REVIEWING THE 2018 HONDA GOLDWING
Our friends, FRED & DIANE HARMON just moved from Dallas, Texas to Mountain Home, Arkansas, with everything but his two bikes --- a 2018 GL 1800 Goldwing and a 2009 Kawasaki Concours. I offered to help him get them back to AR, so we left from Harrison at 11: am Saturday morning on a nine passenger prop (that's right, Harrison actually has a tiny COMMERCIAL AIRPORT), and were on two wheels by 2:30 that afternoon. For those who will invariably want to know, I am 6'2" and slightly over 200 lbs, and have been riding wings since I was 25 (my first was a gently wrecked 88 that I got in 94. I currently run a YELLOW 91, and previous to that I ran a Yamaha XS1100 Special with a Windjammer fairing.)
Let me start by saying that this was the DCT model, with the 7 speed automatic transmission. It also happened to be equipped with Traxxion's "Full Monty" suspension upgrade, which, if you can afford, I highly recommend (my 91 has the triple tree on the front but is stock in the rear, with an upgraded spring). Since Fred's recently-sold home was at the far western edge of Fort Worth, it took about two hours to get out of the metro area heading east. It was hot and the traffic was, in my estimation, bad for a Saturday afternoon. Thankfully we went through several pop-up thunderstorms that cooled things down to about 75 degrees. The bike did great in the rain.
For starters, the 2018 is much narrower than previous models, fairing and windshield included. No big deal, but when we took off on Sunday morning from Idabell, Oklahoma and started rolling up into the mountains, it was in the lower 60's. The narrower shield lets you to feel the cool temps on your shoulders and arms (for winter riders like myself, you'll definitely be pulling out your heated jacket liner at higher temps than you used to). As for the windshield, it is fully adjustable on the fly and is designed like my highly regarded MADSTAD (for those who are interested, I'm a look over the windshield guy, as opposed to a look through the windshield guy). As to the headlights, since Fred was leading I never really got to check them out, although they seemed fine (I'm spoiled by my LED Rider auxiliary lights that Fred installed a number of years ago --- I call them my "deer sweepers" because they truly turn night into day).
Day two is where the fun began and I finally got to see what the newest Wing would do. We got an early start, heading into the Ouachita (sounds like Washitaw) Mountains, and picking up the TALIMENA SKYWAY at Big Cedar. First, if you haven't been on the Skyway, put it on your bucket list as the views are second to none. Secondly, make sure to eat at the lodge at Queen Wilhelmina State Park (their breakfast buffet was excellent).
My first and overall description of the 2018 Goldwing is that it's nimble, quick, and fast. I'm not going to kid you and tell you that it could keep up with Fred's souped up CONCOURS 14, but it held it's own. Compared to the 01-17, the 2018 is light (it's shocking the difference that 100 lbs makes). Also, because it's so narrow, it handles better, is quicker in and out of corners, and leans nicely. There is, however, something different in the set up of the foot pegs between the pre-2018 and the 2018. I'm used to dragging my pegs on tight corners, and on the 2018, my boots always wanted to drag first.
Compared to my 01, the handlebar controls are space-age. However, they are well thought out and with a couple one minute lessons from Fred, were extremely intuitive. Part of what made it so easy to pick up is that the controls (turn signals, horn, cruise, etc) are very similar to pre-2018 Wings, making the learning curve that much easier. The transmission can be run in fully automatic mode if you want, (which I was leery of at first), or run manually with your left hand.
The automatic mode not only works extremely well, you can have the best of both worlds because when it's in automatic mode, it can be overridden manually simply by shifting up or down (left thumb downshifts and left pointer finger upshifts). I rarely used the manual feature to upshift, but frequently used it for downshifting. The beauty of this scenario is that when you get ready to pass or are heading into or out of a tight curve, simply hit the button once or twice with your thumb to grab lower gears without letting off the throttle. Once I figured this out and started using it, I have to say that it was far and away my favorite feature of the bike. It does take a bit of getting used to not having a clutch, as I constantly found myself reaching for it, especially when stopping. Again, compared to the previous models of Wings, quick and nimble.
