Riding This Week


Chainbuster MTB Racing Series - Georgia's friendliest MTB racing. 6 & 9 Hour Endurance racing for solo or teams.

Dirty Spokes - Duathlon and Trail running series. Love these guys. First class events.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Recon Riding and a Stealth Mission

Whenever possible I like to pre-ride the course before a mountain bike race. There are plenty of reasons for it besides the obvious one... it's another excuse to ride my bike. On top of that you learn where the tricky parts of the trail are. You see how fast you can take a turn. You figure out which gear to be in for the climbs. And a recon ride keeps you from taking a wrong turn. Things happen especially fast on the first lap so if nothing else I try and ride the first 2 miles of the course before hand.

On a trip with Dustin Mealor and Chad Edwards down to Columbus for a State Championship XC Race we went and rode the course the evening before the race. We stopped at one particular section of granite that required a choice. The choice being 1. go straight over the rock 2. go to the right of the rock or 3. go left. After 15 minutes of trial and error we chose straight at the rock. It and many other decisions proved to be extremely helpful during the race. Having more oxygen would have been even more helpful.

So this coming Saturday is the Tumbling Creek 6 Hr. Mountain Bike Race to benefit S.O.R.B.A. (Southern Off Road Biking Association). I went to the trail after my daughter Ellie's flag football game to do a little recon. Turns out I wasn't the only one with that idea. When I got there my friends Dustin, Stephen, Matt, and Chad Edwards were strategizing with other riders. Actually they were guessing. Guessing where the course might go. Guessing how long a lap might take. We were pretty sure that SORBA was going to reverse last years loop and so we rode for about three hours in that direction. Dustin and I would push hard at race pace so we could see how to take certain corners and what kind of momentum you could use to get over hills. When we did stop we could always tell how far ahead of the others we were because we could hear Stephen Dean running his mouth. Many a conversation has taken place on the subject of how Stephen manages to keep up even though words never stop coming out of his mouth. He's truly amazing.

Hayes and Pattillo Pirates! STB
After a whole bunch of riding and talking I headed back home to change. In another life I'm actually Captain Jack Sparrow. The rest of my family are wenches, which I'm told is very inappropriate to say, accept for Thomas who became affectionately known as Captain Crunch. (He didn't like it...at all) The costume party was super cool. Bobbing for apples, college football, hotdogs, chips & dip, cup cakes. Certainly not "recovery" food but I have plenty of time for my body to get over it. Great time! Special thanks to "Mr. Jay" aka Kahmunrah for having us over.

Sunday after church I had a special request for a family biking day. So I loaded up the truck and we hit the trails. The weather was perfect and the kids were too. We spent a few hours in the woods and on the cool ropes course at Gainesville State College. Lisa (wife) and Jessica battled to the death on one of the wires. I won't say who won because I'm ashamed. It was fun to watch though.
I'm kidding about being ashamed, I'm just poking fun at my super competitive wife who was not happy when she lost her balance and kissed the mulch. I love her so.

Then I had a brain storm. I came up with a Super Secret Stealth Mission for my oldest daughter Molly and Thomas Pattillo to go on with me. I didn't tell them all the details. All they knew was that our mission would take place after sun down. OOOOH!
Around 6:30pm I loaded up their bikes and we headed back to the College. I put a light on Thomas's helmet and a light on Molly's handle bar. By the time we rode into the trail is was pitch black! Thomas was so excited he could not quit talking. "This is so cool!" I wish I had a dollar for every time he said that. Molly however was a bit apprehensive. She's a "C" personality like her Daddy. She needs to know every detail. I don't have time to type all the questions she had for me during our mission.
We made our way around the trail and as we rode up a long climb I noticed Thomas had stopped near the top. He was still talking about something but I had quit listening earlier when it became apparent that what he was saying was for his benefit only. Since his light was on his helmet it shown where he looked and when Molly and I got up to him I realized he was looking at deer. They were all around us! At this point I had still been trying to convince Molly that we were having fun and I didn't want to mess that up with thoughts of a deer ambush so I said "Keep going, we're scaring the poor things!"
We rode our way on out and as is always the case with a first time event it was great fun...now that we're done. As I put the bikes back on the truck Molly and Thomas were sky high about the "mission". They had to call the Mom's. They had to make a movie. So...here's the proof of our Stealth Mission!

