Best of Both Worlds
And then there were two. Mother’s Day weekend plans conflicted with all but two lucky riders. Since Dave and Larry both ride bikes suitable for Forest Service roads, they modified the “Short Loop Ride” (full of mountain twisties around the Chattahoochee Natl Forest) to take advantage of as much FS as possible – hence the two “worlds”.
The two left Ball Ground at 8:30 in glorious summer weather - perfect temps and dry enough to ensure a rain-free day. To get to the Dial area near Blue Ridge, they enjoyed backroad favorites like Burnt Mountain, Sunrise, Roy Rd and Doublehead Gap. But instead of breaking at Van Zandt’s and continuing around the forest, they dove right in and headed up beautiful Noontootla Creek (FS 58) – voted the “prettiest FS in the land” by the only two that count! While resting on the bridge at Three Forks, Dave realized he’d crossed here once before on a backpacking trip on the AT. Next stop was the elusive Hickory Flatts Cemetery (yep, two ts) deep in the forest where they met a few hikers resting at the wonderful church shelter open to AT hikers. From there it was up to the top of the mountain (3200’), then E on FS 42, then N down Rock Creek (FS 33) and by the Fish Hatchery – another beautiful creekside ride. They popped out of the forest at Hwy 60 S of Blairsville to enjoy Twisty 60 down to Suches. In the northern stretches, the ride is beautiful fast sweepers, then as you head south, they gradually tighten up to 20 MPH curves outside of Suches.
Here are a few video clips from the ride
Lunch with fellow bikers at TWO was pleasant and filling, as always. It’s great to see the new owner is doing very well and should be here for years. After a relaxing break on the porch rockers, the two decided to take FS 42 from Suches west to Doublehead Gap (a 24 mile stretch) and visit the Springer Mtn trailhead – official start of the AT. From there it was a beautiful trip down Doublehead Gap (turns into Roy, turns into Big Creek) to Hwy 52 and Ellijay. Since they spent so much time in the forest, a fast trip home down 515 was the ticket.
It was a great day of riding and we wished you were there. Total mileage was 175 (with about 50 off road) and home at 4:45. As it so often works with the best rides, we had too much fun to stop and take pictures!