Monday, January 5, 2009

Snake Creek Gap

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Saturday Rob, Jaques and I rode down to Dalton, GA for a pleasant 34 mile stroll over 6 mountains, rocks, mud and fun. I had only done the 17 mile option before and both Rob and Jaques were Snake Creek virgins. I at least had an idea of what I was getting into. Two years ago I did the 34 preride and then raced the 17.

We began with about an hour long bus ride that ended up standing room only. When we got to the start area out in the middle of nowhere, it was a race for the pine trees. It seemed like 100 people all were straining at the bladder. After a quick nature break we all lined up.
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The Snake starts out innocent enough. There is a couple of mile flat section to start. Then you have to cross the knee deep creek and start a long (2 mile?) climb. Did I say it was drizzling rain, all day long?

No pictures from the trail, suffice to say I survived. Lots of gooey, nasty muddy sections and a few really clean, fun fast sections made it interesting. I rode most of the last half with Shawn. He was not enjoying himself on the SS. Both Emily and Doug Parker had good times for the conditions. I was shooting for 4:30 to 5 hours with all the mud and ended up 4:33 and change. I was pleased except it put about 4 seconds out of 2nd Clyde. If I hadn't stopped to pee...
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Jaques keeping me company on the way home. He said it was the toughest bike ride he has ever done.
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Come Feb. we get to do it all over again. This is one of the best run races I have ever done. It is completely organized and staffed with friendly, helpful people literally all over the trail. If you're looking for a first epic race or even if you do this kind of stuff all the time you should try it.

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Grand Master Clydesdale

Riding my bike makes me feel like I'm 10 years old again. I'm 54 years old and a clydesdale. I'm happily married to Ginger and I've got a son and two daughters, Zach, Hannah and Molly.