Monday, April 21, 2014

04/14 Dragon Run, Post 1

The usual suspects, with three getaway cars.  Hotshoe, Watchtower, and Pilote (left to right).

So... the big news this year was that we took three cars and three drivers instead of one car and two drivers.  We traded cars, for enjoyment and different driving experiences, but not on the Dragon.  This is a good policy in my view.  Hotshoe offered to take me in his new Focus ST.  But I would not be comfortable pushing hard on the Dragon in someone else's car, even if I knew it well.  As it was, I managed to abuse Hotshoe's clutch on a steep uphill start from rest on our "touring day."

It's fun making Dragon passes with people you know and trust.  Although, I must say, I don't want to be a car-length off the bumper I'm following, nor do I want the person following me to be that close.  No matter how good he is.  Watchtower and Hotshoe are good.  I had to pedal hard.  And have persuaded myself that what I really need is summer tires to keep up with them.  (If Watchtower gets summer tires too, I'm toast.)

Pilote pedals hard to keep up with Watchtower.  Everybody knows to not over-drive the Dragon.  Don't charge corners.
Don't overbrake.  Back the corner up, apex late, get on the power early.  So what did I do on Wednesday?  Charged the
corners.  I had a better day on Thursday, when I followed The Rules.

We managed to not contribute any door mirrors to the Tree of Shame.  Hotshoe was a bit put off by how close to the
yellow line some oncoming sportbikers were running.  He's used to making passes in March, when traffic is lighter.
I found the mid-week April traffic to be about the same as October--tolerable.  Most of our passes were mostly
unobstructed: people were using pulloffs.  Hotshoe's moral imagination is better-developed than mine.  He
does not want to be part of anyone's ruined day, even if he's in his own lane and not at fault.

Watchtower and I wanted to visit the Maple Springs Overlook, off the Cherohala Skyway, and Hotshoe was fine with
that.  The dead-end road to it includes a 2-mile segment used for the SCCA's Chasing the Dragon hillclimb.  Kamal
of gave us perfect directions.  The view is lovely and I'm glad we made the trip.


Watchtower said...

Had a blast, this was much more fun than driving it by myself!

I just want to mention that whereas my driving could be summed up as one wielding a medieval broad axe, PA and Hotshoe's driving would be that of a Ninja with a katana slicing and dicing both swiftly and smoothly.

On my next trip down there I plan on emulating their style of driving, i.e., faster, smoother and with less wear and tear on me and my machine.

Can't wait to go back to the dragon, if you're a car enthusiast and have never been, it has to be driven to be believed, you won't regret it.

Wannabe Hotshoe said...

It's truly amazing - after all the planning and anticipation, it's over already. A great time, super cars, even super-er traveling companions. Wheeeeee.

Post a Comment