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  1. #1
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    GA race, The Snake on Pinhoti Trail

    I am thinking about making the trip from Michigan to do this race on Jan 4. Has anyone on this forum done it before? A few questions:

    1. How's the trail? Hardtail or Full Suspension?
    2. What is expected weather in Dalton GA on Jan 4th?
    3. How does this race rate on the "epic-ness" scale?

  2. #2
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    Here is the race link: Race Information

  3. #3
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    There is no such thing and expected weather in GA especially this time of year. Could be 70 sunny and beautiful, could be 12 and icy and wet and blowing. Very volatile and fast swings, pack for every extreme and inbetween or you will be without what you need on race day.

  4. #4
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    Weather is the big variable that time of year. I've heard stories of nipple deep water crossings in freezing temps. That said I'll be there. There's a pre-ride on 12/7, I'll know more about the course for you then but I hear its pretty legit.

  5. #5
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    Cool... thanks for the info... I look forward to seeing about the pre-ride.

  6. #6
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    don't let the distance deceive you THE SNAKE is The Real Deal!!!
    Earn The Buckle! Yes earn it it is cold, it is wet it is rocky and root, did I say ROCKY!!! YEs all there FS rd single track up and wicked downhill with tech trail where you gotta pay attention or eat it! While you are riding (example 2yrs ago 20*, snow flurries etc) you are thinking why Lord WHY!?! When you are done...you wanna do it again!

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    In terms of what to ride I would ride FS but that's me. There are definitely plenty hard tails and even some people on rigid lol.

    Difficulty is a relative term so it's tough to say IMO it's very knarly. A to. Of rocks and some very steep difficult climbs. Definitely the one of the toughest I have ridden.

  8. #8
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    I live just up the road and as an example of weather, its mid 60's today. Two days ago it was 27 when I got off work in the AM. Can be a nasty trail, bring your best gear and bike.

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    Ooooh, now I'm just getting excited!

  10. #10
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    It is a very demanding trail with parts that flow and some that don't. It takes across 3 ridges (small mountains) and parts of it are very rocky. There is a lot of climbing with a few climbs you may have to walk. Stream crossings and the scenery is pretty nice. AS for the weather...anything goes! It could e mild to very cold and snowing. If I had my guess...it will be fairly cold and frozen.
    Too wet to ride!

  11. #11
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    Re: GA race, The Snake on Pinhoti Trail

    I know I'm looking forward to it, I'll be coming up from Florida, hopefully for all 3 34 milers.

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2

  12. #12
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    Re: GA race, The Snake on Pinhoti Trail

    Quote Originally Posted by evenslower View Post
    Weather is the big variable that time of year. I've heard stories of nipple deep water crossings in freezing temps. That said I'll be there. There's a pre-ride on 12/7, I'll know more about the course for you then but I hear its pretty legit.
    Evenslower (or anyone else who knows), is there any info on the dec 7 pre-ride? I see it listed on the site, but how does that work?
    Never mind, I just found info on facebook for the preride.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloriDave View Post
    Evenslower (or anyone else who knows), is there any info on the dec 7 pre-ride? I see it listed on the site, but how does that work?
    Never mind, I just found info on facebook for the preride.

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
    You show up (at the time specified) and they will shuttle you and your bike to the start, like they do for the race. You can start when you want and take as long as you want to ride it.

  14. #14
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    OK, I am officially registered. I am going to have to do the Feb race due to schedule conflicts.

    I am very excited to see what the trails in northern GA look like.

  15. #15
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    If I want to race all 3, do I have to pay 3 times or do I pay one fee and race once, twice, or three times.

  16. #16
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    Pay once, ride it up to three times. I personally have paid but can make it there in January. I will do February for sure. Not sure if I can make it there for March yet.

  17. #17
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    Here is a quick video of one of the more difficult sections in case you haven't seen it yet.

    Snake Creek Gap Feb 6 2010 - horrific rocks! - YouTube

    A beast of a trail for sure.

  18. #18
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    Wow, awesome! It looks like it will be worth the drive to get there. I think I had better start training...

  19. #19
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    SCG is the one event I look forward to every year. That being said, and I know you don't want to hear this, but I am not sure it's worth driving down from MI. It's a ~4hr mtb ride. Good climbs, good downhills, big rocks, big roots, point to point, but it's still a medium length mtb ride.

    As others have said, weather is totally unpredictable. First year I did it, my camelback was frozen 10 minutes into the race. Last year or the year before it snowed for an hour. Just pray the water isn't high!

