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Thread: Back of the Dragon

  1. #16
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    The US Rockies DO not have hairpins, there are a few in the east. But I only know one paved switchback in the US. If you can negotiate a corner in 3rd gear or higher, it is not a hairpin, if you have to use 2nd, with a lot of clutch modulation, or first, it might be a switchback.

    Too many engineers by the time most of the current western roads were built, the east has some older roads designed by horses. Now go to Europe, and that is where the goats did the surveying, and you need to do a "Linda Blair" head swivel to look for oncoming traffic
    It seems to be a common term used for any change in direction ...we call them nice sweepers. Had lot's of folks warning us of the dangerous "switchbacks" on Beartooth Pass...we got to Red Lodge and she was giving me the

    Helen says if you can see dirt or grass in between the lanes...it's not a switchback. Some of the turns we found in W Virginia/NC required first or second to make the uphill/downhill swing. Arkansas has a few in this class as well.
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  2. #17
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    .............

    Pffog mentioned it is not a hairpin unless you have to use 2nd. We have some 1st gear hairpins that really gets your attention. I don't know why they list maximum safe speed of 15 MPH when you can't go that fast around the curve if you try.
    Done 16 several times, and like I said, hairpins yes, switchbacks no. Never saw a1st gear corner on it, unless I was following a cruiser at the time.

  3. #18
    Moondog
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    The US Rockies DO not have hairpins, there are a few in the east. But I only know one paved switchback in the US. If you can negotiate a corner in 3rd gear or higher, it is not a hairpin, if you have to use 2nd, with a lot of clutch modulation, or first, it might be a switchback.

    Too many engineers by the time most of the current western roads were built, the east has some older roads designed by horses. Now go to Europe, and that is where the goats did the surveying, and you need to do a "Linda Blair" head swivel to look for oncoming traffic
    According to who?

  4. #19
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    Done 16 several times, and like I said, hairpins yes, switchbacks no. Never saw a1st gear corner on it, unless I was following a cruiser at the time.
    It depends on the direction you are going. If you're going the direction where the sharpest curves are on the downhill side, you don't need first gear. It also depends on how the bike is geared. One of mine is geared so that I need first where I can use second with the other one.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  5. #20
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moondog View Post
    According to who?
    The only one that matters ..........................me

    And like all opinions mine is not wrong, because it is mine, yours may be different than mine, but just as correct because it is yours.

    If they can claim 318 "turns" on the GAP, and make it stick, I can have my rating system. (hard to count 250 actual corners on the GAP)

    BTW this is my definition of a WIDE switchback, so it is almost a hairpin.


  6. #21
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    I found my first switchback in the US in WV last summer. I was on a small road passing through Lost River State Park. There are plenty of hairpins throughout the Smokies, e.g. NC, VA, WV... You can't compare the Alps with the Smoky Mountains. Comparing switchbacks in the Alps to the sweeper/hairpins of the Smoky's is like comparing Trial riding with motocross... And if you haven't RIDDEN switchbacks, you DON'T get it... waste of time trying to explain it... I've been lucky enough to have ridden both. Thankfully I live in northern Va and get to experience the Smoky's on a regular basis. Let's see, weekend in WV, $200. Two weeks in the Alps, $9000... You be the judge of the value!
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  7. #22
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    But endless roads like that pic you post is why we keep returning to the Alps. Horse meat is cheaper than steak, but I still like steak as often as I can get one.


    BTW is that looking back at Arabba?

  8. #23
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    But endless roads like that pic you post is why we keep returning to the Alps. Horse meat is cheaper than steak, but I still like steak as often as I can get one.


