Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................




Post 179: Deal's Gap (Tail of The Dragon) North Carolina



It didn't rain, .. the world and his wife had descended onto the Dragon's Tail under clear blue skies, ... I wasn't alone out there. Firstly I must admit that although Deal's Gap was always on my list of 'must visit' areas, I had absolutely no idea just how beautiful, or busy, the Great Smokey Mountains would be. It's October and this is the 'peak season', .... and I can instantly see why. It's Autumn and the colours here are totally stunning, ... it feels as if the Hollywood special effects team have once again arrived before me. Back in England, for a biker Autumn leaves spell danger, ... here in North Carolina, .. they spell beauty. Perhaps it would be different in the rain, .... but thankfully for me it stayed dry.

'The best biking road in the world?' Well, ... it's good and it's beautiful, ... the ribbon of tarmac is smooth, the sight lines around the 318 turns are clear and the whole road flows perfectly. The only downsides are the amount of traffic and the number of police cars, .... but then I was there on a Saturday afternoon. I just sat back and enjoyed the ride, expecting faster bikes and cars to be closing in behind me, ..... but they didn't. The cars that I caught were kind enough to pull to the side of the road and allow me through, ...... a solid double line runs the length of the road but there were too many police cars in the area to overtake safely. For most of the day I seemed to be sitting behind small groups of cruisers, .. but that kept me safe, ... no new Tiger parts were added to the 'Tree of Shame'.

I enjoyed the roads around the Dragon, .. it would have been nice if it had been quieter .... it would have been nice to have been wearing legal tyres, ..... it's a great road, ..... it's certainly one of the best biking roads in the world. Perhaps it's not 'The Best', ... but it's definitely in the top ten and every biker should dream of riding here. Come in Autumn to enjoy the spectacular colours, .... but come early in the day to avoid the traffic, ... and the Police.

Along the Tail of The Dragon itself, a photographer snapped my picture. Darryl is from 'Killboy.com', ... he managed to capture my website address and has left a message on 'Post 178' below. The picture above is taken by Darryl Cannon and the website shows how better riders than me enjoy this amazing road. We didn't meet, .... Darryl nor his wife Lori know me, ... yet they've offered me room in their home and have donated to St Teresa's Hospice through my Just Giving page, ....... this journey never ceases to amaze me. ........ Thank You.

www.justgiving.com/geoffgthomas

5 comments:

Darryl Cannon aka "killboy" said...

Thanks for the plug! Here's my shot of ya from Saturday, feel free to use it how you like.

'Blue 88' said...

Not too much luggage then ;-), .. I might even be smiling behind there. Thanks again Darryl. Geoff

Jason Simonds said...

Hi Geoff..

I have been following your trek since before you left... owning a Tiger myself it is comforting to see how RELIABLE the Tiger can be.

That said I am a bit miffed at the lack of marketing foresight from Triumph corporate. If ever there was a way to say "Triumphs are reliable", your venture is certainly very solid evidence of this claim. You deserve better!

You and both of the charities involved deserve better. I've made a stink in a couple of places, because it just irks me to no end, to see the royals doing a 1000k dirt bike ride for charity and getting huge press, and here you two are/were, traveling 25k on your own dime, with no support crew, riding BRITISH bikes and you just can;t seem to get the press you deserve.

You have stayed true to the spirit of your insanity and have gained respect from me and anyone I know who had read your story. You should be proud of your humanity and I hope that your country men can wake up and bring you and your charity goals home with the honor and respect you, Alan and the bikes deserve.

TOA ( triumph of America ) should be doing something to smooth your way back to the UK...

Shame, is a word that could be used to to describe how Triumph should feel about how they have behaved.. yes they came through for Alan, but again they had to be forced into it.

Ride safe friend.

Jason

( who tossed in a few cookies last week )

Anonymous said...

Hi Geoff,
Just to let you know I've been trying to get you some publicity to help you and Alan achieve your targets, but with mixed success. TriumphRat has been getting some hits, and Jason has come on strong, but the BBC, Daily Mail and Motorcycle News have just ignored me. I'll try again later this week.
Keep it going Mate, we're with you to the finish,
Martin (Loosehead)

'Blue 88' said...

Thanks Martin,... all efforts on our behalf are most appreciated and we're well aware of Jason and RAT's contributions. Triumph USA want to talk with me,.. I'm calling them tomorrow, ..... with fingers crossed.
Once again,.. many many thanks, .. Geoff