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John Ranalletta

Another rider miscalculates turn on Rt 129

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John Ranalletta

 

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TEWKS

We came across a ZX 14 rider that pile drove himself into a dirt wall after he blew a right-hander. Poor guy had no feeling from his waist down. Hope it was temporary but probably not. 

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Pappy35

I'm going there for the first time next month. This was a good, but sobering, reminder to go easy. 

 

PS - I'll be that guy on a black RT going training-wheels speed so just go ahead and pass me. 8-)

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David13

After seeing that, I would have no reason to ever go near that road.

 

But also, 11 whole miles? 

 

Why bother?  There are similar roads in western states 3 or 4, or 10 times longer.   With little or no traffic (on weekdays, anyway).

dc

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ltljohn
12 minutes ago, David13 said:

After seeing that, I would have no reason to ever go near that road.

 

But also, 11 whole miles? 

 

Why bother?  There are similar roads in western states 3 or 4, or 10 times longer.   With little or no traffic (on weekdays, anyway).

dc

It's fun to do once, the Cherohala Skyway just west of there  is a much better ride.

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Ponch

Try 191 in AZ. 

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BrianM

Race tracks are much more fun and safer. Well, about as safe as possible.

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realshelby

I have ridden the "Dragon" many times. Will be up there later this week. Ride it Thursday and not go back.....as the weekend traffic gets out of hand. 

 

I have ridden some awfully good roads. 191 is a hidden gem. Sections of roads in many states that are at least as technical as the Dragon. 

 

But NONE are even close in what they deliver. There is no comparison anywhere I have been. 318 curves, and many quite challenging, in 11 miles. 

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Paul De

Yeah The Dragon in on my list but would have to be a special trip.  Like many places that get the label of "paradise" they can become over run.  To satisfy my curvy road needs close by the SW part of Wisconsin is called the driftless area, near Wildcat Mountain State park and several surrounding counties. There are amazing roads through that whole area. Even with all the elbow room you still run into a lot of squids looking to freshen up their road rash.  Watch out for the manure spreaders on the road though!

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John Ranalletta

We rode the Driftless region during the Unrally there in 2015 (I think).  I didn't find the roads challenging but enjoyable as they undulate between dairy farms - kind of a miniature Palouse.

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Antimatter

It's worth doing once.  The trick is to not let yourself get sucked into trying to keep up with a local, or thinking your on some sort of closed course.  That's plenty of other great roads in that area, also.  It's so heavily policed now, that it isn't worth getting a ticket just to be foolish. 

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pedro cerveza

801078460_ScreenShot2019-05-09at5_22_40PM.png.c2ecafc93eb21f6833ce19960b89167a.png

Was there last week. It is an AMAZING road. That entire area has some of the best motorcycle roads in the world.

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11101110

Yep and wrecks are not just for the dragon.  I was on 28 in North Carolina when I noticed a downed rider on the outside of a curve with his bike on the hill above him.  Circled back around to check on him but had no signal to place a call.  Someone in a car with onstar stopped by and we were able to contact ems. Still took a while for them to respond. Luckily he only had minor injuries as he had full gear.

crash location.JPG

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Selden

I'm not a big fan of "The Dragon," especially on weekends. For me, the best single ride in the southeast is what Frank Cheek  of Two Wheels Only used to call the "Cooler run."  Eleven miles from Suches over Wolfpen Gap, then turn right on 19 south through Neal's Gap/Blood Mountain, then right again at Turner's Corner, right again at Stonepile Gap, and back to Suches a few miles after Woody Gap, which crosses the Appalachian trail, about 35 miles total. Unlike The Dragon, there is a wide variety of terrain, up and down, passing through three "gaps" as they are called in the southeast. 

 

109262847_Screenshot2019-05-13at5_51_15PM.thumb.png.4bb2e92bcb17ff2de31df669ef21abb5.png 

 

All these mountain roads deserve respect. Three weeks ago, my wife and I were returning from Blue Ridge, and came across the worst motorcycle wreck I have seen in this area, about half a mile south of Woody Gap. A rider, coming north appeared to have gone too hot into a blind right hand turn, ran wide, and had a head-on collision with the left front of a car coming the other direction. The car was damaged back to the front wheel, and what was left of the bike was a charged mass of melted plastic and aluminum that had been compressed to about 3 feet long. I have no idea what happened to the rider, although it's difficult to imagine him surviving such a crash. 

