frontpage350road Weekly Update
Greetings Riders,
The calendar has now turned to October and the great evening riding has arrived right on schedule, which is making a run to the Westgate Bike Night a real nice outing right now. It is time to get the bike out of the garage and ride to Westgate City Center for some Live Music this week with Sour Diesel Train Wreck, Vendors and lots of good places to eat and drink. This week due to the opening night of the Coyotes season, we will have bike night one street to the North in fountain plaza, between Yard House and the AMC Theatres. You can try out the new Buffalo Wild Wings with a patio in that area for dinner. Parking will be motorcycle only on both streets as well as both sides. The schedule for the month is that we will be at this location for the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursday’s this month due to Coyotes and a Thursday night Cardinal game on the 17th.
For those of you that have wondered about the shrunken parking at bike night for the last 2 weeks, I would like to address this. Believe me, it has nothing to do with either or Westgate’s desires. This is extremely frustrating for me as it worked perfectly the way it was. It is totally political with one particular department within the City of Glendale that has taken an interest in our event for some reason, and ironing some things out with the new arena ownership. We want this as bad as you and are hopeful that things will be settled by next week so we can have our parking back as it has been for the last 4 1/2 years. Stay tuned.
For those of you that are new to the newsletter, I am in the 3rd week of reviewing our ride to the East starting in Nashville and riding 1750 miles through the Smoky and Appalachian Mountains. If you missed last week’s newsletter about our tour through the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Click Here to read. This week I will be covering the Cherohala Skyway and the Tail of the Dragon.
We started our day in Cleveland, TN leaving just after sun up to get a good start on the day. The thing about starting early back East is that you can often encounter fog in the mornings, which we did on this day. It did slow things down, but after the sun got over the mountains, it started to burn off and became a nice day. Our first destination was to take the Cherohala Skyway in the Great Smoky Mountains from Tennessee to North Carolina and the Tail of the Dragon.
The Cherohala Skyway was opened and dedicated in 1996 costing over 100 million dollars to construct. It was quickly designated a National Scenic Byway and ranks number 7 on the AMA top 15 motorcycle roads. The Cherohala Skyway crosses through the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. The name “Cherohala” comes from the names of the two National Forests: “Chero” from the Cherokee and “hala” from the Nantahala.
The Cherohala Skyway is located in southeast Tennessee and southwest North Carolina. The Skyway connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee, with Robbinsville, North Carolina, and is about 40+ miles long. The Cherohala Skyway is a wide, paved 2-laned road maintained by the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The elevations range from 900 feet above sea level at the Tellico River in Tennessee to over 5400 feet above sea level at the Tennessee-North Carolina state line at Haw Knob.
The marketing says that this is “A Drive Above The Clouds”. We could verify that as we did climb through the clouds on the higher portion of this route. The Cherohala Skyway is a very well maintained and easy ride providing excellent views of the Smoky Mountains along the way providing a good way to get to the more famous Tail of the Dragon and Hwy. 129. My review is that it is a very nice road and an enjoyable ride through some easy sweepers and elevation changes. If you are in the area, I would recommend taking it, but don’t make a special trip for it.
The Cherohala Skyway takes you to U.S. Route 129 in North Carolina where you turn North to go to the famous, if not infamous, Deals Gap and South end of the Tail of the Dragon. Deals Gap is really nothing more than a motorcycle resort on the NC/TN state line that is a popular and internationally famous destination for motorcycle enthusiasts, as it is located along a stretch of two-lane road known since 1981 as "The Dragon". Deals Gap has 12 motel rooms, 2 apartment rooms, a pub/grill and of course, a big souvenir shop for t-shirts and Dragon paraphernalia.
The 11-mile stretch of the Dragon in Tennessee is said to have 318 curves. Some of the Dragon's sharpest curves have names like Copperhead Corner, Hog Pen Bend, Wheelie Hell, Shade Tree Corner, Mud Corner, Sunset Corner, Gravity Cavity, Beginner's End, and Brake or Bust Bend. You can get a map at the beginning that will give you all the mile marker designations. Click Here to View. The road earned its name from its curves being said to resemble a dragon's tail.
Since part of the road is also the southwestern border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there is no development along the 11-mile stretch, resulting in no danger of vehicles pulling out in front of those in the right of way. It mostly travels through forested area and there are a few scenic overlooks and pull-off points along the route. The speed limit on the Dragon was 55 mph prior to 1992. It was reduced to 30 mph in 2005. The presence of law enforcement on the Tennessee portion has dramatically increased.
There are so many accidents on this 11 mile stretch of road that they have started to station a medical emergency truck on this road Saturdays and Sundays to lessen the response time to emergencies. There were 4 fatalities last year, but thankfully none in 2013. Take a look at this map that shows all of the fatalities and where they happened since 1995, including what happened. Click Here. Pretty amazing when you remember that this is only an 11 mile stretch of road.
