Asheville to Kingsport - 100 miles with lots of climbing

I rode my usual route - Weaverville - Flat Creek - Beech Glen - Paint Gap - Jacks Creek - to the Toe River, then, instead of heading up river towards the Bicycle Inn, I headed down river towards 19w, the road over Spivey Gap. It is about 60 miles to TN going that way, mostly in valleys and along creeks or rivers. There isn't much climbing (1000 feet?) until you get to 19w and then there is about five miles of fairly gentle climbing over the gap.

Looking ahead near Paint Gap
The gap is behind that triangular hill

The weather was superb and the riding was very good indeed. I did see quite a bit of flood damage along Jacks Creek and along the Toe River. Both had sections were part of the road had been washed away and those sections had been filled in but not repaved. Once I headed up 19w, there was no more sign of the floods. There was a lot of nice color and very peaceful riding.

toe river

Some minor flood damage on the Toe River

Flood damage on Jacks Creek

Flood Damage on Jacks Creek

I stopped in Flat Creek to visit a friend and again when I got on 19 to rest and snack. The first meal opportunity was just outside Erwin TN, where I stopped, at 3:30 for a late lunch. Riding, up that point was very nice. The next half a dozen miles through Erwin and on to Unicoi TN weren't as nice because of hills and traffic. After Unicoi, things improved - fewer hills and less traffic, until I reached Johnson City. From there to Kingsport was hilly rush hour riding on Roan St, one of the main drags in Johnson City.

Climbing to Spivey Gap

Rush hour in Erwin

Roan St in the old part of Johnson City

Roan is a busy four lane expressway for several miles and then becomes a busy four, then two, lane road, Hwy 36, going to Kingsport. I did see one tourist on Hwy 36 in Johnson City. We smiled and waved despite the heavy traffic and poor to non-existent shoulders. Most of the drivers were very polite today, and much of the riding was on roads with very little traffic - I saw only two cars in the 45 minutes I spent climbing to Spivey Gap(!) - but there were two rude cars on 36. One blew his horn as he passed and a passenger in the other threw his arms out the window and yelled at me as it passed. No big deal.

I got to Kingsport about 15 minute before sundown and, after cleaning up, fell, exhausted, into bed at 8 PM. I was feverish for an hour or two, but then cooled down and slept well until 7:30 AM the next next morning.