Eleven, yep you read that right, of us headed out from the VM just after 08:00. It didn't take some in the group long to realize that they'd over dressed and we stopped for a shedding session. Actually predicting what to wear is somewhat a hit-and-miss, you know, like a weatherman.
A few miles North up Ooltewah-Georgetown we were "serenaded" by someone in their maroon PT Cruiser hell-bent to get to church (judging by their apparel) and not at all amused by eleven bicycles slowing them down. Hopefully the sermon was on patience!
After a quick jaunt designed to avoid TN Highway 60 traffic and a feed stop, we headed south on White Oak Valley and it was ON! A strong tailwind coupled with some (not all) strong legs had us rolling along at 25-30 mph.
The group fractured for several miles and regrouped at Harrison Pike and then it was "deja vu all over again". We got together again in McDonald and dialed it back for the rest of the ride into Collegedale.
This route heads north out of Collegedale/Ooltewah on the western flank of White Oak Mountain.
At Georgetown it heads east for a short distance and then south, staying west of Mt. Zion Ridge.
After crossing TN HWY 60 it follows White Oak Valley for several miles and ends up in McDonald, all the time staying east of White Oak Mountain.
Finally it skirts Grindstone Mountain before ending at the starting point.
Note: This is usually a fast loop.
Distance: 43.3, Climb: 2574, Time: 2:17:00, Average: 19.0
Temp: 52-62, Wind: NNE 17, Clouds: Scattered, Humidity: 56%