NEWS ARCHIVES 2011

November 6, 2011: Once again last week we had some snow atop the Cherohala. It didn't last long, but was quite scenic. The leaves still have some color, but leaves have been a minor problem for motorcycle riders. The mornings have been crisp with temps in the 30s, warming to the 60s during the day.

October 21, 2011: Past week we had some rain and even snow at the higher elevations of the Cherohala Skyway and Blue Ridge Parkway. Nothing to keep anyone off the road, but it sure was pretty for a change.

Traffic has been heavy once the skys cleared. Lots of gawkers at the colors and the unexpected snow. Be patient .... with crowded roads it is no time to speed.

October 10, 2011: A busier than normal week-end on all area roads. Looks like groups are hitting road in anticipation of the long winter ahead. The colors are about at peak and likely won't last too long. Graham County airlifted another rider off the Cherohala Skyway on Saturday. Injuries did not seem to be life threatening.

October 3, 2011: A little frost on the pumpkin this morning. Early morning temps in the 30s, but the days warm into the 60s. A steady stream of riders and drivers on the local roads. We still have six weeks or so of good riding weather. It's not too late to plan a fall trip to the Dragon to see the color changes.

September 23, 2011: Looks like a good weekend coming up after a couple of days of rain. Temps in the high 70s and partly cloudy.

We still have six weeks or so of good riding weather. It's not too late to plan a late summer trip to the Dragon.

Another bad cycle wreck near Fontana. Take it easy on these twisty back roads.

September 12, 2011: A good week-end with many motorcycles and cars on the Dragon and other area roads. It was a treat to see some of the old cars that came over to the Dragon from the car show in Pigeon Forge. The 1939 Ford Coupe SEE BOTTOM OF PAGE that posed in front of our moonshine still brought images of the old days of the Thunder Road runners.

We still have six weeks or so of good riding weather. It's not too late to plan a late summer trip to the Dragon.

Bad cycle wreck on NC 143 near Thunder Mountain Deli. Rider airlifted with multiple injuries. Take it easy on these twisty back roads.

Heard about a Blount Co SO license check on US129 along the river in Tennessee. Tickets for misplaced license plates, nonDOT helmets, and other picky violations. THP will ticket you for such offenses if they see it. But then they let the semis pass with no offenses.

Also heard of some nasty tactics in north Georgia. Slow van pulls out in front of bikers, lets them pass on double yellow, and then radios ahead to have officers stop and ticket. Isn't there enough crime to chase without this BS !!

September 6, 2011: Labor Day weekend brought out the motorcycles and sports cars. Busy Friday, Saturday, Sunday and then TS Lee brought rain most of the day Monday. No real flooding, but lots of showers.

Tragic death on the Cherohala Friday AM. A 48-year old female rider was in a fatal accident at the 9-mile marker. She apparently lost control after over-braking on a downhill and hit the railing. Please take it easy on the Cherohala .... it can be tricky.

Heard about a Blount Co SO license check on US129 along the river in Tennessee. Tickets for misplaced license plates, nonDOT helmets, and other picky violations. THP will ticket you for such offenses if they see it. But then they let the semis pass with no offenses.

Also heard of some nasty tactics in north Georgia. Slow van pulls out in front of bikers, lets them pass on double yellow, and then radios ahead to have officers stop and ticket. Isn't there enough crime to chase without this BS !!

August 29, 2011: Another slow week-end. Maybe evertone is waiting for Labor Day.

Heard about a Blount Co SO license check on US129 along the river in Tennessee. Tickets for misplaced license plates, nonDOT helmets, and other picky violations. THP will ticket you for such offenses if they see it. But then they let the semis pass with no offenses.

Also heard of some nasty tactics in north Georgia. Slow van pulls out in front of bikers, lets them pass on double yellow, and then radios ahead to have officers stop and ticket. Isn't there enough crime to chase without this BS !!

August 21, 2011: Slow week-end in spite of the big Shine Fest at Fontana. Heard it was a good show so plan to attend next year.

Heard one cruiser rider got a ticket on the Dragon for crossing the double yellow. He wasn't passing .... just cut one of the corners. THP will ticket you for such offenses if they see it.

Also heard of some nasty tactics in north Georgia. Slow van pulls out in front of bikers, lets them pass on double yellow, and then radios ahead to have officers stop and ticket. Isn't there enough crime to chase without this BS !!

