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, April 10, 2012

Gainesville SORBA Ring in the Spring

SORBA - Southern Off Road Biking Association.
Here in North Georgia our mountain biking trails are incredible. The trails drain well. They are always clear of debris. They have bridges and jumps and scenic ridge line riding. And the reason for all this biking joy? SORBA. This group puts hundreds of man hours into our trails here and my family and I are very grateful. SORBA ROCKS!

Gainesville SORBA works particularly hard on a trail system that is famous here in our area - Chicopee Woods Trail System in Oakwood, Georgia. This weekend they hosted a festival at the trail head that they called Ring in the Spring. My wife Lisa and I made plans to attend...right after breakfast. :)

Chicopee Woods Trail Head, Oakwood, Georgia
We took our time getting out of bed because...we had no kids! Oh yeah. The kids spent the night at their cousins house so we slept in and then went to eat breakfast at Curt's Restaurant in Oakwood. Lisa...my southern belle...got biscuits and gravy and I had some hotcakes. We arrived on the scene a little after 9:00AM. There were already some vendors there and a lot of riders on the trails.

Vendors set up at Chicopee Woods
I registered for the Discovery Ride and we began mingling. The UC3 SORBA President Dustin Mealor was there to support the cause. We met lots of great people including a past president named Stan who was selling stuff I wanted but couldn't buy for reasons I'll tell you about later. As I prepared to go do the Discovery Ride I saw a good friend Andy Johnson who has worked for Hayes Automotive for years. He's also one of those crazy single speed riders. You know...only one gear on the front and one on the back. I tell you I just don't understand the fun in that. But I'll will say this, the single speed riders are the smoothest riders in the woods. They slip through the trail and don't waste a bit of energy. Late in the endurance races I find myself behind some of them and it's really impressive. Very smooth and fast.

The Discovery Ride works like this. You get a "punch card" with ten circles down the left side for the ten punches you must get from punch tools hanging throughout the trails. For each punch you bring back you get a raffle ticket for cool prizes. My goal...get all 10 punches. Duh! To do so you basically had to cover every patch of trail out there. Because I was leaving so late I had only two hours to get it done. Andy decided to try and do it with me. On a single speed. I like it!

The Discovery Ride Prize
We rode together for 1 hour and 45 minutes and collected 8 punches. We found ourselves on the other end of the forest. As far from the trail head as possible with 15 minutes and two punches left. Andy graciously told me to go for it so I left him and time trialed back, collecting my last two punches and getting my tickets to prize heaven.
But let me just tell you that my man Andy made it back with two minutes to spare. How's that for some hard riding? We celebrated by having a burger and oreo's. Then we stood around as they pulled the winning tickets out of the bucket. Andy won some socks I think. I ended up with nothing, nadda, bumpkis, zilch. But it was for a great cause and we had a blast. Lisa ran the Alachee trails while we were gone. So we were all tired but happy to be out in the beautiful weather.

Riders enjoy burgers in the shade.

This Wednesday will be our second group ride of the Spring/Summer. The first road ride was in great weather despite what the weather man said. I drove a SAG van and managed to spot other riders and invited them to join us this week.  We should have a good group leaving from Anytime Fitness in Oakwood every Wednesday at 6:30pm.

The Mountain Bike Ride from Chicopee Woods meets at 6:30pm as well. Usually lead by Matt Williams and Bill Mashburn this is a relaxed No Drop ride through the trail. Matt told me the first ride was really great thanks to a super cool Veteran. He lost his leg below the knee fighting in the middle east. He rode the trails using a prosthetic limb with a clipless shoe on it. How cool is that! I'm sorry I missed that ride.

Join us each week for those rides and other SAG Vehicle Supported Rides we'll be putting on this year. Watch my blog for news and dates. Remember, these rides are No Drop, Easy Pace, Recovery Rides of around 14-15 MPH Avg. If you want to hammer you can find that at a Tuesday or Thursday night throwdown ride from any area bike shop. I do. :)

Ritchey Breakaway on the way!

I got tired of waiting on the 2012 Breakaway Cross (White) to be released. And Joe Elam must have guilt ed the Ritchey Rep into giving me a great deal because that's what put me over the edge and caused me to order a 2012 Ritchey Titanium Breakaway Cross bike. It should be here this week!
But I'm not very excited. It's not a big deal. I could take it or leave it.

It's going to be GREAT!

I don't know if I'll have time to write about the construction of my new bike next week because I'm racing in Macon, GA with Star Bridges, Robert Loomis, and Sean Philyaw. It's the Georgia State Crit Championship. Hopefully Robert got all his crashing out of the way in the Carolina race last month. Either way I'm very excited to be racing with friends this weekend.

I've started working on the 2012 Lt. Governor's Ride for FCA in October. It's going to be huge! I'll keep you all informed of my progress and what we've got planned. I'm told HealthNet will be a big part of it as well as some fancy dignitaries. We'll see.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Chad Hayes

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