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The (fill in the blank) of the Dragon

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by docsabre, Jun 5, 2021.

  1. docsabre

    docsabre crusty curmudgeon Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    San Diego County
    So I’ve ridden many of the mountain roads back east that the locals name after a body part of a “dragon”. I think it started with Tail of the Dragon. Not to be left out, you can also find Back of the Dragon, The Talon, The Snake, and other roads that seek to make an exciting name for their local roads. Here is a short list:
    1. Georgia's Dragon - The Suches Loop
    2. Claw of the Dragon - Outer Loop
    3. Alabama's "Mini-Dragon" to 29 Dreams
    4. Fat Daddy's "little Tennessee dragon"
    5. "The Tennessee Baby Dragon" - Hwy 232
    6. TN 360 - Skyway to the Dragon
    7. The Arkansas Dragon - Hwy 123
    8. Head of the Dragon
    9. Ohio's Dragon's Tail
    10. The Ohio Cousin of the "Tail of the Dragon"
    11. Back of the Dragon
    12. Wisconsin's Route 33 - The Little Deals Gap of the Mid-west!

    My buddy of 51 years and I went on our first moto-tour camping trip from Nashville to Myrtle Beach through the mountains of Tennessee and northeast Georgia in 1975. I was on a Honda 450 Scrambler and he was on a Suzuki T500. He was visiting me this past week so I loaned him one of my bikes and showed him one of my favorite routes in San Diego County northern area. It was 80 miles and ran through Deluz Canyon to Temecula. We then took old Hwy 395 to Rice Canyon and then a short 1/2 mile towards Courser Canyon, to West Lilac Road and back through Bonsal.

    For lack of a better name, I told him he just rode The Epididymis of the Dragon. Go figure. We’re running out of hyperbolic body parts of dragons. But it was an apt description.
    #1
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  2. nukeguy

    nukeguy Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Please don't overlook the Dragon Slayer. Not an anatomical part of the dragon but a dragon reference nonetheless.
    #2
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  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    17,626
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    I have heard of a "tail of the skunk" somewhere!
    #3
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  4. SherSingh

    SherSingh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2021
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    Houston TX
    Hahaha, epididymus of the dragon. Too funny!
    #4
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  5. docsabre

    docsabre crusty curmudgeon Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    San Diego County
    Yes. But it’s an apt if not somewhat less attractive description of our ride. I’ve included a drawing of the body part so others will understand the degree of twisties encountered. The “caput” is Latin for head, “corpus” is the body of the epididymis, and “cauda” refers to the tail. In Latin the “Tail of the Dragon” is “cauda draconis”. (Go impress your drinking buddies). 1133E5B8-CC74-48E4-9934-28F23068140F.gif
    #5
  6. docsabre

    docsabre crusty curmudgeon Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    San Diego County
    That must be one of those roads in Arkansas that goes past the chicken farms or Interstate 8 west of El Paso, with all the feed lots.
    #6
  7. docsabre

    docsabre crusty curmudgeon Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    San Diego County
    On my ride back from Tennessee last month I discovered a road in the Oklahoma panhandle I called “The Femur of the Dragon”. It was long, straight and boring.
    #7
  8. Mr Pou

    Mr Pou Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2018
    Oddometer:
    456
    Location:
    Southeast TN
    I'm kinda growing tired of all of the stupid names for all of these roads. I mean, I know you want to market your road and get cyclists to drop some cash in your town or county, but it's getting ridiculous.
    #8
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  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    I agree. I call them T-shirt roads. Someone wants to make money so they make up a goofy name for a popular road and then try to sell T shirts to the unsuspecting tourists. Some roads have more than one name. 28 for example is Hellbender 28 and also moonshiner 28. 209 is the rattler but it's also shiners run depending on where you buy your T shirt.

    At least those people who came up with tail of the skunk and tail of the possum (I think that's in Mississippi) had a sense of humor.

    I'll be riding a few T shirt roads next week. Lets see, Diamondback, The Devil's whip (Ohhhhh!) and the Snake. I'll wouldn't be surprised to find that a few more roads have been given names.

    The bad thing is that many people don't even know the real names for some of those roads. I've mentioned Deal's Gap to some people and gotten a puzzled look. Then I say the "dragon" and they know what I'm talking about.

    When someone tells me they are going to ride the "moonshiner" I want to puke:puke2
    #9
  10. docsabre

    docsabre crusty curmudgeon Supporter

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    San Diego County
    The most ridiculous thing at Deal’s Gap is a billboard you can take a picture of with you and your bike in front. The billboard falsely assumes that Tail of the Dragon is “America’s number one motorcycle destination”. I can think of many fine roads that compete for the same title: Big Sur Hwy, Beartooth Pass, Chief Joeseph Hwy, Bigfoot Hwy, Palomar Mountain Road, Pacific Crest Hwy, Escalante Staircase, Million Dollar Hwy, Going to the Sun Hwy, Lewis and Clark Hwy, Top of the World Hwy, and scores of other roads throughout Washington, California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota, etc. with higher speed limits, fewer vehicles, and more spectacular views. But Deals Gap happens to be within a day’s drive of half the US population.
    #10
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Like it or not, the dragon may very well be “America’s number one motorcycle destination”. I'm not saying it is better than those other roads you listed but I'd bet that the dragon draws more motorcycle "tourists" than any of those other roads. Actually it would be more accurate to call it “America’s number one motorcycle tourist destination”. Like you posted, there are billboards:

    [​IMG]

    There is a "Dragon" Harley T shirt shop.

    [​IMG]

    On most days there are 5-10 photographers waiting to take your picture as you ride through. At the top there are more picture opportunities.

    [​IMG]

    Then there are countless places where you can buy dragon souvineers.

    [​IMG]

    Almost every weekend from April through October there are one or more motorcycle and car clubs having a rally in the area.

    There's a lot of people making money off of dragon tourist dollars. Just be glad that all those other roads you posted haven't become as famous as the dragon has. Back in the 90s it was US129 at Deal's Gap. There were no dragon billboards, dragon T-shirts or photographers. Back then the speed limit was 55, there was next to no law enforcement and people even ran their race bikes there. It was was way more fun before it became too famous.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. SCPancho

    SCPancho Old farts riding club. Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    34,679
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    I really like Arizona Route 191. Eastern AZ. A couple hundred miles, a few thousand turns. No T-Shirts.

    You can see the dust from the mines in Morenci at the top center.

    [​IMG]
    #12
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