Dragon Slayers - MikePeters-Photography

Dragon Slayers

Riders from all over the East Coast and Midwest, and beyond, visiting The Dragon, Route 129 in North Carolina, a world famous mecca for motorcyclists who are there to ride the 318 turns in 11 miles of sinuous asphalt that runs through Deals Gap and into Tennessee.

The traffic on The Dragon can get pretty hairy on weekends. There are numerous crashes every day of each weekend, according to the local police. Crashed bikes litter the slopes below the road, and unless the rider, or his surviving friends, chooses to have it winched up, the scavengers get them later. So long as the vehicle is not on the road, the police don't care about them.

Inexperienced riders often fall victim to this road, or as they say, get torched by The Dragon. The very tight switchbacks, the trees and rock walls that line the sides of the road, the other vehicles that stray into your lane in the middle of a corner, and the stray semi-truck that wanders in can be a major case of sensory overload, and panic sets in quickly for the inexperienced, or those experiencing testosterone poisoning. Those people usually leave a souvenir on the Tree of Shame which contains an ever growing collection of broken bits and pieces that have been collected from the crash scene of the rider who hung it. Or in some cases, by their friends and relatives. Many riders who wear protective riding gear survive unscathed, save for a few bruises to skin and ego. Those who wear shorts and t-shirts usually wind up with a bad case of road rash, which is basically a 3rd degree burn and a significant loss of skin. Not fun, and worse than a broken bone. Trust me, I know.

It's best to respect The Dragon.

060917_6353_Dragon Slayers

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