The real adventure is what you can’t see.
“If you’re coming all the way here just to ride the Tail of the Dragon, you’ve missed the point,” said Thomas Montgomery.
The “Dragon,” as in the legendary Western North Carolina motorcycle route on the Tennessee state line, features 318 curves in just 11 miles. Sure, it’s a world-renowned road that snakes through the rural natural beauty of the region, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg—not only in terms of what riders traverse, but also what they discover.
“I think it’s the amount as much as anything—you get quantity and quality,” Montgomery said. “There are a lot of roads in the country that people talk about, but here there are so many roads, and roads just as good as the key ones that nobody even knows about.”
Along those legendary lines of the “Dragon,” motorcycle enthusiasts also point to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Cherohala Skyway as “top tier” rides. But, even more than that, when you dive below the surface of the main attractions, one finds a never-ending plethora of rural well-maintained roads and backcountry dirt logging trails. And as the owner of Eurosport Asheville (which specializes in BMW motorcycles), Montgomery knows just how wild and wonderful riding can be in this region.
“Here there are so many roads, and roads just as good as the key ones that nobody even knows about.” —Thomas Montgomery
“About 80% of my riding is off-road—that’s my preference,” he said. “It’s really interesting when you can stumble on something you’ve never been on before, and to bring other riders with you and show them something they’ve never seen, too.”
Montgomery started riding when he was just three years old. Now, some 44 years later, that passion for getting on his bike remains, something that continues to grow and flourish each season.
“It’s just a natural feeling,” he said. “When you grow up with it, it becomes second nature.”
Relocating to Asheville from Denver in 2001, Montgomery and his wife knew there was something unique about the city and surrounding areas.
“There’s a comfort you find here that you don’t find elsewhere in the country,” he said. “With all the outdoor activities, it’s what keeps us healthy, outside, and active in what there is to see and do here.”
In regards to the business relationships coming through the showroom doors at Eurosport Asheville, Montgomery noted the importance of lifelong connections to their clients, who are just as eager to hit the road or trail as those behind the sales counter.
“We take a different approach than what you would find industry-wide,” he said. “We’re not a high-pressure sales situation. Everything that’s in the store is tested by one of us. Everybody that works here rides. It’s not necessarily about the bottom line, but more about riding.”
Bruce Dickenson Photo