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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm First mtb tandem race in the books! Snake Creek Gap TT

    Despite a temp of 25 degrees at the start, my stoker and I completed our first race this past Saturday. The event is called the Snake Creek Gap time trial and it is a 3 race series with each event occurring a month apart in the months of January, Feb and March. The race is a point to point with two distance options - 34 & 17. Shuttles take you to the start and both distances finish at the same spot. The course follows the Pinhoti trail and crosses 5 different mountain ridgelines with about 6k' total elevation gain. While that might not seem like a lot, this course is tough! It is considered an IMBA epic and is littered with rocks the size of vw bugs. There are multiple deep creeks to cross and drop-ins off of ridgelines that many single bike riders were walking - tough!

    Anyway, we finished strong with an elapsed time of 5 hours and 55 minutes. While seemingly slow, this was Carin's first complete traverse of the course plus it was cold! As well, there was no tandem class so we were in the men 40-49 age group and we weren't last! So, next month, I'm sure we'll knock a chunk of time off; I'm shooting for a time off 5:20.

    We rode our stock Fandango 29'r which handled the technical course and rocks with ease - thanks Alex! It was really great to experience a competitive event with my wife never more than 24" from me! Can't wait till round #2!

    Hope to have some pics up soon.

  2. #2
    PMK
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    Congrats on the race / time trial.

    It is cool to do an event and have #1 on the back helping with huge efforts and complaining too.

    Pinhoti...Oh boy, that is a trail to ride down, up is fun in places but down is better.

    We had our Ventana there a couple years ago. Stayed at Mulberry Gap. Awesome food and hospitality. And the trail on full suspension, was a blast. Sketchy at times, but a blast.

    Guessing your training grounds was Blankets Creek, over and over and over.

    Say hi to #1

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  3. #3
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    Thanks Paul...yes, we did a lot of Blankets Creek / Rope Mill rides to build up the mileage but we did most of our long 30+ mile rides up at Bull Mtn in the North GA mtns. Other than constant rain here every weekend over the past 8 weeks, we felt pretty good with the distance, hill climbing and technical rocks, etc. I guess speed is what we need to build on now.

    As for the Pinhoti, yes, Mulberry Gap is the bomb and if you've ridden the Pinhoti trail - 1, 2 and 3 around Mulberry, you know what the climbing is like - as well as the descents - HOLD ON!!!! The Snake Creek TT actually takes place on a section of the Pinhoti that is a bit West of Mulberry Gap over in Dalton, GA. Interestingly, the terrain is totally different. The Mulberry section of the Pinhoti is classic long ups and long down mountains whereas the section of the TT actually criss-crosses 5 different ridgelines. The "epicness" of the ride is how the trail runs along the top of each ridgeline for several miles before bombing straight down a fall line to what is usually a creek crossing or 3. Those ridge-lines are just littered with rocks - big and small.

    Anyway...it was an awesome time with Carin. Unfortunately it was so cold that the photographers stayed away and we were left without any good pics. Hoping for warmer weather on February 1!

    Below is the one shot we got coming down off a ridgeline. I believe the front wheel was a good foot off the ground in this pic - we were moving when we went over the waterbar.

    First mtb tandem race in the books!  Snake Creek Gap TT-tandem-1-.jpg

  4. #4
    PMK
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    We did not have the time or desire to ride all of Pinhoti. We focused on the section to the right side of the road coming in from ElliJay. I think that was 1 and 2.

    When I say desire, our excuse is having done the CITT that year. So it was the 175 miles, all day and all night point to point two days before.

    P2 was smoking fast if you let the bike run. Lot of tire tracks not making the corners and our tires were squirming for grip. And those "G" outs with what seem like banked turns cut into the hillside. No momentum lost there. Climbing wise, we did fold a cassette sprocket. Trailside fix and it lasted the rest of the time.

    We also did a road climb, think we got to Whiskeytown trail, but stayed up top and explored, ultimately taking a bomber DH run ending in a rocky decent with a right turn and stream at the bottom. We skipped riding the stream since the far shore had a nice slippery 4 foot step up. This I believe was near the Gunnet Poplar tree.

    Best of luck in Feb.

    JK & PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  5. #5
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    All GREAT trails! The one with the Gannett Poplar is called Bear Creek. Lots of creek crossings! As for whiskeytown, you're probably thinking of Mountaintown creek which starts up high on a fs road and drops all the way down through the valley for 8 miles back to the base of the Cohuttas and the start of Bear Creek trail.

    Pinhoti 1&2 linked with Bear Creek is a popular ride. Long climbs followed by bomber descents. Mtntown is great too. We haven't done that one on the tandem but I plan to this Spring. Come on up and join us....

    FWIW, I think Mulberry Gap would be a great place to host an AORTA.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhopton View Post
    ...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think her eyes are shut...

    Quote Originally Posted by mhopton View Post
    All GREAT trails! The one with the Gannett Poplar is called Bear Creek. Lots of creek crossings! As for whiskeytown, you're probably thinking of Mountaintown creek which starts up high on a fs road and drops all the way down through the valley for 8 miles back to the base of the Cohuttas and the start of Bear Creek trail.

    Pinhoti 1&2 linked with Bear Creek is a popular ride. Long climbs followed by bomber descents. Mtntown is great too. We haven't done that one on the tandem but I plan to this Spring. Come on up and join us....

    FWIW, I think Mulberry Gap would be a great place to host an AORTA.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
    I like hearing about the N. GA trails. I used to ride up there quite a bit and even took the old rigid MT1000 to Bear Creek back in '04. That was a beating!

    Congrats on taking on the challenge of the TT.

    btw - doesn't Mountain Creek town have about 8 BIG creek crossings? (hence the name) I remember having some wet shoes from that one. ...and riding right next to cascading water, which was soooo cool.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  7. #7
    PMK
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    Like the movie Christmas Vacation...her eyes are frozen

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  8. #8
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    Congrats on the first tandem MTB race! Sounds like fun!

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