Road King Riders Rally XII

Travels: Jun 8 – Jun 13, 2015

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This blog chronicles a ride with the Road King Riders to Murphy, NC (near the Tennessee border) for their 12th rendezvous. With about 100 riders listed this wonderful journey should take us to the Cherohala Skyway, the Tail of the Dragon and various points through the Great Smokey Mountains. I’m headed south to our base of operations hotel in Murphy, North Carolina.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Left home heading South

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cherohala Skyway

The Cherohala Skyway is a 43-mile National Scenic Byway and National Forest Scenic Byway that connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee, to Robbinsville, North Carolina in the southeastern United States. It offered gentle cruising and some brisk paces as well. As always it will be a great, fun ride.

Cherohala Skyway

The ride was great! We cruised some as well as stepped up occasionally to a more brisk pace. The views were spectacular and I secretly wished that I had various members of my family to experience gliding through these endlessly gorgeous views with the aroma of honeysuckle dancing in my nose. I could ride this stretch of road forever.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tail of the Dragon

Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap with 318 curves in 11 miles, is America’s number one motorcycle and sports car road.

Designated “US 129”, the road is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest, with no intersecting roads or driveways to hamper your travel. It is considered “the destination” for thousands of motorcycle and sports car fans throughout the spring, summer, and fall. It’s best to be cautious as the turns are tight, but the Tail of the Dragon is guaranteed to be the ride of your life!

Deals Gap is a mountain pass along the North Carolina–Tennessee state line, bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and near the Little Tennessee River and is partly in Robbinsville, NC.

Tail of the Dragon

Our ride on this technical road was awesome as usual. Feeling extra fresh, after a good night sleep and hearty breakfast, I decided to ride The Dragon out and back instead of the “one way” ride that most do. With so many hair-pin turns in such a short area you must keep your whits about you in steering, clutching and braking as well as keep abreast of who’s around you. Every day riders go over the embankments, some of which drop 100 feet to the floor below and there have been deaths on The Dragon.

After a spirited ride going out I decided to grab a quick lunch then head back on The Dragon. While this trip in the opposite direction wasn’t all that different one of the local yellow-jackets decided to spice up my return trip with a kiss on my neck. Now, for those of you who don’t ride, picture handling a half-ton bike while clutching, shifting and braking on a narrow road with shear dropoffs. Suffice it to say there’s very little you can do while being stung without risk of serious injury or death. Those of us with decades riding experience know that besides a few swats on the offending bee handling the bike until you reach a safe area to pull over in “critical mission 1”.

After reaching the end of this leg of The Dragon I quickly parked the bike, pulled my jacket and shirt off and inspected the stings inflicted upon my neck. Fortunately I’m not allergic to bee stings and a local woman was nice enough to come over (to see what the ruckus was about) and help apply some medicine to the area. I had some nice thoughts buzzing in my head as I entered the Dragon store to purchase some important memorabilia. After my purchases I was off to meet the group for a BBQ lunch.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Parting Goodbyes

It was an awesome trip with a great group of friends. Now I’m packing and planning to shove off towards home right after breakfast tomorrow. As usual, I’m sure I’ll have a lot to think about on the 650 mile journey home.

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