The Seat: The seat was comfortable, but I will warn you ---- it's much (emphasis on much) narrower than previous model year's massive "saddles". This is doubly true for the passenger seat, which compared to non-2018's can only be described as extremely narrow and flat (it is not "cupped"). Not sure if there is an aftermarket way to remedy this, but if you lean toward being a FBG, you will not like this bike. Did I mention that the passenger seat is narrow? And while it's true that the trunk and saddle bags are significantly smaller than previous models, they were fine as far as I was concerned.
Navigation and Stereo: Since I took my own helmet which was not wired for bluetooth (everything on the new Wing is wireless), I listened to the stereo through the external speakers, while watching the GPS navigation screen (I honestly did not mess with the navigation system, so I cannot comment on it). Like virtually all GPS systems, it does not show many of the small, minor roads that we all love to take, although there may be a way to load them in. I stuck the stereo on Sirius XM Channel 25 (cassette-era classics) and never really messed with it. It sounded excellent even at 85 mph, with bass that I could actually feel. This was true even though I wore earplugs as I always do to filter out engine noise and road whine.
Were there any issues or problems with the bike I could see in my ten hours in the saddle? Other than the passenger seat, which I did not actually sit in, there was nowhere to tie down my travel bag in the passenger seat. I have a nifty little back seat bag (similar to THIS but a cheapie) that I bungee into the back seat of my 01' using the passenger hand holds to strap to. The new hand holds are metal and are designed purposefully not to be able to strap to. There is no where else to strap to. Also, there are no engine guards, which means there is nowhere to install highway boards, which means that I can't kick back and put my feet up. No big deal on the twisties, but on the open road, that was a little bit of a bummer.
I was also surprised by the design of the gas tank. Fred had a special rubber mouth made to keep the gas from splashing out when filling. Also, since overfilling is almost unavoidable on this bike, there is a drain hose underneath so that the overflow spills out onto the ground at the gas station. I'm guessing next year's model will get this fixed, but I just have to ask myself what Honda was thinking with this design?
Overall, my impressions of the newest Wing were excellent. It was so good that honestly, for the first half hour of my ride back from Mountain Home to Mountain View (it's about an hour and fifteen minutes, taking the MM to K shortcut from Caufield to West Plains) my 01' felt oversized, big, bulky, slow and clunky. I could certainly understand that with the Wing's redesign leaving it looking and handling more like a sportsbike, there will be detractors switching to one of the other big dressers --- the Harley Tourglide, Indian's Roadmaster, the Spyder, the Victory, or any number of others. And while I have not ridden one, best guess is that this bike closed the gap with the amazing BMW 1600.
Now, allow me to make a quick and shameless plug for my buddy Fred. Fred Harmon is a retired engineer from Lockheed Martin's F-16 program. He also happens to be the best GL 1800 mechanic anywhere. Period. Far too many Honda dealerships are well-versed in taking care of cruisers, four wheelers, and side-by-sides, but have little real experience with Goldwings, secretly cringing when they see one pulling up. Fred has worked on hundreds of Wings (he is now working on the 2018's) and can be reached via his website at ANGEL RIDE ENTERPRISES or on the GL1800riders dot com site. The work will be done better and at less cost than any dealership.
And lest you think north central Arkansas is too far to take your bike to get worked on or have Traxxion installed (he is an authorized dealer / installer), think about the consequences of having someone work on it that doesn't really know what they're doing. Just plan on making a vacation of it. Mountain Home is in the very heart of the Ozarks, nestled between two amazing lakes (Bull Shoals and Northfork), near the White and Buffalo rivers.
RIDING A HONDA GOLDWING IN ARKANSAS
Saturday I took the GOLDWING out to enjoy the fall colors of Arkansas's Ozark Mountain Region. I left Mountain View at about 6:30 am and headed west on Highway 60, picking up Highway 76 in Willow Springs (if you stay on this for two hours, it eventually becomes "The Strip" in BRANSON). I had my heated gear on as it was about 38 degrees in the bottoms (a 50 degree day is infinitely better than a 100 degree day). Shortly thereafter, I picked up Highway 95 and headed southwest. Not only is 95 one of the most scenic highways in all of Missouri, but once you get to the west side of Highway 5, the pavement is brand new with lots of twisties --- many one right after the other.
