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> the "Great Driving Roads" thread
Diesel
post Mar 23 2005, 03:51 PM
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I used to LOVE to go out and just drive all the crazy canyon roads and mountain roads back when i had my Del Sol.. and i've always wondered where all the great hidden roads were. So let's see if we can make a list of some of the best driving roads around.

Southern California - Mullholland Highway
I used to drive this road all the time just because it was soo fun and twisty and not too populated in some parts. Sometimes i'd cut down to Old Topanga and drive down to Malibu because Old Topanga itself is pretty damn fun. Changing elevation, crazy turns, and can get pretty fast in some parts. Plus.. the whole run is pretty damn long. If you have a free saturday morning, take a drive along Mullholland down to the beach. guaranteed great driving.


Tennessee & North Carolina - The Dragon
I drove this highway and didn't even realize it was The Dragon. I was visiting friends in Tennessee and we decided to drive to NC for the hell of it, and we took Highway 129, and oh mannnn.. what a fun drive. some parts are scary as hell especially with those huge 18 wheelers coming at you with no room to spare. I was scared shitless on some parts of it, but definitely worth it. Sometimes the 18 wheelers would take over both lanes when trying to take a turn, and people often get caught in the middle and end up over the side of the road. But if you get a chance, definitely try to drive The Dragon.


What other roads in your area are drive worthy, and if possible, post a map.
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Benny
post Mar 23 2005, 03:56 PM
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Forks Of The Credit Road here in Ontario.
in the summer and fall its beautiful.
and Hockley Valley Road in Caledon(15 mins from my house) is fulll of twisty roads with good pavement.
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Cyclone
post Mar 23 2005, 03:56 PM
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Mmmm that feels nice.
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I wanna goto Deals Gap so bad. From what I've heard though, cops love to setup speed traps and such on that road nowadays so I can't fully enjoy it sad.gif
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clarkma5
post Mar 23 2005, 04:32 PM
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#1: The Highway 58 Network

CA SR-229 between Highway 58 and Creston...the pavement is the smoothest ever, the banking is otherworldly (allows for some ridiculous driving), it's empty, and there's no center line. It's a piece of motoring bliss.

Highway 58 itself is also fantastic...SLIGHTLY busier (still empty) and a bit more conventional in terms of pavement quality and banking, but still sexcellent. It's also much longer than SR-229...where 229 (the good part, anyway) runs a mere 8 miles, SR-58 runs 70+ miles from Santa Margarita to McKittrick, through tight twisty canyons and across the bizarre Soda Lake/Carizzo Plain, just north of the national monument.

Pozo Road runs roughly parallel to SR-58 and to the south of SR-58, and runs about 34 miles before it rejoins SR-58 just before the Soda Lake flats. It starts out wide open through some empty pastures (if anyone remembers that crappy vid I did where I accelerated from 0 to 125, that's where I did it) and then climbs up and over some mountains in the Los Padres National Forest, getting significantly tighter and twistier in the process. Pavement quality is above average and it is, yet again, almost entirely devoid of people. On the first half, anyway, there's plenty of places to pass.

Map:


Pictures of Pozo Road (the western end):
http://www.bigpenguin.org/photos/2004/10-1...ta/PA152447.jpg
http://www.bigpenguin.org/photos/2004/10-1...ta/PA152441.jpg

