Back of the Dragon

Discussion in 'Americas' started by 2WheelieADV, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. 2WheelieADV

    2WheelieADV Long timer

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    We're planning going to VA riding on the "Back of the Dragon", but besides that, are there any other good roads and interesting places to visit?
    Thanks.
    #1
  2. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

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    Yes.
    visitvirginiamountains.com has info as well as a maps section
    blueridgetravelguide.com general tourist info
    smokymountainrider.com
    newenglandriders.com - lots of road ideas in several states
    ridingwv.com by a inmate here
    appalachianbackroads.com an excellent site

    In addition to the above sites with maps and route suggestions another inmate here, Lady Draco, has a thread in the SE regional forum titles something like "If you are riding the Back of The Dragon" where lots of folks comment on roads in the area and she announces when her "hotdog" stand will be open in Thompson Valley. Also see "The SW Virginia" thread in the same section for some excellent road ideas.
    Among my favorite routes for a pleasant days riding are Burkes Garden (lunch in the general store if open), any of the roads around Damascus (fun little town) and also any roads around Mt. Rogers (Konnarock, Whitetop, Laurel Valley), Fries VA along the river (lunch at the cafe), Floyd VA on Friday nights for the street scene, 42 is a nice pleasant ride Saltville on up to Bland, 61 from Tazewell up thru Narrows is a nice ride. My favorite cafe is "Buffalo and More" in Riner Va and close to Indian Valley.
    You can spend a very nice week riding in the area hitting some uncrowded well maintained country roads with pleasant temperatures and easy to find fuel stops. Lots of Mennonite and Amish stores with excellent food for lunch. Even the two lane highways are fun and uncrowded.
    #2
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  3. 2WheelieADV

    2WheelieADV Long timer

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    Thanks 4Paws. I'll take a look into these places and roads.
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  4. patmo

    patmo Long timer

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  5. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer

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    4Paws mentioned Burke's Garden. I just want to say it's about the most beautiful place in Virginia. But watch out for milk tankers coming down the road out of the garden. They will take up all of your side on the turns.

    For other Virginia roads stop in a welcome station on the highway coming into VA. Ask for the map of scenic back roads. Any road shown in green or dark green is a great motorcycle road. I live here and I always have one on each of my bikes.
    #5
  6. 2WheelieADV

    2WheelieADV Long timer

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    Thanks Buzz.
    What do you think about this loop? Starting from Super 8 where we'll stay.
    is the 637 paved?
    #6
  7. rplais12

    rplais12 Adventurer

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    Go ride US421 it’s awesome


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #7
  8. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    These are indeed great roads to ride but like the milk truck warning- be reminded that these are not places to ride as seen daily on The Dragon where riders use it as a race track of sorts. Twisty, rural, scenic roads with farm vehicles, loggers, tourists-bicycles and RV's are to be expected.
    #8
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  9. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

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    Just visited the area again yesterday, close enough by that I can ride thru on a whim.
    Excellent advice about the area as mentioned above- abundant twisty roads but many folks do make their living farming so don't get too stupid riding in limited sight areas (most of the area).
    Did stop for a break fairly far down Hwy 16 past Troutdale at a little place called Fox Creek General Store, corner of SR 658. Highly recommend the place for breakfast, lunch, a general break or gas - or combo of all. 658 is a nice little ride also. Hwy 42 is a very nice scenic ride. Big Walker Mtn lookout on hwy 52 is a fun little ride. Lots of places have "riders brochures" - tourist pamphlets with local rides and landmarks.
    #9
  10. 2WheelieADV

    2WheelieADV Long timer

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    Thanks all.
    What do you think about this loop?
    https://goo.gl/maps/XfjxLC95tvD2
    Does anybody knows the status of the Burkes Garden road (starting of 666 loop) and the connecting to it 610 & 615?
    #10
  11. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

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    Last time thru we made the whole loop, no problems at all and we were riding pure street bikes. Did see some camels grazing in a field, that’s Burke’s Garden.
    #11
  12. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    FYI- The guys I've ridden with who mostly live around Marion meet @ the gas station/restaurant that's across directly across the road from the Little Debbie Cakes facility in town. These are mostly senior riders, all experienced touring type riders, not dirt. In the past Tuesdays early a.m. was there hook up day and some would ride, some not. They do day rides in all nearby states and typically will ride 200-250k for a day. The rides listed in www.visitvirginiamountains.com came from that group. Might want to look them up some time since your in that area 4paws. I'm 250 miles over in KY.
    I will say that the weather here is NOT! riding weather. I worked 5 hours on a porch deck and am exhausted from the heat index whi9ch is over a hundred this p.m.-yuk and now into a Belle Gueule beer I bought in Quebec. Had I known just how good these brewskis turned out to be, I'd have come home with more!
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  13. 2WheelieADV

    2WheelieADV Long timer

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    What I meant to ask if you rode the 610 and 615 and the "Burkes Garden road" that attached to it. I think it's unpaved. Wonder if any bike can ride thru it. Like this https://goo.gl/maps/L3NL1cc1UtC2
    I want to short-cut toward the "Big Walker Lookout" on 52.
    #13
  14. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

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    I did it several year back for no reason at all. Had a simple stream crossing and mainly unpaved. Last year someone posted it was closed but I really don't know. I wouldn't attempt it on a 100% street bike fully loaded.
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  15. Ron_Luning

    Ron_Luning Been here awhile

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    20191015_084645.jpg
    Pretty good road! Just did it yesterday morning.
    #15
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