NYDUCATI

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Gapalicious 2019 in Tellico Plains TN

 Every year for the past few years, I've headed down to Tellico Plains, Tennessee, at the base of the Cherohala Skyway to join up with an awesome community of MV Agusta riders who congregate from all over the world to party, enjoy each others' company, and ride some of the best roads on the East Coast, that snake around the Smoky Mountains down into North Carolina.
 Now I decided to come late this year, and there were no more rooms available at the riverfront lodge, where I had stayed the last two years.  In 2017 I lugged an Aprilia dealer sign all the way from New York City to Tennessee for my friends Art and Kevin.   And then last year, I flew down with the help of Chuck trailering my bike down, threw a bearing and blew out the engine on my Streetfighter, and maybe smuggling some moonshine in my luggage on the way back. 
This year I got a quaint, tiny little cabin for $35 a night, filled with a tiny kitchen a full size bed, and a rather ample-sized bathroom.  I drove down Wednesday, and we headed over to Tellicafe, a very wonderful (albeit podunk) restaurant in the dry county where Tellico Plains is located.  Unfortunately, the little doesn't have WiFi, so I'll need to head over to the lodge on Friday and work my way through the day. 
 Chrissy, the same waitress that served us back in 2017 is still working as a waitress, and we had a little fun sending this pic to Shawn, who's skipped out on the Gapalicious trip the last couple years.
 The large lodge up the hill is called the "Crows Nest," and this is where the bulk of the MV group stays.
 Each night, we get together bringing lots of alcohol in addition to our bikes.
© 2019 Tigh Loughhead

My Top 15 Rides of All Time

This week has been rough- with Monday blowing sub-zero temperatures into New York City...to nearly 60 and pouring by Thursday.  I'm working on a pretty cool project with my Streetfighter... (more on that later- I'm dropping an 1198 engine in the bike to create a StreetfighterR), but I've been doing some clean up on the website, and it has made me a little sentimental for rides gone by.

So much of my identity has come from the rubber I've laid down on the road alone and with others,  to the point that most of my closest people are now largely in the motorcycle community.  I thought I'd take the weekend to reflect, listicle style- on some of my absolute favorite rides I've ever been blessed to take.  So with all of that said, here are my top 15 Ducati motorcycle trips I've ever ridden, in no particular order:

1. Museo Ducati in Borgo Panigale


I've actually gotten to visit the Ducati factory a couple times by now, but the Museo Ducati is absolutely essential to visit if you go to Bologna (or even anywhere in Northern Italy).


2. The Cabot Trail


Going on 5 years ago (and before I took videos apparently), my buddy Jay and I embarked on a 12 day, 2500 mile adventure up to Nova Scotia and around the Cabot Trail, lugging a case of beer and camping out at Meat Cove, at the northernmost tip of Cape Breton Island.  This trip was such a self-affirming journey, for the people that we met, and what I discovered about myself, and even moreso discovering what was out there available to me in the world.

3. Riding up the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey to the Black Sea

Several years back, a couple friends and I rented bikes in Istanbul, Turkey and I rode a Yamaha MT-05 up the Bosphorus all the way to the Black Sea, bordering Russia.  We had a few drinks and dinner at an incredible seaside restaurant and proceeded to do burnouts on my buddy's Yamaha R25 (an R3 for the Asian markets).  Though it rained for much of the trip, it was one of the highlights of my life on a bike.


4. Northern California on a Ducati Hypermotard


The first year I was invited to speak at Dreamforce, the largest tech conference in the world, I rented a Hypermotard and rode alone as far up the coast of Northern California as I could, seeing some of the most beautiful country and sunsets I had in my life.


5. Lake Lugano, Switzerland


A couple of years ago, one of my buddies Alex and rented BMWs and traveled around Northern Italy and Switzerland.  Lugano was one of the highlights of the "Lakes District-" with dramatic mountainside towns, and tunnels carving through the mountains around the lakes.

6.  Quebec by Ducati and the Parc du Maurice


Before the days of Gotham Ducati, or even the East Coast Ducs, a whole bunch of us rode all the way up to Montreal on our Ducs.  Joe and Jerry and I pushed on even further, taking the scenic route up to Quebec City, passing through an incredible motorcycle road (and managing not to run afoul of the very tight speed limits) in the Parc du Maurice.

8. Southern California on a busted Scrambler


I got a chance to give NYDUCATI a shout out in front of several hundred people at Dreamforce this year.

Although I got a bum bike, the roads from San Francisco to Los Angeles are some of the greatest in the world.  The terrain is other-worldly at times, and whether you're along the coast by Big Sur or carving canyons of Los Padres National Forest, the trip is truly incredible to do by bike.


9. Lake Como in Italy after EICMA


I remember thinking at the time that I'd never seen such beauty in the world as when Alex and I rode up to Lake Como north of Milan in Italy.

10. Gotham Ducati Bachelor Party in Beverly Hills


via Gfycat
 I don't actually have a write-up for this, as the proprietor of RentaDucati.com is an absolute scumbag who tried to screw us out of thousands of dollars for doing a couple of burnouts.  However, getting to stay in Beverly Hills and ride the roads around LA was an absolute blast and the roads...some of the best I've ever done, and was lucky to share with my boys.


11. Tail of the Dragon and Cherohala

Every year, a dedicated group of MV Agusta riders gather in Tellico Plains, Tennessee for Gapalicious, to ride around the Smokey Mountains, which include the East Coast motorcycle Meccas of the Cherohala Skyway and the Tail of the Dragon.


12. Cross Country on Italian Superbikes

 Again, long before I carried a GoPro (actually I might have still had a Blackberry), my buddy Cameron and Jay decided to go cross country on Italian Superbikes, which Cam painstakingly detailed the life of his Panigale (the very first 899 ever shipped to the United States) at 899Adventures.

 I have to say, that even though I only got to travel part of the way of this epic journey, down the Appalachian Skyway, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and onto Asheville, North Carolina... this trip singlehandedly ignited a passion for travel and adventure by motorcycle.

13. East Coast Ducs take Montreal


 I still can't believe we had nearly ten Ducs ride all the way from New York City to Montreal. (Credit: Gerald Charles on the vid)
Hot as it was, we had an amazing ride and an even better time hanging out, drinking and eating Poutine together.
(Credit: Shawn Mathew w/ the vid)

14. Acadia with DOCNYC

This was one of my first long distance trips with the New York City Ducati community. Five of us slabbed it all the way to Maine to get to Acadia National Park, getting caught in a torrential downpour on Cadillac Mountain the last night.... worth it.

 

15. Harlem Superbike School


Every week, a couple of us wake up really, really... really early and ride up to White Plains and around the lakes.



© 2019 Tigh Loughhead

MV Agusta Edition: Tail of the Dragon

Tigh Loughhead rides Ducati Streetfighter Motorcycles at the Tail of the Dragon North Carolina
Motorcycles are one of the best things to ever happen to me...

MV Agusta Edition: Cherohala Skyway

Today was one of those halcyon motorcycling days that I'll see in my memory in sepia-tones for the rest of my life. 
I finally got a chance to ride the Tail of the Dragon and Cherohala Skyway. 

MV Agusta Edition: Gapalicious Thursday


Fail at the Tail

Tigho Ducati Blog List:

Rides gone by...