When: April 1-4, 2021
Where: Dillard, Georgia
Norm Kern's report on 2021 Dillard Dual Sport Event
Lots of fun this past weekend at Norm & Doug's Dual-sport ride, Dillard GA.
We had about 20 attendees, all of whom came prepared with appropriate bikes, riding gear, skill and experience.
We didn't know in advance how well things would go, as there was 1.5" of rain on Wednesday and Thursday was COLD with the temperature only getting to about 40.
Weather was still cold and breezy with a maximum temp of 50.
We waited till 11AM to start, when the temp was almost 40.
The sunny clear sky helped a lot!
Due to the late start we ran a short 85 mi route that went East from Dillard and included parts of N & S Carolina.
There were about a dozen riders for Friday and we started out in a single large group.
About 30 miles into the ride, there was a road Doug hadn't ridden in a couple years that turned out to be blocked off with big mounds of dirt, so we turned around and came out to the paved road.
Six of us, Mike Lauvray, Ritch Prindle, Allan Skinner, Ron Vess, Jim Goody and I went North and picked up the route on Walking Stick road.
(Turns out Doug's local contact had advised him that it might bee too wet and muddy right now, so Doug took the rest of the group South on an alternate route.
Walking Stick Road was pretty technical with huge gullies, some more than 4 feet deep on uphills and downhills.
The walls sloped enough that if you went in the gully you just slid down the side and rode in some rough stuff till you got a chance to get out.
Nothing too steep, and not too muddy.
Creek crossings were up a bit but no problem.
Once past Walking Stick, we rode another 15 miles of the route and passed Doug's group going the other way.
Didn't stop for lunch and got back about 330pm, so we had an early dinner at Cupboard Kitchen which was excellent.
That turned out to be a good plan, bc by the time we left there was a line waiting to be seated.
Saturday weather was about 10 degrees warmer but it still took till about 10am to get to 40 degrees.
We started with 18 riders for the 180 mile long route.
Doug's plan was to detour around Charleys Creek to avoid some jeep trails that were sure to be badly rutted and muddy.
That involved changing most of the first 60 miles of the route so Doug led our group of 18 riders.
Only mishap in the morning was at a water crossing. It was only about 15 feet wide, but about a foot deep with fast running water.
Doug went first, started getting carried by the current, revved the bike and flipped it coming out the other side.
Doug was Ok and the bike didn't land in the water. After that lesson, everyone else made it across OK.
Once we all got back on the regular route, we split into two groups.
At 2pm, about 105 miles into the route, we stopped for lunch at Lynn's Place Restaurant in Robbinsville, NC.
It's a great place- you get good food served by nice waitresses who speak with the most lovely southern accent you will ever hear.
The riding had been great all day, but after lunch we had some drama added to it.
Allan Skinner passed a slow Jeep driver on a rough gravel road who then took off after him and demand him to stop.
The Jeep driver claimed that Allan had roosted him with a rock that chipped his windshield.
Turns out there was lots of other damage to the front end of the Jeep, and it definitely was not fresh damage.
Even the small chip in the windshield did not look fresh. Allan gave him insurance info and we went on.
The route turned out to be a glorious 192 miles on a beautiful sunny day, but four miles from the finish, a German shepherd ran out to chase us.
He went right in front of Mike Lauvray, who ran over him and went down.
Mike's bike got bent handlebars and some scrapes on the RH side.
Mike hit the pavement, but his gear did the job. He got a small abrasion on his right arm and one bruised toe.
The dog ran away and could not be found.
The owners of the dog called the police and three county sheriffs and a state trooper showed up.
They questioned witnesses and explained the law in NC, which is that animal strikes are an "act of God" and there is no legal liability either way.
They declined to even write a report, but it added another hour to a long day.
By the time we got back to the hotel, loaded the bikes and got a shower, it was 830PM.
We went to the Mexican restaurant for Negro Modello draft beer, Margaritas, and dinner, followed by lots of BS.
Got to bed late, came home Sunday.