Sunday Drive(56k) 10-15-06
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This is a discussion on Sunday Drive(56k) 10-15-06 within the Member Show-Off & Photography forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; This top section is basically a write up on an e90 BMW, skip it if you just want roads and ...

  1. #1
    Registered User big_sur's Avatar
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    Sunday Drive(56k) 10-15-06

    This top section is basically a write up on an e90 BMW, skip it if you just want roads and pics.

    So I woke up this morning and it was cold. Not mid October cold, like December cold, and Iím from the south, I donít do unexpected winter. I really donít mind the cold so much as you can dress for it, but that whole thing about waking up in the morning and having to go outside into the cold. After the initial hit to the face from the cold I get to look forward to five minutes of frigid motoring before I enter back into my temperature zone. Anyways Iím not quite ready for winter yet so I rebelled and broke out the garage kept and 30 degree warmer vehicle, a 06 325ix. I didnít really keep track of mileage of anything because this was more a dry weather test of the car (Iíve only taken it on drives in the snow and rain before). These were also all roads Iíve reviewed before so I wasnít overly worried about it. I did a quick run up 43 to the parkway, then over to 501, took a lap on the mountain and came back. The bimmer isnít fast. Iíll just that out of the way now. Acceleration is brisk but definitely nothing close to fast. The one thing I have noticed though is the e90 has much better low end than the e36 or e46. This is likely due somewhat to the now 6 available speeds in the auto but the torque is much improved from past models. This transmission is probably one of the best non-smg autos Iíve ever driven. Shifting is seamless and refined even on downshifts with no abruptness one used to associate with manu-matic downshifting. Steering feel is bmw great as always. The suspension was not quite as communicative as on past models as the limit was not as clearly predicted as it used to be. It was deceptively fast and seemed very composed until that last second. The run-flats were terribly noisy and started chunking off some around the edges on the mountain but they are all season tires and performed admirably enough for a larger sidewall tire. Brakes were superb and, on a side note, put off very little brake dust compared to previous versions. The awd system is probably one of the best I have ever driven. So far it is very much a superior system when compared to the subarus although I have not yet had a chance to test the Subaru in the snow. I think the main difference is the ability of the bmw to shift power to where itís needed rather than just chunking more and more up front as in the Subaru. The car actually drives very much like a rear wheel drive car. Whereas the Subaru will under steer terribly unless purposefully thrown in over steer, the bmw will exhibit a bit of under steer followed by nice progressive over steer. Now the bad part. The accelerator pedal is crap. You would think that would be something pretty simple. On the e36 it was perfect. Then the e46 came along and the response was a bit touchy that first half inch of depression but once you figured it out it was no big deal. Now, Iím assuming due to people complaining about the e46, theyíve dumbed down the response to the point where it almost feels like a second gear start. That issue is not a huge one but hereís the whopper. Traction control. Itís too easy. You can be absolutely stupid with this car. Come into a corner, point it where you want to go and floor the gas. Granted it doesnít have a lot of power but you can pretty much throw it into anything you want and the traction control will make you look like a hero with a nice little slide exactly where you want it. Now thatís all fine and dandy and yes you can take it off but itís just depressing to know a 12 year old could probably lap the same time I could in this car. Now the one flaw with the traction control which led me to turn it off(after acting like an idiot for half an hour seeing if I could unsettle it) is this: I came into one turn a bit hot and the car started to under steer. I let off trying to get some lift throttle over steer and as I hit the gas again it cut the throttle (and my over steer) and completely ruined my line. So aside from coming into a turn completely too hot the car is pretty much completely idiot proof and that just sort of takes the fun out of it. I probably would have kept driving it but I need some gravel each week and I just couldnít do it to the bmw. Also the damn seat belt beeper was annoying the **** out of me. Iím all for wearing seatbelts and when Iím driving I have a seat belt on, but when Iím going 500 feet to take a different picture I donít want to listen to some damn computer beeping until kingdom come. So, pictures and then back to the wrxÖ.

    Mid October in VA is not supposed to look like this


    Iíve always loved some angel eyes


    Leaves are a changin


    Nice little band of clouds in the valley


    I liked the depth in this one plus you can see the BRP snaking around the mtn


    Almost a match


    The mountain


    The result of the mountain run


    nice car, terrible line. I mean seriously, this is how people get killed. Please keep it on your side.


