Teen killed riding the Dragon, challenging biker destination
MARYVILLE, Tenn. (BIKER DAD)-A Tennessee teen was killed teen killed riding the Dragon, a challenging biker destination. The Tail of the Dragon is a challenging road on the Tennessee, North Carolina state line. It boast 318 curves in just 11 miles.
Even experienced riders who’ve been on a bike for decades crash. It’s a challenging ride for almost anyone. At the bottom of the hill in Deal’s Gap there’s even a tree that pays homage to the wrecks. Bikers who “go down” attach parts of their bikes to the tree.
The Dragon not only boasts curves, but has dangerous drops all along the route. But often the biggest danger is other riders or drivers who can’t handle the curves or just ride above their experience level. I have friends who are some of the most skilled riders you’ll meet. They’ve gone down on the dragon.
Although bikers make light of the danger, the Dragon also claims lives. 18-year-old Luke Hustell is the latest. He crashed his bike Saturday around 7p.m. according to a report by WATE. Investigators say he crossed the center line on the Dragon and hit another bike.
“I’m going to miss that boy so much, he was so precious to our family,” said Luke’s mom, Lisa Hutsell told WATE. “He was a great rider and was always careful, but things happen and something went wrong and there’s nothing I can do to bring him back.”
I rode the Dragon for the first time back in June of 2020. I’ve been riding motorcycles on and off for more than 30 years. Riding the Dragon was hard and even downright scary at times. It was a sphincter clinching 11 miles that honestly I was glad was over with . But then, you have to turn around and go back the other way through the 11 miles and 318 curves. I found the other riding in the Smoky Mountains much more fun and certainly more relaxing.
Luke’s mom told WATE they both knew the dangers of the Dragon, but it was worth it, “I know how dangerous the Dragon was, but it was his passion and the people at the dragon were his second family,” she said.