As I mentioned above, we entered the Tail of the Dragon from the South side at around 10:50 am. We stopped at Deals Gap for some photo ops and then took off Northbound to ride this internationally famous 11 miles of asphalt featuring 318 curves. We were told it could take as much as an hour and a half to do this road. We were done and at the US 129 Dragon Harley dealership at the North end by 11:30 am. An easy 40 minute ride.
It is a pretty ride. U.S. 129 is literally a road cut out of the trees with some switch backs and some nice S curves along the way. But it never once challenged my skills or bothered me in the least, nor with Mrs. C. After we so quickly got done, and was standing at the HD dealership, I had to ask myself, “Are we done already? What is all the fuss about?” One of the highlights for me was getting our picture taken by This is a guy that sits on one of the curves of this road and takes pictures all day, then posts them on the internet for you to buy for $6.00 per. Not a bad gig. Here is mine. And here is Mrs. C. He does take good pictures.
In my opinion, the hype has absolutely way outpaced reality on this road. If you just keep your eyes on the road, don’t try to burn it up, ride it sensibly and most importantly, don’t go off the road, there is not a problem at all. The real problem is that if you do happen to go off the road, there are plenty of steep shoulders, it could be a long way down through the trees which would not be a fun ride.
The road is so famous for motorcycle riders, that you have to do it if you are back that way, just to see for yourself. But reality, in my opinion, is that we have much more difficult roads right here in Arizona that would kick the Dragon’s butt in many ways. Three that come to mind right now are:
1.  Hwy. 89 going from Kirkland Jct. to the back side of Prescott. MUCH more challenging and much tighter switch backs than the Dragon, with the same steep shoulders.
2. Hwy. 89A from Prescott Valley going up Mingus Mountain to Jerome. This road features something like 311 curves in 11 miles. Similar statistics and tighter curves and way more exciting and interesting to see and ride.
3. The Coronado Trail, Hwy. 191 from Hannagan Meadow to Morenci. This one is over 60 miles long and the Mother of challenging roads. Should be on the AMA list for sure.
4. And a bonus road, the Apache Trail to Tortilla Flat is no slouch either for a comparable short road.
Maybe the Dragon is the best that the East has to offer, but I would suggest to those back East, or around the world that come specifically to do that 11 mile stretch and think it is all that, you should come out West to Arizona, Colorado and California to really experience some challenging and beautiful motorcycle roads, starting with the 4 that I just mentioned.
After riding thousands of miles around the West, and having ridden 12 of the top 15 AMA motorcycle roads, the lore of U.S. 129 has far outpaced reality in my opinion. Is it a good road? Absolutely! But it is not a worthy contender for being ranked #3 in this list. I am renaming this myth from the Tail of the Dragon, to “The TALE of the Dragon. It falls short in comparison to many other roads. Ride it and let me know what you think.
Next week I will cover the ride through the Smoky Mountain National Park and our visit to Maggie Valley and the Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum. In the meantime, check your TV listings on the Velocity Channel for the show “What’s in the Barn” and DVR them. This show is excellent and features Dale Walksler that owns the museum. Check out the website and watch a few clips online. A great vintage motorcycle show. 
Click Here for Photos.
Click Here for Map.

Bike Nights
New Fall Season!
Every Thursday, Sept. 12th – Nov. 14th –
THIS WEEK WILL BE ONE STREET TO THE NORTH DUE TO COYOTES GAME. Parking on 2 streets. Westgate Bike Night this Fall being presented by Arrowhead Harley-Davidson and Ridenow Powersports. Bike Night began Thursday night, September 12th with a HUGE crowd and will continue for a total of 10 nights ending on November 14th from 5 pm – 9 pm. This Thursday, you will once again be able to enjoy a party every Thursday night with Live Music, Vendors, Restaurants, parking on Coyote Blvd. next to the fountains and Hundreds of motorcycles to look at as they cruise by. This is the place to be on Thursday nights for sure.
Attractions this week:
Live Music this week with “Sour Diesel Train Wreck” 6-9 PM.
Grab your riding buddies and stop by to enjoy Live Music, Restaurant specials and other special events along the way. Click Here for Photos from the first night. For excellent photos from Rusty Childress of the Firefighter Appreciation night Click Here.
Here are the details for the Westgate Bike Night presented by Arrowhead HD and Ridenow Powersports:
Where: Westgate City Center, Loop 101 and Glendale Ave. SE Corner. Next to Arena.
When: Thursday nights beginning September 12th – Nov. 14th
Time: 5 PM – 9 PM
What: Bike Night. Live Music, Food, Fun, Vendors, Motorcycles and Sturgis Style Cruising down Coyote Blvd.
Click Here for Flyer.
