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Nope...not the "Tail".....done that one twice. This past Friday, a friend and I decided to try out the "Back of the Dragon". Read about it in a MC mag. This lovely little stretch of road is located in south-western VA, right off I-81. Exit 45 (16N) off I-81 takes you into Marion. Follow Rt. 16N out of town. The riding begins at Hungry Mother (some name) State Park. You end up going over a mountain, across a valley and over a second mountain and end up in Tazewell. It is a different ride than the Tail of the Dragon. This one is 32 miles long and can be pretty challenging (depending on how fast you drive). It has more diverse curves than the Tail of the Dragon, and they are a bit more spread out at places.....but it is an intense ride. I had smells coming from my bike that I have never smelled from her before. Oops....that there's the odor of burning break pads. The great part......NO TRAFFIC, NO CONGESTION.....I was able to ride as fast (or slow) as I wanted, and the scenery was beautiful. We ended up doing 875 miles that day. A beautiful ride to and from the Dragons Back. Here's a YouTube video of the "Back"
 

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I've rode that road a bunch over the years, just 40 minutes from my house. Next time you are up this way you ought to try route 80. It starts right off of I-81 just down from Marion at the Meadowview exit (I think exit 24) and goes north over Clinch Mountain to hwy 19 and then off the highway through Honaker VA and just keep trucking all the way to Kentucky. You can also check out Breaks Interstate Park on the VA/KY line. You do have to be careful on the first leg of the route, lots of switchbacks, gravel, and cages hauling *ss but it is a great route. Lots of roads in my corner of TN/NC/VA/KY that put the Dragon to shame but I still ride down to the Dragon at least once a year to tag along with people who haven't been and to give me a reason for an overnight trip. If your in my area and want to ride some curves then give me a shout. Oh, you also need to check out The Channels near this route, very cool rock formations that you normally don't see in this part of the country but it is a little hike to get to them.
 

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Try I-40 coming from Knoxville into NC.
Or the other direction.
When we went down to Charlotte we took that route, and I just kept raving to my wife about how bad I wished we were on the bike.
 

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Try I-40 coming from Knoxville into NC.
Or the other direction.
When we went down to Charlotte we took that route, and I just kept raving to my wife about how bad I wished we were on the bike.
I've ridden it to Asheville, NC. It's nice for an interstate, but I prefer the two laners.
 

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Try I-40 coming from Knoxville into NC.
Or the other direction.
When we went down to Charlotte we took that route, and I just kept raving to my wife about how bad I wished we were on the bike.
That stretch of I-40 can also be very dangerous at times. Fog settles in the valleys and sometimes causes major pile ups.
 

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We ended up on that road once.... quite by accident. We were milling around in North Carolina and not even sure how we ended up on that road. I remember seeing two different signs WARNING No Vehicles Over 20 Feet In Length"

2-Up on a fully loaded Gold Wing with a hitch rack and more stuff piled on there.

We finally popped out somewhere in West Virginia.

Quite the ride, that's for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've rode that road a bunch over the years, just 40 minutes from my house. Next time you are up this way you ought to try route 80. It starts right off of I-81 just down from Marion at the Meadowview exit (I think exit 24) and goes north over Clinch Mountain to hwy 19 and then off the highway through Honaker VA and just keep trucking all the way to Kentucky. You can also check out Breaks Interstate Park on the VA/KY line. You do have to be careful on the first leg of the route, lots of switchbacks, gravel, and cages hauling *ss but it is a great route. Lots of roads in my corner of TN/NC/VA/KY that put the Dragon to shame but I still ride down to the Dragon at least once a year to tag along with people who haven't been and to give me a reason for an overnight trip. If your in my area and want to ride some curves then give me a shout. Oh, you also need to check out The Channels near this route, very cool rock formations that you normally don't see in this part of the country but it is a little hike to get to them.
Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like another day trip coming up. Heading down your way in 2 weeks. No particular plan.....just ending up in the Smokee's, then down into GA. May just have to try that. We stopped at Black Bear HD. My buddy ended up needing a new rear tire. They were very nice and gave us brochures on the Claw of the Dragon, the Horn of the Cow...etc. Have you ridden them.....well....if you live down that way....I'm sure you have.
 
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