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Dragon rider found 30 hours after crashing


Indy Dave

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http://abcnews.go.com/US/survivor-deadly-motorcycle-crash-found-30-hours/story?id=43131557

 

Even with his cell on his person, it was his yelling that got the attention of passing riders.

 

Probably several issues here - but just thinking -

 

Most of us would not have heard him with our ear buds/plugs in as we rode by.

 

I've recently taken to mounting my cell on my bike - in this case, I would not have been able to get to it (assuming it still worked).

 

Makes a good case for SPOT or similar devices. Perhaps even his friend could have been saved with prompt medical attention?

 

 

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From the description of the events, it sounds like the survivor was responsible for the accident. What a horrible situation.

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RIP and condolences.

 

That said, I've seen crashes and deaths on the Dragon and the Cherohala.

Considering I don't live up there and these were at events 2-3x/yr it instilled a respect for the environment that too many don't seem to share.

Sad.

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A sad story for all involved.

 

Watching youtube vids of the Dragon makes one very aware that many who ride there are in over their heads.

 

Ridden it twice. Don't plan on doing it again. BTDT didn't get the T shirt.

 

However, the Cherohala Skyway is always a fun ride..

 

 

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Cherohala is beautiful.

But, I've seen 2 dead on that road (and I've only ridden maybe 30 times) and we had a serious accident from a group member who was a helo pilot at an early El Paseo.

Any road, any time.

Three mc riders killed w/in 1/3 mile of my house.

Any road, any time.

Be careful out there.

 

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Hope all of our west coast members and other's attending our 2017 UnRally read this post. The Dragon, Cherohala and many other roads within a few hours ride from Fontana Dam are challenging!

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Jake introduced me to the Cherohala - beautiful and great road and the RT is at home on it. It was the perfect road to introduce me to the START/FART experience. Jake and I also rode to the start of the Dragon - we had no intention of riding it. When we arrived, the road was already closed for an accident - it was 9 - 10am. We moved on from there to FART and had a blast! :clap::dance::revit:

 

The Cherohala is apparently deceiving - more rider fatalities on it than on The Dragon. This was news to me - it's always on my itinerary if I'm in the neighborhood.

 

Rider info on the Cherohala Skyway: http://www.openroadjourney.com/rides-and-roads/view/the-cherohala-skyway/982

 

As Tim says - any road, any time.

 

Edit: The link details some of the challenges of the road, and notes that local riders have marked the pavement in areas "SLO" as a warning to riders of turns that tighten up. It also notes NOT to rely on curves being marked. And of course, there's always gravel.

 

I rode the Skyway home from the Ashville FART in the chilly rain/fog and it was partially leaf covered when I got on. While I got great pictures. that was a much different ride than I'd had just days before in the sun.

 

 

 

 

Edited by workin' them angels
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Whether to ride the Cherohala or not can depend on the weather.

Fog can be a real constant.

Sometimes it is a no go, others just a wait a while.

Last time we rode we were stupid and pushed up in the fog, "just a bit to see" and quickly couldn't see the bike ahead or the road markings.

Stopped at a pull over and some sports cars told us it was worse (duh) as you went higher. Just then an FJR passed going rapidly uphill, in the left lane :dopeslap: leaned waayy over. He was barely visible for about 1-1/2 seconds. Nuts and stupid. At any moment he could run into someone coming downhill in their proper lane.

It is the riders like this who disregard the environment and other people's safety that complicate the situation.

David Baker wrote a nice piece on the Cherohala for the first El Paseo. Good read.

 

There are so many wonderful roads in the area. Get with someone who has been there and have fun.

 

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The Cherohala is apparently deceiving - more rider fatalities on it than on The Dragon[/b][/i]. This was news to me - it's always on my itinerary if I'm in the neighborhood.

 

Speeds on the Cherohala can be much higher than on the Dragon. 60 mph is easy to do comfortably. Sport bikes have been know to hit over 100.

