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Old 02-15-10, 07:51 PM   #1
JayhawKen
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Cherohala or Blood, Sweat & Gears

For those of you who have ridden both of these events - if you had to choose between them which would it be?

Looking for a very challenging ride that is well organized and worth driving 600 ~ 800 miles.

I should add that I am using this as some early training for the Everest Challenge, which is the main target for this year.

Thanks!

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Old 02-15-10, 08:21 PM   #2
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Perhaps NealH will chime in here, he did both rides last year I believe. I've not done BS&G but the Cherohala Challenge was a bear in the heat this past year. If you are looking for a ride with a long hard climb, the CC has it. It is a great ride that is well supported and not nearly as large a group as BS&G.

I also heard some of the roads on the BS&G ride were in bad shape last year so that might figure into your decision. You can't go wrong with either but I would think the climb up the Skyway on the CC ride would approximate one of the climbs on the Everest Challenge.
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Old 02-15-10, 08:22 PM   #3
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They are both good events, and both challenging. The Cherohala is more of an epic ride, offering very scenic flatland and mountain landscapes. The main climbing is the Skyway climb to the Santeetlah Overlook. There is about 3500' of gain in this climb alone. If its hot like it was this past year, the ride is brutal. There is no shade going up the Skyway.

The BS&G route offers more shade at times due to the mountainous environment and winding climbs. The highlight is the last mile going up Snake Mountain. The grade is in the upper teens and its brutal, whether its hot or cold. Outside that, it really isn't what I would call a difficult route. Of course that doesn't mean its easy but, it is not as difficult as some other routes/events in the mountains, like the Tour de Tuck, Assault on Mitchell, or Tour de Cashiers.

There will be more cyclists at the BS&G's event. A lot more. It is very popular and well supported. Actually, both are well supported. Which one do I recommend? That's a hard one to answer. The events are two weeks apart and ideally you should ride both. If only one, then I would probably go for the BS&G's if only due to its popularity and local attractions. The Cherohala event is more remote, but it is an event worth riding so, if you don't make it this year you should put it on the list for next year.

Edit: I just say BikeWNC's post and yes, a few of the roads on the BS&G event were in terrible shape last year. Hopefully they are in better shape this year. But I wouldn't bet on it.
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Old 02-16-10, 09:48 PM   #4
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NealH,

Are you going to do another aggressive century tour this summer with the above mentioned centuries?
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Old 02-16-10, 09:52 PM   #5
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By the way, I was reflecting fondly back on last year's Cherohala climb this evening, whilst facing a 28F headwind.

Spring/summer cannot get here soon enough!
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Old 02-17-10, 06:30 PM   #6
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I am hoping to ride as much as I can, and have my calendar full again this year with events. I have got to get a nagging arrhythmia (afib) issue resolved here shortly so that I'll be ready when the Spring events start. Hope to see you on some of these rides. I am tentatively planning on the Cherohala event again. Hopefully it will be cooler this year as it was tough last year.

Our weather so far this winter has been about as crummy as yours. It just hasn't been a kind season. Our lakes and rivers are on the brink of overflow. And its been cold.
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Old 03-26-10, 12:01 AM   #7
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Thanks to a rockslide, the Dragon is closed until July and the Cherohala Challenge is thus canceled.

That blows.
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Old 03-26-10, 05:36 AM   #8
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Thanks to the rockslides on US64, I40 and US129 my plan to keep those Tenn. folks from coming to NC is almost complete.

Too bad about the Cherohala Challenge though, it is an unintended consequence.
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Old 03-26-10, 08:35 AM   #9
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Not a border crossing, but the Little River Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was also closed last week because of a rockslide.

It's been pretty crazy.

In case you missed it, there's a video of an idiot driving into the 129 slide. I don't know why it's going to take them several months to clear that out, but so it is. Perhaps I'll have to find another mountain century to do this summer.

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Old 03-26-10, 09:42 AM   #10
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Roan Moan isn't that far from Knoxville. I think I'm going to make the drive from Nashville (though my wife's family lives in Roan Mt so it gives her an excuse to go home too).
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Old 03-26-10, 02:54 PM   #11
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Well I am sorry to hear this, as the Cherohala event was a nice epic ride. Guess we'll have to wait a year. Blood, Sweat & Gears is already sold out so I'll miss this one too. Mitchell is sold out as well.

The Big Walker Century out of Wytheville, Va occurs on June 19 and this is a potential alternate.

Roan Moan is later in July, and that is a really good event too, if it doesn't rain. I liked to have froze a couple years ago on the descent, it was rainy and cold, especially up around Carvers Gap. Last year was very nice though.

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Old 03-26-10, 06:09 PM   #12
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Anyone know anything about the Centurion series? Boulder, Madison and Niagara? Looks like this might be the first year for the series - hopefully that goes well and this can be expanded.
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Old 03-28-10, 08:57 PM   #13
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i can not believe "our" state can not get this cleared up in less than 3 months..totally crazy..i was so looking forward to this ride. The great state of Tennessee has been trying to close this road (hwy 129 aka "the dragon") for the last 3 or 4 yrs.. i guess they finally got their chance, thanks to mother nature.
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Old 03-28-10, 09:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rc51crazy View Post
The great state of Tennessee has been trying to close this road (hwy 129 aka "the dragon") for the last 3 or 4 yrs.
It is?
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Old 03-30-10, 07:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
Not a border crossing, but the Little River Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was also closed last week because of a rockslide.

It's been pretty crazy.

In case you missed it, there's a video of an idiot driving into the 129 slide. I don't know why it's going to take them several months to clear that out, but so it is. Perhaps I'll have to find another mountain century to do this summer.
Obviously driving too fast to stop within his sight-line. Just think if those rocks had been cyclists. What an ... idiot !
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Old 05-06-10, 12:34 PM   #16
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The Town of Tellico Plains (I believe) has filled the void left by the Cherohala Challenge with an alternative ride.

http://www.ridetheskyway.com/

June 19.

The details are still sketchy, but apparently it will have a 30 mile valley ride, an out-and-back metric century to the top of the skyway, and an out-and-back full century (possibly including the road up the river?).

This ride may be of interest to anyone looking for a tough but scenic climb.
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