Hello Dom, After reading your post on the Dragon, I read a little about it. I like yourself am a conservative rider, at 63 yrs. of age my riding skills have diminished considerably. I live 125 miles from the Dragon, I rode the Dragon and the Cherohala loop today 4-5-06. Its a nice ride, not much time to sight see have to keep eyes on the road. Traffic was light this time of year and mid week, I only met nine cages four of them were left of center so use caution, also met six harley riders riding at about twenty five mph. Im sure they enjoyed the ride as much as the racers. Iwould reccomend you make the ride with your friend, and ride the Dragon at your pace, if he wants to challenge it let him and meet him at the end you will both enjoy your ride. Thanks to you I had a nice ride today 376 miles and survived the Dragon.