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The Mighty Python

  • October 12, 2011 2:59 AM PDT
    For years and years I've wondered why people flock to The Tail Of The Dragon (US129) when an even better place to ride (IMHO) is US58 between Mouth of Wilson and Demascus, Virginia. Then I realized myself and a few others have been keeping the 318 hairpin curves in 31 miles a secret. But now that Bearclaw Holler has opened in Konnarock (Damascus) I might as well spill the beans.

    The Mighty Python (Link to Google map) is everything its name suggests. It crosses Whitetop Mountain and Mount Rogers, the highest mountain in the state of Virginia and the second highest mountain east of the Mississippi River. And yes, it can and will bite. Most riders won't be tempted to exceed the posted 15MPH safe speed in its many corners and blind curves. And unless you've ridden a lot of crooked roads you may find 15MPH to be faster than you want to go. The Mighty Python begins (or ends) at Bearclaw Holler Biker Rest Stop where the camping is free unless you want to rent the travel trailer and with 140 acres you'll find lots of private places to camp.

    Besides US58, there are hundreds of miles of great riding roads that include but are not limited to miles and miles of trails accessable only via dirt bikes or dual sport bikes.

    The local streams are stocked with trout, wildlife including bears, mountain lions, deer and wild poneys are commonplace and horse rentals are available if you call them in advance. There's also a motorcycle shop and general store at the rest stop.

    Like I said, I've been riding US58 for years but this was my first visit to Bearclaw Holler Biker Rest Stop and I was amazed at how the owners and staff (all family) made me feel right at home.
    • 1855 posts
    October 12, 2011 6:33 AM PDT
    Thanks for the link. I've loved riding Virginia. Remember that stretch very clearly. I've ridden miles and miles of highways and I gotta tell ya, the Dragon ain't all that IMHO. I prefer long stretches and sweeping curves where you can actually take your eyes off the line and enjoy a bit of scenery. But I gotta say also, I did enjoy sittin' around the Deals Gap motorcycle lodge shootin' the sheite with all them rice rocket riders. They're hellish riders with a lingo all their own; at least I couldn't understand half of what they were talkin' about. Dont' much care for their antics on most public highways but I'm sure that's a minority.
    • 1 posts
    January 25, 2012 9:33 AM PST
    Cool Virginia is on my bucket list for this year...and i have a local guide. I'll ask her if she knows it. Say if you are ever in Aussieland. Look up Macquarie Pass NSW. There are some interesting U tube vids on it..and we ride the left hand side of the pavement, makes it more fun for the Americans.
  • January 25, 2012 11:44 AM PST
    Like Jimmy, I prefer the long sweepers with an occasional tight turn thrown into the mix. For instance I would rather ride the Snake than the Dragon. Thanks for the share!!!
    • 1 posts
    January 28, 2012 6:45 AM PST
    Thanks for the link I will have to remember it next time in that area.
  • February 15, 2012 12:07 PM PST
    Sounds Awesome!
  • February 15, 2012 1:45 PM PST
    Thanks for the tip Billy. Did the Dragon for the 1st time June 2011. After watching videos, and stressing about it for a couple of months, I was semi dissappointed. Not to say it wasn't fun, I just thought it would be more challenging. I ride a tourer, but still didn't find it that challenging (maybe my Beauty is just that good). I would much prefer the long sweepers, as Movintons says, as I love to swish. Will be looking to check out this route this spring, Thanks!
  • February 15, 2012 2:12 PM PST
    Sounds like a great place to eat.
    • 846 posts
    February 16, 2012 8:53 AM PST
    Thanks for the info I'll need to add it to the bucket list for when I get down that way. Sorry to say it will not be soon but I'll get there.