Today’s ride started several days ago with a simple question. “Where are we riding this weekend?” As Tweety and I contemplated this great mystery, it was decided that Rich Mountain in the north Georgia mountains was going to be the setting of our suffering. For those that are not already aware, Rich Mountain offers the hardest climbing that Georgia has to offer. These technical ascents are steep and rough.
Who was going to join us on this quest? Roger and Laurie decided that a road ride was not an option anymore and signed right up. EpoJoe got in on the action and Tracey (Tweety’s better half) decided she wanted in on the fun too. So the field was set and we were on our way.
Through Roger’s recommendation, we were going to do the complete set at Rich that included an add-on that takes you to and around Lake Blueridge. This was going to hurt…but in a good way.
The ride was incredible. We couldn’t have asked for better weather and better riders to enjoy the day with. Even with all of the hard technical climbs, you get to enjoy the fast technical descents. The Stanley Gap climb is brutal. To make matters worse…it is an out and back trail so you get to climb both sides of it! The only saving grace is that you also get to go down both sides. Flat Creek is also anything but flat, but the rock garden downhill makes it all worth it. I am toast and left it all out on the trail.
So why the title?
Over the past couple of weeks and especially this week, as I planned the Tony Ellsworth interview and product review lineups, I sometimes forget what cycling is really all about…a great day on the trail with friends. Sometimes we get caught up in the parts, websites, forums, etc. and we forget the true reason we are out there. Today reminded me why I absolutely love this sport as much as I do. A great day on the trail makes us want to come back time and time again. Today it didn’t matter what bike you were riding, how fast you were, how great you think you are…all that mattered was that you were out there. We need to keep that at the forefront of our minds. As much fun as the other aspects of this sport are, they are still no match to that great ride.
Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to highlight the best parts about cycling to me. Hopefully, you guys feel the same way, but if you feel there is something that needs to be added, get it in the comments section. We all want to hear your thoughts as well.
Some stats from today’s ride thanks to the Garmin on Tweety’s stem.
Rich Mountain Ride
4:08 ride time
4860′ of elevation gain
4895′ of descent (so prolly an average between the two??)
avg speed – 6.8 mph
max speed 38.9 mph
Pictures by Laurie from Life on a Bike
(you have to love how the camera can flatten a trail)