Dragon Virginity

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One of many places you can get a map of the Tail of the Dragon. This is one of the most dramatic maps I’ve seen of the ride.

If you live in the eastern United States and ride motorcycle, you undoubtedly have heard of the Tail of the Dragon. It’s the ultimate riding test of the east, joining Tennessee and North Carolina via US129. I have had so many friends ride it and tell me about it, it is hard to believe my first experience was New Year’s Day of 2019.

Normally, I plan and lead rides. I have to look at my riders, time, routes and destinations to make sure it is safe and finishes before dark. I almost had the Dragon in the ride this past June, but Telisa said Cherohala Skyway was more scenic. She’s right. It’s a nicer ride and still have tons of twists and turns. So, we skipped the Dragon on that trip.

Standing in front of the Dragon sculpture at Deal’s Gap. Made mostly from bike parts!

Recently I joined a group, Dragon Victory Riders, and had the privilege of riding with them on the New Year’s Day ride. That day, I lost my Dragon Virginity. We did both the Dragon and Cherohala. The Tail of the Dragon is everything they say it is. 318 turns in only 11 miles. It is relentless. It is fantastic!!! It is one of the top 3 most challenging roads I’ve ever been on. My age and patience showed as most of the group sped ahead of me, who rides like an old fart now that I am.

I hope to have some video coming from the ride. I’ll be working on that process this week and next.

Part of the group ride as we stopped at Deal’s Gap.

There is also quite a history on this road that cuts across the Smokey Mountains. Here is a great story on the timeline of this great experience.