Tennessee Highway Patrol working to tame the "Dragon"


The Dragon, (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

 "Just be on the look out for someone who may be a little inexperienced and taking a turn a little faster than they should be."

Blount Co. (WVLT)-- It's a stretch of road on Highway 129, famous across the nation, and it's right here in East Tennessee.

The Dragon, or the Tail of the Dragon, is known for having hundreds of tight curves, which makes it one of the most dangerous stretches of road.

This weekend the Tennessee Highway Patrol worked to make it safer.

"We want to give them (drivers) a better understanding of what can happen to them and how quick it can happen to them," says Lt. Johnny McDonald, with THP.

Troopers were beefing up patrols over the weekend looking for things like proper helmets, seat belts and speeding.

"The studies have been done, and they show that the speed limit is conducive to this type of environment and that terrain," he says, "it's a road a lot of sports enthusiasts, motor sports enthusiasts love to come up and ride the Dragon."

"The fearfulness really gets your adrenaline going," says Brian Stringfield, who came all the way from South Carolina to ride the Dragon, but this isn't his first rodeo.

"Just stay away from people who are just overzealous, ones that think they're better than they are or try to out-ride their motorcycle," says Stringfield.

Lt. McDonald agrees defensive driving is key.

"Just be on the look out for someone who may be a little inexperienced and taking a turn a little faster than they should be."

THP troopers from Knoxville, Chattanooga, Cookeville and Fall Branch were all on hand.

One man was taken to the hospital Sunday afternoon after he ran off the side of the road while on the Dragon. Officials say it happened at mile marker 6, he suffered a head injury. No word on his condition.

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