Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shoulda Been Here Yesterday!

The old surf adage about getting burned on a surf trip, and then some local always points out, "You shoulda been here yesterday!", seems to have been a theme for the cycling part of our weekend trip. In reality, "yesterday" wouldn't have been any better. Four or five days ago, maybe, but not yesterday.

The rain that tore through the Eastern US reeked its havoc in North Georgia. We knew that Saturday's ride plans were a bust, before we left. 100% chance of rain left little doubt. But we hoped for a ride on Sunday, albeit a muddy one. We awoke early Sunday morning, ate a hotel breakfast, and drove the 40 minutes south from Dahlonega to Gainesville, to ride Chicopee. It took us long enough to get there, driving winding mountain roads, that I was already doing the math to see how much time we had to ride, and still get back in time for the wedding. When we rounded the corner to the parking lot, that problem was no longer an issue. A big red Closed! sign hung from the gate. There was a small crew of people in the lot so we swung in to find a work party heading out to clean up after the weeks storms. Now, I'd like to say we jumped out and played the Ambassadors of Tallahassee mountain biking, offering to drag limbs and shovel dirt as needed. But that wouldn't be true. Instead, like good travelers seeking a ride, we asked if anything would be open in the area. Not very noble, I know, but truthful. Anyway, one of the guys suggested driving further south, to Ft. Yargo. Since that was the plan for tomorrow, and the extra driving time just wouldn't allow us to get back in time for the wedding today, we returned slightly defeated, to Dahlonega.

On the way back, I just wasn't too keen on sitting in the hotel room, waiting to play dress up for the wedding. So we decided to drive up to Camp Wahsega, where Fool's Gold 50/100 is held in August. It gave me a chance to show Mrs. Worm around the mountain where Silk threw down last year(while Mingo, Micro and myself grabbed another hour and a half of shuteye). We drove about half of the 10 mile climb that starts that race. It's hard to convey, in words, a hill that goes up that long, this far south. She finally understood what I had been yammering about. We had a blast driving the mountain roads, even though knobbys had not yet touched dirt.

On the way back to the hotel, we swung through the Celtic Festival going on in downtown Dahlonega, and grabbed meat pies, bridies, and sausage rolls for lunch. Some Scottish shortbread for dessert, and we were in business!

Monday rolled around, and I was more than amped to be riding. We did another hotel breakfast, and were gone by 8am. We drove the same mountain roads as the day before, back through Gainesville, on our way to Winder, where we would ride the Ft Yargo trails. A couple of years ago, I went and watched Marcus look like he was drowning at an Xterra event here. While that partially cured his tri-geek phase, he raved about the trails, so I was looking forward to seeing what he saw. Besides, we're racing there in April, and I can see if maybe my new ride is a better choice for this trail, over the Titus. We pull in the lot, ready to work out the weekend kinks and, Closed! I'm getting a little tired of being mocked by this six letter word.

By now my frustration was boiling to the surface, and my demeanor was less than pleasant. My poor wife, I'm sure, was questioning her sanity for committing a lifetime to me. I was tired of long detours in search of trail, only to get skunked time and time again. We made a beeline for the Interstate, and headed south. Somewhere on I-675 I calmed downed, and decided to make one last ditch effort to ride. We jumped off I-75 and headed for Dauset. Finally luck was with us, and the gate was open. We peered tentatively at the kiosk, expecting another buzz kill, but all was good. The trails were definitely more muddy that I would've liked, but nowhere near as bad as the last time I came up with the crew. So we managed to get in and hour and a half of woods time, that salvaged the mountain bike portion of our trip.

Afterwards we hit JL's for BBQ, and then stopped at Stripling's for a late afternoon snack. It seemed that all was finally well with the world again.

Oh yeah, we did do the whole wedding thing on Sunday. Yours truly managed to forget his nice shirt, so a last minute trip was made to some hiking store in downtown Dahlonega, to find that the only long sleeve shirts they had were Patagonia. Ouch! It's a nice shirt, but damn! I hope I wear it more often, maybe next winter. Or, maybe it will find its way on eBay, to recoup some of the expense. On the way to the cheesy castle used for the wedding site, we passed a Wally World. Now I hate shopping at the big W, but I probably would have gotten a more usable shirt, for about a third of the price. Oh well, I'll chalk it up to supporting the N. GA economy. I'll call it, "Bigworm's Economic Stimulus Due to Poor Planning Plan".

Being in the mountains was great, and Mrs. Worm commented on moving there more than once. But as usual, it's still good to be home.


bikechain said...

Now that is what I call a post... Good job. I can hear the heavy sighs plain as day. Glad to see you got dirty... um, i mean on the trails... i mean ridin... um i mean the bike

bikediet said...

O, he got dirty riding the trails alright - knowhamsayin

Spanish Mackerel said...

Dirty is a good thing! The Mtns. would be a sweet place to live but I don't think I could leave the coast so far behind.