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, October 16, 2012

2012 Hills of Habersham Ride

On a beautiful fall day I joined some great friends for a cool ride in the Hills of Habersham, Georgia. This ride raises money for the Habersham Chamber of Commerce. The ladies who run the Chamber are super fun and worked very hard to take care of the riders. It started from the Ruby Fulbright Aquatic Center in Clarkesville, GA.

I planned to spend this ride with my friend Joe Elam, Owner of Habersham Bicycles. He's a good Christian man who runs a great business right on Hwy 365 at Anderson Village where Mickey Piggs BBQ is. I buy all my bikes from Joe. He's always been fair and honest. Like most people I'm lured by the online world with offers to save $10 dollars on a tire or something. But unlike most people I understand the absolute need to spend my money locally with a business I trust. There's also the benefit of not having to hassle with warranty issues. Joe and I and others have collaborated on a club team for years and it's been fun. So this ride I wanted to hang out with Joe and support his efforts there.

The usual suspects arrived shortly after I did and declared their intentions to stay together and ride as a group for fun. In our group were Stephen Sisk, Benny Bohanon, David Latty, David Shabat, Scott Wheeler, David Park, Brian Horton and others. I noticed Sean Philyaw at the start but he's too fast for us. He even beat us to the shower at the end.

Brian Horton
Stephen Sisk and I were especially excited about our ride because we had some new hottness on our bikes. Stephen was sporting some new shifters, bar and stem, brakes, rear derailleur, and even some flashy new decals on his titanium steed. Oh and a new ceramic bottom bracket too.
He smiled a lot now that I think about it.
I had my new American Classic Tubeless Road Wheels on my Ritchey Breakaway Ti for their first ride. So pretty. It is my understanding that the two white spokes on each wheel made them look "wobbly" as I rode. But trust me... they were smooth and fast!

Ritchey Breakaway w/ AC Tubeless
We headed toward Cornelia and the Big Red Apple Festival. We never actually saw the festival because the route detoured around it but I here there were thousands of funnel cakes sold.
We enjoyed a cool morning of riding and talking. The SAG stations provided great snacks like Nutter Butters, Oreos, PB&J, and for some reason I was especially excited about the zip-lock bags of M&M's. Nobody noticed they were there until I pulled them out during the ride. Then it became an "awe shucks" moment for the guys. It was surprisingly difficult to eat M&M's out of a zip-lock bag while riding.

There were 3 moments I remember from the ride. The Breakfast Club, a hunter in the woods, and the mustard theory. First there was a moment early on in the ride that I noticed a lot of 4x4 trucks passing us along what seemed like deserted roads. Then we road up on a shack. A breakfast serving shack built on the side of the river we were riding by. I could smell the biscuits, the gravy, the eggs, THE BACON! I stuck my nose up to get as much of that beautiful southern smell as I could. Then I noticed all the 4x4 trucks parked out front. Lucky dogs.

The second thing I remember was climbing past a small truck backed into the woods and thinking "there must be a hunter in there". I didn't think hunting season opened for another week and so if there was a hunter in there he probably wasn't prepared to shoot anything. For that reason I felt safe in yelling out "Don't Shoot Me!!" at the top of my lungs. I was shocked when a voice screamed something back at me from deep in the woods. We all looked at each other and laughed. It was really funny. Glad he didn't shoot me though.

The final bit of fun came at Joe's expense. He went a little too hard in the beginning and just before we reached to major climb for the day, Raper Mountain, Joe began to slow. He fell off the pace in the miles before the climb. I stopped on the way up to wait for him. While I was there I took some cool video.

Joe Elam climbs Raper Mountain, Clarkesville, GA
When I finally saw Joe I took some video of him on the climb. He looked to be moving around .005 MPH. I stopped recording after it looked like he would make it to the flatter section I was on and when I did... he locked up solid with cramps. His legs were twitching so badly I could see the cramps rolling through the muscle fibers in his legs. I told him I wasn't recording anymore and he said he knew it. He purposely kept mashing up that climb until I put the camera down. Once he eased off... the cramps hit him.
We stood together on the side of the road for a few minutes and a rider came up. He offered Joe two packets of mustard. You read correctly, yellow mustard. Like the kind you put on a hot dog. I'd heard of this before. People say that when you're cramping, mustard gets rid of them. Well... it worked. Joe ate two packs of mustard and got back on the bike. We made our way on up to the top of the climb and for the most part he said the cramps were gone.
I...was amazed. I'd never seen it work in real life. I will have two packs of mustard in my saddle bag from now on.

I also need to mention my friend David Shabat's ride for the day. His wife and son were riding the two best bikes in the house and David didn't want to miss out on this ride. So he brought the first bike he ever bought... for his wife. To clarify, he rode a 30 pound aluminum mountain bike he converted to a road bike for this ride. It had a kick stand. We found that to be very handy at the SAG stations for reasons you can see in the picture. And a flat bar. The only thing David had going for him was the mountain bike gearing...which he really couldn't use if he wanted to keep up with us. So, hats off to my friend for making it happen against all odds.

We made our way to the town of Batesville where I found some more M&M's and some tasty pretzels. Leaving Batesville we traveled down a fun decent beside the river on Hwy 197 back to one of my favorite towns, Clarkesville. It was a great ride. A memorable ride. I can't wait to do this one next year. With mustard.

Here's some more photo's!!!

Thanks for reading!

Chad Hayes

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