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Katie1, How was the N.GA ride?(13 posts)

Katie1, How was the N.GA ride?Mike P
Jun 6, 2003 3:57 AM
I was wondering how you breeze up those hills; I guess frequent riding in N. GA explains that.

Do you all ride the Cherohala Challenge? June 14. You, Victor, and. . . can't remember the other two guys names???. . . anyway, seems like you guys are into the hilly rides around here, 3 State, 6-Gap, etc. so I was just wondering if you all were going to be there.

re: Katie1, How was the N.GA ride?katie1
Jun 6, 2003 6:46 AM
Hi Mike,

The gaps were beautiful as always. It is my favorite place to ride!!!

I met one other friend to ride or suffer with. I was surprised at how many other slackers exist in Atlanta. Doesn't anyone work? ;-) We started around the crack of 2:00. It was HOT! I thought I was going to die up Neals. I think I drank 6 bottles during the ride. After about 2 hours, it started cooling off. Hogpen was in the shade so it wasn't too bad. Motorcycles and traffic were nonexistent. Very peaceful ride up there in the evening. I think we finished a little before 7:00. It was better than working. :)

I think I may race the weekend of Cherohalla. However, I've gotten kind of burnt out on the racing scene so I may bail and do the century. I'm not sure what the other guys are doing. You hitting it?

What about Blood, Sweat and Gears at the end of the month? I think I may try that one this year.
Blood, Sweat and Gears?Mike P
Jun 6, 2003 9:14 AM
Last time I went, late March, there was a little traffic but it wasn't bad. I imagine a weekday would be the best choice for this time of the year.

I have not been able to decide which I like better, the area around Robbinsville or around Helen. Both are scenic and can be brutal. Have you ridden in the Robbinsville / Tellico area before? I will be doing Cherohala again this year in an attempt to cut my last years time by :40. That and 6-Gap are my "big" rides for the year. I don't race but those two are serious personal tests in my opinion. If you decide to ride it let me know; I'll bring a lanyard so you can pull me up the hill!

I have heard of Blood, Sweat and Gears but don't know much about it. Toss me a link if you have it. The only thing I could find was something in VA sometime in Oct.

Blood, Sweat and Gears: link_rt_
Jun 6, 2003 9:37 AM

starts/ends in Valle Crucis, NC; lots of climbing; and a nice stretch along the blue ridge pkwy.

i'll be doing it with Katie1....well, not exactly with her. we'll start together & then i'll see her at the finish! ;-)

I plan on being there this year good tune up for july 18 nmabicirider
Jun 6, 2003 10:02 AM
Sounds like a party. I'll check my ride calendar tonight. nmMike P
Jun 6, 2003 10:13 AM
I'm not sure I can make it, I'll know closer to the ride date.Mike P
Jun 7, 2003 8:40 AM
I will not no until the week of the ride. We are starting the second round of chemo on my son next week and if he is in bad shape I'll be sticking around here.

Can you guys refer me to...NC_Jim
Jun 6, 2003 11:30 AM
...some routes in the Cherohala area? The place looks beautiful; the sports car and motorcycle enthusiasts love it, there is a bicycle ride scheduled for next week-end (sorry, I can't make it). I think this is an area that is a must see. Is there a web site with a queue sheet or 2 available? Thanks.
NC_Jim, I can give you a couple options. . .Mike P
Jun 6, 2003 4:59 PM
I don't have anything typed out but I'll work on it tonight and in the morning. I have a number of routes I have found to be very ride-worthy. I'll also include my "secret" perfect parking areas to launch your rides from.

Mike P; I owe you lunch...NC_Jim
Jun 6, 2003 7:47 PM
I'll be at Freeman's Motel (near Tsali) early next week. I'm buying.

or just e-mail it to

And thanks a bunch.
Here you go. . .Mike P
Jun 7, 2003 8:50 AM
I am sorry if these are hard to follow. They are not exactly the typical queue sheet format.

Drive the Cherohala Skyway up to the Hoopers Bald Parking area. This is a great place to launch rides from as there is a clean restroom to change in if people are around and you can hike a bit after the ride to loosen the legs before the drive out. It is located at a point central to many of my favorite rides, allowing me to stop back by to refill the water and get a bite to eat on the longer rides. You are starting from a point where you can head East towards Robbinsville, NC or West towards Tellico Plains.