Thanks to our Presenting Sponsors Arrowhead Harley-Davidson and Ridenow Powersports:
Arrowhead HD
Your local Harley-Davidson dealership and proud sponsor of the Bike Night. Stop by and see the latest in what Harley-Davidson has to offer. Speak to one of our trained sales staff about what Harley-Davidson motorcycle would be right for you. We are located just South of 83rd Ave. and Bell Rd. 623-247-5542.
Ridenow Powersports
Stop by and talk to our staff at bike night or at one of our many valley locations. We feature many brands including Polaris, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda, Can-Am, BMW, Victory, KTM, Spyder, and Ski-doo. Click Here for a list of our locations.
And to our Associate Sponsor Curly’s Customs
Curly's Customs. Curly's Customs is a full service Custom Paint & Body Shop for the motorcycle enthusiast. 623- 977-0339. Stop by and see them at Bike Night.
Scottsdale Victory and Indian Motorcycles. Scottsdale, Arizona NOW has it's own INDIAN & VICTORY Motorcycle Dealership! The New 2014 Indian Motorcycles revealed at Sturgis on August 3rd are NOW AVAILABLE for PRE-ORDERING! Be the First to OWN a NEW INDIAN MOTORCYCLE that will revolutionize the Motorcycle Industry!  Stop by and See us at Bike Night.
Bike Night Restaurant Specials.
I have worked very hard to get the restaurants to come up with some consistent bike night specials. I think they have stepped up very well this year to offer some good deals. There will be restaurant specials all season long that include offers from:
McFadden’s - 10% discount on your bill when you show your M-class license on Bike Night. Plus, bikers can enjoy regular happy hour specials, including $2 domestic Drafts, $3 Wells and $5 Appetizers from 4-7pm.
Calico Jack’s Cantina - $19.99 Bike Night Platters with Nacho chips, mini-chimis, onion rings and jalapeno poppers, plus a pitcher of domestic draft beer. Enjoy 10% off your bill when you show your M-class license on Bike Night.
The Shout! House - $9 Natural Black Angus Burger, Fries, and Beer special ($15 value) and a FREE cover for 2 card to come back on the weekend ($10 value) when you show your M-class license on Bike Night.
Kabuki - Take 15% off when you show your motorcycle license during Westgate Bike Night. Valid only during Westgate Bike Night events. Dine-in only. Valid only at Westgate City Center location. One offer per table per party. Not valid during Happy Hour and Reverse Happy Hour. Cannot be combined with any other offers or rewards. Excludes alcohol, tax, gratuity and gift card purchases.
Saddle Ranch - 2 chicken tacos for $5.50*. Classic pints of draft beer for only $3.75 when showing M class on license. Plus, bikers can enjoy regular happy hour specials from 4-6:30pm with 50% off all appetizers and drinks. *Valid from 6:30pm to 10:00pm on all Bike Nights, excluding event days when there are concerts, sporting or other events at the Center, Stadium or Arena.
Mama Gia’s – Enjoy $3 domestic beer and $.50 cent wings with an order of 24 or more when showing M class on license.
Shane’s Rib Shack – Free 10 piece traditional chicken wings with the purchase of 20 traditional chicken wings when you show your M class license. Plus, domestic beer for $2 per bottle.
Whiskey Rose Bar & Grill. Take 10% off your bill when you show your M class on license. Excludes Alcohol.
This Week
10/1/13 – 10/31/13
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson H-D Sunglasses by Viva Sale. For the month of October we are having a 20% OFF sunglass sale on all of our Harley-Davidson Viva Sunglasses. Fantastic selections of goggles, day/night sunglasses and Pink Label styles. All Harley-Davidson Viva sunglasses comes with a 3 year warranty. And best of all, they won’t break the bank. Average price is around $40. The Harley-Davidson Collection is revved up for Spring 2013! The Spring Collection draws its inspiration from the iconic brand itself. With an eclectic range of colorations, intricate details, and materials, the collection features styles that are both classic and contemporary in design. Highlights of the collection include details such as the iconic bar and shield logo on branded chrome temple tips, sleek cut out temples, stone accents, and leather accented temples. Click Here for more details and styles. Arrowhead HD is located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Ftn. Ctr. Dr. in Peoria, AZ.
Wednesday, October 2nd
Westgate Hot Rod Night. Westgate City Center will be hosting a Hot Rod Night at Westgate on Wednesday nights starting on October 2nd for 7 weeks through November 13th from 5-9 PM. Live Music. Come down and check out the hot rods hosted by Nancy Perry Productions.
