Maps and Cue Sheet for USBR 21

Matt at the top of the Foothills Parkway

Matt Farr, Executive Director for Bike Walk Tennessee atop Foothills Parkway

Bike Walk Tennessee’s new executive director, Matt Farr is off and running to get USBR 21 official! Matt and I drove the route earlier this summer and visited with the various Chamber of Commerce folks to get them excited about having the route wind through their towns. We were fortunate to get a personal tour of the old Getty’s Mill with John who lives across from the mill in the Old Post Office/Store. His Dad worked at the Mill back in the day so he had plenty of great stories to share.

Gettys Mill

Getty’s Mill circa 1859

The only disappointment with our scouting trip was the temporary closing of the the Mayfield Dairy Visitor’s Center for remodeling — we were so looking forward to ice cream! However, we did enjoy coffee and biscuits in Madisonville and then lunch in Athens — driving sure can work up an appetite.

MayfieldVisitorCenter-Athens

Mayfield Visitors Center in Athens, TN

This proposed section travels from Knoxville to Chattanooga and the Georgia state line. The route is currently 152.2 miles one-way, excluding spurs. We are currently working on the section of the route that runs from the Kentucky state line to Knoxville.

Here’s a link to the route where you can download the gpx track. I’ve also prepared a cue sheet and overview maps — USBR21-CueSheet — these include a spur to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along with an alternate route for those that would like to ride up and over the Foothills Parkway and then connect back to the main route; and another spur to Tellico Plains and the impressive Cherohala Skyway. It’s a beautiful touring route that travels along bucolic backroads, winding through  main streets off the beaten path, and sharing a glimpse of historic Tennessee along the way.

Elle on the USBR Route

Elle Colquitt surrounded by the amazing vistas along USBR 21

Athens-Main Street Downtown

Main Street Downtown Athens, Tennessee

Historic-US11-Charleston

Historic US11 in Charleston, Tennessee

Please visit our page Knox to Chatt Route, for more information, gpx tracks, and pictures for this route and its spurs — the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Foothills Parkway, Tellico Plains, and the Cherohala Skyway. Since we are in the planning phase, we are requesting public comments. USBR 21 is being undertaken by Bike Walk Tennessee. Anyone with feedback on the proposed route, can email Matt Farr at matt@bikewalktn.org.

Makes My Head Swirl

My Head's a Swirl

Not the best way to capture the fall colors!

Riding while under the influence of a camera can be risky! It was such a beautiful fall day for a ride. A couple of girlfriends and I were wandering the backroads out near Townsend and I was enjoying taking a few shots of my friends riding ahead of me, when I notice some curious horses in the pasture just ahead. I once again hurried to swing my camera around to get a shot of this nice long stretch of backroad with the two horses looking over the fence at us. Problem was that I was riding in too low of a gear to pedal ahead to have my friends where I wanted them in the shot. No problem I thought,  just quickly shift gears (mind you I had the camera in my other hand ready for the shot) and then ride up to catch them…in an instant I was on the ground! Looking back there was a small branch of wood in the road which apparently I hadn’t seen in my excitement to capture such an beautiful shot.

Knee BandagedI pulled myself up and then, first things first, I checked my camera for any damage — just fine; then my bike — nothing my dear Jon can’t adjust; and then me — a 3/4 inch gash under my knee with some abrasions on my leg and arms — at least I didn’t hit my head. I rinsed the knee wound with my water bottle and flag down a passing truck requesting a handful of kleenex. My girlfriend helped me make a mock bandage to limit the bleeding and off we went to finish the ride. Our plans had been to stop for lunch along the way before heading back. This was fine as it would offer me the opportunity to put my leg up and let it rest and hopefully curtail the bleeding.

On our way back, I noticed that every bump in the road sent a quick shot of pain to my upper left side and then I laughed at a joke my friend made….that’s when I realized that I also had a cracked rib. RATS! I’ve had cracked ribs before (two different bike crashes) and they are not fun. Not for trying to get comfortable, trying to sleep, trying to laugh, cough, sneeze, hiccup, or any of those jarring types of body things we do often enough. I wasn’t too worried about the knee injury as that would heal quickly enough to let me get back to riding — but the ribs that would keep me off the bike for a little while longer. In the middle of fall!! My favorite season of all!! The picture perfect season!!

My Backroad Friends

Enjoying the Backroad with my Friends

So I end this post with a Note to Self…don’t ride under the influence of your camera. Let your rational brain do some of the thinking! Hopefully I’ll heal quickly so I can scurry around on my bike again — beautiful blue skies and backroads are waiting!