Dancing Bear Lodge – Bicycle Bash Weekend (Sunday)

All good things must come to an end, and given that Debbie and I haven’t figured out what we’d do for employment or income in Maryville, Tennessee, Sunday would be our last day in Tennessee before heading back to Georgia.

For the Sunday ride, Matt Alexander’s idea of a “recovery ride” is apparently quite different from what I imagined and probably says more about our fitness and riding habits as it does our understanding of ride descriptions among the more elite cyclists.  What Matt had teed up for the day was a ride over the Foothills Parkway. No thanks, been there and done that and we were in no shape to give that a try, even if giving up or only doing 1/2 of the ride gives you an all-downhill ride back to Townsend.

So, instead, Tim & Sharon offered up a more tandem-friendly, easy-paced ride into the Smokey National Park for a visit to Tremont, then a ride along “Eddie Roubaix” to Lover’s Lane and the dry valley that sits just across Little River from Lamar Alexander Parkway.  It was a grand ride, to say the least.  There were just the six of us — Tim & Sharon, Roger & Eve and yours truly plus Debbie — and no one was looking to start a hammer-fest, so it was a nice easy day on the bike, with measured effort on the climbs… of which there were several. This was by no means an “easy” ride, it was just a hard ride made easy by electing to ride it at a social pace.  Some photos appear below.

Just a few miles down the road from the Dancing Bear we decided to stop for a group photo at the entrance to the park. No photographers were used in creating this image.

Yes, my eyes are actually looking at the road as I snapped this self portrait that caught Debbie looking over her sunglasses and Roger & Eve plus Tim & Sharon in the background as we headed towards Tremont... which was nearly devoid of all other traffic.

This was shot as we headed back down the road away from the Tremont Station... one of the nicest roads you'll find for cycling.

What a day for a ride in the country.... This is why we love cycling in and around Blount County!!

Before tackling Schoolhouse Gap we stopped for a short break at what is usually an empty parking lot on a Sunday and were treated to some very cool collector cars. As we admired the vehicles their owners came out from breakfast across the street at the Back Porch Restaurant and were the nicest folks you'd ever want to meet. We had a grand time talking about what they do for fun with their car hobby while we shared a little info about the tandem hobby. Two of the car-couples actually had Dahon folding bike stuffed in their cars that they used to get around once they reached a destination. Just a great group of folks and some very cool cars: I wanted the '71 Chevelle SS so bad I could taste it!!

The Sunday ride was as good as it gets when it comes to tandem cycling.  Great ride tempo, great friends and beautiful surroundings.  After we finished the ride we made plans to meet at Cycology Bicycles so that Roger & Eve could take care of a few things before we all headed to Tomato Head restaurant on Broadway St. in downtown Maryville, Tennessee.  It took us a little longer to get to lunch than we planned, but since we only had a few errands to run once we were back home a late start back wasn’t a big deal. So, we “chilled” and ended up having one last get-together with Tim & Sharon and Roger & Eve at the restaurant.. in fact, it was at the very same table you see to the right of the tree in the photo above.

After lunch, it was fond farewells and then a 2.5-hour drive back home.

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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