Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Southern Dozen - 12 Great Rides

 I stumbled across the "Southern Dozen" motorcycle rides while in Johnson City, Tn on business. As I opened the flier I found a really simple, well put together, group of maps showing day rides based out of Johnson City.  The flier has "Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau" on the back, so I'm assuming that's who puts it out. I also suspect that the creation of this booklet has some help by some serious motorcyclist. Johnson City has recently been host to the BMW National Event, and the Motorcyclist Sport Touring Association's annual ride. There are lots of great day trips out of Johnson City, and if I compared my maps that I saved from the two previous mentioned events with this flier I bet many of the routes are the similar.

The flier that I picked up was very well done. It shows the 12 mentioned rides, and has easy to read maps and directions. All of the rides start in Johnson City and range from 30 to 151 miles. Some of the rides include, the rapidly becoming famous "Snake" through Shady Valley, a ride up Roan Mountain, and a ride to the Natural Tunnel, a rock formation just north of Kingsport Tn. The flier also includes a list of Johnson City hotels that offer discounted rates for motorcyclist.
 Personally, I think this is super cool! How often is it that a city realizes the value of promoting motorcycling tourism. I picked up my flier out of one of those racks of fliers that advertises everything from wax museums to area chitlin restaurants, that was at the Holiday Inn Express in Johnson City. You can also go to their website,

Monday, August 13, 2012

Knoxville Ride for Kids

On July 29th I rode in the Knoxville "Ride for Kids" to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Association. I hadn't really thought about it, but I had never ridden in a large charity ride before. I had heard about this event from several people, and it sounded like a good time, and a fun way to support a great cause. It turns out that a bunch of people I know showed up to ride. It started and ended at Pellissippi State's main campus. The ride was a 36 mile loop that went through Hardin Valley, and looped back through Oak Ridge.
This event was extremely well organized, and went off without a hitch (at least that I could see). We even had a police escort that made sure we didn't have to stop, so the whole group was able to stay together. I have to admit, rolling through the red lights and intersections was pretty cool.
What was incredible about this ride was the finish. After lunch, before they acknowledged the donations and money raised from different clubs and individuals, they had several kids who have survived brain tumors, or who are currently going through treatment, take the stage. It was incredibly touching to hear them tell their own story about what they have endured, and how well they are doing, thanks to new treatments and research that rides such as this support. Some of the lucky kids got to be passengers on the back of someones bike or in one of the sidecar rigs.
This is one event that I will definitely put on my calender for next year. It was a fun day that  made you appreciate all you have in life, and want to do more to help others who have some real challenges.