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Old 11-06-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
Ozz OP
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Is it too late to ride the Dragon and the Blue Ridge ?

I might be able to get a break from work the second half of November and would like to do this trip, but I am wondering if it is too late in the year to enjoy riding this area. Are the fall colors gone already? Are some of the roads typically closed due to snow by the end of November? Does it get too cold to be enjoyable?

I have never been in that area, so any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:23 AM   #2
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I was riding the Dragon and BRP south of Asheville, NC last year around November 12... Took off from Raleigh after work on Friday and rode through Hickory and stayed in some cheap motel. Temps dropped to below freezing after sunset...

It was last day when Killboy was taking pictures on US-129 - you might want to check his website




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Old 11-06-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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Fall colors are gone and parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway are closed due to the snow from Sandy. Mount LeConte in the Smokies got close to 30".

That said. You can expect near freezing at night and 60's during the day depending on what weather system is moving through and what elevation you are riding. If they have already had snow then also expect gravel in the turns from the sand trucks...

Lot less traffic in November.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:50 PM   #4
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Thanks for the heads up.

"Gravel from the sand trucks"...That's something I would have never thought about! We don't have that white stuff down here!

Guess I will wait for the spring.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozz View Post
I might be able to get a break from work the second half of November and would like to do this trip, but I am wondering if it is too late in the year to enjoy riding this area. Are the fall colors gone already? Are some of the roads typically closed due to snow by the end of November? Does it get too cold to be enjoyable?

I have never been in that area, so any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Just watch the weather and plan your trip accordingly. Plan for detours.

Also, it's bound to be very cold in the higher elevations, so be prepared for that.

Safe journey.

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Old 11-06-2012, 04:27 PM   #6
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It's never too late...you just can't plan too far ahead and have to keep an eye on the current forecast.

In fact a warm winter day is the best possible time to ride 'the dragon' as you'll likely have the place to yourself.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:31 PM   #7
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DUE TO SEVERE STORMS, THE FOLLOWING ALERTS ARE IN EFFECT THROUGHOUT THE PARKWAY
Hurricane Sandy has affected the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia, bringing snow, rain, and extreme wind, forcing closure of most sections of the Parkway. Until the weather improves and cleanup is completed, travel on the Parkway is not advised.

Source: http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:26 AM   #8
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Don't let Sandy keep you from going. I was in Sylva NC on the 3rd. Saw a little snow up on the mtn tops but all clear on hwy 74. It's been warm enough lately to melt what was left. Pm joewannabe,whitebread, cuttles. Any of the locals can give you condition reports.
1st time I did the dragon was on a thanksgiving weekend. Cold but clear. No traffic had the roads to ourselves the dragon store closes in winter so you need to plan for gas stops. Take it easy. Cold road. Cold tires wet leaves gravel etc. can ruin your ride. With the leaves off the trees you can see more. Layer and take all the cold weather and rain gear you have.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:30 AM   #9
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This weekend would be prime... It's never to late....
But in the dead of winter parts of the BRP can be closed off...
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:33 AM   #10
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And grandfather mountain can be questionable no matter what the nearby weather


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Old 11-08-2012, 08:02 AM   #11
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This weekend would be prime... It's never to late....
But in the dead of winter parts of the BRP can be closed off...



But luckily the Cherohala stays open....

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Old 11-08-2012, 05:57 PM   #12
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PM inmate Motomike at Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters. He could tell you every thing you need to know. Great Shop Great guy.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:07 PM   #13
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But luckily the Cherohala stays open....

I hope that's got three wheels...
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:12 AM   #14
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I hope that's got three wheels...
...or crash bars


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Old 11-09-2012, 09:57 AM   #15
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...or crash bars


Or just wait till mid day to get to the higher elevation pavement...and stay off the high elevation dirt roads.




The bad weather doesn't last long here. Just use your head.
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