Sample Rides

Here’s a great sample ride. The above photo was taken on this ride by the author at a switchback on Walker Gap Road.

Ride Loop #2: Springville, Gallant, Oneonta, Remlap Ride

Approximately 78 miles
Riding time 3–4 hours
Start/End Point GPS Coordinates:
Springville, Gallant, Oneonta, Remlap Ride (Click this link to download the GPX file for this ride)

This scenic rural ride touches parts of St. Clair, Jefferson, Blount, and Etowah counties and features several switchback roads that traverse mountains northeast of the Birmingham metro area.

Beginning at Exit 156 on Interstate 59 in Springville, the first leg heads east toward Ashville on Highway 23, a quick-paced sweeping blacktop road.

About twelve miles into the ride comes the first tight, twisty as­cent up Walker Gap Road, which climbs from the Crawford Cove valley floor almost two miles to the crest of Straight Mountain at County Road 24. This section is very tight and steep in places, and the switchback turns were not smooth asphalt as of this writing, so caution is advised, particularly if you are riding a long wheel-based cruiser.

After a few miles along the brow of Straight Mountain, the route dives back into a valley on U.S. Highway 231 South before turning onto Gallant Road. About two miles down Gallant Road, you’ll pass the right-hand turn up Chandler Mountain to Horse Pens 40, a mountaintop cluster of rock formations that formed a natural “pen” where locals hid livestock from raiding parties during the Civil War.

Gallant Road meanders through a wide valley dotted with farms for the 8.4 miles between U.S. 231 and the turn for Tumlin Gap Road. This ascending road has some tight turns as well, but they are neither as narrow nor extreme as those along Walker Gap.

From its connection with Highway 132, the route follows an­other valley through the town of Altoona in Etowah County back to Oneonta in Blount County, where it joins Highway 75 to follow the valley back toward Pinson to the town of Remlap and the third switchback ascent at Pine Mountain Road.

After climbing atop Pine Mountain, the route makes its way back to Springville along the Jefferson-Blount county line, winding in and out of lakes and hills on scenic narrow lanes.

At Springville the route joins U.S. Highway 11/Main Street and takes you back to the start.

Along this route, Springville and Oneonta are the only two towns of significant size. Each has several offerings for dining, ranging from fast food to various sit-down restaurants. While there are few major towns on the route, fuel is available at numerous places along the way and shouldn’t be a worry.


6 Responses to Sample Rides

  1. Beth Motherwell says:

    I drove this sample ride one day over the Thanksgiving holiday and found it spectacular!
    With “leaf off,” the views from the ridgetops into the neighboring valleys were breath-taking. Who knew Alabama was so scenic?! In addition to Walker’s Gap, there are several switchback groups included in the route, all of which would be fun, fun, fun on two wheels. I found Horse Pens 40 and Camp Sumatanga, two places I’ve heard of but didn’t know location for. In Oneonta, I found a good “meat and three” at Charlie B’s Family Restaurant on Hwy 231 South. Great sample ride.

  2. David Haynes says:

    Bailey and I rode this route today with my buddy Joe and took some video clips of a few choice spots. The short videos here cover maybe 2-3 miles of the 78 total miles in this ride. Although the weather was a little chilly (low 50s) it was a beautiful day to ride. And the now that the leaves are off the trees the views from atop the mountains were breathtaking.

    Bailey in the sidecar… ready to roll:
    Bailey, ready to roll...

    Bailey and the bike at a stop along Walkers Gap Road:

    The following video clips are in the order they would appear in the mapped route. NOTE: you can also view these videos in 720p HD and full screen by making those selections at the lower right of each video box after starting the video.

  3. B. Dison says:

    I live in Washington Valley just north of Springville, I have ridden this whole route many times, and I never get tired of it. I love riding the mountains of North East Alabama.

    I recently had hip surgery, and these video’s make me want to get back in the saddle.

  4. David Haynes says:

    Thank you for your comments. I hope you’re able to ride again soon!

  5. Howard Jones says:

    David, Saw the article in the Montgomery Ad. on June 12. I’m an Ex-Biker (8 rice burners) who promised my wife to go to a convertible after my only accident in March 2004. We travel extensively in the US (will visit our last state, Michigan, later this month. I want to take advantage of your in state travels and will be getting your book. Hope to meet you at one of your signings.
    Howard Jones,
    Titus, AL

  6. Greg Cain says:

    Hi David,
    I sent you a message on face book then found this area of your web site. I am with the Spyder Ryders of America B’Ham Region. We are part of the SRA Tenn. Valley. One of our members found your book and now we are planning to use it to plan some of our rides. We would love to meet you and have you join us for a ride. We ride Can Am Spyders but we let all cycles in our rides. Please contact me so we can get together.
    (205) 937-0820

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