|Top of Woody Gap|
|Dustin Mealor's wheel change.|
I brought left over stuff from 2011 to give anyone that came so if you didn't brave the cold you didn't get the swag. There were goodie bags from the Lt. Governor's ride, t-shirts from the BPBC Spring Ride, and Joe Elam gave everyone a Habersham Bicycles water bottle. I also brought all my cold weather clothing in case someone needed it. And a big bag of medical supplies...in case someone needed it.
Mike Mahalic is a newbie who actually did something newbie's seldom do. He bought a good bike. Newbie's almost always start out on the cheapest, heaviest, poorest shifting bike they can find. It puts them at a considerable disadvantage right from the start. Plus if they actually catch the cycling bug they end up loosing all that money because they figure out what they have isn't what they need. They end up selling their first bike to another poor newbie. It's a vicious cycle. (pun intended).
Mike walked up to me and asked what kind of vests I had. I gave him my wintex Hincapie vest which later proved to be his new best friend. Another newbie in attendance was Trent Smith. He's an experienced mountain biker but was joining us on what was only his second foray on the road. He was riding a "newbie" bike. I basically had to completely redress him. He was layered up like an 80's teen idol. I gave him a thermal long sleeve base layer to go over his regular short sleeve base layer and then he wore a Hincapie wintex jacket. He did have some newly purchased LG lobster claw gloves on though.
|Top of Neels Gap aka Blood Mountain|
We set out and climbed our first of three main obstacles for the day Neels Gap or as it's locally known Blood Mountain. This is a long climb. Although not super steep the time spent going up gets in your head. I could feel the nervous energy coming from our two first timers. Trent is a twenty something and a bit kamikaze so it was no surprise to see him powering along with the lead group. Mike however is more cautious. He was trying to pace himself in the face of the unknown. I give him 5 points for being willing to take on the GAP's. Trent gets no credit. He'd jump off the mountain if you told him it would be fun.
|Top of Wolf Pen Gap|
Anyway, we all rode together for a while and then like a big dummy I pushed the pace to see who wanted to hammer. Unfortunately Robert Loomis was all about it. He went to the front and shredded us all. Robert losses 10 points for beating up an old man. When I got to the top I turned around and went back down to film and check on everyone. I followed Mike Mahalic with the camera as he made the top.