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The Heritage Classic Ride

Well, I would have loved to have taken this ride on my GS (or any BMW) but instead I found myself riding a 2007 Harley Davidson Heritage Classic, and honestly had a great time. I found myself in Nashville, TN for another conference, and my buddy Pete and I decided it was time for another ride.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find anybody renting BMW's in Nashville so I ended up renting a Heritage Classic from Boswell's Harley Davidson in Nashville. Pete has a Harley Ultra Classic that he had ridden up from his home near Atlanta, GA; and our only real goal was to ride the Tail of the Dragon (Hwy 129); which crosses both Tennessee and North Carolina, and borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

We ended up riding for 6 days throughout eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, and northern Georgia. We tried to hit as many twisty roads as we could (easy enough to do in this part of the country), and really had a great time!

Day 1 - July 19, 2007

I took a taxi from the Gaylord's Opryland Resort with Pete following on his Ultra Classic, and got to Boswell's HD just as they were opening up at 8:00am. In just a short time, Kelly had me fixed up with all the paperwork, had me ride one circle around the parking lot to show her I knew how to ride, and then we were off.

Boswell's Harley Davidson - Nashville, TN

Being in Tennessee, we decided that our first stop really should be the Jack Daniels Distillery, so we headed south towards Lynchburg. We took the Nolensville Pike south out of Nashville, and then Hwy 41 south to Shelbyville where we stopped for brunch at Richard's Cafeteria.

Richard's Cafeteria - Shelbyville, TN

After some decent food, we left Shelbyville taking Hwy 82 southeast, then Hwy 55 south into Lynchburg and the Jack Daniels Distillery.

Jack Daniel Distillery - Lynchburg, TN

Seems to be a popular destination for motorcyclists!

We took the free tour of the distillery which was quite fascinating. If you are interested in seeing how Jack Daniel's Whiskey is distilled, click here for the pictures and information we learned on the tour.

Just as we were about to leave, the clouds were getting very dark. We headed to the bikes in the parking lot, and started getting our rainsuits out. Just then the heavens opened up with a downpour - a really serious thunderstorm. We quickly grabbed our rainsuits, and ran back to the covered porch of the Jack Daniel's Visitor Center. We sat in rocking chairs on the porch watching the wind, lightning, and rain for about 20 minutes. Once the storm quieted down to just a rain, we went ahead and put our rainsuits on, and headed to the bikes to continue the ride.

We left Lynchburg in the rain heading south, and then cut east on Hwy 50 towards Winchester. From Winchester, we took Hwy 41A towards Tullahoma, then northeast on Hwy 55 passing through Manchester and on to McMinnville. By the time we reached McMinnville, the rain had pretty much stopped so we removed our rainsuits when we stopped for gas and a late lunch.

From McMinnville, we rode Hwy 30 which turns into a really enjoyable ride through some amazing beautiful scenery and across the Cumberland Plateau. Unfortunately, we were trying to make time and so we didn't stop for pictures. The ride on Hwy 30 touches on the edge of Fall Creek Falls State Park, and is a beautiful forested area.

East of Falls Creek Falls State park, Hwy 30 descends towards Pikeville in the Sequatchie River Valley, which is a fertile, agricultural Valley that forms a rift in the Cumberland Plateau. Continuing east, Hwy 30 climbs back onto the Cumberland Plateau. We pass through Dayton, notable for being the location of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, and continue east to Athens where we stop for the night.

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