Learn to Listen!!! This Ain't the Lost Sea!!!

by Brenda
(Knoxville, TN)

I live in Knoxville and had only ridden about a year and never with anyone. So when a friend of mine asked if I'd like to ride over to visit the Lost Sea with some visitors from Switzerland I said SURE! I'm always looking for a reason to ride. We left early in the morning taking back roads and highways, enjoying the day. Walter and Sofie were fascinated with the Lost Sea and it was early when we finished. I was having a great time, meeting new people and sharing an adventure. Larry said, since we're this way why not go on and ride 129 today? Well..OF COURSE..it's a gorgeous day and I want to ride. Couldn't he have said "Let's ride the dragon."?) Long story short...we rode and rode (saw Robinsville sign, Cherohaela, still no clue)....then the road started twisting and turning. I was too busy to think about where I was. EYES on the road.

A little nervous at first (I am an older newbie), then I began to relax and enjoy. It seemed this went on forever but you are taking in every second and the challenge of the road. Believe me, it IS a challenge, too. But when you find your zone and go with it, well WOW. I digress. The feeling sweeps over me every time I think about it. Any how, the road loosened up a bit and there was this tiny sign that said TAIL OF THE DRAGON!!! I rode it without knowing it. At the end we stopped for gas. Sophie barley got her bike on it's stand, jumped off, ran over and high-fived me and said in an excited, heavy Swedish accent.."You have been baptized by Fire! You were throwing sparks right and left..OH, this is HEAVEN!" Were it not for cyclists holding us up at the very end I would agree with her. My point is, that had I not been so excited about getting out I might have heard US129 along with "Let's Ride" and have chickened out. Boy, I would have hated to miss that..I guess sometimes ignorance is bliss and Sophie is right East Tennessee is heaven.

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