On October 7, 2017, Jeannie & Stuart Coulter (pictured) rode in the Next Steps Century they liked a lot and thought perhaps club members would like to attend next year. Please enjoy their report:
We attended the Next Steps Century ride in Dunlap, TN. This event used to be run by the Chattanooga Bike Club but is now organized by the Next Step Resources Center, a teen pregnancy crisis center (as a fund raiser). This is their third year. We were returning to our old stomping grounds since we used to live in Jasper. The ride was well run and they had many volunteers. They had SAG vehicles that roamed the course and one that spent a lot of time behind us. I wonder why? The start and all of the rest stops were at churches with good bathrooms. The food was plentiful at the first stop, but meager at the second.
We rode the 62 mile route; 100, 30 and 15 mile routes were also available, plus another option to climb the plateau. They started us off on the steep hills right off the bat, on a narrow lane right up against the mountain. I thought the course would be flat, like the highway up the center is, but the roads on the east and west sides are tough. We went south, then south on the highway, then crossed the valley eastward, then did an out and back to Pikeville. It is very pretty cruising through the valley.
After the ride we were treated to a barbecue lunch. We got a nice shirt and bag with goodies. They are considering a route that goes through Fall Creek Falls next year. It takes one and a half hours to drive from Tullahoma, but Dunlap is in our time zone, so you don’t have to deal with the change to eastern time. On the other hand, they start early at 7 am.
Stuart highly recommends this ride… Thanks for sharing!