#2: The Mount Hamilton Area

You start this ride from one of two ways: The first way is to start up Mount Hamilton Road from the Alum Rock area and wind your way more gradually to the J.D. R. Levin County Park, or you can blast over the mountains quickly on Quimby Road. Mount Hamilton Road pulls itself out of the valley below with a couple hairpins that interrupt longer straights and sweeping bends, and soon turns into a non-stop series of tighter 90-degree bends that cut up straightaways into short one-gear blasts. This route isn't very steep and is much longer than Quimby Road, which hairpins its way up an incredibly steep hillside, making more than 2000 feet of elevation gain in a few miles. The straight over the top is a straight, steep shot to Halls Valley below, where it meets up with Mount Hamilton Road. Taking a right from Quimby to Mount Hamilton Road keeps you heading toward Mount Hamilton. After a short blast across Halls Valley (the only decent stretch of straight pavement around for miles), it's more winding up the mountain side and then down again to cross Smith Creek. The straight heading up the mountain from the Smith Creek Ranger station is good for hitting third gear when you're hammering it, but not any more than that. The road then goes for another 2000 vertical feet to the summit of Mount Hamilton in an endless series of tight turns...you'd have to be superman to average 35 MPH on this road. Finally the summit appears (4,200 feet; always a good idea to stop at the Lick Observatory and enjoy the view and a tour of the facilities), the pavement quality changes (the pavement up the mountain is a bit bumpy in places, but it's much smoother down the backside) and you're suddenly riding San Antonio Road down the back of Mount Hamilton like it was a bucking bronco. The wilderness before you is beautiful and easily one of the wildest and emptiest places in all of california, despite being a stone's throw from millions of people. San Antonio Road chases is much like the ride up the front side of the mountain, but much much steeper, and with more hairpins. The 2000 feet down the backside goes much quicker than the front side. You exit out of the last turn on the back of the mountain to find yourself crossing a narrow bridge over Isabel Creek. The openness of the road down here is just a taste of things to come. Over the creek, across a cattle grid, and over a small up and over and you're running hard along the Arroyo Bayo canyon, with the "Burnt Hills" to your left. If you're willing to ignore the center line (and considering you haven't seen a car for the last hour, you probably are) you can easily take the quick chicanes on the back side at speeds approaching triple digits, braking down to freeway speeds for the occasional corner. This goes on for several blissful miles and, if you're me, odds are it's summertime and you've got the windows down to let that pleasantly dry, 80 degree air blow against your brow. The canyon quickly gives way to a wide open valley, this time the San Antonio Valley, where you drive through a grove of old oak trees that tower over some old barbed wire fences. You turn a corner past a wooden-three rail fence with a dirt road leading to nowhere, and before you is a wonderful bit of straightaway, where San Antonio Road runs lengthwise down the San Antonio Valley. The valley is particularly pretty in springtime, when everything is green and there's water in the ponds.

There are a few distinct straightaways in the valley, interrupted by a couple kinks where the road trundles over a crest. Depending on your car, the straightaways are long enough to max it or nearly so. The only eyes around to watch you are the cows. As the valley draws to a close, the Junction Café whizzes by to the right, basically a tiny bar with some food for the locals and the bikers who like to pass by. The food is terrible, to say the least (rib-eye steak sandwiches are 90% fat and the corn dogs were partially frozen, but maybe the old guy who was cooking was having an off day). A mile or so past the Junction Café, San Antonio Valley Road ends and you get a choice...go north on Mines Road to Livermore, or take Del Puerto Canyon Road to Patterson in the Central Valley.

Mines Road climbs out of the San Antonio Valley and runs along the side of an increasingly deep canyon until you get to the Livermore valley, amongst the vineyards. As a driving road it's fun, but not brilliant (but still empty, which is always good). Take note that, in winter and spring anyway, the creeks run over the road (no money for bridges here in the middle of nowhere!)

Del Puerto Canyon Road is much more interesting, at least to me. Heading east out of San Antonio Valley, it follows the course of Del Puerto Creek. At first it's just another road clinging to the side of the canyon, but soon the creek has carved out an ample valley, and the road opens up, following the meanders of the creek toward the central valley. The road has a lot more in the way of straights down here, with corners ranging from tight 90-degree bends to open and sweeping corners. The result is much more invigorating speed (but be sure to slow down next to the Stanislaus County picnic ground thingy...at least when I drove by, they were having a policeman's picnic!!) In the last five miles, the meandering canyon-valley of the creek opens into an expansive, sloping, treeless field. The engine bends gently. This is your last chance to open it up, because over the next rise is Interstate 5. It's a fantastic note to end a long drive on.

Map:


Blown-up topographic view of Mt. Hamilton road near its beginning.


