John Switow (3)
So this is one of Tennesseegravel.com ('s) three ITT series rides. You do it unsupported. Check them out at www.tennesseegravel.com . This one works pretty well with 3 restocking points. I started this one and rode 50-60 miles with Carey Lowery. Always like riding with Carey. She beat me to Coker Creek and I told her to go on at that point, as I was already getting twinges of cramps. Filled 1-1/2 bottles at Webb's at ~ 30 miles. Next easy refill point is the Coker Creek Visitors Center at ~ 60 miles. Filled 2-1/2 bottles there as it was getting hot and we had crossed Star Mtn and Ivy Trail by then. From Coker Creek, next goal is Buck Bald. I cramped and walked a little on the climb from the river to the bald. Was pretty, but hot up there, didn't stay long. Onward, there is a camping, Fly Shop with food and drinks about a 1/4 mile off course, comes at about 95 miles. I hit that refilled 3 bottles and sucked down an ice cold Yoo-Hoo! On toward the Powerhouse. It was wonderfully cool along the Hiwassee for the 4 miles or so I followed it. Cross the big swinging bridge and start the last big climb and it's a doozy. By this point you're 100 miles in. Were I a reasonable person, I would have headed for the car from the store, it was 10 miles away at that point. I crossed the bridge at 4:22 figuring I had 4-1/2 hours of day light, what could go wrong?! My legs...they said they were done about or 2 miles up the mountain. Every time I tried to climb they would cramp... so I walked...a lot. There are some less steep areas and some brief downhills on the way to the top of Kimsey Mountain, and a lot of chunk. Worse by the year...If I go back, and my memory is short so I will. I will ride my hard tail with some faster tires. You go up and down this section and it is rugged. Well the temps finally dropped and I felt some better, so the legs let me pedal the last two miles to the top a little quicker. Then the descent; again in the dark, but no rain, hogs or other critters this year, don't think I hit and rock all the way down. Get to end and Carey had waited all that time (2-1/2 hours!-Thanks Taz!!) So it wasn't pretty, but it's done! If you haven't seen it and want to know more,watch this video of Peter Stetina and Heather Jackson's experience with this route. They were a little faster! Carey will have a great write up too, I bet. You can check out her blog at https://careylowery.blogspot.com/.