Photo courtesy of the Smoky Mountain Wheelmen Bike Club
|Published: 9:06 AM, 06/12/2013
||Last updated: 9:07 AM, 06/12/2013
Author: Jessica Cross
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
Long-sweeping corners and challenging
climbs will entice hundreds of cyclists to Tellico Plains this
Scheduled for Saturday, June 15, the
13th annual Cherohala Challenge is a day-long event that
winds bicyclists through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests.
"It's a bike ride, but it's called a
challenge," said Jim Richards with the Smoky Mountain Wheelmen Bike
Club, who organize the event. "Instead of a race where you're
racing against other cyclists, the main thing with the Cherohala
Challenge is to challenge yourself to do a pretty difficult ride."
The idea for the Cherohala Challenge
developed after several Smoky Mountain Wheelman Bike Club members
began riding in the Tellico Plains area.
"It's one of those areas that people
just love to go to," said Richards. "In the cycling world, a lot
of folks who want to challenge themselves go up the highest hills.
It's a fabulous area for cycling. One of the best in East Tennessee."
The event took off from there.
"It's to frame Tellico Plains as a
cycling destination," said Richards. "People come from great
distances to be able to do this ride. We are able to introduce East
Tennessee and Tellico Plains to a lot of people who have never been
There are three routes of the Cherohala
Challenge: the 35-mile Valley Ride, the 62-mile ride and the 115-mile
route. All routes begin and finish in Tellico Plains at the Cherohala
Skyway Visitors Center.
See full story in the Wednesday, June 12, edition of The Advocate & Democrat.
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