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Combining some of the best high altitude cycling on the east coast with gorgeous deep woods gravel grinding,- Tellico Highlands offers the complete Southern Blue Ridge Mountains experience in 85 miles and 10,500 feet of climbing!

DETAILS

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PURPOSE

To be clear, all of the routes we offer at Tennessee Gravel are free, just as there is no charge to ride in the national forest. With our time trials, we are simply taking a few of our hardest routes and turning them into an organized challenge that we hope adds a little more fun and inspiration (and perspiration!) to the experience of riding in the woods. While the time trials are geared towards individual accomplishment, the Fall Invitational bike race and party offers the opportunity to come together with other cyclists who have taken on these challenges and ride together in a one-day race followed by good food, tasty beer and endless stories of epic adventures in the beautiful Southern Blue Ridge Mountains! Click here for more info about the Three Rivers Time Trial Series.

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WHAT

Tellico Highlands is an individual time trial (a timed solo ride) on some of the most beautiful roads in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains. While the route is a significant challenge (85 miles with 10,500 feet of climbing), those cyclists who take it on will be rewarded with stunning vistas, mountain streams, riverside rambles, and deep woods wandering!

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WHEN

As an individual time trial, you're free to ride whenever you want. Just make sure you submit the Verification form (below) after your ride so that we can track you on our ITT Leaderboard and reward you for your effort!

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HOW MUCH

Riding the route is free anytime, but you need to submit your ride to us using our Verification form in order to get on the leaderboard. Once we verify your ride, we'll mail you a patch commemorating the accomplishment. We'll also hook you up with a t-shirt at the Fall Invitational race & party the first Saturday in November. There is a modest registration fee for the Fall Invitational, which helps cover our costs for putting on the time trial series.

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PARKING

The route starts and ends at Oosterneck Overlook. There is no fee to park there, but there are also no facilities. It is simply a pullout at the base of the Cherohala Skyway. If you're looking for a bathroom, stop at the Cherohala Skyway Visitors Center or the Cherohala Market in Tellico Plains.

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COURSE VERIFICATION

After you complete your ride, submit the Verification form to us along with the required pictures and the link to your ride on a tracking service like Strava. We'll then verify that you completed the course in its entirety and put your time on the leaderboard.

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SUPPORT & WAYFINDING

Tellico Highlands is a self-supported individual time trial. It is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the route prior to attempting the ride and that you prepare a nutrition & hydration plan. Please note that there is almost no signage on the route.

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BIKE CHOICE

Tellico Highlands can be ridden with either a gravel bike or a hardtail mountain bike. The route includes some paved sections, but it also has some rough patches. Check out our Tellico Highlands Bike Gallery to see bikes that have been used for the challenge by past riders.

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FALL INVITATIONAL

Everyone who completes the time trial prior to midnight June 30, 2022, will be invited to the Fall Invitational bike race & party the first Saturday in November!

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CHAMPIONS BELT BUCKLE

The rider with the fastest time at the end of each season (July 1st thru June 30th) will be rewarded with a custom Tellico Highlands Champions Belt Buckle!

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THE ITT SERIES

The Three Rivers ITT Series is comprised of the Dirty 130, Death March Revival, and Tellico Highlands individual time trials. In addition to rewards for completing each ITT, we also have prizes for riding all three! Click here for all the details!

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SOCIAL

Stay up to date on who's attempting the ITT, course conditions, and other Tellico Highlands news by liking our Facebook page!

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BIKEPACKING

If you're not interested in racing the course, Tellico Highlands also makes for a beautiful bikepackiing adventure! Click here for the bikepacking route map with Points of Interest noted.

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RIDE REPORTS

To a get a sense of what it's like to ride Tellico Highlands, check out all the firsthand accounts on our Ride Reports page!

THE ROUTE

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TELLICO REGION ITT CHALLENGE: Tellico Highlands

Click on the map above to see the downloadable Ride With GPS file.

ITT LEADERBOARD

Current Standings 2021-2022

No finishers at this time.

2020-2021 Results

  1. Jon Livengood 6/19/21: 7h-08m (fastest known geared time)
  2. Chris Joice 5/22/21: 7h-25m (singlespeed) (fastest known singlespeed time)
  3. Jeramie Hoff 5/22/21: 7h-26m
  4. Todd Jones 6/19/21: 7h-34m
  5. Randy Dial 5/01/21: 7h-51m
  6. Jeramie Hoff 5/01/21: 7h-52m
  7. Travis Jolly 5/24/21: 7h-56m (singlespeed)
  8. Bruce Stauffer 4/17/21: 7h-58m
  9. Austin Schreiner 4/20/21: 8h-01m
  10. Benny Birau 5/29/21: 8h-01m*
  11. Blake Adams 5/15/21: 8h-15m
  12. PJ Terry 5/29/21: 8h-15m*
  13. Nicholas Breaux 5/29/21: 8h-17m*
  14. Elizabeth McCalley 5/02/21: 8h-21m (fastest known women’s time)
  15. Jacob Wimmer 6/30/21: 8h-45m
  16. Jason Vance 6/28/21: 9h-14m
  17. Carey Lowery 5/29/21: 9h-30m*
  18. John Switow 5/29/21: 9h-49m*
  19. John Robertson 5/10/21: 9h-57m
  20. Tater Roe 6/20/21: 10h-12m
  21. Will Enochs 6/05/21: 11h-28m
  22. Chris Coney 5/01/21: 12h-12m
  23. Ryan Smith 6/12/21: 15h-31m

* A reroute was required for these riders due to unexpected construction on a section of the route.

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RULES

Individual Time Trials are all about self-sufficiency and a level playing field. To be eligible for a recorded time and placement on the Leaderboard, you must abide by the following rules:

1. You must take a picture of your bike computer right before you start and right after you finish. The pictures need to show the time of day and the mileage.

2. The route must be ridden in one unbroken stage.

3. No drafting at any time.

4. No stashed caches along the route.

5. No sharing supplies between riders.

6. No outside assistance with navigation.

7. No motorized transport or hitch-hiking. You must complete the route under your own power.

8. You are allowed to leave the official route at any time as long as you return to the route within 100 feet of the point that you left the route.

9. No support crews. You can only receive support from local businesses on-site during their normal business hours.

10. You must have a contingency plan in place before you start the ride in case of emergency or if you need to quit. You are responsible for your own safety and well-being out there.

TRAIL MAGIC: Trail Magic is an unexpected occurrence that lifts a rider's spirits and inspires awe and gratitude. During an ITT, obtaining an item from another person can only be unsolicited and accidental, otherwise, the receipt of assistance or supplies by individuals when it's not available to all riders reflects a lack of self sufficiency which renders an effort not self-supported. In short, you can't ask for Trail Magic. You can only pray for it!

VERIFICATION

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Todd Jones
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John Robertson - Giant TCX
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Austin Schreiner
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