Posted by: mckenzie68 | June 30, 2010

Trying to tame the Dragon…June 29 or Day 72

Wow!  Excellent sleep last night for both Ray and I.  However, I woke up at 6:45 am (or 0645 in Ray speak) thinking about…dun dun dun…the Dragon.  Can you believe it?  We were going to ride it again and, well, that was a bit freaky to my sub-conscious apparently.  Ray was up a little while later and at about 10:30 we decided to head out.

We got to the Dragon, again on the Hellbender, but behind a very slow red sports car.  Ray had passed him and I couldn’t get around due to the curves.  But!  When we got to Deals Gap, I was able to cut through the parking lot (kinda sorta…it was just a minor short cut) and got in front where Ray quickly passed me.  You have to trust me when I say as a motorcyclist, you don’t want to ride behind a slow car on the Dragon’s curves.

So in we went.  I had a slight freak out on one of the tight left handers which left me riding even slower than my normal turtle pace.  That was really unfortunate as there are these guys that take your picture at 3 different spots on the Dragon and because I was doggin’ it, I don’t think I was close enough to Ray to get us in the same shot.  We really wanted a shot with both of us in it…but…we’ll see in a few days once our photo’s are available.

I did make it through and back with no other freaky moments…and Ray, of course, had no issues what-so-ever…he’s just such a good rider.  On the way back, Ray scooted off to ride at his own speed (I mean a guy has to have SOME fun!) which left me riding alone through the Dragon.  It was kinda cool really…and I had some guy on a cruiser following me.  It was funny for me, because I left him way behind through the curves, but he must have gunned it on the straighter bits to catch up to me.  I kept an even speed so I didn’t go into a corner too hot (never want to go there again!).  I finally came out to meet Ray at Deals Gap where we again had a bite to eat (prices are excellent) and pick up some celebratory gear and decals.  I put that Dragon decal on with fierce pride, I tell you what!

I have to tell you this story – as we got off our bikes, there was this kiosk next to us.  It was a place to get custom pin striping.  Dennis, the guy who owns it, looks over at me and tells me how impressed he was with me earlier when he saw me scoot through the lot and handle the off camber stop sign area (how was that for a round about description?).  I asked him why and he told me how many people he’s seen not do so well there and that yesterday, he watched a guy fall over.  LOL.  I guess the guy hung a piece of his bike on the ‘Tree of Shame’ which he told him wasn’t for that type of crash.  I love this guy!  He’s hysterical!  Ray and I talked to a guy later who agreed, but said, technically, the guy did crash on US129.  LOL.  Too much!

As we were getting ready to leave, an older gentleman and his gal rode in on a most amazing bike.  It was a silver Harley that had been painted out like – this is Ray and my description – an old war plane.  It was amazing!  His name was Fred (his gal was Mary Ann) and his son is in the Army.  When he got his bike, he hated the silver color so he started to paint it, dedicating it to his son.  He does a bit more each year.  The bike looks amazing, and although we have pictures, they don’t do it justice – as is usually the case with pictures, eh?

Ray was still in want of ‘ROK straps’ so we had planned to ride to Wheelers – which is the place that everyone who crashes at the Dragon goes to, to get fixed up so they can ride home.  This place is very cool.  The guy who owns and does all the mechanical work is a past racer, Ken Wheeler.  He’s a cool dude, that’s all I can say!  Unfortunately he didn’t have ROK straps, but he did have tires for my bike.  My current tires were made of a very soft compound and after only 5000 miles needed to be replaced.  So Wheeler took my bike and put the tires on right then – but not before giving me a hard time about crashing and various other things… cheeky devil!  Ray thought it was quite funny…hmmm….

While there we got to meet a number of riders and some locals.  An interesting mix of people to say the least, and all very entertaining.  Both Ray and I really enjoyed our time there and we both highly recommend Wheelers for your bike needs if you are in the area.  His prices are excellent too.

Finally it was time to head back.  I got to scrub in my new tires on a series of sweepers which would have been cool except for all the road debris from the grass cutting that was happening.  Holy lick that was freaky around some of the corners!  We did get back safe and sound, had a yummy supper at the Village’s grill and now are relaxing with a spot of wine (to celebrate of course).  Tomorrow we are off to ride the Blue Mountain Parkway.  Should be a beautiful ride….



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