Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Georgia: Day 4

Decisions Decisions.

Even with the easy day yesterday, I'm feelin' like I could take the day off today. Everyone's feelin' about the same I think. It's a little warmer today, but not much. And to top it off, Tim's eyes have been bothering her something fierce. So we all found things to do in the morning to stave off the eventaulity of having to decide to ride or not in the afternoon.

Dan, Scott and I headed into Dahlonega to hit up Lifetime Bicycles. Scott's thinkin' of getting new cleats, and after the Fools Gold fiasco, I'm thinkin' of picking up a new hydration pack to make sure I've got enough water and food carrying capability before mountain biking again. I ended up picking up a Fox hydration pack. My old Camelback Mule is about 100 years old, so it's about time for an update. We picked up a Hot'n'Now pizza for lunch, and then picked up some sundries from Walmart.

Returning to the condo we found Tim dressed and ready to go. He waited for Dan and Scott, and off they went. As Timmy so eloquently put it, I've had some bike neglect issues to address. Normally my bikes are fairly well maintained, and if I hadn't been travelling all week before the vacation I would have had time to make sure both bikes were ready to go. Luckily Dan was able to make my Raleigh's rear wheel ridable despite it being seriously out of true. So I decided to stay in and make sure my single speed was all set to go for riding with Eddie and Namrita tomorrow. Drop to 32x17, install my Reba suspension fork, and a new chain just for good measure. I also finally put on a set of chain tugs to help line my rear wheel up and keep it in place. My last bike had an eccentric bottom bracke and verticle drops. So much easier for gear changes and wheel/tire changes. My next bike will have an EBB again.

Finally I decided to check online to see what trails were in the area and maybe ride to one. I found the Helen to Unicoi park trail. It starts right in town and is a 7 mile or so loop. I had about 2 hours of daylight left, so I figured I was safe to go.

It's just a short ride to the trailhead. There was a nice big bulletin board at the entrance, but no maps. Once on the trail it was extremely well posted. At least in terms of direction and to let you know you were on the trail. But, as I've found common in Georgia, the mile markers seemed to make no sense, giving you no idea how far from or to some point you were.

The ride starts with a long climb out of town. It was switched back pretty well, but still pretty steep, especially to these raw cityboy legs. It's an old jeep trail that's being reclaimed and tightening back up. All the climbing finally led me to this view over Helen.

A screamin' downhill followed from this point. Man do I miss ridin' trail!! It was about this time that I realized I was going on on review trusting that this was indeed a 7 mile trail, and that it did indeed loop back to where I started. After Danielle and Namrita's ordeal, I didn't want to get caught out in the dark too. Gauging the best I could from the cryptic mile markers, I figured I was about 1/2 way done, so I decided to press on. I passed a couple signs for the Unicoi Lodge, and prayed for the best. Before too long, the trail looped back on itself and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

All in all it was a pretty nice trail. Intermediate only due to the steep climbs and fast descents. The best part is how close it is to town. I may hit this trail up again later in the week with Scott. Tomorrow I hope to meet up with Eddie and Namrita at a trail of their choosing.


Anonymous Erin said...

Trying to get through the crap weather here is getting tougher by the minute :o(. It's good to know you've escaped the madness for a bit Soupy! Thanks for the posts & pics.I hope you r enjoying every non-frozen minute of it :o)!

28/3/08 10:07 AM  

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