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6 Gap Century - CycleCentury


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Dahlonega, Georgia
United States
Precipitation
Total Time = 8h 20m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Bike
  • 7h 30m
  • 100 miles
  • 13.33 mile/hr
Post race
Event comments:

This was an Epic Ride, in every sense of the word, and yes, I do realize the word is over-used. :)

I was reading something a few days ago, I think in Triathlete magazine, regarding "epic" events. The author had a list of conditions beyond the assumed ones such as effort, pain, and suffering. Something like,

- The event must last longer than 5 hours
- Spectators must seriously doubt the participants' mental health
- It must involve bad weather
- Illness, injury or accidents are a plus..

OK, so we're 4 out of 4. Check. I can't remember the rest, but you get the idea.

For anyone who doesn't know what 6 Gap is, it's a century ride in the north GA mountains (hills?) covering some of the same roads that are used for the Tour de Georgia in the spring. Only lots slower. See the link above for a route map, or go do the Dahlonega Chamber of Commerce's site to sign up yourself for next year...if you're still crazy enough to want to after reading this.

http://www.dahlonega.org/

I arrived Saturday, checked in, and went to Helen where we were staying with my family to get dinner. It's a cool town, especially if you like German beer and food (yes and not so much..)

I got a few hours of sleep, propped partially upright in bed due to an acute sinus infection that was drowning me if I tried to lay down flat. Got up at 5 AM, staggered to shower with blinding headache. Took Excedrin. Took antibiotics for sinus infection. Took Sudafed to (hopefully) clear me out. I was on more drugs than the TdF peloton on Stage 18. (Illness, Check).

After a quality athlete's pre-race fueling at Huddle House (don't eat the hash browns, they're too greasy for even me to stomach) we drove over in the dark and rain to the start in Dahlonega. Oh yes, it was raining, and it wouldn't stop for most of the day. (Bad Weather, Check).

It was actually quite nice as we started off, in a huge mass of bicyclists. Cool, fog on the slopes above us, and light rain. I rode with a couple of friends, -Peter King (pkingfl on here) and Mike, until somewhere around the start of the first climb, Neel's Gap. The rain was increasing, and we started up a long line of switchbacks. Somewhere in there I lost Peter and Mike, but met up with another couple of guys from Jacksonville, Ray and Vinnie Dontknowtheirlastnames (no relation), who rode with me from there.

The top of Neel's Gap was a madhouse. Bikes and sodden people everywhere. I stopped and started to get cold; tried to wait for Mike and Peter but finally decided I'd better get on the bike and start pedaling before I locked up for good. Ray and I headed out; we rode together the rest of the way, which helped immensely!

The next 30-40 miles were fun. It actually stopped raining for a while, neither Jack's Gap nor Unicoi were horrible, and the downhills were the reward for the effort. I had an absolute blast, tucked down low, flying along at 30-40 mph, down the mountainside on wet roads. (Spectators Doubt Sanity, Check!)

We got to Hogpen Gap, and started pedaling. My left leg started cramping when I tried to stand up..not good. I'm still not sure if it was due to being sick, the cold, or what. I sat down, geared as low as I could, and got into a groove.

I have the Powertap log up to this point; it worked intermittently in the rain and finally expired for good on the backside of Hogpen just after recording a 52.9 mph downhill speed. :) I was expending between 200-220 watts, at 60 rpm, to haul my 180 lb ass, plus 28 lb steel clunker, 4-5 mph up that grade. 7 miles of this climb..it took a LONG time.

I watched a couple of people fall over trying to dismount their bikes at the top of Hogpen, including one guy who I hope didn't have a heart attack. He didn't look good. Vinnie was feeling bad at this point also and ended up taking the truck back.

The back side of Hogpen rewarded us with 50+ mph top speeds, hairpin curves, and a cramp in my hands from the white knuckled grasp of the bars and brakes.

From there on in, I knew I'd make it, we just slogged along. The last two gaps weren't bad, just slow as I still had quad cramps. The girl at the stop on top of Woody Gap told me, "It's all downhill from here!". I just assumed she was lying like all volunteers do in such situations, but it was actually almost true. It included at least a 10 mile stretch of 30-40 mph speeds, where we hardly pedaled and just swooped through curve after curve. When I actually dared look around me, I gathered it was beautiful scenery, looking down off of the mountain.

Ray and I arrived at around 8 hrs 20 minutes, with about 7:30 in actual ride time. I had no real goals for time since this isn't a race and I'd never done any climbing that remotely resembled this. I just wanted to have fun and finish. I did have fun, in a sick sort of way.

