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, June 19, 2012

2012 Jackson Brevet

This was the 3rd edition of the Jackson Brevet but it was my first time doing it. The past two years I headed to the Gaps on Father's Day weekend but this year I decided to do the brevet. In the past I've sort of skipped it for various reasons. I justified skipping it by questioning why I should pay money to ride the same roads I normally ride. Or maybe it's the fact that it actually isn't a "brevet" at all and I felt like I was giving in to some sneaky marketing ploy. All of which ultimately makes little sense because as I found out it's not about the ride or the name of the ride. It's not about doing the 100 mile route in less than 4 hours. It's not even about riding all morning with good friends.

I found out that the Jackson Brevet is all about beating the crap out of Aplastic Anemia. And that any money made from the event was going straight to that end. It was an inspiring and passionate event and I was blessed to have been a small part of it.

Lt. Gov Casey Cagle (3), State Sen. Butch Miller (6)
Stephen Sisk came to my house at the "crack of trees". That's what my friend Jessica calls the hours just before daylight. We arrived in Braselton at 6:00am and were registered within minutes. They were very organized and friendly. I bought a few raffle tickets while we were there and off we went back to van to get ready. At the start we watched as some of my favorite politicians worked the crowd. Namely the cycling friendly Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and the always jovial State Senator Butch Miller. Nice to see we cyclists have some support in government. Maybe we can all work to be worthy of that support by using our heads when we're out on the roads? But that's another subject.

Stephen Sisk and Mike Mihalick
I was joined foremost by Stephen Sisk, Benny Bohanan and Mike Mihalick. Stephen and Benny are veteran century riders but Mike...he's not. In fact the farthest this budding triathlete had ever pedaled his high dollar Cannondale was 66 miles... and that was 6 months ago. I desperately wanted to change that.
We hung out for quite a while at the starting gate. Here's how that works. If you say your average speed on any given ride is 20mph or above then you go out with Group #1. 16-19mph is Group#2 and 15mph or less is Group #3. Each group leaves 60 seconds apart with moto's in front and behind them. Very nice.

The announcements began with some beautiful things. The organizer Robert Wilhite spoke to us about his wife and her victory against the disease.Then he introduced all the riders to a young lady, 18 years old I think, who was fortunate enough to find a non-related donor and is now living a victorious life. It was then I realized she sold me my raffle tickets earlier. He introduced Lt. Governor Casey Cagle to give us a pep talk. And then Robert sealed the deal for me by praying for us in Jesus' name. I was really glad to be there and to contribute what I could. This was going to be a great ride!

Group # 2 on the road just outside Braselton, GA
Once on the road we were shepherded by a group of motor bikes and had every major turn blocked all the way through Jefferson. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the high 70's to start and ending around 84 degrees. Our little group managed to lead the pack for several miles which was fun. On our way to Jefferson, GA the pack thinned out as the more anxious riders moved ahead and the rest took time to enjoy the ride.

We made a left in downtown Jefferson and then a right heading for Nicholson. This is where my plan to use peer pressure on Mike Mihalick began. At some point there was a turn. 64 Mile riders went straight, 100 Milers turn right. We pounced on him, blocked him in, forced him to turn and go with us. Then we told him there was no going back now, he had to finish it. The Laws of Cycling demand that he suffer through endless miles of joyous pain to reach his goal (or our goal) of riding his bike 100 miles today.

I think he wanted to do it. He just needed a little motivation. That's what I think.

We skipped the first Rest Stop and made it to the next one just as my bottles were running dry. The rest stops included Fig Newtons, PB&J sandwiches, Banana's, Oranges, Apples, Gatoraid, Water, Cookies, and even some Cliff Recovery bars which I would never eat on a ride but placed two in my pocket for later in the week. We fueled up and headed out. All in keeping with my rest stop rule of no more than 15 minutes. We picked up a few riders who liked our pace and we were off.

As we rolled through Nicholson I saw a cool saying on a church sign. But it wasn't until Stephen pointed out the name of the church that I decided I needed a picture of it. I'm sure if they had more room the sign would read "Dad wants your love, Jesus wants your heart, we want to light you on fire so you're speakin' in tongues when we toss you in the baptismal water." Can I get a witness?

On we rode through the quiet back roads. One of our new riding friends was a guy named Larry from Roswell. Larry had been riding his bike a lot lately. He had just finished the 5 day B.R.A.G. (Bike Ride Across Georgia). He was really nice and offered to take pulls at the front. I could tell he was strong by how easily he kept a smooth fast pace. Then the ever observant Stephen pointed out that Larry was wearing sandals. They had cleats in the bottom of them. He said he wore them all week during BRAG. Holy Cow!
I was impressed.
Another rider with us, who's name escapes me right now, told me he'd only been riding for 4 years. He was from Tennessee near Chattanooga. He really liked our pace and our group and asked to stay with us. We talked about how great it is to have support from our spouses of our cycling hobby. He told me his wife found it a lot easier to support cycling rather than his drinking/partying hobby. Amen brother! Plus he'd lost a ton of weight and felt better too.

Another interesting thing happened after we left Nicholson. We rode up to a lady who was roller blading the course. I'm not kidding. I took a picture to prove it.  I thought about telling her she was crazy but I figured if she could do the course on roller blades then she could probably kick my butt. So I just smiled and took her picture.

Mike was beginning to feel what is commonly known as the mile 70 bear on his back. OK I made that up, but it's a true feeling. During a Century ride there comes a time when everyone goes dark. A time of drudgery. A time when you begin to question your decision making process and start making deals with God. I could tell that Mike was in that realm.
And did I mention that Mike is 10 feet tall. Being as tall as a Treebeard doesn't bode well for getting the maximum benefit of the draft. Never the less I scolded him severely each time I looked back and he was in the wind.

We pressed on through those loathsome miles and finally reached the last Rest Stop. After that Mike was inspired. He could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Victory was in reach. So he placed a handful of ice in his helmet and strapped it on. Before we knew it he was on the front driving the pace. Stephen and I had to take over before he completely blew himself up. Plus we were tired and wanted to slow him down.

Well deserved pasta and sweet tea.

We made it back and quickly changed into something less attractive to bacteria. Then we all stuffed our faces with pasta and sweet tea. I was really tired. I could have sat around talking about the ride for hours but it was Father's Day weekend and I wanted to receive my just rewards at home. In other words my loving family was waiting on me. We were taking my Father-n-Law out to Longhorn Steakhouse. Yeah...Baby.

My two daughters were up early making me a special breakfast of chocolate covered cinnamon rolls.
They had designed a scavenger hunt for me to do in order to find my present. It included a video on their iTouch and a search through the lady bug bed. They're such girls.
The rest of the day was filled with great times at church where Dad's were honored as the manly men we are.
Yes I said it.
Later in the day I was dumb enough to go ride Chicopee Woods with Trace Nabors. As I write this my legs are very angry with me.

I'll leave you with the video they showed at the church called "The Dad Life" which in no way resembles me in any shape or form what so ever...I'm just sayin'.


Have a great weekend everyone!

Chad Hayes

Here's more photos!

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