Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bridal Veil Falls...Part Deux

I don't know if you ever experience this.  But I'm noticing the trend more and more.  It seems that I will go someplace new...and then revisit the same place a couple more times, with different groups over the next couple of months.

I first noticed it with Rock Eagle.  I went there on my first long distance solo ride (which I hadn't seen fit to write about since I didn't have this blog up yet).  Then took Mr. Oilburner there the following weekend when he came home because it was just so cool and he had to go.  And the a couple weeks later took a friend out there for the same basic reasons.

Standard staging area photo.

It has happened a couple more times throughout the last two years, so it wasn't surprising when our Meetup (.com) group came up with the Bridal Veil Falls ride.  Mr. Oilburner enjoyed last weekend so much that he was dragging me out to this one.  (Hard drag.)

It was the standard meet at IHOP, eat breakfast if so inclined, introductions to the new faces and oogling over each others rides.  But hop on the interstate, get started and we are a fluid group of 11 bikes weaving along the roadway. (No photos...sorry.  Just not a good vantage from halfway through the pack.)

We slab it up to Helen to make time for the fun spots later in the day.  Helen's stop is again the gas station, with a little more mud buildup from the heavy rains over the last couple of days.


Taking a last minute look over on the bike I notice the rear shaft seal is a little loose (as usual on this baby) and much sand seems to have accumulated.  Just what I get for the rain and dirt riding I have been putting her through lately.

Just a little bit of sand accumulation.

I grabbed some paper towels and wiped it away as best I could, then tucked the seal back in.  The shaft appeard pretty good under all that gunk.

We hit the road and roared through a country curving highway.  It was repaved last year and in excellent condition.  I could have done without the excessive speeding, and ultimately slowed down from the pack.  But the road was gorgeous!

We met back up into the pack, but were missing two members.  It seems they missed the turn onto this road.  While the leader backtracked to find them, a new leader was appointed to take us up to Clayton.  Thankfully the new leader missed a right hand turn and lead us up the twisties past Lake Burton.  Compared to Hwy 75, this is my next favorite.  And I was mightily pleased with myself and the speeds I ran it!  I managed to keep up with Jerrold!  (Saying a lot since Jerrold is extremely experienced, talented and on an automatic scooter!)  I smiled internally thinking that I couldn't wait to see the video.  Alas...one of those huge drawbacks to the GoPro when you can't tell which mode you are in or if the camera is recording or not.  While I thought I had been recording this journey, I wasn't.  Argh!!  I don't know if I will have the guts to run it at that speed again any time soon.

Literally, the end of the road.

We reached the end of the road in no time and pulled over to wait for the remaining pack.  Of the 9 riders in this group it was just 5 of us waiting.  We kinda think something might be up when 5 minutes have passed and the only bikes that have come up are not part of our group.  A couple more minutes and a 6th person has joined us, only to inform us that one of the group went down.  The rider was okay, the bike was upright, two of our group were with him and a passing truck had stopped.


We debated about turning around, but were discouraged from it due to limited stopping places and fragmenting our group even more.  All the while, two of us were trying to reach the leader, but mountains and cell coverage are sketchy at best.  With one person successful at reaching him, we are told to stay put and he will be here in about 5 minutes.

Five minutes pass and still no leader.  We give it another five.  Then another.  Turns out the leader was a little farther away then any of us expected, having found the two lost riders and just taking them up Hwy 75.  Our little group is now down to just two fragments.  Phone calls pass back and forth with the two helpers down at the spill site.  The downed bike is upright, the rider is fine, no scratches on him, the bike appears rideable except for the bent shift lever.  (Not cluthc lever.)  In an attempt to bend it back into a useable position the aluminum broke,  The McGyvers of the group, along with the good samaratins passing by zip-tied an allen wrench in place.  It would have worked, except the bike wouldn't start.  We of the lead group didn't know this until hours later.

Thinking that the situation was handled and the riders didn't want us back there, we looked forward and continued on with the journey.

Looking towards the road we would be taking.

We make good time to the falls again.  This time I am in a better mood and grab the camera.


This is for Bobskoot to show you just how close the road is to the fall.



I may have been in the mood to take time and pictures, but the group definitely was it and wanted to high-tail it into town for some overdue lunch.  It was a pizza joint, but the salads were extremely fresh.  Yes, we did have pizza too, but way to good to remember to take pictures of.


After lunch we scrambled towards home through more twisties, of course.  We headed from NC, cut across the corner of NE Georgia and ran into South Carolina.  Three states within 20 minutes.  Cool.  We made a last pit stop in South Carolina to try and cool off before merging onto I-85 and heading home.


I've posted a few more pictures over at Flickr.  I'll get the hang of riding and pictures soon.  Maybe.  While I didn't manage to take any video for the beginning of the ride Mr. Oilburner affixed the camera to his bike and managed to catch some video of me in the twisties.  Unfortunately the location was subjected to wind buffeting.  I will try to clean it up and post a few minutes.  I'm not sure if it is salvageable.  :-)

274 miles
3 states and 1 waterfall
Abundant twisties and completely proud of myself in them.  I wasn't the slowest of the group!
Unfortunately one rider down that we learned had to be towed home.  One really good rider that volunteered to stay with him until the tow truck came.  (Wish we had known.  We would have gone home to bring the trailer back for him.)
Again, good friends, old and new


  1. BeemerGirl:

    As previously mentioned, your waterfalls are so accessible. I'll try to keep an eye out for some of ours. There are a few close to the road but most require a fairly brisk hike.

