Called the Dragon's Tail, or Tail of the Dragon, this stretch of road is known by both names. What you call it is not the important thing to think about when you consider riding this route. I actually have mixed feelings about even including it in my list of destinations. For many, this stretch of road is one of the best roads in the world to ride; on the other hand, I have spoken with many who have ridden it one time and swore they would never ride it again. Then there are also the unfortunate few that the Dragon was their last ride. As of October 15, 2009, the Dragon had claimed five lives in 2009 alone, and there have been many accidents with injuries varying from road rash to very serious injuries requiring an airlift to area hospitals. It is not uncommon to have four or five wrecks a day during the summer.

I have ridden the dragon many times, including one night ride. Every time I ride the Dragon, I feel like I am playing Russian Roulette. It is not my riding skills or judgment that makes this road almost as dangerous for me as it is for an experienced rider on his or her first trip. I have encountered bear and deer on or near the road, and cars, trucks and motorcycles across the line. Once I even encountered a tractor-trailer that had the road completely blocked in an effort to make it through a curve. Sometimes the safest rider or driver in the world can find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Lately, many people have complained about the crackdown by Tennessee State Troopers and the local Sheriff's Office in an effort to try and reduce the accidents and deaths. Personally, I applaud their efforts and think many of those screaming the loudest are the ones that create much of the dangerous riding conditions that exist of the Dragon. In the past, there have been far too many accidents caused by some inconsiderate individual that thinks the Dragon is his own personal race course who ends up taking someone out with him. There have been head-on motorcycle-to-motorcycle accidents, bikes rear-ended, and some have left the road to try and avoid a rider on the wrong side of the road.

On our tours, the safety of those riding with us is my NUMBER 1 priority. The Dragon has become known worldwide thanks, in part, to word of mouth, to the internet, and to the marketing of businesses in the area. There are people that travel here from literally all over the world specifically to ride the dragon. Personally, I know many roads, both dirt and blacktop, that are very similar in construction to the Dragon but that are far less dangerous because they are not as well known as the Dragon thus, the traffic is much less a factor in riding those roads. For those that still want to ride the Dragon, we will offer tours but only on Mondays through Thursdays, for safety reasons.

Images Copyright: Motorcycle Fantasy Vacations


2009 By Motorcycle Fantasy Vacations. All Rights Reserved.

Designed by CCT Web Design