You Only Live Twice

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by klaviator, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,940
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    I rode through most of this area in November-back when it was nice & leaves in color...
    By going to : www.visitvirginiamountains.com you'll see these routes and more. A toll free call or a contact message and they'll (Smyth County, VA) send you colored paper maps of all the routes in that area. There are indeed some dandies over there! One can ride many a number of different several hundred mile days trips from Marion, VA general area and return to same lodging or connect the dots and also ride the BRP, part or all.

    Great pics! Thanks
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14,080
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    I had a plan for Friday. I would ride the BRP back to 226a or 80 and then head towards Chimney Rock on one of those fantastic roads. It was a great plan until I got up and looked outside.

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    Well I had ridden in the rain before and I had places to go......so I went.

    It wasn't bad at first since it was just a light rain. Then I went up in elevation.

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    Riding the BRP all the way to 226a or 80 wasn't going to happen. I got off on 221 and headed south and to lower elevations. 221 is a nice ride for a few miles and then turns into a boring 4 lane. Then it was right on 70 which isn't a bad road. Speed limits on these roads were high enough that I was running close to top speed much of the time. I stopped in Old Fort and had an early lunch at Subway. I had a granola bar for breakfast that morning so I was hungry. Then I picked up Bat Cave road. This could be a really awesome road to rival the dragon except that the best part had gravel all over the curves:( Then it was 9 and 64 to Chimney Rock.

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    I got to my motel in Chimney Rock around 11:30. It was kind of early to check in and the weather was gloomy but dry so I headed out to get in some riding before the rain moved in. My first destination was about a half hour away. What was my destination? How about a 2.3 mile Gymkhana course?

    I rode by Lake Lure.

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    Then I rode some back roads for maybe 30 minutes before getting to my destination.

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    2.3 miles of non stop super tight and steep hairpin curves.

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    I had ridden this road before on my KLR and Versys but it was more fun on the S8. A Grom or Z125 would be great on this road.

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    The curves seem tighter and steeper in real life than it the pictures show. When I rode this the first time on my KLR I remember riding some of these curves in first gear and feathering the clutch.

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    I rode up and down these curves a few times. I was having a blast:ricky:ricky:ricky

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    I took a break because I needed gas so I headed off to a nearby town to get gas. By the time I got back it had started raining:(. I had planned to ride up and down a few more times before heading off to another nearby road that is nearly as steep and twisty as this one but much longer and more scenic. I guess I would just have to come back here another time.
    129drifter, dave6253, BillUA and 7 others like this.
  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14,080
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    In case anyone was wondering about that road with all the curves:

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    I doubt it will ever become real popular. No T shirts, no photographers and way to tight for most riders. I'm sure there are a lot of riders out there who would shit their pants if they accidently found themselves on that road.

    Since it was raining I headed back to the motel where I checked in and unloaded my stuff. It was another old but well maintained place. Like the motel in Blowing Rock it had small rooms. It wasn't quite as nice but it also cost less.

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    I had been to Lake Lure a few times in the past but never stopped and explored. Since it had stopped raining I headed back out to do that. Of course as soon as I headed out it started raining again.:dunno I continued on anyway. What I found was that there really wasn't that much lake access. It's mostly a residential area but the roads are all super twisty and were fun even in the rain.

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    Back at the Motel.

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    There were some places to eat within walking distance but they were closed. I guess it wasn't tourist season yet:dunno

    So I got back on the scooter and rode to "downtown" Lake Lure and ate at an Italian place.
    victay, kantuckid, BillUA and 5 others like this.
  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14,080
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    When I woke up the next morning and looked outside this was the view.

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    So I wasn't in a big rush to get on the road. I had some roads to ride and dry roads are just more fun. I took Alt 74 towards Asheville. I had ridden this road before but had forgotten what a great road it was:ricky:ricky

    It was a great ride but I was having too much fun to stop and take any pics. Eventually it just turned into a straight boring road but it got me to the BRP which I took a short ways before getting off to get something to eat and check out this MR Motorcycle, claimed to be the largest in the area. It was a pretty big dealer with a lot of stuff but I didn't see anything I needed.

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    Then it was back to the BRP. While I prefer nice sunny days, the clouds on this day did make for some interesting pictures. Since my destination wasn't far away I had plenty of time to stop and take pictures and enjoy the views.

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    Using the dramatic mode on my camera.

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    The contrast between my S8 and a more typical bike found on the BRP.

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    The BRP really is an amazing road. It can be frustrating when clogged with slow moving cages (and some bikes) but I was really enjoying it on my little scooter. If I got stuck behind slow moving traffic I just stopped at the first overlook and looked for some photo opportunities.

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    Being by myself also allowed me to stop more often. It would be fun to ride this sometime with some other riders on tiny bikes who liked to stop for pictures:hmmmmm

    One of my favorite pictures from this trip.

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    This is pretty much a mandatory stop.

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    The clouds were blowing across the road ahead of me. I quickly snapped a pic.

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    Waterrock knob has always been one of my favorite stops on the BRP. I have often come here to watch the sunset. No sunset today but some interesting clouds and views.

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    wwm66, victay, dave6253 and 7 others like this.
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14,080
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    After Waterrock knob I rode about 5 more miles on the BRP then got off on 19 and headed South through Cherokee. Cherokee has been a tourist trap for as long as I can remember but I think the biggest tourist attraction now is the huge casino in the middle of town.

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    I have never been in the casino and probably never will. I'd rather spend my money on gas to ride around on all the great roads around here than throw it away in the casino.

    More of Cherokee.

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    The Harley T shirt shop.

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    Not too much further down the road I reached my destination.

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    This motel was up on a hill in Bryson City. I booked this room well in advance because it was Friday night and this area tends to get booked up on weekends due to all the motorcyclists as well as car clubs who come to this area. It would also set me up for what I planned on doing Sunday morning.

