Carolina Challenge

Rick's Bike BJCarolina Challenge Ride – Part 1 of 4

Sometimes I just get on the bike and ride with no purpose in mind. However, this trip would be different. I’m participating in the Carolina Challenge to win a new Road King and/or CASH! So, here’s how the two day adventure went. What’s the Carolina Challenge, you say? Firstly, I registered BJ, the name of my bike, with a participating dealership. They’ll record the mileage on BJ and the vin number. Then off I go to get my registration paper stamped by each participating Harley Davidson listed on the card. There are 24 dealerships located throughout SC, NC, GA, and VA. I’ve completed GA, SC, and VA with only 4 left in NC. I decided to document my recent 2-day adventure in NC. It might even give you some ideas of where to ride.

It was a perfect 2 days to ride, except for the brief shower up in Blowing Rock as I was leaving for Wilkesboro. I chose to ride back roads mainly with an occasional ride on the interstate because it was just easier than twisting through towns. Taking 176 up to Union, I picked up 18 through Shelby and into Morganton, NC. There, I picked up 64 to Lenoir where I got on 321 into Rick HoodBlowing Rock. I have to say, the ride up 18 was a pleasant surprise, with 321 into Blowing Rock the finale for the first leg. If you’re participating in the Carolina Challenge and ride to Blowing Rock to get a stamp, it’s NOT a bike dealer. It’s a merchandise store tucked inside an area of many little shops. So, park the bike and walk. Don’t waste time riding around looking for it like I did. I only found it after I parked and walked. PS…it’s been a LOOOOONNNNGGGG time since I’ve been to Blowing Rock. Didn’t realize Tweetsie Railroad was still there and active. What a run for an attraction. DECADES of visitors riding that train! It’s beautiful in Blowing Rock and I plan to go back sometime. Now on hwy 421 to Crossroads HD in Wilkesboro, NC. What can I say about this other than MORE beautiful countryside. Descending from blowing rock opened up rolling countryside and green pastures like I’ve never seen. The sunlight highlighted the hillsides like highlights in a person’s hair. The wind was chilled, but not cold and an occasion wisp of honeysuckle in the air made this short trip to Wilkesboro, 28 miles, even more pleasant.

I had no trouble finding Crossroads, as I was here for last year’s Carolina Challenge. The staff is very friendly, and salespeople were ready to sell me a bike. If I lived around there, I wouldn’t hesitate to talk to them about a new or used bike.

Looking for a scenic route to Tilley HD in Statesville, NC, two salesmen, avid bikers themselves, directed me to take hwy 115 from 421 then 70 to Timm’s HD.Carolina Challenge

Again, I thought the ride down from Blowing Rock was knock my socks off beautiful, the 115 matched it and more. It was a 2 lane road lined with trees and more rolling hills. Wide sweeping turns kept the fun in it with an occasional farm tractor. They were not a problem though. The closer I got to Statesville, the traffic became more of a nuisance, but I would recommend this route if you’re in the area.

Arriving at Tilley’s, I was greeted by two great ladies’, got my stamp, and was offered water and snacks before I left. It did shower a little while I was there, but it was lunch time, so I waited it out at a nearby Waffle House.

Then on to Virginia as part of the Carolina Challenge Ride in the next Carolina Cycles Eblast!


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