Stephen Sisk participated in a great event this weekend called Spin for Kids. I'm so sorry to have missed this great time. You will be too after you read his recap.

I started out late Saturday evening along with Peter Kite for the annual Spin for Kids ride in Rutledge, Ga. to raise money for Camp Twin Lakes. This is a fantastic event that helps Camp Twin Lakes provide a network of camps providing life-changing camp experiences to thousands of Georgia's children with serious illnesses, disabilities and other challenges each year. This was slated to be the biggest turnout with over 950 riders. Peter and I got up early for check in. The century route started at 8:00am. I was getting ready for a cold morning ride while Peter enjoyed the breakfast buffet since his ride started at 10:00am. Once I got all my cold weather gear on I was ready for the start. It was a great field of several hundred riders including several local Teams. I slowly made my way towards the front of the pack since there was a lot of slowing and stopping in the back. I jumped on the back of a large group that included the Litespeed Team. They were setting a very good comfortable pace so I decided to hang on for a while. We made our way through several small towns and a lot of farm land. After Rutledge we made our way to Madison. This is a gorgeous historic town with lots of big homes and estates’, I was truly amazed at all the architectural details. The volunteers at the SAG’s surprised everyone with breakfast pizza and many other non-typical SAG foods. I really enjoyed the pumpkin cookies!. Once back on the road I broke off to jump up to another group. I met one rider named "Ale". He and I seemed to set such a good pace that we eventually ended up by ourselves. It was a good chance to fellowship and hang out. We picked up several riders along the route and ended with a great group. What a wonderful day, great route and wonderful fellowship. At the finish I was starting to smell the food from Taco Mac so I met up with Peter who finished his ride and we enjoyed a great meal. Once we ate and hung out we headed for the finish line to see everyone coming in from all the other rides. The highlight of the day for me was a chance to see a father and son on a three wheeled tandem finish their 47 mile route. As they came through the finish line the crowd erupted with excitement to see the son who had cerebral palsy pedaling as hard as he could with his dad. The son was giving high fives and smiling as big as he could. You could see the joy in his dad's face. That was truly what the day was about, in the end giving these children a chance to have a life changing experience. It was a humbling experience for me to see. I'm truly thankful for the ability to ride and to do it for a great cause.
Best Regards,
Stephen Sisk

I won't miss that one next year. That's what I love about riding!

Well...that's all for this installment of Chad's News! I hope you all have fun this coming weekend and enjoy the life God has given you!

Be more concerned about your CHARACTER than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your REPUTATION is merely what others think you are.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011 Lt. Governor's Century for FCA

Well, the preparations I detailed in my earlier posting "How to plan a Century Ride" were put to the test this weekend and I'm proud of the results. They say in show business that you can make mistakes as long as the audience doesn't have the script. As I look back on the event I'm grateful that our riders were kept safe, had fun, and liked the route. Nearly 100 riders traversed the course and more than a few of them put down some impressive times on a really tough route. Before I get into the details of the day I want to thank all the volunteers from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Lt. Governor's Office, Hall County Sheriff's Office, and Chestnut Mountain Church! You guys did awesome! I'd like to especially thank Roy Neill, Lisa Hayes, Jessica Pattillo, Jason Lester, and Tim Tipton for their help. You guys made me look so good!

Only follow FCA!
My wife Lisa and I got up at 5:30am to start our long day. I headed on over to the church to set up registration and check on things. By the way, you punks who stole our Event Parking signs are going to hell if you don't return them to the Church.

OK. Let's move on. We set everything up and cyclists started filing in. I was happy to see all my drivers/picture takers/mechanics/cheerleaders show up ready to serve. That would be Pete w/ Outback Bikes, Lance Carpenter & Gary McCarthy, and Phil Loveless. Thanks guys!!

I ran my mouth for an hour at the riders as they registered and got prepared. When the time came for announcements I let Lt. Gov Casey Cagle say a few words. Then Atlanta Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff spoke and guaranteed a win on Sunday. OK. Not really, but he was great. I could tell he really is a cycling enthusiast because he rode a Colnago. He and Casey rode together and seemed to have a great time.

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff
Registration and Lisa my wife, she so pretty!

