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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been thinking about several questions I have for my fellow Kappa's who have run the Dragon.

Which way did you find harder North to South (ending at Deal's Gap) or South to North (starting at Deal's Gap)?

I enjoyed the South to North more, it seamed to me I was able to go quicker, smoother and handle the turns better.

Us with manual trans, which gears did you run in most of the time?

I seemed to be in third then down shifting into and out of the turns.

Which worried you more, crossing ( or staying closer to) the double yellow lines or the white line?

To me it was not crossing the the white lines.

Was there a time of the day you enjoyed the run more?

I enjoyed our morning runs more, less traffic.

I would be interested in others thoughts. Appygirl would love to hear yours, your lead on Saturday was great, following you and watching how you were taking the turns gave me some great insight into what I should be doing. It helped me who had only been on the Dragon several times before.

My second run having having BadSol's wife on the radio telling us what was coming up was also a great help for a first timer.

Maybe other have some interesting question for us to talk about.
 

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is it ok to say I found Hellbender more exciting
or is this the death knell of D-2 ?
 

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I like South to North and I worry more about the double yellow due to the motorcycle riders hugging that line on the turns. Yes mornings are definitely better.
 

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I liked the mornings better also...Being my 1st time at the dragon it was great that solsticewolf was leading the group...
 

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I have been thinking about several questions I have for my fellow Kappa's who have run the Dragon.

Which way did you find harder North to South (ending at Deal's Gap) or South to North (starting at Deal's Gap)?

I enjoyed the South to North more, it seamed to me I was able to go quicker, smoother and handle the turns better.
I've driven and ridden both ways, several times each. As you noticed, each direction has different aspects. That's why I like both ways. The rhythm is different in each direction, and I guess rhythm one was more comfortable for you.
Us with manual trans, which gears did you run in most of the time?

I seemed to be in third then down shifting into and out of the turns.
I tend to put it in second at the first curve, and leave it until the end. I don't think I get above about 6000 rpm, except a few of the 'straighter' spots, where I'll go to third, briefly.
Which worried you more, crossing ( or staying closer to) the double yellow lines or the white line?

To me it was not crossing the the white lines.
Never, ever, cross either if you can help it. There are gremlins beyond the white lines, and worse over the yellow.
Was there a time of the day you enjoyed the run more?

I enjoyed our morning runs more, less traffic.
Less traffic is good, no matter what time of day. Too early, and there's some dampness. Twilight brings its own dangers, because of lighting effects. Night has its attraction, but is a lot higher on the pucker factor, what with more wildlife about, and, if late enough, dew on the roads. The Dragon never sleeps.
The same comments go for the Hellbender, but it has greater changes in speed, a higher speed limit, and more open scenery during daylight hours. More time spent in third gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Never, ever, cross either if you can help it. There are gremlins beyond the white lines, and worse over the yellow.

I agree never cross either, but the way I looked at it the danger over the white is there all the time. That drop off in most cases is enough to flip a car. The yellow is most dangerous on the blind curves, when the on coming could be in your lane.
 

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My recollection was South to North was more enjoyable. When it gives you another 3-4 feet of good pavement over the white line with no rubble, I took it. Understand you gotta note the ruts. Maybe if I run it again I'll have the same respect I give the yellow lines. Never, ever cross the yellow - if you think it's OK to cut them when you can see, that's a dangerous habit to get into, IMO.
 

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My pet peeve is unlicensed GMRS users and people who yak on those radios rather than driving. Let your 'seat' talk and if you don't have someone in the extra seat, drive and stay off the radio unless you have a VOX headset.

On a constructive note.

I like a time of the day when the sun is not flashing in my eyes.

On the downhill I prefer left hand turns becuase my left eye is dominant.

Likewise, on the uphill I like right hand turns.

I shift a lot so I am in and out but I have a tune that allowed me to use more tranny.

On the Dragon, 4th was the gear. On the Hellbender the gear was 3rd followed closely by second and even 1st east of Fontana on the steep of NC 28.

Those behind me this year did not like my 'rich' exhaust. Sorry folks, that was unburned fuel dumping during shifts. This is due to a more 'agressive' tune than last year, a limited production air intake system, charge pipes and IC.
If it is too much during any run I will drop back or drive less agressive.

Yes I do have a CAT, a SOLO CAT http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f103/sly-gone-solo-45201/

Gravel is my/your enemy and there was too much of it on the Dragon this year from being kicked out of the shoulders by drivers being lazy and trolling through the shoulders. Big trucks can help it. they have no business on the dragon if they can't stay between the lines, but then again how many trucks have caused accidents on the Dragon?

One last comment from the guy with the 'Dirty Duck' avitar(me); if you can't keep it between the lines, slow down until you learn how to stay between the lines or get off the freakin road. When you lose it and wallow like a pig in the road, don't tell me you were in control the whole time. That is pure BS and leaves a bad impression on people who saw you do that while they (maybe the unwitting tourest) were motoring along in near paralysis from the fear of going over the edge in something no more to them than a machine to get from point A to point B.
None of those present in this thread did that, so don't take this wrong.
I saw it last year and again this year and that behavior make me NOT want to come back.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK Duck I know this will be a dumb question, what is a GMRS? I agree the driver should never be on the radio, that is the job of the co-pilot

Interesting comment about 28 east of Fontona, past where we turned in, I did not think of taking it, is it a nice drive?
 

