Day Four: The Devil’s Triangle
Al had heard that the roads for The Devil’s Triangle (http://devilstriangletn.com/) weren’t so great and we had taken it off of our ride list. No sense in doing a route that the roads suck. But, after talking more, he heard that they redid them. And, while we were on our ride on Saturday, someone told us do definitely do the Devil’s Triangle and the roads are great – just watch out for the gravel right past the prison.
With Mike and Susan not getting to Knoxville until about noon, we head out to do this ride. Up 140, turns into 162, which turns into 62 in Oak Ridge over to Oliver Springs. And then we needed to get on 61, but missed that turn. My map didn’t make it clear that there was an extra turn. Then right onto XX to do the Devil’s Triangle (we’re doing it clockwise on this ride). Stopped at a gas station on the way (they sell t-shirts there and if you need gas, get it because it’s over 40 miles to the next gas station). Stop at the Brushy Mountain State Prison (it’s closed and the gates were closed so we didn’t really get to see much – they say that is where James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated Martin Luther King Jr., stayed. He escaped in 1977, but they got him back a couple of days later).
The Devil’s Triangle is a lot of fun. It has really interesting turns and “rolls” and switchbacks. A lot more elevation than Tail of the Dragon. It’s not as well marked with yellow signs as Tail, but pretty good. They tend to put one sign and then not follow up with others in a section. There also are very few guardrails. Like Al had heard, sometimes we’re riding through “Deliverance” home areas and farmland, with their Confederate flags flying. There isn’t a lot of traffic on the road, which is nice with all of the turns and twists.
Note: my camera memory was full, having been trying to video a lot of this. Why there are limited photos here.
On the map is a section titled “Triple Switchback.” Yep, that’s exactly what it is. And no guardrails. Probably not my favorite part of the ride, since they were also downhill (I like uphill more than downhill – probably because I’m not a big fan of heights). At the end of the Triple Switchbacks, there’s a store, Al’s Market. Unfortunately, it’s closed. This is the “haunted” section of the ride, according to my map. We stop at the store. A group of bikers stop afterwards and we chat with them. Jealous because when they pulled up to the prison, someone came and unlocked the gate and let them in. They say it’s going to be turned into a tourist attraction with a bar and restaurant. That’d be cool.
The Devil's Triangle ride is complete. We find that Mike and Susan are at the house and we could meet them somewhere for lunch and do a little more riding. We decide on Golden Girls (wow, they don’t have a website), a southern cuisine place. Chicken fried steak all around, except for me (chicken tenders).
After Mike and Susan catch up and eat, we decide to check out Norris Dam in Lake City, Tennessee. Pretty nice ride, again, nice roads. And, we were able to cross over the dam. We then circle back and to the part of the Devil's Triangle that would have completed the circle (but technically not part of the dam). This part of the ride was definitely pretty simple, but nice.
Back to the house to get ready for our ride on Monday for Labor Day.