Monday, March 24, 2008

Georgia: Day 1 (or Oh. My. God.)

It looked like the planets were going to align, and Scott and I were going to hook up wit Danielle, Namrita, and Eddie for some mountain biking on our first day down in Georgia. The plan was to meet at the start/finish for the Fools Gold 50/100 at 11am Saturday.

Namrita and Danielle’s Wild Ride changed our plans. I’m bummed we weren’t able to meet up, but I’m glad they’re OK.

However, Eddie did come out to show us around his course. He was an awesome guide, putting up with our late arrival, and, shall we say, some minor mishaps. There are so many clichés I could use to describe our ride, but I think the most accurate thing to say was that my ego wrote a check that my body just couldn’t cash.

Granted, my frame of reference for a 50 mile ride in IL is a far cry from a 50 mile dirt road/trail ride in GA. When Eddie said we were going to ride the Fools Gold loop, 50 miles, I thought, “No problem, I’ve ridden 50 miles. I’ve got 5 hours in the saddle. I’ll be fine”. What I should have been thinking was, “How am I going to survive this?”

Had I had more time prior to coming down to Georgia, I probably would have worked up a good healthy fear of what I was getting myself into, and setup my bike to save myself as much pain as possible. Like, say, a nice easy 32x17 gear, and, oh, a little suspension up front?? But no. My dumb a$$ thought going rigid would be cool, and I never go below 34x17, so why would I now?? (Hello, mountains)

Our ride began with about 4 miles of climbing on some pretty rocky dirt roads. Unrelenting, but manageable… Until about 100 yards from the top. I just couldn’t’ turn the pedals over with enough tempo anymore to keep myself up. Shoe leather time. I told Eddie that Scott and I may have bitten off a little more than we can chew, but he assured us that it got better from here. I’m glad we listened. Lets just say that I now know what folks mean when the talk about a screamin’ fast fire road decent. We hauled azz down the other side of that climb. And the rest of the ride did get better. There was a little issue of Scott’s flat, for which we had to bike back up to the top to of a sweet decent. But that just meant we got to tear it up again! It was amazing to watch Eddie disappear down the dirt roads. Granted he had the right tires, suspension, and 29” tires, but he’s just damn fast.





Getting some single track dirt under my tires for the first time this year was almost a foreign feeling. And roots? How are you supposed to ride over these things?? ;)

All in all it was a great day, despite some other issues. Mainly that I was a couple bottles shy of having enough water for the day. I had plenty of food, but not enough water to process it. By the end of the ride, about 4 hours and 30 some miles, I was toast. Hopefully I’ll never make some of these mistakes again, but I doubt it.




Cooling off in the river after a hard day's work.



Dan and Tim came in tonight, and we’re headed out for some road action tomorrow. For now, I’m drinking plenty of water… ;)




3 Comments:

Blogger Namrita O'Dea said...

so bummed we couldn't ride with you!! don't worry, i've had those feelings plenty of times up there and i actually live here. we might be into some road riding or more mtb'ing on wednesday if you guys are up for it?

24/3/08 1:00 PM  
Blogger Soupy said...

ppstaOh yea, we're down! I'm gonna set up the bike tomorrow and check out the trails around here. We'll be in touch tomorrow!

24/3/08 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Eddie O said...

Great riding with guys. You guys were impressive given the lack of civilised gearing and water. Let us know if you want a tour of another trail.

Eddie O

24/3/08 10:09 PM  

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