Pics up the front side of Mount Hamilton:
http://www.bigpenguin.org/photos/2004/07-2...nt/P7291763.jpg
http://www.bigpenguin.org/photos/2004/07-2...nt/P7291772.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/m...wo/xd080018.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/m...am/DCP_0952.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/m...am/DCP_0955.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/m...am/DCP_0958.jpg

Looking down on Mt. Hamilton Road from above:
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/m...wo/xd080015.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2630.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/m...wo/P3080005.jpg

Down the backside and through the San Antonio Valley:
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/m...wo/P3080021.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2650.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2651.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2656.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2657.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2668.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2670.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/c...ct/DCP_1685.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/c...ct/DCP_1928.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/c...ct/DCP_1929.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2681.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2682.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2683.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2695.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/c...ct/DCP_1932.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2699.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/c...ct/DCP_1942.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2709.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2710.jpg


Heading eastbound on Del Puerto Canyon Rd.:
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2713.jpg
http://www.squick.org/photos/image.phtml/n...so/DCP_2735.jpg

No pics of Mines Road, unfortunately.
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Diesel
post Mar 23 2005, 04:46 PM
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excellent post clark!
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clarkma5
post Mar 23 2005, 04:50 PM
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Well, I try. Seriously, Mount Ham is sexcellent, ESPECIALLY once you get over the top.
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z0ne
post Mar 23 2005, 04:57 PM
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well, i wouldnt consider this GREAT driving, but its fun in the dark without headlights on tongue.gif. also, fun/death in the snow due to straight-a-ways and 90degree turns...

heres an overview of the road, coutesy of mapquest.com:
pic from mapquest


anyway, i hit 53 when something clicked in my head to slow down, the other night. my dad always warned me to look out for this one parking slip like in the middle of no where because cops face you while you are going around a blind corner and nail you for speeding.. so i was going around the turn.. i glance down, see im wayyy fast and downshift (yea, it goes D -> 2 -> L on the trans)

i get to 28 and slide by the cop.. weee
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goota
post Mar 23 2005, 05:43 PM
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58 and 229 are the shit. nice posting matt
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nismo
post Mar 23 2005, 07:09 PM
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Any one of those three bridges are fun as hell.

Howard franklin bridge...


Gandy Bridge




And Sunshine Skyway Bride

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RockStaRRR
post Mar 23 2005, 07:16 PM
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QUOTE(Benny @ Mar 23 2005, 03:56 PM)
Forks Of The Credit Road here in Ontario.
in the summer and fall its beautiful.
and Hockley Valley Road in Caledon(15 mins from my house) is fulll of twisty roads with good pavement.

i second that notion....although its like 30 min drive to forks of the credit for me...my the drive up is a straight road with minimal PO-PO coverage

the drive from calgary airport into the middle of the rocky mountains was AMAZING!
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BlackJack
post Mar 23 2005, 07:42 PM
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well, pretty much the only 'great' driving road around here would have to be in PA. on the way to the lakehouse, i take the infamous rt. 402, which is long and curvy. i had to merge two maps into one but you get the point.

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Forrest
post Mar 23 2005, 08:35 PM
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There is one sweet highway next to Falcon Lake MB. Its's right next to the #1. I guess it was the old #1... All curvey and hillly as hell since they didni't blast as much or make it flat back then. Nice scenery too.
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DZ302
post Mar 23 2005, 08:37 PM
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highway 1 north of the golden gate is fantastic. so is skyline dr. in the berkeley hills. and morgan territory road along the base of mount diablo. there's actually a ton of great roads in the bay area
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Easton
post Mar 23 2005, 09:58 PM
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The Great Ocean Road Drive in australia...

and ALL of tasmania, best place everrr to take your sports car.
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Uwe
post Mar 23 2005, 10:24 PM
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A certain toll road 80 miles from my home here
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Diesel
post Mar 23 2005, 10:35 PM
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QUOTE(Uwe @ Mar 23 2005, 10:24 PM)
A certain toll road 80 miles from my home here