  20. #20
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    Yeah, I understand how it might look from the outside... a long drive for a short race... My take:

    Unique race on interesting terrain (from a MI perspective) ...
    Something to train for through the what are traditionally the fat gaining months...
    A chance for a friend and I to get away for 2 days...

    As far as being deterred by cold weather... Hey, I'm from MI... My last ride was 8 degree and snowing... Even the chance that it might be warm-ish out is a plus...

  21. #21
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    You will definitely have a good time. If you are not, at least keep telling yourself you are! It's the only way to get through it. The terrain progressively gets tougher, but you'll know when the really hard part is over. It's when you pass under the sign that says finish. If you and your bike escape unscathed consider yourself lucky. You would be one of the few. Matt and the NWGA Sorba team really have a gem of an event and they are all very proud of it.

    If you can swing an extra day I would recommend checking out another section of the Pinhoti we call P1, P2, and P3. Georgia gap riding at its finest. Much easier terrain than SGC, although the climbs might be a bit longer. Time-wise, expect it to take about ~10% less time than SCG if you do all 3 gaps. You could easily just do P1-2 or P2-3 if the legs are dead.

  22. #22
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    Welcome to Georgia!

    The average high for January is 50 degrees, but as they say here in Ga, if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes.

    Snow is possible. The worst-case scenario, ice, is a bit more of a possibility. I live a little southeast of Dalton at a lower elevation, and we typically get a couple of ice storms per year. They may be less of a problem in Dalton since it tends to be colder.

    Early January tends to be a bit warmer than mid Jan - early Feb.

    Average Weather for Dalton, GA - Temperature and Precipitation

    Have fun!

  23. #23
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    First day of official winter, about 70 and a tornado watch. Who knows what it'll be like.

  24. #24
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    The first leg of this race is just a few days away... The weather forecast looks like 50-ish, though I expect it will be colder on the trail and in the mountains. I am only riding the second race (Feb) so good luck to those riding.

    I look forward to seeing race reports, and watching any POV videos you might record.

  25. #25
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    I'm doing the time trial for the first time this year. I pre-rode the 2nd portion of the course today (Snake creek parking to the radio towers and then backwards). This trail did not disappoint and is probably the most difficult trail I've ridden. The trail was in good shape and dry. I would imagine some of it might be a little slick after the rain tomorrow but it should be okay.

  26. #26
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    Thanks for the report scotty. I'm excited about this one.
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  27. #27
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    Dying to know... How was the race?

  28. #28
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    Great race. Weather cooperated, cold start but you warmed up quick. Infamous creek crossing was not bad. Some rode, some took shoes off and walked (me). Didn't see too much carnage-few flats, broken chain or two, busted wheel. Trail was in great shape but the spots in the sun began to thaw and got slimy part way through. Pretty tough 34 miles especially on a SS.

  29. #29
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    My race was good. It was a little chilly but nice and sunny. Myself and others had problems with our derailleurs and cables freezing up after going through creeks. I was able to get mine shifting again after messing with it. I finished it out strong for me with a 3:52. Definitely the hardest race I've ever done. The best times were Thomas turner at 2:52 and Ezra lusk at 3:13

  30. #30
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    Just dodged the weather, we're looking at possible single digits and snow tonight.

  31. #31
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    Sounds great. Frozen is certainly better than partially thawed. Sounds like you guys were lucky.

    Any videos or pictures?

  32. #32
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    Best conditions I've ever had there. Trail was near perfect and weather was as good as it gets. My race played out differently than other times, but I'm always at 4hrs +\- 2mins. Was 4:04 this time, but spent a couple of minutes helping a guy with a flat. I started out near the back so the first 7 miles were slower for me, but I'm sure that's the reason I had a little juice left over for dug gap. Cleared all but two sections of dug gap which is significantly better than in the past. I had my fastest time by over for 4 minutes from the base of the wall to the finish. F'ing love this race.

  33. #33
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    I rode the 34 for the first time and had a blast. It is every bit as difficult as advertised. I rode thru the creek with no problems except frozen brakes (until they heated up). But, I was on a rigid ss, so no derailleurs to act up. A buddy of mine said his front derailleur froze after the creek crossing and he was stuck in the little chainring (26t) the whole ride. Of course with 5000' of climbing, if you are gonna be stuck in one I guess that is better than the big one.

    My advice: 1) Don't fear the creek. I worried the most about it and it was over and done before I knew it. 2) Save some gas for the second half, especially after the last rest stop. After the climbing in the first half and the climb from the parking lot midway, the rocks are just waiting to break you spirit.