    I also have frustration with the GoProHD. The lack of status lights on the rear panel is a BIG design FLAW. I have also turned it on and held the button too long and it went into Time Lapse mode, when I thought I was taking a video. Another time I pushed to top button to start recording, but didn't realize I probably didn't push hard enough and when I thought I turned if OFF, I was actually turning it on. So it just recorded until the SD card was full. When I went to use it again the battery was dead.

    I do have a video link to my youtube channel on the sidebar. Mostly my videos are now Full 1080HD. I am behind, I still have video from our Oregon trip will have to wait until the rainy season.

    My GoProHD is always tethered and so far no problems. I now use RAM mounts. Sorry about the accident, but luckily no one was hurt. A shift lever is an easy repair.

    I just love your food photos, as you know, riding is all about going to a food destination so you are setting a good example for the rest of us

    Wet Coast Scootin

  2. YES!!! On the GoPro woes. Those are about the exact same issues I face. I've lost some great video thinking it was recording when it wasn't. I envision just a switch box control on the handlebars: one switch for mode (video, photo, burst, etc) and one switch for record/not record. They could even throw in an on/off switch. But it can be very difficult the way it is currently set up.

    I'm not sure of how you use it or who you ride with, but sometimes it just isn't feasible to stop every half hour to turn it on/off to save battery or check recording.

    I can't wait to look at your YouTube channel to see other sights!

    Thanks for the commenting on the food shots. I keep forgetting to take them. Just need to bring the camera out more!


  3. Lori:

    we have the same minds. Before MR Gary, travelling the USA on a motorbike was setting up his GoProHD, he also had frustrations with it. We sent emails back and forth and he sent an email to GoPRO headquarters and got a CURT reply indicating they weren't interested in our suggestions..

    I too envision a control panel on the handlebars. One to turn on and one to start recording. LED status lights: green (on), red (recording) and perhaps some others for MODE (time lapse, etc) I wanted to mount my below the bike around the kickstand area for some ground effects shots, but where can you stop to turn it off again. I want to be able to control it while riding, not have to get off the bike everytime.

    did you know that there is a GoPro forum


    Wet Coast Scootin

  4. Hi Bob,

    A CURT reply? That doesn't sound too promising. Either they already have a mind to perform their changes, or they are pinning their hopes on that console I keep reading about (that plugs into the BUS on the back). I am not holding my breath for that console though. How to plug in inside the waterproof case? Is the console waterproof? How large/small is the console? How to mount it?? They still have not gotten the software to flip the video up and running and that is software that many other companies already have out there.

    I understand about the battery issue. I just don't want to have to carry spares GoPro batteries, as replacing the battery also resets metadata and such. I am thinking of rigging up a battery pack inside a case. Have one of those quick chargers that should boost power back up rapidly (like they make for cell phones). Whenever you stop for 15 minutes, just plug it in and pump the juice up a bit. Don't have to stop using it while riding to recharge.

    Do you like that forum? I've been to it when I was looking to find out what software everyone was using. But haven't spent much time on it otherwise.


  5. lori:

    I ordered the backpac (dual battery back), and the LCD screen. They have been on backorder since march or april. No word yet, but I don't think I need it anymore.

    I don't need the flipped video option as I use PREL7 (Premier Elements) and it can flip the video) It is so hard to change modes on that screen and easier to use the software.

    anyway, enough of the GoProHD.

    Looks like you had a beautiful day for waterfalls and nice weather too.

    Today we went on a long day ride into the mountains, but no waterfalls. The weather wasn't great and it started to rain. Except for lunch and a few photo stops we were in the saddle for nearly 12 hours.

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  6. I 'worked' my way through every post on your blog, and very much enjoyed your travels. Thank you so much for sharing your riding experience and pics. Keep the shiny side up. Cheers, SonjaM

  7. Dear Beemer Girl (Lori):

    This ride report made excellent reading, and led me to thinking aboit a number of group rides that I have been on.

    I have come to the conclusion that the ideal number for a group ride is four, in two groups of two. That the criteria for a ride — twistie dancing, photos, or stopping to read the historical markers — should be worked out in advance.

    If it is the last thing I do, I an going to find that spot where you can zap through all three states quickly. Then I want to see that waterfall myself.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  8. Hi Bobskoot!

    You ordered the battery pack and screen (and they haven't come in yet). But would the GoPro still have been waterproof with those?

    I'm glad you were able to ride. Are you encountering the same West Coast raining season that CA is seeing? Those mountains must be gorgeous. Looking forward to the pictures. Is 12 hours a long or regular day for a weekend ride? :)


  9. Hi SonjaM!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read through the blog. The weather that bad there? ;-) I honestly appreciate your time and comments. I have been drooling over your pictures as I work my way through your blog. Happy riding!


  10. Dear Jack,

    I agree with you on group rides. But something you wrote had me looking back through some of my earlier posts and realizing that my feelings towards group riding has changed from abject abhorrence to apathy. (It's an A-letter day.) I used to avoid group rides with strangers at all cost. I would ride in a group of 4 or 5 when they were all close friends.

    I have been avoiding large group rides most of this year, and only recently attended a couple in the past few months. You and I probably have some of the same thoughts on group riding, but primarily I don't trust most people around me. If you rarely ride with someone, you don't know their riding style. And twisty dancing is definitely not the place to find that out. And in some instances, one ride with someone is enough to tell me that I do not like their style.

    In general, any group ride I attend has me putting myself in the back. Unfortunately you have to deal with the rubber band effect, but I can see all of the fools in front of me. Lately we a couple of us have been jockeying for red lantern position, but those guys have been riding 30+ years, I have ridden with them before, and I trust them.

    Hm...running on. Will have to think through this and see if I can clarify it in a post. But yes, four in two groups of two is a great group dynamic.

    Thanks for sharing!