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Thread: Riding the Blue Ridge

  1. #16
    The good you do goes on.
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    The BRP is wonderful riding, the dragon is a fools circus

    Our family has a home near both so I do a lot of riding on the BRP and general area. The BRP is wonderful, the overlooks are good, lots of small towns with good restaurants, friendly people, lots of bikes on the parkway. You will average about 30 mph, all things considered, this from someone who has spent years riding all sections of it with everything from a Ducati Hypermotard to a 1200GSA to full dresser hogs. The dragon is a nice road, nothing spectacular for the area, IMHO there are way too many bikes in a small area, I've personally witnessed three accidents and seen the bodies from a fourth accident. there are a great many better roads, in fact many of them cross over the BRP up and down the mountains to the small towns. Take rain gear, slow down and have fun.

  2. #17
    just hangin' out 2bikemike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    I suspect more than a few of us who live in NC would tell you the BRP is best outside of tourist season and either before the leaves appear or after they're down.
    Views depend on clear weather so cold high pressure weather is best for that purpose. Summer humidity and coal plant bad air coming from TN/KY obscure and haze over views in the summer especially....
    Just to be fair, North Carolina and Virginia both have their share of coal fired electrical plants. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php...S._Coal_Plants
    keep it light enough to travel.....
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  3. #18
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
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    I just got back from the BRP. We rode it on a Wednesday morning from the south end at Smoky Mtn Park to Blowing Rock. We saw no more than 25 cars the whole day, and maybe saw 15 bikes, BUT, it was overcast and cold and foggy and rainy for 1/2 the ride!

    Was never held up by cars for more than the distance to the next pull off...and was only passed by one set of sport bikes. We had the place to ourselves most of the day.

    Smoky Park was the same way...just a handfull of people at the top and very few cars on ther road.

    Maybe it waqs because it the was the week after Memorial Day, and everyone was gone?

    Blowing Rock is a cool town with alot of really nice private owned motels...worth the stay or stop.

    Oh yeh, we rode Tail of the Dragon the previous day. It was raining that day too. We had the road to ourselves that day too!
    Mike Davis
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  4. #19
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    Yeah we use coal in NC. But what comes out of our local stacks doesn't go over the mountains- that stuff is coming from KY/TN where a significant number of plants continue to resist upgrades to "best current" technology to reduce particulate output. Got nothing against coal- all energy generation methods have issues, even wind and solar- but not doing affordable improvments is ridiculous. My electric bill is about half of my cable bil and I don't have anything fancy on cable- just basic digital and ISP service, no phone, no movie chanels. etc etc. Emission imporvments are't going to do anything substantial to my bill.. I've spent a lot of my life near nuke plants and fished in their cooling lakes - my concerns for those things are the still occuring human errors- like an untrained contractor that mis-installed all the containment head bolts in our neaby plant a while ago- at least it got caught and fixed..
    NC has sued states upwind from us over the coal plant issue.

    Re the weekend drive- before school season ends and when its not a major holiday weekend both the BRP and Dragon can be "low occupancy". Which is why locals like Tues mornings early or late in the year. You really won't like the crowds in Smokey in the middle of the summer when rude out of towners often stop and block roads completely to view a deer like its some kind of rare animal rather than a road rat- despite signs telling folks to pull over if they want to stop and watch..

  5. #20
    Registered User cehlbeck's Avatar
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    Funny, but we rode the dragon about an hour or so behind Mike and it was a Tuesday morning. The parking lot at the The Deal's Gap Resort was PACKED! Even guys with EZups working on bikes. But the actual road itself had light traffic.
    Chris Ehlbeck
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  6. #21
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    When crowds are at the Dragon the lot is always full. The show there is probably the best thing about the Dragon..
    Timing- well a lot of the out of towners come there specifically to play on it because they read about it someplace. Often whole clubs from urban N places or OH, IL,,,And their start time is around 7:30 AM. Problem with that is that there is still some damp on many of the curves most of the year at that morning hour.
    As it has gotten better known, crowds go up along with accidents and fatalities and that's what's drawing law enforcement there. 2 transportable accidents per weekend day on average now, almost all the result of rider error / lack of skill though a couple well known ones by center line crossers coming other way..
    Like I said, there are plenty of better play roads here. The Snake, for example, can give your skills a better workout- lot of switchbacks on slopes many with gravel washed in early in the year when rains are more common. A good place to tune up for riding the Alps passes. Also so many unamed and unknown roads that just exploring can yield some very nice stuff..

  7. #22
    aka Johnny Hammerlane bullet's Avatar
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    My favorite stretch of the BRP...

