Fall Riding in the N. Carolina - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-30-2013, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Fall Riding in the N. Carolina

Friend is concerned that there will be too many leaves down by 4th week (20th) of October and Deal's Gap type riding will be more dangerous. What do you think?

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post #2 of 12 Old 08-30-2013, 01:58 PM
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Friend is concerned that there will be too many leaves down by 4th week (20th) of October and Deal's Gap type riding will be more dangerous. What do you think?
I'm going next week and staying at the Iron Horse Motortcyle Lodge again. Great hopping off point for roads in the area. It will be summertime still when I'm there, but the good news for you is that October is the driest month of the year on average, so hopefully the leaves won't be too wet!

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-30-2013, 05:33 PM
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If the roads are dry you will be fine. The leaves will blow off the road. I actually prefer to ride in the late fall down here, you can see through some of the corners as the leaves are not blocking your view.


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post #4 of 12 Old 08-30-2013, 07:56 PM
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It varies greatly depending on your elevation and latitude.

I was there (based in Robbinsville) in 2011 on a dual-sport ride during that same weekend. The goat paths at higher elevations were covered in leaves, and we encountered snow on the highest elevations on the Cherohala Skyway (and the higher unpaved roads). However, the pavement was just fine.

Further north (northern tip of the GSMNP, Maggie Valley) about half the leaves were gone. Further south, the trees were still turning -- lots of green and mixed colors.

All the paved roads were in excellent shape, and the idiot factor was way, way down.

You really shouldn't let a fear of leaves keep you away. It's a beautiful area any time of year, but we had a great time because the crowds of goobers had vanished. No problems with traction on paved roads.

Be ready for precip and a wide range of temperatures (we saw highs in the 80s at lower elevations and frosty mornings) and you'll have a blast.



Some pics:

I'm the goober on the left -- this was at the highest elevation off the Cherohala, on the way to Whigg Meadow. Snow, leaves, rocks dirt...


Note how the frost and foliage vary with elevation:



Ooh, purty:



Very high up on the Cherohala.


Pavement is fine, though:



Believe it or not, this was taken just a few minutes earlier on the other side of a ridge and a bit lower. Mountain weather is a bit changeable:



Parson's Branch Road -- that little one-way dirt road that pops out halfway through the Dragon. Lots of leaves, but still pretty green in this area.



Further north -- a segment of the BRP near the park. Leftover frost on the shady bits outside the tunnel. Air temps warm and pleasant, no problems on the pavement:



Devil's Triangle -- some INSANE twisties over in TN. Worth the detour. Go on a weekend so the coal trucks don't squash you.

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Last edited by bwringer; 08-30-2013 at 08:19 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-31-2013, 07:29 AM
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It varies greatly depending on your elevation and latitude.

Some pics:
Great photos !

Looks like bunches of fun.

Thanks for posting.

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post #6 of 12 Old 08-31-2013, 09:25 AM
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go for it

I agree completely with bwringer; going when the idiot factor is low is a good idea.

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post #7 of 12 Old 09-03-2013, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome pics! Thanks for the input. Will be heading into TN too!

'08 Yellow DL650

Engine Guards; Bash Plate; Centerstand; 1" Bar Risers; Adjustable Lowering Links; OEM Top/Side Cases; EB Headlight Relay; OEM Handguards; Fork Brace; Piece a crap Windscreen; Broken Shift Lever (Tap/Bolt/Duct Tape); New Tires (but I coulda run on that plugged rear another 4k)
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-03-2013, 01:13 PM
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FYI............the last weekend of the season for The Iron Horse is Oct 25-27.........then they shut down on Oct 31 until Spring.

"Kickstand Campground" also closes Nov. 1 for the season.............

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Last edited by mark444; 09-03-2013 at 02:56 PM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-03-2013, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
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Friend is concerned that there will be too many leaves down by 4th week (20th) of October and Deal's Gap type riding will be more dangerous. What do you think?
I think he/she should just come find out for themselves.

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post #10 of 12 Old 09-03-2013, 02:30 PM
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Friend is concerned that there will be too many leaves down by 4th week (20th) of October and Deal's Gap type riding will be more dangerous. What do you think?
I rode the Dragon this past Sunday, 9/1/13, and the leaves are already starting to fall, but most of the leaves have not started to change color yet, so it's hard to say what it will be like by the 4th week of Oct.

-rodney

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