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]
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]
Went up to Snake Creek Gap to ride the first 17 out and back with a couple friends. I don’t remember it being as hard as it was. It might be because I took the Fargo and not the fat bike. Smaller tires and harder gearing probably contributed to my feelings about the trail today.
The weather was beautiful for the last day of January, so I was actually able to see some of the views along the ridgeline.
The Fargo handled really well. I put a new brake on the front this week and this was the first test of how it handled. There’s no shortage of steep technical descending on this route but I felt great the whole way.
The big event of the day was the hog that we caught sleeping on the trail. We stirred it (by grazing it with my pedal as I rode by) and watched for a minute as it groggilly decided that it didn’t really want to deal with us. Unfortunately, once it woke completely it started to cause some strife for other trail users, snorting and allegedly charging at some joggers and men on horse. The horse riders apparently began to shoot the beast with their sidearms. Woefully under-powered things that more than likely either did little more than further agitate the animal or put small holes in it resulting in a long agonizing death by bleeding out.
It’s a shame it came to that, but I’m in awe that I was able to encounter this creature as close as I did.