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Russ Townsend

Recent Work

  • Wings Across Tennessee Raises Funds for Children's Hospital Published 12/03/2009 at 3:57 p.m.

    Last month, The Goldwing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) of Tennessee came through Knoxville on their annual trip across the state to deliver their donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

  • Dodging Trees in Bybee for the Volunteer Hare Scrambles Published 12/02/2009 at 10:06 a.m.

    On Nov. 8, 150 dirt bike racers from around the Southeast gathered in beautiful Bybee, Tenn. for the Volunteer Hare Scrambles, round four of the 14-round SETRA Hare Scramble series. In case you are wondering, Bybee is the community located ...

  • 2010 Can-Am Spyder RT: Three-Wheeled Technological Showcase Published 12/02/2009 at 10:01 a.m.

    I rode the Can-Am Spyder when it was first introduced almost two years ago, and one of the thoughts that crossed my mind was that this would be a good platform for a touring machine. Evidently I wasn’t the only ...

  • Riding 'Round Chilhowee Mountain in East Tennessee Published 12/02/2009 at 9:41 a.m.

    If you’ve ever traveled through Seymour on Chapman Highway you’ve seen the main destination for this ride, the top of Chilhowee Mountain. Commonly referred to as Bluff Mountain, this is the big mountain you are looking at when you sit ...

  • The Dragon’s Eyes: Photographers of Highway 129 Published 10/22/2009 at 10:43 a.m. 1 Comment

    If you’ve been across Highway 129 to Deals Gap during daylight hours, you have seen these people before. They sit or stand on the side of the road, cameras glued to their faces, and they make you feel like Nicky ...

  • Admiring the Blue Ridge Parkway Published 10/22/2009 at 10:32 a.m.

    The bike I just picked up, a used Ducati Multistrada, is designed for rides like this—a little bit of everything, but with lots of curves. I figured by the end of this day I would definitely be in tune with ...

  • Land Between the Lakes Dual-Sport Ride Published 10/22/2009 at 10:22 a.m.

    One of my riding buddies in the Volunteer Riders Club has been hounding me forever about how great the annual Land Between the Lakes dual-sport ride is, and how I had to go. “The trails are great! The camping’s great!” ...

  • 12th Annual Fall Trail Ride Published 09/22/2009 at 5:57 p.m.

    Southern Woods Riders will be hosting the 12th Annual Fall Trail Ride at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch Oct. 16, 17, and 18.

  • Sharing the Woods Published 09/22/2009 at 4:56 p.m.

    It’s a pretty well established fact that there are fewer and fewer places to ride off-road, but we need to realize there are fewer remote locations, period. The same developments that close places to ride also close places where people ...

  • “Wings Across Tennessee” Flying into Knoxville Published 08/27/2009 at 10:47 a.m.

    On October 2, the 14th Annual “Wings Across Tennessee” ride will be coming through Knoxville, and anyone and everyone is invited to participate. This ride starts in Bristol, Tenn., and will head across the state, picking up other riders as ...

  • 37th Annual BMW International Rally: Have Tent, Will Travel Published 08/27/2009 at 10:46 a.m.

    very year for the past 37 years, the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association (BMW MOA) has held its international rally at a great motorcycle destination—and this year it was in our own backyard. Johnson City was picked for this year’s rally ...

  • Let’s Help Save Our Off-Road Riding Trails Published 08/27/2009 at 10:36 a.m.

    In this column I try to look at the positive side and talk about all of the great off-road riding opportunities we still have in East Tennessee. I try not to dwell on what has been lost over the years. ...

  • Cindy Lou's Epic Adventure Published 08/27/2009 at 10:09 a.m.

    On June 7 of this year, Cindy Douglas took time off from her position as a hair stylist at Salon Azure, loaded up her 2009 Harley Dyna Superglide, and left on a 7,800 mile adventure that took her through 21 ...

  • Traveling Back in Time to Rugby Published 08/27/2009 at 9:48 a.m.

    East Tennessee is an absolutely great place for a motorcycle rider to live. Pick any direction you want, and within about 30 minutes you’re getting into some prime motorcycle-friendly asphalt. This month I picked a different direction and headed north ...

  • South Korea Builds a Sport Cruiser Published 07/17/2009 at 1:12 p.m. 1 Comment

    I never turn down an opportunity to ride a new bike, so when Ross Walls, owner of Rising Sun Cycles in Harriman, asked if I would like try out the new Hyosung cruiser, of course I said yes. Rising Sun ...

  • SOLD!!! Published 07/17/2009 at 1:12 p.m.

    Every now and then, you need to do something for no particular reason other than you’ve never done it before and it may be fun. Sometimes you need to go to an event just because it may never happen again. ...

  • Getting Dirty for 40 Years Published 07/17/2009 at 1:07 p.m.

    “I was in the Volunteer Riders years ago” is a phrase that I hear more and more often as I talk to riders around town. Once that I announced I was working to put together the history of the club, ...

