Five riders braved the chilly 37 degree air and rolled out of the VM parking lot shortly after 08:00. A moderate pace was broken only be a couple of stops to troubleshoot skipping chains and answer the call of nature.
We were all happy to emerge from the shadows and warm up a bit after the cold start. We really got warmed up on a short loop up Lead Mine Valley Ridge: thanks to one sandbagger (who shall remain nameless) in the group. Short and steep, 27% grade according to one rider's Garmin Edge 305.
The climb on Bell over Blue Springs Ridge, is an attention getter, but looks worse that it is. Especially after the previous climb. The pace picked up as we headed south before slowing as we turned onto Apison Pike toward Collegedale.
Heads east on Tallant to Old Alabama. Turn left and north on Old Alabama staying west of Pine Hill Ridge. Turn right on Parks which turns into Candies Creek just after crossing Pine Hill Ridge. Candies Creek intersects Tunnel Hill and continues north in Black Fox Valley. A right turn on Powell and then Blue Springs Church tees into Blue Springs Road.
A very gradual upgrade on Blue Springs delivers you to the foot of Lead Mine Ridge at Eleanor Road. Downshift and climb to the water tower and then decend, turning right on Bryant for the final decent back to Blue Springs. Double back on Blue Springs and turn left on Bell for the climb over Blue Springs Ridge.
Hang a right on TN60 ride this flat, and sometimes busy road, and turn left on Red Hill Valley. This section rolls through beautiful farmland and after several miles makes a left turn on Poteet. Poteet tees into Johnson where you make a right. Watch for the dogs on the right just before the intersection.
Johnson returns you to TN60 for a quick left and then right on Weatherly Switch. Climb over Lebanon Valley Ridge and turn left on Wesleyan then then right on Apison Pike for the final stretch in to Collegedale.
Distance: 26.7, Climb: 1802, Time: 1:32:25, Average: 17.5
Temp: 37-51, Wind: SW 3.5, Clouds: Clear, Humidity: 86-56%