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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-05-2013, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
StriderJim's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Hickory, North Carolina
Posts: 221
4 day ride (Dragon-BRP)

Just back from 4 days on the road. Was intended to be 5,
but rain forecasts and a worn rear tire made it seem
advisable to do a 500 mile day back home yesterday.

A friend and I left Hickory Wednesday for the Cherahola
Skyway-Dragon loop. I have little interest in the Dragon,
because of the crowds and subsequent risk of being taken out
by an errant rider. But I thought a Wednesday early in the
season might be OK, and it turned out fine.

Mark and I had no one pushing us from behind and only ran up
on one pair of riders near the end--who quickly let us by.

We camped at Kickstand Lodge, which I recommend if you're in the area.
It's on Hwy 28 at Stecoah, and only a few miles from Fontana Dam.

Thursday AM we headed back to Cherokee to ride the entire
BRP and Skyline Drive. We knew a section north of Asheville
was closed, but figured we'd take the detour around that.

Almost immediately, we ran into really dense fog.
Visibility as low as 100 ft. But the forest was quite
beautiful in the haze and, as there was almost no other
traffic, we continued on---still making reasonable time at
about 35 mph avg.

We got to Asheville and dropped back down to I-40 for the
detour but, because of the fog we could see on the peaks,
rode back to Hickory for the night---to start again the next

So, Friday morning we headed up US321 to Blowing
Rock--knowing there was fog predicted, yet hoping for the
best. But the fog actually came down the mountain to get
us, so we turned around at the Green Park Inn and retraced
our steps.

Undaunted, we rode US64/90 accross to Statesville, up I-77
to Fancy Gap, and hit the BRP again there. Encountered no
more fog for the rest of the trip--though it was overcast
much of the time.

Rode from Fancy Gap to the northern terminus of the Parkway
at Waynesboro, VA. Camped in an over-priced commercial
campground ($26+tax, per tent), and set out the next morning
(Saturday) on the short 3-hour Skyline Drive ride.

The southern half of the Skyline has been deserted in the
times I've ridden it. The northen half can be quite
congested--though it's always been weekends that I've been

When we got to Front Royal, I noticed that my rear tire
(Metzler 880-180/65B16) had worn significantly since I
started the ride (total miles on tire now, 13,000) and, with
the rain/storms weather report for Sunday (today), I decided
not to pursue the curvy mountain routes we had planned and
just take I-64/81/77/40 back to Hickory.

Here's the only photo(s) I have from the trip.

I ride the BRP so much that it rarely occurs to me to take
pictures. I like this pic of my bike, though.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-05-2013, 12:08 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dahlonega, Ga
Posts: 1,483
Sounds like a good time. I used to live by Spruce Pine, I know how the fog is.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-05-2013, 12:19 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Burlington, NC
Posts: 2,122
Sounds like a good time, envious. Ridden the same roads several times, hit some fog too. https://www.roadglide.org/showthread....uds#post321289

Totally agree with your decision to head home on a worn rear, going down on the last day would've ruined the whole trip for sure.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-05-2013, 01:37 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Louisville, Ky.
Posts: 1,929
Sounds like you had a great trip but you may have went a few days too soon.They were supposed to open the Blue Ridge yesterday and remove the detour. Course the weather may have delayed that a day or two. I love the area and try to get down there a few times a year.

I rode the entire Blue Ridge last year but it took me 2 weekends to do it because of weather as well. We started at the northern end and got as far as Mayberry, uh I mean Mt. Airy and the remnants of Hurricane Issac chased us out of the mountains. I returned a week later and starting from the southern end finished it. Went again to Mt. Airy and spent the night. Then doubled back and rode some of the roads off the Parkway. Incredible!

There is a lot of good riding in this country but few can match the riding in Deals Gap, Maggie Valley and the entire Blue Ridge area. You can't make a wrong turn one road being better then the one before!

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