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Thread: Putting the T's in Twisties

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  1. #1
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Putting the T's in Twisties

    The article and maps are now online.


    To go with the article of the same name, I'm posting a few zips with GPS routes.

    The maps are in Garmin .gdb format, and for other GPS in .gpx format.

    The first set is paved routes, and are attached to this post.

    The second are dual-sport, and are attached to the second post.

    As discussed in the article, it's not a short distance to the Dragon from the Rally site. Getting there and back is a full day's ride... especially if you take the dual-sport rides.

    You may consider going there on your way to or from the rally.

    The routes are reversible *except* for the National Park Way dual sport route, which uses a 1-way dirt road out of the park (btw, this is one of the best rides).

    And remember: ***Always and Adventure*** these roads are fun, a bit challenging and you will have fun (even if you get a little lost at some point.)

    Please let me know if you have questions.

    Ian
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    Last edited by Visian; 03-27-2009 at 12:50 PM.
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  2. #2
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Here are the dual-sport rides.

    Both are fun.

    (edited route, stupid Mapsource autorouted right through Gatilinburg hell!)
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    Last edited by Visian; 01-31-2009 at 11:37 AM.

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    Registered User john1691's Avatar
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    Looking forward to going back down. We hit "The Dragon" on our way home from New Orleans after doing some Katrina work. Some seriously fun roads on the way in and out. There are better roads than 129, as most will attest to, but it's fun to do. Got "lost" in Kentucky somehow. Pre-GPS, so we were just following the twisties and low and behold "Welcome to Kentucky", at which point the nice paved road became a crater field from an old WWII movie. We made it back to decent pavement without any damage to suspensions or riders though. I was on the K1200RS and my riding buddy had his CBR1100XX, so we weren't prepared for logging road conditions. July can't get here fast enough!
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    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john1691 View Post
    ...we weren't prepared for logging road conditions.
    i think most of kentucky is dual-sport conditions. an excellent north/south road through the east part of the state is KY11.

    watch out for coal trucks!

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    Rather Be Ridin' alabeemer's Avatar
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    Thanks Ian, these really look great. You have included some of my favorites from Tapoco toward the rally. I guess I will have to ride these either before or after the rally...hmmm or maybe I'll just blow the rally off and go ride...ya think?

    Keep the good stuff coming!
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    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    Nice job, IAN, with your ON article about the 'twisties!'

    I just finished reading it, and it both brings back memories, and excites me about this coming July.

    I recall last year's snacking at a nice river-side restaurant (on your right) as you enter Tellico Plains along the Cherohala, and the challenge of flawless runs on the 'Dragon' in both directions.

    Can't wait!
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    pumadog

    i'm having problems opening the gps of the '09 rally. i have a garmin but having problems opening and transfering the info to it.

  8. #8
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pumadog View Post
    i'm having problems opening the gps of the '09 rally. i have a garmin but having problems opening and transfering the info to it.
    do you have the mapsource program?

    what garmin do you have?

  9. #9
    Impulse FrankFlorio's Avatar
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    Twisites

    Ian - thanks much for sharing the garmin routes for the twisties! I'm still kinda new to this sport but can't wait to do em! Thank you again.................Frank
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankFlorio View Post
    Ian - thanks much for sharing the garmin routes for the twisties! I'm still kinda new to this sport but can't wait to do em! Thank you again.................Frank
    you are most welcome.

    i am going to try to post up some more in time for the rally.

    look for my "ultimate twisties" ride soon!

    ian
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    Gumby Rocks! fauster's Avatar
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    Well, I did my recon of the rally GPS routes last Friday. I modifed the start / end point to coincide with the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground in Cruso, which is a good bit closer to the Smokies and the Dragon than Johnson City TN.

    My buddy Steve (on a G650 X-Challenge) and I (on my trusty F650GS thumper) headed out of Cruso at 09:00 and took a meandering route over to Max Patch Road. After reaching Wesley Creek Road, the two-lane blacktop eventually turned into 1.5 lanes with a few tight switchbacks. Then it degraded into a graded gravel road with some excellent views:





    Then it got fun. The gravel turned into dirt / rock / mud with ruts and occasional puddles. Sometimes you could ride between the ruts and sometimes you had to go splashing through the puddles. If you take this dual-sport ride into the Smokies, leave your panniers at the campground and make sure you have some off-road riding capability. It wasn't horribly technical but I could easily see a novice dirt rider dumping a bike where the trail was slimy.