    BTW is that looking back at Arabba?
    But most of us are worn out after four or five days of curves and are ready to go home and recharge. We have very few straight stretches on the western end of West Virginia like gunnert's picture shows on his end of the state. He is on the level end.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  9. #24
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    If you're camping, Hungry Mother State Park just outside Marion on Rt 16 is a good choice. It's about 30 seconds from the first good curve.
    Thanks, yes, we are camping, and don't want/need to pay for hook ups and whatever, not to mention listen to someone's A/C running in their motor home while we tent it the next space over. Our goal is from the Lancaster, PA area to burn down 81 then west into some fun roads on day one, camp, then hit Deals Gap, 16 and whatever else looks good, as we head north on day two. Spend the night at a second campground up near VA/WV, (depeding on route) and day 3 take the back roads home as long as we have time for, then cut back over to 81 and get home before dark as we all have to work Monday. Not nearly enough time for this trip but with the National and family time, I don't get many ride vacation days.

  10. #25
    Certifiable User Mike_Philippens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    But endless roads like that pic you post is why we keep returning to the Alps.
    And for me, it's only a day driving! Next year I come to the US and check out the famous Dragon.

    What I see in the picture reminds me of the Alpe D'Huez, which is quite steep and there are a few tricky turns. Last year, I was an escort for a group of people who did a charity run up and down the Alpe, so I did 100km up and down that day. Wonderful! I'm still smiling...
    -=- if you always see the road ahead of you, it's not worth the trip -=-

  11. #26
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    But endless roads like that pic you post is why we keep returning to the Alps. Horse meat is cheaper than steak, but I still like steak as often as I can get one.


    BTW is that looking back at Arabba?
    Yep, good eyes. Took the photo from a ski lift. We spent 13 days in the Alps last year, plan on going back in 2012 for at LEAST two weeks...

  12. #27
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Philippens View Post
    And for me, it's only a day driving! Next year I come to the US and check out the famous Dragon.

    What I see in the picture reminds me of the Alpe D'Huez, which is quite steep and there are a few tricky turns. Last year, I was an escort for a group of people who did a charity run up and down the Alpe, so I did 100km up and down that day. Wonderful! I'm still smiling...
    Mike the Dragon is like Stelvio... you have to do it but... the surrounding roads are a hoot. For my money I'd go to West Virginia. The back roads are as good as they get on the east coast and traffic is non-existent.

  13. #28
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    Mike the Dragon is like Stelvio... you have to do it but... the surrounding roads are a hoot. For my money I'd go to West Virginia. The back roads are as good as they get on the east coast and traffic is non-existent.
    The best way to WV from the Dragon is across 16 and the Back of the Dragon. You end up one little ridge from the WV line.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  14. #29
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    Yep, good eyes. Took the photo from a ski lift. We spent 13 days in the Alps last year, plan on going back in 2012 for at LEAST two weeks...
    Been '07 since I spent most the summer there. In '09 wife and I did the Schwarzwald/Alsace/Vosges regions. Last fall did Tuscany, Avruzzo, Lazio, and Umbria regions of Italy. Talk of getting tired of corners, try that region of Italy! Wife almost fainted when a week and a half in I mentioned I was almost getting tired of corners, a nice dinner and bottle of wine fixed that though

    Yea, Mike, the GAP is destination road, but compared to what you have in your back yard, I am afraid you might be disappointed. Not near the elevation of an Alps pass, and much more like the Ballon d'Alsace, or Schwarzwald areas. Lots of entertaining roads BESIDE the GAP to ride down there.

  15. #30
    Certifiable User Mike_Philippens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    Mike the Dragon is like Stelvio... you have to do it but... the surrounding roads are a hoot. For my money I'd go to West Virginia. The back roads are as good as they get on the east coast and traffic is non-existent.
    Well, I've planned a 3 month tour of the US, and I've decided to spend some time in the area surrounding the Dragon. I start in New York en go down to Key West first, so I pass the Dragon. I'll take my time and try to do the best motorcycle roads in the US, as long as they're on my route (which is flexible).

    I'll also try to educate the people over here a bit more about traveling by bike in the US. I bring my own bike since the shipping and insurance is even cheaper than renting a bike for a month. Also, when Dutch people think of the US by bike, the only thing they think of is Route 66. While it's not at all bad, it's not the best route you can take in the US. By spreading the word about how nice it is to drive around in the US and how easy it is (I hope) to bring you own ride), you might see more crazy Dutchmen on their own bikes.
    -=- if you always see the road ahead of you, it's not worth the trip -=-

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