Our first full day here. The sun breaking over the smokeys woke me up. As things waking you up goes, it's hard to beat that without breaking several laws. Breakfast was enough to choke a horse at the Snowbird Mountain lodge, but I mean that in a good way. The lemon pancakes were certainly up there with the days great events and the sausage was simply amazing.

But we're here for other things (honest). The day started with a trip to dealer to get new tires for Pauls Harley. It seems like a wait, so In the meantime, I go for a blast up and down the 129 from Robbinsville to the Gap motel and back on my own. It was a great way to get into the swing of things. I won't post times or speedo readings but let's just say I'm happy the cops weren't around.

Several hours later however, Paul (and us) are still there. Wheelers is apparently a great place to get your bike fixed, but not if the B-list staff is on like they were today. The guy kept getting distracted with everyone else that came in. In the end, Paul sent us off to do some more riding and meetings at the Deal's gap motel while he waited.

Once there, Marina opted to talk to people while I was allowed to hit the dragon. I decided it was time to fit the go-pro, in 3-d mode. Couldn't hurt, could it?

On the way up, I'm flying. At least, in my mind I'm flying. I dare say to the wild turkeys along side the road, I probably wasn't moving. Problem was, the next corner I see movement out the corner of my and assumed it was another turkey. Whatever it was, I missed my line and almost, almost ran wide. I can either be scared shitless or I can get on with it. I choose the latter. Drop it down a gear, find the line and point the knee into the tarmac. It works and again I am flying.

I omitted to look at my time when I left, so I've no idea how I did. However, I do know I set off just after two guys on gixxers and I'm keeping up with them. OK, they're stuck behind cars but I'm overtaking them too. Even after the turkey scare, i catch back up with them. I reach the lookout at the time as they did, too and while they carry on, I stop, mainly to catch my breath.

After a few minutes, I'm ready to put my helmet on and head back but as I do, an RV crawls past. Balls to this. Helmet off, jacket off. I'm taking ten minutes more. Chat to a few folk and time passes quickly.

Gear on, there's nothing gone past in a while and the cop behind me is reading the paper. Time to go. Camera back on, I'm off. This time a little more sedate, practising being fluid over speed. It works. I'm flicking left, right, left, right. Turns roll into one, lines seem obvious. Before I know it, I'm back at the gap. Can't wait to get back and watch the video tonight.

Back at the gap, there's still no Paul. Marina and I hang out a while, chewing the fat. As we suit up and head out the parking lot, Paul pulls in. Turns out the only way he got his new tires was to change his wheels himself and as a result, he's missed the day's riding. We contemplate the Cherahala on the way back, but it's just too late. It'll still be there tomorrow.

Back home, it's an early hot tub and time for dinner. Life is good...

Oh, and the 3-D stuff didn't come out properly. Just plain old 2-d.

5 Comments
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  • Jordan
  • 2011-09-20T14:38:26-04:00

Check my report on Deals Gap (http://eatsleepride.com/c/2536/Tail of the Dragon, Deal's Gap Trip Report - August 2011) there are photos of the stickers on the guard rail, including one from ESR.

 
  • Jordan
  • 2011-09-17T08:39:48-04:00

It was on the guard rail at the lookout overlooking the damn at the TN side, along wry hundreds of other stickers, I'll send you a photo.

 
  • alex
  • 2011-09-14T18:11:43-04:00

We didn't see the esr sticker at the Dragon: Where was it?

 
  • Jordan
  • 2011-09-14T07:29:41-04:00

Nice, did you see our ESR sticker at the Dragon?

 
  • nick303
  • 2011-09-12T06:40:02-04:00

Sounds like some fantastic riding and I look forward to watching the video... 2D will suffice anyhow :)