    There was a short break in the action at the top end of Hurricane Creek Road.



    Comparing this nice gravel road with the route direction, it was tempting to make the left-hand turn down the mountain. However, a wise man warned me that Hurricane Creek Road can be a real bitch due to the water crossings and other hazards. We followed the route as it was created and headed back into the dirt.



    One of us dumped out bike on a sharp banked left hander but I won't reveal his name. We eventually came out onto gravel Forest Service roads which took us down the mountan and underneath I-40.



    At some point, we lost the route due to sheer ignorance or a wrong turn. I don't recall seeing any type of intersecting roads but the GPS showed us plowing through the middle of the Pisgah National Forest instead of following Harmon Den Road. Mapsource doesn't show the road we followed although I do have the track. We eventually came to a Y in the road and took the right fork downhill. That brought us out to Mount Sterling Road and into the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.



    From there, it was an easy gravel road to Davenport Gap and the beginning of paved TN Route 32.
    Last edited by fauster; 05-07-2009 at 03:35 PM.
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    Gumby Rocks! fauster's Avatar
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    Route 32 is the real gem of this route- nothing but tight left and right handers for close to seven miles. And unlike the Dragon, we had it all to ourselves. I'd go back just to run this section again.

    I mentioned that we started the ride at 09:00 because all of the low-speed riding and picture taking ate up a bunch of time. We stopped for a late lunch in the town of Cosby and plotted out the route for the rest of the day.



    Nothing like enjoying baby back ribs with a fine view.



    Based on the time of day, we opted to skip the ride into Cades Cove and instead took the Foothills Parkway down to Route 129. Don't make the same mistake we did - keep off of Route 441 through Gatlinburg! We were baking in our gear as we crawled through tourist hell on a very warm April afternoon.

    Between the tight twisties of Route 32 and the fast sweepers on the Parkway, we were ready to do some Dragon slayin'!



    And Route 28's high speed twisties were the perfect way to decompress from the traffic on the Dragon.

    Once again, time was becoming a factor so we slabbed up Route 74 to the town of Waynesville and then onto Cruso, arriving at 18:00 (6:00 pm). Nine hours and 285 miles to circumnavigate the Smokies,



    Ian, thanks for creating and posting the routes. I could have spent a week exploring all of the good roads in this area!
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    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fauster View Post


    And Route 28's high speed twisties were the perfect way to decompress from the traffic on the Dragon.
    28 is a great road.

    Here's another suggestion if you have time and want to add some miles to the ride. Continue on 28 between Lauda and Franklin -- the twisties continue for miles. After reaching Franklin, take 64 down to Highlands and then continue on 64 east to either 215 or 276 then back up to Waynesville. It's a is a nice run that takes you up and over the Blue Ridge Parkway. The route from Lauda to Waynesville via 28/64/215 is about 120 miles. It's about the same distance if you take 28/64/276 to Waynesville. If you want to lunch at the Pisgah Inn Restaurant at the top of the Blue Ridge Parkway -- it's just a short ride east (towards Asheville) from the Blue Ridge Parkway / 276 junction. I leave Monday to ride them all over again.
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    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fauster View Post
    We eventually came out onto gravel Forest Service roads which took us down the mountan and underneath I-40.

    At some point, we lost the route due to sheer ignorance or a wrong turn. I don't recall seeing any type of intersecting roads but the GPS showed us plowing through the middle of the Pisgah National Forest instead of following Harmon Den Road. Mapsource doesn't show the road we followed although I do have the track. We eventually came to a Y in the road and took the right fork downhill. That brought us out to Mount Sterling Road and into the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
    if you went under I-40 on Harmon Den you were on the right road. the real roads compared to the computer maps don't quite match up, but afaik, there's only one way through from harmon den to mt. sterling road.

    that's usually the way it is up in these parts.

    either that, or you took the left that goes up to cataloochie campground, and then turned right just short of it. i thought that road was closed.

    that TN32 is a sweet one, eh?

    i am really glad you had a good ride.

    ian

  15. #15
    Gumby Rocks! fauster's Avatar
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    We started on Harmon Den Rd, crossing the concrete bridge and kept going until the fork in the road. I took a waypoint at the fork (if you're interested), and going to the right (downhill) definitely got us to Mt. Sterling Rd.

    TN32...

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