It’s a wrap, folks… The 2nd annual Beginner/Intermediate (and Hammerheads, too) GAPS ride is in the books and boy was it just a great last last year. The day started with close to 60 riders, ranging from 20+ who ‘were’ GAP virgins, about 6-10 who had ridden them once before and the rest where very experienced fast climbers; we had from one end of the spectrum to the other.
After a Rider’s Meeting, we rolled around 8am, along with Missy, our local EMT/Paramedic who drove our SAG vehicle. Extra water bottles, etc were always in tow as Missy was never far from anyone. The donations were very generous, so that she was given $200 for her very valuable time today. That’s awesome!!! Oh, she had a blast and told me anytime we are up there and need hep again, to call her; can’t beat that.
Obviously, the hammerheads were out of sight fairly quickly and I never saw them again but they had a really great group and I am sure there was fun, a bit of competition and maybe even a little trash talkin’ for the day. I have to tell you that though they never really came in contact with Missy and the SAG truck, they still helped out the donation pool; pretty classy if you asked me.
At the top and bottom of each GAP, I shared some ‘local knowledge’ on what riders were to expect regarding asphalt conditions, sharp turns, holes, etc. and I explained a valuable tip for anyone who was apprehensive about fast descents to keep them in control and lower their anxiety levels. Everyone did really well, pushing themselves farther than they had before and the exhileration of the accomplishment of climbing 3 GAPS….was really fun to watch in person. Pedaling through the mental toughness as well as the physical part, was almost like a badge of honor they just earned and should wear proudly from now on.
At the top of each GAP, those who were already there, let out incredibly loud shouts of encouragement as the remaining riders came into sight and joined them in the parking lot. It was really cool and I can just imagine what that felt like for those coming around a turn and seeing/hearing such huge shootouts. I also had the opportunity to share some climbing tips to many (which I love to share) along the way and loved hearing their reactions when they immediately felt the difference. Bio-mechanics is a very cool thing, for sure!!!
Once everyone regrouped back at the parking lot, just about everyone headed off to meet up (yet again) for lunch at Zaxby’s. Yep, it was a great gathering and hearing everyone encourage each other about the ride and how well everyone did. Probably the story of the day (for me) was a guy (sorry I already forgot his name) who lives in downtown and has only ridden commuter distances on some really rough terrain. He had never been out on the open road and not anything close to the GAPs. On the encouragement of another rider/co-worker friend, he showed up and did phenomenal. In other words, he had almost no road cycling experience to speak of but just kicked it today.
Thanks to everyone for sharing your encouragement with me for hosting this ride. I love doing it and view it as an opportunity to give back to a sport that I am incredibly passionate about and one that I am very blessed to do as my occupation.
Is there maybe another northern GAPS ride? Well, that was the repeating question so I’ll look at my calendar really hard to see how fast I can pull this off. Stay tuned here and on my MyCycleCoach.com Facebook page.
It’s a privilege to pull rides like this together and very humbling to see so many show up. Each of those who rode today and for all those I met for the 1st time, Thank You for making my day!!!
Finally, I mentioned my 2nd annual Atlanta Winter Bike League to the group and I really hope you come out and join us for this very unique riding experience that starts November 22nd.
See ya on the road,