But if you ride, these mountains provide some of the most challenging, fun but also dangerous roads to be found anywhere.
Deals Gap, North Carolina is the official address of the highly publicized "Tail Of The Dragon," otherwise known as US Highway 129. The Tail of the Dragon website boasts "with 318 curves in 11 miles, is America’s number one motorcycle and sports car road" (although most of the 11 miles is actually in eastern Tennessee). Just north of the Tail is the malevolent sounding "Devil's Triangle." The DT website states "the tight twisties are as good as the Tail of the Dragon but there are even more dangers here; deep rock strewn gullies just off the pavement, ragged steel guard rails, steep drop offs and rock cliffs leave no room for error." Hmmmm - sounds a lot like the road Elisa and I rode yesterday.
I was born and raised in middle Tennessee. So I do have a certain fondness for the Volunteer State. While growing up, my family made several trips to the Great Smoky Mountains, mainly a tourist trap called Gatlinburg. We happened to be motel people, not camping people. I became intimately familiar with all of the souvenir shops within walking distance of our motel. So while I've been to eastern Tennessee many times, it was long before I learned how to ride. And it was also long before the Tail Of The Dragon became a "motorcycle resort" (around the early 1990's).
Now before I go any further, I should also mention some northern California roads such as Highway 84 in Woodside (where you will find Alice's Restaurant) and Highway 152 in Gilroy (also known as Hecker Pass Highway). My wife blasted through these roads on a Honda Shadow (without a motorcycle license) when she was 18 years old. I've only experienced these roads from a car, but I can attest to the fact they will give you a stomach ache real fast.
And you are constantly having to look out for rocks, sand, gravel and the most dangerous obstacle of all - bicycles.
"No biker deserves to be bored . . . "