    Roaring Run(670)
    -2\1.5 lane tarmac
    -no posted speed limit
    -.5 miles
    They say change is good so I figured I would start here on the second half of the Sunday drive. This road has some very tight little sections and eventually ends up on coffee rd but it gets very narrow at the end. Basically though, it just doesnít go where I wanted to go, so I turned off early.

    This turn is actually right after the turn off for Hawkins ridge but itís a very cool little turn so I went up for a shot


    Hawkins Ridge(637)
    -2 lane tarmac
    -no posted speed limit
    -2.4 miles
    This road is nice and open with some tight stuff you can see around for days. Side note: Olden Acres horse retirement farm is on this road and occasionally Iíll see a Bentley or something of the like coming in to visit an old race horse in retirement.

    Wide Turn


    Lankford Mill(644)
    -1.5 Lane medium\loose pack Gravel
    -1.5 mi
    This is a very tight and very twisty gravel road with virtually no houses on it. The gravel is generally very well kept, just watch those blind turns.

    Not much room for error anywhere on this road


    Very cool turn with the orange tree in the middle


    Glass Hill(637)
    -2 Lane gravel\tarmac
    -1.5 mi
    This road goes by the spinner family who own and log the land surrounding a large part of the road. Some of the freshly logged sections provide a very interesting landscape. The section closer to the 643 is more densely populated and paved so watch out.

    The Spinner Logging trucks arenít usually active on the weekend but it is wise to keep them in mind when in the general area


    A little rex action in a newly logged bald spot


    Occasionally there will be some abandoned logging equipment lining the road which is always interesting.


    Otterville (643)
    -2 lane tarmac
    -no posted speed limit
    -3.6 mi

    122
    -2 lane asphalt
    -55mph
    -2.9 mi(643 to 640)

    Forbes Mill (640)
    -2 lane tarmac
    -no posted speed limit
    -2.8 mi
    I guess at this point I should mention I do not have my map with me this week. I had it set out on my side table meaning to take it back to the car since last Sunday and it is still sitting there. Absolutely pitiful. I thought this would take a bit more interesting route over to 43 but it just ran right into my old cut through.

    Jopling (643)
    -2 lane tarmac
    -no posted speed limit
    -.7 mi

    43 South
    -2 lane asphalt
    -55\45mph
    -.5mi

    Kelso Mill (682)
    -2 lane tarmac\asphalt
    -no posted speed limit
    -1.8 mi
    This road has some great scenery as it runs through the valley under the peaks of otter. There are some very nice houses sitting up on the hills but the road itself isnít all that exciting. Itís actually quite heavily traveled for being in the middle of nowhere.

    Sharps Mtn (683)
    -2 lane tarmac
    -no posted speed limit
    -2.7 mi
    This is where my map would have come in handy. Basically at this point I was looking for this road I went on a couple of years ago that basically went up sharp top mountain and everybody called sharp top road. Well this was not it. It did have a couple of fun curves in it but basically it just looped around back to kelso mill.

    Kelso Mill (682)
    -2 lane tarmac\asphalt
    -no posted speed limit
    -.3 mi

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  3. #2
    Registered User big_sur's Avatar
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    Sheep Creek Rd (680)
    -2 lane tarmac
    -no posted speed limit
    -1.4 mi
    Somehow I randomly ran into this road and it looked like it was going in the general direction I was looking for(up). Also someone on one of the forums had asked me to check it out so I figured it couldnít hurt. I get bored easily though and owl town looked like it was going in a better direction.

    Owl Town (687)
    -2 lane gravel
    -2.1 mi
    This was a good little gravel road with nicely kept gravel and some interesting turns. For being in the middle of absolutely nowhere, it was quite populated and Iím not usually one to stir up a dust cloud in front of somebodyís house.

    Gotta love some nice gravel


    Old school dodge dually


    Sheep Creek Rd (614)
    -1.5 lane loose\medium pack gravel
    -3.6 mi
    Itís funny how things work out sometime. With absolutely no map, not only did owl town bring me back to sheep creek where it turns into gravel and gets interesting, but sheep creek rd happens to be the official name for sharp top mtn rd. This road is sweet. It just keeps coming. Whatís better is that you can see the road snaking up the mountain 5 turns in advance sometimes. Props to wishihadasilvia for the recommendation. This is not however a road to get too adventurous on. The road is lined with trees and if you are unlucky enough to hit one you will be plummeting to your death as the road is literally cut into the side of sharp top mountain. No guardrail, no curb, just imminent death. You have been warned. The crazy thing about this road which I didnít remember since I was drunk, attempting to get to 2nd base, and in the back of a suburban at night is it actually comes out right at the trailhead and ranger house for sharp top mountain trail on the BRP.

