Gravel Roads....- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Gravel Roads....

    Hey Folks...

    This is gonna sound alot like "old man yells at skateboarders" but I'd like to ask anyone and everyone that drives our gravel forest roads to slow down and drive more carefully...

    I know this forum gets read by many tourists, etc but this is also directed at us locals too.

    I was nearly ran off the road driving into N. Mills by someone driving WAAAy too fast for conditions. They locked it down but still slid a good 50ft nearly hitting me. You can't stop quickly on gravel like on pavement.

    I know it may seem like the forest is big and remote and you're the only ones out there but its a crowded place so please drive carefully and respectfully and watch out for others.

    Those roads are one-lane and no one wants to roll their vehicle off the side...

    Thanks yall!
    On your left!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Mike Brown's Avatar
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    Here's where I ashamedly admit I've been in a head-on fender bender on 5000 that was 100% my fault for driving too fast, about 20 years ago. It really made me look in the mirror, ever since I've treated our gravel roads as if they are one-lane- which they basically are in most places.

    Good post IMO.

  3. #3
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
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    thanks for the reminder.

    most of my negative driving encounters on forest roads have been with logging trucks going too fast (and mostly not here, where they're a lot less common), but there have been a few passenger vehicles over the years.

    One thing I wonder is if folks think about dust control around here. I haven't noticed many taking it into consideration. The idea is that even if people aren't ON the road, if they're nearby (say, in a roadside campsite, or fishing in the stream alongside the road, but it also includes anyone actually on the road), you slow down enough on the road to avoid kicking up a big cloud of dust behind you that they then have to close their eyes and cover their faces to avoid. It's something I learned to think about when I worked for the USFS in Utah, where the roads were almost always dusty. It wasn't a stated rule anywhere, but it was one of those unwritten etiquette guidelines.

  4. #4
    Big Mac
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    Thanks for this. I always drive the gravel with the assumption that someone is ALWAYS coming around the other side. As far as the dust goes, that’s a good point, but often impossible to avoid. Be safe folks. Lots going on out there.


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  5. #5
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    And on a similar note, it's also good to dial it back if you are *riding* down these roads. I tend to let 'er rip descending gravel, and some times are better than others (e.g. middle of the night, where lights from oncoming traffic provide a bit of warning); but I take a lot of risk coming into blind corners too hot to save my own skin if oncoming traffic is driving the same line. I scared myself and a trio of motorcyclists outside of Reliance, Tenn last month riding a line that was too far left of center around one blind corner and missing an oncoming motorcycle (mea culpa), only to get back into the far right on the next turn where the last of the 3 motorcyclists was cutting the apex into my line (who am I to complain?).

    Ride safe my friends!

  6. #6
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    I was driving support for the P111 a few weeks ago on 1206 and darn near had a head on with a rider. I was on the right side of the road. He wasn't. Don't assume that nothing is around that blind corner.
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  7. #7
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    I live on a gravel road, state maintained, in Granville County NC. The speed limit is not posted and we get some insane drivers. A couple of years ago we had 700 acres being logged down the road and the crew and the logging trucks just went over the top with speed, so I went to the Sheriffs office. Nobody could figure out the speed limit on the road so I went to the DOT. Here’s the pathetic response I received......

    Any state road, with unposted speed limits, is by default 55 MPH....unless local ordinance has it otherwise. The states DOT lawyers won’t commit to a “safe” speed on a gravel road, therefore they won’t set a speed limit for said roads. Therefore, the speed limit on my gravel road is 55. That’s about 35 over what a sane driver would average. Dust? Forget about it...... Finally, dirt road etiquette is a thing of the past for many. Far too many folks take the Bonnie and Clyde style of driving to whip down my quiet little piece of road.

    That’s ok. We take note of those cars and drivers. If they end up in a ditch or wrapped on a pine tree, they’ll likely not get much from the locals.

  8. #8
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    Can't you lobby to have the limit changed to reflect the presence of housing? You live there, so 30 mph. You might point out your ability to sue if something happens.
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  9. #9
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    There's a spot in Big Ivy about half way up where a car went off the edge a few weeks ago. It is a wicked steep fall off so it must have been a wild ride for at least 100 feet or so and probably involved flipping.

    Anyone know anything about it?
    "Get busy living, or get busy dying"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savageheartland View Post
    Any state road, with unposted speed limits, is by default 55 MPH....unless local ordinance has it otherwise.
    Sounds like you need to attend a county commissioners meeting and ask them to pass an ordinance. The next one is July 1st.

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