I often drive to a small town near me to local coffee shop where bikers gather for rides. Lots of parking and my drive is country roads with nil traffic. Another issue is the road conditions near me are close to third world conditions due to winter damage.
I was leaving Bushes Baked Beans visitor center on the "Shine Run" (poker run) and headed back to Sevierville. I decided to take Route 90 as I had already driven 441 and wanted a change of scenery. Shortly into the drive on this 2 lane twisty road, sometimes with no guardrails, I found I had a couple of cars backed up behind me. The twists and turns come so often there was not much time for passing as I thought I'd let them go by. Instead, I decided to put my foot down, racing to the turns, braking semi-hard, and powering out to race to the next turn. This was somewhat scary as many of the apexes seemed to be the high point, making what was on the other side impossible to see. So my left foot was always in contact with the brake peddle as I never knew when I'd have to be slowing, or possibly emergency stopping at any time. I so wish I had put a camera on the car, I was having so much fun. Around one guardrail-less turn, I heard the metal tinging of my right rear center cap leaving the rim and hitting the street. I cursed, knowing exactly what it was but knew at the speed I was going and the face it was now rolling down the side of the mountain I'd never be able to go back and find it. By the time I had emerged on the north end of 90 where it met up with the 139, only one car, an import was still behind me. I'm guessing it was a local in his daily driving and had no problems keeping up with me as he was able to read the word "S H E L B Y" constantly in front of him. If it were the other way around and he in front of me, I am sure I would have had problems keeping up.
That is definitely something I enjoyed about this trip/event/show. I have never driven on roads like this before, and I did have a blast. Though not the Tail of the Dragon, I think I was able to safely push my driving more to my current limits in that car.
Not talked about from the event, is that an earlier model convertible Mustang with two females went off the road at TOTD and rolled, totaling the car. The girls were OK and taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No word if they were there with the PITS event or not. But the reality is, all driving events are dangerous and we must use the utmost caution and care at all times. I did not drive the TOTD as I felt there was something "off" with the front suspension of my car. So I only did what I felt comfortable with, and enjoyed myself. I get to thank the PITS event for that.