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TGGRRR (Ali)

Dragon safety

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So we always start this thread up each year as we have new people that don't know what to expect. I'm sure others will add on to this. But a few things to remember while you're having the time of your life in your MINI.

 

STAY ON YOUR SIDE OF THE ROAD

Stick between the mustard and the mayo

don't cross the yellow line!!

:motor:

That's rule 1, 2 and 3 and it can save your life.

 

This is a public road and it's unpredictable, there are many blind turns and you need to stay within your driving ability so that you can always stay on your side of the line and react if you need to.

 

Check your tires and tire pressure. Before you leave have your MINI checked out because you don't want to get there and find a safety issue. It's happened before.

 

Don't push yourself, stay within your ability. If you want to go slow, it's OK. Let people pass, there are turn outs. You don't have to drive as fast as you think the guy behind you would like you to go. When I go with a group I usually take the back, last car if I can get it. I actually find I prefer the Dragon at a more reasonable speed.

 

There are a ton of other fun roads out there besides the Dragon. Hellbender is a huge favorite and it's on the way to the Dragon from Fontana. It's faster with sweeping turns and the occasional gotcha thrown in. In the years I've gone most of the MINI wrecks were on Hellbender or a road other then the Dragon.

 

Before you ride the Dragon, go to Deals gap and look at the Tree of Shame. It's sobering.

 

Then relax, have fun and remember

 

Stay on your side of the road, let faster people pass

 

I'm so excited to go again

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this cant be stressed enough, being a veteran ive seen what happens when people push past their limits and those that cant stay on theyre side of the road. this doesnt just apply to fellow MINIs but to other traffic as well. you never know whats going to be around the next corner and it could be on your side of the road! its very important to stay alert and to keep your eyes and focus on the road, not on the pretty scenery, not on the radio, not on the passengers in the car, THE ROAD! last year i was nearly a victim of the dragon from a pickup pulling a uhal trailer that was driving way to fast all over the road and i found myself face to face with him coming around a turn. luckly there was a pull off next to me and i was able to dip in there real quick to get out of the way. be prepared for the unexpected.

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So we always start this thread up each year as we have new people that don't know what to expect. I'm sure others will add on to this. But a few things to remember while you're having the time of your life in your MINI.

 

STAY ON YOUR SIDE OF THE ROAD

Stick between the mustard and the mayo

don't cross the yellow line!!

:motor:

That's rule 1, 2 and 3 and it can save your life.

 

This is a public road and it's unpredictable, there are many blind turns and you need to stay within your driving ability so that you can always stay on your side of the line and react if you need to.

 

Check your tires and tire pressure. Before you leave have your MINI checked out because you don't want to get there and find a safety issue. It's happened before.

 

Don't push yourself, stay within your ability. If you want to go slow, it's OK. Let people pass, there are turn outs. You don't have to drive as fast as you think the guy behind you would like you to go. When I go with a group I usually take the back, last car if I can get it. I actually find I prefer the Dragon at a more reasonable speed.

 

There are a ton of other fun roads out there besides the Dragon. Hellbender is a huge favorite and it's on the way to the Dragon from Fontana. It's faster with sweeping turns and the occasional gotcha thrown in. In the years I've gone most of the MINI wrecks were on Hellbender or a road other then the Dragon.

 

Before you ride the Dragon, go to Deals gap and look at the Tree of Shame. It's sobering.

 

Then relax, have fun and remember

 

Stay on your side of the road, let faster people pass

 

I'm so excited to go again

Make sure your brake pads and rotors are in top notch condition. If you're going to drive the Dragon, make SURE you stop at either end to allow your brakes to cool. Fade from over heated brakes could prove to be fatal....yes, fatal.

This area is very remote and an ambulance is at least a half hour away, then another half hour to a hospital.

2-3 people die on these roads every year due to a variety of circumstances. Don't be a statistic.

