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We were on vacation this past week in Pigeon Forge, TN, and, being so close, I just had to drive over and check out the Tail of the Dragon - US 129 to Deals Gap. So I loaded up the wife and her Dad (85) and off we went. We rode the Dragon in a Chevy 2500 HD Diesel/Allison transmission. Not the same as a bike at all but we sure got a taste of all those curves!

I'm planning to go to the Honda Hoot this summer - maybe I'll do the Dragon on my bike then!

Here's the pic - the white streaks you see against the dark background are snow/ice flakes. The painful expression is a combination of the cold weather, wet snow, and a bad left knee. :lol: Oh - the truck is behind me in the parking lot. We had a blast!

 

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I hope that you get to ride it. It is a fun road.
It can be a little busy on the weekend through the summer but that is not always bad.

Benny
 

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Tangle Eye said:
We were on vacation this past week in Pigeon Forge, TN, and, being so close, I just had to drive over and check out the Tail of the Dragon - US 129 to Deals Gap. So I loaded up the wife and her Dad (85) and off we went. We rode the Dragon in a Chevy 2500 HD Diesel/Allison transmission. Not the same as a bike at all but we sure got a taste of all those curves!

I'm planning to go to the Honda Hoot this summer - maybe I'll do the Dragon on my bike then!

Here's the pic - the white streaks you see against the dark background are snow/ice flakes. The painful expression is a combination of the cold weather, wet snow, and a bad left knee. :lol: Oh - the truck is behind me in the parking lot. We had a blast!
I've wanted to go up and ride it, myself, but I'm not fond of all the
idiots that I constantly hear about that ride it.
The passing in the curves, etc...

Did you have any problems with idiots passing you in the curves, on
solid lines, etc or was it pretty mild and not like all the horror stories we
hear?

I'm not interested in rolling through it at 90mph... I'd rather go up and
tool around at a leisurely pace and enjoy the ride and the scenery.
But that's kind of hard to do when bone heads are flying around you
at dangerous speeds without concern to themselves or others.

Is it really like that or are the stories we hear isolated incidents?
 

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litnin said:
Did you have any problems with idiots passing you in the curves, on solid lines, etc or was it pretty mild and not like all the horror stories we hear?

Is it really like that or are the stories we hear isolated incidents?
I'd be really interested to know that myself. I plan on riding it with some friends this summer, and it will be my first time, and I will have been riding for two years. I don't want to die just yet...
 

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Ride your own ride, let the idiots cleanse the gene pool with their own actions.

The mountians along the NC/TN border have many roads with just as many twisties as the Dragon, not nearly as crowded. Shop around, you'll find them.

A cpl of my favs, NC 80 from Marion up to BRP near Mt. Mitchell. NC 226 from Marion to Little Switzerland.

Old US 221 around Grandfather Mt. is a good one too. Now that the Viaduct on the parkway is open it's almost deserted.
 

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When I rode it we came up to the back of a group of sport bike riders who were not traveling at the speed we were. We just made a pull off and enjoyed the view while they rode on to give us some more space.
Idiots are crossing the yellow line on every road. Just dont be one,
Glen
 

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5 other guys and myself took a nice road trip from Huntsville, TX to Deals Gap and then through Tennesse, Kentucky, and then Missouri. Our ride ended there unfortunately but thats another STORY.

Deals Gap was awesome. We all large dressed out bikes and they did fine...you just have to realize that some folks are going to pass you and thats ok...just do your own thing and enjoy it. Don't worry about looking in your mirror because you'll be spending that time wrestling your bike, but in a good way.

We went at the end of May and it really wasn't that crowded. Check out the tailofthedragon.com to see what is scheduled when and you can find an "off" weekend somewhere. Bring a light jacket though..it can still be nippy at altitude in some places.

Another great ride (we actually enjoyed it more than the dragon) was the Cherohala Skyway. It really gets up in altitude and has more sweeping curves that we really enjoyed on the big bikes. That road wasn't crowded at all. Like rickbb said, there are a multitude of other roads along the border there, and all were fun to ride.

