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Thread: Tail of the Dragon

  1. #1
    Registered User 82436's Avatar
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    Post Tail of the Dragon

    Front page article in today's Asheville, NC paper:

    http://cgi.citizen-times.com/cgi-bin/story/news/58243

  2. #2
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Been there ... to both places

    It is a great ride, although, I like the Skyway better than Deal's Gap.

    The article seems to be done fairly, but I wonder what the lady in question plans to "do about" the situation -- maybe a toll booth and a "crotch rocket quota?"
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

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  3. #3
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    I find it odd that there are so many accidents on the Skyway. My experience has been that it is a very well designed and well-surfaced road (and very, very heavily patrolled.) The Gap I can understand, almost every corner is blind, the road is narrow and not in the greatest shape, and there is a lot of car/truck traffic. Then there are the hoardes of squids out to "conquor the dragon." I've come across an accident there almost every time I've gone, including 30 seconds into my first time.
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
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  4. #4
    Gary99
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    Biggest problem on the Dragon is traffic. I rode it last summer, and a Dodge Prowler came around a curve about 50 yds in front of my sideways, fishtailing toward me taking both lanes. On the same ride, a semi came around a curve in front of me blocking both lanes, and a local on a crotch rocket passed me on the inside on the second curve of a tight "S". Also passed a Dodge Prowler that had run off the road. People at Deals Gap said most the crotch rockets are local guys who ride it several times a week. The Cherohala Skyway is a nice road, but have read where people suffer target fixation while looking at scenery and run off the road. It actually has more fatalities than the Dragon. Definitely an area to keep your wits about you.

  5. #5
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Ditto on the semi riding the Gap

    I've been there a half dozen times in recent years, and three trips ago, I happened upon a flatbed semi rig about halfway through (from the NC side).

    He was cutting the curves close on the right, and at one point, dragged what looked like a dumpload of dirt and rock right out into the roadway in front of me. Fortunately, I was far enough back to respond and avoid trouble.

    And on the left side curves, he was trailing the flatbed well into the oncoming lanes. That day was not particularly busy, but I can imagine that had it been a busy weekend, some crotcher could have run under that flatbed on any of a half dozen occasions.

    That experience pretty much took the luster off the gap for me.
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  6. #6
    USERNAME
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    im to the point where im wary of these 'must ride' roads. boasting X curves in Y miles is nice, but when the fine print reads, 'x blind curves in Y miles with Z squids, X+Y weekend-warrior sports car drivers, and commercial truck traffic' methinks thats not a very good MC road.

    im a wuss, i love turns, but not blind ones. i like to see what the road is doing and whats up ahead for at least 3 seconds. hard to do on narrow roads in mountains i guess, but it's when i feel im safest and having the most fun. even riding those roads slowly is not that much fun for me (emphasis on for me) because im waiting to go around a corner and find some putz over the yellow line and in my lane.

    i recently rode some of texas' best roads, and when i could see ahead, yeah it was great. when i couldnt it was a lot less fun.

  7. #7
    47944
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    Sometimes I don't understand journalists. Here's an article that is all about sportbike riders and how they like to go too fast on these roads and then he throws in a comment about how this one guy would like to see the Hells Angels image change. What the hell does Hells Angels have to do with sportbike riders???

  8. #8
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ted
    I find it odd that there are so many accidents on the Skyway. My experience has been that it is a very well designed and well-surfaced road (and very, very heavily patrolled.)
    Ted -- the reason is that you can reach extremely high velocities on the "Chero-haul-a".... easily 130mph+ DAMHIKT

    In comparison, the Dragon features tighter turns and shorter straights.

    During the week, there is far less patrol on both roads, compared to weekends. There is no way I will ride the Dragon on the weekend... not after I got passed on the inside by a KTM supermotard race bike shod with gumball slicks and a rider throwing sparks off his titanium knee pucks.

    Enough of that, thankyouverymuch!

    Ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  9. #9
    David
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    I won't repost everything here, but I visited Deal's Gap a few weeks ago and wrote a bit about it here. Feel free to see a few pictures and narrative.

    I also shot a video through the entire 11 miles (mounted to the front of a 12GS). A link to an excerpt of it is here (warning--high bandwidth only):

    Click here for the 6 min streaming video.

  10. #10
    rocketman
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    Funny, I was down that way in 2000 when I did the Smokys and BRP, I saw that road on the map and thought it looked like it would be a fun ride but it was out of my way at the time so passed it up. Back then it wasn't as well known and I didn't hear about about "the tail" till the following year, wish I had done it then when it was so much less traveled. Oh well, just goes to show, never pass up that interesting road or interesting side trip, you never know what opportunities you'll miss!


    RM

  11. #11
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    not after I got passed on the inside by a KTM supermotard race bike shod with gumball slicks and a rider throwing sparks off his titanium knee pucks.
    Damn I wish I knew that was you Ian, I would have slowed down for a chat
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
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  12. #12
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    What's it mean?

    Originally posted by Visian
    Ted -- the reason is that you can reach extremely high velocities on the "Chero-haul-a".... easily 130mph+ DAMHIKT

    In comparison, the Dragon features tighter turns and shorter straights.

    During the week, there is far less patrol on both roads, compared to weekends. There is no way I will ride the Dragon on the weekend... not after I got passed on the inside by a KTM supermotard race bike shod with gumball slicks and a rider throwing sparks off his titanium knee pucks.

    Enough of that, thankyouverymuch!

    Ian
    I give up; what's it mean - DAMHIKT?

  13. #13
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Re: What's it mean?

    Originally posted by Fang
    I give up; what's it mean - DAMHIKT?
    "Don't ask me how I know this."

    As in "wuddn't me officer.... nuh-uh.... no way...."


  14. #14
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    BTW...

    I first rode the Dragon *way* before it was called that... in 1979.

    I was on my first long MC trip, having taken a week off from grad school to ride my '76 R90/6 over 400 miles up 441 from Gainesville, FL to the Park.

    Found US129 completely by accident. This was the coolest thing I had ever seen and I must have ridden back and forth about 10 times.

    Then I headed up that dirt road that leads into the park. Well... it's actually a 1-way road that leads *out* of the park, but I was tired and needed someplace to camp.

    Rode it about 5 times more the next morning.

    Those were the days, when squids were found in the ocean.

    Ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    ________________________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  15. #15
    REBECCAV
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    I rode Deal's Gap three days ago (July 29th). I was fortunate to ride it early in the morning on a weekday when there wasn't much traffic.

    It was challenging and fun, but I think that there are more enjoyable roads in the area. Unfortunately I did not get to do the Skyway, but I did ride the Foothills Parkway and through the Great Smokey Mts Nat'l Park (traffic!) and the Blue Ridge Parkway (my favorite of the trip).

    Thanks for sharing the article, Spider. It's an incredible area of the world to ride in.

    Here's a picture of the Deal's Gap Tree of Shame with various bike parts.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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