ABCs of Touring - Corrie

Chapter Organiser: 

“Trade your watch for a GPS and ride dawn to dusk.”

 

Corrie Van Rensburg - the 2017 Winner of the ABC's of Touring for the 2017 year - is not a "stay-at-home" kind of guy.  Before long, the itch takes hold and drives him to saddle up his Harley-Davidson® Ultra Classic® (or Street Glide® when he's in the USA) . 

The ABC’s of Touring competition is a second thought to his love of riding - although you wouldn't think so since he has won the South African ABC's of touring competition so often! But he feels that while the miles are adding up, one might as well write them up!  And once you start looking out for alphabetic points it's hard to stop!  His wife Meisie Van Rensburg has no problem with Corrie taking off for the open road - she fully supports her hubby's adventurous spirit.

One can travel so far within South Africa to accumulate maximum points, however beautiful our country.  Corrie decided there were other places that needed closer scrutiny.  A look at turning weather on the international front and a plane ticket for a quick trip to the USA were all he needed to accumulate of the balance of the points required. 

Corrie's American Adventure

“I started in warm Key West, Florida and headed north until it really started getting cold.

"This is an interesting journey should you be inclined to sightsee on your travels, transporting you through hundreds of little islands with the most colourful seascape between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean to the southernmost city in the continental United States – Key West.  42 Bridges combines the Lower Keys whose individual regions have their own character and history to indulge in, to reach Key West where the impressive “Highway that goes to sea” connects at Key Largo home of the Everglades National Park.

“I normally ride in the summer months to avoid the snow, but decided to this time travel during the autumn/winter to mainly see the changing colour of the trees.  I certainly had the privilege to start my tour when the vegetation was still lush and green.”

Blue Ridge Parkway

This highway travels 763.6km through Virginia and North Carolina - a location renowned for biodiversity and offering the most serene travel route and camping grounds.  Black bears are not that common to see yet still campers should be aware of their presence as numbers have been increasing in the past few years.  More noticeable is the white-tailed deer, squirrels and ever-present groundhog.  Most opportunistic around campgrounds is raccoons, opossums and skunks. 

After all these years I prefer to camp and enjoy the outdoors rather than stay in a hotel.  During camping one day I saw a leaf turn yellow, the next day more yellow leaves, and next orange, red, brown and even pink.  Every day was a new colour for two months until the trees were all bare.”

Finally reaching Pennsylvania where is started snowing, so I turned around and headed south-west.  By now it was really getting incredibly cold for this South African who wanted to see a lot more.  With determination and growing excitement I decided not even the rain and light snow could stop me and I went on to West Virginia

Tennessee

The best experience: 318 Curves in an 18 km stretch; The Tail of the Dragon is considered one of the most exciting drives in America and referred to by locals as “that damn road to Tennessee”.  The famous tree of shame a monument decorated with the bent, twisted, and mangled motorcycle parts resulting from crashes on the Dragon is a reminder to be cautious. 

However having the best experience on my trip to ride the Tail of a Furious Dragon another worthwhile visit was to the Jack Daniels Distillery Lynchburg the only Distillery to produce the finest whiskey - Jack Daniels.

Thank you

Picking up problems with your motorcycle on a long and at times lonely trip is the last thing any rider want to experience.  A special word of thanks to George Tingley and the guys at Killer Creek Harley-Davidson, Roswell for attending to an electrical issue on my bike.  And when my gearbox started giving me problems John Paul and John Pope from Black Wolf Harley-Davidson, Bristol, thank you for your great support received.

Travelled Route

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Virginia
  • DC
  • Maryland
  • West Virginia
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • Kansas
  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas.
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama

And finally back to the much warmer weather of Key West Florida

  • Submitted by:  Corrie Van Rensburg
  • Editor:  Angelique Dermit
Corrie Van Rensburg - Winner of the 2017 (and 2014, and 2013) ABC's of Touring competition with a massive 249 points
Corrie and his ever patient wife, Meisie Van Rensburg
Weather forecast: snow/cold. Corrie's interpretation: “ Nou gaan ons ry”
Alligator Alley, Florida
Florida Keys - Key West to Miami
KOA Asheville Campground, North Carolina
Making new friends at Killer Creek Harley-Davidson, Roswell. A happy bunch of fellows and the bearded George Tingley.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
The Tail of the Dragon, also known as “that damn road to Tennessee”.
Thank you to Killer Creek H-D and Black Wolf H-D for the great support!