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GMRS is the motorola talkabout handheld short range personal radios. Or any that use the same frequency.
 

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I have been thinking about several questions I have for my fellow Kappa's who have run the Dragon.

Which way did you find harder North to South (ending at Deal's Gap) or South to North (starting at Deal's Gap)?

I enjoyed the South to North more, it seamed to me I was able to go quicker, smoother and handle the turns better.

Us with manual trans, which gears did you run in most of the time?

I seemed to be in third then down shifting into and out of the turns.

Which worried you more, crossing ( or staying closer to) the double yellow lines or the white line?

To me it was not crossing the the white lines.

Was there a time of the day you enjoyed the run more?

I enjoyed our morning runs more, less traffic.

I would be interested in others thoughts. Appygirl would love to hear yours, your lead on Saturday was great, following you and watching how you were taking the turns gave me some great insight into what I should be doing. It helped me who had only been on the Dragon several times before.

My second run having having BadSol's wife on the radio telling us what was coming up was also a great help for a first timer.

Maybe other have some interesting question for us to talk about.
I liked North to South, but I like to climb. Both were good. We got a really nice in for both directions Saturday.

I really enjoyed Hellbender east of Fontana! Nice stretch of road! Several different elements.

On the Dragon I was in 3rd and I shifted into 2nd on the tight switchbacks.

I didn't much care for crossing either of the lines. Didn't much feel like rolling off the mountain nor did I feel like having a bike run into me.

I really enjoyed coming into the area at night. It was beautiful! But, dashark and I weren't "running" the road either. We were extremely careful coming in as we'd never been on it before. There were very few cars on the road coming in. We followed one for awhile and then maybe saw 1 more.

The morning runs were also good with less traffic, but there is the dew issue to consider.
 

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I did a many "out and back" runs so for me it was one 22 mile long rollercoaster - I loved it. :thumbs:

I literally drove it 'till my car broke (but that's a different thread).

I have the GMPP tune and found with that I could mostly stay in third the entire time - I had plenty of power at the apex to come out of corners - even when going uphill out of them. I (almost) only downshifted when following others. Mornings were far better, when traffic picked up I would pull over and wait it out and when I got a gap of about 5 minutes I'd jump back in. I found that even a short wait on the side would give plenty of running room in most cases. :lurk: Way better than being stuck behind a slow car/truck/whatever.

I tended to hug (but never cross) the white line. I spent a nervous couple miles behind a harley cruiser that drove ON the double yellow through every corner. After that I was extra paranoid.

My first run was breathtaking - I had just arrived from MA and encountered the group with the flat tire at the lookout. From there I followed druid-2 through the dragon - which was ideal - I followed their line and speed and concentrate on the driving and enjoyed the run enormously. Now when I close my eyes and think of the dragon I 'see' myself following druid powering through one of those first tight uphill corners into the twilight. :cool:
 

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Google the bold type.

OK Duck I know this will be a dumb question, what is a GMRS? I agree the driver should never be on the radio, that is the job of the co-pilot

Interesting comment about 28 east of Fontona, past where we turned in, I did not think of taking it, is it a nice drive?
Not a dumb question.

General Mobile Radio Service - GMRS is on my Motorola Walkie talkies along with Family Radio Service - FRS
Some radios have it, some don't.

GMRS is a subcategory FCC regulated radio service within the Land Mobile Radio Service. Some of the technology used on the available radios was developed by Motorola. That is all Motorola has to do with the service as and equipment manufacturer.

An FCC operating license is required for operating on GMRS

FRS does not require an FCC license.
 

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I'm with iHawk - I was in 3rd or 2nd, the entire run through the Dragon.
 

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I just put Chili in D and away I go....I like the Dragon up or down, both is so different, I love Hellbender both ways as well. I think I am one of the only automatics that runs the Dragon in our group. I usually Sweep so I can hang back a little and watch the group in front. Tis a beautiful thing watching a bunch of Kappa's drive the curves.
 

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I just put Chili in D and away I go....I like the Dragon up or down, both is so different, I love Hellbender both ways as well. I think I am one of the only automatics that runs the Dragon in our group. I usually Sweep so I can hang back a little and watch the group in front. Tis a beautiful thing watching a bunch of Kappa's drive the curves.
That's one of the reasons I like to run at the back too - great pictures and video.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I just put Chili in D and away I go....I like the Dragon up or down, both is so different, I love Hellbender both ways as well. I think I am one of the only automatics that runs the Dragon in our group. I usually Sweep so I can hang back a little and watch the group in front. Tis a beautiful thing watching a bunch of Kappa's drive the curves.
Watching the curves is always fun, Oh you mean the road!
 
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