TransNorthGeorgia [Finished]

[The Setup]

Sitting in the parking lot of a Burger King in Dalton last August, wishing I could enjoy the beautiful fall weather, I knew I would be back. I knew that one day, I would ride by that spot and begin the final, unknown (to me) stretches of this blindingly sadistic route.

Four months prior to that, I stopped much shorter on the route when my ride partner, Kinzer, developed a very bad knee injury. At the time, I had relatively good fitness and, although the course is incredibly challenging, I felt like I was able to suffer through and would have been fine otherwise. Perhaps this [inflated?] sense of self contributed to me hardly riding at all during the intervening months, and when combined with bad weather fortunes, conspired to tear me down to a broken, ripped, shell of a man, force-feeding himself a croissan’wich™. Continue reading TransNorthGeorgia [Finished]

The Cross Florida Individual Time Trial

If you’re bummed because you think that the bikepacking season ends once the leaves have fallen and are also looking for a way to burn off some of that turkey-day-weight, look no further than SingletrackSamurai’s very own Cross Florida Individual Time Trial (CFITT). Here you will find 250 miles of mixed terrain and unique hidden gems as you traverse the peninsula from Atlantic to the Gulf.

The race starts with a ceremonial dip of your rear tire in the Atlantic Ocean and follows a very meandering route to cross the state, ending with the corresponding dip of your front tire in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the route is familiar to Huracan-ers as it takes Florida Trail through Ocala National Forest and the Santos trails which were two of the highlights of the other route. Some other highlights are a hidden abandoned (never completed) monorail line, a stop in at a Roadhouse style bar in the middle of the forest, and a ferry ride across a river (sorry, this one is not fordable, even using a fatbike as a flotation device). Continue reading The Cross Florida Individual Time Trial

TNGA [Redo]

In April I made an attempt at riding the TransNorthGeorgia mountain bike route. The ride was cut short on the second day after only covering about a third of the distance. The big take-away at the time was the the route was extremely vertical and required excellent physical shape and proper gear tuning/fitting to complete.

I made the decision shortly after coming back from the bailout that I would sign up for the official race, nearly four months away at that point, and complete the ride from the start.

The [not] Prep

I felt good after that first attempt, probably because I was coming off some good fitness from riding a lot earlier in the season, so even though I had experienced what the route could dish out, I took a rather lackadaisical approach to training any further… that is to say, I didn’t. Continue reading TNGA [Redo]