The riders were led out by two officers from Hall County who went above and beyond to see the cyclists got way out on course before they went about their duties. I knew it would start out cold so I had the SAG's ready to put warmers in bags and taken to the finish for the riders. Turned out to be a great idea but I must admit that I stole it from Joe Elam and his LAP Century folks. The route was tough. That's what everybody said. And I knew it would be. But the benefit was no traffic and not a ton of turns. Just rolling country roads. The riders who completed the Century had one mean ride. I was the driver backing them up and I had a great time. I met some really cool folks who were just trying to survive. One nice lady was having a bad day and finally succumbed to her oxygen debt and called it quits. Her husband was instrumental in that decision. She ended up having a great time helping me support the group her hubby was with. I have to tell you about another lady who actually put in 115 miles. She took a wrong turn in Talmo, doubled back, and then took another wrong turn and had to turn around. When I got the call about her I was fixing to pack up the Gillsville SAG thinking the last rider had gone through. I drove back down the course and offered to bring her up to the group that was at that time 20 mins ahead of her. She said, "No thank you, I'll catch up!" Oh...Kay?! I did some quick math based on how fast I thought she might be and started calling base camp to let them know it might be after 4pm before we were back. Boy, was I wrong about her. By the time she reached the SAG in Homer she was within 10 minutes of the last group. She caught them at the Plainview SAG and then proceeded to drop them and ended up finishing 10 minutes ahead of the final group at 3:00pm.  Lesson = never judge a riders ability by their bike or how they look.

Riders assemble.
SAG# 1 in Talmo, GA

The FCA folks were great and kept the riders well fed all day. I think next year I'll make them compete to see who's got the most fun SAG. Now let's get into some rider pictures so those of you who missed this ride can cry and lament your decisions.

These guys were fun!

I love tandems!
And they're off!
Casey and Thomas enjoy the scenery.
There were many groups from different area's. Baxter's, Adventure Cycles, Habersham Bicycles, Northstar Bicycles, ISI Cycling, Bike Town, FTTE, and others. Everyone was breathing hard but having fun.

Life is easy when your security team can pick you up and place you near the front! I'm told that Thomas is in great shape and could have dished out some pain. Guess we'll never know.

Ready to ride!
75 Degrees is the best!

These guys were all about having some fun. What a variety of great riders we had!


Now it's time to share a story from one of my good friends, Star Bridges. Star completed the 100 mile course and enjoyed several chicken sandwiches it seems. Here's his story from a riders perspective:


Star leads into Pendergrass, GA
1st, you did a heckuva job! That was one of the best charity rides I've ever experienced. The route was well marked and we never missed a turn. That is saying something considering how fast we were going.
The freaking Chick-fil-A at the finish was an AWESOME idea!   I woofed down 3 sandwiches and 2 cokes.  That truly was the best post-century meal EVER!

Okay.  Now for the recap:
A large group of 50+ formed 5 miles out of the church.  Speed was 20-25 and moving.  At 20 miles in I made a bad error and stopped for a nature break.  This got me and another guy 8 miles of hard chasing, due to the lead group STILL hammering along without letting up.  Mile 30ish saw the 100k riders split off, and it seemed the majority went that way.  Most of the fast guys did too, except one guy on a TT bike that now saw an opportunity to truly use his bike to it's fullest potential.  He kept our speed at about 25 mph.
In Gillsville we stopped for the Sag and shed clothing.  David Sabat drove up and jumped out trying to get on after running a 5K in Toccoa.  He almost made it, but his rear tire blew right when the group started off again.  I helped him get the tube changed and we set off chasing with about 3 minutes to make up.  We held a 20-22 pace for the next 20 miles.  We got within sight of the lead group on the straightaway in Lula, but never could get any closer.  We continually caught riders who got dropped from the lead group.  When we pulled into the Sag at Homer, there were about 10 guys about to start out and we quickly refilled bottles and headed out with them.  Chad Edwards complained that the TT Bike guy kept them hammering the whole way since Gillsville.  No wonder we couldn't catch them!  I was told the TT bike guy, Stephen Dean, and Trace Nabors had moved on 3 minutes before we got to Homer.  The guys we found ourselves with now had no intention of trying to follow that Trigeek all the way back to the church.  He must of hurt them.  Main guy in this group was Sean Philyaw.  He's on a new bike (Wilier) and kept us moving along well.  As you can guess, I'm about toast now and we still have 45 miles to get back to the church.
Guys fell off along the way as I hoped our pace would somehow catch the 3 leaders.  No such luck.  We saw them at the Sag at the Plainview SAG but we all needed water and a breather and didn't jump in with them.  The Trigeek looked fresh but Stephen and Trace looked worn.  David Sabat had another flat at about mile 80 and told us to go on, that he was calling you for a rescue.  This put us down to just 4 remaining.  Sean, Me, a guy named David that Sean knew and this OLD GUY!  Old Guy started freaking attacking on hills in the last 10 miles too!  He must have been at least 60.  Anyway, Stephen Dean bonked on Hwy 60 and as we came up to him his rear tire BLEW UP.  Like, gunshot blew.  He pulled off and said he'd wait for a Sag pickup because he was completely trashed.  The rest of us continued but we never found Trace or the TT guy.  You gotta give props to Trace for finishing in the lead.  That was a really good ride by him.

