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 3, 2012

Saturday Morning Group Ride

The Saturday Morning Group Ride. Every cyclist in the world has been on one. It's as diverse as America itself. Some are aggressive and become a race after reaching an agreed upon spot on the route. Other rides are semi-aggressive. They may have sprint points along the way and after each one the riders slowly come back together to talk about what happened. Other rides are simply "No-Drop" rides from beginning to end. These rides can be the best ones. They usually last the longest and bring out riders from every end of the fitness spectrum. The character's you meet and friends you make can be like going from "Little House on the Prairie" to "Jerry Springer". But that's the fun of it.

In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightingale. Diversity of character is due to their unequal activity. - Ambrose Bierce

The Habersham Bicycles Saturday Morning Ride

This weekend I was really looking forward to a Saturday Morning Group Ride with some friends at Habersham Bicycles. Every bike shop has a Saturday ride but I'm usually committed to a race or something with my great family and can't make them. Last week Trace Nabors called and said he "finally" had a Saturday morning with no softball practice and needed to get out. I immediately thought of getting with Stephen Sisk and others to put together a long ride. Once David Latty found out we wanted at least 50 miles he went to work on an extended route to the normal 20 mile spin that Habersham usually does. I was excited. A ride with friends.

The rain over night had passed but the roads were still wet for the first hour. We rode through the back roads in Habersham County without the pollen! Yippee! We rode and talked and shuffled the order and talked some more. There were some sprint points that some of us tried for. And then I messed up and missed a turn because... well I just did. Trace and Benny chased me down and then we had to chase back on. That messed up my happy ride mojo for a while.

Joe Elam and Kim Cantrell

Joe Elam was sporting the new Shimano Electric Ultegra on his bike. I wondered if the wet roads would do anything to it but he never had a problem. Trace however had two rear tire blow outs. But it never dampened our spirits. After what is normally considered the basic Saturday loop we headed East toward Gillsville. The air was crisp and clean. The grass and trees were remarkably green. Nobody was mean, I felt really lean, it was a beautiful scene... ok that's stupid.

Trent Smith and Trace Nabors
For a while I thought I new right where we were. Then we turned right and I was lost as last years goose. David somehow knows the backest of back roads and took us on a journey through time. It's been a long time since I felt helpless on a ride. The scenery though was awesome! Quiet farms and hay fields. Bridges and creeks. The dogs we encountered had no idea what to do about us. We started seeing animals everywhere from horses to turtles to field mice. I only say that about the mouse because we nearly took one out when it sprinted across the road in front of us. Quick little suckers. But very predictable. Not like a squirrel.

Benny Bohanan, Bill Floyd
 As the morning rolled on we sliced through the country, climbed up a hill and bam! there was Hwy 441. This is where Trace's first tire change occurred. Thankfully we had our bike mechanic along for the ride (Joe Elam) and he made quick work of the tire. We hopped onto the Highway for about 50 yards and turned left on Old Hwy 441. This short stretch of single file sprinting is evidently known as "Running the Gauntlet". We safely made it and rode our merry way to where Old 441 meets the famous Apple Pie Ridge Road. This is where Traces second flat happened.

Stephen Sisk and David Park

The rest of the group slowly made their way to the final obstacle of the day, Baldwin Mountain, while Joe, Trace and I stayed behind to fix-a-flat. After that we chased back to our friends and enjoyed a leisurely tour of downtown Baldwin, Georgia (it took about 15 seconds). A great ride by any standard though. It was 48 miles of physical fitness that most couch potatoes will never understand. I was home before most of them rolled over. And I felt GREAT!

Public Service Announcement

If you or someone you love is suffering from "Couch Potato-itis" there is a cure. It's an age old remedy that was first used in the mid-390's BC by Democritus who said, "Throw moderation to the winds, the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains". His antidote to the rising tide of "I'd rather play with my X-box" was...in a word...Shame. So here is the cure for Couch Potato-itis...updated for the 21st Century.

Well that's all the shame I have to bestow in this edition. Join a ride from a local bike shop near you. There's a list of the best one's located on my "WEEKLY Rides in North Georgia" Page on the right hand side of this page.

Join us on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm in Oakwood to get started! See the top of my page for details.

Thanks for reading!

Chad Hayes

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