About Bikers' Dozen
Your Bikers' Dozen Personal Invitation
Consider this your invitation! Come enjoy our rare combination of mountains, curvy back roads, and two-lane highway cruising that the Chattanooga area offers to motorcycle riders! It is my goal to make you, the motorcycle enthusiast, feel at home in our little piece of heaven for those on two wheels. In an effort to simplify the Bikers' Dozen Loops the routes remain primarily on state and federal highways, using secondary roads only where the terrain and scenery justify. Certainly if you would like to customize the routes, based on your personal preferences, utilizing maps, suggestions from local riders, or just the desire to explore, that is an option up to you. Although each route is carefully described and mapped, riders should carry appropriate state road maps with the individual routes planned on them. Since states from time to time vary the designations of their highways, you may find discrepancies between the maps included in this package and the actual road signage.
The Bikers' Dozen is a "project in the making" and any feedback regarding route descriptions, accuracy, route path, or safety issues would be much appreciated by future participants and me. Though all Bikers' Dozen Loops promise to be enjoyable, some you will find to be more to your liking than others, based on your riding style, skills, and scenery preferences. In an effort to enhance the feel of the ride for first time riders I have included written loop descriptions that are written as if I were a tourist riding the loops for the first time. The town populations listed are based on the 2000 Census and restaurants referred to are based on information at this time. My recommendation is to visit as many interesting places as time permits in order to fully enjoy your excursions. As with any scenic excursion there will be parts of each loop that are neither scenic nor relaxing, but to get to the special places we many times must drive through areas that are similar to what we see each day. After experiencing several of the loops you may want to consider taking a day off for rest to check out some of the local sites or cycle-related businesses in Chattanooga. In addition, a periodic day of rest will recharge your batteries for the next series of loops you plan to experience.
At a time when we hear the word "safety" everywhere we go it's hard to stress its importance when there is a definite concern. I would like to strongly impress upon bikers that accept the invitation to participate in the Bikers' Dozen that safety is very important, especially if you are not familiar with the roads that host the Bikers' Dozen riders. Prior to riding each loop take the time to check out the warning symbols found at the beginning of each written ride description and make sure your bike is in safe condition for the ride. Expect to be given the "low five" quite often by fellow cycle riders you encounter on the road since the brotherhood of motorcycle riders is quite strong in our region. If you have the opportunity to stop for photo shoots along the routes please send me your pics so that they can be posted on the Bikers' Dozen web site along with your name. Submit pictures of yourself with your bike, your group, or interesting scenery along the way to the designated web site email address. Each year a "Best Photo" will be selected and the winner will win a free weekend in Chattanooga!
So settle back and relax as you re-live my experiences on each of the Bikers' Dozen loops through the written descriptions on this site. On the more laid back loops I selected my Honda Magna VFR 750 cruiser but on the mountainous loops I opted for my Aprilia Tuono RSV 1000R sport bike, which was made for the curves. So keep the rubber side down and enjoy the Bikers' Dozen. We look forward to seeing you!
The included ride descriptions were written as an aid for readers and potential Bikers' Dozen participants to visualize the riding experience. As with the included maps, all route descriptions and road designations should be verified by participants using state road maps prior to riding. The "US" designation with highway numbers designates federal highways and the "SR" designation always refers to state highways. On many occasions there may be multiple highway designations for particular sections of highways and on those occasions I have listed the designation I felt most prominent. When crossing state lines the US designation will remain the same while the state designations will normally change.
DeLorme Route and Topo Maps
The DeLorme Route and Topo Maps enclosed are based on information at the time the package was assembled. Each participant should use road maps and preferably a GPS unit.
Microsoft Streets and Trips Maps
An additional map tool included in the package is a set of maps and turn-by-turn text directions produced on the Microsoft Streets and Trips 2010 software.
The enclosed photos have been taken along each route. Any photos contributed by participants are appreciated and will be credited with name of the submitting photographer.
The GPS units are wonderful tools for back roads riding and I highly recommend their use. A must when purchasing your GPS unit is to select a model that has the capability of storing custom routes with custom via points. My GPS unit is the Garmin Nuvi 750 and I have been very pleased with its performance and features.
City of Chattanooga
The City of Chattanooga realizes that the participants will be absent from the Chattanooga area for the majority of time while enjoying the Bikers' Dozen but would like to encourage participants to enjoy the time they are able to experience in the community. It is their desire that the time spent in the city will leave a good impression that will encourage participants to come back with their families for visiting the various attractions and enjoying the many activities of the region. Chattanooga makes a great base for a variety of activities and adventure opportunities!
