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Old 05-27-09, 03:28 PM   #1
Monoborracho
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Smokey Mts / BRP Ride and Tour Recommendations?

Next week Mrs. Mono and I are headed to the Tennessee Tandem Rally (June5, 6, 7) in Maryville, TN.

We have no real schedule other than the rally, and might be there for a week to ten days.

I plan to take at least one day on the return trip to visit the Chickamauga National battlefield area, as it is the last of the large Civil War sites that I've not visited.

We were also thinking of taking one or two days for an out and back on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We don't mind driving a few extra hours for a some pleasant riding. For an out and back with touring gear we would prefer motel/hotel rather than camping out, but we have the gear, racks, and everything needed to go either way.

We'd like to keep daily mileage at 35-50 miles or so.


Any recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old 05-27-09, 03:39 PM   #2
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Next week Mrs. Mono and I are headed to the Tennessee Tandem Rally (June5, 6, 7) in Maryville, TN.

We have no real schedule other than the rally, and might be there for a week to ten days.

I plan to take at least one day on the return trip to visit the Chickamauga National battlefield area, as it is the last of the large Civil War sites that I've not visited.

We were also thinking of taking one or two days for an out and back on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We don't mind driving a few extra hours for a some pleasant riding. For an out and back with touring gear we would prefer motel/hotel rather than camping out, but we have the gear, racks, and everything needed to go either way.

We'd like to keep daily mileage at 35-50 miles or so.


Any recommendations would be appreciated.
Coming from the Maryville area, without a doubt ride from Balsam Gap at mp 443 to the Pisgah Inn at mp 408. Spend the night at the Pisgah Inn and ride back. You will ride what is arguably the best part of the BRP, over the highest point and have some incredible views. Make your reservations soon if that works for you.

If you need more info, let me know.
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Old 05-28-09, 08:19 AM   #3
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Thanks. I'm checking into it.

Is there a secure area at Balsam Gap where we could leave the vehicle, load the bike, and head up to Pisgah Inn?
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Old 05-28-09, 09:10 AM   #4
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There is a parking area outside the Ranger Station/maintenance shed for the Park Service. I haven't heard of any problems there since the rangers do come and go at all hours. Alternately, you could start down in Sylva and leave your car in a church parking lot. That would add 10 more miles to the ride and some more climbing.

There is a campground at Pisgah if the Inn is booked. You could still use the restaurant for food. There is also a small store for basic provisions like snacks and drinks. If you decide to go definitely let me know. I'll clue you into where there is a good water spring and tell you about the route.
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Old 05-28-09, 01:07 PM   #5
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There is a campground at Pisgah if the Inn is booked. You could still use the restaurant for food. There is also a small store for basic provisions like snacks and drinks. If you decide to go definitely let me know. I'll clue you into where there is a good water spring and tell you about the route.
I have camped in the Pisgah campground and it's nice-some fellow campers even had a visit from a few bears!!
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Old 05-28-09, 03:41 PM   #6
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I have camped in the Pisgah campground and it's nice-some fellow campers even had a visit from a few bears!!
Somehow, I don't think HALT! would work very well on bears, though it might make them mad.

As of this AM, the inn still had rooms. I'm still working out the details. My view is..there's always a room somewhere, even if its a tent.
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Old 05-28-09, 05:59 PM   #7
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Somehow, I don't think HALT! would work very well on bears, though it might make them mad.

As of this AM, the inn still had rooms. I'm still working out the details. My view is..there's always a room somewhere, even if its a tent.
Are you doing the ride on a tandem? What gearing do you have?
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Old 05-28-09, 09:21 PM   #8
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Are you doing the ride on a tandem? What gearing do you have?
Tandem has 30/42/53 crank with a 12-32 cassette, 26x1.3"tires.
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Old 05-28-09, 11:08 PM   #9
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I assume you will already be riding around Maryville with the rally.

If you're headed down to Chattanooga, you might consider stopping at Tellico Plains and doing a ride along the Tellico River. You can ride 20 or so miles upstream, then turn around and ride back.

Or, if you're feeling really frisky, you can ride up the Skyway.
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Old 05-30-09, 05:25 PM   #10
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Thanks Velo. The Tellico looks like fun.

I think the Skyway would kill me. Or my stoker would kill me. Either way I'm dead. But I'll keep it in mind.
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Old 05-31-09, 09:22 AM   #11
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The road along the Tellico River is mild, at least through Bald River Falls (as far as I went).

Where do you go during the Tandem Rally?
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Old 05-31-09, 08:10 PM   #12
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If you are going to Chickamauga, which is a nice area to ride in itself, you might want to take 3 hours or
so and check out this ride: http://www.chattbike.com/maps_cues/Road/covefarm.htm
I went to Mountain Cove on a tandem a few weeks ago and since we were enroute to Cedartown, we
went ahead and climbed out the end of the valley (16-20% grades for 3/4mi, not fun on a tandem), but the views and ride in the cove are magnificent and it makes a great out and back that is essentially flat. Lots of Kodak moments.

If Cherohala turns you off, not sure the BRP is going to be much of treat, though I haven't biked around
Pisgah. What I have done brings back memories of 10:1 ratios of up versus down. I have done the
Cherohala, both ways on a single and from the east on a tandem and it was a long ride. We were on
it last year when $4 gas cut traffic enormously, this year going down hill for 25-28mi with a lot of RV and auto traffic on a tandem might be frustrating.
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Old 05-31-09, 08:13 PM   #13
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We did the climb up from the overlook a mile or so above the maintenance shed on Saturday pulling our 2 year old in the Burley. It was over an 11 mile climb up to the top, gaining 3000 feet in that time, to top out at over 6000 feet. Gorgeous, perfect right now with minimal haze.
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