Saturday and Sunday
October 5th & 6th
Chandler Harley-Davidson Ride The 2014’s Demo Days. The Harley-Davidson factory demo truck will be on-site at Chandler Harley-Davidson, fully-loaded with 2014 H-D Motorcycles for you to test ride for FREE!! Saturday and Sunday 9AM – 4PM. Just for coming by you can also enjoy a FREE Lunch from 11am – 1pm both days while supplies last, Raffles throughout the day and a Bikini Bike Wash by the Chandler Harley-Davidson Girls. PLUS! The DRAG Specialties truck will be on-site both days. Purchase any item from the DRAG Specialties truck (in stock or order) and receive 10% Off. Have it installed Saturday or Sunday and receive 15% off your purchase. Come out and see and ride the new 2014 HD Motorcycles for yourself. Chandler HD is located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler, AZ. 480-496-6800.
Saturday, October 5th
Choir Boys C.U.F.F.S. Run. This is the 18th Annual Fallen Officers Run. Rain or Shine, Open to all Bikes. Registration at Bass Pro Shops located at 1133 N. Dobson, Mesa, AZ from 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM. Ride Fee $15 per bike, $5 per passenger. Finishing point is Superstition Harley-Davidson located at 2910 W. Apache Trail in Apache Junction, AZ. Live Music, Food Vendors, Car Show, AR-15 Raffle, KDKB’s NeanderPaul Live Remote. End of ride party is open to the public.
Next Week
October 11th – 13th
BOB’S Biker Blast 2013! This year enjoy 3 Days of Activities at Bob’s Biker Blast taking place at Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale. This year Bob’s Biker Blast features SOA Bobby autograph signing and Headliner’s Grand Funk Railroad and Country Music Star Gary Allan on Saturday night. Free admission for all riders with motorcycle endorsement. Goof for 1 rider and 1 passenger. $20 donation for all others. HD of Scottsdale is located at 15600 N. Hayden Rd. in Scottsdale, AZ. 480-905-1903.
Featured Events start at 4PM:
Food & Drink, Mechanical Bull, Live Band-Aero Train, Fashion Show.
Featured Events start at 10AM:
Vendor Expo, Cardinals Cheerleaders, Burritos & Bloody Marys, Food Trucks,
Twin Peaks Bikini Contest 5:15 PM, Live Music all day starting at 11AM.
SOA Bobby Autograph Signing 11AM – 1PM.
Bob Parsons welcome and bike giveaway at 9 PM.
Headliner Grand Funk Railroad at 7:30 PM.
Headliner Gary Allan at 9:30 PM.
1-Stop Poker Run to benefit PCH. 7AM
Concessions and Beer Garden with Sunday Football 10AM – 4PM
Stunt Riders show every 20 minutes 11AM – 4PM.
Events will take place at HD of Scottsdale, GoAZ Motorcycles and the Demo Track. Click Here for Details and Times.
Saturday & Sunday
October 12th – 13th
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson 2014 Demo Rides. Ready to ride the epic new 2014 Harley-Davidson motorcycles? Now is your chance. The Harley-Davidson factory demo truck will be on-site at Arrowhead Harley-Davidson, fully loaded with 2014 H-D Motorcycles for you to test ride for FREE! Saturday and Sunday from 9AM – 4PM. You can also enjoy a FREE LUNCH from 11am – 1pm, Bikini Bike Wash by the Arrowhead Harley-Davidson Girls and Raffles throughout the day. Plus! The Drag Specialties truck will be on-site both days. Purchase any item from the DRAG Specialties truck (in-stock or order) and receive 10% Off. Have it installed Saturday or Sunday and receive 15% off your purchase. Arrowhead HD is located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Ftn. Ctr. Dr. in Peoria, AZ. 623-247-5542.
Saturday, October 12th
5th Annual B.A.C.A (BIKERS AGAINST CHILD ABUSE) Awareness Ride. Please join us in our “5th Annual B.A.C.A (BIKERS AGAINST CHILD ABUSE) Awareness Ride at the El Zaribah Shrine Temple - 552 N. 40th St. Phoenix.  Sign In: 9:00 - 11:00 A.M. $10 per person Donation. The Shrine will be serving breakfast for $5. For more information email Nytro at Ends with a Family Friendly Party at the Arizona Automotive Institute - 6829 N. 46th Ave. Glendale, AZ. Car Show, Vendors, Tattooist, Silent Auction, Blood Mobile, Food, Music, FREE Kids Fingerprinting-Voice Analysis.
Mid Week Updates will be made on the Facebook. New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Facebook. Over 4400 FANS!Take a look at all the new photos posted on the wall. If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the page, but you will not be able to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you are inclined. Click the LIKE button!
This is funny. See a golf pro teach you how to putt over Goose “droppings”. Click Here to View.
This is one for you football fans. A classic clip from Johnny Carson show. Click Here to View.
Video of the Week.  It takes incredible talent to juggle well. This guy takes it to the next level. Click Here to View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the page.
If you would like to sign up for the Weekly Update Click Here.

Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,

Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"

All information in this newsletter is
Copyright © 2013 BDC Products, LLC.
Information may be used only with permission.
All rights reserved.