Day 1
Saturday Oct. 2nd, 2004

Six riders met at my house ready to ride before daylight for the 400 mile backroad ride to the start of the Trans-Am trail in Sparta Tennessee. Chadd Thompson on the Triumph Tiger couldn't make it, and John Simmons from Cape Girardeau Mo. would ride straight from his BMW shop in Cape Girardeau and meet us there.
We have a few mechanicals---have to build ramps up an old bridge to get across it----have to ride over huge dirt mounds to cross another very old bridge---have quite a few crash and burns (the best one of me was caught on video)-----eat a ton of dust----- cross a river on a ferry----and down one dirt road where the bridge is washed out, we go down thru a creek, beat it thru thick woods, go thru an interstate fence and climb up on the interstate to get thru-----and near the end I get chased by a cop who just can't get around traffic to catch me. Join us for all the fun !!!

And by the way--only 4 bikes make it all the way to Oklahoma !!!!!

We hit the road for about an hour and stopped for breakfast. Here is Kevin Sweet on his 04 KLR. Kevin has only had the KLR for about 6 months but has put over 10,000 miles on it and has modified the heck out of it. Kevin has a helmet cam on the top of his helmet and shot the whole ride---we can't wait till Kevin gets it edited so we can all see it. Kevin is really packin' heavy--so we'll see how that works out for him throughout the ride. His rear knobby is a little worn--we'll see if it makes it !!
Somewhere in Kentucky we pull over for a pee break. The big guy is Larry Taylor from St. Louis--he is 6ft. 6 inches tall and has a size 14 shoe---I think he turned out to be the toughest rider of us all--this man likes to ride.

This is at the same stop----I don't know if these 2 guys are going to make it or not.

It was a beautiful fall day--and we were to ride rain free for several days.

N36°24.091' W85°46.855'

Tooling along the backroads of Kentucky we came across this little covered bridge. If you know me--you know I love covered bridges. This one is on private property and I think was just built by the owner---I don't think it was used for public traffic ever.

N37°12.137' W86°14.261'
Houchins Ferry

This ferry is actually located in Mammoth Cave National Park and is a free ride. There are two operating in the park and this one is real unique, in that it has a hydraulic pump driven by a gas engine and the pump drives a hydraulic motor which turns a paddle wheel--pretty unique.

N36° 08.868' W85° 50.568'
This old abandoned steel truss bridge has been blocked off and inaccessible for years. I have been here before and found it more difficult than ever to get on it. We had to ride around a concrete barrier and down a steep embankment to get on it. Few people are coming here anymore as you can see grass is growing up in the middle of it. It is a about 500 ft. across as is a beautiful old structure. This bridge is in the opening scene of the movie "The Green Mile" with actor Tom Hanks.


Now the fun begins---on the other side it seems we were blocked by this tall mound of dirt meant to keep the ordinary traveler out--I was determined to ride thru and continue on but was worried about getting the big bikes over this obstacle.
I blew over it with ease---keeping up good momentum over the top so as not to get stuck on top. Rodney needed a little push on the 1150GS Adventure.
Joe Hart didn't have any trouble either on his smaller DR650.
Big ole' Larry was packing heavy too and needed a shove !!
With arms in the air--we all cheered after all of us had made it over the mound of dirt.
This was down the road a little ways-----we met several road closed and bridge out signs on this trip-----but we barged our way thru every one of them---we actually looked forward to seeing them, wonderin' what challenge would be ahead of us. Everytime we would see one--I think all of us just grinned a little !!!

N36° 05.869' W85°49.543'

On the North end of Center Hill Lake on the Caney Fork river we ran across this hydro electricl plant and dam. Our route didn't go over this dam----of course we had to ride over it anyway.

After 400 miles of nice backroad riding we arrived in Sparta, Tennessee in the dark at the Royal Inn where John Simmons was already there waitin' for us drinkin' a cold one. We shot the bull for awhile--but I hit the sack early as usual ad I like to hit the road early.

Day 2 The start of the Trans-Am trail in middle Tennessee

Back To my Homepage