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, January 31, 2012

Velcro Therapy and Chicopee Woods

I've got a problem. I injured my neck muscles acting like a middle schooler this weekend. It was a lot of fun until I got up the next morning and discovered that my 40 year old body doesn't react well when multiple attempts are made to flip upside down in a Velcro suit. Our church put on a "Winter Weekend" for the youth and we were a host home. We kept nine middle school girls at our house. Yep. Sure did. And during that time we fed them, held Bible studies, and shuttled them to the events planned by the church.
Velcro Therapy
Blackshear Place Baptist Church is a pretty big church. With that size comes the ability to compete. When you think about all the things that compete for our kids today it would seem impossible for a parent to control it. Especially with teenagers. Especially teenagers with smart phones. So our church takes the approach that whatever we do for the youth we do it with the same quality that the world does. It's evident in the facilities, the music, and even the events. If you don't have kids you won't understand how big a deal it is. Everything changes when you have kids. A person's view of how and why to live a principled life changes as you pass through stages in life. Crawl, walk, teenager, high school, move out, college, get a real job, get married... raise children. Notice I said "raise" and not "have children". One of my favorite quotes, "Any fool can make a baby but it takes a real man to raise a child." - Chris Young

Molly and I are serious about winning.
So when you finally have the responsibility of leading a child through this world it changes your perspective on everything. You take a greater interest in where the world is heading. What kind of people is it creating? What do they base their decisions on? Who's at the wheel trying to force a direction on you and yours? Suddenly you have a reason to fight for the principles you believe will result in a better future for someone you love. A child who will be here long after you and your wife are gone. We all say we care about other people but until you have a child your burden for world change is moderate. You fight for things that ultimately don't effect you much which clouds your judgement. But when you have your own child out there and their innocence is at stake. Well. Your opinions change. Unless your children aren't your first priority in which case I feel sorry for you.

This weekend I got to see, yet again, how hundreds of children with like minded parents have real fun. My faith and reasoning were reaffirmed. We are blessed to live in a country that allows parents to choose what they believe and pass it on to their children. A country that allows us to fight for and promote the principles we believe in. I'm also glad there's still a vast majority of folks who believe God's Word is the way to live your life.

Chicopee Woods Trails, Oakwood, Georgia

A few good men joined me at the trails on Sunday afternoon for what can only be described as a power packed 3 hours of fun and endurance. And we were not alone. The parking lot was full of great spirited riders from all over North Georgia. I met Trace Nabors at Gainesville College and we speculated on who would show up for our ride because of it's declared value of 3+ hours. Who would be up for it? Hmm.

Trace Nabors and Chad Hayes
We left out around 2:10pm with Dustin Mealor, Craig Tinsley, Chad Edwards, Bill Mashburn, and Matt Williams. Don't ask me why we like to ride from there over to Chicopee Woods but we do. I guess it puts a little twist on what are otherwise the same old trails.

Chicopee Woods Trails, Oakwood Georgia

L-R Chad Edwards, Matt Williams,Bill Mashburn, Dustin Mealor

We hammered our way through the Red Tail Loop before I even thought about eating anything. Cliff Bars are so much more tasty on the trail. A few equipment notes for you: I was on my GIANT Anthem 29, Trace was on his Gary Fisher 29er, Bill and Matt were riding Specialized 29er's, Dustin was on a GIANT Anthem 29, and Chad and Craig were riding GIANT Full Suspension 26 inch bikes. It was a chilly 52 degrees and the wind was blowing. We kept a nice fast endurance pace and everyone stayed pretty much together. Tales of woe were shared and plans for more woe were drafted.

After Red Tail we rode White Tail and took the dreaded Copperhead Gap. This was formerly known as ZigZag. It's the most brutal section of trail out there. Our group held together well until then. Craig decided he'd had enough and once we reached Flying Squirrel he had decided to shortcut onto White Tail and climb back to the parking lot. We all kept riding the Squirrel to it's end and then picked up White Tail.

The intersection of Copperhead and Flying Squirrel

The final climb back to the parking lot is a famous one. There's a large creek crossing and a short rocky section before the gravel road climb actually starts. It takes some skill to navigate without putting your foot down. My goal has always been to traverse the water and then climb the slick rock to the bench without stopping. It's tough enough without wet tires. I think the thought of going down on those rocks scares most people into not taking the risk. I tried...and failed...again. The only bike I've ever consistently made this section on was my Jeep All Wheel Drive. Seriously, it's a mountain bike with built in spider gears that allow you to push both wheels when you pedal. I'll show it to you guys in a post some other time.

Chad Edwards
Matt Williams and Trace Nabors
We climbed out of Chicopee Woods and after 3 hours made our way back to the cars. Everyone was tired. Accept Trace. He had plenty of energy. What a beast. It was a great day to ride with friends. I'm especially impressed with Matt who is kind of a newbie. He had some cool new glasses on anyway.

After the ride I went home to wash the stinky off. And then right on time I was whisked away in the back of a children filled SUV to eat at Mellow Mushroom in Gainesville. The Hayes and Pattillo's... at it again. Boy was I ready for that. I really like that place. It's got real ambiance. Even some panache. And the food is good too.

While we waited on our food we talked and laughed and carried on like families do. But I guess not all families as evidenced by the photo below which has been doctored so I don't get sued. In case you can't tell, the kid is watching a DVD with headphones while his parents ignore each other. Totally unbelievable.

Family Time

Well, that's what I did this weekend. My life is not all that impressive but it's not all that uncommon either. I hope each of you have a great week!

A Dead Last Finish is greater than Did Not Finish, which trumps Did Not Start.

Chad Hayes

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