Motorcycle Friendly Motels
The motels in the Chattanooga area have committed to help your stay be one of enjoyment and one that brings good memories of your experience in Chattanooga. I recommend checking with your motel of choice to make sure they have no problem with space issues regarding the parking of motorcycle trailers on their lot.
Loop Description Caution Signs
At the heading of each loop description you will find a series of road signs intended to aid in your awareness of things you may expect to see on the loop. Enjoy your ride but always be aware of your surroundings, road conditions and - keep your eyes open at all times! Important word of warning: Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia all have helmet laws to help protect the safety of their riders.
|On all routes please use caution when riding.|
|Steep grades ahead, use care steering and braking.|
|Be aware of vehicles pulling in and out of Scenic Overlook areas.|
|Watch for other vehicles that may not have their headlights on.|
|Take care to stay in your lane and watch for others who don't.|
|Watch for opposing traffic here and keep your eyes on the road.|
|Wildlife or dogs in the road may be a concern. Scan the area constantly.|
|Route parallels a river or lake at places. Don't get distracted!|
|Route has switchbacks. Look over your shoulder to make the turns.|
|Watch for loose gravel in areas with gravel driveways and shoulders.|
|Take special care to stay on your side of the road in these areas.|
The Bikers' Dozen Loops
- The Tellico Loop
- The Cumberland Plateau Loop
- The Suches Loop
- The Dragon's Tail Loop
- The East Valley Road Loop
- The Three State - Three Mountain Loop
- The Monteagle Loop
- The Great Smoky Mountains Loop (Two day)
- The Little River Canyon Loop
- The Fall Creek Falls Loop
- The Sand Mountain Loop
- The Georgia Mountains Loop
- The Eddie's Choice Loop
How to use this package
When determining which loops you would like to experience I suggest first printing each loop's topo map (pdf form). Since I created the maps in 11x17 format you may need to save the file and print them where a large format printer is available. Once you have these maps in hand you are ready to read each loop's written ride description, following along on your printed map, searching for the routes that best match your preferences. You may also want to refer to the included photos when selecting your preferred loops. Unfortunately, some of the most scenic areas on the routes are places where photos cannot to be taken, due to lack of safe shoulder parking areas. In most instances the photos do not accurately represent the beauty of the rides; your eyes will do that the best.
Once you have selected your preferred routes, I suggest you go back through each of your selections utilizing the multiple detail maps, listed as they appear in the route. Bikers' Dozen participants should create their personal navigation tools via maps, written turn directions, or GPS units by using the maps and written directions enclosed in this package. I have included short turn-by-turn directions that may be used for tank top mounting, but I prefer you use what works best for you.
Restaurants on the road
It should be noted that any restaurants mentioned as possible meal stops are current as of the date the Loops were created and ridden. Some restaurants may no longer be in business or may be operating under new management with new names and different menus.
About the Chattanooga Motorcycle Community
Chattanooga is a biker friendly city, which hosts numerous annual biker events, rides, and national conventions. The variety of cycle types and the diversity of their riders make Chattanooga a special home to bikers.
|We welcome you...||to Chattanooga...||and we mean it!|
My special thanks to:
Ron Watson - For his valuable technical assistance with map preparation.
Steve Leach - For his assistance with personal contacts.
Lindsey Gutierrez - My daughter, for her assistance with proof reading and editing.
Dave Santucci - For his support and commitment to the motorcycle community on behalf of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Ben Mason - For his help with the photo shoots.
Mary Rahm - My wife and best friend, for proof reading and editing, but most of all for her encouragement and patience on a project that significantly cut into our family time.
The Lord - I like to think He had motorcyclists in mind when he planned His Creation.
About the Author
The Bikers' Dozen is a volunteer project created and administered by Eddie Rahm, a native of Chattanooga and a biker of the Chattanooga area for the past 35 years. The project was presented to the Chattanooga Convention and Visitor's Bureau by Eddie as a gift to bikers for their riding enjoyment and to promote the city of Chattanooga as an unmatched vacation host. He is a retired Tennessee Valley Authority Civil Engineer and currently is employed with Mesa Associates Incorporated Consultant Engineers. He is currently contributing writer for Bucket List Bikers and past writer for Road Rash Magazine and KickStand Up! Magazine. Eddie enjoys using his cruiser for the more relaxing rides with his wife Mary, but at other times utilizes his sport bike for the curvy back roads or organized Track Days.