 

 

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John Ranalletta

The Cherohala isn't particularly difficult; however, it's easy for a novice or first-timer to be distracted. There are a couple of tight turns with adjacent pulloffs. Carrying too much speed and losing concentration on the road can hurt.

 

Here's the story and a video of the rider in the hospital.

 

 

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Hey Ed.

Remember, pre-internet the speed limit on the Dragon was posted 55.

You are correct higher speeds on the Cherohala.

But I've seen some really fast efforts on the Dragon that compound the risk when line/apex/braking are poor.

More margin for certain on the Cherohala, but it has some visual deception and fools folks who misread it.

Best wishes.

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Hope all of our west coast members and other's attending our 2017 UnRally read this post. The Dragon, Cherohala and many other roads within a few hours ride from Fontana Dam are challenging!

 

I think the biggest challenge of eastern US riding compared to western US riding is the poor visibility due to foliage. The Cherohala is not too bad in that regard (I've ridden it a couple of times), but lots of roads in the Appalachians are densely forested. We've got tight twisties and fast sweepers aplenty out west, but while there are many blind turns, you can also often see a few turns ahead. That's rare in the east, in my admittedly limited experience.

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Situations like this are why I carry a SPOT tracker and have breadcrumb tracking turned on. If I failed to check in that night, my wife could check the SPOT web page and see where I am, even if I couldn't use the unit to call for help. As long as the foliage didn't block the satellite signal.

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The Cherohala is apparently deceiving - more rider fatalities on it than on The Dragon. This was news to me - it's always on my itinerary if I'm in the neighborhood.

 

I'm not sure what the numbers are, but the Cherohala is over four times as long, so that may account for part of ti.

 

But, as noted above, the consistent theme is riders getting in over their head . . . sometimes simply trying to make a point. None of us is immune to it, and these tales serve as a valuable reminder that we participate in an activity that encompasses perils.

 

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there is one particularly deceiving decreasing radius turn on the skyway that has taken more than one out. On the BRP, as I understand it, there are no decreasing radius turns, although there are many turns which require lower speeds, with multiple entry/exit points for traffic, often on the curves.

 

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Yes.

And the Cherohala has some parking areas, one in particular, that is a visually deceptive curve/entrance. It is where one of our riders crashed back in the early El Paseo events.

Looks like the road but it isn't.

Foilage is a multiple issue.

Visibility.

Leaves on the road.

Obfuscation of upcoming curves and crash sites.

Plus, US 129 (the dragon) is the "short" route and too many RV/semi trailer nerds use it aware/or not of the fact that there are corners they can't navigate without taking the entire road.

Come around a blind corner and meet one of those, well, you are

screwed.

Throw in the sports cars, bad riders, (I've actuall been behind folks slower than me), immortals, etc. choose yoour time wisely.

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The Cherohala is apparently deceiving - more rider fatalities on it than on The Dragon. This was news to me - it's always on my itinerary if I'm in the neighborhood.

 

I'm not sure what the numbers are, but the Cherohala is over four times as long, so that may account for part of ti.

 

But, as noted above, the consistent theme is riders getting in over their head . . . sometimes simply trying to make a point. None of us is immune to it, and these tales serve as a valuable reminder that we participate in an activity that encompasses perils.

 

Probably the main reason for more fatalities is that speeds are much higher on the Cherohala than the Gap.

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I'm not sure what the numbers are, but the Cherohala is over four times as long, so that may account for part of ti.

 

But, as noted above, the consistent theme is riders getting in over their head . . . sometimes simply trying to make a point. None of us is immune to it, and these tales serve as a valuable reminder that we participate in an activity that encompasses perils.

Not disagreeing, just adding… In this case, a rider getting in over his head may have been the precipitating event, but the problem was greatly exacerbated by a rider following too closely, turning what might have been a one bike accident or even none, into a two bike accident and a death.

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there is one particularly deceiving decreasing radius turn on the skyway that has taken more than one out. On the BRP, as I understand it, there are no decreasing radius turns, although there are many turns which require lower speeds, with multiple entry/exit points for traffic, often on the curves.

