The Dragon’s Tail, Intestines and Breath!

From the first day we arrived in the US every motorcyclist we have met raved about "The Dragon's Tail". Not really knowing what the dragon's tail was we just nodded and went on our merry way. Things changed however once we got to Baton Rouge and the friends we stayed with showed us footage of their rides through this particular stretch of road. This was enough to convince CB that he had to ride this road – 11 miles with 318 corners and turns.

So after saying farewell to Georgia we headed to North Carolina to Deal's Gap and the start of the Dragon's Tail. The place we stayed at call themselves a 'biker resort' – but what we found was anything but resort-like, more a youth hostel or backpackers with a bunk bed in the room – fair enough, some of the biker crowd can get a little rowdy at time, so the hotel felt it had to establish some house rules (see photo), including a price list for ALL items in the room, in case they get stolen – including the fridge and microwave, as well as bolted on items. Oh, and there is also a schedule of cleaning fees, should someone defecates again into the bath tub. The hotel also has a Tree of Shame in the front yard, sporting bike wrecks from the less fortunate that didn't make it and crashed out…

The ride to Deal's Gap was amazing to say the least. Beautiful winding country road lined with ancient hardwood forests. But once we arrived at said resort CB couldn't wait to dump his panniers to shed some weight and hit the Tail. It was fun, yes, and technical… One corner followed the next relentlessly – most bends were banked at quite a steep angle. Unfortunately, due to its popularity, there was also quite a bit of traffic around.

In the end, it was just another 11 miles on the odometer, and it turned out that the roads in the surrounding area were equally thrilling, if not better. Here the link to the Dragon's Tail Map – http://www.dealsgap.com/maps-dragon.html

And here a youtube video of some pro riding it –

On the way back to the hotel, we decided to take the long way home and ended up on some backroads that turned into gravel, which rather resembled the intestines of the dragon. Half way through we stopped for lunch and fuel, and since it was quite a hot day we enjoyed the air-conditioned premises a little too much and couldnt drag ourselves away from free refills of ice tea at the fast food joint… In the end it turned out that we missed by doing so one of the heaviest thunder storms in the region, that actually killed two people, one of them a biker that got struck by a falling tree…

Upon our return to the hotel, it was like riding through a disaster zone – there were snapped trees everywhere and lots of debris on the road – so we had to go off-road a number of times to dodge branches and logs siting on the road. Power was out and parts of the area were cut off. When we asked our room neighbours what has happened while we were away, we were told that we just missed 'the end of the world' – lucky us…

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