Adventure Ride Coming to East Tennessee

The Slate Creek Adventure Ride promises to kick up some dirt in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina this spring. It's part of the AMA/BMW National Adventure Riding Series of 20 "rough road" events being held across the United States in 2009.

Slated for April 18 and 19, the Adventure Ride will offer different routes each day. The entry fee of $90 covers both days of riding, and a meal at the end of the day. AMA membership is required.

The Adventure series is designed for the bigger dual-purpose bikes (650cc's and larger) such as the BMW GSs, Kawasaki KLRs, and Suzuki V-Stroms, and the routes are planned accordingly. Events organizer John Strange says that the routes will be primarily country roads that start in Bybee, Tenn. (just north of Newport on Highway 160) and travel into Western North Carolina.

"There are a good portion of forest-service roads included in the route," Strange says. "Each day's ride is around 150 miles and will vary from paved roads to dirt roads. We'll have a real good mix."

The flier for the ride states that the elevation change will be from 1,200' to 5,500', so the route should be entertaining. There will be bypasses available around tougher sections for those whose bikes (or riders) may not be up to the challenge.

Each rider will get a route sheet and be turned loose to ride at their own pace. GPS routing is not available. There are no chase riders along the route, so if someone gets lost, it's up to them to find their way back. "After all, it is called an Adventure Ride!" Strange says.

The flier for the ride can be found on the Volunteer Riders website ( under "Events." You can also contact John Strange at 865-322-0193