Literally, a Killer Ride

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Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by TheOldGuy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:18 pm

Here's an extended, day-long ride that will make The Tail look like I-10:

(Serious warning: I've ridden the last leg, US421. NO NOT ATTEMPT THIS UNLESS you are skilled and you have a very nimble bike. It is a seriously dangerous route for a motorcycle ! Lots of NC80 looks just as bad on maps.)

From Asheville, NC, east on US70 about a mile past Pleasant Grove (this part is easy); turn left on NC80.
NO80 across the Blue Ridge Parkway to Micaville and US19E; TR (Turn Right)
US19E through Spuce Pine to Ingalls and NC194; TR
NC194 to US221; TL
US221 to Linesville and NC181; TR
NC181 about 3/4 mile to NC105; TL
NC105 to NC184; TL
NC184 to NC 194; TR
NC194 to US321/US421; TL
US321/US421 about 3/4 mile to US421 turn-off; TR onto US421
US421 To Bristol, NC (about 55 miles)

This last stretch crosses two mountain ridges. There are constant curves and hairpin switchbacks with violent elevation changes. There are no guardrails and no shoulders and if you run off the road the next stop is 1,000 feetl down the mountain. The inside lane will have clinker ballast crumbs on the pavement from cage traffic getting off the pavement on the inside and scattering the crumbs onto the pavement. There is NO safe place to stop on the pavement or to pull off on the mountain sections (also goes through two valleys, easy riding there). I rode it on a V-Strom. I would not want to attempt it on my Valkyrie.

421 is the only segment of this route I've ridden, but if memory serves the lower portion of NC80 is known as The Devil's Whip.

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Re: Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by JSteele on Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:00 am

Man, I wish I lived closer to the mountains some times!!! Thanks for posting that route. I will consider that one when I do get to head that way.
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Re: Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by TheOldGuy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:26 am

Most welcome. I make an annual trip up that way, meeting a friend from DC. I wanted to make this ride but made the mistake of saying "You decide where this year," and he picked the Gatlingurg area. Much tamer. Maybe because he rides an '87 Honda Super Magna -- impressive in a straight line, but not so hot on curves.
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Re: Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by JSteele on Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:41 am

I had a 87 Super Magma. Originally it belonged to Hayweed. That is an awesome bike. I never took it to the mountains but it was a blast to ride.

I can usually take 3 day weekends right now. I do family stuff for now using my 2 week paid vacation time. But keep us posted on your trips, you never know when the timing might work out for me or the others to tag along.
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Re: Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by TheOldGuy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:47 am

Thank you.  Plan now is to leave here mid-day or afternoon on the 16th (17th if my friend shifts his days back a day as he says he might need to); spend the night in the Birmingham area, then ride on to Gatlinburg on the 17th or 18th.  Pensacola/Gatlinburg is a very doable one-day ride, but I don't want a long day the day before we hit the curves.  Belt-and-suspenders approach to avoiding road rash.  I'd be delighted with company as far as anyone would want to go.


Last edited by TheOldGuy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:48 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correct date)
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Re: Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by beachbum_ on Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:23 pm

If u dont mind atlanta it is a more fun ride going up that way using I-85 north out of atlanta thru gainesville to cherokee or if u go earlier you can go up through ga to south of the dragon then finish to gatlinburg using the dragon or take moonshiner up and through cherokee. And or the cherahola skyway , dang now I wanta go back. Just saying going thru twe big b is boring LoL have fun either way

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Re: Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by beachbum_ on Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:24 pm

If u dont mind atlanta it is a more fun ride going up that way using I-85 north out of atlanta thru gainesville to cherokee or if u go earlier you can go up through ga to south of the dragon then finish to gatlinburg using the dragon or take moonshiner up and through cherokee. And or the cherahola skyway , dang now I wanta go back. Just saying going thru twe big b is boring LoL have fun either way

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Re: Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by TheOldGuy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:14 pm


I hate Atlanta but if it's hit well off rush hour its survivable, and north of there as you suggest is more fun. But 19 from Dahlonega up to the Murphy area is on my bucket list. Discovered that road in a truck pulling Fat Lady and have been wantng to ride it ever since. Excellent way up to Robbinsville and The Tail.
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Re: Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by saltcreep on Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:10 pm

Mapped it out
http://tinyurl.com/m3xuzye

I'm headed to Maggie Valley the 19th -- Can't wait!  I usually just book through the middle of Atlanta, seems to be the fastest way.. unless I'm feeling like wondering then I go around , through Lagrange, and up by Rome, GA
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Re: Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by TheOldGuy on Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:09 pm

I hate Atlanta traffic. Went through in PM rush hour pulling a trailer with the Valkyrie I had just bought on it. Uh-uh. When the speed limit was 55, people would do 60, 65 on the interstates until they got into Atlanta, speed up to 80 bumper-to-bumper, then slow down to 60-65 when they got out in the country again. I've heard the way cops give tickets in Atlanta is to pull out onto the interstate, light up, and ticket whomever stops.

But enjoy Maggie Valley. The friend I'm meeting in Gatlinburg and I may pass though there on our riding day.
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Re: Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by Miss G on Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:55 pm

Sounds like a fabulous trip....maybe one day I can do things like this... *sigh*
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Re: Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by TheOldGuy on Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:37 pm

The trip got cancelled. My DC friend is going to be promoted from Major to LT Colonel and apparenty military society requires he throw some expensive parties, so he's penny-pinching and cancelled.

Stumbled into a nice, easy day ride up through south-central AL -- I'll detail that in a different thread.
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Re: Literally, a Killer Ride

Post by JSteele on Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:54 pm

TheOldGuy wrote:The trip got cancelled.  My DC friend is going to be promoted from Major to LT Colonel and apparenty military society requires he throw some expensive parties, so he's penny-pinching and cancelled.

Stumbled into a nice, easy day ride up through south-central AL -- I'll detail that in a different thread.

Please do.
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