i can go there right now! *fires up gt4*
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McKhaos
post Mar 24 2005, 01:19 AM
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One word : Autobahn .
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tasker
post Mar 26 2005, 05:27 PM
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Looks like a few straight roads in that bunch, you need corners to be considered a great driving road, like the butter tubs pass.
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milkmandan
post Mar 26 2005, 08:43 PM
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From Troy, NY take route 7/hoosick street east. It's a mostly 2 lane highway with speeds ranging from 45 to 75 mph. It goes through several towns with quite a few car and motorcycle dealers to visit if you're so inclined. Avoid peak rush hour times because traffic in/out of Troy can be enough to be bothersome. The scenery is mostly farmland in rolling hills, with bits of forest and streams inbetween, all very beautiful to look at when the weather is nice, especially in the autumn. Follow route 7 all the way into Vermont to the town of Bennington, which is a pleasant little city with some interesting shops and eateries, and makes a good stopping point halfway into the trip. From Bennington, take route 7 south into Williamstown, Massachusetts. This road is a little more winding and narrow, with forest along both sides of the road for the majority of the road. Once you're in Williamstown, the fun begins. Turn off of route 7 and onto route 2 west, and after about a mile you'll start heading up a mountain to the Mass/NY border, along with some GREAT twisties. Generally lightly trafficked and almost no LEO presence, there's a good 3-4 miles of tightly twisted road going up and down each side of the mountain. On any nice day expect to see atleast a half a dozen sportbikers and several sports cars along this road. The turns can be taken quite fast (70+ mph on a sport bike) and at the top of the mountain there's a parking area that leads to some hiking trails if you're interested. Be wary of the road surface as you cross the border into NY, Mass. takes much better care of their roads. I like to turn around and ride up and down the mountain a few times before continuing. Once you've had your fun, continue on route 2 west until you're back in Troy. The ride back to Troy is quick (65 mph most of the way) but relaxing with gentle sweepers and rolling hills until you reach the city limits.

This trip may only have a few miles of road that are really interesting to drive/ride, but the route is varied enough for the trip to be a complete experience, and not just a semi-dangerous attack on a few corners. Taking a lady friend out on the back of the bike through this route is always a good time.
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UserDrew
post Mar 26 2005, 08:56 PM
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Eastern San Diego. You head over the hills and down a road called banner grade where Highway 79 splits onto S22 (Sciccors crossing) which is about 6 miles. Head south on S2. This is one of the funnest roads in the world. It is a total lengh ot about 33 miles. Downside is it is an old two lane highway and though traffic is extremely light you will every so often hit a car. There are many small hills that will give you butterflies if you give the car gas at the right time. I got my little brother car sick last time I was out there. However it does give you enough straight away for serious speed. And some great hair raising turns on slopes or just on flat land. Watch out for the CHP. The same goes for most roads out there. Great driving.

thumbs_up.gif




Now we head west. In the Red box is the community of mira mesa.
Mira Mesa Blvd is a 6 lane road that has pretty heavy traffic in the day but bewteen the hours iof 1am and 530 am you can get ahead of an light traffic there is and reach some great speed. There are a few downhill (or uphill) curves that may add to the sport of it. Also the traffic lights in the morning are not timed but work by sensors so you may get all of them green.
Calle Cristobal. THis is a 4 lane road with more curves and more sloping than Mira Mesa BLVD. It's longer and a more enjoyable driving experience exelerating etc. There are more lights however and the chances of being caught by the PD or slight higher.

Light Blue box-
The new Highway 56, Ted William's Parkway. Not much to it, its flat with only one curve. It is goes from 6 lanes to 4 lanes towards the end (heading east) but you canget some great speed. Watch for traffic, which is usually extremely light.

Green Box
Pomorado Road. I cant say much I've only driven down it once but it seemed like if I went back it would be a great road to take for fun.

Blue Box-
Genesee Ave / Torry Pines road
This is a great street.(starting on the north) you head up Torrey Pines road starting out with a hill and a great curve onto a 4 laner. It splits once you get to UCSD. There is a police station on the eastern side of Interstate 5. Watch it there. But as you get south more you hit a great down hill slope. One of my favorite streets in the city.

Pink Box-
Kearny VIlla road (North to south). Speed limit is 65 miles per hour. But since it is a 4 lane road that just has that great feel to it. However cops are frequently there hiding out on a closed on/off ramp or around the bends. You have a very high chance of getting cauht here.

Yellow Box-
Highway 52. There is always heavy traffic on the 52 but if you can cut through it and get ahead of it you can really haull ass.
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