At the end of 95, I grabbed Highway 160 just west of Theodosia and headed west. I could see the fog over the hills to the south coming off of Bull Shoals Lake. I stayed on 160 for about 10 minutes and took 125 south to the ferry in Peel, Arkansas, which crosses the lake. Even though I missed the ferry by a few minutes and had to wait a half hour, I had the opportunity to meet a couple of guys on a fishing trip who had grown up within just a few miles of where my parents now live near Melvern, Kansas.
After crossing the ferry, I stayed on 125 South until I got to Locust Road, which took me over to 14 W. Within a few minutes I was heading south on the most famous road in the Ozarks --- "Scenic Seven". After going through Harrison, winding my way past the old Dogpatch USA Amusement Park (long abandoned), and crossing the Buffalo River, I was in Jasper. In Jasper, I took 74 E. to 123 S., which has the best twisties and wildest switchbacks in a state famous for both (the best stretch is near Mt Judea -- pronounced "Judy").
After jumping back on South 7 for about three miles, I turned back east on Highway 16 at Sand Gap (it's labeled on Google Earth, but the same reveals that it is nothing more than a general store). Not only was this road amazing (great twisties), but the views from the bluffs / ridges into the valleys was spectacular --- especially with the Autumn colors and some of the leaves off so you could see. It was in this area that I believe I passed through the communities of 'Welcome Home' and 'Ben Hur' (Welcome Home was an actual town, while Ben Hur had little more than a church just past the Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area).
Instead of taking 377 north like I have previously, I went to 27. Both 16 and 27 were outstanding riding. The thing is, if you are trying to get somewhere quick, don't plan on it using these roads as both are all over the place --- one minute you are going south and the next, north (look at Google Earth). Parts of 27 between Marshal and Highway 66 were stunning. The best was rolling through a valley bathed in various shades of red, green, gold, and yellow, with a hayfield covered in big bales next to a clear rocky stream on my left, and surrounded by the tree-covered hills on either side. All along the way were breathtaking views. After passing through Mountain View and stopping for a couple of minutes to listen to some Bluegrass being played on the square (their Mountain Music Festival was in full swing), I headed over to Anglers to eat (it's on the White River at Sylamore Creek --- at the junction of several highways), not far from the road made famous by motorcyclists; PUSH MOUNTAIN ROAD.
From there it was north across the switchbacks on Highway 9 (again, the views of the White River Valley from the ridge tops were about as good as it gets). I turned north at Salem, Arkansas on the highway that becomes 17 just a few miles from town --- just after you cross the Missouri state line. 50 miles later I was at my office, which is itself on Highway 17. Great trip and look forward to a bit different route in the near future (with heated gear, cold is not really a problem as long as the roads are good).
I would love to take credit for the pics below, but when I ride alone, I'm by myself I typically crank my radio and ride. Hard. Rarely stopping to take pics unless I have a passenger (the pics below are all from Wikimedia, although they are all places I have ridden). The biggest problem with riding in Arkansas is that it's curvy roads are wearing down my foot pegs. Great problem to have!
MADSTAD WINDSHIELD REVIEW
"Listen Russ, I've been meaning to talk to you about something. Next turkey season you should really use a shotgun instead of your Goldwing. Not glad to see you damage your bike, but it was the perfect excuse to get away." -Fred Harmon of Angel Ride Enterprises
After arriving on Sunday evening, Fred spent Monday working on the bike, taking it apart, putting new parts on, and then putting it back together with a couple of twists (a MADSTAD Windshield and a pair of LED RIDER "anti-deer" lights), while Diane spent time with Amy and the girls. Since Fred finished the GOLDWING on Monday, we all went to the CURRENT RIVER on Tuesday. We ended up taking a 20 mile boat ride up to BLUE SPRINGS. We then spent the afternoon cooking (pics below), floating in the boat, swimming, and hanging out on the gravel bars. We even stopped by Big Springs on the way home. It was a great day in every sense of the word!