A couple of the guys I ride with greeted me at the finish line with choruses of "About time!", and asked me if I was planning on making a career out of finishing this. I said "Yes". One of these guys, Wes, finished in just over 5 hours. Damned skinny little 19 year olds...

I'm sitting here writing this after just returning from the doctor's office. I had to go and get an official diagnosis, "Yup, that ugly stuff is a sinus infection" and a prescription for more antibiotics. Please, nobody call my office and let them know I did 6 Gap yesterday!






Last updated: 2006-05-20 12:00 AM
Biking
07:30:00 | 100 miles | 13.33 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance:
Wind:
Course: http://dahlonega.org/images/stories/PDF/6gapmap2006.pdf
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2006-09-25 4:37 PM

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: 6 Gap Century


2006-09-25 4:42 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Champion
7704
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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century
WOW sounds like ar eally tough day Kendall..rain and bing sick..UGH....
2006-09-25 5:05 PM
in reply to: #551280

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century

sue7013 - 2006-09-25 4:42 PM WOW sounds like ar eally tough day Kendall..rain and bing sick..UGH....

No, not UGH..it was a blast!     I just tried to bring you some verisimilitude.  Yes, I've been waiting to use that in a sentence. 

2006-09-25 6:40 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Pro
4612
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MA
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century

Wow Kendall, you are a tough guy.  Rode a century in bad weather while sick. 

I'm so going to tell your boss that you did such an awesome job! 

2006-09-25 6:47 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Queen BTich
12411
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,
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century

Oh my gosh! Crazy!

I can't believe you did that sick...its hard enough on its own!

2006-09-25 6:58 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Buttercup
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Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century

Great job, Kendall, and what an excellent way to celebrate turning 40!!! ('cept for the rain and sinus infection part)

Since you missed it - yes, that IS beautiful country up there.

Verisimilitude. Heh. 



2006-09-25 8:16 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Pro
4545
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Orange Park Florida
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century

Epic and Awesome!  (both overused words    )

I would like to try do that ride one of these days. 

2006-09-25 8:49 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Extreme Veteran
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5002525
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century
Kendall, that really is amazing!!
2006-09-25 9:08 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Champion
5529
500050025
Nashville, TN
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century
Great ride....I love getting up to the Gaps on the weekend.  However the recovery time is brutal.  Wonderful job!
2006-09-25 9:09 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Elite
3020
20001000
Bay Area, CA
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century
Yep, I'd say that definitely qualifies as Epic.  I'm impressed!
2006-09-25 9:53 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Extreme Veteran
527
50025
Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century
What took you so damn long?  Wink


2006-09-26 8:01 AM
in reply to: #551273

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Regular
88
252525
Lilburn, GA
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century
Great job on doing all 6!  I opted for the 3 gap option myself.  Maybe next year!
2006-09-27 8:09 AM
in reply to: #551273

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Wife, Mother, Friend.
2457
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South
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century

rain, doubtful sanity, illness, long day.....

I feel bad for the folks who were behind you.  Sinus infection on a bike....ugh.    IT was a rocket spectacular, eh?

 

2006-09-28 7:48 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Pro
3705
20001000500100100
Vestavia Hills
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century

Wow. Great race report .. wish I could have been there first hand (doing the SC HIM this weekend and did the Tugaloo Oly the weekend before), but your RR makes me feel like I had.

Next year.

Hogpen must have hurt.  Wasn't Wolfpen one of the Gaps as well? (You can reach Woody's through WolfPen after doing Neel's)

2006-09-28 9:51 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Champion
6627
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Rochester Hills, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century
Outstanding, Kendall.  Way to rock Georgia, you flatlander.   
2006-09-29 2:23 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Expert
1049
100025
Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century
Great ride!! I am going to have to find some slower riders when I get to Jax!!


2006-09-29 3:38 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Champion
6962
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Atlanta, Ga
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century

Fantastic ride!  I didn't want to do Hog Pen dry let alone wet.  Way to stay vertical and take it on.  As you know, 6 gaps is not for the faint of heart of skill and you had both.

 

2006-10-01 12:20 PM
in reply to: #551273

, Alabama
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century

It may have been a great ride experience, but it was an even BETTER story!  The thrill of victory, the agony of de-sinuses , the drama!  It had it all.  THANKS!

Sharon

2006-10-09 11:42 PM
in reply to: #551273

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Veteran
253
1001002525
Florida
Subject: RE: 6 Gap Century
WOW! I'm absolutely in awe...

ummm, wow!!

Congrats on finishing that, just an absolutely incredible achievement...

PS-HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
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