For the Oktoberfest Chattanooga Challenge we're closing down Ochs Highway so you can have the rare opportunity to ride up Lookout Mountain's scenic front side without having to worry about traffic. We'll have the road to ourselves! This beautiful tree-lined climb starts off with steep grades but eases up the higher you go, allowing you to enjoy panoramic views of Chattanooga Valley as well as a postcard-perfect shot of Rock City's Lover's Leap waterfall!
After the climb, you'll cross to the other side of Lookout Mountain where you'll be treated to even more stunning views - our Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding rest stop is unbelievable!
From there, you'll have the option of descending down the west side of Lookout Mountain to Lookout Valley for a gorgeous ride back to Chattanooga (the 50-mile route), or descending down the east side of the mountain to McLemore Cove and riding in one of the most picturesque valleys in the South (the 100-mile route). The full century also has the added joy of climbing back up Lookout Mountain via Dougherty Gap, a wooded climb with switchbacks and a killer finish!
Whichever route you choose, the ride ends with a relaxing finale as you cool down along Chattanooga's Riverwalk bike path before celebrating your accomplishments in the biergarten at Oktoberfest!
Keep in mind that this is a ride, not a race. There are no timing chips with this event, and stopping to take in the incredible scenery along the way is highly encouraged!
Click on the links below for a detailed map of each route. And be sure to check out the "About" section of our Facebook page for a more in-depth description of the route!
Bring your cell phone on the ride! We will provide you with a phone number to call if you need assistance, and we will do our best to support you during the ride with well-stocked rest stops and roving SAG vehicles. However, we can’t be everywhere at once. You should still come prepared with the tools you need to fix a flat or do your own minor repairs, just as you would on any long distance ride.
RULES OF THE ROAD
- With the exception of the initial 3-mile climb up Lookout Mountain, the roads will be open to traffic during this ride. Be aware of vehicles at all times.
- You must wear a helmet to participate in this ride. No exceptions.
- Absolutely no ear buds, as awareness of your surroundings at all times is crucial to your safety as well as the safety of those around you.
- Unless otherwise directed by a police officer, you must obey all traffic laws, which means stopping at all stop signs and traffic lights.
- Ride no more than two abreast. Seriously.
- Be considerate to vehicles trying to pass.
- Ride on the shoulder or in a bike lane whenever possible.
- If you need to stop, please get completely off the road.
- When crossing train tracks, try to have your wheels perpendicular to the tracks and don't turn your handlebar when riding across. Hold your line until you're on the other side. Never ride parallel with the tracks when crossing, as bike tires are easily caught in the gaps next to the rails.
- Control your speed on fast descents by feathering your brakes, and always brake before entering sharp turns (as opposed to a sudden hard squeeze in the middle of a turn).
- Communicate with other cyclists when riding. When turning, signal with your hand and tell everyone which direction you're turning. Announce when you're slowing down or coming to a stop. Call out hazards in the road.
- Be predictable. Ride in a straight line without zig-zagging, and ride at a consistent speed without sudden accelerations or decreases in speed.
- Please ride slowly on the Riverwalk bike path at the end of the ride and yield to pedestrians. That part of the ride is intended to be a relaxing cool-down not a sprint finish!
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