Back of the Dragon


Reports and stories from trips, planning of gatherings, questions about how to get there!
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minimac
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Back of the Dragon

Postby minimac » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:06 am



We all pretty much have heard or rode the Tail of the Dragon, but I had never heard of the Back of the Dragon. Ok, I live a sheltered life. Anyways I just returned from a week of riding in this area, hitting parts of five states-Ky, W.Va., Va., N.C., and Tn. There are some published routes for some great touring roads in the area, but by far the absolute best was the Back of the Dragon. It's a 32 mile run from Marion, Va. to Tazewell,Va. on #16. It is by far, the most technically challenging road I've ever ridden in fifty years. Blind curves, hairpin turns, numerous unbelievable switchbacks, and breathe taking views abound. It makes the Tail look like kids play. We set up camp at Hungry Mother State Park, which was an excellent base for our daily rides. If you ever get the chance to ride this road, make sure you're on top of your game, but it will be worth it.



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roadwanderer2
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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby roadwanderer2 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:11 am

man, thats one heck of a "highway". i took a look at their website and it looks awesome. nice to see it has "pull-offs" so you can take a restbit to give your arms and hands a chance to loosen up. maybe one day i'll take a ride on it.

thanks for posting this interesting information.

stuart.

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minimac
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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby minimac » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:01 am

You're not all that far away from there. The Back is highly technical and requires your undivided attention, but once it's run in a "spirited" fashion two things happen. #1- You'll never be satisfied with gentle curves again and #2-you will forever know that you truly are a "Dragon Master"!
It really is a world class stretch of road, and believe me when I say you have to be on top of your game. If you think you're a pretty good rider, this road will challenge you. And might very likely break you!

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roadwanderer2
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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby roadwanderer2 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:44 am

well, i've had my 1100 wing on the "tail of the dragon" at least 25 times and my 1200 wing on it about 10 times,(and it still scares me), an never had a problem with either of them. i go at my own pace,(under the posted speed limit), and if someone or a group of bikes or cagers want to get around me, i pull over at the nearest pull off and let them pass. im not on there for THEIR riding habits, im there for MY pleasure and enjoyment, but your right, after looking at all the vids posted for that road, im sure it WILL be a challenge for me.

stuart.

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roadwanderer2
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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby roadwanderer2 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:24 am

i just did a map search from here to Marion VA, and from where i live its 3 hours 15 minutes/201 miles away. i would have to make this a "day and overnight" trip if i decided to do it. unfortunately my wife can't go with me. she would get car sick on the bike so i would have to do it solo. i can't even get her to ride the dragon tail on the bike with me in fear she would get sick and if she does, that might cause us to get off balance on the bike and throw the both of us off. i can't risk that.

stuart.

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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:36 am

Sounds like a great ride. Been wanting to ride The Tail of The Dragon. Could plan a trip there, and then go to The Back Of The Dragon.
Hmmmm...will have to think about that.
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:04 am

Just looked up Back of The Dragon. Saw some real nice looking pictures. Showed a few to my wife and then said "That would be a nice trip." Then she said if you want to go, go. She said we can afford it and I've got my health right now and we don't know what's going to happen in the future.
I was starting to get a little worked up about it but (always a "but") then I started thinking about the work I need to do to the bike.
Yeah, I might get it all done this week but then its October. Well, maybe next year.
:cry:
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

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roadwanderer2
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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:56 am

hey oldzx, you can download this site to keep a track on the weather for this area......http://www.weatherbug.com once you download it, let me know and i'll guide you thru it so you can get to the area. i might not respond right away, im watching all the episodes of star trek voyager on amazon prime :).

stuart.

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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:44 pm

Haven't ever used weatherbug, at least I don't think so. I usually use accuweather. I like checking the weather radar on their site.
Ill take a look at weatherbug though.
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

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roadwanderer2
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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:28 pm

ok, let me know when you have it downloaded.

stuart.

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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby marvincshepard » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:33 pm

I am with you I ride at my own pace. Not gonna let anyone push me. I have rode Deals Gap many times but never heard of the Back of the Dragon will look it up.
Marvin (Shep) Shepard

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Dusty Boots
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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby Dusty Boots » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:58 am

I rode it (Hwy 16) from Beckley down to US 58, pulling a trailer, scraping both pegs around the Hungry Mother area. We camped at Raccoon Branch National Forest Campground, just south of Sugar Grove, VA
Ya, it's tight n technical, but so is US 421 from Holston Valley , south to Valley City, otherwise known as The Snake. More peg dragging while pulling my cargo trailer, but with a break in the twisty stuff around the Shady Valley area.

Lots of great riding roads in VA/WV/TN/NC and the north GA mountains! ;)

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roadwanderer2
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Contact:

Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby roadwanderer2 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:59 am

marvincshepard wrote:I am with you I ride at my own pace. Not gonna let anyone push me. I have rode Deals Gap many times but never heard of the Back of the Dragon will look it up.


here ya go.............http://backofthedragon.com/

stuart.

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marvincshepard
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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby marvincshepard » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:33 am

Thanks. Looking at now.
Marvin (Shep) Shepard

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themainviking
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Re: Back of the Dragon

Postby themainviking » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:49 am

As the original poster stated, VA16 is probably the most technically difficult road I ever rode. I got the Tail of the dragon and the Back of the dragon in the same trip, when I went to Wingding in Knoxville. I thought the Devils Triangle was a big jump over the Tail, till I got over to VA and rode the Back. Wow. I had died and went to heaven. The Tail is 11 miles, the Triangle is 44 miles but not so twisty, but the Back, at 32 miles of severe twisties is a performance riders dream. If anyone wants a real thrill, that is it. I do have to admit that the Goldwing is not the optimal bike for any of these rides. We cannot go deep enough, even scraping, and even on the highest preload setting. An adventure bike like a VStrom or an African Queen would be perfect, but I do not own one of those. So the Goldwing it was, and after that trip, I replaced the OEM footpegs with some nice chrome Kuryakyns which I have been scraping since. I did these rides back in 2011. Tail of the Dragon has photogs along the route so you can get pics of yourself after the fact. The other two do not. You can, however, imortalize the rides with decals and patches purchased at select spots on the routes. The Devils Triangle stuff needs to be bought at the Tail of the Dragon shops, but the Back of the Dragon had its own shop at the north end of the run when I rode it. The patch for it reads "Dragon Master". Should just read "Dragon Funster" cause it sure was.


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