Getting Ready ...
White Hat, my sixth Spyder is all packed and ready to hit the road early Monday morning. I will join up with the Road Warrior Group on 10/24 in Greenville, MS and ryde the balance of the journey with them. I have reviewed the google files and can see that Craig Anders of the Road Warrior Foundation has done his usual fine job of designing this ryde. The combination of ryding these fantastic roads and getting to know these committed veterans, will make for quite a week.
Each evening I will describe our days journey and reception events at the welcome stops. I should have some great pics for you and will do my best to describe not only the physical journey but the feelings generated along the way. Several Spyder Ryders are accompanying the group for most of the trip and we hope dozens or even hundreds of others will join us for various segments of the trip.
Its about 800 miles from my home to my meet up point in Greenville, MS. I will ryde 575 miles on Monday and the balance of the trip on Tuesday so I will be there well ahead of time to greet the arriving Road Warriors.
For those of you who can not join physically, I hope you will enjoy my blog and offer your comments and support. This coming week will be another opportunity for a once in a lifetime journey. P.S. Be sure to buy your raffle tickets to support the Road Warrior Foundation and have a chance to win a new F3T.
Day 1 of the 2017 Road Warrior Ryde began in Austin, Tx. After orchestrating a successful Spyders In The Hills Rally, Jay MacLeod still found time and energy to ryde with a few fellow Texas Hill Country Chapter US Spyder Ryders and meet up with the Day 1 send off of the 2017 Road Warrior Ryde.
Jay, Dot McGehee Bailey, Cheryl Burns Grove, and Tom Grove were ready to depart from Woods Cycle Country in New Braunfels, TX heading to Austin but were delayed an hour due to a storm cell moving through and flash flooding. Not to be deterred by Mother Nature, The "Drowned Rat Crew" made it to the send off.
Preparations were happening everywhere at the kick off hotel. The Road Warriors packing up, the support crew and their vehicles along with other Spyder Ryders who were able to follow along were all getting their gear and their rydes ready.
The "Drowned Rat Crew" followed along too ... that is until Jay's Tonto needed to make a stop for gas. Jay claims that this was the fastest pit stop EVER and he had to ryde at unspeakable speeds to catch up to his crew and the Road Warrior ryde in only a short 10 mile stretch while they never rode over the speed limit.
Jay and crew rode to College Station, TX with the Road Warriors before they reluctantly had to return and head home.
Jay, thanks for sharing your Road Warrior experience and your photos. We wish you could have continued the ryde too. There's a few more pictures from Jay below.
Check back for more experiences and highlights as the 2017 Road Warrior Ryde continues.
Day 3 – Hal BikerDoc Meets Up With The Road Warrior Ryde
Shortly after the arrival of the Road Warriors to Greenville, Mississippi a local brewery who had already closed, opened their heart and their doors to provide a venue of a welcome pizza party for the Road Warriors. The more adventuresome Road Warriors may have even made it up the hill to the casino before calling it a night. No matter how late they might’ve been they were all at their Spyders at 7:50 AM this morning ready to roll again.
The departure temperature was 43° and our riding wind-chill was soon between zero and 9°. While waiting to depart I interviewed some of the Road Warriors. Generally, they were very impressed with the Spyder. They like the comfort and ease of handling and were anxious to have an opportunity to try the full capabilities of the Spyder. One of them even mentioned that they hope they wouldn’t be monitored too closely on the track at Barber Motorsports as they would like to see how fast the Spyder could go.
Well the group is on its way to Birmingham Alabama.
Day 4 - Greenville, MS to Birmingham, AL
What an amazing day. We left Greenville, MS with our regular core group of ryders which numbered a surprising 30 to 35 Spyders and we stopped for lunch to pick up our escort at Columbus, MS. We picked up enough motorcycles and Spyders to put the group over 75 strong. Thank goodness we had a police escort for most of the way to Birmingham.
