I spent a couple of hours riding the loop in Cades Cover today. Did three laps while stopping to take many photo's. Rode with a backpack with the camera body and a few lenses and some shoes to go off road if needed. I never really tracked the elevation gain for that 11 mile loop (have probably ridden it 20 times) but it's almost 800' per lap. Much more than I thought. Rode pretty easy most of the way but on lap two while taking a photo some guy in real cycling gear blew by me so I had to chase. Caught him and passed him definitively on one of the hills and even with my backpack and steel frame he never got close again. Ended up with 188 miles and 18,000' of climbing in about 2.5 days of riding and about 7 miles of hiking. Plenty of pictures on my facebook page which is open to the public. Had some great dinners at The Cherokee Grill with their crab bisque every night. Fantastic! Will be resting the next two days at least.