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Trans North Georgia Bike Adventure

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The Trans North Georgia (TNGA) is a 350 mile mountain bike route through the mountains of North Georgia on trails, forest roads and paved
roads featuring challenging terrain, beautiful scenery and over 56000 feet of climbing. The route utilizes the Pinhoti Trail, almost exclusively
from its Eastern Terminus to Simms Mountain.

Starting in 2004, it took nearly 4 years to come up with the route. One of the biggest challenges was figuring out how to get from Bear Creek
to Dalton. There were several options, but they all included long stretches of either pavement or gravel road. Fortunately, the sections of the Pinhoti
connecting Bear Creek to Ramhurst were also completed during that time, providing a direct, singletrack-heavy route through that region.

The TNGA route begins at the South Carolina border on Highway 28, in Rabun county, the northeast corner of Georgia.
For the first few hundred miles, it winds through Warwoman, along the Tallulah River, over Trey Mountain, over Hogpen, along Duncan
Ridge, over Stanley Gap, and up through Cashes Valley, mostly following forest service roads, jeep trails and pavement, but punctuated
with short, challenging sections of singletrack. At Dyer Gap, the route picks up the South Fork Trail, followed quickly by the Pinhoti.
It diverges a bit, sending riders down Bear Creek rather than Mountaintown, but otherwise follows the Pinhoti all the way to Simms
Mountain. From there, riders take about 4 miles of pavement to the Alabama border on Highway 20.

While very scenic, the route is also very difficult, featuring more climbing per mile than other routes of its kind. The
climbs are long, the descents are technical, offering little opportunity for recovery, and the elevation profile is misleading. A rider
might be tempted to think that the route eases up west of Dalton, only to get there and find themselves on the Snake Creek Gap Time Trial
course.

In 2008, David Muse led a series of group rides along the route, during which, he, Russell Sandidge and Travis Knight completed
all sections.  In May of 2010, Daivd Muse, Johnny Garner and Norma Rainwater completed a contiguous ride-through. With the help of Mulberry
Gap, MTBCast, Trackleaders.com and Rick Moon of NWGA SORBA, the Trans North Georgia Mountain Bike Adventure was held in September of 2010.
Eighteen riders from seven states challenged each other to complete the route. Twelve riders succeeded. All twelve broke the previous course
record. Eddie O'Dea finished first and holds the current course record. Hopefully the TNGA Mountain Bike Adventure will become an annual event
along the lines of the Colorado and Arizona Trail Races out west.

Information on the route, including maps and gps data is available at:

TNGA Route Information

Information about the TNGA Mountain Bike Adventure is available at:

TNGA Event Information

 

By David Muse

 

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 02:53