Great time today, Chad.  Thank you for doing so much to make is such a wonderful experience.  I'm completely blown and will only wash the bike tomorrow.  Take care.

Star Bridges

Other texts I got:

Great Job! - Mike Mahalic
Great job my friend!!! Everybody had a great time and loved the course!! Thank you very much!! - Casey Cagle
Fantastic ride, Mr. Organizer! BIG THANKS for a very fun, well-supported ride! You guys did AWESOME! - David Shabat
Great job with the ride! Lots of fun! Thanks! - Trace Nabors
Awesome first year event! Congrats! Get some rest. - Joe Elam
Very nice event! I could see it grow to be one of the bigger rides pretty quickly. - Bob Riordan

I'm satisfied. Like all big events in life you look back on them one or two days later and have even more appreciation for the experience. In Church the next day the pastor gave a great message about the Necessity of Revival. All during his teaching I thought about the needs in this country. A lot of things we think are "needs" are actually "wants". I want a better house or I want a better spouse. What we need is discipline. We're spoiled. And the "millennial's" scare me. They've grown up in the "self esteem" culture that's taught them that there should be no winners and losers. We should all get an award. Greatness is shameful. Having a messed up life is normal. Well it isn't! Hard work is normal. Commitment is normal. Integrity is normal. You don't just strive for average do you? Perfection is being married forever. Perfection is raising a child who honors his Mom and Dad. Perfection is what we should all be striving for.

In bike racing you have to suffer at times to get your opportunity at victory. And your victory may simply be in finishing. But why would you even enter the race if you're not committed to finishing well?

The answer for America is for men to quit being selfish and take responsibility for their home. Get their priorities in order. Be vocal about their beliefs and defend morality. Stop being so passive and take control. Focus on their spouse first and then the kids. Push filth out the door. Be a Man!

If you think this is fired up you should be glad I didn't write it on Sunday. I guess I'm just tired of excuses. The people I like the most don't give me excuses. They are trying to live exceptional lives. I just wish there were a lot more men like that. So that's my prayer. God, revive us with more men who want to live exceptional lives.

Thanks everybody for reading! I hope you have a great week...here comes the cold!

Oh and check out the rest of the pictures I took this weekend HERE!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

24 Hours of Georgia

I'll begin this post by telling you what the 24 Hours of Georgia is. It's a mountain bike race lasting from 11AM on Saturday to 11AM on Sunday. Categories range from Solo, 2 Person Male, 2 Person Coed, 3-5 Person Teams, and 10+ Person Corporate Teams. It's put on by two promoters; Dirty Spokes Racing and Chainbuster Racing. It's like nothing I've ever done before.

The journey to this race began at the bike shop. Joe Elam of Habersham Bicycles started months ago trying to coerce his "regulars" into creating teams and competing in it. He soon settled on two teams; a 5 Person "Competition" Team and a Corporate "For Fun" Team. We chose our team names and signed up for what is now another big check mark on my bucket list. Here were the teams:

Team Habersham Hillbillies - Trace Nabors, Trent Smith, Craig Tinsley, David Shabat, Chad Hayes

Team Habersham Bicycles FF - Joe Elam, David Laddy, Tommy Blackstock, Blake Duck, Preston Elam.

