Riding the Tail of the Squirrel

Motorcycle riders know the “Tail of the Dragon,” an 11-mile stretch of mountain road in Tennessee that boasts 318 turns.  Riders from around here know that the Dragon, for all its notoriety, is a relatively tame stretch of asphalt when compared to some of the twisting mountain roads of Southwestern Virginia.

Squirrel Spur Road in Patrick County runs from Meadows of Dan down the mountain to Ararat. It’s not as long as the Dragon but some of the turns on the flat road are just as challenging and the ride is a lot of fun. Some have suggested we name the stretch the “Tail of the Squirrel” and sell t-shirts showing a squirrel feasting on a Dragon’s Tail.

Good idea.

The video above was shot on part of Squirrel Spur with a GoPro Hero HD video-cam attached to the handlebars of my Harley Super Glide. The sound is muffled because of the protective housing on the camera.

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6 thoughts on “Riding the Tail of the Squirrel”

  1. Deal’s Gap is pretty unique in that there is no cross traffic for about 11 miles, very few elevation changes, and only four different kinds of curves with practically no decreasing radii. From that standpoint, it’s a pretty safe (though still incredibly challenging) road until a rider presses the limits of his/her skills. I really don’t see many similarities to Squirrel Spur Road, which isn’t nearly as well-engineered. No question that 614 is more challenging; it’s much easier for a foolish or inexperienced rider to get in over his or her head there. For my money, I’d suggest VA 16 from Hungry Mother to Frog Level as more of a “Dragon” equivalent.

  2. That’s quite the noise-reduction housing… Makes a Harley sound like a Schwinn with a baseball card clothespinned to the spokes. Maybe you’d better add a soundtrack to excite the dragontailer crowd. 🙂
    Looks like a nice ride even without an engine…
    Cool camera, too. Your mentioning it inspired me to go look at its site… http://www.goprocamera.com/ and discovered it was used in that mine in Chile:
    You continue to be a state-of-the-art-tech inspiration!

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