Remember, accidents spoil it for others with road closures and can result in a costly air-lift, serious injury and sometimes worse. One recent accident cost the rider $19,000 just for the air lift.

All roads are open and in good condition.

August 8, 2011: Traffic slowing down in what we call the summer doldrums. Temps hot, but the mountain tops on the Cherohala and Blueridge offer 10 to 15 degrees cooler.

July 20, 2011: A slow week on the Dragon .... possibly due to the heat and afternoon showers. Temps were in the high 80s. We watch the radar and the showers have been really spotty with rain isolated in small areas. Usually you can ride out of the weather in just 5 miles or so. Looks like the temperature will break tomorrow so come on out this week.

Serious head-on wreck on Moonshiner 28 hear the Dragon saw both riders flown out. One ride suffered severe facial injuries because he was not wearing a full face helmet. Both bikes were cruisers ... one went across the double yellow.

July 11, 2011: Wing Ding Weekend ..... Never saw so many Wings on the road before. The quiet pipes were welcomed for a few days. Sure did see a lot of "bling" on the Wings. Saturday morning a rider went off Wheelie Hell and was air lifted out with back and chest injuries. While on the scene the EMS unit leaked antifreeze on the roadway.

Shortly thereafter a female rider went down on the slippery surface. Then a Highway Patrol unit overheated and even more antifreeze was spilled. Traffic was stopped for over an hour as the mess was cleaned-up.

The Dragon was closed for about an hour on Saturday while an accident was cleared and the pavement cleaned of antifreeze.

July 5, 2011: Great 4th of July weekend in the area. The Graham County Heritage Festival was busy and Jim Tom's moonshine still drew the most attention. Too bad it was simulated and not producing.

Fontana drew the largest crowds with live music and some fantastic fireworks.

There were several accidents that marred the festivities. One rider was airlifted off the Dragon after regaining consciousness. There were also accidents on the Moonshiner 28 and Cherohala. Guess that should be expected with thousands of riders testing their skills on the twisties.

June 26, 2011: Busy Saturday with trikes, cruisers, sportbikes and several car groups on the Dragon, Sunday morning was a rain-out, but the sun came out about 1 pm and the skies were mostly clear.

June 20, 2011: Another active weekend in the area. White water rafters and kayakers were on the Cheoah River. The CanAms were here in force. There have been some afternoon thunderstorms but they are scattered and usually pass in a hurry.

June 13, 2011: Busy week-end both at the Dragon and the first Chasing the Dragon Hillclimb. Friday and Saturday saw many bikes and sports cars on the Dragon, Cherohala and Moonshiner. Suday was a little slower.

The Hillclimb on the road the Maple Springs went well on Saturday and Sunday. Attendance was small, but the 42 entrants had many good runs.

June 6, 2011: More great riding weather in western North Carolina. Get away from the heat in the higher elevations such as the Cherohala Skyway and Blue Ridge Parkway.

Remember, accidents spoil it for others and can result in a costly air-lift, serious injury and sometimes worse. One recent accident cost the rider $19,000 just for the air lift.

May 29, 2011: Thunder in the mountains as thousands of riders made their way to the Dragon and other local roads. Both Saturday and Sunday found the roads busy with motorcycle traffic. One female was airlifted off the Cherohala on Saturday afternoon.

Let these be reminders to ride safe on these challenging roads. Accidents spoil it for others and can result in a costly air-lift, serious injury and sometimes worse.

May 21, 2011: Busy Saturday but two head-on accidents closed the roadway for several hours in the early afternoon. At least one rider had to be transported to a medical facility.

Another late afternoon accident had Graham County responding to the Cherohala Skyway.

Let these be reminders to ride safe on these challenging roads. Accidents spoil it for others and can result in a costly air-lift, serious injury and sometimes worse.

May 7, 2011: Great weather brings many to the Dragon, but the highlight today were the two Bugatti Veyrons, the most exspensive modern car in the world at $2,000,000 plus, that arrived on the scene.

Looks like a great weekend for visitors in the area. Graham County is having its annual Ramp Festival. The local onion/garlic weed is boiled and served with fried fish. After eating the spicy ramps your body stinks for a week.

