Will be driving around Kentucky in two weeks with some friends and a rack full of bikes to log some long miles on roads we've never seen before. Anything near the Cumberland Gap worth heading over for??
I was playing around on RouteSlip.com at work and plotting routes around Black Mountain, the highest point in KY. It looks like if you approach from the NW, the road rises some 2,000 ft in less than 10 miles. Anyway you slice it, there ain't nothing like that around HERE !! Hmmmm, will my 38x24 be small enough??
www.bikebfat.com has some pics and a short write up about riding up Black Mountain. Info is about a third of the way down the page. Rider took RT160 out of Cumberland....
Great link, thanks! I think Black Mountain and the Cumberland Gap are going to be our major goals this trip. By the looks of the maps, there is some serious climbing and descending to be done there. It's looking like only two of us are going this time, but we are psyched. We are hammering out of Milwaukee Thursday afternoon (4/19/07), getting back home late Sunday. I'm looking forward to bringing back tan legs, good stories, and great pics to share here.
Just rolled in the door. 1600 miles of driving in 3 days, rode the bike 2 - 3 hours per day. Didn't make the Cumberland Gap because we simply ran out of time. We did get lost somewhere on the coal mine roads near Appalachia, VA right around sunset, and encorporated the local police to help us find our way out. (That experience had "Deliverance" written all over it ). Then we drove up Black Mountain in Kentucky ... OMG! No body rides their bike up that do they? Set some new personal records: I actually walked my bike up some climbs for the first time in the last 15 years (which answers my own question if a 38x24 is enough for riding those roads ... NO! ), I got chased by a dog 5 times in one day, and my friend got chased by 6 dogs at the same time !!
Had a blast, will put together a full write up with pics soon.
Glad you enjoyed your Appalachian adventure. Come back any time now ya' hear???? Steep lung busting leg burning grades, stealth mode ride bys of some hollow homes hoping a rock doesn't ping out from under your tires and dog influenced increased cadences are all part of riding in the region here. It's all good and just remember that you rode in the lands where the goats are beautiful and the women can climb steep hills easily....
Yeah, I had a good time and plan on returning. I've still got to see Cumberland Gap, and the Nada Tunnel, plus much more I don't even know about yet. I WILL have to be in better shape next time though! See my pics on the Road Cycling forum: "My Kentucky Trip".
I drove to Wisconsin last summer. It took about 13 hours to get there. It was north of Appleton, but I can't remember the town's name. Anyways, I'm glad you had fun here and you have to see the Cumberland Gap. It's hard for words to describe it, but I'll try. You're driving along on a flat road with small rolling hills on each side, but off in the distance you can see mountains plowing out of the ground with a white cliff at the top. I haven't seen anything like it.