Motorcycle Monday-My First Big Girl Ride Part II

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Last week I described our journey to the Tail and setting up camp (you can read about that here), today is the day that I ride the infamous Tail of the Dragon, ignorance is bliss.  Had I known that it was such a challenging ride for a novice, I may not have done it.  I put my big girl panties on and took the plunge.  Let’s just say I took it at a comfortable pace for me and probably pissed off every biker behind me…

May 23, 2005

McGyver was of course up before me, got his shower and was getting coffee ready.  After my shower and coffee we put on our leathers, cuz it get’s cool in them mountains.

WOW! The Tail was unbelievable – no kidding 318 curves in 11 miles – speed limit 30 mph- strictly enforced.  I was scared but I made it through, this was a big challenge for me and I made it!

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[am I on the wrong side of the road????]

We finished the run at a place called Deal’s Gap.  Once the bikes were parked, McGyver asked me how I felt – I told him “I am still scared” – scared and exhilarated – what an awesome accomplishment for a novice rider.

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We picked up a few souvenirs and McGyver asked me if I wanted to go back the same way – of course I said “HELL NO!”  I just wasn’t ready to face the Tail again, so soon.  After a little map checking we decided to head towards North Carolina and cut across the Cherohola Sky way, little did we know that this route would take almost 3 hours and more lives have been lost on the Skyway then the Dragon.

Once again, ignorance is bliss and so we took off.  This has to be some the most beautiful countryside in the U.S. – with the exception of the Northwest.

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We enjoyed our ride, watched various motorist (car and bike) do idiotic things [like drive on the wrong side of the road]and made our way back to the camp.

After the ride we thought we’d check out the Rally – I chose to ride behind hubby, I was mentally and physically exhausted from the ride, I never realized how much it could take out on a person.  I had new respect for McGyver and what he went through when we drove through the Alps.

We arrived at the Rally site just in time to catch the wet T-shirt contest; T-shirt being the optional word here.  Darn the luck, true to the mountain girl stereotype most of the girls should have kept their shirts on and dry but I didn’t hear a single guy complain…guess they like them all.

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Afterwards we walked around the sight, bought some damn good BBQ, saw some really cool bikes, like the hubless bike built by AMEN cycles – speaking of which he came to the campground (the owner/builder) and we got a personalized poster.  To: “Ronnie and Rhonda”.  Lonnie (that’s McGyver’s real name) said that just proves that no one listens to him Smile.

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After knocking around a bit at the rally, which was sparse and had nearly been wiped out by severe rain storms, we decided to get dinner.  We ended up at this local café – I forgot the name “The Pit Stop” or something, anyways they had the oldest guys in the world playing some bluegrass – and they were good!

Oh I forgot, we arranged to meet one of Lonnie’s LGF blog buddies (who lives in Knoxville) for dinner.  So Ironfist followed us to this café.  What a meal, home style cooking and lots of it.  I got liver and onions, which I never get to have since I’m the only one who likes it, and mashed taters as good as my own.

McGyver got the meatloaf and it was okay – you know- just like it is at home.  After Ironfist treated us to dinner, he went back home and we headed back to the rally see Steppenwolf.   They put on a good show but we were wiped and decided to leave a little early – just as we were leaving Steppenwolf breaks into “Born to be wild”, could it have been more perfect?

As I was writing this post, I thought what an adventurous day…I’m exhausted just writing about it.  Next week, it gets wrapped up with our ride back home.

I’d like to do a shout out to Killboy. com.  Darryl hangs out at The Tail of the Dragon and takes photos of motorist riding this curvy challenging road.  He sells his photos and gives you full rights to reprint and distribute as you like, his only request is that if you post them on the web, that he gets credit.  Darryl, you deserve the credit.

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It’s tough for biker’s to get action shots of themselves and I for one am grateful for, if any of you ever decide to tackle the Dragon, make sure you check out his site for snaps.


Just a side note, this morning before I was getting ready to post I went to the Post Office and picked up my mail, there was this months HOG magazine and in it was none other than a feature story about The Tail of the Dragon and the surrounding area, so I snapped an instagram shot just to prove it.

Next week: the ride home and a wrap up.

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14 Responses to Motorcycle Monday-My First Big Girl Ride Part II

  1. Mcgyver May 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    If anyone finds themselves thinking, “…that bridge looks familiar” it’s because that is the bridge Harrison Ford jumped off in “The Fugitive” . LGF jumped the Shark a few years back, but IronFist and I are still friends (and his lovely bride MP).

    And yes, it do appear you are on the wrong side of the road. You were still a novive back then. You ride much better now!

    Mcgyver, Out

    • Giggles May 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

      Thanks for pointing out that I was so new then, I have gotten a lot better since than.

  2. Karen May 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Wow… you gots guts, lady! 🙂 Beautiful country and I wondered how you got that picture of yourself!

  3. Eliot May 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Always new you were a bad ass. This just proves it. 318 curves?????? (I would have been walking it or riding behind somebody with my eyes closed and prayin’!) Can’t wait for the next installment.

    • Giggles May 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

      Thanks for the encouragement. I actually went back the next year and did again and had way more fun because I wasn’t absolutely petrified.

  4. CJ at Food Stories May 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    How exciting. I was wondering how you got those pics of you riding the trail so thanks for explaining 🙂

    • Giggles May 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

      It was exciting and I’m so glad that killboy was able to photograph it.

  5. Darryl Cannon (aka "killboy) May 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    Thank you for the kind words and plug! We try hard to make sure you’re happy with our work, but most of all I’m glad you had a good time out here. Come back soon!

    • Giggles May 8, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

      Love your work! We can’t wait to go back again!

    • Paul September 26, 2016 at 11:11 am #

      I loved my pics from The Dragon you took May 2015.

  6. Lea Ann May 9, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    Wow, great post. And nice photos. Not being a rider, for some reason I never thought about a road full of curves being such a workout. and 318 of them????? Holycow! Thanks for taking us along on your trip. And I think it’s funny that Steppinwolf is still around and being “wild”. 🙂

    • Giggles May 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

      Seems like all the bands that were hot and new when I was young are either making the big come back tours or hitting up smaller venues like motorcycle rallies. Which is fine by me, now I can see bands that I didn’t get to see the first time around. Course I’m still around and being “wild” also…

  7. kita May 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    Im not even done this post yet but Im freakin that you got your killboy photo! Go you! (more comments to come)

  8. BigFatBaker May 21, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    Omg you are awesome. This would have freaked me out. All the turns..that makes my stomach flip just thinking about it! We just drove from IN to SC and that seemed like a challenge enough…great job to you for surviving this!