Slept in a bit, having spent a bit longer than intended playing with maps last night. Packed up the bike, checked out of the motel, and hit the road. Stopped for a huge breakfast around 1100h, and got into fun roads around noon.
First pass over US129 started great, smooth pavement and no traffic. About half way through the fun part caught up with a big pack of Harleys who weren’t even managing 20, so I pulled off by one of the photographers to wait for them to get ahead a bit. Waited a little too long, as a small pack of Goldwings came by just as I was about to pull out. They were moving along OK, +5 mostly, but we quickly caught up with the slow boat parade.
Nobody was using the pull outs.
As I approached the NC border, I realized it had been quite a while since I’d seen anyone pass in the other direction, so at the next opportunity I pulled over to turn around. Sadly, a couple of trucks with trailers went by as I was turning around. One pulled over at the second pull out to let me by, the next was dispatched on the inside of an uphill curve with good visibility, and I had a good run until I got to the camera crews, where I caught up with a trike having trouble staying on his side of the road at 20, with a line of traffic behind him.
Turned around at the overlook, ran down to the dam without too much traffic, then checked the GPS and realized the place I wanted to stay was off 28, so turned around. Caught up to a pack of 18 Harleys on 28, but the guy in the back pulled out and waved me by so I passed most of them before oncoming traffic and ego at the front of their pack forced me to slide in three bikes back from the front. Finished the pass, got just out of sight of them, and then saw the turn off for the camp.
Pulled into Iron Horse, asked if they had any space in the bunkhouse, and really liked the answer I got. I’ve got my base of operations for the rest of the week, and it is good. The plan had been to unpack and go back out riding without all the extra weight, but once I finished unpacking and settling in I decided to just take it easy for the evening.
Thoughts on the Dragon? It would be a really nice motorcycle road if the limit were 15mph higher, commercial vehicles were banned, and all the idiots didn’t know about it. I can believe it was a pretty good motorcycle road before it became so famous. As it is now, it is a lot like a Disney roller-coaster. If that’s all you’ve ever known, you might think it was pretty damned good, but the tamed down version falls flat when compared to the real thing. It was worth riding, but it certainly is not the best road of the trip. I’m told traffic is much lower midweek mornings, so I’ll probably give it another shot tomorrow, 28->143->129->72->360->165->143 looks like it might be a good morning loop.
I’m here for a few days, so suggestions for good local loops are welcome. In theory this site is set up now so you can comment using your facebook account or OpenID.
Mileage: about 140
States: TN, NC