    Itís crazy how much this road switches back and around


    Itís a bit clearer in person but Iím on one section, I just came from the left and before that the bottom right


    Lots and lots of these


    In every different shape and size


    The top


    I had no idea where it came out so all of a sudden I come out drifting followed by a huge trail of dust. Some of the gapers were not pleased.


    Blue Ridge Parkway\501\130
    After I came out on the parkway from sheep creek I ran into a gaper fest. Itís funny how leaves dieing off attract so many people. Generally speaking once this starts I stay away from the BRP for a while as it pretty much kills the appeal for me but it does bring out some nice cars. I stopped in at the peaks of otter and watched all the gapers enjoy nature in the gift shop and the restaurant for a while. After that I headed down and took a couple of runs on the mountain. It was a pretty quiet day up there but I did see a fellow Scooby and a few bikes were taking passes as I did my best killboy impersonation.

    Lovin the old school chevy


    Bel Air x3


    C6 lookin good


    The mountain shot for the day


    Picture turn pulloff (surprisingly enough I actually wasnít the one who put the circle there)


    Dark side rider not doing a whole lot


    Fellow Scooby owner doing the two wheeled thing


    TLS rippin it


    I love the tail section on the new gixxers


    TLS lookin good again


    Until next time

  4. #3
    Registered User tayhadar1's Avatar
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    Nice pics
    2004 WRX Sti Cobb Stage 2
    GO COUGS!!!

  5. #4
    Registered User wrx wagone's Avatar
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    Very nice pics and route!

    It's makin' me miss VA Tech.
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    Registered User rr1911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tayhadar1
    Nice pics
    + 1
    Army Ranger For Life ! Thin Blue Line
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    POST WH0RE KING

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    thanks for snapping the pix!

    I'm the fellow scooby owner. I have an 04 STi that has seen extensive autocross action all over VA, and into NC, SC, MD, wash dc, in the 04 / 05 seasons. my home region is the Blue Ridge Region SCCA.

    I'll add one of my fave ax pix of me and my car, phil gillet and I went up to Ripken stadium for an AX, and ended up axing in a blizzard:



    I have to admit that getting the kawi has kept me away from autocross this year, but I may run a few next season.

  8. #7
    Registered User GeneralGeeWhiz's Avatar
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    All very cool pictures.
    <--- Robert

    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

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    Registered User Jje121's Avatar
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    Very nice pics!!!
    New England F4
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    nothing funny about stubble on the man-marbles.

  10. #9
    Registered User Yossarian's Avatar
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    Wow. Beautiful area. My paint would be decimated if I lived near all those twisty gravel roads.

  11. #10
    Registered User big_sur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
    Wow. Beautiful area. My paint would be decimated if I lived near all those twisty gravel roads.
    mine is getting there

  12. #11
    Moderator beastcivic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrx wagone View Post
    Very nice pics and route!

    It's makin' me miss VA Tech.
    Too bad down here most of the leaves are gone off the trees already due to high winds.

    I just went for a little ride down Mt Tabor road the other day before the Southern Miss game. Lots of fun.
    -Jim

    '02 Platinum Silver WRX sedan w/roof rack...bone stock. Ok, now that's a lie.

    GO HOKIES!!!!!!!!!

  13. #12
    Registered User wrx wagone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beastcivic View Post
    I just went for a little ride down Mt Tabor road the other day before the Southern Miss game. Lots of fun.
    Mt. Tabor Rd.

    Road names escape me, but I really miss the back road to The Home Place. The one that takes you out to 311. Such a nice road.
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  14. #13
    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    I Support ClubWRX
    I remember Mt. Tabor well from my days at Tech. It was a favorite for very close to town, but I liked Luster's Gate better. Surely you both remember/know the run up to Mt. Lake? That was a fun one in the old 280Z as well. Eggleston Rd. maybe the best I found around there, but is a litle further out. My dad came for a ride in the old 6 series and complained of getting bruised from being tossed about in the passenger seat.


    Sweet pics as well!

  15. #14
    Registered User hellafastWRX's Avatar
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    I touched up this pic a little bit so you look like a rally driver

    --Chris
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  16. #15
    Registered User big_sur's Avatar
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    ^that's actually why i took it with the car like that but then i got lazy and never edited it, good call

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