Time to ride the Dragon! - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2016, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Time to ride the Dragon!

Been riding for 20 years, but have never really rode more than a gas tank away at a time. So what better way to change that then take a trip down to the Dragon this weekend? Going to leave from work in Herndon, VA Friday night, and come back Monday morning. It's roughly 525 miles each way. Should be a lot of fun. Will definitely be posting some pics from my trip!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 06:43 AM
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I have ridden the Dragon a couple of times, and frankly I don't think it is nearly as much fun as advertised. It is a demanding road, there is almost no scenery, there is a 35 mph speed limit said to be strictly enforced by the Tennessee police, and there is a solid double yellow center line for the entire distance. I understand they have finally banned large trucks, but bear in mind it is still a numbered US highway and there are RVs, boat trailers, and so forth on the road. You also have to be alert for fools coming the other way who get into a curve too hot and cross the center line coming at you. If you do make a mistake, there are almost no safe runoff areas. I suggest for your first run, obey the seemingly ridiculous speed limit and pay careful attention to the warning speeds on signposted curves. It is a hell of a lot easier to STAY out of trouble than to GET out of it.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 08:00 AM
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im glad i live the UK and our speed limits aint that strict.. 30mph is the limit for riding through towns and built up areas!

single lane 'highways' are 60mph and double lanes or more are 70mph .. although you can cruise at around 80mph on dual carraigeways and not get pulled over as long as you're doing it safely

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charon View Post
I have ridden the Dragon a couple of times, and frankly I don't think it is nearly as much fun as advertised. It is a demanding road, there is almost no scenery, there is a 35 mph speed limit said to be strictly enforced by the Tennessee police, and there is a solid double yellow center line for the entire distance. I understand they have finally banned large trucks, but bear in mind it is still a numbered US highway and there are RVs, boat trailers, and so forth on the road. You also have to be alert for fools coming the other way who get into a curve too hot and cross the center line coming at you. If you do make a mistake, there are almost no safe runoff areas. I suggest for your first run, obey the seemingly ridiculous speed limit and pay careful attention to the warning speeds on signposted curves. It is a hell of a lot easier to STAY out of trouble than to GET out of it.
Thank you for the advice on riding the dragon. I will keep in mind to be careful on it. For me its not so much about riding the dragon, but about taking a long road trip with a destination in mind. I'm waiting to hear back from a friend in Atlanta, to see if he wants to get together this weekend. If he does then its like a 50 to a 100 mile detour/different route to him.

Its kind of an internal WTF moment, of how I've managed to go 20 years riding without really going anywhere. I don't do group rides, it's not my thing and I don't trust people in general. Even though I'm not likely to be at fault for an accident, it would still mean me being without my ride again. 2 years 2 months and 20 days without a ride was too long to go without, all because someone wasn't looking and pulled out in front of me. Riding to me is just moments that I can be at peace, alone in my own world. I don't need to ride with others to find that peace, but I do need to see more of the world while on Ghost.
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Ride what fits you, and what you enjoy. Forget about acting macho, to impress your friends or some cute girl.

I ride a 2006 Yamaha Roadliner because it's what fits me, is fast when I want and need it to be, and it makes me feel whole.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 09:00 AM
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Good luck and enjoy the ride. I understand that on weekends where the weather is nice that the "Dragon" can be very congested with bikes. The ride down will be a good one I'm sure and if you meet up with your buddy you may even make a destination change where you can enjoy the ride with a lot less congestion.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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I've heard that, but it will still be a fun ride down there. Wife is actually getting jealous enough about it that she is considering coming along. If she does, cool, if not no biggie. Her coming like triples the cost as she would want to stay in the nicer hotels, make more stops, etc etc. Either way it will be a fun ride.

Ride what fits you, and what you enjoy. Forget about acting macho, to impress your friends or some cute girl.

I ride a 2006 Yamaha Roadliner because it's what fits me, is fast when I want and need it to be, and it makes me feel whole.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 02:09 PM
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Motorcycle riders are not the only ones who have heard about the Dragon. You can expect Corvettes, Porsches, Spyders and Slingshots, and pretty much anything else at any time, and sometimes in groups. Last couple of times I was there, there were a couple of commercial photographers set up in curves. They take your picture, put it on the Web, and try to sell it to you.

I have not personally observed the phenomenon, but I am led to understand that a goodly number of cruiser riders discover their limited cornering lean angles on that road.

While you are in the area, you might look into some part (or all) of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It has a lot more scenic overlooks, but be advised the curves were laid out for scenery and not for spirited riding.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 03:55 PM
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Charon, this past weeks episode of Ride With Norman Reedus included a segment on them riding the Blue Ridge Parkway, it was very enjoyable and so far it's been my favorite of this series. Two to three years ago the wife and I did a car trip that included driving the entire Natchez Trace Parkway. With the exception of the speed limit (50mph) I think it would be a nice ride on a bike.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice of the other places in the area to visit. I could care less about banking around curves fast. I ride a Roadliner, not a crotch rocket. It's going to be a fun trip with some great scenery either way.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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So I never made it to the Dragon. I was going to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way down from Buena Vista. Unfortunately on Blue Ridge Parkway South between mile marker 76 & 75, there is a right curve with part of the road missing.
I was going low speed, like 25-30 mph, and went off the road. I was able to slow down to like 5 mph or so and planted my left foot down to pull my bike towards me. The incline was steep and I kept myself and my bike from rolling down the mountain.

Fortunately Ghost is fine, very minor cosmetic damage. From what I could see it looks like just the left passing light got broken, won't know for sure till I can call Geico to go pick my bike up from where it was towed to. Thankfully a couple of other bikers stopped to check on me, pick my bike up, and call the ambulance for me.

I broke my left ankle and left leg, both my tibia and fibula are broken in multiple places. They had to do surgery to put in a steel rod the entire length of my tibia just below the knee. There is one screw on top, 2 screws on bottom, and a steel plate on the bottom to line everything up. This makes surgery number 17 in my lifetime.

Oh and no this will not deter me from riding again once I am healed up. I must have took the corner too tight, but the road should have been there. Live and learn right. I gladly broke my leg to not lose my bike in this situation. Here are some pics of both the beautiful ride, and my leg before and after surgery.
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