There are safety classes offered during MOTD. If you're a newbie, I highly recommend you attend at least one. I've talked to the organizer about making these classes mandatory, but we decided there's no way to do that. However, if you're a newbie and you're a member of this club and I find out you didn't attend a class, well......:security:

You're probably thinking " Who is this b*&^% and damn, she's bossy!"

You betcha. I'm also looking out for your safety.

Edited by kgdblu
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Make sure your brake pads and rotors are in top notch condition. If you're going to drive the Dragon, make SURE you stop at either end to allow your brakes to cool. Fade from over heated brakes could prove to be fatal....yes, fatal.

This area is very remote and an ambulance is at least a half hour away, then another half hour to a hospital.

2-3 people die on these roads every year due to a variety of circumstances. Don't be a statistic.

There are safety classes offered during MOTD. If you're a newbie, I highly recommend you attend at least one. I've talked to the organizer about making these classes mandatory, be we decided there's no way to do that. However, if you're a newbie and you're a member of this club and I find out you didn't attend a class, well......:security:

You're probably thinking " Who is this b*&^% and damn, she's bossy!"

You betcha. I'm also looking out for your safety.

 

Katie I think the ambulance is actually longer and they usually send a helicopter. But if the accident is on the Dragon itself they have to get the person to the turn around where the helicopter can land. I was reading this somewhere on Killboy's pictures when there was a bike accident.

 

You make a great point about the brakes.

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Most of everything has been said but for the newbies, the dragon has come a long way since the first time I went (I think 2003 or 04). The NC side use to be rough, torn up and uneven and now there are actual PAVED pull offs..use them! It use to be a 3inch drop into gravel (if you were lucky) if you needed to make room for drivers drifting into your lane or the dangerous impatient driver riding your tail and making you drive outside of your comfort zone. It can't be said enough, leave your ego at the camp site. Be weary of the photographers (killboy ect.) Drivers tend to show off in front of them and get into hairy situations. Also, if you happen to be driving dangerously people (especially the locals) will have no problem calling you out. And just because you may not get caught while you are there, you can't hide from the internet, many of us will have go-pros on our cars (including me) and there will hundreds of other cameras around to catch you in the act. Drive safe and don't be "that guy".

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Having ridden motorcycles on the Dragon a few times, please, please, please stay on your side of the road.

 

I know the bikes have problems with that themselves but being on a bike and seeing a car come across the line is much scarier than being in a car and seeing a bike come across the line.

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Having ridden motorcycles on the Dragon a few times, please, please, please stay on your side of the road.

 

I know the bikes have problems with that themselves but being on a bike and seeing a car come across the line is much scarier than being in a car and seeing a bike come across the line.

it's scary no matter what.

Edited by kgdblu
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While I haven't been on the Dragon for this (yet), I have been down in that area numerous times for hiking/camping, and one thing that everyone needs is some basic survival stuff. Just the basics, including a gallon of water, blanket, flashlight, and chewy bars or something of that nature, is really all you need. Flares and a tire patch/fill kit are road basics you should include too, ESPECIALLY if you plan to do ANY night driving. The last thing you want (and I actually saw this once, years ago) is to have an issue at dusk/dawn/night and be stuck on a blind curve that others could be flying around. Flares can save yours/others lives.

 

You just never know, especially with the way this winter is wrapping up. It's the mountains, plain and simple :top:

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While I haven't been on the Dragon for this (yet), I have been down in that area numerous times for hiking/camping, and one thing that everyone needs is some basic survival stuff. Just the basics, including a gallon of water, blanket, flashlight, and chewy bars or something of that nature, is really all you need. Flares and a tire patch/fill kit are road basics you should include too, ESPECIALLY if you plan to do ANY night driving. The last thing you want (and I actually saw this once, years ago) is to have an issue at dusk/dawn/night and be stuck on a blind curve that others could be flying around. Flares can save yours/others lives.

 

You just never know, especially with the way this winter is wrapping up. It's the mountains, plain and simple :top:

 

Those are great points. Also add bear bells...

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