For the past fews, the Scenic City has been making a big name for itself within the cycling community. And it hasn’t been just passionate locals shouting to the rafters. On the contrary, USA Cycling recently recognized Chattanooga as the cycling-friendly destination that it is by holding two Professional Road Championships in the city. IRONMAN has also chosen Chattanooga as one of its host cities for both the 140.6 and 70.3 mile distances. And the annual 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge held in Chattanooga has been the Southeast’s premier century ride for over 25 years.
The rolling rural landscapes and surrounding valleys—not to mention the challenging mountain climbs—ensure that Scenic City roadies of all ability levels can find a great place to go for a ride.
For beginners, it doesn’t get any easier or more accessible than the Chattanooga Riverwalk. From downtown to the Chickamauga Dam and back is a very manageable 16-mile round trip on a pedestrian-friendly pathway with nice riverside views.
For intermediates, the smooth asphalt roads of Moccasin Bend can’t be beat, as they are flat, lightly trafficked, and can be enjoyed in a variety of distances. Plus, there’s something about those roads that make it seem as if the wheels are rolling a little faster than usual.
For advanced riders, the options are seemingly limitless. Whether it’s the long-time favorite Suck Creek Road ride, the infamous climb up Raccoon Mountain, or the diverse Mountain Cove Loop that mixes rolling valley roads with steep climbs and descendants of Lookout Mountain, there’s plenty to choose from.