Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oliver Springs TN
Blue Ridge Parkway ride report
Last year I thought that the Blue Ridge Parkway was history for us. We like to ride it about 60 MPH, not "fast" but "steady" on the throttle, not slowing much (if any) for the curves. They had tared and chipped the road and it was awful. Lose gravel was everywhere so we left early. I was going to stay all summer.
We gave it another try this year and I'm happy to report we were still able to fly around the curves faster than recommended or legal. LOL It's rough but the lose gravel is mostly (if not all) gone. The pavement was much better before they did what they did but it's ride-able for us again. If it was wet that would be another story. It is heavily tared and could be slippery when wet. If it was wet, I'd stay in the middle of the lane where the car traffic hasn't brought the tar up to the surface quite as much.
Note that some of the areas that needed repairs got nothing. Go figure. From Hwy 19 towards Cherokee, there are potholes and heaving pavement but from Hwy 215 to 276, it's still the old pavement in good shape. That's by far the best pavement we saw. North of 276 the pavement is heaving in spots and uneven.
The new surfaces are very hard on tires. The sides of my tires are rough and showing a lot of wear for the mileage on them. A few more trips on that pavement will due them in.
There was a crash while we were there. Some guy from Florida. Ranger said he walked away breised but ok. He told us the average person involved in a crash is a 57 year old white man on a Harley. He said they get lost in the view and look off at the "to die for" views whereas the flying crotch rockets, watch the road.
I had another trip planed for the Cherohala Skyway but we decided to cancel that one and go to the parkway again sometime later this summer. Temps in Maggie Valley hovered around 82 down lower but I saw 60 up on top. Some days I had to add a layer under my riding jacket.
Saw a Turkey standing in the same spot three different times. Finally had to go back and make sure it wasn't fake. It just stood there all three times. First on Monday and then twice on Tuesday, two hours apart. Thought it might be a joke but it moved upon inspection.
Saw no bears this time until we got home to TN. While driving home, the wife saw one run into the woods next to our place. I'd rather it moved on up into the wildlife lands north of us. I shot off a few rounds into dirt to let it know this wasn't the place to call home but with all the fireworks the next day, who knows what direction it ran.
“Take the risk of thinking for yourself , much more happiness , truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” Hitchens