I stayed the night at the store so I didn’t have to drive home and back again to get out to Cades Cove by 7am. Not such a clever idea, as the parking lot is quite busy on a Friday night. Between motorcycles revving, big trucks and loud people, I finally got to sleep around 1am.. And I had my alarm set for 5:30am. For some reason I woke up at 4am.
So, I met Kevin from Blue Smoke, Bobby, Jan from Whole Earth and her nephew Ben.
If one of you can email me his name, I’ll update this. Sorry, lack of oxygen to the brain does this. I parked by the restrooms and they parked at the start of the loop. This would prove beneficial to me at the end, as I drank a lot of H2O.
I will say it now. I managed to ride the first half of the loop, hills and all, without getting off my bike and walking. Go me! I may have been the last up and really slow, but I rode it! And I think I came as close to loosing my breakfast without actually loosing it as possible today.
Jan’s nephew Ben usually made it up the hills first. By the way, he was the youngest there. And I’ll use that excuse every time!
The downhills. One great thing about a 29er singlespeed, is that it just screams down the hills! The monkey has a new nickname. Blue Streak. And momentum helps to get me a little farther up the next hill. A little.
There were some deer in the loop this time. And the highlight made an appearance at the visitor center half way around. We were standing in the road waiting for
Jan’s nephew Ben to get some more water, when a coyote appeared. It was trotting along the road ahead of us. As someone was commenting just how much it seemed like a domestic dog, said coyote stopped and popped a squat. Me being of immature mind giggled. We all did!
We continued along the second half of the loop. By the way, did I mention that bikes and hikers have the run of the loop sans auto until 10am on Saturday? Anyway, I did end up walking partway up three hills. Much improvement over two weeks. Thanks to the Gatlinburg Trail.
I noticed a bunch of bikes pulled off to the side. There was a buck and a doe at this cabin. Normally, there would be a car jam that one would have to weave through. But no, just bicycles! I didn’t get here soon enough to get a close picture. They told me the deer crossed the road in front of them. How cool!
We all continued on. At one point, I think we all stopped. Everyone started riding again. But Kevin and I kept talking about community, gas prices and such. His idea was to start a radio talk show and see how many irate calls we would get! Maybe we’ll have to start a new blog with podcasts! Eh, Kevin?
We finished the ride, loaded up the vehicles and made a mass exodus to Townsend and Thunderhead Perk. Jaime makes a truly great latte. And the muffin, yum! And if you ever find yourself in Townsend, Tennessee, there is a MUP along the entire length of town. I believe on both sides.
I had a wonderful day. Although, I ended up taking a nap when I got home!
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