Smokey Moluntain 500

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Northeast, Southeast & Florida' started by andy29847, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. BIZAV

    BIZAV Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks guys for the replies. I'll investigate more when my gps arrives.
  2. cyclingkk

    cyclingkk Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    48
    Awesome ride Andy! We rode up there this past weekend. I'm not a fan of the uphill rocky section on Charlies Creek because it snuck up on me during the gradually increasing gradient and size and looseness of the rocks and all of a sudden you were just there on larger rocks and I was trying to keep my speed up. The rest was much easier comparatively speaking. And here I thought Charlies Creek crossing was going to be difficult. Not compared to the other deeper stuff. Loved all the water crossings and the weather was phenomenal and couldn't have been better and I did this all on KTM1290SA with Continental Trail Attack II 90/10 tires.

    I also wanted to mention that I used BaseCamp to create routes. Creating a route from the track is easy, but not while on the road as GPS issues with most likely ensue. Here's a reliable method:
    0. Ensure you have disabled all route avoidances and set route to fastest time. Most people have their GPS's set this way. It's just easier for everyone and easy to remember
    1. Highlight Andy's yellow waypoints
    2. Right click highlighted waypoints
    3. Click "Create route from waypoints"
    4. Zoom in on BEGINNING of route to the point where you can see roads and the yellow track
    5. Pan and follow map until you see yellow
    track and the new route (different color) that isn't following the track
    6. Grab your route and pull it onto the yellow track somewhere in the middle. You can add multiple extra waypoints to ensure accuracy
    7. Once recalculated, the new waypoint(s) should follow the yellow track. If not, add a few waypoints to the routes to force it
    8. For my maps, I had all the roads except for two, one being Charlies Creek
    9. To fix, I placed a waypoint at the beginning of the road that will end on the GPS and changed the name of the waypoint to say "Turn right, continue till end of road" or something similar. I also placed a waypoint somewhere in the middle and at the end of the road to let me know I was still on track. That way, I hear the announcement in my headset and don't have to reference the map constantly
    10. Repeat all above steps for each of green and red. For the next time, I'll change the green color to a darker color since I had a hard time seeing the green track over the maroon route.

    Thanks Andy for posting this ride up!!

    [​IMG]
  3. BIZAV

    BIZAV Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Just finished our portion of the SM 500 so I thought I would pass on my thoughts to help the next. Our bikes consisted of panniered and bagged KTM 690 and a KLR. Riders- Intermediate skill level. Route direction- Clockwise originating in Macedonia, GA (halfway point for both riders coming from Atlanta and Asheville). We overnighted at Copper Inn in Ducktown and Ironhorse Lodge.

    The overriding comment about the route is - Awesome! I would recommend that you take seriously the highlighted areas previously pointed out as places that require more skill than the rest. Going in the opposite direction made these areas even more unique.

    -The two creeks between from Macedonia and Suches were a breeze. There is a patch of thick gravel (9in + ...20 ft long) between Suches and FS 28-1; so beware of that.
    -going DOWN the north side of Springer MT (FS28-2) was one of those high concentration areas. A lot of rock out croppings and mud craters made by the 4 wheel enthusiasts. It was a relief to get to the bottom with neither of us taking a fall on the rocks.
    - Heading North from there to Ducktown was nice- great road, great views!
    - Copper Inn in Ducktown sucks; do yourself a favor and if staying in Ducktown go across the street to the Country Inn- looks nicer and the food/gas options are on that side of the road anyway. Do yourself a bigger favor and stay in BlueRidge- awesome restaurants and bars.
    - Going the opposite direction across the creeks after Tellico (Southward direction)was a show stopper for us- we crossed the first with no issue but the second was a different story. When we got there there were 4 Jeeps attempting to get a cross. Someone took a bucket loader to the North bank to create a challenge for the 4 wheel crowd and ruined it for everyone else. There is a slim path to the water on the left but you cant get a rolling start through the water - you must carefully get in the creek then hope to continue through the heavy silt. Crossing South to North would be much easier since the bank is in its natural state and you could get a rolling start.
    - After bypassing the remaining creeks we connected back with the route and headed east. I neglected to take seriously the previous info regarding the aircraft crash and we had to turn back due to a road closure. We took the the Cherohola Skyway which was great so no complaints about getting to Ironhorse via this alternate route.
    - Ironhorse Lodge was very nice. You can choose your price point in accommodations and the only quirk is the food ordering process. If you think you want dessert go ahead and check that off at the start or you’ll need to go back to the check in desk to order, then carry the slip to the kitchen window. Again overall very nice, friendly staff and atmosphere.
    - Our last day was rained out with rain starting at 10p and lasting til 4:30a. We opted to call it a trip and parted ways back to Atlanta and Asheville.

    Summary-
    The route is more Big Bike tolerable vs. Big Bike friendly. Anything over a 650 and you would need to have more skills than a basic intermediate level if you wish to navigate the harder areas. All and all a great route and many thanks Andy for creating!
    mbabc, Kiharaikido and sick_boy like this.
  4. BIZAV

    BIZAV Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Some quick additional points:

    Navigation used- Primary was REVER with offline maps; Secondary was my InReach. I tried to make my InReach primary but I could not keep my phone from locking/blackening the screen after 2-3 min when bluetoothed using the Garmin Earthmate app. Im sure it was something I was not doing right but I gave up after the first day and just followed the REVER app. We did download the pdf maps and ordered the 4x6 prints. Both were useful for strategizing the next day/lunch discussions not so much while riding the route.

    Post Trip Wish list for my KTM:
    -Steering damper
    -Handle bar risers

    Otherwise both bikes did great. No flats; just need to troubleshoot my volt meter which started flickering after the first day....probably from getting jarred by the rocky sections.
  5. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,774
    Location:
    South Carolina
    You are using references for locations that I am having trouble correlating on the maps I have. I am guessing that the 2 creekcrossings you are referring to are on Helton Creek Rd, between waypoints 307 and 308. Also, FS28-2 seems to be Nimblewill Chruch Rd. I believe that the name changes to Old Bucktown Rd north of the turn to Amicalola State Park (waypooints 228 and 229). Old Bucktown Rd is pretty rocky. If you can clarify your comments about locations, preferably using waypoints, that would be helpful.

    I'm glad youse guys had a good time. I rode OCT 4-6, out of the Ironhorse. We were doing out and back rides, and I didn't go as far south as Suches. I did take a group across the Tallualah River and down Tower Rd. (315 to 318). The Tower Rd. hill used to be severely eroded and was a challenge for big bikes. The road was graded 2 or 3 years ago and was much easier after the work. Traffic and storms are making the hill a challenge again. All of my guys got down OK, but nobody wanted to go back. :).
  6. BIZAV

    BIZAV Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    You are correct Helton Creek were our first two creek crossings (Waypoint 307) out of Macedonia. FS28-2 on my Earthmate app map is called Nimblewill Gap Rd. (Waypoint - 229 heading West).
    andy29847 likes this.