For the record (and particularly for the guys on the GL1800Riders Board), I want to let everyone know just how terrible a person Fred really is. He actually "forced" me to ride his Traxxion-equipped 2012, for which he just happens to be a dealer. All I can say is DANG! The custom suspension by Traxxion Dynamics is the real McCoy ---- especially considering he is running their "Mega Monty". Can't justify it for my bike (I broke down and did the upper and lower Triple Trees with a brand new rear shock from a GW being triked), but the ride, cornering, and low-speed turning were ridiculous.
I can adjust the ride so that if I want, I have almost no air on me whatsoever. Interestingly enough, there was so little air behind the windshield that I had to take my foam Tunnel Blockers out in order to hear the radio through my external speakers. Not sure why, but the acoustics were different with the Madstad (BTW, the Madstad does not cut down on road noise even though it cuts way down on buffeting). My wife also gets less buffeting with the Madstad, although the Baker Hand Wings do an excellent job of helping with that situation (we did have to use a Dremel to cut a small notch in the bottom of the Bakers to accommodate the lights).
I went with the Madstad over the Windbender because of good reviews on bigger Harleys, and because the rake is a built-in feature as opposed to being a one hundred dollar option. If anyone has any specific questions, just leave a comment and I will answer it for all to see. By the way, I would like to give a huge thank you to FRED HARMON. There might be someone on the planet who knows more about fixing Goldwings than Fred, but I would not have a clue who it is.
MOTORCYCLE -vs- TURKEY
After our younger girls won their soccer game that morning 12-0, Amy and I went for a ride. As is frequently the case, we took the GOLDWING to Arkansas. Our route took us to Willow Springs, where we caught highway 76 (which happens to "The Strip" in Branson). From there we got on 125 south. We took the ferry across Bull Shoals Lake near Protem, and then took the roundabout way into Mountain Home, where we ate Fajitas. We came home via highway 5 to Gainsville, and then took 181 back to 76 near Willow Springs --- about a 6 hour circle, including all the stops we made. It was literally the perfect day, and was possibly the most beautiful Spring ride I have ever been on --- except for the Turkey Strike.
We were rounding a full speed curve to the left, when a large Tom Turkey (22-25 lbs) flew low off the bank of the high ditch on the right side of the road. Nothing I could do. I thought at the time I hit it with the point of my fairing ---- flush in the middle of my headlights. But the reality is, the turkey impacted the right headlight. We were well into our trip, so we had no other choice than to keep going. There is some damage.
Fairing is cracked and moved some (you can tell when you look at the rubber seals between the fairing and the mirrors). The headlight reflectors are shattered and the headlight cover is in pieces. Needless to say, the right low beam doesn't work. But thank God that the bird was not flying a foot or two higher. Not sure what would happen if it would have hit my windshield. Thankfully Amy saw it and was ready for the impact (honestly, the impact was momentarily harsh, but it did not change our course at all). Would have stopped and brought it home for supper if it wasn't almost 90 degrees and us at least three hours from home.
As crazy as it sounds, this is my second wild turkey taken with a motorcycle. My first was about 25 years ago with a Yamaha XS 1100 Special. The turkey flew low across the road (near Babler State Park close to St. Louis) and I hit it with the nose of the Windjammer, just below the point. It knocked the bird down onto the pavement where I ran over it. Hopefully in the future, all game will be taken with conventional methods.