--BB[/url]
 

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rickbb said:
Ride your own ride, let the idiots cleanse the gene pool with their own actions.

The mountians along the NC/TN border have many roads with just as many twisties as the Dragon, not nearly as crowded. Shop around, you'll find them.

A cpl of my favs, NC 80 from Marion up to BRP near Mt. Mitchell. NC 226 from Marion to Little Switzerland.

Old US 221 around Grandfather Mt. is a good one too. Now that the Viaduct on the parkway is open it's almost deserted.
I agree. Devil's Drop was one awesome road..and a great entrace into the Blue Ridge Parkway.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As far as questions about how crowded the road is I'm not much help. The weather was cold and wet with threatening snow all day. We rode the Dragon up to and beyond Deals Gap and then back down again on our way back to Pigeon Forge. On the way up we only met one vehicle the entire way. And - believe it or not it was an 18 wheeler with a trailer!! :shock: I guess he just wanted to do it or else was lost.

On the way down we met one car that I remember and a couple of sport bikes going really slow.

For those of you who haven't seen it and were asking about speed I'd say this is a pretty slow road (compared to a straight road) even on a sport bike. Bear in mind I've never done this on a motorcycle so I'm talking totally off the top of my head. I've seen some video that looked mighty fast on that road but that is all relative I think. In the truck I was hovering close to 20 - 25 mph mostly. Of course my wife was about to get car sick at the time too. :p
 

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I have not ridden it but friends and family in Tn tell me do it during the week and it's not bad. On weekends and holidays they claim it's a zoo.
 

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Tangle Eye said:
On the way up we only met one vehicle the entire way. And - believe it or not it was an 18 wheeler with a trailer!! :shock: I guess he just wanted to do it or else was lost.
I believe it!


 

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The first time I rode The Dragon was by chance, I had no idea where it was. There was almost no traffic. The pavement was still a little wet from rain the night before. When I got to the east end, there were about 100 bikes, probably waiting for the road to dry completely.
It is such a beautiful area that I have no desire to race thru it.
 

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StradBiker said:
litnin said:
Did you have any problems with idiots passing you in the curves, on solid lines, etc or was it pretty mild and not like all the horror stories we hear?

Is it really like that or are the stories we hear isolated incidents?
I'd be really interested to know that myself. I plan on riding it with some friends this summer, and it will be my first time, and I will have been riding for two years. I don't want to die just yet...
The speed limit through the Dragon is 30 mph. There is no place legal to pass anywhere through it. Through the summer you will get passed and you may want to pass some yourself. This can actually be done quite safely if you know the road. Very dangerous if you have never ridden it or have rode it only a few times.

A lot of what you read is true. People do pass on the solid yellow. There is no other. What one person sees as safe another will see as lunacy. In all fairness there is some dangerous passes by some very stupid people but I do not think that is the norm.

One good thing about the weekend through the summer is that there are a lot of cruisers and the pace is usually pretty slow. That is good in that it holds a lot of inexperienced riders speed in check.

Is it a good place to ride? I've gone through it ~ 100 times both ways. I plan to do at least that much this year alone also. I love it. For some it is a great motorcycle road, for others it is where nightmares come from. Nothing is perfect but this place is 25 miles from my driveway and has been a great source of pleasure for me. I feel very fortunate that this road and many others are nearby.

Benny
 

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I hit it on a Friday afternoon in June after eight hours of riding. I'd been enjoying the solitude until then. Packed with sport bikes and a few sports cars, as well as nervous folks on cruisers. Someone had just missed a curve, luckily not hurt. Crossing the center line is not cool. Deadly. The testosterone reminded me of the hard climbing jocks I used to encounter on the craigs. The curves are tight and the ride is intense. Scrape the pegs, wear down the heels. I never cared much for roller coasters. I rode it a few times, bought the tee shirt, and continued on my way.
 
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