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RBR Hotlanta Turkey Day Gathering: Brasstown Bald Climb(13 posts)

RBR Hotlanta Turkey Day Gathering: Brasstown Bald ClimbJS Haiku Shop
Nov 25, 2002 7:37 AM
Ladies and Gentlemen (yeah, sure)

Mrs. Haiku has cleared for 2 ride windows for J:

Turkey Day (Thursday) ? AM until 3 PM

Shopping Day (Friday) Noon until ? PM

I'd like to get a long ride in on Turkey Day (80-120 miles), but don't know much about the roads, routes, etc. I'll be staying in and leaving/riding from Peachtree City on that day. Average speeds for 100+ mile rides in the last 45 days have been sub-16 mph solo or group/no drafting, and stops have been three or fewer per ride, and *quick*.

Friday would be ideal for our RBR Brasstown Bald Hill Climb, provided you folks have the time and inclination (the *incline* is already provided, LOL, 3 miles of 18% average). I'll already be in Dawsonville, and a quick drive NE is no problem. Route suggestions, starting point, directions, parking spot, whatever else you might suggest would be most appreciated. Wasn't it mentioned before that we'd have to cross Unicoi and/or Jack's Gap(s) to reach Brasstown Bald?

I'm otherwise without a ride coupon on Saturday (it's a special occasion about which I was only recently reminded). My apologies to _rt_, as I understand Saturday is best for her. :(

Reply here, or for you offline communicator types :) .
Hey JS, I can make the Friday ride.Mike P
Nov 25, 2002 9:57 AM
I don't know much about where to park or meet though; only ridden there once.

Thursday is booked solid on my end with 5,000 different turkey day dinners to go eat. I will be up for a ride Friday though. I'll be a bit plump but otherwise ready to ride up a hill or two.

Looks nice weather-wise, although it's going to be chilly. Dahlonega is showing 34/46 for Friday. I don't know if it will get out of the 30's in the higher elevations. Brrr! My ride this past Saturday was in N. Ga, further west than Dahlonega and much lower elevation, and I saw a bit of ice. One of those places the sun never shines, I'm sure. Anyway, bring some warm stuff!

I'm sure you are already checking maps. I'll do the same, I'm sure someone will come up with a nice route.

Friday's goodtarwheel
Nov 25, 2002 11:55 AM
I can probably make the Friday afternoon ride. I don't have a Georgia highway map handy, but will check on possible routes this evening. Offhand, my only recommendation would be to NOT leave from Helen, which will be crammed with tourists and traffic over the Thanksgiving weekend. Helen is a good place to for food and beer, but I wouldn't want to cycle from there.

I checked the web page for the US Forest Service, and their driving directions to Brasstown Bald indicate that it's about a 20 drive from Blairsville, the nearest "large" town. There might be better options for starting locations, though.
Here are some suggestionsbianchi boy
Nov 25, 2002 7:38 PM
We could meet in Robertstown, which is about 2 miles north of Helen at the intersection of GA Hwys 75 and 356. I would suggest reaching Robertstown via 75 Alt or 356, as the 75 through Helen will probably be very busy with lots of congestion. As an alternative, we could meet at Unicoi State Park, which is on Hwy 356 about 3 miles east of Robertstown. Helen would be a good place for beer and food after riding, if anyone is interested.

From Robertstown, take 75 north about 11 miles to GA 180, take 180 west 6 miles to the 180 spur up Brasstown Bald, which is about 2-3 miles. Coming back, we could retrace the spur, then take 180 another 7 miles west to GA 348, take 348 south for 16 miles to 75 Alt, then 2 miles east back to Robertstown. Total estimated length 47 miles, with 3 long climbs -- twice over the Blueridge, crossing the Appalachian Trail on 75 and 348, plus the climb up BB. This route, by the way, is a designated Georgia "Scenic Byway." If we left from Unicoi, the total distance would be closer to 55 miles.

For a longer ride with a closer (to Atlanta) starting point, we could meet in Cleveland. From there, take US 129 north 3 miles to 75 Alt, go north 6 miles to GA 348. Take 348 north 16 miles to GA 180, then east on 180 for 7 miles to the 180 spur up BB. Coming back take 180 east to GA 75, then south 11 miles to Robertstown. Take 75 Alt 8 miles back to US 129, the south 3 miles to Cleveland. Estimated distance about 65 miles.