Since my personal experience was most closely with my team mates I'll only describe their personalities to you as best I can. But I'm no psych major so don't use this on any job applications.

Trace Nabors - I've known Trace for years now. We've raced together on several occasions and most recently won the 2010 Tumbling Creek Race. I like to say that Trace is like a diesel. He's got one strong, fast, powerful speed. He's not aggressive. If you want to take the corner first, be his guest. Just don't take it personally as he passes you when you fade later on. Trace is soft spoken and fun loving. He's a great Christian husband and father. He's a good friend.

Trent Smith - I met Trent for the first time last year. I liked him from the start. He's a newlywed and she's the best thing he'll ever have for the rest of his life. Trent is SUPER ACCENTRIC about everything. Biking is one of many things that make him happy. They are in that stage of marriage where you can just "make crap up to do this weekend". Do any of you remember that time in your marriage? I like Trent a lot because he gives 110% to his friends and his commitments. I'm guilty of spreading stories about the accidents he's had since picking up mountain biking. They're all true of course. I've got pictures to prove it. Anyway, Trent is young and new to everything we were about to do but he brought youthful enthusiasm with him.

Craig Tinsley - This guy is the best bike handler this side of the Mississippi. He will slip out of sight on a single track trail faster than green grass through a goose. Craig loves his kids and talks about them all the time. I've raced with Craig many times. Our best result was Second in the Currahee Adventure Duathlon last year. He loves to compete but doesn't like to be pressured. I think that's why he likes competing as a team. He's got an engine though and was made for endurance riding. I was glad he said he'd be on our team. Craig is a calm and confident guy who loves to ride and wants to win.

David Shabat - I can't say enough about this guy. We've raced together all year. We've won three Duathlons and the entire Series. We've been on the podium in the Chainbuster 6 Hour MTB Series several time this year. I've gotten to know David and he's the real deal. He's a tremendous family man who loves his wife unconditionally and can't get enough of his son Ben. David's passion in previous years has been running and he's competed in silly little races like the Boston Marathon and things like that. But at the beginning of the season I needed a team mate for a personal goal and David helped me out. He switched disciplines and has become a really fast rider. I'm fortunate to have him as a friend and team mate.

So that's our team. We were set to compete as a 5 Person Relay Team in a 24 hour mountain bike race. And we had no idea what to do about it.

I knew one thing... I wanted to record as much of the event as I could. I brought a super slim video camera and took pictures with my phone every chance I could. I also didn't want to arrive unprepared so I packed a few things like: a 6 man tent, 12 foot canopy tent, large cooler stocked with food and ice, large water cooler of ice water, small charcoal grill, small 2 cycle generator, my entire wardrobe of cycling clothes in one bag, a tote full of all my tools, spare parts, and lubes. I brought two bikes; my trusty GIANT Anthem 29er with American Racing tubeless wheels (with fresh Stan's glue in them) and my new to me GIANT Cyclocross bike which I set on a trainer for us to use to warm up. Oh and a radio so we could listen to Georgia beat Tennessee! (What's up Bill Mashburn?)

Our conversations in the week leading up to the race always had the same theme, Have Fun. No matter what happened we must have fun. We all agreed that if we wanted to look back at this with happy feelings we had better resolve to it now. An so...we did. There was no pressure. We had no lofty goals. Just go hard and see where we end up by morning. The only other thing we agreed on was to not have any dead time on course. In other words be there at the transition for your team mate and don't make him look for you.

Trace Nabors at the start under threat of Dustin Mealor
Trace agreed to start the race so I could film it. He and Dustin (Team Spare Parts) traded insults and even spit on each other before the start of the race. I think I saw Trace let the air out of Dustin's rear tire. Or was he just checking his tire pressure like any friend would do? Anyway, the start wasn't as important since this was a 24 hour long race so everybody seemed more relaxed. As we waited we noticed someone somewhere was beating an Indian drum. You know, like teepee's and war paint! It gave you the feeling of warriors preparing for battle. Trent was in love with it. He said he was getting one.