    ... has got to be the 10 miles or so through the Peaks of Otter area (south of the rest area/visitor centre). The pavement is perfect and the hills and curves are sublime!
    Whenever I'm on the Parkway, I look forward in anticipation of the Peaks of Otter.

    Deal's Gap has it's time and place and Memorial Day weekend isn't either one. There are just too many people to make riding the road enjoyable. There is too much watching out for the other guy to have any fun.

    As a side note, picture this: the parking lot at the Crossroads of Time, it's hot and I'm hanging out in the shade, cooling off with a coke and watching the goings-on. Sport bikes are ripping up the slope northbound towards the state line.

    Out of the din surrounding me I hear the distinct sound of a helmet hitting then rolling along the asphalt. I turn my head immediately and see that it was no accident. A guy has tossed his own lid and is now cursing his girlfriend: "this is the last time I EVER take you riding with me!" She replies with a sobbing voice:"you never pay me any attention. All you want to do is hang out with your friends."

    Now, I'm a single guy so I have to struggle to keep myself from howling at this poor sap who has obviously put himself in this unenviable situation. Coca-cola nearly spews from my nose. I think to myself (which is my favorite way): there's not a chance in hell that I'm riding on Deal's Gap this day. I got on my RT, got the hell outta there, and headed along 28 towards Bryson City and Sylva and hopped onto the BRP.

    Peace. Solitude. No tumbling helmets. No nagging girlfriends. Just heaven on earth!
    Last edited by Bullet; 06-15-2012 at 06:11 AM. Reason: cuz

  8. #23
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    I've ridden the Skyline Drive/BRP about 10 times. It was the highlight of my season when I lived back east. Speed limit of 45 mph (has it changed?) was broken within about 30 seconds of entry and stayed broken until I exited the Parkway in Cherokee TN.

    A great road on which to wear out a set of tires. Had the odd interview with rangers but I rationalized any tickets I received as the cost of admission. We used to call it Disneyland for Motorcycles.

    Point of interest: Any time I came upon a long line of cars driving slowly, they were inevitably being held up by a Gold Wing or two.

  9. #24
    aka Johnny Hammerlane bullet's Avatar
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    I recall getting the finger from a bunch of lollygaggers on Harleys.
    I passed them, where it safe to do so, and a car appeared from around the next curve when I was about halfway past the potato-mashers. I did what anyone with a decent bike would do. I got on the gas and gave 'er. No problems at all.
    A little further down the road I pulled into an overlook and shortly thereafter, along came the Harleys. They saw me in the overlook and gave me the one-finger salute.
    Only one thing to do from there on: saddle-up and do it again!
    Last edited by Bullet; 06-19-2012 at 08:58 PM. Reason: cuz
    It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it.

  10. #25
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    I admit to occasionally passing the loud piped bastitches in places that might be questionable at times. Or at least by them.

    At our annual Triumph rally in Maggie Valley, we have been known to pass them en-mass , and that really makes them nervous. So much road wiggling and so little riding skill on their part.

  11. #26
    Frieden mit uns allen drummer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet View Post
    I recall getting the finger from a bunch of lollygaggers on Harley's.
    I passed them, where it safe to do so, and a car appeared from around the next curve when I was about halfway past the potato-mashers. I did what anyone with a decent bike would do. I got on the gas and gave 'er. No problems at all.
    A little further down the road I pulled into an overlook and shortly thereafter, here came the Harleys. They saw me in the overlook and gave me the one-finger salute.
    Only one thing to do from there on: do it again!
    Bullet, I believe that was the 20% wave you saw.
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  12. #27
    aka Johnny Hammerlane bullet's Avatar
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    Yeah. It takes all kinds.
    I laughed it off. Anyone who would flip the bird to someone with obviously superior riding skills and bike has got to be a complete moron.
    Why get angry with an ignoramus? Pass them, twice, and get on with the ride!
    Last edited by Bullet; 06-19-2012 at 08:59 PM. Reason: cuz
    It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it.

  13. #28
    mohan0 mohan0's Avatar
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    Blue Ridge Next Week!

    Heading down next week, weather looks good. Firist time so I am looking forward to the ride. Should be there mid week hoping to aviod the crowds anything I should not miss?

  14. #29
    just hangin' out 2bikemike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohan0 View Post
    Heading down next week, weather looks good. Firist time so I am looking forward to the ride. Should be there mid week hoping to aviod the crowds anything I should not miss?
    Be sure to check out Mabry Mill and the Meadows of Dan, VA area. Nice country store there along with a neat candy factory.
    keep it light enough to travel.....
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  15. #30
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohan0 View Post
    ... anything I should not miss?
    Yeah, don't miss a corner. You'll either meet a cliff face or you'll be learning to fly.

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