Dragon Runs

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Whine not Walnuts, May 12, 2018.

  1. Whine not Walnuts

    Whine not Walnuts MINI Alliance Ambassador

    Mar 14, 2017
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    I was at this years MOTD but with being staff in a vendor tent did not get allot of road time in. Anybody interested in getting some Dragon runs in over the next several weeks?

    There are a couple of us out of Raleigh that can go during the week. Takes us about 6 hours to get there and the rewards for driving that distance cannot really be measured in miles but rather smiles.
     
  2. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Sounds fun, wish I could go!
     
  3. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    I was in a similar situation. I would be interested but would need to schedule the time off work (which I can). Also @vetsvette and I had discussed hitting the back of the Dragon in VA and/or the loop in GA. When are you thinking?
     
  4. Whine not Walnuts

    Whine not Walnuts MINI Alliance Ambassador

    Mar 14, 2017
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    Fuquay Varina, NC
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    Both vetsvette and I are retired and of the two of us I am the most flexible. IMO there is nothing with the intensity of the Tail of the Dragon, TOTD. The Back of the Dragon, BOTD, is allot longer but there are only two mountains involved which is where the twisties are. The Snake is not the far from the BOTD but it also has only two sections that are good. I also know some good flat routes the go around Boone from the Snake and then between Boone and Wilksboro.There are some good runs going from the TOTD to Asheville via the BRPW. There should also be some good runs from Cashiers/Highlands into North Georgia.

    So many twisties up here. Yes you folks living in sunny but flat Florida, we are pretty lucky up this way.
     
  5. Whine not Walnuts

    Whine not Walnuts MINI Alliance Ambassador

    Mar 14, 2017
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    The Crazy Ass that finished it.
    Fuquay Varina, NC
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    For those not familiar with some of the great roads in the Appalachians:

    Tale of the Dragon (TOTD):
    The Tail spans two States, approximately .6 miles in North Carolina from the Deals Gap Motorcycle Motel to the Tennessee line and then 11 miles in Tennessee. It is the most well known of the three roads. The TOTD does not have mountains involved but there are some minor vertical elevation changes. Several of the hairpins are banked due to these vertical elevation change. There are no houses or farms on the TOTD and there are no crossroads. There are other banked areas but not to the degree that I found on the BOTD. There are numerous paved pull-off areas along the route. The road is well paved, well marked and has a 30 MPH speed limit. Of the three, the TOTD is the most intense with almost constant turns until the overlook at MM # 9 on the Tennessee side.

    Back of the Dragon (BOTD): The locals like to say the BOTD is 32 miles long. Well that is the distance from Marion (off Route 81 in SW Virginia) to Tazewell but there are allot of "country roads" not twisties in that distance. The twisties are at three mountains that you cross while on the road. There are basically two runs of 5 miles and one of 4 miles. There are several very tight switchbacks where you come to almost a complete stop due to the steep incline and the corner. The mountain sections are well paved, well marked and many areas are nicely banked leading into the turns, something the Snake does not really have and the TOTD although banked I did not find to the same degree that the BOTD has. The curves start as soon as you leave Marion and the posted speed limit is 35. It increases to 45 for short section and then there are no speed signs posted in many areas. From what can be found on the State webpage, secondary roads have a speed limit of 55 if not posted but a residential area, that the BOTD has several of is 25 if not marked. There are several sections of limited crossroads and there are also several areas of homes and farms. Pull-offs are limited and are not paved.

    The Snake: As with the BOTD the locals like to say the road is 33 miles long but similar to the BOTD, the twisties are basically confined to two mountains with runs of approximately 5 and 7 miles. The most western section is comprised of several miles of some really poor roads. The Snake has a very sharp/short hairpin. The road signage is not as good as either the BOTD or the TOTD. The posted speed limit is 35 in the twisties with some 45 areas between the two good runs. Similar to the BOTD, there are several areas with limited crossroads and there are also several areas of homes and farms. Pull-offs are very limited and not paved.

    All three have large trees, cliffs and rock walls along with sobering make-shift memorials to those that started out to have fun but ended up never coming home.
     

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