April 15, 2011 Warmer weather and the mountains are greening. This is one of our favorite times with all the trees leafing out and many in full bloom.

Once again I want to remind everyone to keep their speeds down on the 4-lanes in North Carolina. Saw a half dozen S2000s pulled over on NC 28 heading to the Dragon this morning. NCHP loves this section of 4-lane .... take it easy.

Saturday four sportbike riders were clocked at 120 near Robbinsville and made the mistake of running for it. They were all caught, arrested and may lose their bikes. If you are blue-lighted pull right over, act like an uninformed tourist and take your knocks.

April 8, 2011: Cool mornings and a bit frosty on the higher mountains this past week. riding has been good at lower elevations such as the Dragon and Moonshiner 28. Looks like this weekend will bring much warmer weather.

March 19, 2011: The mountain roads are once again alive with the sound of motorcycles and sports cars. It is still a good time to beat the crowds, but the number of two-lane tourists is growing. The weather has been good and temps are not predicted to drop too much in the next week.

February 27, 2011: The snow is gone and hopefully will stay away. We actually saw several dozen motorcycles on the road over the past few days.

Riders headed to and from Daytona should plan a stop at the Dragon if the weather allows. Very little traffic this time of year.

We are going to miss seeing all the regulars at the various motorcycle shows this winter. We aren't going to make any, but we are busy updating all our web sites to help you plan your 2011 trip to our area. Keep an eye out for our new brochure which will feature some great maps on the best roads.

February 1, 2011: The snow that has been on the ground here since Christmas is finally gone. There still may be a few patches on the Cherohala and higher elevations. We actually saw several dozen motorcycles on the road over the past few days.

Looks like we have another weather event coming Wednesday. Can't tell now if it is going to be snow, sleet or just rain. Most of it should swing north of us.

We are going to miss seeing all the regulars at the various motorcycle shows this winter. We aren't going to make any, but we are busy updating all our web sites to help you plan your 2011 trip to our area. Keep an eye out for our new brochure which will feature some great maps on the best roads.

January 10, 2011: We have had some serious winter weather in the mountains that was brought on by Global Warming according to the so called experts - Jan 14th 5 degrees. The entire area around the Dragon was shut down for several days after more than a foot of snow fell. We still advise against travel on the higher elevations such as the Cherohala Skyway. SEE PHOTO AT BOTTOM OF PAGE. Be sure to check the weather before heading this way. We might have some more Global Warming.

We are going to miss seeing all the regulars at the various motorcycle shows this winter. We aren't going to make any, but we are busy updating all our web sites to help you plan your 2011 trip to our area. Keep an eye out for our new brochure which will feature some great maps on the best roads.

The 2011 Calendar Page is posted. Get us you information so everyone can see who is coming this year.

Watch for some big changes coming in 2011. We are expanding our coverage of the great area roads to include the southern section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, north Georgia which we call Six Gap, The Snake, The Devils Triangle, Moonshiner 28, in addition to the Cherohala Skyway and Tail of the Dragon. Now you'll have to plan a two week vacation just to get all of these roads into your riding plans. We'll also be including some lesser known roads of interest. Nancy and I are ready this season to ride to provide the best, up to date information to you.

We have closed our Tail of the Dragon Store at the Gap until April. You can still get our products by ordering from our On-line Store. If you are in the area Wheelers and Shell in Robbinsville carries most of our gear.


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Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap brings you motorycle and sport car touring information and maps on all of the exciting touring roads ,accommodations, motorcycle repair, and motorcycle rentals in the area including the Cherohala Skyway, Moonshiner 28, Foothills Parkway, Devils Triangle, Six Gap north Georgia, Diamondback, Devils Staircase, the Snake, Blue Ridge Parkway and places of interest in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee: also places of interest such as Fontana Dam, Wheels Through Time Museum,  Carolina waterfalls map, Cherokee Casino, Asheville attractions, Biltmore House, Smoky Mountain Railroad, whitewater rafting, zip line tours, Grandfather Mountain, Chimney Rock, Joyce Kilmer hiking, Cherokee National Forest, Nantahala National Forest, Cheoah River, Nantahala River, Lake Santeetlah, Fontana Lake, Robbinsville, Graham County, Bryson City, Sylva, Waynesville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Townsend and more.