Friday afternoon Daniel and I decided to head over to check out the single track at the TVA Pump Station at Raccoon Mountain.
I believe that this facility is one of a kind. According to the TVA web site: The plant works like a large storage battery. During periods of low demand, water is pumped from Nickajack Reservoir at the base of the mountain to the reservoir built at the top. It takes 28 hours to fill the upper reservoir. When demand is high, water is released via a tunnel drilled through the center of the mountain to drive generators in the mountain’s underground power plant.
Thanks to Sorba Chattanooga, there are well maintained single track trails that circle the TVA reservoir including beginner, intermediate and advanced trails.
We had originally planned on a Friday morning ride, but Daniel was suffering from bug bites on his feet and opted to take a couple Benadryl and a mid morning nap. After lunch, we decided we wanted to try out the trails – at the very least see what the beginner trails were like.
About half way into the ride, we stopped for a breather and Daniel told me that he was feeling weird. He felt light headed, a bit dizzy and generally wobbly on his bike. I told him that he must still be experiencing the Benadryl in his system. If you have ever ridden a bike, you know that feeling wobbly is a problem since balance is a key component to staying on the bike. In addition, riding down narrow single track in the woods is a very bad place to feel wobbly.
We decided to cut our ride short and go back to our car on the road that goes around the rim.
We ended up riding about 5 miles. The first part was mostly downhill on a sandy, rocky trail. What goes down must come up, so the end of our ride was uphill on a pretty steep grade on paved road. Enough to show me that I need to get back in shape.
We will be back to check out some of the more technical parts of the Raccoon Mountain trail system. Preferably when we are both feeling well and not suffering from Benadryl-induced drowsiness.
View of Nickajack Lake from the Visitor’s Center at TVA.