I've spent the last ten years riding in Florida and have developed a style that serves me well. It may work in Florida but I had to throw all that out.
My first pass at "the dragon" was pitiful. You cannot get to the NC side of the dragon without going through what is just a taste of what lies ahead. My comfort level was up some after the ride there. It still took me at least half way through before I brought my skill level up to the average girl rider.
I got the trail braking sorted first, then became more aware of my entry point at each turn. That's a lot of entries. Soon it was like riding a mini roller coaster. Good stuff! I managed to make the flat area around the middle of the tire a little narrower. I cut my chicken strips in half. Still a little left but I'm ok with that.
The next two passes were much better. My comfort level was higher and I just rode through to have fun. I waved the motards and the BMW dweeb by. I did get held up by some cruisers however.
All in all it was the vacation I had hoped it would be. It's been 30 years since I first heard of Deals Gap. And this was my first visit. It was perfect.
I must say that western NC is beautiful. Every photo op is picture postcard perfect. Every road seems better than the last.