Two weeks ago I jumped out and did an impromptu century with Snyder and Hodges. We planned on a 3 hour ride, but just kept going. This woke up the hunger to go exploring. I planned this ride out, and five days before we left, while we were hanging out at FLUX, Kirk introduced me to Vargas, who’s a complete boss for coming out on short notice. 340 miles and 22.4k ft of climbing over 3 days? Piece of cake.
Why the climbing? Cause mountains make your balls bigger. So where to? Roll up the west side of the state, drop in to Chattanooga via Lookout Mountain, then roll through the mountains to Ellijay. To ensure our legs are blown up, day 3 will have us roll out of bed and deal with 25+ miles of climbs.
Starting from Atlanta we went down the Silver Comet to Rockmart, hit up Frankie’s, signed the wall, and continued on to Rome where we managed to run into a rowing club prepping for the Chattanooga Head Race the next day. Also located were some outdor spin bikes that Kirk jumped on. After Rome, we went through the John’s Mountain reserve, which we left via a dirt/gravel climb onto a nice technical descent.
Day 2 took us to Chattanooga and then Ellijay. Highlights: Lookout Mountain, Mott’s snacks, running into some old crew friends at the head race, eating til sick at Five Guys but still being at negative calories for the day, then heading through endless rollers to Fort Mountain. After riding the ridge, the sun dropped down, and we had a long descent with headlights into Ellijay. Pizza and joyful times resumed, with Sean pulling himself due to a nasty cough that ended up being bronchitis.
While Sean went off in search of all the ‘apples and hot bitches’ we promised would be in Ellijay on day 2 for encouragement, we went towards Burnt Mountain via every dirt and gravel road possible. I made all the routes for these rides with the goal of avoiding highways. I’m damn good at avoiding those when I want to be. Burnt Mountain was killer. Kirk and Vargas took off once the grade increased past around 6%. We met up at the very top, then had a sick gravel descent into a dead end. But only a dead end if you obeyed the signs. We walked through the woods, around a gate, and into a rich mountain gated community. Brand new roads greeted us for the rest of the descent. After this, it’s almost literally entirely downhill to Alpharetta, where we jumped on the Greenway, and then rode into Atlanta. Never been happier to see that skyline.
Insanely hard 3 days. Pictures below; the blue on the map is new territory from this weekend.
|From Chattavegas or Bust|