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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Headed up to Gettysburg last Sat and spent several days there touring the battlefield. Was pretty nice until yesterday when it rained all day so hung around town just walking. Stayed at the Best Western on the round-a-bout which is a great place to stay.

Schedule is such that I left today for Skyline Drive and conditions were terrible. Rain and heavy fog with vis in some locations down to 20 feet. It was like flying IFR except more taxing.

I'm in Waynesboro tonight, then on down the Blueridge. Hope to make the whole length to Cherokee. I'm really glad the hotel had a whirlpool and sauna since the bod is fried. Met 3 guys who rode up the Blueridge today with the same conditions. If the forecast isn't better tomorrow, I'm holing up here for a while until things improve.

Will post pics when I get back.
 

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Hope your weather clears up, it sounds like a great trip. Ride safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's a pic I took yesterday on Skyline which is about the only semi clear view on the trip down.

 

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Supposed to be sunny and 70 this weekend. Windy on Saturday. They're reporting that this is the peak weekend for foliage. Enjoy your ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Left Waynesboro this morning at 8AM and had clear skies all the way but in the morning it was very windy and pretty chilly. Lots and lots of bikes out

Made it down to the Christiansburg area but all 15 hotels in the area were booked because Virginia Tech and another college were both having family weekends. So over and back up the road to Salem to a Holiday Inn that had rooms. About 60 total out of the way miles. Only made about 150 Blueridge miles today because of all the stops. Noticed that very few bikes stopped along the route.

Will post pics later.
 

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LOVE the BRP! Ride it every chance I can -- like last weekend. The farther south you get, the better it gets. (Except of the section near the VA/NC border -- still nice but not as good as the rest.) The very best part is the from about halfway across NC to the end. There are FANTASTIC roads off, on and around the BRP in that area.

Take as much time as you can and enjoy the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In Asheville tonight. The BRP was packed today and just about every overlook was full of cars and bikes. It was almost like a major bike show with all the mfrs here. Saw about 20 Spyders go by in a pack and at least a dozen bikes with side cars. Had to jump off around Sparta as the parkway is closed for a few miles and there is around a 20 mile detour.

Weather was near perfect with blue skies and visibility forever. Managed a bunch of pictures but the wifi connection here is slooow, so I'll get the pictures up when it won't take an hour.

Should finish the Parkway tomorrow and then I'll decide if I'm going to head up to the Dragon but to be honest I'm about cornered out. I wonder if anyone has ever counted all the curves on the Skyline and BRP? You go through so many curves that even when you go straight you still feel like you are turning.
 

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Go on to the dragon you won't regret it. I have ridden from Asheville to Cherokee on the BRP a couple of times and it is a great ride and then on around to the dragon. If you ride safely and don't do anything crazy you will be just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Finished the BRP today and rode through Smokey Mtn NP which was a zoo but still pretty then headed home. Made it in about 9:30 with around 500 miles for today, Would have been in several hours earlier but the traffic in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge was....well stupid then there were two major traffic jams on I-40; one for no discernable reason and the other due to a garbage truck which caught on fire.

I've ridden the Dragon before so I took a pass and it would have meant staying over in the area and they are predicting rain over the region and I've had enough rain, fog and what not on this trip. Besides I was already 3 days longer on the trip than expected because of an extra day in Gettysburg and sitting out a day in Waynesboro and taking a whole day to get down Skyline Dr.. I'm glad I did because I ran into some guys who rode up the BRP on the day I sat out and they said it was terrible and really dangerous. When the fog wasn't so bad that you couldn't see anything, the winds were hitting 35-50 mph.

Total trip distance was 2086 miles and covered the full length of the Skyline and BRP except for the closed section around MM-230.
 

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Finished the BRP today and rode through Smokey Mtn NP which was a zoo but still pretty then headed home. Made it in about 9:30 with around 500 miles for today, Would have been in several hours earlier but the traffic in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge was....well stupid then there were two major traffic jams on I-40; one for no discernable reason and the other due to a garbage truck which caught on fire.

I've ridden the Dragon before so I took a pass and it would have meant staying over in the area and they are predicting rain over the region and I've had enough rain, fog and what not on this trip. Besides I was already 3 days longer on the trip than expected because of an extra day in Gettysburg and sitting out a day in Waynesboro and taking a whole day to get down Skyline Dr.. I'm glad I did because I ran into some guys who rode up the BRP on the day I sat out and they said it was terrible and really dangerous. When the fog wasn't so bad that you couldn't see anything, the winds were hitting 35-50 mph.

Total trip distance was 2086 miles and covered the full length of the Skyline and BRP except for the closed section around MM-230.
Mmmmmmm....bet THAT smelled tasty!!!:mrgreen:

Made it home now, have you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well here's a few smaple pics from a batch of 600.




A section of BRP at the North end.






BRP in NC.









I'll post more online if there is interest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thought I post some thoughts for folks planning on riding the Skyline and BRP. My first suggestion is if you are riding either and there is low thick cloud cover or it is raining, reconsider your plans because in those conditions, both these roads can be bloody dangerous.

I took the Skyline and it was raining and visibility wasn't a real concern except for the last eight miles where is went to maybe 20 feet. I was creeping along at maybe 15 mph and ran up on an idiot parked in the road in a dark car with no lights on at all (see my final comment). Then he takes off and I spent 6 miles worrying when I was going to smack into the back end of him.

