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Friday July 18 North GA 4-gap 60 or 6-gap 80-miler(5 posts)

Friday July 18 North GA 4-gap 60 or 6-gap 80-milerJS Haiku Shop
Jul 16, 2003 9:08 AM
MikeP and I are meeting in North GA on Friday AM for some climbin'. Anybody wanna?

reminder:

JS Haiku Shop "North Georgia mountains ride July 18? Anyone game?" 6/6/03 6:17am

Mike P "Friday (this week) in the north Georgia mountains: who's in?" 7/14/03 12:04pm
re: Friday July 18 North GA 4-gap 60 or 6-gap 80-milerscary slow
Jul 16, 2003 9:29 AM
Since you are familiar with North Georgia I was wondering if you could recommend some good areas to ride just north of there near Bryson City/NOC. I usually take my Mt Bike when I head up there but this trip I thought I would take the road bike along as well.
YES, take the road bike!Mike P
Jul 16, 2003 2:57 PM
There are an endless number of great choices for the MTB. There are several roads worth checking out as well, so take the road bike!

I would suggest making it top priority to check the Cherohala Skyway (NC143/TN165); runs pretty much from Robbinsville, NC to Tellico Plains, TN. I think this is my favorite ride. Take your climbing legs and a camera.

If you want detailed routes, let me know, I can put something together. I posted a few options here a few months ago in the areas around Robbinsville, NC, Tellico Plains, TN, Deals Gap, and Fontana. Check 143, 28, 129, Tuskegee Rd, and Joyce Kilmer Rd. Hmmm, what else? Also, if you aren't against company, let me know when you will be in the area; I really enjoy riding there.

There are some great choices North and East of Bryson City as well but I have not been there yet. The Blue Ridge Parkway and vacinity for one.

Mike
Here it is.Mike P
Jul 16, 2003 3:09 PM
Take 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 Hooper Bald start point is also a good point to do hill intervals. Take the Skyway East, turn around when you hit Kilmer Road and 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.

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 it to what is known as Neals Gap, (small store if you need anything). Go left on 129 at Neals Gap. 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
Got cut off there. Here's the rest. . .Mike P
Jul 16, 2003 3:10 PM
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.