Review Back of the Dragon

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Whine not Walnuts, May 16, 2021.

  1. Whine not Walnuts

    Whine not Walnuts Active Member

    Mar 14, 2017
    waitin for my check
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    +311 / 0 / -0
    There are many great roads along the Appalachians with the Tail of the Dragon (TOTD), The Snake and the Back of the Dragon (BOTD) perhaps the most well known.

    For the shear duration of focus the TOTD being 11 miles long with really no large expanses of straight chutes is very special but after running the BOTD for a couple of days and talking with the man that put the BOTD on the map, Highway 16 between Marion and Tazwell in Virginia is also a very special road. The biggest and most notable being the 55 mph speed limit.

    In Virginia an unmarked road in a non residential area has a 55 mph speed limit but as there are some areas with homes and or stores on the route I thought the limit was 35. Talking with Larry Davidson today I learned that no, the entire stretch is 55 and buddy if you can go 55 on the entire route than F1 is the place you should be.

    Larry grew up in the BOTD area, served in the US Armed Forces from 1967 to 1999 and upon his last salute he moved "home." What he found greatly affected him as the area had taken a sharp downturn through the years and when coal became a bad word in the early 2000's the bottom dropped out.

    I also chatted with a a school friend of Larry that works for him in the "Back of the Dragon Store'" which is a million plus dollar investment by Larry in the area he loves. His friend, sorry I am lousy with names but I think it was Ted, told me Larry showed up years back with a duffel bag of some flyers and t-shirts of this "dragon" thing.

    The BOTD has three mountains that you travel on and Larry said the road has everything that one could want for a motorcycle or a sports car. As he spent years in Germany riding motorcycles he knows a pretty good road when he rides it. You want to see what type of of torque your car has, there are lots of uphill hairpins. Are your brakes up the task? Those same hairpins are on both side of the mountain and did I say 55 mph speed limit? For handling there are numerous tightly spaced and wickedly sharp corners to test you. Throw in some nice banked chicanes as well.

    I will definitely be going back. I can hit the BOTD in 3.5 hours from my house where the TOTD is around 5 1/2 and there are "twisties" galore I want to explore in the surrounding area.

    Great people and a GREAT road. Say high to Larry for me.

Share This Page