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Thread: Pre or Post Rally Ride Itinerary Suggestions?

  1. #1
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Pre or Post Rally Ride Itinerary Suggestions?

    This year will be my first rally and I'm registered and signed up for training Friday and Saturday. Another bucket list item is running the Dragon and some of the other routes in the area. There are however a bewildering number of options and so I thought I'd ask for input.

    I'm riding from Memphis which means about a 7 hour run to get to the Dragon area (or back home from there). What would you guys recommend for a Dragon/Rally newbie? I figure I don't want to do it over a weekend, I just can't figure out whether to run it before the Rally or after.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  2. #2
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    There are many great rides in western NC and eastern TN. I'd avoid some of those with names, especially on weekends, as they can be frustrating when clogged with riders moving at turtle speed either due to sightseeing or being in over their heads. The Dragon would be high on my list for that category. If I ride it, I do so early morning and mid-week. The northern part of Hwy 28 from Fontana Dam to Almond is nice, and again the section from Franklin to Highlands (especially if you like waterfalls). The road on the western side of Lake Santeetlah by the Joyce Kilmer Forest is sweet, and links the Dragon with Cherohala Byway. Dip down 68/60 into northern Georgia then cut over to Helen GA. Wayah Rd between Topton and Franklin is gorgeous, and passes Lake Nantahala

    It would help if you tell us what sort of rides you enjoy.

    Pete
    '18 R1200GSA and '12 R1200GSA for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan sidecar for rides with Glenlivet
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  3. #3
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenfiddich View Post
    It would help if you tell us what sort of rides you enjoy.

    Pete
    Good point. I'm looking to run the Dragon mainly because I'll be close and I've been hearing and reading about it for 30 years. My bike actually had a dragon sticker on it when I bought it (which I removed because I hadn't 'earned' it). Haha. I'd like to qualify to put one back on.

    I enjoy any road that's twisty. I'm not looking to drag my knees or come particularly close to dying. Any nice smooth twisty road is ok by me. I suppose I'd just like to just experience some of the more legendary roads in that part of the country since I'm going to be so close by for the Rally. I will have some time but not a whole lot. There are so many options in that area but I need to try to economize my time by asking about ones that are particularly popular to get the best bang for my buck so to speak. I have no idea when, or even if, I'll ever get the chance to get out that way again.

    I'll have one day before (Thursday) or maybe two days after (Monday and Tuesday). I have two options:
    If before rally, travel to the Gap area Wednesday and have all day Thursday to ride around, then go to the Rally Friday AM (I have a training class Friday afternoon). Travel home Sunday.

    If after, ride to the Gap area Sunday from Lebanon, ride around Monday, overnight somewhere and travel back Tuesday (I might be able to add a day this way).
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  4. #4
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    I'm planning on getting to a campground around Cherokee Tuesday afternoon then taking a long day ride Wednesday and heading to the Rally Thursday morning, arriving mid day. My experience has been during the week is better, not so crowded.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
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  5. #5
    Hangered... but aimed out
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    pappy35... as a first time National attendee, with the choices you've outlined; seems going over Sunday after Rally and riding Monday and some on Tuesday on your departure from the area would seem best. You could actually choose to stay at the same place two nights, (Ironhorse for example)... and that would save you some time. Wednesday afternoon is a great time to arrive at the Rally site/area.
    Showing up from the mountain area, appox. 4 or 5hrs east, AND taking a riding course the same Friday afternoon is pretty aggressive.

    "travel'n" john

  6. #6
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyhi2cfar View Post
    Showing up from the mountain area, appox. 4 or 5hrs east, AND taking a riding course the same Friday afternoon is pretty aggressive.

    "travel'n" john
    Thanks John. Yeah. If I do it up front then I was thinking I'd ride 1/2 or 3/4 the way from the Dragon to Lebanon and overnight closer. I think you've hit a good point though in that I probably shouldn't be taking two classes after having spent a couple of days riding through the mountains...
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  7. #7
    Ride the dragon midweek before the rally. Do not ride it on Sunday. Last time I was at the store at the southend on a weekend there were number plated full bore (not street legal) bikes off trailers heading up and down the 11 miles. It was a zoo. Avoid on weekends for there be fools (but good riders, some) about.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  8. #8
    Registered User krazyhank's Avatar
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    Ditto avoiding the Dragon on weekends. The Skyway is better - long sweeping corners and less traffic. They just opened the newest section of the Foothills Parkway but when I was there in November it was packed. There are great roads along the borders of TN. NC and Ga. For first time travelers I would recommend America Rides Maps. He has researched and ridden the roads and is a local Blue Ridge rider. The maps are very durable. Dang - maps - who would have thought they still exist ! https://americaridesmaps.com/
    2010 R1200RT

  9. #9
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazyhank View Post
    The maps are very durable. Dang - maps - who would have thought they still exist ! https://americaridesmaps.com/
    Thanks but what is this word you used twice? Is that some slang for Google Maps?

    Great link. Order placed! One question: It doesn't say on their site but do these come on a flash drive so I can put them in my phone?
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  10. #10
    Registered User WWeldin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazyhank View Post
    ........Dang - maps - who would have thought they still exist ! https://americaridesmaps.com/
    Don't those exist to put in the tank pocket?
    2000 R1200C, 2019 R1250RT

  11. #11
    Registered User bikerpaul's Avatar
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    I paid for a subscription to Rever and with that you get Butler Maps on the website or the app itself. Not sure how it compares to America Rides Maps.

  12. #12
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerpaul View Post
    I paid for a subscription to Rever and with that you get Butler Maps on the website or the app itself. Not sure how it compares to America Rides Maps.
    Having tried both, I find the Butler maps head and shoulders more useful for planning than the America Rides Maps. Butler distinguishes between technical, moderate, and scenic routes - much more detail than America Rides.

    Pete
    '18 R1200GSA and '12 R1200GSA for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan sidecar for rides with Glenlivet
    '15 Honda CRF250L for exploring places I'm afraid to take the big GSA!
    http://travelswithbarley.com/

  13. #13
    Registered User CABNFVR's Avatar
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    You'll have tons of info to pour over regarding the Dragon but ..... do stop at the Tellico Grains Bakery on the western end of the Cherohala Skyway. Enjoy the ride!
    "Have BMW. Will Travel"

  14. #14
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CABNFVR View Post
    You'll have tons of info to pour over regarding the Dragon but ..... do stop at the Tellico Grains Bakery on the western end of the Cherohala Skyway. Enjoy the ride!
    See. Now THAT'S a great suggestion!!!
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  15. #15
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenfiddich View Post
    Having tried both, I find the Butler maps head and shoulders more useful for planning than the America Rides Maps. Butler distinguishes between technical, moderate, and scenic routes - much more detail than America Rides.

    Pete
    Just ordered the Southern Appalachian map from Butler to complement the AmericaRides maps I ordered. Thanks Pete.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

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