Fear the Dragon’s Tail, but not for the reasons you might think.
Below are two videos I recorded on my return trip home from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Surprisingly, my experience with the Dragon’s Tail was not all that positive. The road is fine even though after a while the twisties and turns become redundant, but I was more concerned about the other motorcycle riders than anything else, and ultimately that took away from the enjoyment.
In less than fifteen minutes, I saw three bikes get dropped on that incline. Within that same parking lot is the restaurant in Deal’s Gap where the beer flowed like a river. When I saw people started to get somewhat “rowdy,” that was my sign to go.
The other video shows how to make or not make a right turn. The motorcycle rider carried over into the opposite lane, thus, he would have been facing oncoming traffic. Luckily, no cars went speeding through at that moment.
What I wasn’t able to record were the “duck walkers” walking across both lanes to straighten their motorcycle out since they couldn’t kick it into first gear, turn and ride off at the same time.
The fact is the Tail of the Dragon is not as difficult as it is hyped up to be. You just have to ride slow. The reality is most of the time you will be in second gear and a few stretches where you can reach third gear.
However, do yourself and everyone riding a favor; if you aren’t experienced enough, then go when you are. There is no shame in that. You have to learn low speed maneuvers. Until you learn to ride in first gear and at minimum do a twenty-four foot circle, the estimated size required to do a U-turn, then you really should not be riding.
What I did appreciate about the Dragon’s Tail was that there was a visible law enforcement presence.
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