 

Some of the roads in NC & TN not only have decreasing radius turns but reversed banking while in the turn (a reverse bank angle, aka the tilt is angled away from the center of curvature). I believe the Dragon has one or two of these in it's 311 curves.

 

Roan Mt, TN has a reverse bank curve that had me going over the center line and into a ditch on the other side of the highway one early Sunday morning. No real damage to me or the bike but I had to flag down a car to help me get the bike out of the ditch. :(

 

 

Edited by Endobobdds
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Whether to ride the Cherohala or not can depend on the weather.

Fog can be a real constant.

Sometimes it is a no go, others just a wait a while.

Last time we rode we were stupid and pushed up in the fog, "just a bit to see" and quickly couldn't see the bike ahead or the road markings.

 

IMG_3285-XL.jpg

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there is one particularly deceiving decreasing radius turn on the skyway that has taken more than one out. On the BRP, as I understand it, there are no decreasing radius turns, although there are many turns which require lower speeds, with multiple entry/exit points for traffic, often on the curves.

 

There are a few on the BRP, but they are rather gentle in comparison to that one you're talking about on the Cherohala. Actually, I can think of a total of two decreasing radius curves on the Skyway, one each direction. The one heading west is the worst.

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Reverse camber curves pop up here and there in NC. However, those are fairly light in distribution (IMO) compared to VA & WV.

 

NC seems to do a much better job over all of grading prior to paving. However, that fact does seem to dull the anticipation for these curves, doesn't it.

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Hope all of our west coast members and other's attending our 2017 UnRally read this post. The Dragon, Cherohala and many other roads within a few hours ride from Fontana Dam are challenging!

 

I think the biggest challenge of eastern US riding compared to western US riding is the poor visibility due to foliage. The Cherohala is not too bad in that regard (I've ridden it a couple of times), but lots of roads in the Appalachians are densely forested. We've got tight twisties and fast sweepers aplenty out west, but while there are many blind turns, you can also often see a few turns ahead. That's rare in the east, in my admittedly limited experience.

 

No Bill, I believe you hit the nail on the head ... one really good time at least. However, to drive that nail home for lessons about riding in the east, a couple other points are needed.

 

The Appalachians are indeed almost completely forested, so open areas are actually the very, very rare exception. But blind curves aren't predominately the result of foliage. Being the 2nd oldest mountain chain on the planet, they are much smaller and less steep than mtns out west, and thus simply lend themselves to building roads up and over them easily. But they roll, undulate, and have very small pockets (coves) and roads running alongside them disappear regularly.

 

Their history is what caused so many roads to be built and built so tightly. Being perpendicular to early trade/expansion routes across the US, the were settled a very long time ago. However,those settlements became pockets of almost completely isolated mountain communities as the trade routes and methods evolved. Thus, small inter-community and even inter-homestead roads (i.e., goat paths) became the norm. Many/most never went away over the years. Eventually most were modernized in pavement but they were never redesigned for speed or higher traffic volume ... just no need for it.

 

Therefore, a large portion of the many, many roads in the Appalachians are little more than a series of blind curves. So many of them are thrilling, but dangerous, yet not impossible to enjoy if one tunes one's abilities to that kind of riding. Sharpening one's visual habits and focus, increasing one's understanding of the road/geography, and practicing quick reactions must take priority over quest for speed expressed in mph.

 

So, the secondary point is ... being in proximity to many population centers makes for some crowded riding on the well-known roads like the Dragon, BRP, and even the Cherohala. (That said, if you show up on a Mon/Tues/Wed morning, you may find yourself riding the Dragon nearly alone!) Thankfully, there are far more of these kinds of paved roads than most people have a clue about. Dense is the correct word to describe the distribution. The lesson is to find other roads to ride on the weekends.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Sad story. IMHO plenty of riders overestimate their abilities while underestimating the conditions at hand... The Cherohala and Dragon are cool roads to ride but one must take into consideration the weather and road conditions. Personally I prefer the wide open roads out West...

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