Friday, June 20, 2008

Cycle adventure in the South Cumberland wilderness

What a gorgeous day up on the Cumberland plateau, cool and clear. After visiting some friends in Sewanee, I took off toward Monteagle and Coalmont where I entered the wilderness on Palmer Firetower Road on the Grundy/Marion county line off Rt. 108. The next 15 miles was some of the most remote and challenging terrain I've attempted.

The main obstacles were water n' mud, steepness, and extremely rugged terrain. I laid the bike down hard at least 4 times over the several hours, once in the water. The Sherpa cycle performed flawlessly despite a savage beating. Of course I bent my brake pedal repeatedly and scratched the shit out of everything from the gas tank to the side of the engine. That's why I bought 2. Keep one nice and pound the shit out of the other.

The second picture shows the crazy steepness of one trail. The pic doesn't do it justice - it was definitely an extreme trail.

As I continued south, i picked up an extremely rugged trail which became the Little Sequatchie River. Often the "trail" was the dry (and sometimes wet) river bed. After 8 miles of this, it got old and I became worried I'd get to an insurmountable obstacle and have to drive back. There were boulder fields and some water nearly 2 ft deep I had to ride through. I'm amazed the bike could do it.

These solo trips are pretty risky. I've always worried that I might get injured and be unable to make it out. A serious injury could mean death because of the remoteness of the area and the total lack of cell phone signal.

I made it out and came out right in the cove where the Trials Training Center is located.

If your not familiar with the sport of trials motorcycles, checkout my next post and videos.


Old Man and mid pack runner said...

looks like fun. hate to hear about your knee.

Don said...

You scurvy dog! Drop by and see us the next time you're in Sewanee. As for the cell phone signal, I agree it's a concern. The U.S. should have a national wireless communications system on par with our interstate network. I suppose you've considered a personal locator beacon? Expensive, but in the situation you describe, might be worth it . . .