Devil’s Fork Metric Century
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Start time: 8:00 AM
This is a tough course; we encourage inexperienced distance riders or mountain riders to ride the Big Laurel Grind their first year.
The 100 kilometer course begins on Highway 213 and turns onto Gabriel’s Creek Road. The next 10 miles is a series of warm-up hills through the rolling country of southern Madison County. At Walnut Creek Road, the course splits from the 100 mile century and moves directly towards the mountains that will be the challenge for the rest of the course.
The Walnut Creek Mountain section of the ride starts at a moderate grade but turns steeper for a long climb to the first rest stop. At the peak, look to the right for a spectacular view of the Big Laurel Valley. Push off and a long descent leads to a sharp left turn onto Big Laurel Road by the Big Laurel Church.
While in the Big Laurel community you pass through Revere and Spill Corn communities and rejoin the 100 mile Century. In historic Shelton Laurel, after the rest stop at the fire department, the course climbs to the top of Devil’s Fork, including an 1/8-mile section reaching 15% grade. At the top is the Appalachian Trail and a rest stop!
Descending into Tennessee, there are more great views. Once in Flag Pond you will be faced with a challenging five-mile climb up Sam’s Gap to the final rest stop. A screaming descent back into North Carolina awaits, with one last climb up Murray Mountain and another screaming descent to the finish line in Mars Hill. Once back, enjoy an ice-cold towel, a post-ride meal, and hot showers.