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, August 14, 2012

2012 Casey Cagle Tune Up Ride

Riders leave out with the sun coming up behind them.
Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle puts on a Century Ride in October. I am the ride director and this year I decided we'd have a "Tune Up" ride. I put it out there and 20 riders showed up to collect 50 miles of road time. The ride was free and included a support vehicle with ice water and a goodie bag. I really had no idea who to expect.

I was glad to see some good friends and some roadies I haven't ridden with in a long time. We met at Chestnut Mt. Church where the event will actually start. There were storms over night and I wasn't sure the rain would be gone by the time we started. Boy was I wrong. The rain was gone and the overcast clouds remained. It kept the temperature from rising and that gave us a few hours to ride in 70 degree weather for the first time in months! We prayed and headed toward Talmo, Georgia.

I decided to have a KOM competition just to spice things up. I created a cool prize bottle filled with SWAG and let everyone know where the sprint would start. In case you're familiar with the course, the KOM was at the top of the climb on Candler Hwy 60 before we turn left on McNeal Rd. I did not participate in the KOM. It seemed...wrong to do so. Plus it might hurt.

Super roadie Sean Philyaw took it.

After that we went to Talmo by way of Pendergrass. McNeal Road in that direction is so much better. Rolling down hills.
I drifted back and forth between groups and to the van most of the time. I felt like I needed to watch out for everyone. Our driver, Peter Kite with Team Green, was in rare form. He kept us well hydrated and more than that he kept us laughing. I like Peter. He's a great guy.

We stopped in Talmo and then headed north to see what was going on in the country. A few brainless canines later we rode up to the Plainview Road Fire Station where Peter filled our bottles with ice cold water. The sun was still behind the clouds. The weather was perfect. The roads were all ours. It was a great day to be on a bicycle!

At one point I found myself way off the back of the group. It took me 15 minutes of hard chasing to catch them. (They averaged 19.5 MPH). Once I caught on I went to the front just to see what it was like up there. I talked to my friends Stephen Sisk, Star Bridges and Sean Philyaw for a while.
 They were not tired. As we flew along Hwy 332 all by ourselves there came a place where the uncut road turned slightly to the right. The tall grass slapped at our calves. As the group flew down the road I looked up just in time to see a small kitten standing on the white line frozen with fear as we descended upon it. It was really funny. I've seen a lot of animals in the road while riding my bike. Snakes, turtles, big rats, stupid dogs, beaver, deer, cows, chickens, stupid squirrels and even a pig. But this was the first time I've seen a kitten so I thought I'd mention it.
It's every one's responsibility on a ride to point out hazards for the riders behind. Cycling is cool that way. We look out for each other. So I found it hilarious to hear everyone yelling "Kitten!" as we blew by the frozen feline.

The first 10 miles were fast.
After we passed through Talmo I stayed back to help the B Group get home safely. The main group was flying down the road and obviously they were ready to get on back. We eased our way up the final hills and completed what for some was the farthest they'd ever been on a bike. Now that's cool.
Everyone was very grateful for the opportunity to ride. I understand that the KOM and the SAG vehicle and the weather made this more than just another group ride. Maybe we can do it again soon. Otherwise there are so many Charity rides coming up that I could do one every weekend until Christmas. I love riding in Georgia!

This weekend I'll be mountain bike racing with my friends Trace Nabors and David Shabat. We're racing the 3 Person Team category at the Chainbuster Heritage Park race in Watkinsville, GA. I hate the course. Always have. But what better reason to go race on it, eh.

I stopped by my favorite drug store in Toccoa, GA, Sanders Drugs, to pick up some Hammer products. Clint Sanders showed me some new stuff he ordered called Frog Fuel that I'm going to try tonight at the Tuesday Night Throwdown. I would never "try" something in a race. So if it's no good for my stomach we'll need to change the name to the Tuesday Night ThrowUP. But don't worry guys... I'll drift to the back before I do.

School is back open in Georgia. My kids are sort of excited. They were having a great summer so it's been hard on them. Poor things. It's tough having 3 months off.
I thought I'd share these photos that tell you everything I want to say about our current government education system...so I don't have to say it.

Thanks for reading!

Chad Hayes

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