  • Fun at the Track Published 06/29/2009 at 10:02 a.m.

    There are some things that never seem to change over the years, and a summer night at the motocross track is one of them. It’s been a few years since I’ve attended an afternoon of racing at I-40 Motocross, but ...

  • Down Into The Devil’s Triangle Published 06/29/2009 at 9:58 a.m.

    Depending on where you live, this is another ride that can easily be done in an afternoon or morning. Despite being relatively close to Knoxville, this is one of the most remote rides you can tackle. It’s also one of ...

  • American-Made Café Racer Published 05/27/2009 at 11:36 a.m.

    It’s getting harder and harder for a new motorcycle to make a splash. To get noticed, a new bike has got to have new technology, or new looks, or something going for it that gives it some personality. Here’s an ...

  • True Adventures Published 05/27/2009 at 11:34 a.m.

    Sometimes you go to an event and you just know you’re going to have a great time. Well, this was one of those days. The first day of the Slate Creek Adventure ride (April 18-19) was one of those times ...

  • Foothills Parkway Loop Published 04/24/2009 at 4:48 p.m.

    Some weekend after you’ve gotten your Honey-do list taken care of, and you’re looking for an interesting after-lunch ride, keep this one in mind. It has some spectacular views of the mountains, quite a few miles along lakes and rivers, ...

  • Yes, the Kid's Dirt Bike/ATV Ban is Real Published 04/24/2009 at 4:06 p.m.

    You can thank our lead paint-loving friends in China for this one. It is now illegal to sell a kid’s dirt bike or ATV in America. Effective Feb. 10, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) was ...

  • BMW MOA Plans International Rally at Appalachian Fairgrounds Published 04/24/2009 at 3:45 p.m.

    The 37th Annual BMW International Rally will be held at the Appalachian Fairgrounds, located in Gray, Tenn., on the outskirts of Johnson City, on July 16–19. This is the biggest event of the year for the BMW Motorcycle Owners of ...

  • 1st Annual “Rally at the Strip” Coming June 4-7 Published 03/24/2009 at 9:40 a.m.

    English Mountain Dragstrip in Newport will be the location for a new, three-and-a-half-day motorcycle rally, the “Rally at the Strip.” Event organizer Glen Almany, who was raised on the property next to the drag strip, has dreamed for years of ...

  • Adventure Ride Coming to East Tennessee Published 03/24/2009 at 9:31 a.m.

    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 ...

  • Dirty Politics Published 03/23/2009 at 4:09 p.m.

    The vast majority of people who ride off road, either motorcycles or ATVs, are pretty much in the dark when it comes to what goes on behind the scenes with regards to politics and how it affects where you can ...

  • Loudon Plans a Honda Hoot Alternative Published 03/12/2009 at 5 p.m.

    This summer, the city of Loudon is planning its first motorcycle rally. Titled “The Smokey Valley Rally,” it will be held June 4 through 7 at Loudon Municipal Park, just one mile off of Interstate 75. Mark Harrell of the ...

  • The King Daddy of All Riding Areas Published 03/12/2009 at 4:28 p.m.

    This one’s for all the new off-road riders, or riders new to this area, because I don’t think there is anyone around here who doesn’t already know about Coal Creek/Windrock Mountain. For those of you who don’t, let me tell ...

  • Clearing the Salt to Crab Orchard Published 03/12/2009 at 4:13 p.m.

    After two weeks of snow, ice, and temperatures in the teens, I was beginning to worry about getting in the next ride. If it came down to me riding on a 20-degree day, the next Backroads article was going to ...

  • Knox Road Racer Wins National Championship Published 02/19/2009 at 3:15 p.m.

    Knoxville area Vintage racer Ray Hickman won his first National Championship last October at the Western Eastern Road Racing Association (WERA) Grand National Finals (GNF) held at Road Atlanta. He won the Vintage 6 Heavyweight Class on his 1989 Suzuki ...

  • Chasing the Rabbit at “Ride to the Roan” Published 02/19/2009 at 3:13 p.m.

    Every year since 1937, Jim’s Motorcycle Shop in Johnson City has sponsored “The Ride to the Roan” the first Sunday of the year. The social ride starts at Jim’s Motorcycle Shop and ends at the top of Roan Mountain. Since ...

  • Your Guide to Exploring East Tennessee’s Dirt Published 02/19/2009 at 3:07 p.m.

    If you ride off the pavement as well as on it, and you’re interested in all types of off-road motorcycle riding, this will be the column for you. Getting Dirty is geared to those of us who have to wash ...

  • Riding Through the Land of Kenny Chesney Published 02/19/2009 at 3:03 p.m.

    On the Saturday after Christmas, we were looking for a three- to four-hour ride that would take us through some rural countryside and let us enjoy the unusually warm late December day. This route starts on Washington Pike and follows ...