Man, I've been on the Dragon, and watching guys hang it out there like that makes me cringe!
Riding like that, it is only a matter of time before one of them goes down, and there is NO runoff at the gap! If they don't have a close encounter with an oncoming vehicle (either entering their lane or vice-versa), they're gonna meet a tree, a cliff face, a sheer drop off, or some combination thereof.
Fun to watch, but you guys be careful when you head out there. It is far from the controlled, safety-oriented environment that is the track.
Exactly. That Tree of Shame didn't just appear. Those are actual pieces off of actual crashes.
Stole this from http://www.tailofthedragon.com/dragon.html
2006 - Two deaths: One rider went off road and hit tree another low sided into an oncoming vehicle.
2005 - Three deaths: All three deaths involved failing to negociate corners - two went off the mountain and one slid into an oncoming vehicle.
2004 - Two deaths: Both deaths apparently caused by speed and then overbraking.
2003 - No deaths: There were several deaths in the surrounding area of the Dragon, but none that we know of on the 11 miles of the Dragon itself.
2002 - Two deaths: On June 16 a 29 year-old Dale Bently a Valkyrie rider from Michigan died on the Dragon. The rider was passing a car near the Horns of the Dragon when he wrecked and suffered fatal head injuries. The second death occurred on Sunday August 4 when Lendry R. Obanna Jr., 24, of Jacksonville, Florida, lost control of his 2000 Yamaha R6.
2001 - Two deaths: The entire Blount County (home of the Dragon) saw a total of four motorycle fatalities in 2001. The total includes the deaths of a 27-year-old Knoxville man who died March 10 in a collision on Old Knoxville Highway in Rockford, the May 5th death on the Dragon, the July 5th death of a 43-year-old Maryville man in an accident on Happy Valley Road, and the October 27th death on the Dragon.
2000 - One death: Blount County had four motorcycle deaths in 2000 including one fatality on the Dragon.
1999 - One death: Only one motorcycle death in 1999
1998 - No deaths: No fatal motorcycle crashes in 1998.
1997 - One death: A single motorcycle fatality is listed in 1997.
1996 - One death: A single motorcycle fatality in 1996.
1995 - Two deaths: In 1995, two men died in separate July 3 motorcycle crashes on the Dragon during the July 4 holiday weekend.