Tuesday, September 15, 2009

4 Trails in 5 Days, or "Just Another Reason to Throw the H8"

We really are blessed to live where we do. I know I've said it before, but we really feel like we won the lottery after we moved up here in December. I've made the comment to Suzy on numerous occasions that most people live where they do because of their job, but we live where we wanted to and brought our job with us. Not many people can say that, and we are truly fortunate in these tough times to have been able to move AND keep our business going.

One of the things we really love to do up here is ride mountain bikes. Back in Albany, we had one local trail along the Flint River that was pretty fun, and it was an awesome resource that just a few people really poured their energy into to maintain, but it was the ONLY show in town, and it sometimes got stale. To ride anything else was at least a 90 mile drive or more to get to other trails. That is not the case up here in God's Country. We can throw a dart at the map and venture off in that direction and find something to ride. There are SO many nice trails to ride up here, sometimes we get a little crazy and go overboard. Like this last 5 day stretch...

Thursday evening - Chicopee Woods in Oakwood. An awesome trail system about 45 minutes or so from the house.

Saturday morning - Jackrabbit Trails near Hiawassee. This trail is a 45 minute drive just over the GA/NC border on forest service land that is surrounded by Lake Chatuge. Awesome flowing singletrack with even more awesome views. A definite must ride if you are in the area.

Sunday afternoon - Fort Yargo State Park in Winder. A 75 minute drive for us, and the first trip back since Team Captain's crash on Easter Sunday that left her with a dislocated shoulder. A successful return to a great trail system, and we met some new mountain biking friends that like to eat post-ride pizza at Little Italy Pizza in downtown Winder - definite bonus there!

Monday evening - Unicoi State Park right here in Helen. Basically in our back yard, just a 10 minute drive from the house. I have a love/hate relationship with this trail, as it has a BRUTAL climb right at the beginning of the ride that just beats you up and spits you out before you even get situated in the saddle. It has lots of climbing on pretty non-technical doubletrack and some awesome descents that can get really hairy if the trail is wet. We tend to skip over this trail in favor of travelling a bit more for other trails we enjoy more, but this one is a definite fitness test, and it just so happens that it is the centerpiece of the Helen Fat Tire Festival in October, so I need to hit it more than I have been if I plan on racing the 6 hour event that is just around the corner.

I realize this was not a typical week for us, but the seasons are hinting at changing, there is a little crispness in the air on some days, and the leaves are just starting to change on a few of the tree species up this way. It's been a wonderful experience getting to live up here full time, and we are looking forward to even more off road shenanigans in the very near future!

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