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.


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