160318 tail of the dragon

"Tail of the Dragon" Adventure

If you're looking to hit the open road on a motorcycle and experience some of the most interesting and exhilarating hairpin and curlicue curves and turns, you might check out the "Tail of the Dragon" at Deals Gap Tennessee near the North Carolina border. The Tail of the Dragon is a mountain pass that consists of 318 curves in only 11 miles. The Tail takes riders around cliffs and bluffs at bordering the Great Smoky Mountains and makes for a heart-pounding ride.

Caution and safety are key in this adventure which has seen some motorcyclists go off the edge of the cliffs. Some riders claim there are motorcycle parts hanging from nearly every tree from riders who were unable to tame the Dragon.

Five safety suggestions:
1. Ride the Tail when the weather is clear. Rain and snow do not mix with motorcycles and mountain curves. Ideal riding season for the Tail is March-June.
2. Make sure that you equipment is in top working order – especially tire inflation and condition. Change your oil and get a tune up.
3. The Tail is an area best traveled in the daylight. Plan your trip to end before it gets dark.

4. Consider purchasing a SPOT, a satellite messaging and emergency tracking system. Also, be sure to let someone know your ride route in case you have an emergency and can't reach anyone.
4. Don't try to ride beyond your limits. The important part of any adventure is make it to the other end safely so you can tell your friends.

Deals Gap and the Tail of the Dragon are must sees for any serious motorcycle adventurer and the lush greenery of the Smoky Mountains is something you must see for yourself. Plan your trip with weather in mind and check out these unique accommodations.

Three places to stay:

1. Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort - Camping out or a motel. Standard rooms, apartment rooms, tent spots and more.

2. Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge - Private cabins, RV sites and shared bunkhouses as well as a large pavillion. Massage therapy and biker church are also available activities on-site.

3. Dragon's Rest Cabins and Lodging – Private cabins or creek house. Six large one-bedroom cabins available as well as creekhouse offering three bedrooms/two bathrooms. Covered parking for motorcycles.