Slab’n it to Tail Of The Dragon

Ok I spent a week getting to the Mid West, and a week meandering all over the place. After yesterday’s off-road technically challenging (read: WFT was I thinking?!) ride, I promised myself, if my arms don’t fall off in the morning, I’m going to do the Tail Of The Dragon.

I slept in today, and stopped at Chili Hills in Moriarity for the requisite yummy breakfast (brunch?).

Hitting the road for the next few days to get to Deals Gap in North Carolina to do the notorious Tail Of The Dragon.

This video should scare the crap out of mere mortals:

Tail of the Dragon – The most intense, epic, nauseating video you will see in the next 12 minutes!

I’m not a tourist, and so not into souvenirs. However I might make an exception if the shop has these posters for sale. 🙂

Hopefully I’ll survive. If not I made arrangements so those who have been good to me over the years (unfortunately that does NOT include members of my dysfunctional family) will get all my shit including life insurance. LOL

I’ll be taking Interstate 40 to get there. With luck and no mechanicals (other than getting my rear tire replaced along the way), I’ll be posting pictures and any weird stuff I may encounter.

I heard there were a number of Big Foot sightings over at Tail Of The Dragon, not sure I’ll be able to post any pics.

And off I go!

Short Day But Technically Challenging

With checkout at Noon, I had a chance to wash the week’s worth of clothing. During the wash and dry cycles, I made a few calls to see if any local shops carry the Michelin Commander 2 rear tire (160/70 17B), even though it should make it back to Florida. No luck, so I’ll have to check the next town I’m passing through.

I knew this would be a short day so I looked for a shorter but challenging ride. Found Sandia Mountains, specifically Sandia Crest, which is a paved road that snakes its way up to 10,679′. Lots of challenging turns, but it didn’t really feel like I got a good technical day in. That’s when I took a closer look at the map and found there is an attached road that is much more technical, but its a gravel road. I’m fine with gravel. So I went ahead and rode through it.

Well, let me tell you, 165 looked like your run of the mill gravel road. But after a few miles, it looked like a WWII bombed road. It got really challenging, and stayed that way for miles. At times I felt like getting off and carrying the bike…wait…its a Harley. I thought for sure the bike was going to go down, at SEVERAL spots along that gravel road. But I was able to negotiate all the rough parts, got back to the main road with sore arms. I wonder how the bottom of the bike looks, since I bottomed out a couple dozen times.

Red is all paved. Blue started as paved, until I went on to 165.

The view from the top of Sandia Crest was pretty amazing. Even if the valley itself is already 4,000′ above sea level.

The view was even nicer along 165, although you couldn’t really stop, for fear of having a hard time getting started again.

Tomorrow my destination is likely a place that has the Michelin Commander 2 tire. 🙂

Route: