Ego. That’s what I’m blaming for my current misery. I spent the day biking the Rocky Fork Tract, a newly protected chunk of mountains in Eastern Tennessee that is ripe for mountain bike development. It’s 10,000 acres of pristine forest road trails, most of which climb, climb, and keep climbing up to 5,000-foot ridges. Only a handful of bikers ride Rocky Fork and all of them describe it the same way: First you climb, then you climb some more. So I said to myself, why not ride it on a singlespeed?

Damn ego. Let’s just say it takes a better man than me to ride Rocky Fork on a singlespeed. So, to the one dude I know of that can do it, kudos. To the rest of us mortals, bring gears if you want to ride these trails. And you will want to ride these trails. Imagine 50 or more miles of primitive logging roads waiting to be explored. As my guide for the day, Ben Appleby, likes to say, “It’s like Pisgah before anyone started biking it.”

That’s Rocky Fork in a nutshell.

Keep an eye out for the feature length story that details the grassroots effort to develop Rocky Fork into a world-class mountain bike destination in the September issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors. And remember, when you ride Rocky Fork, bring gears.

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