Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to the most common questions about the Cherohala Challenge 


Registration FAQs

Registration is online with  Online registration closes at midnight EST on June 5, 2019.  The entry fees vary depending on your date of registration, so please register early for the best rate.

On-site registration – Friday, June 7, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm & Saturday, June 8, 5:45 am – 6:45am   Day-Of Event Feel is $100.  

We encourage everyone to register early to simplify your check-in process. You also need to print out a hard copy of the waiver from the registration page and bring it with you to facilitate check-in.

Hard copies will also be available the morning of the ride. Everyone MUST sign a waiver to participate.


What is the schedule?

Early Packet pick up-  Friday, June 7 to  5:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Tellico Plains High School.   We strongly encourage everyone that to take advantage of this opportunity.

Late Registration can be done Friday, June 7 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday, June 8 from 5:45 am to 6:45 am at Tellico Plains High School.  Late Registration and Day of Registration fee is $100 dollars.  

For more information about location, schedule and fees see the Registration page.

Saturday, June 8, 2019   

  • 5:45 am – 6:45 am Late packet pick up
  • 7:00 am  Cherohala Challenge start
  • 7:10 am Metric Century starts
  • 7:20 am Charles Hall Ride starts
  • 7:30 am  Valley Ride starts
  • 11:00 am – 5:30 pm – Post ride lunch served
  • 11:00 Finish line activities start
  • 6:00 PM Event closed for all activities.
  • 6:01 PM Event staff grab beers and discuss how the heck they got roped into this insanity.
Which waiver do I use?

The waiver you sign when you register on Active is required by Active…the Cherohala Challenge waiver is a separate written waiver and a requirement of our event insurance. See below for download.

You are encouraged to fill out the waiver online and print it out. Typing in your responses will ensure we can read your name and your emergency contact. After entering the information sign the document and bring the waiver with you to speed up registration.

You can find the latest Cherohala Waiver HERE 

our Routes and ride profiles


Each individual ride has the route, elevation, on its namesake page.  See the link above for the ride routes.


What is the elevation?

It’s a little tricky, because you get a different number depending on if you are using Ridewithgps, Garmin,  Mapmyride or some other program.

If you are riding the Century or the Metric Century you will climb to the highest point on both routes which is 5,380 feet.


Will my cell phone have service on the ride?

Due to the remoteness of the rides, your cellphone may not have service or very limited service during the ride. Some carriers will have better reception than others at times.

Another issue with your cellphone is the battery may not last the entire ride. Please be aware and bring a backup battery if you are concerned about battery life.

How many rest stops and what will they have?

All routes will have well-stocked aid/rest stops spread out at regular intervals along the courses with food, drinks and portable potties or restrooms.

The Century course will have 6 rest stops.

The Metric Century course will have 3 rest stops.

The Charles Hall Ride will have 1 rest stop.

The 35-mile course will have 1 rest stop.

Expect the following nutrition at the stops items: Fruit, liquid (water and Gatorade), peanut butter sandwiches, candy, energy bars and/or gels. Realise that selection may vary and quantities are limited, so things may change quickly. Please be sure to have your own emergency nutrition, just in case.

What if I have a bike/mechanical issue on the route?
If you have a bike issue, get off to the side of the route as soon as possible and avoid impeding other riders.

All riders should be familiar with and know basic safety and repair skills, including in particular fixing a flat tire. Be prepared and bring your own pump or CO2 cartridges and extra tubes for your bike.

Make  sure you are off the course before you proceed with any bike repairs.   If a SAG vehicle, is passing by, indicate to them that assistance is not required by extending one arm in the air with a “thumbs up”.  This will allow them to continue on to assist others on the route.

If you are unable to make the repair, you can dial the number printed on the wrist band for assistance. If you are not in an area with cellphone reception, you will have to wait until a SAG vehicle returns.

If necessary, a SAG vehicle will take you to a rest stop where additional mechanical support may be available, or to the finish line. The wait for assistance and/or a ride to the nearest rest stop can be long and by waiting, you run the risk of not being allowed to finish the event.

Our SAG vehicles will be riding the course continuously and will respond as quickly as possible.

What type of bike is permitted?

The preferred bike for the Century is a standard road bike.  We allow tandems and straight bar straight bar bikes as well.

You may ride a mountain bike, touring bike, hybrid bike, single speed (with 2 operating brakes), or a recumbent bike for any of the rides.

If you are riding a tandem, both riders must register as individuals for the event and must both riders must wear their wristband and their bib numbers.

Can I buy a jersey or bibshort at the event?

Sorry, but kits must be done as pre-orders during registration. We typically do, however have additional ride shirts available for purchase the day of the event.


Why we use Hincapie and Velocity style?

We are using Hincapie because they offer us the best quality and allow us to sell it to you at a reasonable price.  We are using their Velocity line because it is the best quality they offer for custom clothing.

Can I exchange my jersey or bibshort?

While we aim to please, we leave it up to you to make an informed decision on the size of your jersey and bibshort.   Hincapie has sizing information on their website. We unable to do exchanges. While we would like for everyone to be pleased with what they order, we have a no exchange policy.