Better to ride during the week than weekend, Sundays seem to be the absolute worst.

The Skyline has a 35 mph speed limit while the BRP is generally 45. For me holding things at or below 35 was a pita but I was also told the park police on skyline can be really hard nosed and have written bikers up for less than 5 over. The only ones I encountered though were on the BRP where they had a speed trap set up below Asheville. Two chase cars and two running radar.

Be watchful anytime you are approaching an overlook as a lot of them are on really tight corners and people won't see you coming as they pull in or out. The folks from Florida won't care if they do see you coming.

All the official overlooks are paved.

Also, when you are in the watershed area on the southern section be careful in the corners as you can suddenly run into wet road or standing water as I did on one really tight corner that caused a bit of a wiggle in back...both mine and the bike's.

Skyline has a $10 entry fee for bikes or private cars while the BRP is free.

The visitor centers opened at 9AM on the days I rode so I missed several. Which reminds me, bathroom facilities are few and far between.

Gas wasn't an issue for me but I have a range of around 200 miles on my bike. You may want to plan your stops if you only get 120 or so. As far as I recall, there is only one outlet on the BRP itself and it is on the Northern end.

At mid-morning and later afternoon watch out for the glare from the sun. There were several times when I was blinded in a corner and one particularly scary time when I was in a corner that immediately went into a tunnel. It was like riding into a black hole.

Check the WX for wind reports. All three days I was on the BRP, the wind was pretty brisk and ocasionally got up around 40 mph gusts which can catch you as you wind around the mountains. The second day a Ranger told me that earlier in the morning he encountered 50+mph winds on Fierce Ridge that was knocking people down.

Take the Park Service's word on those corners marked 20 and 25 mph or the ones marked with a circle and arrow! You'll know the sign when you see one.

Finally, stay away from anyone with a Florida license plate on their vehicle. They will sit on your tail a few feet back, stop in the middle of the road for no reason, try to back their camper over your bike, will step in front of you are you are taking pictures and are in general a-holes on wheels. Every time I had an issue with a vehicle, it had sunshine state plates on it.
 

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great pic from skyline
 

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Thought I post some thoughts for folks planning on riding the Skyline and BRP. My first suggestion is if you are riding either and there is low thick cloud cover or it is raining, reconsider your plans because in those conditions, both these roads can be bloody dangerous.

I took the Skyline and it was raining and visibility wasn't a real concern except for the last eight miles where is went to maybe 20 feet. I was creeping along at maybe 15 mph and ran up on an idiot parked in the road in a dark car with no lights on at all (see my final comment). Then he takes off and I spent 6 miles worrying when I was going to smack into the back end of him.

Better to ride during the week than weekend, Sundays seem to be the absolute worst.

The Skyline has a 35 mph speed limit while the BRP is generally 45. For me holding things at or below 35 was a pita but I was also told the park police on skyline can be really hard nosed and have written bikers up for less than 5 over. The only ones I encountered though were on the BRP where they had a speed trap set up below Asheville. Two chase cars and two running radar.

Be watchful anytime you are approaching an overlook as a lot of them are on really tight corners and people won't see you coming as they pull in or out. The folks from Florida won't care if they do see you coming.

All the official overlooks are paved.

Also, when you are in the watershed area on the southern section be careful in the corners as you can suddenly run into wet road or standing water as I did on one really tight corner that caused a bit of a wiggle in back...both mine and the bike's.

Skyline has a $10 entry fee for bikes or private cars while the BRP is free.

The visitor centers opened at 9AM on the days I rode so I missed several. Which reminds me, bathroom facilities are few and far between.

Gas wasn't an issue for me but I have a range of around 200 miles on my bike. You may want to plan your stops if you only get 120 or so. As far as I recall, there is only one outlet on the BRP itself and it is on the Northern end.

At mid-morning and later afternoon watch out for the glare from the sun. There were several times when I was blinded in a corner and one particularly scary time when I was in a corner that immediately went into a tunnel. It was like riding into a black hole.

Check the WX for wind reports. All three days I was on the BRP, the wind was pretty brisk and ocasionally got up around 40 mph gusts which can catch you as you wind around the mountains. The second day a Ranger told me that earlier in the morning he encountered 50+mph winds on Fierce Ridge that was knocking people down.

Take the Park Service's word on those corners marked 20 and 25 mph or the ones marked with a circle and arrow! You'll know the sign when you see one.

Finally, stay away from anyone with a Florida license plate on their vehicle. They will sit on your tail a few feet back, stop in the middle of the road for no reason, try to back their camper over your bike, will step in front of you are you are taking pictures and are in general a-holes on wheels. Every time I had an issue with a vehicle, it had sunshine state plates on it.
Pretty much my experience over the years. I don't ride skyline anymore. The last time I was on there, the recreational buses constantly tying up traffic and them tarring and chipping the road, it took five hours to go the 110 miles. Never again. The brp is always a serene ride. I keep it around the speed limit because it is a park and I don't want to terrorize any bike riders or hikers. It is the perfect mind scrub for me. BTW the picture below was taken on skyline drive, I only mention it because I thought you might like to see a vista in the sun light.
 

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I rode up to Gettysburg on Saturday from Annapolis (Barely over an hour and a half ride one way) with a buddy from the MSF class. Got some lunch, rode through the battlefields, then took a bunch of back roads through Western MD to get home.

Awesome, cold and windy ride.
 
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