May 08, 2014
Last year, Mike & Otto went out to Deal's Gap for the annual Sportster-powered event, the CQB Bash and fell in love with the riding and vibe that the area has. While hanging in the parking lot over beers and Sporties, they heard a wild sound comin' down the Tail of the Dragon at full blast. It was some kook on a StereoGlide™ and he jammed that shitass Kenny Loggin's song Highway to the Dangerzone all the way into the parking lot and kept it on once he parked. It was in that magic moment that the name for a new event was coined and the our dynamic duo conspired to get back to the Smoky Mountains as soon as possible. Like most of our events, the SW2DZ14 was pretty simple and centered around actually riding motorcycles instead of using them for instagram props. (Though a fair amount of selfies were admittedly taken...) Friday was a day for riders to get in from all over; Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland and all over the southeast and familiarize themselves with one of the finest riding spots in the country. Hell, maybe the world. Friday night was mellow, we grilled some wieners and drank a bunch of beers while hanging out around the big fire pit. The weather turned out to be perfect on Saturday which meant the conditions for carving corners was just right. We headed down the 28/74/19 to Maggie Valley where we visited the Wheels Through Time Museum. It's often called a "Running Museum" because Dale and his son Matt are more than eager to prove that nearly every motorcycle in the building runs, and that's saying a lot because there are a shit ton of bikes in there, and everyone of them old! It's neat to see a bike from the teens with a drip pan under it and fresh lube on the chain. It's also neat to see a big patch of floor with hundreds of burn out marks on it. All from Crockers, I'm told. Ever done a burn out on a Crocker? Me neither. This place rules, the people are friendly as can be and obviously love motorcycles to the core. We headed back out and hit the Cherohala Skyway (see what we did there?) and cruised the countryside until we got back to the 129 again, where things turned a little more serious. I've long read about the Dragon, what with it's 318 curves in eleven miles and all. Let me tell you, it's as good as all the hype. Since we got there early on Thurday, I personally rode it about half a dozen or more times, and every session was glorious. We lucked out and never really got too bogged down behind traffic, and most people we did come up on moved out of the way when they had a chance and let us get it on. My single brake chopper didn't care for coming down the Dragon much (ever seen brakes fade and smoke roll off a caliper?) but going up was slightly less taxing on it and we all jammed about as fast as possible, given the nature of our silly machines. Our group wasn't entirely together the whole time, so afterwards a few crashes were reported, but thankfully none fatal. Our own Mike D. lowsided in a corner after he got a little too used to dragging that frame rail and it finally spit him off. His scuffed Biltwell Gringo was proudly hung on the Tree of Shame. Huge thanks to everyone who came out for this first-annual event. We may shift around the exact camping location and dates, but at this time we are planning on doing it again for 2015 and we hope to see you there! -Bill Useful links: Deal's Gap Wheels Through Time Mikeyrevolt (shot all the good photos in this post, thanks Mikey and Kat!) If you didn't get a patch and want one, email firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll get you set up.