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Offline Newy1000

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North Carolina Riding
« on: April 09, 2019, 05:37:48 AM »
Hi Folks,

I am in North Carolina from Australia for work in a couple of weeks time and we are lucky enough to have a day up our sleeves to do a day ride in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

We will be staying at Asheville and doing a day ride from there and I was hoping some of the locals could clue me in on the best ride options, as there are many!

Just to clarify we will be on Harleys as that is all that was available for rental on short notice from Asheville so I am thinking the Tail of the Dragon might be best avoided as I dont fancy constantly dodging or checking my mirrors for sportsbikes, as awesome a ride as it looks.

Also keep in mind we will be in a foreign country on the opposite side of the road so enjoyment rather than outright pace will be the order of the day.

I was giving some thought to just heading up the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville for a couple of hundred miles and back to keep things simple but any suggestions would be much appreciated. 
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 05:39:00 AM by Newy1000 »

Offline Gazk

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Re: North Carolina Riding
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2019, 01:00:58 PM »
Hey up mate I have famliy over in goodl NC,

Asheville is a livley place at night some good bars quite liberal nu-like most of NC, so from Asheville if your on a HD  :004: you could head North on the I40 towards Hartford but come off at mile marker 451 and head West over the Tobers Creak\ Pidgeon River and head for Cosby on the 32 then 339 to Sevierville Tennessee then on to 441 to Knoxville.

Juat as a side not I live in Leicester UK and there is a Leicester NC right near to Asheville!

Enjoy your time over in the tar heel state!
After over thirty years behind the bars, I’ve still not done it all or seen it all.

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Offline Bree

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Re: North Carolina Riding
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2019, 04:55:58 PM »
*Originally Posted by Newy1000 [+]
Hi Folks,

I am in North Carolina from Australia for work in a couple of weeks time and we are lucky enough to have a day up our sleeves to do a day ride in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

We will be staying at Asheville and doing a day ride from there and I was hoping some of the locals could clue me in on the best ride options, as there are many!

Just to clarify we will be on Harleys as that is all that was available for rental on short notice from Asheville so I am thinking the Tail of the Dragon might be best avoided as I dont fancy constantly dodging or checking my mirrors for sportsbikes, as awesome a ride as it looks.

Also keep in mind we will be in a foreign country on the opposite side of the road so enjoyment rather than outright pace will be the order of the day.

I was giving some thought to just heading up the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville for a couple of hundred miles and back to keep things simple but any suggestions would be much appreciated.



Never known an Aussie to worry about other road users.  Go for it Tail of the Dragon it should be..... :001: :001:
Everything  Will Be Alright In The End, If Not Then Its Not The End.

Offline SimonUK

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Re: North Carolina Riding
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2019, 04:58:47 PM »
@Newy1000

I am just down the road from Asheville(60 miles), so ride the area roads lots, as you have probably realised there are so many options!!

Personally I would head east(but then again I have done the Dragon on numerous occasions), get on the BRP and head towards Little Switzerland, there are plenty of roads near there that are as good, if not better than the Dragon(hwy 80, hwy226a, hwy181).

If you want o head west, and take in the Dragon and the Cherohala, that is also not bad, but the Dragon on weekends is traffic and cop laden. I have done 441 once or twice, and eevry time it has been almost bumper to bumper traffic, which is a pity because it si actually a great road when quiet. I love TN32, but it is a bit of a ways to get to and 1 end of it is 1.5 miles of dirt road.

Offline Wonger

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Re: North Carolina Riding
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2019, 05:05:39 PM »
The riding is terrific heading west through Robbinsville and to Tellico Plains, but do not skip on going to The Biltmore. It is worth the trip to Ashville alone. The tail of the dragon is worth doing once, but do it on a weekday. There are plenty of pull-offs to let more enthusiastic riders past. It's all a great area to ride.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 05:07:30 PM by Wonger »

Offline James55

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Re: North Carolina Riding
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2019, 01:10:13 AM »
I live about an hour north of Asheville in Tennessee and frequently ride this area especially north of Asheville.  I would highly recommend the Blue Ridge Parkway especially if on HDs.  The views are awesome and the pace is probably most appropriate for the HDs.  Speed limit is 45 and hard to do on the XR.  I have done Deals Gap (The Tail of the Dragon as they call it now) many times in the past.  It is a great ride, but I feel it has become too congested especially on weekends and there are many other rides in the area that are comparable and not crowded.  I also don't think it would be as enjoyable on a HDs if your use to the XR.  The BRP would be a much better ride I think.  If you head north on the BRP there are some nice side trips for sight seeing.  At mile post 305 you can exit and go to Grandfather Mountain and take in the sights from a walk on the swinging bridge.  Beautiful view.  You could continue on the parkway and cross the viaduct which is a great engineering marvel built into the side of the mountain.  If you continue into Boone, NC you can catch Highway 321down to Watauga Lake. This is a nice well maintained twisty road.  If you stay on 421 to Mountain City from Boone you can follow this road to Bristol, TN.  The section from Mountain City to Bristol is call The Snake and attracts a lot of riders and rivals the Dragon.  The section from Mountain City to the Sullivan county line was recently repaved and in great shape.  The last section is not in as good a shape but very nice.  Beware especially with the HDs there are some tight decreasing radius turns on this section.  One of my favorite rides if coming from Asheville would be to take Interstate 26 west towards Johnson City (where I live). Yes its interstate which I normally avoid but this is a beautiful short section.  Get off at exit 32 for Unicoi, right at exit, right at next road just couple hundred yards. Then about a mile later take Hwy 107 This is a great ride into NC, great curves and will cross Iron Mountain Gap into NC where the Hwy becomes 226.  You can stay on 226 all the way to Bakersville if you need food or gas,but I usually take a left prior to Bakersville on Fork Mountain Road which then ends at 261 where you take a left.  You can also catch 261 as a left in Bakersville.  This road takes you to the top and across Roan Mountain. In my opinion one the most beautiful places in the eastern US.  As you get to the TN/NC state line at the top you can take a left for a short ride up to the Rhododendron Gardens.   Nice views there and if you have time you can take a short gravel lane to a path that takes you to a beautiful overlook.  Be aware the elevation is around 6000 feet and the temperature will be about 20-30 cooler than at the base of the mountain.  You can then continue on down the TN side of Roan Mountain and work you way back to Asheville a number of ways.  Just check Google Maps for these roads and areas and you can get a better idea for yourself.  Hope you have a great time.  I'm happy to attempt to answer any questions you may have.