What an awesome weekend I had. Drove up to Dahlonega on Thursday to pre-ride the Fool's Gold course in the rain. As I headed up the first climb the rain stopped, the sky looked better and I thought it would clear and dry out. It didn't. I rode the gravel climb and descent then headed down Turner Creek trail into an expanse of peanut butter. When I popped out back on the forest road I had decided to cut the trail sections out of my pre-ride since they were in such bad condition. I then headed backwards on the course and back up to the ridgetop, back across, then down Cooper Gap Rd. to where my car was parked past the 4H camp. After a quick swim in the creek to wash off ( not to be the last!) I headed into town to catch up with my parents.
Friday was a great day, sunny again and not too hot. I got out for awhile on some quiet roads for another good ride. When I got back and cleaned up my Mother and I drove over to Hiawassee to see my grandparents for lunch. My Uncle and Cousin stopped by as well. We had a great lunch and visited as long as we could, but too soon it was time to go home. When we got back to Dahlonega, I rode up to Wheelworks and picked up my registration packet, came home and went to a great Italian dinner with my parents. After dinner and a quick walk around the square, we headed home, I got everything ready to go for my 5:30 am wakeup and hit the sack.
I was awakened earlier than I wanted to be by some very severe sounding thunderstorms. I got so excited that I could barely get back to sleep. I have been waiting all year for muddy race! Anyways- I woke up at 5:30, got ready, and was out the door by 5:45. I arrived at the camp the same time as last year- a little after 6 and was suprised that the parking was almost gone. There must have been twice the turnout this year. I got the megavan parked, got changed, and headed off to take care of the most important part of the race preparation.
The line at the bathroom was very long. After a painstaking wait, I was able to drop a little weight. Now I could mosey on over to the start line and relax till it was time to ride straight up a hill for an hour. Soon, the 100 mile race started. Those guys took off and I was a little sad to be doing the 50 miler this year instead of the 100. It wouldn't make a difference in the long run however. When the 100 milers had rolled out, the 50s swarmed thestart line. Jeremy and I ended up front row right in the middle. Perfect. After a look around I was very glad to be there as all I could see was people behind me. There must have been 300 back there. After a quick strategy talk with Jeremy where we discussed getting the holeshot, then making a left back to our cars and going home, we were getting the 30 second countdown. Everybody got real quiet as the tension rapidly built waiting for the start. I was counting in my head like I always do waiting to jump on one instead of go. After 30 seconds Eddie shouted 10 seconds and everyone flinched a little. Then GO. I got a good start with Jeremy right behind me to avoid the chaos as the bottleneck started behind us. And full race report willhave to wait until tomorrow- I have to go ride now! Later-DH