We stopped at the Barber Motorsports Museum and Track. While the support ryders viewed the history of some of the finest motorcycles in existence, the Road Warriors themselves were slipped onto the motorcycle racetrack to test their Spyder skills a bit further. Of course, once again the local VFW came through with enough food for supper to feed twice as many folks. Again, kudos to Craig Anders. He is the all-time master of using google earth at his desk to find some of the most exciting back roads you could ever dream about. The ryding in the hill and curve country surrounding Birmingham is superb. I can see why the local Spyder chapter is always so busy with rydes.
Day 5 – Road Warrior Ryde - Birmingham, AL to Pigeon Forge, TN
This morning as we prepared I chatted with specific Road Warriors as has been my daily practice. I told them I was so impressed over the years that every one of them I had met had such a positive attitude. One of the two fellows responded, “Hey man I was a complete mess and I didn’t care about anything until this opportunity came about. This trip turned my life around.” Now that is precisely why I think BRP and each one of us should continue to support this charity. We can make a difference because the Road Warrior Foundation makes a difference.
We hit wheels up a little after 8am with our usual temperature near 40 degrees and our wind chill near zero. As soon as we left the Birmingham metro area you could tell we were headed to the mountains. The scenery became quickly beautiful and the roads very challenging. We had a police escort all the way to the Tennessee border so we rocketed along occasionally approaching 90mph. Oops must have misread my speedometer lol.
In Tennessee the hills got bigger and the roads more challenging. We stopped once for lunch and again for a mayor proclamation honoring our Road Warriors. Everywhere we went they were honored and once again we logged about 300 miles.
This is the ryde of a lifetime. Every Spyder owner should consider it at some point. I will warn you that it is a demanding and challenging ryde in addition to being one of the most satisfying experiences you will ever feel.
Day 6 – Road Warrior Ryde to Woodstock, GA shared by Chris Banas
The morning started with a ride briefing and the Star Spangle Banner sung by a Spyder Ryder who has done it for the previous years as well. We started out in the fog and cold. Temp was 38 degrees but dropped in the valleys and low hollows. We rode the Inez Parkway, Foothills Parkway, and Cherahola. The lunch stop was at Lynn's Place.
The ryde continued to Woodstock, GA where we picked up a police escort with a rolling road block on the Interstate for 30 miles through multiple counties. The escort was led by a Police version of the Spyder. Fire trucks lined the overpasses as we rode beneath. The Road Warriors and support ryders pulled into downtown Woodstock to flag waving crowds where we were met by the Mayor and a nice ceremony. After the ceremony we were all treated to a nice dinner.
Everyone is looking forward to Charleston, hopefully without too much rain.
Last Day - 2017 Road Warrior Foundation Ryde
RWF 2017 Final day – We loaded up the gear in a light drizzle and suited up for the projected rain. The route was changed to try and get us ahead of the worst weather so we played in Interstate traffic for a bit. Thankfully for all, it was a Saturday so no weekday rush hour traffic. By the first break it was still overcast but we were ahead of the rain so we got to shed some layers. Thanks to SpyderDeb Pauly we got an impromptu police escort for a bit. Good thing too as the two officers that were not providing escort were busy writing tickets!
The ryde continued to a quick lunch and fuel stop before pressing on. Next stop was God’s Acre Healing Springs where we met a local riding group (9 bikes and 1 Spyder) that made a presentation to the Road Warriors and rode escort towards Charleston. Just outside of Charleston we stopped in a rest area and were met by the local Combat Vet riding club and picked up more riders for escort. These guys were AWESOME!
We took Charleston by storm which included the Combat Vets doing a rolling roadblock to get us on the Interstate and then surrounding our group all the way in. At the Charleston River bridge we picked up a police escort. They supplemented the Combat Vet group, not the other way around. We received a warm welcome, dinner, and a chance to relive the events and friendships made over the previous week.
Thanks to support of so many we have a new group of RWF Alumni and 2017 is almost a wrap. Ticket sales continue at www.roadwarrior.org/raffle be sure to pick up an extra, two, or ten to get us on track for 2018.