I am beginning to think Georgia does not want to be mapped. For more than a year now I have been trying to complete the most comprehensive and detailed map of the northeast corner of Georgia's unpaved roads and trails. Things could have gone better at times.
Rear wheel is in the shop for new tire
I've made tremendous progress, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it's been a costly process. It takes about 2 hours for me to get to heart of the map(s) from my home in western NC. I've both stayed locally in GA and strategically commuted to knock out sections of it. I'm so bored with the ride down and worse yet, the ride back. I think this will be the 5th rear tire on this project. I've had GPS fails requiring replacement and re-riding of the areas, lost a 1 month old iPhone with all my notes and photos, replaced brake pads, sprockets, chain, and had to expand my carrying capacity for all the tools and spare parts I'm coming to need.
Today was yet another costly learning experience. I made a judgement error.
I'd just replaced my rear tire on the trail bike, a BMW G650 XChallenge with another aggressive off-road tire. It was exactly what I wanted for the job. A week or so after the hurricane followed by a week long rainy spell I expected sloppy and muddy conditions at best. I dropped my rear tire pressure from 29 PSI to 20 PSI, checked the front was holding steady at 16 PSI, I'd had good performance with these settings many times prior. I was ready.
I needed an epic day to complete the map, essentially edge-to-edge across both sides of the map. Most of it was expected to be easy forest roads, though I had some difficult parts on the list. I set out early, as soon as there was enough light to see for the long drone south on the highways.
This new tire felt odd, but that's not unusual with these knobby tires. Each feels different. They take a bit to scrub in and square off on the road before things settle down to a predictable performance. I reached my 120 mile tank range and stopped for gas.
My rear tire overheated from the long run on the highways.
The tire was coming apart, melting. It was so hot I could smell it. Half the center knobs were gone, others peeling away from the carcass in shreds. While I'd had no issues running other brands of tires at off-road pressures this one did not tolerate it at all.
I stopped, called home to let my wife know to watch my progress on her tracker program as limped home. I aired the tire up and hit the highway with fingers crossed her help would not be needed. I kept to just below the speed limits and made stops to let the tire cool down periodically.
I made it home with not much of that tire left. Sadly I pulled the wheel and headed for the dealer to get the tire replaced. Another day lost, another adventure added to the list.
Tire at the end of the ride
Perhaps it is "the hand of providence" telling me to take my time, look harder, there's more to be found, don't rush too early for the finish line. I do keep finding new roads, new trails, places I'd missed earlier or discovered through research.
Wayne Busch searches out the most entertaining roads in the Blue Ridge Mountains then records them on a series of maps which span the Blue Ridge Mountains.
There are more great motorcycle roads in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains than anywhere else. I highlight the best roads then show you the best ways to connect them together into rides. More than a decade of searching has discovered more than 1000 good roads to enjoy. We continue to search so you may enjoy.
Review the maps, order online here - AmericaRidesMaps.com