Author Topic: TriSTAR Rally 2023  (Read 5248 times)

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Offline Patmo

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TriSTAR Rally 2023
« on: December 26, 2022, 10:05:18 AM »
Event name: TriSTAR Rally

Event Type: ROAD ADV

When:  May 26 - 29

Where:  Sparta, North Carolina

Web Link: https://ridemsta.com/nc-tristar/

Description: Sparta is located in the northwest of North Carolina's
Blue Ridge Mountains, nestled between the New River and the Blue
Ridge Parkway, offering scenic vistas, unspoiled landscape and
friendly folk.

Named TriSTAR because you're only a few miles from the States of
Virginia and Tennessee and event routes cover all three states.
Come and enjoy the scenic beauty along miles and miles of great
twisty mountain roads.

There are lots of things to do in the area for those not interested in
riding. A great way to spend your Memorial Day Weekend.

« Last Edit: January 31, 2023, 08:42:10 PM by Patmo »
not all that wander are lost

Offline Skee

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Re: TriSTAR Rally 2023
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2023, 12:47:40 PM »
I updated my routes based on planned Blue Ridge Parkway closures, and thought I'd share with the group.  I marked the upper and lower BRP closure points.  While there is a section open in-between 18 and 16, I'm not sure you can connect all the way through on the BRP because a short stretch below 18 is marked as closed.

My 2023 Tri-Star Routes

That is not to say I am going to ride these routes - I have a penchant for making last-minute changes - I just like to have a plan to start.  I'm still trying to figure a way to work NC 215 over Sunburst Falls Bridge into a day-ride loop.

Offline HawkGTRider

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Re: TriSTAR Rally 2023
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2023, 07:41:56 PM »
A brief report on TriSTAR...
Around 10 riders made it to Sparta Thursday. That's more than usual for a Thursday night, but we started hearing almost right away about the weather forecast for the weekend. Everybody was predicting rain starting Saturday afternoon and continuing through the night, all day Sunday, and into Monday morning. Not good.

Andray Hubble had ridden up Thursday to give his newly resurrected ST1100 a baptism. But with a family wedding on Saturday, he had to return to Alabama Friday. Bill Rusk had something come up and he along with a couple of his riding buddies headed back to Ohio Friday morning.

Jim Roberts trailered his brand spanking new Yamaha MT10SP from Iowa(!!) to Sparta arriving in the wee hours of Friday morning. He was catching up on a bit of sleep when the rest of us were getting ready to take off for a ride, and we felt like if he was still sleeping, he needed it.

Friday morning arrived with a temperature in the low 50s, but a beautiful clear sky! The temps got into the high 70s later in the day...really nice riding temps.
I rode with Norm Kern and Jeff Dolence up to Burke's Garden where we had a fine dining experience at Mattie's Place. While we had to do a bit of hopscotching around some slower traffic and other issues, I'll remember it as a pretty nice day.
Jim Roberts got out and did some riding on his new bike that he ordered about 2 years ago...by the end of the day he'd accumulated a total of about 334 miles on the bike since he got it. It's REALLY that new.
Ron Vess was out and about on his Triumph 900...I think he really likes this bike!

Upon our return to the Allegheny Inn, we compared notes and decided the weather forecast was just too, too nasty for Saturday. We decided to have a good dinner in downtown Sparta, and then we'd all head home Saturday morning before the rains hit.

But as the afternoon progressed, Chris Parker rode in from northern South Carolina. And over the next couple of hours, another 7-8 riders came in. I'm sorry I don't remember everyone's name, but several of them were new or non-members and were checking things out. Some had plans to come to STAR in a couple of weeks, and others had only a couple of days available, so they came to Sparta. We have a picture of several of us standing behind our MSTA banner hanging on the 1st floor railing. But even these afternoon arrivals were well aware of the weather forecast for Saturday, and already had pretty definite plans to head out Saturday morning away from the cold front coming from the southeast.

After hitting the sack at an unusually early time (we were chastised Thursday night for talking too loudly by some of the other Inn patrons), I woke up early Saturday morning. With temps now in the mid 40s (what the heck, Lucille??) but still clear skies, it was tempting to pass on our departure plans. Several of us had another good breakfast at JB's across the parking lot from the Inn, but it wasn't long before the parking lot was nearly devoid of bikes.

For myself, I'd trailered a bike to Sparta. It's an older trailer that cranks down to a nearly flush level with the ground. It's sounds good, and some aspects of the trailer work well. Other aspects could use a little refinement. On the way home, I stopped at a rest area, ducked into the restroom, and then came back out ready to get rolling. That's when I noticed one of the joints of the square tubing base had cracked, the one supporting the left side wheel, and the wheel was tilting over near 30 degrees. It looked terrible...it was terrible. While I could see the bike in my rear view mirror, I couldn't see the trailer, and I have no idea how long it had been like that other than it was not broken when I left Sparta. But with the left side wheel being held in place pretty much only with the u-bolts on the leaf springs, I wasn't sure just how much further I'd be able to go. I could see the entire left wheel breaking off...really not good!
I got off the big road and started looking for options. We sometimes make fun of the proliferation of Dollar General Stores, but when I saw one, I wondered if they would have ratchet straps. With some straps I guessed I'd be able to support the cracked joint and pull it together which would hopefully get me the final 35 miles home. 4 ratchet straps and an hour of experimenting later, I was more comfortably back on the road home. The cracked joint looks, in retrospect, like it's been welded before. But the inside of the tubing is really rusty and I don't know if it's repairable. There may not be enough good metal left at the broken joint to re-weld.