SOME PICTURES OF OUR RIDE
ON THE FERRY WITH A BUNCH OF HARLEYS (MISSING RIGHT ENGINE SHIELD)
BULL SHOALS LAKE (LOOK AT THE CLARITY OF OUR OZARKS WATER)
FIXING A GOLDWING
SOLVING CHRONIC NECK PAIN
(While Having Fun and Making Some Friends in the Process)
You're right Russ; after working on the F-16 program for so many years, motorcycles really aren't that complex. Fred Harmon sitting around our dinner table talking
I started square dancing when I was 9 years old. The problem is, I quit when I was 10. Fred explaining to the caller that even though he was from Fort Worth Texas, he was not a professional square dancer
I recently had the opportunity to meet and spend some time with Fred and Diane Harmon of Fort Worth, Texas. For the past quarter century, Fred worked as an Aeronautical Engineer inside of Lockheed Martin's F-16 program. Recently, he gave that up to become a full time motorcycle mechanic. He focuses his efforts on two bikes; the Honda Goldwing (specifically the GL1800) and the Kawasaki Concourse (1400). Although YouTube knock-
I have taken several significant rides, both by myself and two up --- some of it with my wife and some with my son. Since having the work done, I have been all over highway 9 in Arkansas, Scenic 7 through Jasper between Harrison and Russellville, practically the entire length of 76 between Willow Springs and Branson, large chunks of 14, 160, and 181, and part of 17, 19, and 137 here close to home ---- scenic Ozark Mountain roads one and all (my wife's facebook page is loaded with photos). And all have plenty of twisties. For those who will invariably ask, I run a yellow 2001 GL1800 with Progressive Monotubes in the front, the Progressive Spring in the rear, a MADSTAD WINDSHIELD, a Bridgestone 709 on the front balanced with Centramatics, and a Michelin Primacy Alpin (run-flat) on the rear, balanced with Dynabeads (it's a long story). Yeah; I'm one of those crazy DARKSIDERS who, after experiencing the difference, won't ever give up my CT.
DIANE'S FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH CHIROPRACTIC
Knowing that the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND was not for them, Fred and Diane both prayed about finding a solution for the CHRONIC PAIN that she had been dealing with (and getting progressively worse) for many years. Due to a number of different factors, Diane came to the realization that she needed to find a chiropractor. The only question now was which one? About a week after her revelation, Fred went to Diane to tell her of a crazy Chiropractor from Mountain View, Missouri who had contacted him out of the blue, offering his 'expertise' (word used loosely), if Fred would be willing to travel to southern Missouri and do some work on his YELLOW GL. They were both excited about the prospect and made the trip here, via my favorite riding state, ARKANSAS.
After examining Diane, I thought right away that I could help her. Although generally 'healthy' Diane had a wide variety of common and not-so-common complaints. Insomnia, equilibrium issues, bloating, PROBABLE GLUTEN SENSITIVITY, SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE, CHRONIC NECK PAIN, POSTERIOR TIBIAL TENDINOSIS, WRIST TENDINOSIS / DeQUERVAIN'S, a probable LEAKY GUT, along with a few others. I explained to Diane that the TENDINOSIS she was dealing with might not be MULTIPLE LOCAL PROBLEMS, but instead could be some sort of SYSTEMIC TENDINOSIS, which is actually one of the numerous AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES. Either way, I figured it could be dealt with.
I used a number of treatment protocols on Diane, including CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS, a couple of different WHOLE FOOD NUTRITIONAL PRODUCTS, some NUTRITIONAL ADVICE, SCAR TISSUE REMODELING followed immediately by COLD LASER THERAPY, a STRETCHING PROTOCOL including time on the DAKOTA TRACTION UNIT, as well as a number of brain-based exercises to strengthen an extremely weak right-sided cerebellum (HERE). I also cast her for some orthotics that were custom built by Shawn Eno, owner of XTREME FOOTWERKS in Idaho Springs, CO. The results were predictably rapid as you can see her testimonial at the bottom of the page.
FUN WITH FRED AND DIANE
Over the course of their three day stay, we had Fred and Diane in our home a number of times. It was a blast! Fred is a humble, soft-spoken genius ---- a true Christian gentleman whose expertise lies in solving problems with anything mechanical or electrical. On the other hand, his wife Diane who teaches English as a second language, has the propensity to get a bit more animated ("animated" might be an understatement). It is incredible to be around people who have the hand of God all over their lives (Diane was instrumental in helping to start a Nepalese church in their area).
Since we homeschool our kids, my 15 year old son who is far more mechanical than I am, got to spend a significant amount of time working with Fred and learning from him (he actually did the valves on the left side of the Wing). Having the opportunity to meet and spend time with folks like Fred and Diane is why I never plan on retiring. We'll get them here in the summer time, when we can take them to the CURRENT RIVER with us. Thanks for the memories. We look forward to doing it again soon!
