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Thread: Us421

  1. #1
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    Us421

    US421 from Bristol, TN (on I-81 at the TN/VA line) southeast to Sugar Mill on US321.

    I dare ya.

    This road is not only technical, it's flat-ass dangerous. It was my introduction to mountain riding. I did it on a V-Strom 1000. I would not attempt it on the Valkyrie I've been riding since (on which I was confident doing The Tail with my wife up behind me) and MAY someday try it on my recently-acquired 2005 K1200LT, but probably not.

    Outside shoulders are drops of hundreds of feet through trees, no guardrails; inside of curves are vertical rock. Right turns have clinker crumbs scattered in the lane from four-wheelers getting tires off the pavement onto the clinker-ballasted shoulders. Violent elevation changes and switch-backs you couldn't put a self-respecting picnic table across sideways. Two mountain ranges, two decompression valleys along the way.

    Sugar Mill is just a spot-on-the-map intersection. The nearest town of substance is Boone, about five miles east on 321. About 10 miles past Boone is US221, another high-tech road north. Somewhere up there is a place called Copper Ridge where there is an exchange with the Blue Ridge Parkway.
    Last edited by Oink; 03-03-2013 at 03:28 PM.

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    Seems you know the roads we use around here to get to the grocery store Guardrails? Those are dispensed politically with no relevance to "whats over the edge". We've got this one local road(a 3 digit local road) near me in another KY county, the county judge must be related to the guard rail company because recently they put up more in a 10 mile stretch than we have on the "US" level roads that are on each end of it. Moral of that story is, you cannot judge a road by its guardrails.
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

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    Flatlander

    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    Seems you know the roads we use around here to get to the grocery store Guardrails? Those are dispensed politically with no relevance to "whats over the edge". We've got this one local road(a 3 digit local road) near me in another KY county, the county judge must be related to the guard rail company because recently they put up more in a 10 mile stretch than we have on the "US" level roads that are on each end of it. Moral of that story is, you cannot judge a road by its guardrails.
    Okay, Snuffy Smiff -- I was only a flatlanr tourister back then, but tell me -- any good ridin roads off I-75 between Knoxville and London? Been ove that stretch a couple of times in cages and the mountains and valleys -- and ravines -- look enticing.

  4. #4
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oink View Post
    US421 from Bristol, TN (on I-81 at the TN/VA line) southeast to Sugar Mill on US321.

    I dare ya..
    You were close to a more challenging road. Take Rt 80 (north, I guess-left) from Exit 24 of I-81 in Virginia and ride it to Rt 19. You can continue on Rt 80 to Breaks Interstate Park on the VA/KY line. The road is only about 15 or so miles but the middle has a steep mountain with hairpin curves with no shoulder at all. The road is good and normally clean but it is a real challenge.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  5. #5
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    yea my wife likes 421, gives her time to relax after we have fun riding on the real tight roads.

    Guard rails are killers, I will take my chances sliding down a slope. Although I have no plans to engage either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oink View Post
    Okay, Snuffy Smiff -- I was only a flatlanr tourister back then, but tell me -- any good ridin roads off I-75 between Knoxville and London? Been ove that stretch a couple of times in cages and the mountains and valleys -- and ravines -- look enticing.
    I ain't "Snuffy" but am one of the resident curmugeons on here!
    I'll share a great ride that's above London: Get off in London(KY) and take 30 until you get to 421 then 421 N to McKee,KY then 89 to Irvine,KY & then several other roads to choose-if new to the area I'd ride toward Red River Gorge/Natural Bridge St Pk. (89-this ones a Jewel!!! to ride & spring/fall are the best times in these mtns.. London /Knoxville hard to say but towards Cumberland Gap maybe the best direction.
    Osbornk: I'll buy the gas for your scoot if you'll pay for the BBQ?
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  7. #7
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    Love KY ridin'

    I recently moved to the thriving metropolis of "North Middletown" a few years back from the Milwaukee area. The roads were definitely one of the reasons I chose KY for my retarded years. I have an RT and had a GSA previously - not sure which I liked more! Give a holler when ya'll get around the Gorge for a cup a joe!

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    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oink View Post
    US421 from Bristol, TN (on I-81 at the TN/VA line) southeast to Sugar Mill on US321.

    I dare ya.

    This road is not only technical, it's flat-ass dangerous. It was my introduction to mountain riding. I did it on a V-Strom 1000. I would not attempt it on the Valkyrie I've been riding since (on which I was confident doing The Tail with my wife up behind me) and MAY someday try it on my recently-acquired 2005 K1200LT, but probably not.

    Outside shoulders are drops of hundreds of feet through trees, no guardrails; inside of curves are vertical rock. Right turns have clinker crumbs scattered in the lane from four-wheelers getting tires off the pavement onto the clinker-ballasted shoulders. Violent elevation changes and switch-backs you couldn't put a self-respecting picnic table across sideways. Two mountain ranges, two decompression valleys along the way.

