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Mountain Range


Matt Comer


Canyon Grizl rigid gravel bike but a mountain bike (ht or short travel fs) wouldn’t be the wrong choice.

Sunny. 55 f start with high of 82 f. Used lots more water later in the day due to temp climbing. Came out of my base layer in the afternoon on the Potato Patch climb.

GravelKing SK+ 700c x 50mm tubeless no inserts @23psi F / 24psi R. Used the Silca calculator to figure it. No flats/burps/wheel strikes.

46/30 front, 11-42 10spd rear
Love the climb gear for my chicken legs.

2 900ml bottles on the bike (1 with Nuun caffeine, 1 with Tailwind) 1.5l pack on me, filter in bag. Refilled bottles and pack at Mulberry Gap (around 6 hours in) off their spigot at the barn. Filtered at around mile 80-85 after rationing for a bit since didn’t spot any water after 75ish.

Shot for around 200 cals per hour. Used a mix of Tailwind in one bottle, gummies, pb crackers and sour patch watermelons. Also snagged a sack lunch and Coke from the folks at Mulberry Gap after seeing the idea in Chris Joice’s post. It was absolutely clutch.

I’m absolutely not the one to ask about advice for pacing. Very slow. I do know that the cold leg climb out of the gate is brutal, Three Forks /Conasauga Road are super flowy and fun, the descent to MG isn’t a rest period, and final climbs on Big Frog are morale crushing if you have derailleur problems. The gravel range is wide - from smooth packed type 1/2 (Conasauga) up to rutted out chunky Jeep roads (Big Frog) - I appreciate the wide tires on my bike but I’d be comfortable (nerves wise - not actual comfort) down to 40’s - other more proficient riders maybe a little skinnier. Took a lot of time to eat lunch and browse the MG store and then again to mess with a derailleur malfunction on Big Frog.

The route is beautiful with tons of vistas that can be seen from the bike but really deserve a pause to take in. Would absolutely do this route again - maybe without the dip down to MG but the climb out wasn’t as long or steep as I expected.

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