182 miles today - 1,610 for the trip so far..
182 Miles is not representative of what we completed on the TAT... today was grueling. TN-9 / TN-10 and maybe others worked us - we're novices at best. I'm older than Paul by a 'few' years and he is in much better shape and both of us were wore out. Bald River Rd was the start of the agony. There is so much tree debris on this road, paired with the rocks / boulders and the ups and downs, this was a challenge! We didn't get out of 1st gear very often... In fact, Nick, Paul, and I all caught up later in the day and had a good laugh together about the excruciating ride called "Bald River Rd"
Here is a picture of Nick, Paul, and I having a good laugh about the toughest ride so far... speaking of Nick, he is from Upstate NY and is an experienced dirt bike rider.
Witt Rd - Four creek crossings, all successfully negotiated! Which is great for Paul, because John, Paul, and I all ran Witt Rd back in April 2020 and both John and Paul went down in this same spot! This time, Paul took the right side and ran it with no problem. For me, this is my third crossing and every time, I take the left side. All three successful. :)
And here is the video for Witt Rd Creek Crossings!
Back to low mileage (and no, we aren't worried about it, just more of commentary for those that want to do the TAT in the future) - Rain was a major factor in the low mileage. On top of all the work negotiating rocks, downed trees, forestry service trucks (pretty sure Paul ran into one of them that blocked the whole road), switchbacks, slick clay, and a myriad of other obstacles, rain hit all over the forest. We couldn't see because the heat and the hard cold rain. We kept on keeping on, but slowly.
Speaking of, two more crazy obstacles - one created by my GPS and the other is simply riding technique on forest roads that are not well traveled.
1. Circling around (twice) - two separate times, I missed a turn and because the colors of the upcoming and last track segments were the same, I unfortunately backtracked and ended up running the same area twice. UGH!!! Switchbacks all look the same, so it is really bad when it is the SAME!
2. Vehicles coming at you - when you don't know it. Many of my friends (especially Matt D. - due mostly to his job) will never understand riding these forest roads. But, there is a tendency to take a left turn switchback that has a cliff on the right side, closer to the left side. Especially for me - I have a fear of heights to begin with AND any rock/slide/incorrect blip of "RALLY MODE" could send you hurling over the cliff. So anyways, I usually take left-hand-blind-switchback turns slowly and tight inside - I've been trying to do better and stay to the right... but it is tough for me due to the fear of the EDGE. So today, I come around one of these turns and I'm looking at a small Toyota tercel. ON A FOREST ROAD. skinny tires and all. They were going slow, I was going slow enough that I hit my rear brake and pulled in the clutch to avoid riding over them. I slid to a stop just in front of them... I'm pretty sure over comms I said "Oh shit...".
Lake Ocoee Inn & Marina Our accommodations for the night - nice spot, probably been here a long time... I would like to research this lake as I can tell they dammed up the Ocoee river to create this lake. Might be an interesting read... I'll look it up later.
Also, I got a video uploaded... it isn't anything special. Check it out:
Paul and I working and writing the blog...
To keep up the tradition, we're drinking Josh Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve tonight.
Accommodations, we got a suite for the night. Two Beds Per Room... one for my junk. one for me.
This Picture went to a prospective client - U.
Hopefully soon, they'll sign the deal... :)