The practice of naming great motorcycle rides is a long and honored tradition. It’s a convenient shorthand way to refer to a road or series of roads that makes for a particularly good motorcycle ride. The Dragon, Hellbender 28, Blood Mountain, The Devil’s Triangle, Thunder Road, and many others are all utilized to describe rides that rise to the level of classic motorcycle rides. Add one more to the list – the Diamondback (NC 226A) and the Lake James Route.
This 65 mile loop combines a number of great sections of road into one beautiful and entertaining ride which offers a great combination of outstanding mountain scenery and challenging curvy two lane roads. The ride originates at the luxurious Switzerland Inn adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland. Located on sinuous 226A, the ride can be enjoyed in either direction though I’m inclined to immediately jump down the steep and technical descent from the Inn and get the party started. On the return via the Blue Ridge Parkway I’ll savor my fun and let the bike cool down after the hot sections along the route.
After the initial descent, NC 226 gives you a chance to catch your breath before you turn northeast to trace the foothills and the twisty ride to reach NC 181. Turn back towards the high country, I most enjoy NC 181 when climbing. The sweeping turns and curves have long been a favorite ride for motorcyclists in the area and you’ll get the best views of dramatic Table Rock while clawing your way up the mountainside. While beautiful and entertaining, the Blue Ridge Parkway section returning to the inn is a nice cherry on top of the shake below.
I’m shipping post card maps of this ride with every order America Rides Maps so long as they last to help you discover this great loop ride. For those motorcycle touring along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Diamondback makes for a wonderful side trip to add to your motorcycle adventures.
You’ll find these great roads and many, many more on America Rides Maps “The Best Roads North and South of Asheville, NC” . Contact the Switzerland Inn for even more detail and be sure to visit http://diamondbacknc.com . I’ll have video of this ride ASAP.