Blue Ridge Parkway

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by phillyrube, May 25, 2012.

  1. phillyrube

    phillyrube Long timer

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    #1
  2. Fajita Dave

    Fajita Dave Been here awhile

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    I wonder how he ended up in the wrong lane? The Blue Ridge Parkway is a fun road the ride but its not one to be screwing around on. If a sharp blind corner doesn't get you than a deer probably will.

    This is a bit off topic but I have to admit as a hiker it irritates me that so many riders with loud exhaust pipes ride down skyline drive. My wife and me go on long day hikes / two-day hikes and nothing ruins the experience more than some dumbass squid or pirate with loud pipes that you can hear from miles away. Especially since the Appalachian trail usually stays close to skyline drive.
    #2
  3. pfloydgad

    pfloydgad Been here awhile

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    Sight seeing on the BRP and on a bike is deadly. I just did that ride in late April, now there was virtually no traffic, but there were more then a couple that did the drifting accross the center line. I would venture to say that the car did the over the line thing, not the bike. Either way, the 45 mph keeps the hard riding down to a very select area. The rangers are flashing blue lights at all bikes it seems, I just did the limit, and stopped at about 30% of the pulloffs, took some pics and then took off again. I will keep my eye on this thread to get the rest of the story.
    Ride safer all, wherever you ride.
    Greg
    #3
  4. JWG

    JWG Been here awhile

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    i rode the parkway last weekend , I would agree it is a nice road to drive or ride , but limit the sight seeing to the pull offs
    I did not ride the parkway today but was up in that area of the state near the NC < VA line , alot of people on the roads for the weekend and the great weather we are having.
    hope all will be safe
    #4
  5. cardoctor1

    cardoctor1 Been here awhile

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    wow i ran the blue ridge from maggie valley to skyline drive this time last yr almost no traffic. condolences to the family.
    #5
  6. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Article says that police are still investigating who was in which lane.

    I have been on the BRP and my recollection is that the speed limits are pretty low. So was someone running waaay hot (either car or bike) or just inattention or lack of cornering ability (car or bike)???
    #6
  7. Martacle

    Martacle Adventurer

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    A few weeks ago I went to NC with some friends for a week of riding. One of the days we took the BRP from near Asheville to mount Mitchell. Didn't know at the time, but the guy that always rides in the back is really scared of heights. At one of the lookouts we stopped at he was taking a long time to catch up. Just as we were about to turn around and look for him there he comes, at like 20mph. Apparently he was driving in the wrong lane just to be as far from the edge as possible and wanted to make it to the next stop so we didn't go looking for him. Needless to say we found him the quickest way off the parkway.

    Apparently he wasn't just in the wrong lane when it was clear either. He says he passed a Harley in his own lane who gave him the finger (rightly so) and a car too! He was fine with most of the mountain roads all week but the open views of the BRP got to him. Of course the fact we were going up the tallest mountain in the eastern US should have tipped him off that it wasn't the ride for him.
    #7
  8. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    I just rode the BRP two weeks ago and was struck by a few things. First of all, the speed limit is 45 which seems low. Most corners are long sweepers and are not terribly technical. Sight lines are decent and there are a fair number of long straights. The road itself is in pretty good shape in most sections I was on (Charlottesville to near Roanoke). There are lots of rangers and I spoke to several riders who were pulled over for going 52.

    However... there are a few sections where 45 would be pushing limits for many riders. It is not the whole thing but some areas got very technical, twisty and downright fun! Hitting it at 45 was a thrill. Oh sure... there were the cautionary signs advising to slow down to 25 but those are not legal speed limit signs. These sections make the road a lot more interesting.

    Bummer about the crash. It is a tragedy no matter who is at fault. I can't imagine being one of the other riders and watching your friend/relative die and knowing that you have to face his wife or mother when you return home.
    #8
  9. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    Without knowing who's at fault, if you are not riding an outside line through a blind corner in that part of Virginia, you are rolling the dice. Simply to many drivers cut corners, some a little, some a lot. Leave yourself some margin of error if you can't see through the turn.
    #9
  10. WhatThaFrig

    WhatThaFrig Been here awhile

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    I'll be making my first BRP trip at the end of June. I am far from a fast rider, so 45mph is fine with me :D
    #10
  11. Krypt Keeper

    Krypt Keeper Adventurer

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    Rode the BRP many times and while its fun, the leaf lookers and 45mph limit keep me off of it.

    Now mainly use it to get to another road real quick without using the interstate, Have rode the entire VA side down and back in a weekend. Never again.

    Watch for critters.
    #11
  12. Sir Not Appearing

    Sir Not Appearing That's no ordinary rabbit

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    If I had to guess, I'd go with the car being on the wrong side also. We saw few cars while on the BRP (excluding commuter traffic around Asheville), but the ones we did see were white/bluehairs swerving all over the place and braking too late on declines.

    The BRP made up part of my trip in 2008 and it is a beautiful road to ride. The 45mph limit is tough to do though on some of the longer, gently sweeping sections. We ran around 50-55mph (as indicated by GPS) most of the time on those sections and the police never looked twice. In fact, for the first 200 miles or so we barely ever saw another vehicle other than what appeared to be state/government-owned trucks. In fact, the only time we saw much traffic at all was when we got down around Asheville and it was late afternoon and evidently parts of the road are used by commuters. At that point, it was almost frustrating after having spent so much time with the road to ourselves.

    In August we didn't have to worry about leaves as they hadn't changed yet, but the deer. Wow...I've never seen so many deer. We rode past dusk one night and it wasn't one of our better ideas as we ended up dodging deer every few hundred feet. Besides deer, the only other issue we had was my brother's 100-mile range on the Suzuki. Make sure you know where you can get gas if you have a small tank. Enjoy your trip!
    #12
  13. CrownTownHooligan

    CrownTownHooligan Adventurer

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    Firstly, my condolences to the families that were involved. Secondly, I have ridden all 469 miles of the BRP and the 105 miles of Skyline drive. Oh, and I also did them both in one trip on a Ninja 250.:D Even though they are both very scenic roads, I have encountered a few hazards there. While the quarter-liter bike that I own doesn't have a ton of power, I think the lack of it may have saved me on a few occasions. Blind turns with deer, snakes, and wild turkey running across the rode surely spooked my early morning rides but my biggest fear was oncoming traffic. I am guilty myself of sometimes looking for too long off into the distance at the beautiful Appalachian mountains and always wondered if the driver of the oncoming traffic was doing the same thing.
    #13
  14. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

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    The number of wrecks I've seen on the parkway over the last 10 years involving motorcycles runs the gamut. But dead is dead.

    We've lost a lot of local riders in the last 18 months (hardcore riders who knew what they were doing, not dudes with mid life crises, diminished reflexes and eyesight, and big expensive bikes/gear) due to traffic situations with tourists and jackasses who think curve= track.

    One friend went off the side of the parkway when he came around a curve and an RV (rental) was in both lanes.

    In most parts of the parkway, you're well off the beaten path from immediate healthcare. You may be used to having a cop and an ambulance there in 2 minutes, but you can lie there with a bone sticking out of you on sections of the parkway for an hour. Same for Deal's gap.

    Slow down and enjoy the scenery. You're not Valentino Rossi with hard luggage.

    I feel bad for the fatality in this story, but it's part of the risk of riding a bike in the mountains.
    #14