Johnson City, Tennessee

Text: Florian Neuhauser • Photography: Florian Neuhauser

It's no secret that northeastern Tennessee is a motorcyclist's playground. With every type of tarmac, including curvy roads that seem unending, this area won't disappoint. US 421 is just around the corner from Johnson City, with its smooth asphalt, free of gravel, and repetitive curves that allow for the most rhythmic and thus enjoyable riding in the southeast. The rolling mountains covered with trees, numerous lakes and rivers, and some of the best motorcycling roads in the country should put this location on top of everyone's list. Additionally, the Johnson City area is extremely motorcycle-friendly, and the Chamber of Commerce and hotels will work diligently to make your experience memorable. They've even created a website, www.ridejohnsoncity.com, where you can find maps and downloadable GPS files for rides around the area.

Johnson City, as a base, offers all the amenities for single or group riding. Large hotels with attached convention centers make this piece of Tennessee a great choice for events and rallies. The Carnegie Hotel and the Holiday Inn both offer exceptional service and can accommodate conferences.
The mountainous roads and spectacular views aren't the only things Johnson City has to offer. Bits of history can be found throughout the city, like the private dinner rooms at the Peerless Restaurant. This superb steak house has many small and private rooms that were once used as speak-easies during prohibition, where diners could bring their own alcohol. Nearby cities like historic Jonesborough, Bristol, and Kingsport offer other interesting places to explore.
Jonesborough, Tennessee's oldest town, is just 15 minutes away from Johnson City and is renowned as the storytelling capital of the world. And who better to enjoy that feature than motorcyclists, with their abundance of stories? Of course music isn't far away from storytelling, and from May until September, each Friday evening, musicians perform Music on the Square. Spring and summer provide events for all ages, from garden galas to water fun, while fall and winter offer candlelight tours filled with Christmas decorations.

In Bristol, you don't have to be a NASCAR fan to appreciate "the world's fastest half-mile" at Bristol Motor Speedway. August means race time, and each year 150,000 people visit the area to attend various events, most notably the Sharpie 500. Many fans love this venue, because you can see the whole track from every seat. Add 43 cars on the half-mile, and you got a recipe for entertainment. The drag strip, nicknamed "Thunder Valley," conveniently sits close to the oval.
Those of you planning to join us for the 5th Annual RoadRUNNER Touring Weekend in Bristol, VA will get to experience the magic of the Tri-City area with the RoadRUNNER team (For additional information, visit www.roadrunner.travel/rrevents.php).
You can also learn more about this fascinating section of the southeast by contacting the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce at (423) 461-8000, or by visiting them online at
www.johnsoncitytnchamber.com.