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Old 05-06-08, 04:55 PM   #1
mollusk
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Going "gapping"

On Thursday (5/8/08) I'm taking off with a friend to drive up to Helen, GA for some "gap" riding on Friday. The tentative plan is Hogpen, Jacks, Unicoi and if we are feeling feisty enough a repeat of Hogpen.

Anything of special note that we should know (construction, gravel/sand, etc.)?
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Old 05-07-08, 08:10 AM   #2
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All three of those have great pavement and wide roads. You'll love it. Which direction and where are you starting? There's a fun little cut-through between Hogpen & Jacks if you're interested. GREAT road, curvy & rolling, with great scenery called Craig's Gap Rd.
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Old 05-07-08, 12:20 PM   #3
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The "plan" is a clockwise circle starting at Helen riding up Hogpen, then Jacks, and finally Unicoi. If legs and time are good we then make decisions on what to do next.

Thanks for the head's up on Craig's Gap. We'll probably check that out.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:05 AM   #4
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What?? No Brasstown?
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Old 05-08-08, 12:26 PM   #5
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What?? No Brasstown?
Either I'd need a triple or hiking boots.


Last minute plan is now for two days up there. Sunday will be a recovery ride.
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Old 05-09-08, 08:59 AM   #6
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Branman's setting you up! (not really)
Craig's is steep from that side, mid-teens for the % grade in spots, but not too long.
The plus side is the wonderful winding descent on Wolfstake Rd and it's much more scenic than staying on 348 (Hogpen).

Also, clockwise is the better/safer direction for the upper three Gaps too.
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Old 05-10-08, 07:24 PM   #7
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Just got back.

That was FUN! We ended up doing all six gaps on Friday. We started in Helen and did Hogpen first. We did the Craig's Gap cut-off and there was one spot that was kind of steep, but the loose dogs just after we turned onto it was the biggest difficulty. Every gap after Hogpen was kind of a let down. Or perhaps we shouldn't have started with Hogpen and done a little climbing first to find our legs.

Anyway we did the upper three gaps before lunch. We got back to Helen and my eyes were killing me from pollen. We ate lunch, I bought some eye drops, and then we decided to do the lower three gaps in the afternoon.

We loaded up the bikes and drove to Turner's Corner (I think that is the right name - where US 129 and US 19 merge) and rode up Neel's Gap. It isn't all that steep but that is a LONG climb. Next came Wolfpen (very pretty and shady road) and a pretty boring ride into Suches. The climb from Suches to the top of Woody Gap isn't very much, but the descent down is nice. Not as nice as the descent down Unicoi from the north, however. That is SWEET! We then turned left onto US 19 to go back to the car. The pavement on US 19 was AWESOME and mostly downhill. The mostly downhill is great, but doesn't materially contribute to the awesomeness. That part isn't on the 6 Gap Century route, but it is outstanding.

Today we checked out of the hotel and bought a $3 parking pass at Unicoi State Park. We parked the car near a campground and then rode east past Moccasin Creek State park before riding back. That was about 37 miles. We then used the shower facilities at the campground and made the long, boring drive back to the gently rolling terrain that we are used to riding in.

The coolest thing that I saw was a family riding up Jack's Gap. The grand-daughter was already at the turnoff for Brasstown Bald, what I think was the father was about 100 m down the road, and the grandfather wasn't that far behind. I'd guess he was in his late 70's and I really would like to know his story.
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Old 05-12-08, 11:20 AM   #8
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Sounds like you had a blast. Each passing week is getting better to go up and do them gaps.

Summer is upon us.
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Old 05-13-08, 04:30 PM   #9
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Sounds like you had a blast. Each passing week is getting better to go up and do them gaps.

Summer is upon us.
TRUTH! And I indeed had a blast!

Last MLK weekend I was up in Atlanta with my bike hoping to do some gap riding. It snowed instead. Before that I was in Atlanta for the Final Four in 2007 (Go Gators!) and I took my bike to ride gaps on Sunday. It poured rain.
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Old 05-14-08, 11:43 AM   #10
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doh! Sorry about the dogs, we didn't see any the couple times we rode it.
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Old 05-15-08, 06:59 PM   #11
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doh! Sorry about the dogs, we didn't see any the couple times we rode it.
Don't worry about it! There was one house that had 4 loose dogs. One chased us for about 1/4 mile and was all bark and no bite. I was a little worried about hitting him, however. The adrenaline was good, though.
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