    All in all a great, satisfying challenge. I can't wait 'til #2. I'll be working on my sustained climbing and hope it pays off with the energy left to ride stronger in the rock gardens.
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    This was my first time attempting the snake. I rode my rigid singlespeed (SSOD). I honestly thought the first 17 was harder than the second 17. The second half was more technical, but IMO the first 17 was more physically demanding. I ran 32x20, but next race I will be running at least 32x21 with suspension up front. The down hills got really choppy and starting wearing on my upper body. I finished in 4:32. Me and a buddy rode the whole thing together. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be sub 4 on one of the last two. I can't wait for February 1st.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottymchanson View Post
    My race was good. It was a little chilly but nice and sunny. Myself and others had problems with our derailleurs and cables freezing up after going through creeks. I was able to get mine shifting again after messing with it. I finished it out strong for me with a 3:52. Definitely the hardest race I've ever done. The best times were Thomas turner at 2:52 and Ezra lusk at 3:13

    Ezra Lusk....the Motocross rider?
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  36. #36
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    Yes it was him

  37. #37
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    Can anyone provide some details about the aid station setup? How frequent, what did they have... ?

  38. #38
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    Two stations on the 34 if I remember right, one at the halfway point Snake Creek parking lot and other about 3/4 of the way through at the end of a gravel road climb where you head back into the woods right before it starts to get rocky. Had water, Heed, bananas, I think a couple of other food items but not sure. Pretty much the basics and well supplied with them.

  39. #39
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    I am getting ready to head down from Michigan tomorrow morning. I am seeing some crazy weather down there in the news. Does anyone have a weather / trail report from Dalton? What should we expect?

  40. #40
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    Should be perfect weather by Saturday. First few miles and other areas will be a bit sloppy, but I wouldn't even think about canceling the trip. It's rare we get to start with temps above freezing.

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    Metro Atlanta temperatures are expected to be 60 degrees on Saturday so you will be fine. Coming from Michigan you would have a good laugh at what the inches of snow does around here lol.
    Last edited by Atl-Biker; 01-31-2014 at 11:24 AM.

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    It was below 10 degrees this morning with a couple inches of ice. Gonna be high 50's this weekend. Not sure how the northerners would get around on a few inches of ice covering the roads?

  43. #43
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    It will be interesting to see what the thaw does to the creek crossing... Should I bring floaties?

  44. #44
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    I bet there are going to be a lot of soft spots after a couple days of thawing. Hopefully it won't be too bad.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottymchanson View Post
    I bet there are going to be a lot of soft spots after a couple days of thawing. Hopefully it won't be too bad.
    I'm thinking the same thing. Hope it's windy the next couple of days to help dry things out but I'm thinking we'd be better off with the freezing temps. Gonna be like riding in peanut butter in places. No bueno on a SS. How much snow did they get in Dalton? I'm in Canton and we had about 4 in. Gone now except for the shady spots, as in mostly between the trees ; )

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigb2000 View Post
    It was below 10 degrees this morning with a couple inches of ice. Gonna be high 50's this weekend. Not sure how the northerners would get around on a few inches of ice covering the roads?
    I hear you man, it was bad. But at the end of the day it was 2-3 inches of snow and the way the state government reacted IMO was unacceptable. I can tell you this though, when you need to go down a hill and then go up a hill right after, don't slow down when you get to the bottom of the hill. Momentum is your friend.

  47. #47
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    so how'd you do xycarp? was it worth the trip?

  48. #48
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    Wow... It was fantastic. A well run event, over some awesome trails.

    I felt great for the first 3/4 of the race... then hit some very rocky climbs that stopped me in my tracks. I walked several of the rocky-er climbs near the end... "The Wall"? Insane! I of course had to walk the whole thing. We don't get much of that rocky stuff in MI.

    My immediate post race description to my wife via text was... "Awesome, Horrific"... It was unlike anything I had done previously, and a definite must do.

    One last comment... The community was awesome. Everyone was very welcoming.

    a GREAT event!

  49. #49
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    Sweet, glad you enjoyed. My singular comment about the wall is simply "why?".

    If you ever find yourself headed this way looking for some local intel let me know. Plenty of great stuff around here.

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    Glad to hear you had a good time! I thought Jan. was the best conditions I have seen....until Sat. It was near perfect. I can't remember the last time i rode in shorts and a ss bike jersey.

    What time did you post? Bet you knock off a solid 15% next time. Do you plan on coming for March?

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