FRED HARMON WORKS ON GOLDWINGS
IN THE DALLAS / FORT WORTH AREA
Unbeknownst to me until he forwarded me a link, Fred, one of the leaders on the GL1800 Riders Message Board, wrote A POST concerning he and Diane's experience here. Since they have relatives in the St. Louis area (and are contemplating retiring to the Ozarks of northern Arkansas, southern Missouri, I will be able to periodically check her progress and treat her as needed. Here is Diane's first progress report (I saw her two and a half weeks ago). Thanks Diane. You are far too kind with your words.
Some friends and family members tried to stop me to see a Chiropractor and attacked chiropractic treatment that a chiropractor is not an MD doctor. I thank God He lead me to see Doctor Schierling.
I went to see Doctor Schierling in the middle of October, 2013. After the doctor treated me for about 25 minutes, he could tell me what was causing my chronic pain. Before long, I could turn my head almost like normal people. The pain in my right ankle, neck, upper back, hands and wrists disappeared like a miracle after my first treatment.
Most of all, I could go out dancing the next day after my first treatment. Everyday I go shopping at a grocery store, I can walk like a normal 58 years old woman. I do not have to get on an electric scooter any more. I still have no pain in my body. Thank you God for giving Doctor Schierling to us. I have my life back.
What makes Dr. Schierling unique is:
1. He has a gift of healing from God .
2. He is very humble, sincere( very down to earth doctor) and he gives credit of his healing work to God’s glory,
3. He has genuine love and care for every of his patients. Every patient is very important to him.
4. When he treats his patient, it is not only in a very professional manner but also very personal. He can feel the pain with his patients while he is treating them with his healing touch.
5. His treatment does not stop after you leave his clinic. It is like the doctor follows each of his patients home to continue on giving his treatment. His patients can still get benefits and can improve their health of their particular problem from reading his news letter online that he put out every single day with genuine love and care.
6. His clinic is in a small peaceful town, where the patients do not have to be worried about parking spots, traffic jams, or air and noise pollution. Most of all, the doctor takes his time to be with each of his patients, and does not hurry to finish up.
CHRONIC NECK PAIN AND MOTORCYCLE HELMETS
"Did you know that the average human head weighs 8 pounds?" Ray from 1996's Jerry McGuire
If you look at our MVA PAGE, you'll notice that according to the peer-reviewed scientific literature, women are more likely to be injured in a whiplash-type accident --- much more likely. Women are also substantially more likely to suffer with Chronic Neck Pain long after their injury. Most of this has to do with the fact that women typically have much smaller necks than men, with much less muscle mass to support the head. With the average head weighing 8-12 pounds, and the average helmet coming in at around four pounds, this amount of weight can overcome even a healthy neck with a day of hard riding. Think about it for a moment; the heaviest bowling ball is 16 lbs. The head and helmet must be held by seven small vertebrae, some CONNECTIVE TISSUE, and several small muscles. In someone with a previously injured neck, riding can become impossible. So, what's a person to do if they want to ride?
- GET THE PROPER WINDSHIELD: A good windshield will not only keep much of the wind off the driver, but off the passenger as well. I ride a 2001 GL1800 (HERE). Between the proper windshield and the right kind(s) of wind wings, I can keep most of the wind off myself and my passenger if that is desired. BTW, I run a MADSTAD.
- WEAR A CARBON-FIBER HELMET: One of the newer helmet technologies is Carbon Fiber. Although these can cost substantially more than a standard plastic / fiberglass helmet, you can shave a pound or so with the Carbon Fiber.
- MAINTAIN GOOD POSTURE: As you might guess, POSTURE can be a deal-breaker as far as Chronic Neck Pain and motorcycles are concerned.
- STRENGTHEN AND STRETCH YOUR NECK: While this might work well for the general population, there is a significant chance that it is not going to work well for those of you coping with day-to-day neck pain. To understand why, go HERE.
- DEAL WITH THE UNDERLYING SCAR TISSUE: If you have previously injured your neck, there is a good possibility that all of the previous bullet points above will prove fruitless if you do not first deal with the underlying SCAR TISSUE. Most of the time this Scar Tissue occurs in the Fascia. The problems with injuries to the Fascia is that even though it is arguably the single most pain-sensitive tissue in the human body, it is too thin to be properly seen with advanced imaging techniques such as MRI. This can lead to the PERFECT STORM of Chronic Pain.
