Wheels Of Grace Magazine

Volume 8, Issue 3

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12 BEST MOTORCYCLE ROADS IN AMERICA 1. Tail of the Dragon (Tennessee) An 11-mile stretch of US Route 129, the Dragon (also known as Deal's Gap) is widely considered to be one of the best motorcycle roads in America. Resembling a dragon's tail, Deal's Gap is said to contain over 300 curves, the sharpest of which has been given nicknames such as Gravity Cavity and Copperhead Corner. The challenging two-lane blacktop-highway stretch brings riders through Great Smoky Mountains Na onal Park. Originally 55mph, the speed limit was reduced to 35 in 2005. A shrine dubbed the Tree of Shame has motorcycle parts a ached to it by those who weren't able to tame the dragon. 2. Cherohala Skyway (Tennessee and North Carolina) Cherohala Skyway, also known as Overhill Skyway, is a Na onal Scenic Byway that stretches 43 miles from Tellico Plains to Robinville. The road runs through both the Cherokee Na onal Forest and the Nantahala Na onal Forest (the road's name is a portmanteau of Cherokee and Nantahala). It reaches eleva ons of over 5,400 feet, and with many sweeping curves and very li le traffic at night, the road can be especially dangerous in the winter. The byway provides access to several viewpoints, recrea onal areas, and vistas. 3. Twisted Sisters (Texas) A grouping of great motorcycle roads, Ranch Roads 335, 336, and 337 in the Texas Hill Country are nicknamed the Twisted Sisters. While they don't possess the level of difficulty of the Tail of the Dragon, the roads aren't meant for amateur riders. The Twisted Sisters take riders through a 100-mile loop of Texas ranches, valleys, and hills. Providing panoramic views, they curve around canyons and rises with few guardrails. One 15- mile stretch is said to have about 65 curves. Within and nearby the loop, several roadside a rac ons can be visited — the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum, Stonehenge II, Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop, and Lost Maples State Natural Area are all notable stops. 4. Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia and North Carolina) 469 miles in length, the Blue Ridge Parkway spans 29 Virginia and North Carolina coun es alongside the Blue Ridge Mountains. Top speed on the Blue Ridge Parkway is 45mph due to the numerous sharp curves and eleva on changes. The parkway can be ridden in one day, although two days are typically recommended. There are no gas sta ons on BY JOE BATRUNY 12 BEST MOTORCYCLE ROADS IN AMERICA PART 1 of 3 40 WheelsOfGrace.com June/July 2016

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