What I like to do is head West first; starting to the east is a long down hill and I can't get warmed up good doing that. Anyway, just take the Skyway West. No turns, just up and down, Turn around when you feel like it; I usually turn back at the 15 mile point. Return to Hooper Bald, refill the water and grab some food before heading down the East side. Take the Skyway East, down to Kilmer Road. Turn left on Kilmer. Take notice of the Rattler Ford Campground, I will include rides from there later. Take a right. I think this is Santeetlah Road. You'll pass through Horse Cove Campground, (the road is rough but not awful), ride for 6 to 7 miles before crossing a small bridge and hitting a "T" intersection. Take a left. The next intersection, another "T" brings you to 129. Take a left on 129. Stay on 129. You will pass a place called Tapoco Lodge and come to Cheoah dam. I head back from the bridge at the base of the dam and make it back to Hooper Bald just as I finish off my last water bottle. Makes for around 75 miles and 9000 feet of elevation gain.

The Hoopers Bald start point is also a good point to do hill intervals. Take the Skyway East, turn left on Kilmer Road turn around at the Rattler Ford Campground and ride back up to Hoopers Bald. You'll have a good :70 to :80 of uphill interval hell if you want it.

Of course you can also ride the Cherohala Challenge course in either direction from here.

There are a number of roads I have spotted on the map that are potential great rides in the Robbinsville area. One of these runs between Robbinsville and Andrews; Long Creek Road and 423. I hope to check it out soon.

Frequently, on my rides from the Rattler Ford start point, I will come up the East side of the Skyway, so keep that in mind if you ride from there. Nothing like topping off a challenging ride with what I consider to be the best climb in the area.
And more. . .Mike P
Jun 7, 2003 8:58 AM
Just outside Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, find Rattler Ford campground. Park in the first parking area you come to; it's on the right. A good starting point for several reasons: A number of loops can be made from here as well as a few out and backs. The parking lot is rarely full and there is an ice-cold creek to jump in after you get off the bike. Make sure you have shorts on in the water because two old ladies and their three grandkids could show up before you have a chance to cover up the plumbing, making for an embarrassing moment.

Ride 1. Left on Kilmer Road. Right on Santeetlah Road. Left at the "T". Left on 129. Right on Tuskeegee Road. This section of road works up the hill through a ravine, Yellow Creek, and is not too steep but it goes for a ways. After the decent, take a left on 28. At some point you'll see signs for Fontana Dam, turn right to check out Fontana Dam from the top; worth the look. Return to 28 the way you came in. Continue on 28. After a down-hill you cross a bridge. If you take a right you can check out the dam from below. If they are releasing water. . . you gotta see it. Back to 28. Follow 28 to 129, (small store here if you need anything). If you go right from the store on 129/115, you will be on the Tail of the Dragon route loved by motocyclist, it's worth riding. For this ride though, go left on 129 from the store, (you can follow the Cherohala Challenge route markings from here all the way back to Rattler Ford). Steep downhill, pass Cheoah Dam, the road turns left at the base of the dam. Take 129 back to Santeetlah Road, (follow the signs to Joyce Kilmer). You'll be backtracking from here.

Ride 2. Another good route I like to push it on. Make an out and back of the Yellow Creek section. I get a good warm up on the way to Tuskeegee Road, hit the hill hard, turn around at 28, make the climb back up and then cool down the rest of the way back.

Ride 3. Same start as Ride 1 and 2 (Left on Kilmer Road. Right on Santeetlah Road. Left at the "T" ), but take a right on 129. I've only done this one once due to the traffic at a couple points; it was frightening, (*might not be too bad on a weekday and, now that I think about it, would be safer if traveled in the opposite direction*). You will pass near Santeetlah dam and be heading towards Robbinsville, NC. Before Robbinsville, you'll take a right, don't know the name, look at a map, closest road to the lake (could be 143). This road is one you'll need to be aware of cars from the rear. Take it to Kilmer Road continue back to start point.

Ride 4. Same start as Ride 1, (Left on Kilmer Road. Right on Santeetlah Road. Left at the "T". Left on 129. Right on Tuskeegee Road), but take a right on 28. Take 28 to 143 and go right on 143. This will take you into Robbinsville, and traffic. Take a right on 129. 129 to what I think is 143, 143 to Kilmer and back to the start point.

Happy riding,
Lunch is served...NC_Jim
Jun 7, 2003 5:09 PM
Maybe we can hook up for lunch and a ride sometime this summer. Thanks Mike.