If a picture is worth a thousand of words, this one speaks volumes.
I rode twice through the Tail of Dragon on the way back from Sturgis last year. On the first day the roads were empty since it was getting late in the day and besides, it was Thursday. On Friday, it was a different story.
Plenty of motorcycle riders were out and while I did not have any issues, I saw plenty which caused concern.
For one, at Deal’s Gap during lunch, there was a lot of beer drinking going on. In fifteen minutes, I saw three bikes get dropped because there is a slight incline in the road and the riders did not know how to handle it. I saw one rider duck walk across two lanes in order to straightened out his motorcycle, then take off from wrong lane to cross over into his lane. Then, as the video shows, one motorcycle rider going to the opposite lane to make a right hand turn. I saw several do the same thing. At this point, I told my girlfriend we needed to leave because I didn’t feel safe at all. It is for this reason, that there is a strong police presence now on the Dragon’s Tail.
If I ever go back to the Tail of Dragon at Deal’s Gap, there is a ninety-nine percent chance that my riding will take place during the week as I have been told by locals that is the best time to ride. It is also my understanding that locals avoid that road because it is dangerous. The fact is there is nothing difficult or dangerous about the road itself, it is just those on it.
So, before you get all excited and are ready to slay the dragon, slay your motorcycle first. That three day course you did in a parking lot only means you are parking lot certified. Trust me, it is worth it. I was a decent rider but went to the next level with lessons. Don’t forget the Tree of Shame is there as a reminder. Plenty of motorcycle parts hung on the Tree of Shame was there from accidents of two motorcycles crashing head-on.
Be safe, practice, have fun.