I have made my New Year's resolutions for the first time in 10 years! I never thought it was something I wanted to do again, but this year has been different. Resolutions are the way forward for me. I've had these ideas in my mind for some time, but on New Years Eve I spoke my newly created resolutions out loud, which made it more real to me. So all I need to do it make it happen.
I have been without riding pillion for a year now. It has been a tough year. It is not until you lose being with bikes you realise how much bikes are part of your life, part of you, the way you tick. It has been very difficult to accept that this is the way it was going to be from now on.
I have one good attribute which has helped me in many situations in the past, which is that I can be determined and will not give up easily, which means I have every hope of succeeding! I have received the best incentive to make this work; an invitation to ride 'The Dragon' together with a friend in Atlanta. That is such a fantastic motivation! I could not believe it when I received it, I was on a real high! Now, I have heard of this unbelievable route but I decided to have a closer look at it and did some research. The first words that caught my eye was "Hell Roads". Not very encouraging for a biker who has not ridden a bike for twenty years. Twenty years? A shockingly long time. The article continued to say that The Dragon Tail section of US 129 interstate starts in North Carolina, and ends 11 miles later in Tennessee with a staggering 318 hairpin corners. How do they all fit in? I researched some pictures too. A lovely sports cars taking some hairpin corners in beautiful surroundings, worryingly large grizzly bears standing on the road, and a pick up truck next to a sheer, unprotected drop rescuing a gleaming Ducati. That last image will be engraved on my mind for a while.
Some of the warnings about this route are a bit alarming too. "Do not rides on any of the road markings" as they are incredible slippery. Or "be aware of large lorries taking up the whole width of the road" helpfully depicted in a worrying image alongside. I make a mental note not to go too fast, as smacking into a lorry, or end up cuddling a grizzly bear are things that I could do without.
I show the invitation to my girls. Their immediate reaction is that it is such a good opportunity! "Mum you should definitely do that" followed by gasps of horror once I shared my research with them. Oh well, it can't be that bad surely? It has made me even more determined to have a go at this road, I must ride 'The Dragon' myself.