The 11 mile stretch of road on US Highway 129, which crosses the Tennessee and North Carolina state lines, is a popular site for motorcyclists. It is known as The Dragon because of its 318 curves. Motorcycle riders come from around the world to try their hand at taming The Dragon.
The Dragon starts at Deals Gap, North Carolina. This is the highest point of the ride at 1962 feet above sea level. 318 curves later you are at Tabcat Creek Bridge in Tennessee. You can expect the ride of your life.
Some tips when taming The Dragon:
*Be cautious, and no stunts. Recognize your skill at motorcycling and do not pass over that threshold.
*This is not a time to sight see. You have to stay focused at all times on The Dragon. Eyes on the road.
*You need to stay in your lane close into the right. If you try to straighten the curves on The Dragon, it can kill you.
*Be ready to slow in case of wildlife or other road hazards.
*As always, keep a good distance between you and other vehicles and cyclists.
*If a faster biker is coming up on you, move as far to the right as you can. It is better, and safer, to let them go, then to try to keep them behind you. Keep your ego in check and don’t let it get the better of you. Some of these motorcyclists have ridden hundreds of times.
*It is best to ride The Dragon when it has the least amount of traffic. The hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. are when the most motorist and sightseers will be on this road.
*Wear all protective gear, including full facial helmets and leather.
*Do not ever relax on The Dragon. You never know what is around the next curve.
*Go when you can make several trips. Take the first one cautiously until you get used to the ride.
The Dragon is fun but watch out for the speed traps! Last time I was there they had two set up and this was during a week day. That said I think the Cherohala Skyway is more fun. Better views,nice curves,not as much "hero" traffic and no police that I saw.