Given the climbs involved, the probable weather, and afternoon starting time, I think the 47 mile loop from Robertstown would be the best option. I would be open to one of the longer routes if we left fairly early -- say by noon.

tarwheel/bianchi boy
another thingbianchi boy
Nov 25, 2002 7:41 PM
Don't underestimate the cooler temperatures up in the mountains. It is often 10-20 degrees colder in the mountains than in the Atlanta metro area, and even chillier at high elevations such as Brasstown Bald. So dress warmly, but wear clothes you can peel off if it's warmer than expected.
Turkey Daykatie1
Nov 25, 2002 1:20 PM
I am up for a ride on Thanksgiving day. Post what you decide to do.
re: Turkey DayJS Haiku Shop
Nov 26, 2002 12:57 PM
Katie1, things have worked out for Friday for the BB ride. Since that's a ~50 miler, I'm thinking 30-50 miles on Thursday morning. Though I've contacted the local shop, maps they provided are all starting in Brooks, GA (11 mi SE). I may just ride from Peachtree City, whichever way the wind blows, and hope for a good route. Can you tell I'm having trouble finding roads? Hopefully I'll come up with something better this afternoon (like an actual map of something from the area).

Let me know if you'd like to get 30-50 miler on Turkey Day, early, from that area. I'm online for another hour today and until 11 AM Central on tomorrow (Wed 27 Nov).

more info on BB routeJS Haiku Shop
Nov 25, 2002 2:05 PM
from an e-mail received from a fellow poster awhile back re: this "gathering". unfortunately he will be unable to attend. anyone familiar with these roads?

"The ride I suggested goes from the intersection of 75A and 75 up to BB and back for probably a little over 35 miles total. There is an old church at the start point that is a good place to park(except on Sunday, of course). Looks like I will be working over the holiday and weekend so I can stop fretting over which bike to take, was leaning toward my old Landshark CX with the triple and just planned to take the derision from the manly double guys there. Hope the ride comes off good for you and whoever you con into sharing the pain."


ps. i'm brining my crosser with the triple and MTB cassette and will not be bothered by heckling from you manly types as the blood pounding in my ears and my own crying for a swift death will likely be loud enough during the climb. from the KOM site:

"Highest Paved Road Climb in Georgia. The main climb is 2.5 miles, from Jacks Gap to the summit parking lot. However, the parking lot is not the actual summit. Unfortunately, bicycles are not allowed up the .5 mile paved summit access foot trail up to the summit visitor center and observation deck. If you're daring and want to break the park rules, ride up the final .5 mile. It's very seep and narrow -- but well worth the effort!! The full climb 2,700 feet in 2.7 miles (19% avg grade)."
no worries...._rt_
Nov 25, 2002 2:20 PM
i'm out for any riding pre-sunday. plans changed and i'm headed out of town for turkey day with my SO & his family, returning sometime on Sat. apparently i'm going to be introduced to the red-neck way of celebrating t-day and the joys of firearms.....or something like that.



happy feeding frenzy all!
checking into the routes, etc. (friday)JS Haiku Shop
Nov 26, 2002 7:55 AM
...for friday, but 35-50 miles o'riding sounds fine to me. however, the location mentioned (robertstown) is 50 miles from dawsonville and 90 miles from atlanta proper, so it might be a stretch for me to start by noon. is there someplace closer to atlanta that we could start and still cover equivalent distance on the bike, plus BB, plus or minus other climbs?

you folks please e-mail me (bb/tarwheel i already have your addy) to establish contact info. i'm 88% sure at this point that i'll be in atlanta--we have an imminent loss in the family that may or may not affect travel plans, and i'd like to be sure you're sure we're all on the same page (and in the same state) before you guys make the drive to the ride start.

checking into the routes, etc. (friday)tarwheel
Nov 26, 2002 8:15 AM
Here's the problem: To keep the distance in the 35-50 mile range, you'll have to start fairly close to Brasstown -- which means farther from Atlanta/Dawsonville. Cleveland might be the best option for a starting point if you want to minimize driving, but that would make the bike ride closer to 65 miles. Riding an out-and-back route rather than a loop might save a few miles but not much.

The drive to Robertstown from Cleveland is only about 20-30 minutes by car, if you take US 129/ GA 75 Alt and bypass Helen. It's about the only town on the 47-mile loop I described. Assuming a reasonable climbing pace of 15 mph avg., we should be able to ride the loop in about 3 hours. With darkness setting in around 5:30 p.m. these days, I wouldn't want to start riding any later than 1-1:30 p.m.
thursday rideJS Haiku Shop
Nov 26, 2002 7:56 AM
since no suggestions have been posted about routes or rides on turkey day from south of atlanta, i'm going to give a couple bike shops in the area a call today, and also check the web for club pages. more info to come.

ok, here be the Friday ride specifics so far...JS Haiku Shop
Nov 26, 2002 12:48 PM
Friday 11/29 Robertstown GA 12-12:30 PM

35-50 miles (closer to 50) traversing 3 pleasant climbs, including up & back Brasstown Bald. estimated time 3+ hours, estimated overall avg speed 15 mph.

weather expected to be enjoyable for penguins & polar bears. hope there's no ice on the climbs.

participants so far are Tarwheel/Bianchi Boy, Mike P, and J, of J's Haiku Shop.

e-mail for the meeting place and other specifics. i'll be online 'til 11 AM Central tomorrow (Wed 27 Nov), then you're SOL, yo.