Smoky Mountain Bike Festival offers Harleys, Hot Wings and a Heck of a Lot of Fun

Travel & Leisure

  • Author Jim Watson
  • Published April 28, 2011
  • Word count 463

By Jim Watson

White water rafting, horseback riding, manicured golf courses, 600 miles of hiking trails, pristine streams plentifully packed with fish, an awe-inspiring historic national park and a museum filled with a rich mixture of oddities and wonders.

You’re thinking, "This definitely sounds like a part of Europe." And while you may be correct, you won't need expensive plane tickets, customs queues and dodgy airplane food to enjoy the activities listed above.

Welcome to the southern comfort of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Known for its glamorous country music scene, home-style cooking, amiable hospitality and the legendary Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is about to add another credit to its tourism lineup especially for die-hard motorcyclists.

On April 29, 2011, the inaugural Smoky Mountain Bike Fest will kick off, with a roaring start, in the heart of Gatlinburg. Over the course of three days, your senses will shift into overdrive, as you experience a potent concoction, of thunderous engines, brilliant paint jobs, chicken wings, cotton candy, live music, dancing, a fashion show, a vintage motorcycle exhibit, a contemporary bike show and so much more. If you’ve ever craved the open road, watched "Easy Rider" multiple times or wanted to legally change your name to Harley-Davidson, this event should not be missed.

The Smoky Mountain Bike Festival is the brainchild of local resident Glen Almany. An avid biker, Mr. Almany has taken part in four rallies over the past two years. After receiving passionate encouragement from local shops and other businesses, Mr. Almany decided to cultivate his dream project. Two years later, that dream is about to go full throttle.

The festival promises to attract a horde of impassioned motorcyclists, curious enthusiasts, a multitude of vendors and prominent media outlets from across the United States. This is your chance to sample a slice of historic Americana and make a memorable addition to your scrapbook. If you’re still not convinced, consider these added fringe benefits: free parking, walking-distance convenience to local shops and restaurants, and the proverbial cherry on top; easy access to the Smoky Mountain National Park and the prestigious English Mountain Dragstrip.

"I’m sold," you say. "One last question; what about Gatlinburg’s noted restaurant scene?" Lest you forget, you’re in a town prided for its first class culinary hotspots. Care of such famous establishments as The Peddler Steakhouse, Hard Rock Café and Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant, you can satisfy your culinary palette, with everything from succulent porterhouses and prime ribs, to five-star burgers (packed with trimmings) and fries to ribs so tender you could cut them with your napkin.

This spring, April showers will bring May flowers and Gatlinburg, Tennessee will bring a cavalcade of two-handled hogs, heavenly food and drink, and enough entertainment to give Las Vegas a run for its poker chips.

Jim Watson is Owner of Timbercreek Cabins offering lodging near Pigeon Forge. Cabin rentals are now available. Visit []( today for a complete listing of cabin rentals. © 2011, All Rights Reserved

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