2012 Robbinsville, Cherokee, Gatlinburg and Eventually Nashville
September 14, 2012
Tampa to Robbinsville, NC
625 miles of . . . well, not a whole lot
Friday, September 14 we trailered up to meet Bill in Robbinsville, NC. Bill had left a few days earlier and had been riding his V-Star 1100 cross country. The plan was to meet in Robbinsville, NC and to ride for 4 days before ending the trip. All in all the trailering was pretty uneventful. We ran into traffic in Atlanta, and it cost us about an hour. We ended up meeting Bill in Robbinsville at the Two Wheel Inn around 7pm or so.
A word about the Two Wheel Inn. Bluntly, if it is you and your buddies it is a terrific place. It’s a bed and a garage, more than enough for any guy living on the road. On the other hand, if you are bringing a woman along and you plan on doing more in the evening besides plot the routes for the next day you’ll be a little disappointed. The standard sized rooms are smaller than a standard hotel room and are cramped for space. We opted for the Penthouse for that very reason. The idea was that we’d have more room, a kitchen and living room, as well as enough privacy and space to stretch out.
The Penthouse is more spacious, but it falls flat in a few very key areas. For starters, they don’t tell you that you are sharing a garage with people from the lodge. This stuck in my throat more than a little, as a BIG part of the appeal of the Two Wheel Inn is having a secured space for my motorcycle where I could be confident no one other than ME was touching it. Add to that, the tenants in the lodge for the first couple nights were rowdy “cruiser type” guys who want to talk loudly, drink a lot, and not really ride very fast. That is to say, they are the antithesis to me and my riding style.
I don’t want to talk a lot, I’m not going to make a lot of noise, I’m going to shred the sides of my tires and move like the wind through the mountains. Additionally, the Penthouse has insufficient privacy. The people who designed it and furnished it obviously don't have sex. The master bedroom has a shared airspace with the livingroom so if one person is sleeping you can NOT go into the other room and read or watch TV because the sound of turning a page or flipping a channel will be earth shattering. Additionally, the doors to the master bedroom are glass and uncovered, so there is literally no privacy unless you are in the bathroom.
Lastly, the bed. The bed is a joke. Imagine a trampoline on wheels. Every single movement one person makes is magnified, sending your bed partner bouncing off into the stratosphere. Furthermore, the bed is on wheels, so the lateral and forward movement compounds with the bounciness of the mattress to make sleeping a real challenge. One person rolls over, or moves and the entire bed moves and then tries to eject the other person off and onto the floor. Again, the penthouse was designed and furnished by people who don't have sex. Probably ever. We considered sleeping on the floor, and even opened up a foldaway couch bed to see if it was any better. It wasn’t.
We had sex on the bed, gently, and decided that if we got serious not only would we break the bed we’d most likely shove it through the wall and crashing 20feet down on the driveway below us. Bluntly, the Penthouse is a poor value. For $95 a night I’d like a bed that doesn’t move around and a mattress suitable for a grown man, not something I’d give a bored chimpanzee in need of exercise. The people who would rent the Penthouse are either couples who intend to BE couples or a group of guys trying to save a few bucks. The guys would all kill each other, as literally there is NO where to go where you can’t hear or see everything going on and a couple would just end up having sex on the floor (ahem) or in the shower (ahem) and would give up entirely on doing anything with the “bed.” It was so bad that at night I’d tuck Carrie in and I’d go sleep in the livingroom on the couch so we both wouldn’t be exhausted and grumpy in the morning.
I’d have said something to the managers about the bed, the poorly designed suite, or the atrocious choice of colors and style (think “menopause” and you are in the right ballpark) but I couldn’t come up with any scenario where talking to them wouldn’t have made me more angry than I was before the conversation started. They aren’t particularly attentive folks. Honestly they are not quite as sharp as a bowl of vanilla pudding. More on that later, but as a short anecdote I’ll tell you that on the fourth day one of them walked up to me and told me I needed to register and check in – as she didn’t realize I’d been staying there for the last 3 days. Remind me to tell you about the flat tire, and the awesome job they did at looking at their feet, their phones, and up to the sky for a solar eclipse instead of acknowledging I might have needed their help (I didn’t). It wasn’t until the car was running and I was about to leave that one of them said “do you have a flat?” – yes, genius, I DID, but I took care of it. If I need someone to stand near me and ask stupid questions I’ll look you up, in the meantime I have this covered.
A few comments on the trailer. I've had this trailer for probably 7 years. In that time I've replaced the wood, repainted it, added things and removed them again, had a cooler stolen that was ziptied to the back, replaced tires, lubricated bearings, etc and etc. I've used this trailer for track days, cross country trips, hauling garbage, helping people move. THIS year I installed two "roll up" mounting blocks and it made a WORLD of difference. I can just roll up and mount the bike in the stand, get off and start the tie downs. I also put the full gate back on. It cost me fuel economy but made getting the bikes on and off a one man operation. After last year's fiasco with the blowout on 95 I decided to permanently U-Bolt the spare tire to the front as well.