On The Road With Panhead Jim - Music City Road Run
By Panhead Jim
I always enjoy a good motorcycle trip out to Tennessee…
Now getting to Tennessee from central North Carolina is just a long boring straight ride down I-40. There is always the option to take back roads, but when you are trying to run 500 miles in a day, sometimes you just have to suck it up and spend eight hours staring at the back of 18-wheelers and dodging mini-vans. These are the times when having rear suspension and a windshield don’t seem quite as lame, and I remember why I never quite get around to chopping my old ’64.
My destination was Lebanon, TN, which you normally wouldn’t visit for any reason, but for the next three days was the host city for the Music City AMCA Road Run. As is typical for a road run, the hotel parking lot was filled with leaky old motorcycles and riders in similar shape both hoping that they would make it through the week without breaking any parts. After I unloaded my gear, I rode over to the Expo Center to check in and attend the opening banquet. While the organizers talked about routes, safety and important details of the event, I gave my full attention to trying to down as much food as possible at the buffet. I admit that I’ve gotten pretty lazy about learning even the most general details of the route for any event, preferring to ride behind someone who actually paid attention during the meeting. Once the dinner was over, the crowd dispersed for the usual parking lot drinking and a bit of wrenching to prep for the next day’s ride.
On day one we headed east to the Center Hill Dam in Liberty, TN. I don’t quite understand what the fascination with dams is, I mean really it is just a big cement wall, but who doesn’t enjoy seeing how man has triumphed over millions of gallons of water... Plus there was free lunch at the dam, so you know I wasn’t going to pass that up. The ride out to the dam and back was exactly what I came for, filled with rolling hills and green pastures. While a lot of riders prefer the challenge of more technical mountain roads, I enjoy being able to look around at the country I’m traveling through and not just flogging my bike from turn to turn.