 

I rode very carefully for the remaining 20 miles home.

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joeb

Have been riding Tail for over 40 yrs. Finally losing my enthusiasm for it as there are just too many crazies with race bikes but pedestrian skills. Have taken to riding off season and at night. At least at night almost no ttaffic and you can see if someone is coming from opposite direction from their headlights.

 

Not too far away is the Back of the Dragon in Va. Think of Tail at 3 x the length , almost NO traffic , spectacular roads leading to and from the  Back.

Plus , from my understanding, the area is trying to promote moto riding and the police are not looking at the bikers as a cash cow.

 

Runs from around Tazewell Va. To Marion Va.

 

Enjoy

 

 

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John Ranalletta

I'm a mediocre rider and ride 2-up most of the time; so, I'm never on the riding edge.  That said, I enjoy riding 129 but am most fearful of other drivers and riders who overestimate their riding ability.  I would avoid it except mid week and if the Peoria Gold Wing club is in town, I'd probably skip it altogether.  Too many good roads around those parts to take the chance.

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Paul De
On 5/13/2019 at 9:10 AM, John Ranalletta said:

We rode the Driftless region during the Unrally there in 2015 (I think).  I didn't find the roads challenging but enjoyable as they undulate between dairy farms - kind of a miniature Palouse.

 

A week won't allow you to find all the good roads because the area is spread out over about 16,000 square miles in Wisconsin. I've been riding there for decades and still discover challenging roads. It is true that the state highways have you ride through natures beauty but lack the most technically challenging roads this area can offer.  Somewhat more challenging roads are found on the alphabet soup labeled labeled county highways.  The real gems are the named roads, many with the last name of a long established land owner.  Many are still dirt roads,  but many others are paved over dirt roads where they simply follow the existing contours.  There you can find challenging roads with tight turns, quit elevation changes, diminishing radius and off camber turns, or any of these in some combination.  A few will have a section or two that can leave you with a smudge in your shorts.  Anyway, very nice place to ride for a non mountainous part of the country and a welcome option to the matrix grid of roads found most of the Midwest and Great Plane states. 

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Kirkus

In 2006 or 07, a friend and I rode down to Knoxville for the Honda Hoot. We went over and did the TOtD, not five minutes into the ride heading east we had to pull over for the an EMS unit to pass.

We get close to the half way point and they are searching for a rider who went over the side of the mountain. We continue on and there is this yellow Gold Wing coming around the corner motioning us to get over to the side, he was escorting a semi (Swift) that was taking 129 as a shortcut per his GPS. We then went and rode the Cherahola Skyway (sp?) and then backtracked east to west. This was a few hours later and they still hadn't recovered the rider. I plan on doing TOtD again and also The Devil's Whip Hwy 80 NC, Moonshiner 28, and Devil's Triangle after hitting the outer banks in September. 

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dba

Pass.  

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Kinsley
On 5/13/2019 at 6:02 PM, Selden said:

I'm not a big fan of "The Dragon," especially on weekends. For me, the best single ride in the southeast is what Frank Cheek  of Two Wheels Only used to call the "Cooler run."  Eleven miles from Suches over Wolfpen Gap, then turn right on 19 south through Neal's Gap/Blood Mountain, then right again at Turner's Corner, right again at Stonepile Gap, and back to Suches a few miles after Woody Gap, which crosses the Appalachian trail, about 35 miles total. Unlike The Dragon, there is a wide variety of terrain, up and down, passing through three "gaps" as they are called in the southeast. 

 

109262847_Screenshot2019-05-13at5_51_15PM.thumb.png.4bb2e92bcb17ff2de31df669ef21abb5.png 

 

All these mountain roads deserve respect. Three weeks ago, my wife and I were returning from Blue Ridge, and came across the worst motorcycle wreck I have seen in this area, about half a mile south of Woody Gap. A rider, coming north appeared to have gone too hot into a blind right hand turn, ran wide, and had a head-on collision with the left front of a car coming the other direction. The car was damaged back to the front wheel, and what was left of the bike was a charged mass of melted plastic and aluminum that had been compressed to about 3 feet long. I have no idea what happened to the rider, although it's difficult to imagine him surviving such a crash. 

 

I rode very carefully for the remaining 20 miles home.

