07-01-2011, 07:26 AM
Deaf on Wheels
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Leland, North Carolina, USA
Leaving the Trail......!
Last week I said good bye to my lovely wife in Wilmington, NC and rode my GS/sidecar to Knoxville, TN via Asheville, NC to Jellico. TN.
On Thursday morning I rode away from the Days Inn in Jellico, TN and started the TAT in the early morning.
I was going deep into the heart of darkest, steamy Tennessee.........
When Sam mapped TN for the TAT it was mostly all gravel. In the last 7-10 years TN has spent a lot of tax dollars paving every road in the state thus many riders not taking TN too much for fear of wearing out their knobbies or just wanting to hit gravel right away. I don’t have Sam’s most recent newer updated maps of TN and understand that he’s back in finding/mapping gravely roads again for Tennessee.
After the first 20 gravely miles onto the TAT…., Tennessee indeed lived up to its reputation of being mostly paved and would best be served as a shake-down cruise for the rest of the TAT. By the end of the State your gear is probably better sorted, your bike might feel being in synch, your mind is distant from the day to day cares of the world and you are might feel ready for some serious Mississippi and Arkansas dirt?
The way I feel for those here, if you plan on riding the complete TAT and need to make time, you are probably better off cutting off a lot of the jogging around here and start in Arkansas. Those who don’t care in smelling some flowers nor immerse themselves in the local culture might not be missing much, but I decided then to snake around the Tennessee TAT ....immerse in their culture…savor their culinary delights if any and take pictures as not many TAT riders cover Tennessee in its entirety. They just zoom through. I wanted to blend in and use Sam’s maps to its fullest and most of all I have …… TIME!!
BUT…Oh, Lordy.. Oh, Lord…. BUT…
It is not to be…
As I write this from Sparta, TN, I hate to be a bearer of not so good news. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am throwing in the towel regarding hacking the TAT. Been in a funk since day 1 departure… my body and mind simply did not immerse themselves in getting to ride solo.
Done solo before…but this time it became a hindrance affecting my mind and physical well being whereas daily physical/mental oddities were starting to affect my thinking and performance. Not that the TAT via Hack was difficult..none of these…it’s easier than you think, especially the Eastern section. I stayed true to the TAT route all the way to Sparta, TN..…a distance of only 192 miles but at a timed run of 08:00 hrs.
It’s the “solo” thing that is affecting me personally. Yes, it could also be loneliness, with no one to share the scenery, eating, camping, Moteling, and trip planning.
With all that hype…of being there for you, giving you some Adventure….and now ppfffffff….it’ not to be.
I sincerely, humbly apologize for getting you excited to no avail. I hope to again post another ride report someday but definitely un-solo!
Abenteuerfahrer screwed with this post 07-07-2011 at 10:01 AM