    Sugar Mill is just a spot-on-the-map intersection. The nearest town of substance is Boone, about five miles east on 321. About 10 miles past Boone is US221, another high-tech road north. Somewhere up there is a place called Copper Ridge where there is an exchange with the Blue Ridge Parkway.
    That road is known in the SE as the Snake. Best parts are from Mt.City to Lake Holston. You may not want a guard rail. When the lady on an ST1100 got drilled by a Road King with target fixation, she went over one of those embankments and down maybe 100 ft. ATGATT allowed her to walk right back up.IMAGE_023-S.jpg Like the man said, VA80 is excellent and so is 16 from Hungry Mother State Park to Tazewell (they call it the back of the dragon). Lots of other cool roads in that area. Ya need to take Dramamine.
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  9. #9
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    Out of Mountain City I prefer 91 north to 58 east. Of course, a stop at the General Store in Shady Valley for a hamburger is a good time to stretch your legs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    Out of Mountain City I prefer 91 north to 58 east. Of course, a stop at the General Store in Shady Valley for a hamburger is a good time to stretch your legs.


    Now... what's the big deal about the Snake? Heck, that's actually a great twisty road in world class condition.

    I can take you on a few really good roads right nearby there that will flat roll your socks up and down.... real local stuff.

    Ian

  11. #11
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post


    Now... what's the big deal about the Snake? Heck, that's actually a great twisty road in world class condition.

    I can take you on a few really good roads right nearby there that will flat roll your socks up and down.... real local stuff.

    Ian
    I live and grew up within an hour of the "Snake" and within 5 minutes from the "Back of the Dragon". I spent over 20 years cursing the crooked mountain roads of Southwestern Virginia as I drove over them handling insurance claims. I have mapped out 7 day trips that originate from the McDonalds in Marion, Virginia that will be added to the Smyth County Tourism website under trails(http://www.visitvirginiamountains.com/ ) within the next few days. The "Snake" and "Back of the Dragon" are a small part of some of the rides. You will be able to ride through these mountains for a week and have a different great ride every day. You will be on roads an outsider would never find.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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    These are all more fun than the Dragon- this thread should be a required read for those wanting to find more of the really good stuff we've got in this part of the world.
    As you guys know, most of these, unlike the Dragon, have no significant traffic or leo presence virtually all of the time. If one is foolish enough to accidentally explore off road, you might be out there for a while...

  13. #13
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    These are all more fun than the Dragon- this thread should be a required read for those wanting to find more of the really good stuff we've got in this part of the world.
    As you guys know, most of these, unlike the Dragon, have no significant traffic or leo presence virtually all of the time. If one is foolish enough to accidentally explore off road, you might be out there for a while...
    Most of the riders I know avoid the Dragon. We tend to run the 28's. SC,GA and NC 28 from Walhalla to Deals Gap. Then we either "endure" the Dragon and come back on the Cherohala (IMO a much more dangerous road than either the Snake or Dragon) or divert to a long list of back roads. Once a road gets a name, the Diamondback, Back of the Dragon, Dragon, Devil's Triangle, Snake, and Cherohala Skyway, the LEO presence climbs dramatically. What IMO is even worse is they attract those packs of rolling road blocks known as cruisers.
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  14. #14
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHEWBACCA View Post
    Most of the riders I know avoid the Dragon. We tend to run the 28's. SC,GA and NC 28 from Walhalla to Deals Gap. Then we either "endure" the Dragon and come back on the Cherohala (IMO a much more dangerous road than either the Snake or Dragon) or divert to a long list of back roads. Once a road gets a name, the Diamondback, Back of the Dragon, Dragon, Devil's Triangle, Snake, and Cherohala Skyway, the LEO presence climbs dramatically. What IMO is even worse is they attract those packs of rolling road blocks known as cruisers.
    Since we live very near them, my buddies and I ride the Back of the Dragon and the Snake probably 8-12 times per year during the week (usually as part of a longer ride or to get somewhere) and we very seldom see a LEO or encounter much traffic. Most of the slow cruisers seem to get out on the weekends.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  15. #15
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    Since we live very near them, my buddies and I ride the Back of the Dragon and the Snake probably 8-12 times per year during the week (usually as part of a longer ride or to get somewhere) and we very seldom see a LEO or encounter much traffic. Most of the slow cruisers seem to get out on the weekends.
    When that crash pic was taken there were two Tn State Troopers at the first hairpin east of Shady Valley and two more at the store. That year I saw as many as six at the intersection at the store. The following year they pulled the special funding that allowed the troopers to have the extra coverage. Since that time I have only seen county sheriffs and maybe one or troopers in several years. I have never seen a single patrol car of any kind on 16 outside of Marion. The other named roads I mentioned almost always have LEO's on them on the weekends.
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