MULBERRY GAP BIKEPACKING WEEKEND (HELEN TO ELLIJAY)
April 19 @ 7:00 am - April 21 @ 3:00 pm$75
Back for the 3nd year (this time with SPRING and SUMMER dates!)
TNGA ROUTE SPECIAL SHUTTLES!
Have you dreamed of riding the TNGA route, but just don’t have the time to get away in August to commit to the whole thing?
Are you planning on riding in the event but would like to get some miles in on the route before the day of the Grand Depart?
Are you just stoked about taking a challenging multi-night bikepacking trip in the North Georgia mountains and would like to go with a group of other riders?
IF ANY OF THOSE SOUND LIKE YOU, THE TNGA SPECIAL SHUTTLES ARE RIGHT UP YOUR ALLEY!
TNGA SPECIAL SHUTTLE SEGMENT #2: HELEN TO MULBERRY GAP
Distance: This section consists of roughly 115.12 miles of riding.
Depart: The shuttle will depart on Friday April 19 at 8:30am. We suggest you stay the night before, but you are welcome to arrive the morning of the shuttle. We will drive to Helen near Unicoi State Park and you’ll be able to head off from there.
Pick-Up: This section has no shuttle pick up, as you’ll end the segment by arriving at Mulberry Gap!
Group: The group size is limited to 12 riders. A minimum of 8 riders is needed to schedule a TNGA Special Shuttle
Cost: The shuttle cost is $75 and includes both drop off and scheduled pick up. (Early pick up may be available for an extra cost of mileage plus driver time)
TNGA SPECIAL SHUTTLE FAQS:
What are the TNGA Special Shuttles? We’ve divided the ~360 miles of the TNGA into three sections and will be providing shuttles to get folks out onto the trail. This is NOT a guided ride, but rather a shuttle taking everyone to the same start location on Friday, and picking everyone up from the same ending location on Sunday. With a maximum of 12 riders on each shuttle, you’ll have a group of folks to plan with, bond with, and experience the ride with.
Is this during the TNGA Race? No. These three sections of the TNGA Route happen on three different weekends in the two months leading up to the TNGA event in August, not at the same time as the event itself?
When does the shuttle depart? Riders can arrive at Mulberry Gap to catch the shuttle on Friday morning, but you might choose to spend Thursday night so you can enjoy dinner, a relaxing evening/campfire, and gear shakedown with all your fellow riders before departing on Friday morning.
When does the pick-up shuttle come to get us? You’ll have most of Friday, all day Saturday, and most of Sunday to make it to the end of the segment in time for the Shuttle pick-up at 3pm on Sunday. This will give you 2 nights and 3 days out on route, and a great opportunity to test out your gear, gauge your weight, and get everything dialed in just right. Once you arrive back at Mulberry Gap on Sunday night you can hop in your car and head back out, OR you can make plans to stick around for a celebratory dinner, beers in the hot tub, and can even choose to crash for the night in a cabin or campsite if you’d like!
Is this a guided trip? NO. This is simply a shuttle service to the start and end of a section of the trail. You might choose to ride solo, or with other members of the group, but it is not a guided ride.
Do we all travel together? You don’t HAVE to travel as a group, either. Everyone can proceed at your own pace. Though you’ll receive the name and contact information of all the other folks on your shuttle (those who would like to be contacted) so you can reach out in advance to connect, plan, and prepare for the weekend.
Do I need to have a SPOT Tracker? Yes, every rider will be required to have a SPOT tracker, Garmin InReach, or other tracking or emergency contact system other than just a cell phone. Riders travelling together in a group may share a device, but you must remain together.
What happens if I don’t make it to the pick-up location in time? If you won’t make it to the designated pick up point, you’ll need to make arrangements with us to pick you up at a mutually agreeable location when we’re on our way to pick up the rest of the folks on Sunday. There be may additional fees for this depending on how far off our travel route you are.
What if I need an early pick up? Early pick-ups may be possible. There will be an extra fee (mileage + driver time) and they’ll generally need to be scheduled around our normal weekend schedule. Though an early pick up will likely be possible, there will likely be a significant wait for the shuttle to arrive to collect you.
What if I have an emergency on the trail? Just like during any other ride, you need to be prepared for emergencies. Know how to reach emergency services, know how to find your coordinates on your device, and be aware of your location. Plan ahead and prepare to minimize problems. You can certainly contact Mulberry Gap as part of your process, but we will not generally be in a position to help in a true emergency.
Am I physically ready for this type of bikepacking ride? The TNGA route is a DIFFICULT route. Even in these smaller segments, this is NOT a route for beginner riders. If you’re looking for an easier bikepacking route, just check in with our office and we’ll be happy to help you find something. If you can answer “yes” to these five questions, these special TNGA shuttles might be a good fit for you!
Have you ever successfully ridden 30-50 miles per day with a bike loaded with gear (at least 40lbs)
Have you ridden two or more days back to back in mountainous terrain? We’re talking like an elevation gain of a minimum of 100 feet of gain per mile (10 miles = 1,000ft of gain), and sometimes upwards of 200-250 feet of gain per mile (10 miles = 2,000 – 2,500ft of gain)
Have you ever ridden for more than 8 hours at a time in significant heat and humidity?
Have you ever camped overnight in the wilderness while backpacking or bikepacking?
Do you have experience with the outdoor skills needed for an overnight bikepacking trip including cooking for yourself, using your stove, carrying food, filtering water, setting up your sleep system, etc. This is a good opportunity to test out how your gear holds up, but NOT to use it for the very first time. 🙂
Do I have to sign up for all three shuttles? Nope! You can sign up for one, two, or all three.