2005 Honda Hoot - or - Flying with the Doc!
The 2005 Honda Hoot set a new record for sunny skies and no rain. Also featured were the trials of our WOTI friend, John Kannard, and the rides on Friday & Saturday led by our own Flying Doc, Stan Bise.
Jim Beachy, take heart! Things happen to others that we can later laugh about. This time, John Kannard (aka Battery Boy) had troubles of his own. His riding partner for a Route 66 tour literally ran into - or over - hard times when pulling out after a gas stop. Seems that he surmounted one of those cement thingies meant for car stops, hanging the Wing up in the process. After extraction, bad news! Broken water pump, trip cancelled!
Alas, what was poor John to do with his vacation time? Well, I had posted about the Hoot, so in came an email from John: Was it too late to attend the Hoot? Never too late as long as you can find a room! So, we exchanged cell #'s, and Tuesday we both headed for the Hoot. John was riding, I was towing. As I rolled near the I-40 junction, my cell phone rang!
Me: Hello (?)
John: Hi John! John Kannard! Hey, my Wing stopped & I'm just north of Knoxville on I-75
I knew I should have replaced the battery! (oops!)
Me: Are you a HRCA member? You are? Great! Give them a call.
John: OK. Let's talk later to be sure they get me started.
Me: OK, and we'll find a Honda dealer. TTYL.
So, HRCA rescued John and the Wing Appeared OK. So, I went to pre-registration, got my stuff and settled in for the night. We'd find a dealer on Wednesday.
Next day, I went to the vendor area, did the usual pursuing and found a Rev-Pack map holder. Then I checked in with John; the Wing had perked up, so he met up with me, registered & we took a ride thru the mountains of TN & KY following some twisty mountain roads listed on Mad Maps. By the time we were near Knoxville, no Honda dealers were open, but the Wing ran fine all day. So, after dinner at Calhoun's on the river, I went back to the motel & John headed off to pick up a battery on his way back. Now, my cell is off while riding, but as I was ready to cover the Wing for the evening, I retrieved my phone & turned it on. Oh, messages!
First Message: Hey, this is John & I'm stuck at Sam's Club! They didn't have a battery & the Wing won't start! Can you come & get me? End of messages. Press * to end....
So, off I went. While doing the jump start, I accidentally shorted John's battery which seemed to perk it up! A jump start & we're good to go! So, back to the motel but let's look for Limey at the KOA off of I-40, when I spy another Honda shop. They opened at 10 AM, so I called John & we set up me getting the battery, then getting the Wing there the next day. Sounds good, right? Well, we got there but the voltage was low with a new battery, so a check was required during which time the shop found bugs clogging the radiator. OK, let's get the bugs out! By 2 PM that day, we had rescued the day & headed out for a ride that was different!
First, we took US 321 towards the Foothills Pkwy only to be held up midway by traffic. Then, while stopped for a break on the Pkwy, along came the emergency vehicles with sirens on. By the time we arrived at the gap, we encountered several accidents (see links page, Deal's Gap). So, we had a slow ride thru, but a nice ride on the Cherohala afterward. Later, John treated me to dinner for my help. Hey, he would have done the same for me, & I would have gotten dinner! John, you know we had to have that dessert, right?
By Friday of the Hoot, everyone on WOTI knows to show up for breakfast at the Shoneys, exit 392 - same as the Hoot. That's eastern time, right? Wait, did I mention I had grits every day? Anyway, the usual group of suspects met for breakfast, after which our own Dr. Stan (Flying Doc) Bise led us on a tour of the 'straight' roads in TN. After Day 1, I thought it best that those planning to attend next year know the rules for riding with Doc:
1. Join a fitness club now, and work on upper body strength as well as leg strength. You're going to need strength and endurance, as you will soon discover the meaning of counter steering.
2. Eat a big breakfast. That extra weight will add to your road hugging needs for the ride and you will burn up the calories in no time.
3. Only two things will cause Doc to stop! Traffic, such as a stop sign, traffic light or a plain traffic problem is the first. The second is a Dairy Queen.
4. Braking before a turn: If you see Doc go into the turn with no brake lights, you probably need to do some braking first. If you see his brake lights flash once, you need to brake and downshift one gear. If you see his brake lights for any length of time, slow more and downshift two gears to make the turn.
5. When we do stop, be prepared to stop smiling before talking.
Our first road was TN 116 which I reported on last year. I think that Ray Davis was following Stan. He was unable to talk on the CB in the turns, but Stan spotted a big smile in his mirrors. This was followed by roads with so many turns that I lost count, but I do remember TN 85 with four switchbacks and eight hairpins in less than half a mile!
Now, Doc will ride until the sun goes down, so we broke off in time to attend the Honda Hoot party that Friday night at the Museum of Appalachia. Following a meal of - what else? - BBQ pork & chicken with all the trimmings, we were treated to a demonstration of police dog training by the local police department. Kudos to the Clinton Police Department to giving their time and putting on a great show!
OK, I've recovered from Friday only to end up back at Shoneys for round 2 with the WOTI crew. This time, Stan took us on US 321, the Gap & Skyway, a good rerun for John & I as there were no incidents along the way. From Tellico Plains, we toured TN 39 with what else? More turns! In fact, Stan did such an excellent job that I proclaimed this as the First Annual WOTI Wings Across TN as led by The Flying Doc! As they might say down south, Son, ya done good! I think that all who attended owe the good Doc a round of applause! Let's see: next year, a ride followed by dinner.....
OK, I know you want to see some pictures:
TN 116 - 25 miles of these curves We pause for a break - Ray is smiling!
The Party at the Appalachian Museum Food tent
Play me some mountain music and gather those sheep!
The praying police dog and all of the K-9 Unit
Breakfast (with grits!) Our leader, the Flying Doc
Strategy is discussed followed by riding on the Foothills Parkway
and Deal's Gap The bunch of usual suspects