RideLog 20140315 | Grand Tour of Georgia 2014 kicks off

Start Odo: 487
End Odo: 625
Miles Covered: 138
Destination: 2. Kennesaw Mountain Battleground Park, Kennesaw
& 12. Main St, Dawsonville.
Weather Outlook:  High: 69°F, 21°C | Low: 50°F, 10°C & Partly Cloudy

The Grand Tour of Georgia kicked off on March 15. 2014. I’d followed the 2013 tour via it’s Facebook page, but didn’t have a motorbike and didn’t know (at the time) when I’d get one. Fortunately, I became the proud owner of a Triumph Speedmaster just before Fall/Winter set in last year. Got a few rides in but suffered from chronic PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome). Anyhow, the moment 2014 GTGA was announced, I snapped up the enrollment, received the ‘passport’ with the 20 locations/markers and was an eager beaver at going through the closer locations as soon as possible. As in the very day GTGA kicked off.

I had planned on marking off the Kennesaw Mountain Battleground Park. Couple of friends, Mahesh and Vinay were looking to ride on Saturday, learnt about my GTGA ride, and decided to ride along with me. Even though it wasn’t a scenic ride being so close to the Interstate and to Metro Atlanta. We had a fairly straightforward ride down SR400, across on the I-285 and then up I-75.

Being a good weather day there seemed to be quite a few visitors at the location. Parking was a bit of a hassle when we reached there. Fortunately, Vinay, spotted a nice big spot behind a parked bus. Turned out to be safe, secure and perfect. I found the NPS stamp that I needed as proof of my having been physically to the location, and took the photo with the Passport cover and the location as additional proof. That done we decided to catch the 3o minute documentary on the battle that took place for Atlanta back in 1864. All in all an informative and good visit.

Mahesh and Vinay decided to split off the 285 on the way back, leaving me going up 400N homeward bound. As I was going up 400, I realized I still wanted to ride more, I had some time, and Dawsonville wasn’t that far off. So I set off. I have a Bluetooth Headset mounted in my helmet which connected to the iPhone Google GPS for voice guided directions. Worked fine. But just before the turnoff to GA53 off 400N, the sound went silent. I stopped to take a look and realized that the phone battery was down to its last 1%. Surprised that it even had the 1%. I kicked myself for not carrying my backup battery pack, which I left behind in the rush to get out and get riding. Desperate times. Not knowing exactly where I had to go, I quickly opened up the GoogleMaps app, and tried to memorize the route ahead. Fortunately it wasn’t complicated. Just as I tried to zoom in to the destination, the phone goes dark. I headed on and reached Dawsonville, scanning the streets for the Historical Sign that was the marker for this location. Dawsonville has a little roundabout junction with a historical building right in the middle. Basically the roads were built around the house. I went around and up and down the nearby streets. Just couldn’t spot the sign. I decided to ask the local Gas Station manager. She didn’t have any idea, sending me kinda maybe sorta back all the way to 400! I thought of giving it more try. If not, then I would come back again another day. Disappointing. As I head out, I spot a sign on the side of that building in the middle of the roundabout. Anticipation. Went round twice to make sure. Found parking right across the street. Took the photo. 2nd location done. Phew. Then a quick ride across on GA53 to 400S and home. Enjoyed the ride.

Looking forward to another nice ride weather day. Plan to head to Walhalla, SC. That will be a nice long ride.

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