Today the team went up to Dahlonega to ride the front 3 Gaps - it was a fantastic ride! It started out a little cold, as we turned left out of Turner Store to get in a few miles warm up, the air was brisk and I started to wonder if I was dressed appropriately. We came back by the store and started up Neel's Gap. I stayed back with a group - my big concern (something I do a lot) was I might go out too fast, so I wanted to make sure I didn't do that today. As our group slowly spaced out, it's a 7 mile climb so everyone really needed to go their own pace, I realized that I felt really great. I was riding with D and S for awhile and then decided to pull away to see who was ahead of us. I ran into B - who was very "serious" on the hill...over the next 20 min or so I caught up to and rode with A, K, D and then finally was able to catch up to H. We ended up finishing Neel's Gap together.
Leaving Neel's it was H, H, D and myself - we prepped for the down hill by rolling up our sleeves again and stayed alert for the left turn that sneaks up on you. Once we made the turn, we were on Wolf Pen - the hardest of the 3 gaps. I knew we all needed to go our own pace and just get'er done. So we did...I ended up finishing pretty strong on that gap and did not have to stop this time - woohoo! We gathered at the SAG, refueled and then H, H, D, G, and I left.
We went a pretty good pace out of Wolf Pen. We tried and failed a few times to paceline, but overall the ride was pretty pleasant and even shorter than I had remembered. We ate some snacks at the stop sign at the gas station before our third left of the day, and then headed off to Woody's. Again, we had a paceline for about 10 seconds but then it fell apart - oh well. We picked up C along the way. He was lookin' for a good time and he found one!
Woody's was even shorter than I remembered, and I wish I would have slowed down a little bit more to help out H and H but G and I were going a good pace, and i thought they were right behind me but then G broke off to go back to catch them. At that point the little "Hiker Men" sign wasn't far away and that's my signal the Gap was almost over so I just pushed on through.
C, H, H and G finished the last Gap soon after. We stopped to talk to D because she hurt her back, and then we headed down the screaming hills of Woodys. I took it a lot slower this time than last time, that put me at the end of the pack, but they waited for me at the Rock Pile (our fourth left of the day) and we headed back for the last 5 or so miles. It was nice that it was rolling hills because it was a lot easier to chat with H, H, and C.
After the ride, we changed and got some grub at Turner Store. Bacon Cheeseburger and sweet potato fries...yuuuuuuummmmmm!
Overall - this was a fantastic ride - and EVERYONE rode so well!! It was great to see everyone on team so happy and proud of their accomplishment!
Distance 37.9 mi
Avg Speed: 11.5 mph
Max Speed: 35 mph
Ride Time: 3:16:52