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Discussion Starter #1
I have the good fortune of some of my family living in Bluefield very close to Tazwell VA. I am going to take a few days next week to ride up and spend some time with Mon and them and hope for good enough weather to tackle the BOTD while there. My ex brother in law rides and hopefully will be able to guide me on some of the other roads that are of good caliber. Only thing is, he rides a hog so I may have to lead once he gets me there and wait at the cross roads.
 

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If he knows the roads really well, he may be waiting for you. I've followed some clapped out cars on roads they were familiar with and been challenged to keep up and I am not an inexperienced rider. If he is dragging the ground you may stand a chance.
 

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If he knows the roads really well, he may be waiting for you. I've followed some clapped out cars on roads they were familiar with and been challenged to keep up and I am not an inexperienced rider. If he is dragging the ground you may stand a chance.
That may be the case and if so, I would not be displeased as I like being challenged within reason. He is currently rebuilding a carburetor that decided to spontaneously start dumping gas out of it last week so I am not sure if I will be riding alone or not yet.
 

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Back of the Dragon is by far my favorite ride over Tail of the Dragon. You can take it easy and enjoy the scenery. Totd is fun but you are always on edge, can not take your eyes off the road for a second.
We did hit Moonshiners Run out of Totd a couple years ago. Got behind a couple local boys racing cars against each other. Made a 1 hour 20 min run in 55 minutes.
Remember to check out SE Ohio 555 and highway 78 out of Zanesville. The 555 Triple Nickle area has several side runs to hit as does the Back of the Dragon area. Again, BotD to me is more fun and relaxing but still challenging to ride. Be sure to stop at the visitor center for BotD. I believe it is in Tazewell as I recall. Sign in, say hi and grab a tee shirt and some decals.
 

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I grew up in Bluefield and did all of my early riding there. East River Mountain was my private 6 mile loop up and down the mountain. It was heaven....
I have driven that but this is the first time I have had the bike here. It is on my list. I love watching the clouds roll over the top of the mountain.
 

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I grew up in Bluefield and did all of my early riding there. East River Mountain was my private 6 mile loop up and down the mountain. It was heaven....
Dan, you were lucky. There are some great roads there. BOTD is only one. I had fun riding it a few times and once my friend got a bike running, he dragged me on some good roads. We started up the BOTD and then cut off on 601 and found our way to Saltville. A cool little town that produced salt for the confederacy by pumping brine out of the ground with steam pumps and then evaporating it in large kettles. From there we headed through Allison gap and down 613 where we picked up state road 80 over the mountain. It was pouring rain as we ran that road so although a great road, it wasn't the most enjoyable ride of the day, especially wen it narrowed down to about a lane and a quarter with only white lines on the sides. Still a cool road and would gladly ride it when it is dry. I am not sure where we went from there but it was over some newly resurfaced roads with very fine gravel so we both slowed down as the front tires started to give way in the corners. We ended up back in Tazwell as more storms came in so that was it for the day. I took some gear and a helmet up so I could ride my sisters around and individually took them both up the the East River overlook at Bluefield. They had never been on a bike like that before or taken corners like that either but they did OK with only a few screams. That is such a pretty area and good roads to boot. I will be going back for sure. Much more to do and ride.
 

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Took some video of the first few miles of the BOTD. Corners were wet from rain so I wasn't riding it like it can be. Speed is 55 on that road with lower caution speeds in the corners. It is definitely one of my new favorite roads.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_xJvGdcxvE
 

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Dan, you were lucky. . I will be going back for sure. Much more to do and ride.
I was indeed ! Thanks for sharing your pictures too. I cannot tell you how many times I had some of those mountain roads to myself and some of my local riding buddies. Sorry about the wet roads as that will really put a crimp in your ride.

If you get back, try to ride over to Burkes Garden, near Tazewell. It was a favorite spot.

https://visittazewellcounty.org/burkes-garden-2/

"Known as “Vanderbilt’s First Choice,” “God’s Thumbprint,” and the “Garden Spot of the World,” beautiful Burke’s Garden is Virginia’s highest valley and Virginia’s largest rural historic district. This bowl-shaped valley carved out of the top of a mountain offers the most breathtaking scenery this side of New Zealand, with verdant farmland, abundant wildlife, rare bird watching, peaceful biking, and adventurous hiking on the Appalachian Trail."
 

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I was indeed ! Thanks for sharing your pictures too. I cannot tell you how many times I had some of those mountain roads to myself and some of my local riding buddies. Sorry about the wet roads as that will really put a crimp in your ride.

If you get back, try to ride over to Burkes Garden, near Tazewell. It was a favorite spot.

https://visittazewellcounty.org/burkes-garden-2/

"Known as “Vanderbilt’s First Choice,” “God’s Thumbprint,” and the “Garden Spot of the World,” beautiful Burke’s Garden is Virginia’s highest valley and Virginia’s largest rural historic district. This bowl-shaped valley carved out of the top of a mountain offers the most breathtaking scenery this side of New Zealand, with verdant farmland, abundant wildlife, rare bird watching, peaceful biking, and adventurous hiking on the Appalachian Trail."
Burkes Garden was on the lips of almost every cycle group I ran into and all were headed there on their visit to Tazwell and BOTD. If the weather had been better and my local guide had a working bike on day 1, I am sure I would have made it there as he also mentioned it. It will be top of the list on my next visit.
 
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Took some video of the first few miles of the BOTD. Corners were wet from rain so I wasn't riding it like it can be. Speed is 55 on that road with lower caution speeds in the corners. It is definitely one of my new favorite roads.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_xJvGdcxvE
Looks like fun. What camera and mount are you using?
 

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Looks like fun. What camera and mount are you using?
I am using a PIXPRO SP360 on a standard RAM ball mount. Allows me to capture 360 around me and is software manipulated on what direction or view you want to display. Processing is a pain as it is all done in real time and then after you finish selecting what to see, it goes through again in real time to render the movie. After that, I pull it into moviemaker to add text, music and cut out boring parts.
 

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This looks like a nice ride and I'm going to add it to my list. I am fortunate living in Marietta GA., not to far from great riding. Thanks for sharing.
 

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If you don't like crowds and are looking for curves and lots of changes in elevation, you are going to love it. Growing up in that part of the country, I took it for granted and for me, it was my normal. It's always something to look forward to and on every trip up to WV from FLATlorida, we manage a trip up to the "top of the mountain."

Around lunch time, be sure and go by the Dairy Queen in Bluefield, at the foot of East River Mountain, on Hwy 460. They serve up a great hot dog and chilly.
 
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