    It was still pretty early in the day so after I checked in I headed out to explore the area. I wanted to find a road I had heard about many years earlier but had never gotten around to riding.

    I guess I could have done some research or asked for directions but where's the fun in that? So I wandered around a bit until I finally stumbled on what I was looking for.

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    No I wasn't looking for the high school so I could pick up some really young girls.

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    It was the road to nowhere. This road had been built many years ago with the intentions of it going "somewhere" but they never finished it so it became known as the road to nowhere.

    Since I wanted to see what nowhere looked like I headed down the road:D

    It didn't take long to come to this:

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    I turned into a curvy, scenic but somewhat rough road. I was having a fun ride until I got stuck behind some road slugs.

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    Despite going slower than the average school bus these riders, except for the one in the back, couldn't even keep it on the right side of the road:dunno

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    I couldn't stand to watch so I stopped and took a break before continueing. I eventually came to the end of the road. This is what nowhere looks like.

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    You can actually continue on if you want to hike. There is a long tunnel that leads to some hiking trails. Someday I'd like to come back and do some hiking.

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    Heading back into town I soon caught up to the road slugs so I stopped and took some pics. As you can see it was too nice of a road to waste.

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    Back in Bryson City.

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    There were plenty of touristy and most likely expensive restaurants here but I went looking for something away from the tourist areas. I found this Mexican place which was reasonably priced and very good.

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  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14,080
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    Whenever I'm in the area I try to meet @TrashCan and his buddies who show up early for breakfast at Deal's Gap. I had to get up and on the road right around sunrise. Getting on the road that early often provides great lighting for picture taking.

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    Fog and low clouds meant no great sunrise shots but.....

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    It is a very scenic area regardless of the lighting.

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    Not much going on at the Deal's Gap Motorcycle resort so I continued on to the overlook.

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    This is a real fun road when there is no traffic:ricky:ricky:ricky

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    I normally meet Trashcan at the overlook but on one was here yet.

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    So I rode to the lake and turned around.

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    Since I was on a scooter I could just ignore this sign:rayof

    Back to the overlook. I still had it to myself.

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    rascalman, victay, B10Dave and 5 others like this.
  7. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14,080
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    I hung out for a bit. It was a beautiful day and this is a nice spot. A few bikes and cars went by. A big diesel pusher motorhome towing a car went by. I wonder if he knew what he was in for driving this road:scratch Later in the day this would become a real busy place. For now it was mostly quiet.

    Some sport bikes went by. I managed to get a pic but I don't think I will be putting Killboy out of business anytime soon:D

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    It looked like it may have been Trash Can's buddies but I couldn't be sure since. I waited a bit longer and TC showed up.

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    We talked a couple of minutes and headed off, me in the lead. It had been around 10 minutes since the RV went by but we caught up to it pretty quickly. I turned on my camera hoping to get some pics of it crossing the Double Yellow for the Killboy Fail thread but it pulled into the first turnoff to let us by:clap

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    We were early, but not too early for the photogs who hang out on this road.

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    Not many people at DGMR this early.

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    In a few hours this parking lot would be packed with bikes and exotic cars and plain old weird stuff like this:

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    I ate breakfast with TC and his buddies then hung out for a while.
    MYUMPH, Dirt Road Cowboy and BillUA like this.
  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14,080
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    As much as I enjoy hanging out here, eventually I always have to leave. I headed out on 129 towards Robbinsville. While the "dragon" gets all the hype, this the ride to Robbinsville is pretty nice too. Just off 129 is a dead end road with some good picture spots.

    Would you believe this is about a mile from Deal's Gap. I'll bet over 99% of the riders who come here never see this.

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    129 runs along the Cheoah river. This was one of those days when they let the water loose and it was raging.

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    I stopped to check out this swinging foot bridge.

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    The vast majority of riders come to this area and ride 129, 28 and the Skyway. There is some pretty cool stuff here if you are willing to get off the main roads.

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    A small scooter is perfect for exploring these roads.

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  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14,080
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    Next up was the Cherohala Skyway. Many people like this road better than the "dragon" or other roads in the area. I like it but to be honest I sometimes get a little bored on it. There is nothing challenging on this road. Just set the cruise at 50, lean left, lean right and repeat. Or if you are on a small scooter, pin the throttle, lean left and lean right. On the steepest parts 35 was all I could do.

    It is a very scenic road.

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    I do like having all the scenic turnouts. I wasn't the only one out having fun.

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    Then it was back to CMTC where I loaded the S8 into my truck and headed home. That was it for the trip. 5 days and 900+ miles. It doesn't sound like all that much but this trip was a milestone for me. I finally checked off that block for going touring on a small scooter. Sure I did trips on my Aprilia but a 250 isn't a small scooter.

    After I got back I was already thinking about future small scooter trips. I'm glad I did this trip on the S8 because my plan was to replace it with another small scooter that was a little more capable of going touring. It was appropriate that I did this trip on my first scooter, the one that got me hooked on scooting.
    Snapper33, wwm66, Trucker jay and 8 others like this.
  10. misanthropic

    misanthropic Zero

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,754
    Location:
    Keller TX
    I did AOCS in 89 then advanced NFO at Mather then on to VP 31 at Moffett. I got into street riding in Northern California then had to go my fleet squadron in HI. I got spoiled as well. Thanks for the report it brought back a lot of great memories.
    Snapper33 likes this.
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14,080
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    Thanks for checking in. it's always good to hear from someone with a similar background. So did you do any riding in Hawaii?
  12. misanthropic

    misanthropic Zero

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,754
    Location:
    Keller TX
    Dirt only and it was fantastic.
    klaviator likes this.