the Gap. So over I go get the key. The Honda guy calls the locksmith, who's in Sevierville, TN , 45 minutes away, cutting 4 sets of keys for a contingent of Harley owners who did the same stupid thing I did leaving their set of keys back in the Northeast on someone's countertop. So he arrives, cuts a blank test key on what looked like a Ford key and tries it out, my heart almost stops when he tries it out and it aint workin BUT low and behold he was jamming it down in the ignition , and with the right twist we got it working. He cut the Suzuki key and I was off to Deals Gap. (by the way you dont need an original Suzuki blank, these keycutters have alternative key blanks that will do the job).

Anyway head down 129 pull the Gix1 out of the Avalanche south of Maryville. God bless America the smoothest roads I have EVER ridden on, just beautiful. I am almost in tears the riding is so great, turn after turn after turn and I havent even hit the Gap. Most roads in the Smoky Mtns follow rivers or lakes, a lot of dams around. Anyway I was punchin er up pretty good but decided to back off on one stretch of 'straight' higway, had the better half following me in the Avalanche. And dont you know in the other Smoky as in Bear is there with radar but I just rode on by under the limit.

All of a sudden I arrive at the Gap. This is sport bike heaven. Despite the fact that the Gix1 is total overkill for this roadway and my skillset really is stale, it was like finding true religion in riding the Gap. Some of those off camber switch back turns actually had me doing a Valentino dabbing my foot down, you just dont ride that stuff in Canada. Some guy on a black Honda 600RR spots me and I guess he figures the race is on, he did catch me but I turned off to look at some dam on the first roadside lookout heading east.
Anyway I get back on the Gap it total awe of this roadway and the US of A. Some guys headin the otherway are just flying on tricked out monocross bikes and I start thinkin that I may be able to ride this thing faster on a dual sport but a 600 is definitely the way to go on the Gap, light seems to be right on this one. Anyway this movie review gives two huge thumbs up to the Gap. I ordered some pics from killboy.com will postem up when I get em.

Other roads like 28 and 441 and 19/74 just superb, Fontana Dam is cool !

Brought my whitewater boat down and did some kayakin on the Nantahala River, and brought the clubs down and played the Smoky Mtn Golf Club at Whittier $15 with a cart for nine holes or $20 for 18 !

We left yesterday on 441 up to Gatlinsburg, fortunately I had the Gix1 in the Avalanche as we got snow at 5000' near Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky's. 14 hours and 850 miles back to Toronto.

Do it again, you bet !

Trunorth
 

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Heavy Metal
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sweet...heck of a story gettin the key cut but at least u had a chance to ride and you're right, there are lots of roads down that way worth riding even though the dragon gets the advertising


sweet deal on the paddlin eh?
drop by the NOC? (i have a couple friends that are instructors there)

did u make a run the river or hang in some playspots?

water temps here are just above 40F, so it's about that time round here
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Ratdog - Yeah we parked at NOC - the betterhalf is the 'Shuttlebunny' and she ran me and my son and his friend upstream from NOC to a roadside 'putin'. FYI the local Statetrooper seem to be ticketing everyone on Hwy19 upstream of NOC for speeding. When we putin I noticed a sign about paying some type of fee for running the river, well too late we put in anyway, ran down through the slalom course, and took out at NOC. The wife actually parked herself in the bed of the pickup truck at NOC, all black plastic shell insert for the bed made for great Sunbathing. The water was definitely on the coolside but nothing extraordinary coming out of Canada where river water springmelts are ice fed. My son is actually still down there, he's a CDN carded athlete and is participating in slalom races today and tomorrow at NOC. I didnt know the Appalachian Trail takes you right through Wesser, pretty neat seeing all those hikers this time of year. Must be friggin cold at night in the Mtns at this time. I am telling you at 7am yesterday we were 20 miles out of Cherokee on Hwy 441 in a blizzard, without the 4x4 capability on the Avalanche and dropping her into low gear I am not certain we would have got through the pass. But the scenery was amazing, the term God's country doesnt do it justice. We saw only one vehicle going up to Gatlinburg, an old Chevy Astro Van, I hope he had AWD otherwise he was in for some nasty slippin and sliding.

Trunorth
 

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Stare into me...
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good story but not long-winded......seen my my Daytona thread?

Dude you need to perfect the pre-flight check list!!!!

How was the weather?m (when you were riding?).

I understand the euphoria thing. I can remember pulling over with my buddies, just to lay on the ground and laugh and giggle at myself.
 
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Deals Gap is about 1.5 hours from me. I am in Asheville. The road up the mountian behind my house is just as sweet. I can do a 20 mile loop and never leave 3rd gear. Still not as cool as The Gap, but it is in my backyard!
April 15th-16 a group of us are going to the Gap. You can get a cabin at Fontana Village for cheap. Just remeber that it is a dry county so you will need to bring your own beer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The weather on the day I rode the Gap was perfect (for a CDN) that is north of 50F and sunny, what more could i ask for. The weather on the day we came back was ugly, raining in the valley and snowing in the mtn pass through 441 to Gatlinburg. And yeah the preflight checklist is critical. The story on the key actually gets more interesting. I never locked the ignition it was just off. Turns out the keys I got cut would turn it on/off but would not lock the ignition. Just as well in as much if the ignition was locked I would not have been riding the GAP well I guess I could've ripped the ignition out and hot wired it, that did cross my mind. Then again I'd have to drill the tank lock out as well to put gas in it. Ah well, it was one of life's Great Adventures !
 

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Heading there end of May, 3rd time there and I love it as well!
We always stay at Fontana Village, cabins there are great.

Won't be taking the R1 though, you only need a 600, so I'll take the F4i.
Cherohola Skyway is a great road with long sweepers.
 
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I make it there a bunch. Mostly just on bicycle rides. I can't wait until April. It will be my first moto trip there. I have to go to Cali to work and then its 3-4 days of moto!!YEAH!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
TomVan72 - Asheville resident, I only wish. I did a side trip to Charlotte to see my brotherinlaw, I took Hwy 26 south and cut across the 74 Extension east, quick drive no one on that highway, although still took me about 3 hours to get to Charlotte total trip time from Bryson City. Went down for dinner then drove it back same day but in the Avalanche not on the Gix1. RoadTrips gotta love em.
 
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Next time if you are on your gix1, instead of taking 26s take 74A to the 74. Will take you up and over the Continental divide and then down to lake Lure. This is the stretch of road I was refering to earlier. The are Suzuki emblems painted on the road. A small stretch called Hicory Nut Gap. Brapt!
 
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