Charleston, SC to Tennessee is a long drive and I procrastinate. So, naturally I would tackle the Triple Crown on consecutive days right on the deadline. Bike set-up: Canfield EPO; 30x10-46 gearing; Schwalbe 2.1 ThunderBurts; Rockgeist Honey Pot and Oveja Negra top-tube bags. I carried 3 bottles on each of the routes, fueled on Infinit.
Tellico Highlands - Monday, June 28 - First attempt on this route, though I've ridden the latter 70 miles in the opposite direction on the Mountain 420. The ride into Green Cove came up quick, and I much preferred the climb up N. River into NC than climbing the Skyway (ala M420). Monday is clearly not a busy day for the Skyway as a two-stroke mini-bike club also chose this morning for their hill-climb rally; my descent was peppered with the drone of angry bees and aroma of burning oil. Indian Boundary is sporting newly-constructed bridges on the trail along the lake; refilled my bottles at the store and resumed climbing! On the M420, the Cold Spring Rd climb coming out of Jake Best is an endless slog (which I've done only on a loaded bike at night); but, riding the opposite direction on the TH, Doublecamp Creek was a pleasant drag uphill, and Cold Spring was a ripping descent. Soon after climbing out of Jake Best, leg cramps set in and would continue for the remaining 20 miles. The final descending miles and rain after leaving Bald River Falls probably helped stave off heatstroke. Maybe.
I felt pretty cooked after this ride and the ice-cold chocolate milk didn't quite take that edge off. Back at Fireside Outpost, I ate some salmon, drank a beer, and chatted with John Pickron until Kim yelled at me remotely through the Ring-cam to go to bed at 8pm. I had to be up in 6 hours for the DMR...