One of the long-time favorite road rides in the Chattanooga area is the climb up Suck Creek Road. This is a great ride year-round. It's also the first climb on Chattanooga's annual 100-miler, known as the 3-State 3-Mountain Challenge, held every May.
What Makes It Great
The climb up Suck Creek is mild in comparison to some of the other options around town, but it's certainly tough enough--especially if you're not used to climbing in humidity (which Chattanooga has plenty of in the summer). This particular route is a 20 mile out and back with an elevation gain of roughly 1700 feet.
From the Bi-Lo grocery store on Signal Mountain Road, turn left and ride about ¼ mile to the base the mountain. Turn left onto Suck Creek Road, Hwy 27 towards Powells Crossroads. Once past the immense cement plant, you'll be alongside the river with excellent views of the slopes and sandstone bluffs high above. When you cross the bridge over Suck Creek, it's time to climb. The beauty of Suck Creek will provide a nice distraction from the pain. Stay with it, climbing steadily and surely, until you reach the picnic tables and monument at the top of the mountain--then enjoy the well-earned descent.
Who is Going to Love It
Pedaling Suck Creek is a rite of passage. It's best for experienced riders (not families) because you're on roads with frequent traffic.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Start at the Bi-Lo at 703 Signal Mountain Road. It's fine to leave your car here during the ride.