 

I good loop that I like to run the opposite direction from the way you described it. Going the other way you get to go North on 129 where you have sections of two lanes for easier and more legal passes. :)

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tallman

Like many roads in the area, a technical ride.

Complicated by, at times, too many vehicles, too small a space, too varied skill levels.

Outcomes vary.

Pre internet era, speed limit was 55...

 

 

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Mike

Honestly, I’m not a big fan. I’ve only been on it a few times, but during midday, it’s a roll of the dice whether you’ll run into (literally) someone who’s overestimated their ability. The one time I enjoyed it was when I got an early start and hit the road before 7 am. As others have mentioned, this area has an abundance of great roads, none of which attract this much bad riding. 

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Indy Dave

While not a huge fan, I don't go out of my way to avoid it during the week.

 

Traffic? Mehh  not much.

 

 

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Selden
On 5/23/2019 at 5:28 PM, Kinsley said:

 

I good loop that I like to run the opposite direction from the way you described it. Going the other way you get to go North on 129 where you have sections of two lanes for easier and more legal passes. :)

Better yet, ride it in both directions!

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wbw6cos

That first song really fit the video. Thanks for sharing.  

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Motorhead1977

We go to Western NC every spring and usually never ride the Dragon. There's far too much traffic/squidly behavior/craziness to do so when there are so many excellent technical roads all over the area. Above all I believe that riders don't adequately respect the roads, mistaking them for what they're used to back home - a sometimes deadly mistake.

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Joe Frickin' Friday

Another hazard on Deals Gap: trucks.  There's a length restriction, but you'll still see full-length big-rigs trying to weasel through, and they can't do it without putting the cab, mid-section, or tail of their rig into oncoming lanes on a regular basis - and of course this often happens on blind curves.

 

Here's a narrated video of a driver (either KillBoy, or someone associated with KillBoy's enterprise) attempting to escort a truck through the gap, giving advance warning of the hazard to oncoming vehicles.  A rider doesn't take the hint, and then collides with the truck (video cued to 2:14):

 

 

The advice is old - "don't ride around blind curves any faster than you'd be willing to hit something" - but nowhere is it more applicable than Deals Gap.

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Ponch

If  trucks of that length aren't allowed, the trucker is in a lot of trouble. Hope he gets his license pulled, charged and sued well. 

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Joe Frickin' Friday
8 hours ago, Ponch said:

If  trucks of that length aren't allowed, the trucker is in a lot of trouble. Hope he gets his license pulled, charged and sued well. 

 

The narrator mentioned near the end of the video that all of those things were likely to happen.  

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LBump

Ya just can't fix stupid...:dopeslap:

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RightSpin

I've ridden Deal's Gap many, many times (including one time in early spring when it was iced over).  It's very technical and fun, but also a lot of work.  I have mostly avoided it the last decade due to the silly amount of traffic.  It should be done at least once, but there are many more roads in the area to enjoy. 

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Joe Frickin' Friday
1 hour ago, RightSpin said:

I've ridden Deal's Gap many, many times (including one time in early spring when it was iced over).  It's very technical and fun, but also a lot of work.  I have mostly avoided it the last decade due to the silly amount of traffic.  It should be done at least once, but there are many more roads in the area to enjoy. 

 

It's been a while since I attended an event in that area, but I almost always passed through the gap on the way there during mid-week, and then bypassed it when returning home on the Sunday.  Traffic in the gap is sparse on weekdays, but on the weekend it is indeed insane.

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RightSpin

Mitch, I seem to recall someone once blasting through Deal's Gap on an R1100RT with a load of firewood strapped to the rear seat.  I just can't, for the life of me, remember who that was.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
28 minutes ago, RightSpin said:

Mitch, I seem to recall someone once blasting through Deal's Gap on an R1100RT with a load of firewood strapped to the rear seat.  I just can't, for the life of me, remember who that was.

 

It wasn't firewood, it was a Duraflame log.  :grin:

 

I also shuttled Big-T's giant duffle bag through the gap when he banged up his shoulder at one of the ART events:

 

2014-04-start-25

 

And then of course there was the beer run, with a six-pack of Corona:

 

2014-04-start-05

 

:burnout:

 

 

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RightSpin
2 minutes ago, Joe Frickin' Friday said:

 

It wasn't firewood, it was a Duraflame log.  :grin:

 

I stand corrected.  LOL

I'm sure there is a picture of it somewhere on the site.  Great memories!

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