Trace saw the course for the first time on his first lap and still put us into third. We decided the order of riders would be; Trace, Chad, David, Craig, Trent and we'd rotate in that order the rest of the day. As the hours went by we found ourselves slipping down and up. Our worst spot was after Trent had a flat on his third lap at 2AM which dropped us all the way to 6th place. But then we started a new rotation and went to work. Night riding took it's toll on folks and we managed to creep back up into 3rd place by the time Craig finished his lap at dawn.

Here's a list of problem's we incurred: The big one was Trent flatting on the granite section. Craig dropped his chain several times. Everybody washed out and crashed at least once. I dropped my chain three times and then twisted it somehow requiring it to be replaced. A great big THANK YOU to Todd Fisher from Team Spare Parts for bartering me a new chain for a hamburger off our grill!

The Course = 12.3 miles.
The course was brutal. Once you left the transition area you rode into a tunnel that took you to the "Granite" side (right side in picture). The granite side was about 4 miles long and took almost as long to ride as the 8 miles of single track on the left side. It's funny how in the pictures it looks like smooth granite but actually it's really rough. There's also some steep grades to climb over there. In fact the one and only place I had to get off my bike was during the granite side. There's a 20% climb of about 100 yards with crazy roots and rocks. Once you made it back to the bridge you rode past the Start/Finish line and through all the encamped racers. We took advantage of this crossing and would encourage our team mate as he rode past. It also served to tell the next rider about how long he had to warm up. It really added to the excitement of the race for us.

As dawn approched we figured out that we were back in 3rd Place by at least 5 minutes! I was as excited as a man can be after being up for 25 hours. The rotation called for Craig to hand off to Trent and then based on time we'd only have enough for one more lap which would be Trace. We decided to let Trace go next and I would finish the last lap. Here's our logic: Trace and I were rested. Trace and I were riding 29er's which were well suited for this course. We both had tubeless tires which helped also. And we both were clocking the fastest laps.
Look at my face. Granite is not smooth.

Since Trent had flatted on the granite we thought it would be best not to take that chance again. So... two more laps of trouble free riding and we could seal the deal. Our team had worked all day and night for this opportunity. You can see how focused we were if you watch the video and especially the melodrama from Trent. He's is so funny. I like him a lot. The video also gives you an idea of what a great encourager David is. I could drop the ball a million times and he'd be like, "No big deal Chad, you're awesome!"

Obviously you all know how we finished. I'll never be able to tell you everything that happened during the night as we tried to encourage each other, remember to eat and drink, get some rest, and repair our bikes. I'll just have to rely on the video to give you some clue as to why I'll never forget this race.

This year continues to be a confirmation of God's mercy and blessing. I used to get really intense and focused on winning. It shouldn't surprise me that when I put biking in it's place... I enjoy it a lot more. And I have more success at it. We finished Well, 3rd out of 33 teams! But most of all we met our goal...We had Fun!!!

3rd Place - 24 Hours of Georgia - Craig Tinsley, Chad Hayes, David Shabat, Trent Smith, Trace Nabors

And now... the moment you've all been waiting for... the Grammy Nominated short film of the year...

24 HOURS OF GEOOOORGIA! - Bruce Dickman

Remember to cherish those you have in your life because you never know when they won't be there anymore.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to plan a century bike ride.

As you all know I'm a "C" personality. I need a plan. I like to be organized. It's a trait that has suited me well over the years. Most recently I'm helping Lt. Governor Casey Cagle with his Century ride. As you can imagine it takes a lot of planning. And a lot of doing. Think about this; there needs to be directional arrows painted on the road before every turn and a confirmation one after the turn. There could be a lot of painted things on the roads so you need to paint something specific for the riders to recognize. In our case it's the letter's "FCA". I've been spending my evenings painting 200 miles of road and it sucks.

