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Help Pls - Smoky Mtn Road Ride Guidance

I will be visiting family next week at Nantahala Lake and shipped my road bike down hoping to take advantage of what must be great riding in the area. However, I am clueless about the region.

I am hoping you guys could give me some guidance to:

- rides/routes
- clubs in the area
- group rides
- online references

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Ron
 

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Tyr these resources

Check out wnccycling proboard.com, many locals in southwestern NC post there. Some routes in the area are posted on the website for Motion Makers bike shop in Sylva. Other local bikes shops include Bryson City Bicycles, Smoky Mountain Bikes located in Franklin, and Nantahalia Outdoors Center.
 

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There is great riding in the area, but I seldom run into another roadbiker.
+1 on Wayah Rd and 711.
 

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I recommend you pick up Jim Parham's book "Road Bike the Smokies." They probably stock it at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. It has several nice routes in the area where you will be staying.

A few other tips:

-711 is a great ride, but the road surface is in very poor shape, with large areas where the asphalt has completely eroded. You'll really need to keep your eyes open on the descents. I rode 711 a few months ago on my cross bike and had a blast.

-If your tires are up for it, there are some great dirt roads in the area. Many of them are maintained by the Forest Service and see very little traffic. Winding Stairs Road from 19-74 up to Queen's Lake is a great climb. You can blast down Wayah Road, take the paved greenway to Winding Stairs, then ride Winding Stairs out of the gorge. That loop is mostly paved and a beautiful ride throughout. (Parham's book has all the details.) Old River Road follows the Nantahala River for about five miles and can be part of a larger route.

-You will be out of cell phone range, so be prepared.

Have fun! It's a great area for all kinds of outdoor activities.
 
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