For my last long weekend before taper, I was privileged enough to ride in North Georgia gaps. I love riding the gaps, this is where I learned to ride longer hills; training for Lake Placid. Not only did I learn how to go up the hill but also down the hills; which now I am able to decend the hills hitting 50+ mph. I love this 2 gap loop, we start at about mile 5 and start to climb. It is a great route and we did the loop twice on Saturday. After a short swim, heading up to Dahlonega, GA it was apparent we had a perfect day for the ride; the trees, flowers had signs of spring everywhere and many allergins but that is another issue. I was just enjoying the drive; as we got closer I started to get butterflies in my stomach for the excitemetn of this type of ride. I know how hard of a ride it is and my hill climbing is not where I was last year.
We get there and the weather was cool but warm to be comfortable with arm warmers for the fast decents but pulled down for the climbs... perfect. We start out, uphill the long... Within 3 miles, a group of 4 guys pass me; I hate that and want to stay with them but Kris drops a bottle so we get the bottle and lose the boys. Hinesight, that was probably the right thing to do, i was not even warmed up. So we climb
Neals as a warm-up, then the fast desent. My legs had started to wake-up, left turn time for hog pen. My last memory of wolf pen had a few choice words flowing from me for a few miles. (It was the 7th of 8 gaps of a 105 mile ride that day, legs hated me.) I hoped we could mend the friendship; and we did. I started the climb and Kris told me to stay out of my granie gear and suck it up. Arrgghh... This is the first lap; I need to do it twice, his did not listen to me and encouraged me to push up the hill. So i did, it was not that bad. The top came much quicker and did not seem as steep. I think excellent, but lets see the 2nd time. After wolf pen, are a bunch of rollers which i love ;but they could really cook you if you are not careful. Felt great through the rollers and up Woody's... now for the fun decent... can i see 50? no not quite but still I think i used the breaks only a handful of times. Improvement... Ah down the hill and over to Turner's corner, more rollers nothing terrible but do take something out of you.
Back at car...I think we did that lap 10 minutes faster than any time last year.
Great, more water and go for round 2. The long ~8 mile climb up Neal's goes well, starting to feel fatigue and practicing standing and sitting on the climb. Legs are talking back; i am not listening. Just keep on peddling. Wolf pen, can i do it without having a fight with the hill. We start up the hill, humm do i feel a few rain drops. It looks like rain... there is a chance. Just keep going, no rain but we round a corner and head wind. So not only do i have a tough climb but a strong head wind. Oh well, it will make me stronger, legs disagree but i tell them to go. so i sprint for the sign with what i have left. One more gap. The rollers where brutel but the amazing thing is my legs recovered and i was having fun on them and the last gap was done before i knew it and we were desending. I did great this time; the only scary part was I was down the hill looked back no Kris. Crap what happen, so I wait a few minutes then turn to start climbing to find out if something happen. Then I see him flying down the hill; he lost a bottle and went back for it. Scared me, but all is well. The last rollers were fun but my legs were not excited about the 6 mile run.
The final for the day we sprint for the county sign... Darn you Kris and your fast twitch muscles.
There are a few smart things that we did the night before knowing we would be tired, made a small picknic for right after the training since we have a long drive home and we had dinner that needed just heat up for a fast easy meal before crashing.
MapMyRide.com | View 3 Gap in Dahlonega, Georgia
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