Planning a Century ride of this size involves other things too. Here's a quick list:
1. Paint the roads.
2. SAG Locations (preferably with bathrooms available)
3. Volunteers
4. Registration; Online and Day Of.
5. T-Shirts and Goodie Bags for the participants.
6. Food. For the SAG's and lunch after the ride.
7. Volunteers
8. Advertising
9. Route Cue Sheets and Maps (Online and Day Of Print Outs)
10. Volunteers

I've organized three rides in my career as a ride director/promoter extraordinaire. The most successful was my first one and for much of the same reason the Lt. Governor's ride is going to be. My first ride was to benefit Officer Joe Groover who was shot in the line of duty.Not shot dead, just shot. (Your welcome Joe) His good friend Officer Kelley Edwards is also a great friend of mine and together we put on a bike ride and 5K run to raise money for Groover's family. We asked Blackshear Place Church to allow us to hold the event there and use their kitchen, bathrooms, ect. I developed the ride, Kelley worked the run and the event was great!
2008 Groover Benefit Ride
Where we did the best was in fund raising. You need to get companies on board to either pay for stuff or donate supplies. Well, when I walk into Publix with a Hall County police officer suddenly I get attention from the management. That's how it's been with the Lt. Governor's ride. I just tell Roy (LG's External Affairs Coordinator) what I need and he makes the calls. Magic! We need SAG supplies, POOF! We need signs printed, POOF! We need Italian lunch for the riders, POOF! Roy is like my own personal Jeannie! But let's be honest. When you start the conversation with, "This is Roy from the Lt. Governor's office" you don't get a busy signal. Consequently the ride is going to be great!
So lesson number one: Pick a great Cause! Lesson number two: Enlist men of Power! I'm just a lowly accountant who loves to ride a bike. Businesses can't get behind every man with an idea to raise money for charity. You have to be smart. When Casey came to me with the idea of putting on a benefit ride I jumped at it. Not because I needed more work to do, but because I knew that my work wouldn't be in vain.

Let me share with you some of the things happening at the LG's ride. Now remember, when we started it was a Century ride from "somewhere" with supplies from "somewhere", ect.

The online registration page is on BikeReg.com and has been updated as we've added new stuff.
The routes are built on MapMyRide.com so we can put links on the registration site and flyers, ect.
The routes keep the riders on back roads and out of heavy traffic as much as possible.
Talmo, GA - SAG#1, Cool little fake gas station.

The routes take riders through old towns in North Georgia where we've set up the SAG stops. All with bathrooms available!
Each route has painted arrows before and after the turns.
Route options: 28mile,50mile,66mile,100mile.
One support vehicle for every route!
Ride starts and ends at Chestnut Mt. Church. We roll out the back and stay on back roads.
United Health Care Race Team EXPO from 9AM-2PM where pro cyclists will provide bike safety classes for children, bike demonstrations as well as important information on eating healthy and staying fit. They will have bikes and helmets for the day's use and will also raffle off a child's bike and helmets!
The Lt. Governor's Greater Purpose Charity is conducting a Silent Auction for many items that nobody would ever give me if "I" asked. Signed cycling jersey's from BMC George Hincapie, Radio Shack, Garmin Cervelo. Signed football stuff from UGA, GT, Florida State, Atlanta Falcons.
Me and Casey
The CEO of the Atlanta Falcons and an un-named player will be there. CEO is riding with Casey. You can too!
Other bike shops say they will bring a tent for the EXPO.
Goodie bags will have lots of cool stuff in them.
FCA has great and fun volunteers for everything!

It's a ride director's dream! And Casey want's to do this ride every year! Next year it will be part of the BRAG tune up series of rides.

I have to admit I'm a little scared. I don't have complete control of this thing. At this point the event will happen whether I show up or not. But I want the riders to have a great time and get the best support. We'll just try our best!

Coming up this weekend is the 24 Hours of Georgia mountain bike race at the Conyers Horse Park. For those who don't know that's the course created for the Olympics in 1996. My legs are still aching from "Doing the Double" so I'm taking the rest of the week easy to prepare. I have four team mates for this race; Trent Smith, David Shabat, Craig Tinsley, and Trace Nabors. And there will be a ton of other friends there too. I can't wait!
2011 Good News for Gainesville Ride

I participated in a great charity ride this past weekend called The Good News For Gainesville Ride. We had a lot of fun. I rode with local celebrity Nathan O'Neal who told me about his new Promotion Company called DinGO Racing or Promotions or something. They already have two events on USA Cyclings calender. One is an Omnium in Gainesville next year on Mother's Day weekend. He says they plan on changing the crit course downtown and will treat the racers really well. Good on ya, mate!

Family Biking Day! Ellie, Landon, Thomas, Erin Grace
We had a great Family Biking Day! I'm not sure how many family's showed up but we had a blast as usual.

Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Have a great week everybody!