A Day on the Road

Text: Christian Neuhauser • Photography: Christian Neuhauser

Brrrrr...my alarm clock is ringing. Half asleep I blink at my watch. What! seven o'clock already? Right, we planned a motorcycle trip - Christa, my wife, Gerald, our friend, and me. This tour will be a little trip in the surrounding area of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A few minutes later I hear the noisy growl of Gerald's Ducati Monster. 'Hopefully we'll have no complaints from our neighbors,' I say to Gerald, but he laughs, starts his bike, pulls his helmet on and rolls from the driveway.

We fall in behind, Christa on her apple-green Triumph Speed Triple and I on my Triumph Tiger. On the I-40 Business Route, we pass through Winston-Salem and then take Route 52 north towards Mount Airy. I think this interstate is pretty boring, but Gerald promises to show us beautiful back roads. Where are these famous roads? Oops...a right turn in King awakes me rudely from my thoughts, and I have trouble making the curve.

King is a nice old village where you can feel the southeast spirit. I love spots like King and I'm glad that Gerald stops for a moment so I can soak up all the impressions. This old brick building against the deep blue sky looks really gorgeous. A couple of little stores line the Main Street and people are beginning to open their shops. Christa would like to look inside, but Gerald lets us know we have a long trip ahead. So we follow him. He is our tour guide, after all, so we follow him. No questions asked!

King, Rural Hall and Germantown - all these small towns have their own personal charm. In Germantown we turn left onto Route 8 north. The countryside is lovely with rolling hills, tobacco fields and a lot of nice, charming homes. Now we dance on our bikes because the road offers us a few perfect curves. Yeah, that's riding a bike! Now we are in the rhythm and it's fun. Nobody can stop us. In my mind I hear, 'I'm Free!' and I remember The Who.

After the village of Danbury, Gerald takes a really sharp left turn onto the road towards Hanging Rock State Park. It's a dead-end road, but the curves are worth it. Unfortunately, the park ranger allows only 25mph. Such a shame! But a few moments later, I discover why. Squirrels, raccoons, even a deer, and lots of annoying tourists are on the road. At the top we take a short break and Gerald tells us about this state park.

On the road again we pass the Virginia State line and the town of Stuart. Now the road starts to become really challenging. Sharp curves, gravel and little bumps even on the best line demand your complete concentration. Christa and I spur our Triumphs while Gerald and his Duc struggle to keep us under control. After 20 miles the magic is over and we reach Tuggel's Gap. 'Break time,' calls Gerald through his helmet. This place is very popular for bikers, and so we are not alone. We have a lot to talk about, especially the eye-catching European bikes, the Harleys and the Japanese crotch rockets. Everybody is the next world champion, has paid the highest speeding tickets and so on. But we laugh and have fun, which is always very important for a nice ride. Bikers are one big family.
After a while we turn onto the Blue Ridge Parkway south. A beautiful ride with many highlights. This Parkway is perfect for a wonderful ride, it´s like a dream. The asphalt grips well, the curves are in a good rhythm and the countryside is breathtaking. After 14 miles we cross highway 58, another nice spot for a rest. Coffee time!

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For the complete touring article, including facts & information, map(s), and GPS files, please purchase the Spring 2001 back issue.