There's no party, just a lot of hectic packing, checking maps, and tucking food away into little unused spaces in all the packs. This has never been done. Don't get me wrong, we aren't striving out into the unknown wilderness of a distant land, we're crossing Georgia. But...pound for pound, this little ride is harder than the multi day self supported rides of the west. Sure it lacks the elevation, exposure to lightning, and remoteness, but it does have more elevation change per mile, and the heat of a Georgian summer. You pick your battles.
Greg is ready to go. If you don't know him, somehow my bike is named Greg. It says it right on the frame. Most people thing I either a) stole the ride or b) have an alter race ego named Greg. Either way, it is what it is and there was no convincing Spectrum Powder Works that it actually said "Grey" and was detailing the paint color of that block of the frame. So I get Greg, and Greg get's ready for battle.
Greg's all Rohloff'd out for now...running an out of spec 32 x 16 so I can stay in the higher, cleaner running gears most of the day, and have some amazingly small gear ratios when I need them. He's also donning a matching ensemble from Epic Designs in Alaska. Eric made me a custom frame bag to match Greg's rather small front triangle, but it holds my tarp, first aid, pump, stakes, a pair of capalene boxers, UV water maker safer, and a water bottle. The handlebar bag holds my sleeping bag, bivy, and sleeping pad. The little pouch is empty for now less some toilet paper. I'm sure a map will find its way up there, a camera, and some more snacks. Also tucked up into the cockpit is a Mountain Epic feedbag. I don't leave home without it. The little guy holds all my munchies, some chapstick, Genuine Innovations tire plugs for quick emergency fixes, and a little sunscreen.
The route belongs to David Muse. He's put in a lot of time to explore the mountains of northern Georgia and put this route together. And he made it hard. We drop up and down amongst the bigger hills of the northeast, crossing rivers, then the Appalachain trail, then a river, then the AT, and repeat. And the AT is always up on the highest ridge. We'll see it 4 times on day 1, and once again on day 2 as we climb both Hogpen and Wolfpen. Day 3 and Day 4 will be mostly single track, utilizing the Pinhoti trail system. We'll be riding all the trails around the Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get -a- Way and then doing the Snake Creek Gap time trial course backwards. (i've raced that thing like 6 times, each time saying "boy i'm glad this race goes this direction." should be interesting)
That's it. It's Shey Lindner from Georgia Cross fame, Jim Smart from wet sand "Florida Climbing" fame, and myself. I'll make a solid effort to take a lot of pics. I'm carrying the damn camera anyway. If you wanna keep an eye on us you can using the nifty little SPOT site.
Follow Us..point and laugh..make sure we don't stop moving for very long!!
We're starting Friday morning. You can click the link all you want before that, but it isn't going to show you anything. Patience grasshopper.