Once I got just a few miles away from Sparta, the weather improved greatly. When I stopped 35 miles from Knoxville for my Dollar General excursion, the temps were already near 80...quite a change from the mid 40s just a few hours earlier. And I had a nagging fear that the high probability of heavy rains at Sparta might have just been a shake-and-bake by the weather gods...it wouldn't be the first time. I have to admit I was relieved (if you can be relieved about bad weather) that Sparta was now getting heavy rain which would continue until near midnight, lighten up a bit for a few hours, and then hit again Sunday morning before continuing into Monday morning.

The weather really did a job on us this year. With STAR only 200 miles away in only 2 weeks, bad weather, and more and newer events close chronologically, our numbers were really down. But we made some good contacts with new and potential members. We had good fellowship, and I continue to be reminded of how the MSTA is my "riding" family. I hope to get back to the Sparta area and maybe come up with some new routes for TriSTAR "future". What has been developed over the years is a great resource. But it  won't hurt to add some new options either.

See you next year!
« Last Edit: May 29, 2023, 06:39:24 PM by HawkGTRider »
Geoffrey Greene
MSTA Ride For Kids Coordinator, MSTA Secretary (retired), TN-STAR and Tri-STAR Coordinator (retired)
Difficult roads can lead to beautiful destinations.

Offline NinjaBob

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Re: TriSTAR Rally 2023
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2023, 09:19:42 PM »
Great event report, really enjoyed it. Weather has always impacted our sport but it seems to be getting more and more unpredictable. Hoping we get lucky for STAR!
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Offline Skee

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Re: TriSTAR Rally 2023
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2023, 04:05:29 PM »
...And over the next couple of hours, another 7-8 riders came in. I'm sorry I don't remember everyone's name, but several of them were new or non-members and were checking things out. Some had plans to come to STAR in a couple of weeks, and others had only a couple of days available, so they came to Sparta. We have a picture of several of us standing behind our MSTA banner hanging on the 1st floor railing. But even these afternoon arrivals were well aware of the weather forecast for Saturday, and already had pretty definite plans to head out Saturday morning away from the cold front coming from the southeast.

Two of them would be Scott & I.  About 1400 miles for the weekend.  Most of them twisty & all of them dry.

I'll post a link here later if I put a ride report together. 

Offline HawkGTRider

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Re: TriSTAR Rally 2023
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2023, 06:37:01 PM »
Oh yeah...a Versys 1k that I rolled to the next parking space for our banner picture.

Here's hoping to see you guys again!
Geoffrey Greene
MSTA Ride For Kids Coordinator, MSTA Secretary (retired), TN-STAR and Tri-STAR Coordinator (retired)
Difficult roads can lead to beautiful destinations.

Offline Skee

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Re: TriSTAR Rally 2023
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2023, 09:59:57 AM »
Oh yeah...a Versys 1k that I rolled [around backwards with the forks locked] to the next parking space for our banner picture.

Here's hoping to see you guys again!

That was quite a trick.  Hope to see you at Star

Offline stevegrab

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Re: TriSTAR Rally 2023
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2023, 05:07:10 PM »
Good report sorry I missed it, but not the rain. We had great weather here in Northeast Ohio for Memorial Day weekend, in fact we're in a bit of a dry spell and with temps higher than normal (mid to upper 80s).
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Offline HawkGTRider

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Re: TriSTAR Rally 2023
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2023, 06:33:59 AM »
Good report sorry I missed it, but not the rain. We had great weather here in Northeast Ohio for Memorial Day weekend, in fact we're in a bit of a dry spell and with temps higher than normal (mid to upper 80s).
After all the years when the weather gods have played with us at TriSTAR, this year they nailed it. I remember one year when there was a dire prediction of rain for Saturday and a number of folks left early. It rained for about an hour Saturday night from 11:00 p.m. until midnight. That was it. Yes, it rained, but...the rest of the weekend was glorious. This time, the prediction was rain starting Saturday afternoon and continuing into Monday, and that's what happened. Let's see...I predict the weather will be good on Memorial Day weekend in 2024.  :-)
Geoffrey Greene
MSTA Ride For Kids Coordinator, MSTA Secretary (retired), TN-STAR and Tri-STAR Coordinator (retired)
Difficult roads can lead to beautiful destinations.

Offline Skee

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Re: TriSTAR Rally 2023
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2023, 10:24:33 AM »
My ride report with more photos here if you are interested  Never can tell which way the weather will turn.