If you have questions about getting help for your Chronic Neck Pain, simply EMAIL ME a detailed history of your problem. Or call Cheryl at (417) 934-6337 to make an appointment. To see what makes us so radically different from the average clinic, read THIS POST, then take a few minutes and watch a couple of our VIDEO TESTIMONIALS (or HERE).
MOUNTAIN VIEW ARKANSAS TO MOUNTAIN HOME ARKANSAS
PUSH MOUNTAIN ROAD
My usual riding partner is my wife Amy. But with her at her mom's helping take care of GLYN'S things, it was not difficult to get Malachi to saddle up for a Saturday morning ride. After sticking some new low beams in our YELLOW 2001 GL1800, Malachi and I bundled up and left Mountain View, Missouri at about 6:00 am. It was 58 degrees and clear, with the hi temperature projected to be 78 --- a beautiful day for riding, and a pleasant respite from the flooding of the last couple of weeks. Our route took us through Thayer / Mammoth Springs, where we stopped at Mal Wart to purchase a cheap camera (we got an underwater camera so we can take pictures of our CURRENT RIVER SNORKEL TRIPS), and then on to Old Hardy Town, where we exchanged highway 63 for highway 62.
After heading through Ash Flat and winding our way through some back country roads, we stopped in Franklin (pop. 100?) and ate a delicious breakfast at Calabama Restaurant. We turned onto Lacrosse Road at Violet Hill, and then turned south on 58 just after Melbourne, eventually crossing the White River and coming into Mountain View from 14 South (by the way, this small section of 14 was quite fun to ride). On 58 we started to see bikes. And as we got closer to Mountain View, we saw lots of bikes!
Although we had no idea it was going on, this happened to be the weekend for the annual Mountain Music & Motorcycles rally. Needless to say, Malachi had never seen so many bikes together in one place before. We made a quick loop through Mountain View and saw hundreds upon hundreds of bikes (many Wings, but mostly HD's). After fueling, we made our way to the junction of 5, 14, 9, and the White River. We wound our way up 14 through the town of Fifty Six, and onto 341. Before long, we found ourselves at our destination ---- Push Mountain Road.
All I can say about the curves of Push Mountain Road is WOW! They were everything they were cracked up to be. Although not as famous (or as many hairpins) as the PIG TRAIL out of Eureka Springs or Scenic Seven out of Harrison, PUSH MOUNTAIN ROAD (a few pictures HERE) is actually one of Arkansas' most beloved motorcycle roads for serious riders (although there was little traffic on the road, we did see a few sports bikes really winding it up). The first of the previous two links contains a couple dozen reviews of the road from previous riders, several who actually compare Push Mountain to The Dragon at Deal's Gap.
Although I thoroughly enjoy the twisties, this road as well as many of the roads in Arkansas need to be ridden when the leaves are off in order to get the full effect of the mountains. I love the mountainous scenery and it's hard to see through the forest, even though the road runs along a narrow ridge for the most part. You continually catch glimpses, but the there are just enough trees and underbrush in most places to block a great deal of Push Mountain's magnificent views.
We found our way back to highway 5, heading over to Norfork / Salesville. We took the short detour to ride across the Dam at Norfork Lake and then we were back to Mountain Home and headed home from there. We made it home just after noon, covering just over 250 miles. In all honesty, I must say that I like highways 9 and 58 (both out of Melbourne) far better than Push Mountain Road. Just be aware that my assessment is made on a combination of the road and the scenery as opposed to the road itself. I will, however, be riding Push Mountain Road after the leaves fall ---- my assessment might change. Below are a few pics that Malachi snapped while rolling down the road (click on the pics to enlarge them).
PUSH MOUNTAIN ROAD
PUSH MOUNTAIN ROAD
HEADED NORTH ON 5 OUT OF MOUNTAIN VIEW, ARKANSAS
SOME OF THE BEST VIEWS WERE FOUND ON HIGHWAY 58
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration