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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week I started making plans for the weekend. It looked like the weather would be warm for February so I began thinking the North Georgia mountains might be a welcome ride; I have not been able to find time for any road trips in quite a while and the camera has been doing nothing but gathering dust. My plan was to ride the back loop of the 6-Gap Century (Jacks, Unicoi, and Hogpen), plus the Brasstown Bald climb (all the way to the top if I can start early enough) and Wolfpen.

I was out of the house by 4:15 AM. There's not much traffic on the road that early in the morning so I made good time; pulled into Vogel State Park at 6:40. The temp was right around 40 and supposed to warn to the upper 50s so I didn't dress too heavy. I didn't think to bring my lights so I had to wait a while for enough light to ride - On the bike by 7:30.

From Vogel SP, I took 129 to 180 and started the climb up Jacks Gap to get to Brasstown Bald. After making the turn onto 180, the temp dropped 5 or 10 degrees so I was freezing my. . . it was cold. Looking back towards Vogel, I could see the sun warming the tops of the mountains but I wasn’t feeling it yet. The sun finally showed itself as I made the left turn to start up the Brasstown climb. This is one steeeep road; pictures don’t do it justice. When I reached the main parking lot, there were no Rangers around yet so I crawled under the gate and rode up the last, even steeper, section up to the observation tower, (this is a no-no and the reason I started so early). After taking in the view, I headed back down. The descent was a bit frightening because you gain speed so quick and there was a bit of dirt and other loose grit in the curves.

After getting back on 180, things were much warmer and I soon found myself turning onto 75 and making my way to Unicoi Gap. This climb is not so tough but it is a good climb. There were a lot of hikers at the parking area where the Appalachian Trail crosses the road; I took some pictures there but my camera really is a piece of crap. The descent was a blast! A few banked curves near the top and several tight curves further down, and nothing loose on this road, made for some speed and fun.

From 75, the course makes a right turn on 75 Alt. After a few miles I made the right turn onto 348 and began the climb up Hogpen Gap. This climb is long with a few fairly steep sections and has lots of scenic overlooks. From the overlook at the top, you can see the Brasstown Bald tower if you look really close. I think Appalachian Trail also crosses here. The descent had a lot of loose stuff the first half mile but was clear and extremely fast the rest. On my way down, I saw a couple other riders struggling up. Come to think of it, I had not seen any other riders up to this point. . . where was everyone?

Several miles after getting off of Hogpen, 348 connects to 180. A right turn here will take you back up Jacks Gap but I had other things in mind so I took a left, back towards Vogel SP. Just before the park entrance, 180 makes a right turn up Wolfpen Gap. I had a little time left so I made the turn. Wolfpen is different. . . much less traffic and the road is narrow with a lot of tight turns – a very enjoyable climb. When I made it to the top I noticed I had climbed 9200 feet for the day, so I kept going. I turned around and climbed the backside of Wolfpen, topping out just before hitting 10,000 ft. After a quick descent, it’s a short climb to back to Vogel SP and a nap in the sun.

All in all a great day! 4hrs 25min, 63 miles, 10,000 ft of climbing.
 

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Apa kabar?
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Nice pics from what appears to have been a really nice ride. What percent grades were those climbs...looked pretty steep even in the pics (which usually seems to flatten climbs out). Wish we had some mountains like that where I'm at.
 

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Mountains AND warm February temps- must be a great place to live...
 

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I used to wave
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Some of my favorite roads. The steepest runs a true 23% up to Brasstown Bald(the tower) if I remember right. Yes indeedy. A stage to the Tour of Ga and Six Gap century are both held on those roads.

Thanks for the pics.
 

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Back in '04 I went down for the Tour of GA. Went down and up both sides of Neels Gap and also up Wolfpen from Vogel Park. Wolfpen is a nice little climb. Very intimate and sheltered by trees. Thats some nice riding down there.
 

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Man, you're making me homesick! I grew up in the N. Georgia mountains, on Lake Burton over toward Clayton. Brasstown Bald is absolutely the toughest climb I've ever done, and I had to walk several stretches after falling over once. Obviously I'm not the strongest climber around. The time I rode Brasstown, the temperature must have dropped 10-20 degrees in the last couple of miles. It was very windy, and the sweat on my clothes started freezing up. I was so cold that I shivered all the way down and could hardly operate the brakes because my hands were so cold, and you need those brakes coming down Brasstown! There was a lingering smell from burnt brake pads in the air from the cars driving by.
 

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Nice Pics... Good Ride...

Pics from the 05 TdGeorgia...
Lance's last race in the States, Won by Tommy D.
All shots taken by my wife... Man, I wanna move...

Shot #1 - Blurry Floyd pacing Lance
Shot #2 - Tommy D pacing Levi
Shot #3 - Eki on the Brasstown climb
Shot #4 - Neutral Support ( I just like the shot )
Shot #5 - Final Group on the climb before the Broom Wagon
 

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I'll be up there this weekend, gonna do a modified "5 Gap" route. Owltown, Hicks, Skeenah, Woody's and Wolfpen. Not up for Hogpen and Brasstown in my condition, i mean this weather;)

//oh and deadlegs, you're a freaking animal!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Have a good time, gutfiddle!

ps. I am not an animal, but I was wearing my 10-gallon hat Saturday!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey, 12x23, I forgot you moved over there! I'll send you a message next time I'm down that way. I missed the wind Saturday but it found me in Chatt on Sunday!

You riding much? I bet you've been working the hills a bit lately!
 

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yeah, holler at me next time you're over this way.

mostly on the trainer in my conference room after work. still don't know many roads around gainesville. try to get up to the mtns on sat or sun when weather permits. i know my way around there better than i do here.
 
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