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
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.

XChallenge New Tire
XChallenge New Tire

 

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.

120 miles on this tire
120 miles on this tire

  

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
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

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    "There are more Great Motorcycle Rides in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains than Anywhere Else!


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    Bundles and Sets

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    Link 49622
    Southeast Blue Ridge Map Package | America Rides Maps

    Full Southeast Package, motorcycle maps, motorcycle touring, touring the blue ridge, ride the Blue Ridge Parkway, best motorcycle rides

    Link 52064
    All 13 Motorcycle Ride Pocket Maps | America Rides Maps

    All current pocket maps - paved and unpaved roads. If you're looking for adventure, you'll find it here.

    Link 52060
    Motorcycle Rides surrounding Great Smoky Mountains National Park | America Rides Maps

    Motorcycle Rides surrounding Great Smoky Mountains National Park maps, motorcycle smoky mountains, great rides near Great Smoky Mountains, Best motorcycle rides


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    3 pocket maps combined

    Link 52063
    100 Rides in the Southern Blue Ridge | America Rides Maps

    A comprehensive map of all the great motorcycle rides at the south end of the Blue Ridge mountains.


    Unpaved Road Maps

    Link 52062
    3 Map Smoky Park Unpaved Set | America Rides Maps

    The unpaved roads in and surrounding Great Smoky Mountains National Park

     


    Pocket Maps

    Link 52074
    Great Rides Near the Start of the Blue Ridge Parkway | America Rides Maps

    Motorcycle rides in Virginia, Virginia Ride Maps, Ride the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia Motorcycle roads, Motorcycle tour Virginia

    Link 52075
    #2 The Roads Of Roanoke and Beyond | America Rides Maps

    The Best Roads near Roanoke, Virginia

    Link 52076
    North Carolina / Virginia Border Rides | America Rides Maps

    North Carolina Motorcycle Rides, Virginia Motorcycle Rides Rides, Ride the Blue Ridge Parkway, motorcycle touring Virginia, motorcycle touring North Carolina, Best motorcycle rides

    Link 52081
    #4 Great Roads Near Boone, Banner Elk, and Blowing Rock | America Rides Maps

    All the best roads where the mountains really get big in North Carolina

    Link 52083
    #5 The Best Rides North and South of Asheville, NC | America Rides Maps

    Home to the highest mountains in the east and some of the best rides

    Link 52089
    #6 The Best Motorcycle Rides Near Smoky Mountains Park - EAST | America Rides Maps

    East and south of the Smoky Mountains, the land of the Waterfalls.

    Link 52090
    #7 The Best Motorcycle Rides Near Smoky Park - SOUTH | America Rides Maps

    South and west of the Smoky Mountains, Waterfalls, The Dragon, and some of the best riding.

    Link 52092
    Best Rides NORTH of Smoky Park | America Rides Maps

    Rides on the North side of the Smoky Mountains around Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, an the surroundings.

     

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