Ridelog 20200502 | GTGA 2020 | Ride 1 – North East Locations

Miles Covered: 223
Destination: Roswell, Maysville, Helen, Cumming (Ballground).
Weather Outlook: High: 79°F,  Low: 52°F

We were looking forward to riding the GTGA. Motorcycle riders from Georgia (and few from neighboring states) get a purpose to ride. Almost like a guided but self-guided Motorcycle tour taking the riders to interesting locations and places. Places that would not be visited during ‘normal’ rides.

I had told my riding friends about the GTGA rides I was going on and two of them decided to come with. So three of us, two Yamaha Super Tenere’s and a KTM headed out to capture the locations. Since I have registered, I am the only one of the three to be able to ‘capture’ each location with the prized Green Booklet!

The plan was to capture Roswell, then a long haul to Maysville, a lunch break and onto Helen and loop back via Cumming/Ballground. A long afternoon ride.

 The first, pre-lunch, half of the ride was a boring urban ride followed by a slab ride on I-85N. Roswell – Vickery Mill Bridge was down and up the Autobahn aka The 400! Then East wards to meet the I-85. Jumping off the I-85 to get to the second stop – Hurricane Shoals Bridge was so welcome. The ride up to the bridge on rural back roads, in the bright warm blue skies and clear weather was a treat. This is ‘ride-through’ bridge. But be careful of the elevated planks on either side – made for car travel. You don’t want to catch an edge and lay the bike down! The customary photos and leg stretch and we plotted the GPS to take us to Chick Fil-a in the outlet mall town of Commerce.

Even under the current Covid ‘lockdown’ conditions, Chick Fil-A Drive-Thru was packed. We parked up near the curbside pick up designated bays and ordered via the Chick Fil-A app. Magic! 5 minutes and the order was ready and brought out to us. Meanwhile, the cagers (riders word for car drivers – sitting in a cage with four wheels 🙂 ) were still in queue!

Hunger satisfied and we headed out for the better half of the ride. Rural back roads to Helen with first stop at Stovall Mill Bridge. Another nice bridge, over a river/creek with nice flat rocks for people to sunbathe and play in the water.

At this point (and I should have done this during ride planning!) I pulled out the Book and read about the next bridge – Bay’s Bridge. This involved a 3-mile round trip hike. A very prompt and unanimous executive decision was made. Bay’s bridge was left for another day and we chose to head straight to Poole’s Mill Bridge in Cumming/Ballground.

The ride from Helen to Poole’s Mill is along roads I often ride out to when ‘just our riding’. Always enjoy the roads and coming across so many riders and their very different machines. Poole’s Mill grabbed and we had just enough time to grab a coffee at our Coffee stop hangout in close-by Ballground at Barrel House Coffee. We tried to solve multiple world problems over coffee! And then a late evening beeline home from Ballground.

A good long day’s ride.

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