Welcome to our first installment of a new feature for tennesseetourist.com. 2 Wheeled – Tennessee Adventures ™ will offer you information and a few insights on having your own 2 Wheeled – Tennessee Adventures ™. Even if you never plan to ride a motorcycle you’ll still find lots of useful and, we hope, enjoyable information on Tennessee and all of the great Adventures there are to be enjoyed.
Why 2 Wheeled – Tennessee Adventures ™? Glad you asked.
Jayne and I have always enjoyed riding motorcycles. When we met over 28 years ago, I had a motorcycle and we were able to get out and enjoy Tennessee’s beauty and splendor. Usually these rides took place on Sunday afternoon but we were able to enjoy iding during the week too!
As much as we enjoyed riding and spending time together we soon discovered that raising 4 children wasn’t leaving much time to ride along with all the other things involved with raising a family. It wasn’t very long that the bike was sold and our ives followed a different path.
We never forgot the fun we had riding though. Jayne grew up riding the old Cushman with the suicide clutch. Those of you that remember those old bikes can relate to those experiences! My first riding experiences were sitting aboard the gas tank on my dads Triumph 650. I was so small that my feet stuck out from the tank rather than down toward the engine. He and I were able to ride together before he passed away in 2002. Those are great memories that I treasure to this day.
With the history Jayne and I share with riding motorcycles it was only as matter of time until we returned to this great sport. Today we are both proud owners of our own bikes. I ride a Yamaha 1100 Custom and Jayne rides a Yamaha 650 Custom. Both are great bikes.
Finding a bike that would fit Jayne’s 5’2" frame and be light enough for her to handle proved to be more difficult that we first thought it would be. The Yamaha 650 Custom was the only bike we could find with a short enough seat height and yet be light enough for her to handle.
If you’ve spent any time in the saddle you’ll understand that one of the most important aspects of riding a motorcycle involves handling the bike at slow speeds. With a 27" seat height, the Yamaha 650 Custom proved to be an almost perfect fit for her. We had tried the Yamaha 650 Classic because Jayne really likes the classic look and lines of that style of bike. Unfortunately, the classic design included a wider seat that prevented her from being able to place here feet flat on the ground and left her too straight legged to be able to control the bike when we stopped. The narrower seat on the 650 Custom proved to be just the right fit for her.
We were also fortunate enough to find this bike at the local Kawasaki Motorcycle shop. Terry, the owner, has many years experience not only riding but working on motorcycles as well. He has also done quite a bit of upholstery work as well. As he explained it to us, most motorcycles have about 5 inches of foam padding to allow all those 250 pound bikers to be able to ride in comfort. It was possible for him to remove about 1.5" of foam and then recover the seat with the original covering so that, unless you know what you’re looking for, you can’t tell the seat has had any of the foam shaved to lower the ride height. We both highly recommend you visit Terry and his staff any time you need a motorcycle, ATV, Mule or any parts or accessories for your bike. You’ll find everything from helmets and leathers, gloves, cold weather masks and enough chrome to add a little ‘bling’ to your scoot. They also can assist you with any maintenance needs you may have. They will help ‘Keep You in the Wind.’ You can contact them at: Kawasaki of Tullahoma, 216 W. Lincoln St., Tullahoma, TN 37388. You can call them locally at 931-455-0108 or toll free at 888-218-2220. Be certain to tell them that doc & Jayne said, "Hey."
Jayne’s taken pictures of our bikes so we could share them with you.
Jayne has decided that she needs to add a windshield to hers. On one of our first rides we headed down to Lynchburg and she felt like she was being lifted off the seat as the big trucks came toward her! Something we never even considered when we were younger. One of my best friends, Big Al, has been riding for years and warned us about needing a windshield. As he said, when we were younger we never considered having to hang on due to the wind being any problem at all. That changes as you get older.
Our first official ride was on January 1st. The local Christian Motorcycle Association puts together a Polar Bear Run each year on the 1st. This year, as usual, the ride started at the Kawasaki Shop in Tullahoma. Terry opens up just long enough for everyone to get a hot cup of coffee and a doughnut. All provided by the local CMA’ers. And you better believe that the hot coffee was really appreciated.
Before the ride the CMA offers ‘Bike Blessings’. You can see from this photo that this entails having folks come together to pray around the motorcycle. The pray is for safe rides, no breakdowns and thanks for the many blessings we receive each day. The Bike Blessings are optional as not everyone chose to have their bike blessed on this cold January day.
Can you say ‘Cold’ with your teeth chattering?
We left the Kawasaki shop around 10:00 a.m. and headed for Manchester. If you look closely at one of the pictures Jayne took in Manchester you can see that the temperature was a balmy 6 degrees centigrade!
And it only got colder!
BTW, Jayne decided to ride with me so she could take these pictures for you to enjoy.
If you pay attention you’ll notice that the line of motorcycles gets shorter as the ride goes on. That’s how cold it was. Some folks decided to end their day a little earlier and head home to a good hot shower!
Our destination was just outside McMinnville to what is referred to as the Million Dollar Bridge. You can tell from the photos there were 100 or so bikes there from all over Tennessee. Thank goodness there were some more kind folks with the Christian Motorcycle Association there with plenty of hot coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts. Poor Jayne spilled about half of her hot chocolate, she was shaking so much. She was doing alright until we stopped. Of course those of you that know her know that when she has the camera in her hand she is in her element. She doesn’t notice the cold so much as she is always thinking about the next shot or her camera settings. Once we stopped riding and she stopped taking pictures she got cold.
We hung around for a short while checking out the bikes and talking with some of the other folks that decided to brave the cold and enjoy the ride. There were a lot of nice bikes there and some great people.
Still, it was cold! We decided that a good hot meal was what we needed so Al and Donna, Champ and Kathy and Jayne and I headed our bikes back toward Manchester. The thought of a good hot meal and, in our case, a good hot cup of coffee, made the ride to Manchester seem shorter and not so cold. Nothing like the anticipation of something good to make the day better!
We stopped to eat at Davy Crockett’s Roadhouse in Manchester and the food was delicious. The coffee was nice and hot and didn’t taste like instant and the staff was helpful and friendly. Everyone enjoyed their meal and with the company of good friends everything seemed that much better.
At Davy Crockett’s Roadhouse you’ll find peanuts in the shell on the table for you to eat while they prepare your meal. They’ll bring you fresh hot rolls to enjoy also. All in all it comes together to make for an enjoyable dinning experience that is highlighted by delicious foods. We give it a 3.5 to 4 out of 5 rating.
And if the old adage of doing what you do on Jan. 1st all the rest of the year is true, we’ll be bringing you many more 2 Wheeled - Tennessee Adventures ™ in the year to come.
If you have a special 2 Wheeled - Tennessee Adventure ™ that you would like us to join you in, if you’ve found a great place to visit that offers a great ride, drop us a line. As I said earlier, we’ll take any excuse ride.
We’ll see you out and about in 2007 enjoying all the great treasure’s Tennessee Adventures have to offer. And this year we’ll be bringing you 2 Wheeled - Tennessee Adventures ™ that will highlight the great sport of motorcycling. But, not to worry; we’ll continue to offer you great Tennessee Adventure’s you can enjoy regardless of how many wheels you use to get there!
So, get out and make some great memories with the folks you care about most.