Subhead Ownership change ushered in new era of U.S. 129 The Tail of the Dragon attracts thousands of riding enthusiasts each year. But in 1980, a Florida family began leaving their mark on the famous stretch of highway. Photos courtesy of Cathy Mathews A familiar sight anytime you pass through Deals Gap, whether it be 2020 or 1980: motorcycle riders, ready to take on The Tail of the Dragon. It was 1975. Peter and Doris Leary, residents of Sanibel Island, Fla., were searching for a mountain retreat. Recently retired, former owners of a remodeling business, the Leary’s wanted an… Premium Content is available to subscribers only. Please login here to access content or go here to purchase a subscription.