Team Pricing FAQs

The Cherohala Challenge Rides are all considered individual events and non-competitive in nature, so we do not offer team or group registration discounts of any kind.

Simply to be fair, all riders are individuals and pay the same price based on the date they register for the ride.


Sponsor information

The Challenge could not be possible without the generous support of our many fine sponsors. For infomation on sponsorship opportunities, please email our Ride Director and we will be happy to discuss how you can benefit from the Challenge.

How do we spend your fees?

What do we do with the money from this event?  First we have to pay all of our expenses, which are substantial due to having to have a permit from the National Park Service.  We use as much volunteer help as possible to limit our costs.  If, at the end of the day, we have money left after paying all of our expenses, we invest it back into the event for the next year along with donating to various charities that can benefit from its use.

will my battery last?

Garmins and phones do work on the routes, but cell coverage can be very spotty. Also, your battery may die quickly on the Century Ride if you have it connect to everything.  If you are using a bike computer, you will want to turn off all the extra connections, such as bluetooth, cellphone, garmin connect etc.  Also, lower the display brightness if possible.  These tips should help extend your battery life, but having spare handy never hurts.

How much time do I have to complete the ride?
The amount of time you take is up to you.  However, the course closes at 5:30 pm for the Century Ride.  This allows you 10 hours to complete the Century Ride.

The pace you ride must be safe and within your capabilities at all times.

There will be a sweep vehicle on course trailing the ride.  The sweep vehicle can give you a ride.  If you are at the end of the time for the ride they will notify you that you can get a ride  or will be riding outside the event on your own without support.

If you train and prepare for the ride of your choice you will be able to complete any of the routes in the time allowed for that route.

What will the weather be like?

The weather can be very nice at the lower elevations, and very cool at the higher elevations.   As to predicting the weather, this is a rain or shine event.

Your best bet is to catch the latest weather broadcast the morning of the ride, but be prepared for anything, as the weather can change quickly on a long ride, and change several times during the ride.

Is it true ear buds are not allowed?
It is true ear buds or any listening device is not allowed while riding on the route. If you are discovered using any listening device, you will be asked to give them to a SAG driver to be returned when you finish the ride, or you will be immediately terminated from the ride.

This event is a very challenging ride. Safety is of the utmost importance.  Your safety and the safety of others.  Our insurance coverage prohibits the use of any listening devices.

Out of respect and courtesy to your fellow riders, you should understand the importance of safety for yourself and others on the route.   There have been too many accidents nationwide where a rider got into a “zone” of listening to their music and could not hear other riders calling out or warning them of dangers.

What if I need medical help?
If you or someone is experiencing a medical emergency, DIAL 911, report your exact location using your cue sheet as a guide or use other landmarks.  If cell phone service is not available, stop any passing motorist so they can alert the SAG vehicle or the next rest stop.

Dial the contact numbers found on your wristband and the Command Center will notify the appropriate personnel.

EMS personnel will be on the course and on call.  They will respond as quickly as possible

Please inform the SAG vehicle if you need help. Assistance will summon and someone will stay with you until help arrives.

Why is hydration important?

This topic should be obvious but many times we convince ourselves that we know more about our bodies or a ride then we really know.  The Century and Metric Century are challenging rides, and it is important that you take care of your body so you can complete your ride.

Due to the distance, changing temperatures due to changes in elevation and weather you may discover you have allowed yourself to get dehydrated.  This is easy to do as the temps are cooler early in the morning and you forget to drink enough fluids.   Make yourself drink fluids on this ride.

The best way to eliminate leg and muscle cramps and other issues related to dehydration are to fill up your water bottles with your choice of hydration drink in addition to water when you stop at the rest stops and use them as you ride.

While water is important in helping one stay hydrated it is important that you drink other fluids that will replenish the minerals your body will lose on the ride.  Our rest stops will have Gatorade available, but many riders prefer to bring their preferred hydration powder and mix it when they stop.


Will the SAG vehicles furnish me with a tire or tube?

It is your responsibility to bring any supplies that you may need, as this is a self-supported ride. Your bike should be tuned and have tires that are in good shape. We do not supply tubes, parts or tires to any of the riders, either in the staging area or on course.  You should bring your own pump and/or CO2 cartridges.  Our SAG drivers only purpose is to transport you safely to the next rest stop if needed.  You are responsible for doing any work needed on your bike.  Some of our SAG drivers may offer to help if they have the time, but the mechanical condition of your bike and the condition of your tires is the rider’s responsibility.

Clothing Options
This is not a clothing optional event, or bike naked event, so you should wear the appropriate clothing for bike riding.

All riders must wear:

  • You must wear your wristband that is supplied to you when you pick up your registration packet.  This is required for roadside assistance and for access to the post ride meal.
  • You must wear the bib number supplied you on the back of your jersey at all times when on the route.
  • You must wear an approved bicycle helmet with your chinstraps buckled at all times when you are riding your bike.