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Deal's Gap

Ride Type: 

Location: 

Maryville

Distance/Length: 

25 to 35 mile

Highway: 

US 129 South into NC

One of the great rides in the Smokies. This road has one section containing 318 corners in 11 miles. Stop at the little store just south of the TN-NC state line for some comraderie, fuel, T-shirts, etc.

The Foothills Parkway between US 129 and US 321 is also great. It is better for Harleys and Goldwings, as it offers lots of gentle sweepers and beautiful overlooks. (My friends take the corners on the Pkwy at about eighty or so, praying that no deer are crossing the road. Watch out for Winnebagos and such -- but it's not too loaded with tourists despite the beautiful surroundings.) --- 129 is a lot of second gear corners on my VFR. Most of the corners have positive camber. No crossroads or driveways to worry about. But watch out for the occasional oncoming truck. They take up the WHOLE CORNER. They can't help it. The corners are tight.

Nevertheless, people occasionally get hurt when trapped with no where to go but down.I ride six hundred miles from Michigan at least every other year to ride thru this section with a few friends. Try it if you're sportbike oriented. If you ride a 'couch', go to Deal's Gap and buy a T-shirt, then ride the Foothills Parkway back to Knoxville and check out the night life.
Comments:Watch for law enforcement. They patrol the Dragon very tight. Officials say the reason, too many accidents. They're probably right. I rode this section last Oct and saw no less than six THP or county patrol cars clocking radar in the curves. And they will write you for just a few miles over the speed limit. Like less than five over.

- Rider

Pretty condescending. Come ride the gap with me. I am 60 years old, have ridden motorcycles for over 45 years, ride a 1700cc Roadstar "couch" and can hit anywhere between 50 and 70 on the straights, lay it over in the curves, and stay in control of the bike.

- Gene