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Just returned from a couple of weeks in paradise while riding the Great Smoky Mountains. It is a shame that the locals are always in such a hurry because they have seen the scenery too many times. On my way back to Texas I like to take at least one run down the “Tail of the Dragon” and along the Cherohala Scenic Skyway near the Tennessee and North Carolina border. That area was beautiful and the weather was just cool enough for everyone up there to bundle up a bit. My only complaint during the whole trip was the flying crotch rockets that like to throw themselves through the curves as they skim the cliff edges and often pass by within inches of your handle bars. Every now and then you will meet one of these fools coming at you on your side of the road because they misjudged a blind switch back. At the Deals Gap Tree of Shame, I had recommended that they designate a “Kamikaze Friday” so all the crotch rocket maniacs could take each other out in relative peace and not involve any innocent carnage. Over all a very nice ride.

Michael
 

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Didn't have those problems when we rode the Dragon, guess we were lucky.
 

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Last May, a group of us had the Unfortunate Luck to be riding both those roads on a wet Sunday. " Unfortunate " because it was a wet day , " Luck " because we had the roads to ourselves.
 

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That's the very reason I seldom ride it and when I do, it's not on a week end. NC Hwy. 151 is just as challenging but is only about 5 miles long and has a greater elevation drop. It's located just north of Mt. Pisgah Inn on the BRP.
 

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Rode the Tail again this summer.Probably wouldn't have,but I had my nephew with us(first big trip)and he hadn't been on it.We've seen bikes down both times we were on it.This year a lady on a Harley broke her leg I think.The ambulance almost took us out trying to get to her.The emergency responce vehicles are almost more dangerous than the organ donor sport bikers.
 

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Having grown up in the NC mountains I'm real curious as to what the big deal is. From the vids I've seen it looks like most other roads in the mountains, only it's paved.!! :D:D d:^) Schneeks..
 

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Having grown up in the NC mountains I'm real curious as to what the big deal is. From the vids I've seen it looks like most other roads in the mountains, only it's paved.!! :D:D d:^) Schneeks..
I take it that you have never ridden the dragon? 318 curves in 11 miles with many of those being switch-backs. I guess there is something special about it since riders come from all over the world to slay the dragon. I did it a couple times and that is enough for me.
 

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I take it that you have never ridden the dragon? 318 curves in 11 miles with many of those being switch-backs. I guess there is something special about it since riders come from all over the world to slay the dragon. I did it a couple times and that is enough for me.
I rode the dragon for the first time a few weeks ago, and maybe it's just because I've ridden some other amazing NC and TN roads in the area, but the dragon definitely did not live up to all the hype. I just got stuck behinds some Harley's (I was on a Suzuki DR200, 199cc's for crying out loud!) The ride was fun, but I didn't find it especially challenging, or scenic.
 

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I rode the dragon for the first time a few weeks ago, and maybe it's just because I've ridden some other amazing NC and TN roads in the area, but the dragon definitely did not live up to all the hype. I just got stuck behinds some Harley's (I was on a Suzuki DR200, 199cc's for crying out loud!) The ride was fun, but I didn't find it especially challenging, or scenic.
I want be making any special effort to go back myself. I go to the mountains for the scenery and the serenity and to get that once in a lifetime photo if that is even possible.
 

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Loads of fun....Yep, those sport bike riders are something else. I go up that way every summer for a week or so. A couple of years ago I was riding the dragon with some buddies all in a continuous procession,,,I suddenly felt a tap on my shoulder...I was riding solo...scared the heck out of me, I was just past the apex of a curve...it was a sport bike rider coming around. I was riding at a fairly fast clip but he was moving much faster....WOW.
 

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I take it that you have never ridden the dragon? 318 curves in 11 miles with many of those being switch-backs. I guess there is something special about it since riders come from all over the world to slay the dragon. I did it a couple times and that is enough for me.
You're correct, and it is one of my things I wanna do soon. And granted, even by mountain road standards that's a lot of curves. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning the enjoyability of the place. But as stated, there's lots of twisty turney roads in them thar hills that I'd imagine are wayyy less crowded. And at least as scenic.

I do look forward to the day when I can get up there.
Just hoping I can figure out a time when it's less crowded. :cool: d:^) Schneeks..
 

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The Dragon is a 'grail' of sorts to most riders. Sadly, with it's popularity there comes a certain amount of doorknob types that are a menace on any road, let alone a technically challenging one. Mulholland Drive is another that has it's share of moose twits on it.:eek:
 

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Loads of fun....Yep, those sport bike riders are something else. I go up that way every summer for a week or so. A couple of years ago I was riding the dragon with some buddies all in a continuous procession,,,I suddenly felt a tap on my shoulder...I was riding solo...scared the heck out of me, I was just past the apex of a curve...it was a sport bike rider coming around. I was riding at a fairly fast clip but he was moving much faster....WOW.
Wait...he tapped you on the shoulder?
 

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Some of the best riding in the country. Two of my favorite places to go..
 

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Here in Southern Oregon we have our own version of the dragons tail, it Oregon hwy 66 or better know as the Green Springs hwy. The first few miles are nice with sweeping turns then you start to climb the Cascades. The uphill side of the climb is about 10 miles with hair pin turns and most turns are marked at 20-25 miles per hour. Once you hit the summit then you start the downhill section into Keno, Oregon, the road straightens a bit, now the turns are marked at 30-40 miles per hour, all in all, it's an awesome ride and can be a real challenge for the first time riders.
 

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So often it seems, many people don't recognize the significance of a place simply be cause its all they've known.

Schneeks, I hope you get to ride every road. I'm sure you know many roads in your area that would be spectacular to me but are just nice rides for you. Ride a couple days in west Texas and I think you'll understand why the Tail seems to be on the bucket list for so many riders from elsewhere.
 
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