This weekend I checked “Ride a motorcycle down the Tail of the Dragon” off my bucket list. I’ve been wanting to do this for quite a while now and I’m glad I finally did it.
I rented a 2014 Heritage Softail Classic from the Harley dealer in Charlotte and rode 370 kms to the Tail of the Dragon at Deal’s Gap in North Carolina. The Tail of the Dragon is considered to be one of the best motorcycle and sports car roads in the world. It’s just 11 miles long but has 318 menacing turns.
I started riding from Charlotte at 9 am and headed west passing beautiful scenery along the way. Autumn is truly the best time of the year to ride in the US.
By 5 pm I arrived at Tuskege Motel and checked in. The motel is situated around 20 miles from the start of the Tail of the Dragon. I then rode up and down the Tail of the Dragon. I had fun with the 350+ kg motorcycle leaning into the corners more than I should. I ended up scraping the undersides of the foot boards a couple of times. Here is a video from a GoPro camera mounted on the handlebar.
On the way back to the motel I stopped to watch the mist hover over the Chilhowee lake.
The next morning, instead of heading back to Charlotte, I turned off my GPS and started riding in a random direction taking random exits. Turns out, after half an hour I ended up on the Cherohala Skyway, a beautiful winding road passing through two national forests. The trees of the forest were painted in all possible shades of green, yellow, orange and red, as if God had decided to play Holi there. Absolutely breathtaking. The air was so fresh and pure it felt like I was riding through an oxygen bubble. This is definitely one of the best places in the world that I’ve ridden a motorcycle.
I ran into clouds along the way and had to rely on the road markers to decide which side to turn.
Here is a video.
I then headed back to Charlotte and returned the motorcycle. In all I rode a total of 575 miles (920 kms) this weekend.
The link to the Garmin adventure is here.